The Two Words That Will Transform Your Consulting Business


In Part 1, we talked about two words that I used to build a consulting business: Wait list.

Now I want to reveal the OTHER two words that are crucial to getting results as a consultant or agency.

One of the biggest traps that consultants and coaches fall into…

Why they don’t make the money that they want to make…

Is because of two simple words: OVER DELIVER.

(More specifically, getting into bad habits when it comes to over-delivering).

What do I mean by this?

Let me explain…

The Hidden Danger in Over Delivering

Most consultants want to over-deliver for their clients, so that they can get the best results possible.

They think it makes the clients happy, leading to better results, more referrals, and more income.

And they translate this into spending more TIME with their client.

But as a consultant, TIME is your most precious resource.


And because time is a limited resource, the more time you’re spending on any given project, that’s time that you can’t spend on something else.

So the real way to get better results for both you and your clients?

And the REAL two words that I built my consulting practice on?

Set Boundaries

Now, I know this probably sounds counterintuitive, but stick with me.

When I first started consulting, I made all the mistakes in the book.

Clients walked all over me.

And very early on I realized that I absolutely needed to set boundaries within the consultant-client relationship.


Here’s what setting boundaries looks like:

When someone became a client, they got access to exactly 60 minutes of my time per week.

There was no emailing back and forth in-between calls, and no requests to “take a quick look and review this.”

Instead, I requested that the client send me their agenda for the call, what they wanted to cover, at least 48 hours before…

So that I could have time to prepare and we wouldn’t waste any time on preliminaries.

And while this may seem pretty rigid and draconian on the surface, in reality, it makes every minute precious.

Clients very quickly became great at prioritizing the MOST important thing that they wanted to get out of our time together.

And our calls became much more productive as a result.

As a parent, I know that when I set boundaries for my kids they actually feel more comfortable, they feel safer knowing what’s expected of them.

And they’re able to grow and achieve more as a result.

This doesn’t change when we get older.

Being able to know:

  • • where the boundaries are
  • • what the expectations are
  • • and having a framework to work within

Is what will give your consulting relationships the focus and value that will get you and your clients results.


So many entrepreneurs have a hard time prioritizing what’s really important.

And when everything is an urgent priority, then NOTHING is a priority.

But when you can set boundaries with your clients, THAT is what will give you the right framework to be able to overdeliver…

Because they’ll be totally focused and getting the RIGHT things done.

So Now I’m Curious…

If you’re a coach or a consultant…do YOU have a wait list?

What kind of boundaries do you set with your clients?

I’d love to know, so just leave a comment below!

Ryan :-)

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How I Built a 7 Figure Consulting Business with Just One Employee


When it comes to choosing a business model, many people decide to start out working with clients, doing coaching, consulting, or other done-for-you services.

The reason is because setting up your own business, choosing a market, building a list and a funnel, and running ads involves more moving pieces than just getting your first consulting client.

I’ve been working with clients, implementing the Ask Method, for several years.

I’ve done one-on-one coaching, consulting, “done with you” funnel implementation, and I’ve also tried the agency “done for you” model.

And if I could sum up everything I’ve learned in just two words, it would be this: WAIT LIST.

I’ll talk more about what I mean in a minute, but first let me give you some quick background.

How I Accidentally Became a Consultant

After I launched my third successful niche business, after Scrabble Tiles, the Orchid Care business, and the “Rocket Memory” business…

I started making connections within the marketing scene in Austin.

And at a mastermind event, I shared what I was doing, and someone came up to me and said, “How much would it cost for you to do what it is that you do?”

Now, until this point my plan was to launch funnels in 10 or 20 different niches of my own and build my business that way…so I turned it down.


But that was the first time that I even considered working with another business.

The next seminar I attended, same thing.

And this time, I really considered it.

I ended up walking away from that event with my 2 first consulting clients.

Around this time, I was hiking with Glenn Livingston, my mentor, and he said, “Ryan, you know my methodology better than I know it.”

He wanted to wind things down, he didn’t want to work as much as he was working.

He said, “Would you be interested in handling the overflow of consulting clients?”

And before I knew it, I had my first 5 or 6 clients.

I was charging $297 a month, just to get my feet wet, but I quickly realized I could raise my prices…and the rest is history.

From Consulting to Agency

As the number of successful Ask Method funnels continued to grow, I began getting requests from people who wanted to know:

“Do you have a done for you option, Ryan? I want someone to build my funnel for me.”

That’s when I decided to build an agency to build Ask Method funnels.

And while the funnels we built were successful, and there continues to be a very high demand for Ask consulting and implementation services…

Eventually I decided to scale down both my agency AND my consulting business so that I could focus on teaching the Ask Method to as many people as possible.

(That means, by the way, that there’s a HUGE demand in the market for both consulting and done-for-you Ask Method funnels).

My experience in running a consulting business and an agency has taught me a lot.

And there are definite pros and cons to each model.

Consulting: Pros and Cons

So what are the advantages of consulting?

Well, when you do coaching or consulting, clients are paying a premium for your time and expertise.

And when you work with a client one-on-one, that’s the best way to help them get results.

And yet when it comes to the implementation, all the technical details and the investment in the project, well, that’s on someone else’s shoulders.

And if you negotiate a rev-share or royalty deal, then you continue to earn money when the project is successful.


This also says to your client, “I’ve got skin in the game, so I’m going to do all I can to make this a success.”

On the other hand, when you work with clients, you always run the risk of working with someone who’s not going to get the job done (there are ways to avoid this, which I’ll talk about in a minute).

And there are those clients who will try to stretch the boundaries of the relationship, calling you at all hours and making demands beyond what you agreed upon.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure the expectations are clear and agreed upon up front.


Should You Start an Agency?

Come on, who doesn’t want a done for you service?

There are lots of people who are happy to pay so that they can have an expert do the implementation.

Just a few things to be mindful of:

  • 1) Have a very good timeline of how long it takes to complete a project, because small delays can add up to big costs for you.
  • 2) Put a team in place that you can rely on, led by someone who can manage all aspects of the project.
  • 3) Agency services, depending on what they are, tend to have a higher cost than information publishing or consulting. While that means you can charge a higher premium, it also means doing a careful cost-benefit analysis to see if this is the best model for you.

My BEST Advice for Consultants and Agencies

You could be the absolute best at what you do, but if you don’t know how to sell yourself, you’ll have a hard time getting clients.

In my experience, it’s not enough to be the best, not enough to be good…

You have to sell your services.

And the best way to do this is NOT to sell at all.

The best way to do this is to have people banging down YOUR door wanting to work with you.

And my signature strategy for creating this demand is by using a “wait list” strategy.


When you’re first getting started, the HARDEST thing to do is to have a wait list.

You feel this need to accept every client who wants to work with you.

It’s easy to have a wait list when you have a line of people out the door waiting to work with you…

But it’s a lot harder when you’re struggling to cover your expenses.

Even more experienced consultants still feel the urge to say yes to everyone who comes through the door…

Resist the urge.

This doesn’t make you inauthentic. Quite the opposite.

The wait list is designed to help you and your client have the best possible chances of success.

Here’s why: If you try to play with a cat by shoving a ball of yarn in its face, chances are the cat will stick its tail up and walk away from you.

If you want the cat to play with you, you have to gently pull the yarn away from the cat.

Instantly, the cat wants what it can’t have…and as humans, we’re wired the same way.


We tend to value more highly what we can’t have, and when it comes to consulting, if you can position it as something desirable and exclusive…

That means your clients will be much more likely to implement what you advise them on.

If something is too easy, it creates doubt in people’s minds, and they wonder: “Is this the right decision? Why is this so easy?”

And they second guess themselves.

On the other hand, if they have to wait to work with you, and if they walk in feeling that they’ve lucked out by getting time with you, they’ll be willing to work that much harder to get results…

And that’s a win-win situation for both of you.

So to sum it all up…

  • 1) Specialize. Do one thing and be known for doing that one thing (like becoming an Ask Method Specialist). 
  • 2) Create demand through your positioning and marketing. 
  • 3) Have a wait list. Just do it.

Last but not least…

I lied.

There are actually two more words that are responsible for my 7 figure consulting business, and they have nothing to do with wait list.

Can you guess what they are?

Leave a comment below with your best guess and check back for Part 2 to see if you were right.

Talk soon,

Ryan :-)

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5 Formulas for Unique, Interesting, and Profitable Emails and Blog Posts


You may have heard people say that email marketing is dead.

But in my world, a HUGE part of my business relies on email communication.

For me, and most of the entrepreneurs I know, email marketing is very much alive.

While Facebook ads and other formats now play a bigger role…

Email is STILL a high-leverage activity, and something that’s worth focusing on in your business.

But the challenge is, if you email a lot, is coming up with ideas day in and day out, week in and week out, to keep your list engaged, reading, and clicking on your emails.

So what’s the secret to getting emails opened consistently?

And even more importantly, what’s the secret to getting people to CLICK and eventually BUY?

The secret is to combine curiosity and benefits in just the right way, while staying true to your unique voice.


In other words, first you have to get their attention…and then you have to create desire.

Often, just getting the initial inspiration will spark a flow of ideas. That’s the point where the email basically writes itself.

Once you have the idea, you’ll then tell a short story about that idea, that builds curiosity.

That’s when you make the shift to talking about how the story relates to the benefits of what you do or sell.

Talking about these benefits creates desire in your readers, and that’s when you ask them to click or take action.

This is a variation on that well-known copywriting formula: AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).


So where do you go to get inspiration?

Here are 5 great places to look…

5 Great Places To Get Inspiration



Check out and look at the top headlines.

Then, pick one and challenge yourself to incorporate that headline into your email.

That’s your starting point.


#2: Newsjacking

Current events are great email “conversation starters”.

The election, an upcoming holiday, a special event like the Olympics, are all attention-getters when you put them in a subject line or an email intro.

You can get ideas by checking out what’s currently “Trending” on Facebook.

Once you can nail how to connect current events to your own message, you’re golden.

Check out this example below:


#3: Wacky History Lessons

People love interesting stories…even ones that happened decades or centuries ago.

And when those stories take on the category of “legend” or “weird history facts” they have an even wider appeal.

Google urban legends or weird history facts and see what you come up with.

Make sure you fact check your sources as much as possible, and then figure out how you tie those events into what you do.

I once sent out an email sequence about the Boston Molasses Flood in the early 20th Century.

A true but-little known story, it got the interest of the audience and had a great business “lesson” at the end.


#4: Embarrassing or Unusual Real-Life Stories

You can do this with personal stories as well.

Funny, interesting, or crazy things that happen to you are all great fodder for content.

If you can find inspiration in the everyday, you’ll never lack for ideas.

So always be on the lookout for ideas and how you can connect them back.

The one that people like to remind me of is the “Critter in the Attic” story.


Two people who are experts at doing this are my buddies Andre Chaperon and Ben Settle.

If you’re not already doing it, sign up for their email lists and study how they do this.

If you’re really serious, you can purchase their courses and follow them.

#5: Raid Your Inbox

This is a great example of the Ask Method in action.

You can take emails and feedback from your audience on your product and address them in an email.

This is great for answering objections about the product, it gives a sense of authenticity…

And it has the added bonus of saving you from having to come up with a creative idea.

All you have to do is copy, paste, and answer.

Smart marketers have been doing this for a while.

Check out this email from 2009:


This email is from “David DeAngelo” a character created by Eben Pagan.

When it comes to creating a product that people salivate over, and marketing it with an irresistible offer, there’s no one like Eben.

Eben has a great free video series that he’s sharing RIGHT NOW about how to do just that.

It’s only up for a short time, so I recommend checking it out now:

===> Click here to watch

And now, I’m curious…

What’s YOUR best source of inspiration for email ideas?

Leave a comment below and share your wisdom!

Talk soon,

Ryan :-)

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“Next Level Kids”: Should You Teach Your Kids to be Entrepreneurs?

When it comes to getting your kids involved in your business…

What I’m about to say might be somewhat controversial.

I know this is a topic that many people have strong opinions about…

But I think it’s an important discussion to have.

Watch the video below for my take…

So now I’m curious…

Do you think it’s a mistake to get your kids involved in your business?

Leave a comment below with Yes or No and why (or why not).

Ryan :-)

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Paid Membership Groups: How to Lock Customers in for Life (Part 3)

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In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series we covered how to START a paid group, and how to plan CONTENT to get it going.

Now I want to cover what may be the most important piece of the puzzle…

How do you continuously deliver value so that people stay in the group month after month, year after year?

The answer comes down to 3 important elements:

  1. 1) Keeping up with the times
  2. 2) Giving people real value
  3. 3) Creating a sense of community

Let’s break these down a bit further…

The times are (constantly) changing.

While it’s important to plan your content calendar in advance, and you can easily touch on the same themes year after year…

You always want to have in mind that the times are changing.

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What was true back in 2015 may not be true in 2016, or may be mostly true…with a few important updates.

You want to position your group as being on the cutting edge of a constantly changing landscape.

As a member of your program, your customers will always be up to date on the newest trends and most relevant, up-to-date information.

And if your members know that, then they have a big reason to stick with you month after month, because they’re constantly getting updated information.

What have you done for me lately?

When someone first joins your group, they’re generally excited about all the content available.

Proving the value of the group isn’t hard in the beginning, but after a few months, they may begin to question why they’re still paying for membership.

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After a while, getting your members to consume content becomes more challenging.

That’s when you run the risk of having someone think to themselves, “Well, I don’t really need that membership right now.”

And boom…they’re gone. Your program has become expendable.

So how do you ensure that doesn’t happen?

By providing not just new content, but providing your members with WINS.

Wins (big or small) are a great way to create positive energy and build loyalty among your customers.

Similar to the idea of  “Micro-Commitments” in the Ask Method, your goal is to deliver small wins to your members to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

How do you create these small wins? By leveraging something called “Micro-Workshops”.


A Micro-workshop is an event that happens in your group on a very specific, focused topic.

Not just a simple video training or article, a workshop has an interactive element where you ask your members to implement.

You can even turn it into a contest to increase participation.

We do this in NLM with our yearly Black Friday promo contest.

Black Friday Promo

By encouraging members to swipe a specific short email sequence and send out just a few emails…

They’re able to see a quick influx of income as a direct result.

That jolt of cash and/or energy is a great reminder of WHY they became a member in the first place…

And gives them a very good reason to stick around.

If you plan your Micro-workshops strategically, you can have your members excited and anticipating their next win simply by continuing their membership.

The Art of Creating Community

Ironically, as we’ve become a more “connected” society (to our phones, computers, and tablets), we’ve become disconnected in so many other ways.

Everyone is looking for a place they can feel connected to other people…

To feel like they’re a part of something larger and more meaningful.


And that can happen if you create the right kind of online community.

Being an entrepreneur, especially online, can get pretty lonely.

What our Next Level Group Mastermind does is give people a place to ask questions, get answers, and make valuable connections.

And your membership program should do that for your tribe as well.

Because in most cases people are drawn to your group for the content, but the reason they STAY…is for the community.

So how do you cultivate this kind of community?

Well, it’s a challenge, and there are some nuances to it.

It’s difficult to describe in just ONE short blog post.

In fact, there are some specific things that we do in the Next Level Group Mastermind that have really transformed it into a community…not just another group.

I learned these techniques from someone who is better than anyone else at creating community, Stu McLaren.

He’s the “secret weapon” that helped us take NLM from an idea on the back of a napkin to a multi-million dollar business.

Stu’s been sharing some amazing content recently on how to build these kinds of communities through membership sites.

Check out this video to learn more


In this series, I’ve walked you through how to create your own membership site, from the idea and initial launch, to content creation, to keeping people coming back month after month.

Now I’m curious…

I’d love to hear your biggest takeaway, so please leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

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4 Strategies to Delivering Killer Content in Your Paid Membership Group (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this series we talked about why you should have a membership program, why it makes sense to start it on Facebook, and my step-by-step plan to launch your group.

So you have your group up and running…now what?

Well, the next challenge is keeping it going.

And in order to keep it going, you have to deliver content.

The Content Hamster Wheel

Many people, when they think about starting a membership program, immediately think to themselves…

“Well, if I start this, then I’ll get stuck having to create new content all the time. I don’t really have the time for that.”

And the fear of getting caught on the “Content Hamster Wheel” is what scares people from creating a recurring revenue stream…

Even though it’s one of the smartest things you can do for your business.

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In this post, I’ll give you 4 no-fail strategies for how to deliver value without ripping your hair out…

Or feeling like you’re stuck in a “Facebook group prison” that you’ve created for yourself.  

Here’s how you generate great, actionable, valuable content for your members WITHOUT driving yourself crazy in the process.

4 Killer Content Strategies


1. Plan in Advance

Plan your content calendar one year in advance, if you can do it.

Knowing exactly what you want to deliver in terms of content is much easier than having to brainstorm every week on what to deliver.

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The more you can plan in advance, the better.


2. Built-in Re-runs

Be sure you block off time in your calendar for “re-runs”, things that you’ve already created or that already exist…

So that if you are sick, or traveling, or something happens, you can just plug in the re-run content.

We do this in NLM and it has the added advantage of  introducing new members to great previous content and reminding old members of all the great value they have.  


3. ‘Tis the Season

Another advantage to planning a year in advance is that you don’t have to produce new stuff forever.

Plan a year at a time, knowing that you can recycle the same content every year, depending on the season, with minor updates.

If you do a monthly call, come up with 12 different themes and each year you can “spruce up” the existing content and redeliver it with some new information.

In NLM, every year we share our winning “Black Friday” promotion, which is the same core training but with minor updates.

This strategy allows you to get the maximum leverage out of your existing content.

Black Friday Promo

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4. Cream Rises to the Top

Within your community, there will (hopefully) be plenty of very smart and talented people.

And if you create the right kind of community atmosphere (which we’ll be talking more about in Part 3), then these people will be willing and eager to share their expertise.

You want to cultivate your best members and ask them to contribute.

Give them a platform to display their expertise.

Sourcing content from your members not only means less work for you, but it’s an important part of creating a community.

Now That You Have Content…

In the next post we’ll be shifting gears a bit to talk about how you keep your customers coming back again and again for more.

Because it’s not all about the content–there are 2 other important factors that come into play.

You can check that out in Part 3 of this series.

See you there!

Ryan :-)

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My “Secret Weapon” That Helped Me Take the Next Level Group Mastermind from Zero to $2M/Year

If you saw last week’s post on starting a paid membership program, you might be wondering WHERE I learned all of this…

So I’d like to introduce you to my “secret weapon”.

His name is Stu McLaren and he’s a friend of mine.

In fact, he’s been helping me since I started my FIRST recurring revenue business in the Orchid niche.

I recently got together with Stu to talk about WHY you should have a recurring revenue business, and the kind of leverage it gives you in your business.

Check it out:

Stu and I have some great stuff coming up on this topic, so stay tuned for that…

For now, I’d love to hear from you:

What’s your biggest challenge or concern when it comes to adding recurring revenue into your business (or growing your current recurring revenue model)?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

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3 Steps to Launching a Successful Paid Membership Program Using Facebook (Part 1)

One of the cornerstones of a successful, scalable business is recurring revenue.

And yet one of the hardest things to sell people on is a continuity program.

This is the challenge that many entrepreneurs face when they want to set up a recurring revenue model…

But it’s well worth overcoming the challenge (and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it in the next few posts) because there are so many BENEFITS.

When you have a continuity program or a membership site, not only do you have predictable, stable income…

You also have a group of customers who are paying you money to give you feedback on what products to release in the future, which means you are essentially getting paid to do market research.

And the people who are paying you month after month to be a part of your community are going to be your best customers.

This is your core captive audience – the people who will be most receptive to new products and offers…

And who will be your biggest ambassadors when it comes to spreading the word about your business.

I’ve done this myself, growing my Next Level Group Mastermind community from zero to over 2000 members in just under 2 years.

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All of the strategies and techniques I’m going to mention here are strategies I’ve actually used to build this community into one of the best paid Mastermind groups online.

So now that you know WHY you should have a continuity program, let’s get into the details on how to create one:

How to Build Momentum

The fastest way to get a membership/continuity program off the ground is to set up a forum (we use XenForo) to host your content.

That’s where your paid membership site lives.

Along with that, you also want to create a Facebook group, and offer that as a free bonus to your customers…

(it’s against Facebook’s TOS to charge for membership in a group)

I’ll add that the small risk you run with Facebook groups is you’re building on someone else’s real estate…

And Facebook can decide to shut down your group at any time (it’s rare, but it can happen)…in which case, you will lose all of your posts.

Despite the minor risks, Facebook is still the fastest and easiest way to get started.

And the reason for that is because you are tapping into habits that your customers already have.

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Let’s be honest…who ISN’T checking Facebook multiple times a day?

And when all you’re doing is tapping into existing habits…it makes getting, engaging, and keeping members a lot easier.

The fastest way to catch fish is to put a net into a stream where the fish are already swimming and just lift them out…

Instead of trying to lure them to you.

So, while you want to have a forum to host your content outside of Facebook…

Having an active Facebook group is a great way to build engagement and momentum with your members.

“Founding Members” Launch Strategy

So how do you get the first 100 or 200 members into your new group?

And how do you convince people to sign up for something that doesn’t even exist yet???

Well, I did this successfully with our Next Level Group Mastermind using a “Founding Members” offer.

Here’s how this works:

Step 1: You announce that you’re looking to put together a new group (without actually committing to building it first) and explain what the group will be for as well as what the benefits are to your audience.

Basically, you’re just trying to gauge how much interest there is.

Step 2: Tell them that you’re making a special offer for “Founding Members.”

You explain that as a “Founding Member” they’ll get access to additional benefits and bonuses that no one else will have…

And that they’ll also be grandfathered in to a special low price forever…even when you eventually raise the price of membership.

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Step 3: Next comes the call to action: “All you need to do today is raise your hand and say that you might be interested, and put down a two-way refundable deposit of $50.”

The deposit is two-way refundable, meaning if they decide they don’t want to join, or if you decide not to go through with the program, they get their money back.

And depending on the response to this “Founding Members” offer, you can then evaluate if creating this group is worth your time.

Creating the Group and Welcoming New Members

Once you have enough members who have put down a deposit to get started, it’s time to create your group, decide on a name, and set down the ground rules.

Decide on your core values as well as what is and isn’t allowed when members create posts and leave comments, and stick to them.

I’ll be talking more about how to keep members in the group in Part 3 of this series.

One of the first things you should do is welcome new members to the group and ask them to make an introduction.


We do this in NLM and it helps to jumpstart our customer’s experience…making them feel at home (and part of the tribe) right away.

Every week we put up a “Welcome Post” where we tag all the new members who have joined…

And we encourage them to put up an “Introduction Post” telling us a little more about themselves and their business as well as their biggest challenge at the moment…

This gives our team and our community something to comment on and help them with right away.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to respond to their introductions!

Nothing is worse than putting yourself out there and getting NO response.

Coming Up: Your Next Steps…

Now that you have your group with your Founding Members, and you’ve welcomed them all, you might be thinking…

“How the heck do I keep this thing going?”

“How do I generate enough content to keep everyone happy?”


“How do I avoid getting caught in what I call the “content-creation hamster wheel”?

I cover my top 4 strategies for delivering MASSIVE value without working yourself into the ground in Part 2 of this series.

For now, I’m curious…

  1. 1) Do you have a paid membership program, or are you looking to start one?
  2. 2) What’s your #1 tip for someone who’s thinking of starting a group?
  3. 3) And what’s your #1 takeaway from this post?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

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Kaizen in Action: 8 Types of Micro-Commitments and How You Can Use Them in Your Sales Process to Increase Conversions (Part 2)

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As I used the science of Kaizen to build my business, I also realized how this simple strategy applies to sales and marketing…

Which led me to a MAJOR epiphany as well as the creation of the Ask Method.

Sometimes the biggest successes happen not by thinking bigger, but by thinking smaller.

To take my first business from $0 to $25,000/year in 18 months, I forgot about my big goals, gave up on visualizations, and stopped giving myself pep-talks.

Instead, I started asking myself tiny, minuscule questions, like:

“What’s ONE thing I can do in my business that will make me an extra $500 this month?”


“What’s one thing I can I do that will generate ONE additional sale per day?”

Instead of thinking big, I began to think very, very small…

These small numbers were the sort of thing I could actually get my head around.

And shifting my thinking to $500 in extra monthly revenue and one additional sale per day also allowed me to “seek the small improvements, one day at a time”.


Once I began seeking those small improvements instead of huge leaps, I started making SIGNIFICANT progress in my business.

There’s a quote by Mark Twain scribbled on the whiteboard in my office that says the following:

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started. And the secret to getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”

This is Kaizen in a nutshell, and Twain understood the “secret” behind it.

In my previous post, I talked about how I used Kaizen to help me make progress when I was first starting my business…

Incuding the “hack” that can get you unstuck no matter where you are in your business:


Today, I want to dive deeper into this idea.

We talked about how your brain perceives ANY kind of change as a threat, activating your “Fight or Flight” response…

Now let’s see how we can tiptoe around this in a creative way.

How to Influence Your Customers with Kaizen

This marketing epiphany came to me as I was standing in the coffee aisle at the grocery store, deciding which brand of coffee to buy.

“What’s so hard about buying coffee?”, you might ask.

Well, the first coffee I remember drinking was the giant red can, the Buick of coffees, the coffee that my parents drank: Folgers at $3.99/lb.

Since it’s what I grew up with, Folgers started out as my coffee of choice by default.

Eventually, once there was a Starbucks on every corner, I began seeing their ground coffee in the store, and on a whim, I gave it a try at the sale price of $5.99/lb.

Weeks later, it went back up to the regular price of $8.99/lb., but by then I was hooked on Starbucks, whether I liked it or not.

A few years later, as part of a concerted effort to eat healthier, my wife and I switched to certified organic and pesticide free coffee at the hefty price tag of $10.99/lb.

And standing in that aisle at Whole Foods, debating between two different certified-organic, fair-trade, boutique-brand varieties at a price of $12.99/lb. and $13.99/lb. respectively…

Suddenly it hit me:

“HOW did I go from buying the big red can at $3.99/lb to trying to decide between fair-trade organic coffee at $13.99/lb?”

I never would have made that leap directly…it’s TOO BIG of a price jump.

But each incremental decision over the years was a small enough price increase that it seemed like “no big deal”…


And I was able to accept paying more and more for coffee without setting off any of my internal (amygdala-controlled) warning signals.

This is true, not just for coffee, but for any kind of purchase or buying decision…and you can leverage this concept in your marketing on a practical level in a number of ways.

By now you’ve probably heard me mention “Micro-Commitments”, which is how you influence people to complete your quiz, one question at a time.

However Micro-Commitments can come into play at EVERY stage of the sales process.

And today I want to talk about some other ways you can use the concept of Micro-Commitments in your marketing.

8 Ways to Use “Micro-Commitments” in Your Sales Process

The key to this concept is looking at any point in your sales process where you are asking someone to take too big of a leap…

Basically, any step that is potentially scary, and figure out how to break it down into smaller steps.

I’d like to cover 8 different ways you can “chunk down” or add another smaller step in order to reduce buying friction and avoid “scaring off” your prospects.

In fact, I bet you may be using several of these already…and that’s great!

The more you are aware of WHY and HOW Micro-Commitments work, the more effectively you can use them.

Are you ready to dive in?

OK, here it goes:

8 Ways to Use “Micro-Commitments” in Your Sales Process

❏  1. ASK a Segmentation Question Before Your Opt-in

For many people, entering their name and email address sets off all sorts of warning bells. Even if you just ask for an email address, you’re still likely scaring some people off. It’s just too big of a first step to take. Instead of having the opt-in box appear right away on your landing page, give them a button to click instead, with a pop up to either a quiz, or a one-question segmentation option, and only then ask for their name and email. Button, question, and opt-in: 3 steps instead of just one big one.

❏  2. Use a Tripwire

It’s pretty accepted marketing wisdom that someone who spends a small amount of money with you is likely to spend a larger amount later on. Enter the concept of the Tripwire – a low priced (i.e. $1-10) product that puts your customers in “buying mode” without making them feel like they’re breaking the bank. If you don’t have a Tripwire offer yet, you might want to consider testing one.

❏  3. Introduce a $1 Trial Offer

If you have a higher priced product, then offering a $1 Trial is a great way to turn prospects into buyers. In my Next Level Group Mastermind, I run a 7-day $1 trial offer a few times a year, and it usually brings in several hundred new members, many of whom will continue their membership after the trial period. In my experience, $1 Trial offers are generally very hard to resist for your core audience.

❏  4. Create a “Bridge Product” between your Low End and High End Offer

If the price gap between your front-end and back-end products is too big, you may be setting off those warning bells in your customer’s brain. Just like I couldn’t make the leap from Folgers to Fair Trade Organic coffee, if you have a $97 product on the front end that upsells into a $10K coaching program, it’s probably too big of a leap for most people. Consider adding a mid-priced option in between the two offers instead.

❏  5. Head off any potential objections at the pass

Make sure that before you ask for the sale, you have at least one opportunity to answer any potential objections. Usually a FAQ section on your sales page does the trick, but they should also be woven into your sales copy as well. Using the Ask Method “Do You Hate Me?” email is a great way to hone in on any potential objections and answer them effectively.

❏  6. Use Live Chat

This is something that I discovered during my last launch of the Ask Method Masterclass. We installed a live chat plugin on the sales page and during Open Cart, we had team members available to reach out and chat with potential customers. Getting people to engage in a real-time chat is another form of Micro-Commitment and another great way to overcome objections.

❏  7. Add an “Objection-Busting” Webinar

During a launch or a promotion, I like to add a Q&A webinar (or two) into the mix. Similar to live chat, it accomplishes the goal of getting your prospects to take another step into your world (by registering and then showing up for the webinar) and gives you another opportunity to answer their objections.

❏  8. Get Subscribers to *HIT REPLY* (Again and Again…)

I often like to ask my subscribers to *HIT REPLY* and answer my emails directly. This turns any old email into a survey AND a Micro-Commitment all at once. Just add a question in a P.S. or in the body of an email and ask people to *HIT REPLY*. You’d be surprised at how many responses you’ll get.

Now, these 8 Micro-Commitment strategies are a good starting point, but always remember the #1 goal:

“HOW can I seamlessly move my prospects and customers through the sales process by breaking it down into much smaller steps?”

Or in other words…

“Am I losing people along the way by asking them to take a step that’s too big or threatening?”

So now I’m Curious…

Speaking of “Micro-Commitments” (wink wink)...

1) How are YOU using Micro-Commitments in your business?

2) Which of these are you going to take action on next?

3) Have you already implemented any of these and gotten better results?

Share your results and stories in the comments below…I can’t wait to hear from you!


Ryan :-)

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My Go-To “Hack” to Getting Unstuck and Getting Stuff DONE

A couple of weeks ago, my top recommendation was a book called “One Small Step Can Change your Life: The Kaizen Way” – by Robert Maurer Ph.D.

And people wanted to hear more about the simple “hack” I mentioned for getting unstuck…

So I filmed a short video about it.

Check it out:

So now I’m curious…

What’s the next tiny, minuscule, “Impossible-to-fail” step YOU’RE going to take in your business (or in life) to move towards your goals?

Let me know in the comments below!

Ryan :-)

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