Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Avoid the “Holiday Shutdown” and Set Yourself Up for Your Best Year Ever

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“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

When December rolls around, people start thinking about WHAT their New Year’s Resolutions are going to be…

And while on January 2nd the gym is full of motivated people burning off those holiday calories…

Come back a month later and most of those people are back to their old habits.

And if you’re an entrepreneur, maybe you’re busy setting strategic goals for your business this year.

So the question is…

How many of your goals will you actually achieve?

How do you avoid “repeating history” and making the same mistakes?

How do you set the RIGHT goals that you’ll actually follow through on?

And the answer is by making a shift in the way you plan and set strategic goals.

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There are a few steps to the way that I do this in my business.

The first step is reflection.

This is where you take a look back at the past 12 months to analyze what went well, what fell short, and what your biggest takeaways are.

I do this every year, and I present my “Top 10 Lessons Of The Year” to my Next Level Mastermind.


Here are some things you want to focus on:

  • • The 10 biggest wins in your business in the last year
  • • 3 top lessons you’ve learned
  • • The greatest influences that have had an effect on your business in the last year
  • • The smartest decision you made last year
  • • The biggest risk you took
  • • One word that best sums up and describes last year’s experience
  • • Three things you need to do less of in the next year
  • • Three things you need to do more of in the next year
  • • Three things you need to stop doing altogether in the next year

For example, in my business, one of my top lessons last year was do LESS, but BETTER.

And we shifted our focus in the business to reflect that, doing fewer promotions and emails but making them better value.

And this is just one example.


Once you’ve taken an honest look at the past year, it’s time to take those lessons to plan for next year.

And the BEST way to plan your year is in CHUNKS.

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Yes, you want to have a 3 year plan, and a 1 year plan.

But when it comes to getting things done and achieving big goals, I’ve learned a lot from my friend Todd Herman, creator of the 90 Day Year program.

Todd is a big advocate of planning in 90 Day chunks, and here’s why.

The great thing about 12-week planning is that it’s short enough of a timeframe to stay focused and not lose sight of your goals, and a long enough time to execute and get a lot of work done…

Because you’re aware that the deadline is around the corner, you’re almost always on high gear focused on executing your most important activities.


3 Reasons Why 90 Day Planning Is Better Than Annual Planning

 

  1. 1) It’s more predictable – Can you honestly see what’s going to happen 6 months down the road? You only have assumptions. Annual planning is objective-based, while 12 week planning is action-based. For the next 12 weeks, you can specify with high certainty the actions you need to take to achieve your goals.
  2.  

  3. 2) It’s more focused – You don’t to have a dozen of objectives to achieve, you’ll only focus on few goals (3 or less).
  4.  

  5. 3) It’s more structured – You’ll actually IMPLEMENT the stuff you plan for, instead of just saving it in some document and forget all about it.

So here’s my challenge for you:

What are your top 3 goals for the next 90 Days?

And what will it take for you to make those goals a reality?

Todd has a very specific system to making these 90 Day sprints work…

And he lays them out in his new free workshop (including WHY so many people never reach their goals, despite their best intentions).

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If you want to have a more productive year, you NEED to watch this video series.

It will change your perspective on productivity and achieving goals in your business FOREVER.

Set aside the time right now to watch. You won’t regret it.

Ryan :-)

Black Friday Promo Template: “OMG! I Just Made $17.3K”

Black Friday, for many business owners, is a bit of an afterthought.

But when done right, Black Friday can be the biggest day of your year.

This is a huge opportunity not just for traditional retailers, but for online entrepreneurs as well.  

Why?

Because this is the one day of the year that your customers are expecting you to sell them something.

Think about it: you have the best excuse in the world to make an amazing offer…but you have to do it right.

And if you do, you can get results like this:

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Or this:

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Or like this:

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Or this:

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And there are a few different ways to do this.

Just using the words “Black Friday Sale” is a surefire way to take advantage of low hanging fruit.

So my question for you is this:

Do you have a Black Friday promotion planned already?

If the answer is yes, good for you!

If the answer is no, keep reading because there’s still time to make it happen (and I’ve even given you email templates to make it easy).

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The thing to remember with Black Friday is that people are not only buying stuff for themselves, they’re also stocking up on holiday gifts.

So if you can position your products as a great gift opportunity, along with some kind of special offer…

You increase the chances that they’ll buy.

I like to do this in 3 different ways…

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If you sell something that people traditionally buy for themselves, think about how you can position what you sell as a gift for someone else.

A great example is the Kolbe profile test (We talk a lot about the Kolbe test in the Next Level Mastermind).

So here’s how you could position it to your previous customers.

Feel free to swipe the email below and customize it to fit your promotion:

Hey First Name,

Can I ask you a question?

Take a minute to think about the impact the Kolbe test has had on you and your business.

With the holidays coming up…

Now’s a great time to be asking yourself,

“Who in my life would benefit from the Kolbe profile test, which has been so influential for me?”

Think of three people, and write them down.

Congratulations!

You’ve just solved the hardest part of the holidays—finding the right gift for the people in your life.

And with our “buy 2 get one free” Black Friday promotion, you can now cross those people off your list.


Using a version of this email is a great way to position a Black Friday gift promotion.


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Another great way to position your product is what I like to call the “You Deserve It” promo.

I’ve used this successfully many times across my businesses, and it goes a little something like this:

(This was specifically for a female audience)

Dear First Name,

The holiday season is a busy time.

If you’re like most of us, you’re busy planning holiday meals, parties, and shopping for friends and family…

And you deserve something for yourself!

So with the holiday season coming up, take the time to treat yourself…

With XYZ discount on ABC product.


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The “Bring a Friend” Promotion

This is even MORE powerful (especially in certain niches like weight loss and fitness).

This is where you offer a “buy one – get one free at a discount for a friend”, and the positioning is something like:

Hey there,

With the holidays coming up, it’s that time of year when everyone is making resolutions.

And I truly want this upcoming year to be your best year EVER.

We know that trying to reach your weight loss goals is easier when you have support from your friends and family…

So I’d like to invite you to take advantage of our special “Bring a Friend” offer…

If you join/buy XYZ program, you’ll get a membership for a friend for free!

So bring along your partner, or your best friend…

And not only will you give them a great gift…

But you’ll be giving yourself a valuable gift as well.


These three offers are a great way to position your Black Friday promo (or any holiday promo, really).


Announcing Our Annual “Black Friday Workshop”

And if you’re super-motivated to take action on this…and potentially do several thousand dollars in sales (or more) in just a few days…

We’re about to run our annual “Black Friday Workshop” in the Next Level Group Mastermind, with a step-by-step training, a full set of email swipes, as well as feedback on your promo.

The first year we did this, the overall results looked like this:

Last year, we blew that number out of the water with a total of $685,000 in revenue from Black Friday Promos:

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If you want to get in on this, it’s starting Monday, November 21st.

You’ll need to be an NLM member to get access, so if you’re not yet a member, you can sign up here.


Now I’m curious…

Are you running a Black Friday promo? Which of these strategies are you most interested in using?

Let me know in the comments below…

Ryan :-)

7-Figure Launch Strategies to Take Your Launch to the Next Level

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Recently, at a meeting of Jeff Walker’s high-level mastermind group, we did an exercise where we went around the room and shared our best 7-figure launch strategies.

And while I can’t list everything that was shared in the room here…

Today I want to share with you some of MY biggest lessons learned from our $3.3 million launch of the Ask Method Masterclass.

Use any one of these strategies (or all of them) on your next launch to take things to the next level:


#1: Get Everyone Involved

Be sure that you have a role for each of your team members during the launch, and that everyone knows what their responsibilities are.

During our first internal launch, I didn’t involve everyone on the team, so while the launch was going on…

…some team members were alienated.

They didn’t feel like they had a part in the success because they didn’t participate.

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We made up for that during the partner launch a few months later by making sure that everyone had a part to play in the launch…

Which meant that everyone was able to share in the success.


#2: Eliminate single points of failure

I’m a big believer in having a core evergreen funnel that brings in steady income.

But I ALSO believe that launches are a powerful way to give your business a huge boost, bring the team together, and create a buzz around your business.

That said, there are many things that can go wrong during a launch, and your job is to minimize the risks as much as possible.

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The key word to remember here is: redundancy.

      1. Make sure that you have more than one email service provider so that you can continue to send emails if one of them goes down

        (we use Maropost with Infusionsoft for backup and Aweber as super failsafe backup)

      2. Be sure to have multiple shopping cart/form/checkout systems in case there’s a glitch with one of them

        (this actually happened during the launch where we had a glitch with our Infusionsoft Custom form and because we had planned for this, we were able to keep taking orders using our GoSpiffy forms)

      3. Have more than one Payment processor: Stripe, Chase, PowerPay, and PayPal are the ones we use.

      4. Assign “pinch hitters” on your team who can execute a contingency plan if one of your key team members becomes unavailable for whatever reason

        (James Schramko calls this the “Noah Principle” – always have 2 of everyone, so if someone is sick or leaves, there is a backup to fill that role).

In short, always have a backup plan.

Always be thinking, “And what do we do if…” and have that plan in place before the launch.


#3: Have a Partner Success Strategy

For anyone who hasn’t done a partner launch before, this may come as a surprise, but it’s a general rule of thumb for launches that the majority of your sales will come from your top 5 partners.

That means that the more time you spend working with your key partners to help them succeed, the better.

So not only should you give your JV partners access to your product…

Do what you can to help them achieve success, so that they have that personal experience and the results to share when they promote.

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And of course, make things easy for them by providing swipe copy, running Facebook ads for them, and being generous with your time when it comes to collaborating on bonus packages.


#4: Combine Ask Method with Product Launch Formula

A product launch is something that lends itself really well to the Ask Method.

And I’ve been developing several advanced tactics to layer ASK and the Product Launch Formula which I’ll be talking more about soon.

One easy thing you can do is to run a Deep Dive Survey before the launch, and use the natural customer language from the survey in your launch videos and other copy.

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If you want to take it a step further, you can break your audience into buckets and segment them during the launch, and create separate follow-up messaging for each bucket.


#5: Plan for Success

Sometimes, we’re so worried about what can go wrong, that we forget to plan for success.

What if everything goes RIGHT?

What if you double or even triple your target?

Take some time to think about how to shift into high gear if it looks like things are going better than expected.

Will you have to hire more staff? Increase video bandwidth?

Make sure your server can handle the overload?

On our recent launch we exceeded our targets, and needed to swiftly bring more Ask Specialists onto the team.

Because we had a documented “Success Plan” with a short-list of possible Ask Specialist candidates and an accelerated training and onboarding process…

We were able to execute this plan, and bring on six additional specialists in time to kick off the program.

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Had we NOT planned for success, we would’ve been vastly understaffed and scrambling to add to the team.

Planning for success not only means you’re prepared, it sets you up to rise to the challenge and blow past your goals.


Want to see a great example of these launch lessons put into action?

This is your last chance to check out Jeff Walker’s free workshop on how to run your very own launch.

This video goes much deeper into some of the points I’ve touched on here:

jw-workshop

Catch Jeff’s free Launch Workshop by clicking here


Now I’m curious…

What is your biggest takeaway from this post? And how will you use it in your next launch?

Leave a comment below and share your wisdom!

Talk soon,

Ryan :-)

Why I Don’t Believe in Work-Life Balance

The idea of having a strict separation between work and the rest of your life is an idea that’s widely popular.

But I totally disagree with the concept.

My idea of work-life balance is a little bit different.

Watch the video below to find out why:

Now, I’m curious:

What do YOU think the ideal work-life balance looks like?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

Meet The “Launch Legend” Who Helped Me Earn $3.3M In 5 Days (While Adding Over 60,000 Names To My Email List)

When I say the word “launch” what do you think of?

If you’re like most people in our our industry, then you probably think of the man himself…

Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula.

He’s the guy who literally INVENTED the formula on how we launch products online.

He’s also someone I’m fortunate to call a friend and mentor.

In fact, for the past couple of years he’s been one of my trusted advisors as the Ask Method has spread across our entire industry.

And recently, I got the chance to talk to Jeff about the future of product launches and MUCH more.

You can check out our talk here:

Now it’s your turn:

What’s your biggest challenge or concern when it comes to doing your next (or first) product launch?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Ryan :-)

The Two Words That Will Transform Your Consulting Business

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :-)

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :-)

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

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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.

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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).

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So where do you go to get inspiration?

Here are 5 great places to look…


5 Great Places To Get Inspiration

 


#1: Alltop.com

Check out alltop.com and look at the top headlines.

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

That’s your starting point.

alltopchallenge


#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:

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#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.

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#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.

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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:

ebenpaganoldemail

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 :-)

“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 :-)

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?”

And…

“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”.

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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:

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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”…

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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!

Peace,

Ryan :-)