Get More Customers For Your Coaching Business with Automated Sales Funnels

Any big business consists of a lot of different departments. Sales, IT & website, economy, HR, (social media) marketing and besides that they need people to do what the company is actually marketing themselves to do!

Puh!

That is quite a handful, right?

Well, what about running a small coaching or PT business then? By yourself? Gaaaaah! *head exploding smiley*

The big problem for coaches and consultants

If you’ve been working as a coach for a while, you are quite familiar with the many hats that you are required to wear.

And if you are just starting out as a coach or personal trainer – well, let’s just put it this way; you won’t have to worry too much about fixing your hair in the morning ‘cus it’ll be covered in a sh*tload of hats!

The main problem for coaches today is how to find the time to do everything.

There’s a well-known problem for coaches and personal trainers:

When you have a lot of work, there’s no time to market yourself. But when the work starts getting slow, you need to start marketing yourself. But it takes quite a while before that marketing gives any result!

There is a lag between when you start doing outreach until the potential customers start to get in touch (if they ever do).

That time is usually when you start to think “Will I ever get another client again?! Oh no, they’ve found out that I’m a hoax! How much do you get for a kidney these days?!?”

It is a weird thing, right? Even after working as a freelancing photographer for twelve years (and always getting by pretty well) it felt like the end was near, every time business was low.

Can you relate? 🙂

Here’s the thing. Whether you are a life coach, personal trainer, coaching business leaders or helping people to a more balanced spiritual life – that is what you do best!

Unfortunately, in today’s world, we all need to be marketers as well!

Having a website just isn’t enough. Sure, it might be useful, but way too many coaches believe that as soon as that website is up, the work is gonna start pouring in.

*confused smiley waiting and scratching its head*

The truth is a bit more complicated.

How do you find more coaching clients today?

Imagine choosing between two different restaurants for your date night. Both have similar food, similar prices and are located in the same area.

The only thing separating them is that your friend Tim ate at Restaurant A last week and told you it was really nice.

Which restaurant will you choose? Most certainly Restaurant A. You have more confidence that it will be worth the investment.

And in the same way, before anyone making any purchase or investment, they consciously or unconsciously think “is this worth this much of my money?”

So, before hiring you, the potential client needs to trust you enough to invest their money in you – and they definitely won’t do that just because you wrote “I’m the BEST at what I am doing, yeahhh!” on your web site.

And there is another issue. Before you even have a chance to build that trust, that someone needs to find you among a million other coaches in the world doing similar things as you are doing.

The internet is filled with one shiny thing after another – and if there’s one thing that we humans are good at, it is sucking at staying focused!

If someone were to stumble upon your website, there’s a very small chance that he or she is in need of your services right that very moment.

They might think “oh, this fella is really good at doing that thing and could probably help me out. I’ll send him an email tomorrow and oh look! I’ve got a new email! Oh, there’s a link to a funny video inside! Hahaha! A cat falling into a bucket! I have to send that to Sarah….”

People online are like drunk 8-year olds with ADHD. It’s really hard to keep their attention.

Let me give you a quick recap of what needs to happen before someone becomes your customer. They need to:

  1. Find out that you exist
  2. Understand that they have a problem
  3. Wanting to solve the problem enough to pay for it
  4. Remember that you can solve their problem
  5. Trust you enough to buy your services
  6. Get in touch with you to see if you are a good fit

That was the short version.

A lot of things are happening online, and it is extremely easy to forget about things you actually like and to be distracted by things you don’t need.

As a coach, you know that what you offer can improve the lives of your potential client. But how do you get their attention and keep it long enough to both build trust and a need for your service?

AND how do you do that at the same time as you need to actually DO whatever you do businesswise?

Well, let me present you to ms. Sales Funnel!

What is a sales funnel?

Basically, a coach’s sales funnel is a combination of tools that will maximize the chance that anyone that is put at the beginning of the funnel, will become a client.

The best funnel will do this on autopilot – i.e. it will work potential client and leads for you. When you’ve put this system in place, most of it will happen automatically and the only thing you need to worry about is to analyze the result and make improvements.

Example of a simple sales funnel:

A visitor on your website types her email address in a box, to download a PDF with a valuable template that she can use to sell more products in her own business.

During the next 5 days, she will receive an email from you every day. In the first 4 emails, you present yourself and give her more of the same valuable content as in the PDF.

On the 5th day, she’ll receive a pitch for your $49 video course where you teach paying students how to create a bullet-proof marketing plan that will get them, 100 new customers, a week.

That is a very simple sales funnel, and something that every freelancer should have!

In the example above, the only thing you need is a mailing list service. But as you soon will see, a sales funnel can be much more complex (and efficient) than this.

A sales funnel for your coaching business is a bunch of automated tools and systems, that can attract and retain potential clients so that you can build trust and show them how you can solve their problems.

A sales funnel for your coaching business is not a magical pill. You will need to put a lot of work into building it and gain the necessary knowledge about yourself and your potential customer.

Why does your coaching business need sales funnel?

You probably started your coaching business because you wanted to spend your days doing what you love – not to do marketing stuff! (Unless you are like me, coaching coaches in how to market themselves. Then I guess you started it because you wanted to do marketing stuff… Anyway…)

Today is the best of times and the worst of times to be a coach.

The best, because you have enormous opportunities to work with people from all over the world, and most of the tools you need are widely available at a reasonable cost!

The worst, because there are just so many people trying to reach all those potential clients!

That means you have to be “out there”, all the time.

There’s a common problem that I am sure you have experienced several times;

Whenever you have lots of work, there is no time to market yourself. But when you do have time on your hands, you wish that you would’ve marketed yourself much earlier!

It is like a rollercoaster, going up and down.

Every hour you spend on marketing is an hour where you cant do work that will actually drive money into your business.

The more time you can spend on doing what you actually do, the happier both you and your customers will be.

An automated sales funnel will work kinda like your own personal salesperson – working day and night to drive leads your way!

The anatomy of your sales funnel

There are a thousand ways to put together a sales funnel, using hundreds of different tools and services. But there are a few main parts that you need to have for every funnel.

The Billboard

The first thing you need to do to have any kind of communication with anyone about anything is to gain their attention.

The Billboard will attract the people in your target group, and point them towards the next part of the funnel.

It is basically a way to get the first contact with someone that has never heard of you before.

By writing great blog posts about a topic that your potential clients are interested in, they might find you with the help of google.

Another way is to pay for ads on social media platforms.

The Hook

Just because someone found your blog posts (and even liked it) doesn’t mean she will stick around. Any second, a new shiny thing might snatch their attention away from you.

As soon as possible, you need to create a way to stay in touch with them, so that you can build trust and an urge to start working with you!

The Hook is a piece of content that will give the potential client great value – without having to pay anything for it.

It could be a PDF with a checklist or a template, an instructional video or something similar. Such piece of content is perfect to place at the end of a great blog post so that the person that just read it can get even more value by downloading it.

But the reason for this piece of content is not only to give the reader more value. It also opens up a way for you to keep in touch – even when she leaves your blog.

There is one tool that will outperform all others when it comes to keeping in touch; email.

Even though your potential client can download this piece of content without paying with money, she kinda pays with her email address.

The Massage

As we talked about before, even though they would gain from buying your skills, few people will the first time they hear about you.

That’s why you need to keep in touch – to build trust and enough motivation.

By writing and setting up a series of emails, that are being sent out during a certain amount of days (or even months) this is taken care of automatically as soon as someone downloads The Hook.

If 6 emails are being sent out during as many days, the first four won’t even mention your product. These emails are giving the back-story, they are showing what the problem is and why the reader really should solve it quickly.

Then, in the last emails, she is given a way to pay you to solve the problem for her!

The Offer

Every step of the sales funnel is doing one thing; taking the potential client to the next step.

It is basically giving all the information and incentives she needs to buy.

In the very end (i.e. in the last two emails if that is what you are doing), you should send the reader to a clear and simple sales page. Here is where you present The Offer.

The Offer needs to just be as concrete and precise as the rest of the funnel. Don’t make the mistake simply saying “If you want me to help you with X, feel free to get in touch!”

Clients need help putting their problems in writing. Instead of just “putting it out there” and hoping they will get back to you asking to solve this or that, offer them a solution to a specific problem.

The Offer should not for you to “help them with their problems”. That is too vague.

Instead, offer them to “build a solid system to become their most confident self, for $450”.

That way, you give them a simple way to start working with you – something that you can later turn into a long-term gig.

The Upsell

The sales funnel doesn’t stop after you made your first sale. After successfully delivering on The Offer, you have shown the client that you do good on your promises and that the money she spent is an investment, not a cost.

By now, you have probably been able to pinpoint some specific improvements that you could help her with, and you can pitch her a more long-term collaboration!


A well-built sales funnel will give you a steady stream of new leads, and also help you turn them into paying clients – all while you are doing what you actually are supposed to do.

It is not a quick-fix, prepare to spend quite a bit of time to put it in place. The good thing though is that when the first version is created – it takes very small tweaks to constantly improve it!

Why Every Coach Should Have a Product To Sell

The Chicken or the Egg – which came first? Scientists, philosophers, and groups of friends that just ordered their 11th round of beers all had their go at coming up with an answer.

In recent days, the ancient question has gotten a modern-day equivalent.

Content or product – which should come first?

There are online guru’s and know-it-alls (and a few Don’t-Know-It-All-At-Alls) on both sides.

Some believe that you should start building an email list, by creating great pieces of content. By doing that, you’ll be able to gather a following which can be used when you then build and launch your product or service.

Others – the side to which I recently switch – say that you should have something to sell before you start marketing yourself and building an email list.

After spending 24 hectic hours writing an e-book AND putting it up for sale, I have realized there are a few really interesting things that come from having an even so small e-product to sell.

An educational e-product (e-book, video course, PDF-templates, audiobook, etc) will give any kind of coach a huge advantage on her competitors.

Here’s why!

It will make it so much easier to create content!

Great content (like blog posts, Youtube videos, podcast episodes, etc) all have one thing in common: they solve a problem for your potential clients.

You don’t want everyone to read your blog. You want the right people to find your blog post.

But who is the right person then?

[XXX]

Someone that fits the criteria to become your client. If you are a graphic designer working with magazines you want to reach Art Directors, not design students.

On the other hand, if you teach graphic design by creating and selling video courses, your perfect customer isn’t art directors at fancy magazines but creatives looking for ways to become better at graphic design.

As I said before; great content solves a problem for your typical potential client – and so should any digital product that you sell! The difference is that the digital product is more thorough and therefore you can charge for it.

So by creating a digital product, you know the bigger problem that you can solve for your potential customers – which makes it easier to create free content.

You give more people the possibility to pay for your services

Freelance services are usually a premium product. An hour of work from any kind of freelancer will usually start at 50 to 100 dollars. And that is for someone that hasn’t been in the business for very long.

When a freelancer gain experience, getting paid thousands of dollars per hour is quite possible (even though I believe charging per hour isn’t a very good thing to do…).

So, not everyone can afford it. Paying 10 000 dollars for a creative coach or a web designer is perfectly fine for some people and companies. But for every client that can actually afford it, there’re a hundred that can’t.

A digital product can give those people a way to pay for your knowledge without breaking the bank!

Instead of selling the premium 1-on-1 coaching, you could offer a 7-day video course that will help your customer to improve in one specific area of their life.

Instead of paying you to create an entire website, you could give sell the step-by-step guide to setting up a website with WordPress or Squarespace!

It might feel like you are losing a big client by giving them a cheaper solution, but trust me. Some people want someone else to do it for them and some people would never pay that much for someone else to solve their problem.

You create another step in your product ladder

When someone signs up for your mailing list, they are actually paying you with their email address. This is the first and very important transaction for you.

It is actually much easier to get an existing client to buy another service or product than it is to convey someone that never bought anything from you to pay for a service.

But, the step from paying with an email address to get a downloadable PDF to liquidate thousands of dollars for your freelancing service is quite a step.

This is why it is great to have a Product Ladder, i.e. a range of product or services ranging from cheap (or free) to premium.

A downloadable e-book could go for $15, a video course for $49 and 1-on-1 Skype call for $190. Do you see what I mean?

By giving your customer the possibility to invest as much as his trust for you allows, you can show that you are worth his money!

In the end, having something to sell before creating content will make your life a lot easier! Not only do you know who you are trying to reach, but you also know where you want to steer them after they’ve found your content – i.e. towards buying your product!


What I Learned From Creating My First Digital Product – In 24 Hours

Last weekend, I finished a typing marathon at my desk. I wrote and published an sellable e-book in 24 hours.

For the last 13 years, I’ve been selling working with clients as a freelancer and consultant, selling exclusively my services – i.e I’ll have to put work into every assignment I do.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but for a long time I’ve wanted to make use of all the knowledge I have in another way. I wanted to reach more people and I wanted to start experimenting with digital products that could bring an income, even if I didn’t put constant work into it.

I have a lot of ideas. Constantly. All the time. But that sometimes (all the time) makes it hard to actually get to work on them. As soon as I am about to start, another idea pops up in my head.

Together with being a master procrastinator, most ideas never becomes more than ideas.

But last week I decided that enough was gonna be enough. I was gonna create that first digital product, no matter what!

To battle my procrastination and to prevent myself from being bored and quitting, I decided to do it all in 24 hours.

The main thing stopping me from creating more of anything is the need to make it perfect. I’ve got tonnes of half-finished videos, blog posts, and e-books on my hard-drive from the last decade – that was put on hold because I didn’t think they were good enough.

This time, I was gonna publish it no matter what. When the 24 hours were up, the product should be up for sale. And I managed (half an hour late)!

My e-book Superpowers for Freelancers was out! It was not final, but it was good-enough. And I’ll be able to keep updating it and making it better.

But it exists and is already working for me!

These are a few of the things I learned from creating my first digital product in 24 hours.

With super-specific goals, you’ll work twice as fast!

Imagine inviting a bunch of friends to your apartment for sunday dinner. Yeey! Only problem is, you haven’t cleaned the joint in weeks. Where do you even start?

As long as you are trying to clean the whole apartment at once, it’ll become this unsolvable task. But as soon as you decide on ONE part of the apartment, something sweet will happen.

When you limit the war zone to your desk, toilet or kitchen sink it becomes much more accomplishable!

In the first outline of the book, the chapters were pretty large. But I realized rather quickly that it made it hard to stay focused and to know what to do.

When the topic of the chapter was broad, I had to do a lot of thinking about what to write. Lots of decisions on whether or not to include this or that. Those decisions take time!

I found out that if I could write out the core message of the chapter in one sentence, it was short enough. The core message acted as a beacon – that is where I was going with that exact chapter, and when I had reached it, the chapter was finished.

Writing 3 shorter chapters was much easier (and quicker) than writing one long.

It is easier to create for a few than for many

The main thing I will do different in my preparation for my next digital product, is to narrow down the breadth of the recipient – the people I am creating it for.

Superpowers for Freelancers is an e-book for creative freelancers. That’s is a lot of different people.

Web-designers, photographers, writers, actors, translators could all fit under the term “creative freelancer” and having a target audience that broad, can sometimes make it hard to create for them.

I especially noticed this when trying to write out examples to visualise what I am talking about. I had to alter between all different kinds of freelance businesses to include as many as possible and to show that the techniques in the book works for all kinds of creatives.

Limiting the target audience could be done by choosing a smaller professional group – instead of “creative freelancer” that could be “photographers”, “web designers” or “copywriters”.

But it could also be done by pinpointing a precise problem or need, such as “How to create your first digital product in 24 hours (for creative freelancers)”.

Next time, I’ll make sure to really concretize and minimize the target audience.

You´re the only one that knows what’s missing

This quote, commonly attributed to Voltaire, says a lot.

“Perfect is the enemy of good.”

Even though you know that things are missing and other parts could be done much better, no one else does.

You are the only one that knows what isn’t there. And it is always easier to improve something that already exists, than to create something from scratch.

When I published the e-book, it wasn’t “done”. I knew that I had a few chapters left, that I didn’t have the time to write before deadline.

But I launched it anyway. And lots of people loved it.

A product can always be better. But often you need to put it out there and have people try it out, before you know what to improve. You can make educated guesses. But you’ll be surprised when you see how much they differ from what people actually thinks!

Launch before you feel 100% done – feedback from real people is far more valuable than any guesses you make on your own.

Having an actual product, makes marketing so much easier

Writing blog post, recording Youtube-videos or podcast episodes or creating other kinds of content is a great way of getting in touch with potential clients, raising interest and building trust.

But just any kind of content won’t do, you need to create things that resonate with your target groups problems and pain-points. And not only that, you need to keep in mind that the reason you are creating content in the first place is to sell something in the end.

Being a freelancer in most fields means you are solving quite a few different problems for your clients. It can be hard to know where to start with your content marketing.

Having an actual product – even if it is just solves one out of several possible problems that your target audience has – is extremely helpful. Not only by telling you what kind of problem your audience have, but also what you are marketing.

Marketing “yourself” or your “services” is pretty abstract. It becomes much easier when you have something to market!


Having lots of ideas, means you need lots of focus to make something out of them.

If you are like me – a super-creative scatter-brain – creating a digital product gives you a purpose that you can come back to whenever you feel like you are not sure what you are supposed to do.

And it doesn’t have to take longer than a day!


Do you want to read the first 2 chapters of my e-book – Superpowers for Freelancers – for free?

Write your email below, and I’ll send them to your inbox!


Why every freelancer should have a Product Ladder

You might not have thought about it too much, but selling a service by the hour (as a writer, designer, coach etc) is a premium product!

It is not cheap (unless you priced it waaay to low) and shouldn’t be. Your knowledge is extremely valuable to someone without that same knowledge and you should price it accordingly.

But because of the relatively high price, not everyone will hire you – even if your work would add value to their business or life.

Usually, this is because of one out of two reasons. 

Number 1: They just don’t have the money. They just can’t afford a premium service like yours. 

Number 2: They are not sure if you are able to provide enough value to them; i.e. they don’t trust you enough to hand over the money. They don’t know if you really are able to help them with your problem.

Is there a way to solve both these issues?

Of course.

Say hello to the Product Ladder!

A product ladder is a way to give potential clients a range of options when it comes to paying you for your knowledge. 

The “ladder” consists of products and services, going from super cheap to really expensive at the top.

Let’s say you are a lifestyle coach. Your product ladder could look something like this:

$5 – PDF template for setting clear goals
$25 – Step-by-step ebook on how to find your passion
$100 – Video course, helping the student realize and solve problems in different parts of their lives 
$250 – 90 minute Skype session with you, where you help them set clear and actionable goals
$500 – 3-month online group-coaching package, together with 5 other people
$1000 – 4-day boot camp at a retreat
$2500 – 6-month personal coaching package

Get what I mean? A lifestyle coach is helping people craft their desired lifestyleand the most obvious way is to do it by one-on-one coaching. 

But there’s a variety of ways to solve problems – or parts of problems. And the best way is to do it with a mix of services and products.

By having different ways to take part of your knowledge and expertise, you give everyone a way to do it – regardless of budget.

But, this is not the only advantage of having a range of services and products. There’s one even more interesting perk with the product ladder approach.

If someone is not sure whether or not you can deliver on what you say you can for one of your more expensive services, they can “try out” your expertise by buying one of the low-level services or products.

When they see that they are getting proper results (only risking a few bucks), their trust in you increases and they feel more comfortable paying for the hi-end packages.

This approach can be used in any kind of freelancing and consultant business, as long as you’ve realized that it is not what you do that is valuable – it is what you know

Live blog: 24 Hour Product

PSST!

You can buy the book already! Click here to where the book lives.

Whether you are a freelancer, consultant or in any way know how to do something that others are in need of; having a digital educational product, will help you in many areas of your business!

But there’s a big threshold to get over for many – or so it seems – to actually create that product. It is hard to actually create that product.

I don’t believe it has to be hard, or take a huge amount of time.

To prove that, I want to create a e-product in 24 hours (while still getting a good amount of sleep).

I’ll start at 15.00 (Swedish/London time) on Saturday February 2nd, and whatever happens, I will put it up for sale at 15.00 on the 3rd!

You can follow the whole process live in this blog post that I will be updating continuously, and/or by email. I’ll also update on Twitter and Instagram.

Sign up to know everything about it and get a cool discount when the e-book is finished!

Update 15.00 – Take-off!

So, i might have cheated a bit. Even though I want to go from 0 to finished in 24 hours, I might have kept a notepad on me during the week.

The creative cave is set up, and I am ready. So! What will this be?

Even though I nowadays have taken a few steps away from writing, and began experimenting more with podcasts, videos and such, I will make this 24 hour project with written words.

One thing I know for sure; anything that you are not completely comfortable with – like being able to do it without thinking – will take much longer.

So, while I could’ve made a video course or something, I want to write this out. That is what I really know, and that is where I can express myself the best.

So, in 24 hours, you will be able to read (the first version of) my new e-book!

I’m gonna jump right into fleshing it out, and will be back at 16, with a more concrete synopsis of what it will be 🙂

Update 16.00 – The topic is set!

This far, I’ve reached a humble 771 words. But I have a pretty clear picture of what this will be about.

Usually, the intro is the last thing to write, but I wanted to concretize the theme of the book and writing an (first draft of the) intro was a good way to do it.

The working title for the e-book is Superpowers for Freelancers!

Here’s the first draft of the table of content (don’t worry, the titles will be re-written to something much cooler 😉 )

Outline for the book

My idea is to share about 10 concrete ways to supercharge your creative freelancing business, by opening up your mind to a different way of thinking about it!

So, now when I have the outline ready, it is time to get those characters on paper (or the screen)…

Update 18.00 – 2084 words and counting

First two chapters are written – I’m doing it Hemingway style and trying not to think too much about if it is good or bad or even grammatically correct. I’ll fix that in the editing round 🙂

It is evening here, and pitch black outside. Starting to feel my brain shutting of, though it has just been a few hours.

I’ll fight a few more hours, and then wake up fresh tomorrow 🙂

Lots of nice words from people, really appreciate it!

Update 19.00 – Porridge and red wine

No more words since last update. Decided to take a break, walk Liva (my hairy and four-legged daughter). Also cooked an amazing dinner – porridge and red wine.

I’v realized how important it is to be super-clear on what each part (chapter) of the book is supposed to add to the whole. What is the purpose of THIS specific chapter?

I would love to be able to finish the first draft for HALF the chapters before going to sleep tonight. I think it would feel better to wake up tomorrow, knowing I’m half way through.

Update 21.00 – Almost at my half-time goal.

I was aiming for 5000 words before bed today. At the moment we are clocking in at 4100 words, but taking into calculation that it is super late (and i suck at being productive late in the day) and that I’ve had one glass of red wine too many, i think we’ll call it a day now.

I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to do reach my goal tomorrow, when rested.

It’s been a interesting day. It is hard and a bit stressful, but when you know that it will just be for a relatively short period of time, you’re able to cope.

Sleep tight, and we’ll see each other tomorrow! 😉

Day 2: 9.30 – Not feeling very comfy…

So, I’ve reached almost 6000 words. Biggest obstacle this far, has been because I’ve tried to include too much in each chapter. A few chapters has been divided into smaller, which made it easier to write.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the written chapters will need a lot of editing. I haven’t really gotten into the usual flow while writing.

It might be good to read everything through, to see if there is a flow in the way the book is structured.

I want at least 8000 words done by 15.00 today, feeling worried that might not happen….

Day 2: 11.30 – Ok, we are back on track!

I’ve gone through most of the book now, and I am feeling much more confident! When reading it from start to finish, it actually makes sense 🙂

When I wrote it chapter by chapter, and moved them around as i did, I ended up with the feeling that it didn’t have a red thread.

But, after a first editing round, i realised that the first draft wasn’t as bad as I thought! I added a few things here and there, expanded some chapters.

It is coming together! Not to certain about that 15pm deadline though… Gotta go!

Day 2: 14.00 – One hour to go!

Alright! 7000 words a the moment, and i’ve decided not to write anything else in the first version (I will definitely do updates and improvements after the book has been launch in its first version).

To-do’s before launch:

  • Basic formatting in Pages
  • Install Stripe Payment button on website
  • Create a landing page
  • Fix any kind of book cover!
  • Break a leg.

Day 2: 15.21 – It is out!

Well, last hour was a blast! 🙂 I managed to install the Strip payment on my page, create a cover illustration (thanks to Canva) and write up a landing page for the book.

At launch, the book is around 7 500 words. I’m gonna leave it like that for now, and after a good nights sleep, I will get back in the saddle tomorrow and start adding new chapters.

Buy the book here!

Most certainly, I will concretize and maybe even split up some of the chapters.

It’s been a fun 24 hours. And it is amazing to see that it is actually possible to create something good in just 24 hours. Releasing the book as beta helps getting rid of the it-needs-to-be-perfect-feeling, it gives room to improve it while still having a product to sell.