Get your first customer (an incredibly stupid exercise that generated over $1,000,000)

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - February 6th, 2015

It’s Friday morning and time for the mailbag.

But a little news from the Harris household before we get started…

1. We just found out that my wife is pregnant. (Boom!)

2. The poor kid probably won’t have a name until we are forced at gunpoint by the doctor to name it.

So, if you have any good kid names, feel free to drop them into the comment section below.

Also, I’ll go on record saying that Instagram and Twitter will most likely be filled with adorable little baby pictures in T minus 6 months.

So if you’re not into that type of thing…you’ve been warned. 🙂

Onward…

Question #1

HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO READ MY STUFF?

“I wrote an epic blog post but barely anyone read it. How do I get people to read it?”

-Billy B.

There is this misconception that all you have to do to get massive amounts of traffic is to write amazing content.

It’s not true.

I recently heard an analogy from Jon Morrow that illustrated this perfectly.

Think of the blogosphere as a city.

In 1995, it was a small country town of 500 people. Everyone knew each other and was intimately familiar what was going on in each other’s lives.

If you opened a new coffee shop in town, everyone instantly knew about it and stopped by to visit.

But now the blogosphere is more like a massive metropolitan city.

Open a new coffee shop in New York City and no one will pay attention.

Simply writing stellar blog posts isn’t enough anymore.

You need something more.

Here is a simple 2-part system…

Part #1: Hardcore manual outreach

Step 1: Do BuzzSumo and Google searches for the most popular articles written on the topic that your article covers.

Step 2: Write them all down in a spreadsheet.

Step 3:  Use Opensiteexplorer.org to make a list of every site that has backlinked to those articles.

Step 4: Use Topsy.com to make a list of every influencer who tweeted the articles you found in step 1.

Step 5: Email all of the people you found in steps 3 and 4 and tell them about your article.

Results: I recently did this exact process for LeadPages University and it resulted in 2,534 new visitors, 350 new email signups and 23 backlinks.

Part #2: Take your epic post on a content tour.

Step 1: When writing your epic post, be sure to use content upgrades.

Step 2: Tag each individual who subscribes to your email list from your epic post.

Step 3: 14 days later, send an email to everyone from step 2 and ask them for success stories.

Step 4: Use the success stories collected as guest posts on other sites. (Be sure to follow the EGP formula.)

Step 5: Use the same content upgrade from your epic post in the guest posts.

Every time you write an epic post, follow this exact formula and you will get traffic.

 

Question #2

THEY SAID NO. NOW WHAT?

“What should I do when someone ignores or turns down my Santa Claus pitch?” 

-Richard H.

The fastest way I know of to generate money is to sell a very specific high-end service.

I’ve talked about this over and over and over again.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found to get customers for your service is to make an incredibly detailed and customized proposal.

The problem is that it takes 10 to 20 hours to do this. And there is a good chance that the first person you pitch will not hire you.

So, what do you do then?

What happens when you spend 20 hours on a proposal and you get rejected?

..

.

Any ideas?

Answer = get rejected more.

The first sales manager I ever had forced me make a spreadsheet that contained 100 rows.

Rows 1 through 99 contained the word “No” and row 100 had “Yes!”

He told me my job was not to focus on getting a yes from the prospects I was calling but to work the system and get 99 nos.

This turned out to be one the smartest things I’ve ever been taught.

Rejection is HARD.

But if you’re prepared for it, you are able to overcome it.

If you go into sales expecting a “yes” from your first prospect, you will not survive.

The only way to get to “YES” is to get through all of the “NOs”!

So if you’ve been rejected, here is what you need to do…

Step 1: Download this spreadsheet, and every time you get a “No,” put a check mark in the box.

Step 2: Don’t stop creating proposals. Pitch once a week until you get a “Yes.”

Step 3: Create a follow-up system to ping your past proposals at regular intervals.

Note: I suggest a 7-day, 21-day, 60-day, 90-day, and 120-day follow-up loop.

 

Question #3

WHAT IS MY BUSINESS IDEA?

“I CANNOT for the life of me figure out what area/topic to pursue.

I am passionate about helping small businesses (brick and mortars and online) maximize profits by increasing price, increasing user base, etc.

I read up on growth hacking quite a bit. I have a lot of head knowledge but have yet to implement any of it.

I’m thinking I should go in that direction.”

-Isimemen Q.

 

Look.

I’m not a prophet or a mind reader.

I have no idea what your passions are or what exact idea is going to be “the one” for you.

BUT…

There is a process that will help you identify that.

Jim Collins, in his book Great By Choice, calls this “fire bullets then cannon balls.”

Great companies do small tests to see what works before dumping all of their time, money and resources on any project.

Once they find an idea that works, they double down on it and focus on maximizing that opportunity.

You need to follow that exact same process.

Let me walk you through it.

Step 1: Make a list of your 3-5 broad areas of interest.

I was on a coaching call yesterday and we went through this exact process.

His areas of interest were mindset coaching, health/fitness and financial planning.

Step 2: Spend 4 days to come up with as many incredibly specific service offerings you could sell in each of your broad areas of interest.

For example…

If your broad area of interest was health and fitness, your service offering could be to pick people up at their house every day at 4 p.m., drive them to the gym, show them the workouts to do and drive them back home.

Make a list of at least 5 service ideas in each of your broad areas of interest.

Step 3: Pick one service offering in each of your areas of interest.

Go through each service idea you came up with and ask yourself these questions about that service:

  • Would I enjoy selling this service?
  • Would I enjoy fulfilling this service?
  • Would this service provide extreme value to my customer?
  • Would the right customer pay me at least $200 per month for this service?

Step 4: Spend the next 14 days trying to get 3 customers for each of your services.

Use a modified version of the Santa Claus formula to sell your new service offerings to people who you think would be interested.

Start with family and friends and work out from there.

After you’ve finished these four steps, analyze your results.

Which service was the easiest to sell?

Which one produced the most income?

Were your customers happy with your service?

Repeat this process until you are able to answer all three question with a resounding yes.

Note: I would highly suggest you buy Great by Choice, immediately flip to chapter 4 and read it.

Question #4

HOW DO YOU MAKE THOSE BOX THINGS?

“How do you make these little boxes that you have in your blogs? I’m sure it’s just a simple code or something, but man, I’d like to do that in some of my material. Thanks. “

-Josh W. 

I use a shortcode plugin called Shortcodes Ultimate to create these call-out boxes.
There is a free version and premium version.
I currently use the free version.It’s super-simple to set up and use. I highly recommend it.
PS: Do you have any questions for the next mailbag? Leave them in the comment section below.