Last week I went to a visa run to Macau and then I went on a three-day kind of jungle survival tour in northern Thailand where we caught frogs and tarantulas and slept on the ground. So a little brutal, but kind of fun. An interesting experience.
I have a lot of projects on the backburner I’ve been avoiding for years, but I’ve reached the point where I really need to get them done and finally scale my passive income to $10K/month.
Some people say passive income is a myth – that you’re always doing something to maintain sales, and if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. I’ve been struggling to boost my passive income for several years, so I can choose to spend my time on rewarding, meaningful creative projects.
And while I don’t think I’m an expert by any means, I am pretty good at researching and figuring out what’s not working and why. So I mapped out 21 new things I intend to do to start seeing bigger results. I haven’t made much progress on them yet, but I did record an hour-long crash course session on evergreen sales funnels explaining them mostly to myself… but they’re sure to be helpful for you as well.
Note: I started this post 4 years ago, so but it’s an ongoing project and I’ll update it again soon with results from my case studies and projects.
What’s an evergreen sales funnel?
In an “evergreen” funnel, people come, they find you or your website, and they have a need. You have a solution so you try to get them to buy your product. They might also sign up to your freebie optin offer, and you can follow up with them with reminders or discounts. But it’s passive.
Most people prefer an active course launch campaign, which means building a big list quickly (or using a popup facebook group or challenge) to try and sell a course during a limited window – this might include lots of emails or social posts. It tends to earn much more, but it’s exhausting.
I made $18K in 48hours with my first course launch and now I do more casual, occasional launches. But I prefer not to. I feel like, maybe you need to be an extroverted cheerleader to get the right kind of energy. Actually, I can set up a launch campaign on autopilot too and spend a few weeks on the beach; but even then launching usually includes a lot of customer support and interaction, not to mention welcoming new members with an electric and positive environment.
From online services to digital products
For years, I’ve been trying to switch from active services to passive income products, so instead of building one thing for one person for a high price point, you build one thing for tons of people at a lower price point.
- Custom publishing and book design package: $5000
- Personal coaching for your book launch: $500
- DIY book design templates: $50
I’ve noticed it’s actually easier for me to sell services. I never had a problem earning with book cover design or editing. There’s tons of demand, I’m good at what I do, and I have a lot of testimonials. With case studies and proof, I can set up a landing page and sell services. The problem is I don’t want to sell my time for money that way, because I don’t have time to work on my own creative projects.
I can’t really scale my business. I was already always like capped, I was making 10K or 12K a month pretty consistently but I couldn’t handle it. I was burnt out, and I just couldn’t grow it. I couldn’t do better than that, because I wasn’t able to do more work. I tried building out like big teams, but then you become a manager of a lot of projects. It’s not really what I want to do either, so I’ve decided that courses and digital products work best for me; that’s how I can provide a lot of value for a lower price point to lots of people and also have time for my own writing.
I was thinking all this through on a business retreat and mastermind in Thailand, so I found a quiet Japanese restaurant and recorded this video. It’s a big checklist of 21 things that I want to get done this month, which should have a pretty big impact on my recurring passive income.
The narrator’s voice cuts in: he did not, in fact, get it done that month…
Updates: here’s the truth, I made this video, then used a transcription service to turn this video into text, but it was a wall of barely readable content so it sat unpublished for nearly four years.
Today however, I asked chatGPT to rewrite it all – so it may sound a little less like “myself” (rambling, hard to follow) and hopefully be more clear, and you can still watch the video if you have any questions.
Also, some of these ideas were good in 2019, though I failed to implement almost everything and just focused on writing. No surprise, my passive income dried up and now – with the help of AI as an assistant – I’m finally starting to finish some projects for year, and will be testing most of these out.
The dumb thing is, I already get pretty great traffic, even though I haven’t optimized my blogs or SEO at all; and I get a ton of optins, but I don’t lead them towards my products – luckily because I’m still doing everything so badly, I think I can turn things around pretty quickly with some simple changes.
Those moves might not correlate exactly with this big list here – but I have a platform building course where I will post results of my experiments, or you can follow me on YouTube where I’m pretty open with my projects.
Boost Your Online Conversion Funnel
When we’re talking about boosting conversions, one word reigns supreme – consistency. Now, on one hand, consistency is as simple as ensuring that all the information about your offer is uniform across all platforms. Whether it’s your emails, your sales page, your thank you confirmation page, or your checkout page – the price and the details should all match.
This might seem straightforward, but when you’re managing multiple blogs, posts, or even offers that you posted a year or two ago, inconsistencies can start to creep in. And trust me, if your messaging becomes confusing, people will leave. For instance, on many of my materials, the click-through offer states a price of $497, but on the actual sales page, it says $997. Even though there’s a discount bringing it down by $500, the inconsistency is disconcerting and confuses people, leading to lower conversion rates.
But, consistency extends beyond just the information about your offer. It’s also about managing expectations and the customer experience. Here’s an example. A while back, I offered a literary critique package on my editing site, Book Butchers. This is something I saw at publishing conferences where editors would review a writer’s proposal, summary, chapter outline, and all the materials they would send to an agent or publisher to get feedback on.
I thought it was a fun thing to offer, especially since I enjoy positioning books to sell to agents or editors. However, I made a critical mistake. I assumed that most people who visited Book Butchers already knew me or followed me on YouTube. I didn’t set up the payment correctly, so when customers bought it from Book Butchers, it showed up as Creativindie on PayPal. This caused confusion. When I reached out to them, they were surprised to learn that I, Derek, would be the one providing the service. They were concerned about my qualifications and why my name was associated with the service they purchased from Book Butchers.
This confusion could have been avoided with better consistency. It’s crucial that what your customers get matches what they thought they were getting. This not only helps secure the sale but also makes the customer feel good and safe about their decision immediately after the sale. So, consistency is not just about your messaging, but also about ensuring a seamless customer experience from the moment they purchase, which leads us to our next step – onboarding.
Alright, now that we’ve nailed consistency let’s talk about your onboarding process. This is the part where you have to roll out the red carpet for your customers and make them feel like they’ve made the best decision of their life.
what you need are “Thank You” or “Getting Started” videos. These should be there for both when people opt-in for free and after they purchase something. A lot of my stuff, like DIY book covers or templates, comes with freebies. People sign up for my offers, and they land on a page that dumps a whole lot of free stuff on them. Sounds great, right? But, in reality, it’s overwhelming. They don’t know how to use it all, and if they don’t start using it, they’re not going to keep opening my emails or value my content, let alone upgrade to a pro package.
So here’s the big win – when they sign up for something, show them a video or educate them to open my email. It’s a bit of a rookie mistake to just send them to the free stuff right away. You need to make sure they know what’s coming next or what they’re missing. If they sign up for one thing and they get it, they’re not going to open any more of your emails. They’re not going to get to know you and what you have to offer. So, you need to immediately tell them,
“Hey, thanks for signing up! I’m giving you this right now, but there are other things that are really critical that you also need. I’m going to be slowly sending them into your inbox over the next couple of weeks, so make sure you open my emails. At the end of this two-week sequence, I’m going to give you another bonus gift.”
It’s all about setting the stage, getting them excited to actually read your emails, and keeping their interest. This is something I’ve learned from writing books. In non-fiction, especially in your first chapter, introduction, or preface, it’s all about positioning the reader and getting them excited to read the book. You can apply the same concept to your email sequences. Include getting started videos that walk the customer through how to use the product and introduce upgrade offers if they need more help.
Also, make sure you send a thank you video as soon as they buy any product. This video should clearly walk them through how to use the product, what they’re going to get, and assure them that they can reach out with any questions. The goal is to increase immediate satisfaction. You absolutely don’t want your customers to experience buyer’s remorse because that’s going to affect how they feel about you and your brand.
You want every interaction with you to be good and positive. So, why not add something fun and easy that elicits a positive emotional response? A fun gif or a picture of a kitten could work. The point is, when customers think of you and your brand, they should be associating it with positive emotions.
#3 downloads page
The next step is the downloads page. I touched on this earlier, but I’ll explain it in more detail now. Here’s the deal – I have a landing page with all this free stuff, and it’s just a dump of all kinds of goodies. But it’s too much, and people don’t know where to start or what to do with it. So what I’m going to do is repackage that into a clean, streamlined downloads or resources page.
I’ve seen this on a few other platforms recently. After you sign up for something, you’re immediately taken to a free video course. It’s just one page with a collection of videos on different subjects. It provides massive value, and it’s all bundled together neatly. So when people sign up, they can see all the stuff at once.
The goal is to help them understand and appreciate your method of doing things while providing massive value. You want them to start using whatever you’re offering them and see quick wins or immediate results. Why? Because then they’re going to trust you, and they’re going to take action.
This is something that’s important in nonfiction books as well. You need to get your readers to take action. This means overcoming their limiting beliefs and filling them with enthusiasm, motivation, and optimism. You need to get them fired up by showing the end result, showing them it’s possible. Show them some case studies, testimonials, or quotes – you want them to believe in the dream. But then you also need to give them clear steps that they can take to see results. Only then will they become acolytes or advocates, people who really buy into your system or product.
This free series would be like a free course, but instead of separating it into different modules, it’d just be one great page with lots of different videos. This way, when people sign up, they get all this value at once, in a really clean and organized manner. That’s something I’m going to go back and try to fix.
In case it’s not clear, most people will sign up for something and never actually go back and open an email, and if it’s something they need to login to, you’ll probably lose them. So the idea is immediately after they sign up, send them straight to the thing with no extra hoops or waiting.
And at the bottom of that page, I would have an upsell. If they don’t have time for all these videos or want the next step, I would have that upsell ready. Instead of getting them to opt-in and then putting them through an education series which only 30% of people are actually going to follow up and read, I’m immediately giving them all this stuff.
There are arguments for and against this method, but I believe in the value of giving them a page they can bookmark and come back to at their leisure. Having the upsell on that page immediately, so they can choose to move forward when they’re ready, is a powerful approach.
I’ve seen someone use this as a “relationship funnel.” Instead of dripping things out in an email series over a couple of weeks, they have one page with one message. The user can click a link to move on to part two or the second video, and they can self-pace their way through the free materials to get to the core offer later. Instead of relying on them to open your emails at the pace you want to set for them, you’re giving them the materials so they can move at their own pace. I think that’s a pretty neat idea, and I’m eager to try playing with it.
The classic product launch formula usually involves 3 steps or 3 secrets, a video on each; but each is really just focused on overcoming common objections and identifying the problem, then offering the solution. So another issue I’m having is that I give away too much away for free and it’s not clear they need something more.
#4 product display reel
So, point number four is the product display reel. This is an area I’ve been lagging behind in for quite some time. My product videos usually feature me talking about the stuff, which doesn’t look very professional or appealing.
What I really need are effective sales videos – quick, one or two-minute reels that hit the key benefits. I’m thinking along the lines of a b-roll of video showing happy people reading or publishing, paired with some catchy background music. The video would then highlight the offer and the benefits in a way that people can quickly grasp and think, “Yes, this is what I want. This is something I’m willing to pay for.”
Especially with my book design offerings, like book formatting or book cover design, it should be pretty obvious. I can tell you how good the templates are or how easy they are to use, but showing you would be way more effective. So, I’m planning to create new videos that demonstrate the product in action – like me using the templates or formatting a book from scratch.
There are some really amazing videos out there where you can watch someone create a cover from scratch, but it’s sped up so you see the whole process in just one minute. That’s a really cool concept, and I’m going to start making a few of those.
On top of that, I’m also planning to upgrade my Photoshop skills a little bit. The world of cover design has seen some fantastic new styles emerging, thanks to tools like the Daz 3D model studio. There’s a flood of amazing covers out there, and I want to ensure that my offerings are competitive.
The advice I gave about book cover design three or four years ago still holds true, but it’s not necessarily the best anymore. If you want to compete with your books, you need covers that can hold their own in today’s market.
So, I’m planning to overhaul a lot of my book cover design and book formatting offerings. I want to create visually appealing videos that demonstrate how cool it is to design your own covers from scratch, and how amazing and easy to use the templates are. If I can show this in a one or two-minute video, I won’t need a lengthy sales page or an extended funnel to convince people to buy my templates. It’ll just be obvious.
This is a big win that I can apply not only to my book design offerings but also to the several mini-courses that I offer. All of these could benefit from better sales videos. And on many of my opt-in pages, I don’t even have a video showing what people will get if they opt in, which likely deters some people from signing up. This is something I can address with these new product display videos
#5 turn your best content into optins
So, point number five is about optimizing your best content into opt-ins. I’ll use my DIY book formats page as an example. The main home page is a squeeze page, prompting visitors to sign up for free templates. However, most of my traffic actually lands on a different page that offers a free video course on formatting a book in Microsoft Word. It’s an older course, but it still attracts a lot of traffic.
A few months ago, I realized that visitors landing on the video course page weren’t seeing my sign-up offer because they weren’t visiting the home page. To remedy this, I broke up the video course and added the sign-up offer a few times throughout. Every three or four videos, I would remind the viewers that while they could learn a lot from the free video series, they could save a lot of time by signing up to get my free templates. This adjustment significantly boosted my conversion rate.
However, there’s another tweak I could make. Rather than giving away the entire free course, which consists of about twelve videos, I could just give away the first three or four videos. I could then create a summary video that’s sped up, explaining the next eight steps, but to access those steps in detail, viewers would need to sign up for my email list and access the full video course. While this approach might seem a bit aggressive, it’s worth remembering that it’s completely fine to put valuable content behind an opt-in wall.
I’m considering implementing a similar strategy on the DIY cover site, where I have a lot of free video courses and resources. Right now, the site is a bit cluttered with different resources. I think it would be beneficial to have one comprehensive, modern video course on cover design. I have a decent one on YouTube already, but it’s been a few years since I’ve updated it. A new and improved video course could serve as a great opt-in incentive.
#6 track user engagement
Point number six is about tracking user engagement and adjusting your website according to user behavior. To illustrate this, let’s take my two main squeeze pages as examples: DIY book formats and my own book page. On these pages, I noticed that a lot of visitors were clicking on the picture of the templates, expecting to zoom in and get a closer look. However, this image was not linked to anything, so nothing would happen when users clicked on it.
To improve the user experience and potentially increase conversions, I recently linked this image to the opt-in form. Now, when users click on the image of the templates, they are presented with the opt-in subscription box. It’s a subtle change, but it’s based on actual user behavior. I used a tool like Crazy Egg to track what people were clicking on, and this helped me make the website more responsive to user actions.
Another strategy I’ve used in the past to boost conversions is including a checklist on the opt-in page or pop-up. This checklist would outline what users get and the benefits they can expect from these features. It’s important to clearly state both the features (what’s included) and the benefits (why it matters). A good way to articulate this is by using the “so that” phrasing. For example, “hundreds of book design templates, so that you can easily format your own books without hiring an expensive designer.”
I’ve noticed that this approach can significantly improve opt-ins. In fact, I once had a pop-up box that included a checklist of what users would get upon opting in, and it converted at around 60%. So, revisiting this strategy and reintroducing such checklists could potentially boost my conversions.
#7 email autoresponder sequence (newsletter sales)
Developing a new email sequence. Earlier, I realized the importance of personal stories in emails. My initial emails were comprehensive, detailed, and filled with resources, but some readers found them overwhelming. To address this, I added personal narratives to the emails, making them longer but more engaging. The reception was mixed, with some appreciating the stories while others found them excessive. For shorter content, like DIY book templates, I aim to test concise, sales-oriented emails.
Learning from Russell Brunson’s “Expert Secrets,” I discovered that it’s not about teaching everything, but about exciting the reader about an opportunity and making them see its potential. One of my key insights was to focus on case studies and avoid explaining all details up front. Creating desire first is crucial, as people need motivation and willpower before they invest time in learning something new.
Therefore, my emails should focus more on social proof, testimonials, and results. Showcasing transformation stories — from frustrating formatting issues to breakthroughs — can be particularly effective. I have ample testimonials but haven’t leveraged them well as case studies. Moving forward, I plan to revise my email sequences, testing different approaches and leveraging the valuable content I have already created.
It’s also important to optimize email headlines and calls to action, considering additions like animated gifs, and consistently checking for improvements. Even if emails are well-received, they need to be sales-focused to truly convert. The aim is not just to provide information but to inspire trust and action among readers. Providing resources is only half the job, the other half is to motivate and excite readers about the end results. This perspective will inform my approach to future email series.
#8 fix landing pages (copy+design)
The eighth point is about testing and improving landing pages or sales pages. Presently, most of my courses and similar offerings have sales pages that leave room for improvement. I’ve been using Teachable, a platform that isn’t particularly suited for creating well-designed sales pages. In the future, I may consider creating these pages in Photoshop and converting them to HTML, or using a platform like ClickFunnels or Instapage, which are known for their high-quality pages. I’ve also considered switching some of my sites to Thrive Themes, which offers impressive landing and sales pages.
But good design isn’t enough, the copywriting on these pages also matters a lot. I have a tendency to overdeliver and overwhelm visitors with too much information. Instead, I need to focus more on clearly communicating the benefits of my offerings. If I already have a lengthy email funnel, a free video course, or a webinar, then my sales page should be straightforward and concise. I shouldn’t need to repeat all the same information.
Improving the design and copywriting of my sales pages could significantly increase my sales. However, the length of the sales copy should depend on the cost of the product. For cheaper products (under a hundred dollars), a long sales page filled with price discounts and bonuses can come off as less credible and more suspicious. But for more expensive products, a longer sales page makes more sense.
Interestingly, some of my best-performing sales pages are the ones I put together quickly, without testimonials or videos, just a few paragraphs explaining why I made the course and what it includes. These tend to convert the best because they are an authentic description of the product. In contrast, the sales pages that I agonize over and change continually tend to become long and messy, which can deter potential customers.
While I may not tackle all of my landing pages immediately, I know there are simple tweaks that I can make to all my landing pages that would significantly improve their performance. In the future, I might even put together a blog post or a video about sales page optimization, potentially even focusing on optimizing Teachable pages, as I’ve had to figure out a lot of custom code to make those pages look decent.
#9 social proof (peers and pedestals)
The ninth point focuses on social proof, specifically using a tool named Proof on my opt-in pages. Proof is a small pop-up that appears on the screen and tells the viewer that someone from a certain place just signed up for whatever I’m offering, like free book cover templates. This serves as social proof and can reassure visitors that many other people are taking advantage of the same offer.
I had used Proof in the past, but discontinued it when I was inadvertently placed in an overpriced program that was costing me $200 a month. However, I believe the service usually costs around $30 a month, so I’m considering giving it another try to see if I can measure a difference.
Currently, I receive around 20-30 opt-ins a day, so if I reintroduce Proof and monitor my opt-in rates for a week, I should be able to easily identify any increase in sign-ups. If I can achieve an additional 30 opt-ins a day for $30 a month, it would be a worthwhile investment.
There are alternatives to Proof out there, and you’ve probably seen them on other websites, but I’m more familiar with Proof and I had a good experience when I met the founder a couple of years ago in Portland. Therefore, I’m planning to try it out again, and if it doesn’t deliver the desired results, I can easily cancel the service. However, I anticipate that it will boost my opt-ins to a measurably significant extent.
#10 social chatbox (messenger bots)
The tenth point revolves around integrating a chatbot or a chat box on the sales page of my courses. Some of the most successful websites I’ve come across have credited chatbots on their sales pages as a significant contributor to long-term product sales.
Setting up a chatbot is relatively simple. Even when I’m not online, it can be programmed to interact with potential customers, guiding them through a conversational funnel, asking questions and offering solutions based on their responses. For instance, it might ask if they’re a creative person or if they struggle with certain issues, and based on their answers, it can recommend suitable resources, like one of my books.
I had experimented with a tool developed by Derek Halpern from Social Triggers, which functioned like a chatbot. Although I discontinued it due to its monthly cost and the difficulty of measuring its benefits, I still see the potential value in this approach.
Even when it’s not possible for me to be online, a chatbot can provide immediate feedback or create the illusion of a real-time conversation, which could significantly boost conversion rates. When visitors land on my sales page, they’re likely considering whether to buy the product and may have questions. A chatbot can provide immediate answers, possibly resolving their doubts or skepticisms and leading to a purchase.
While regular pop-ups or sliders might work better on my general websites, I believe a chatbot could be particularly effective on my sales pages. However, I’m still figuring out the best technology to add a chatbot to my Teachable sales page.
Once set up, I could also delegate the management of the chatbot to a virtual assistant in a different time zone to ensure round-the-clock coverage. I’m impressed by businesses that have salespeople who can personally handle objections and close sales over the phone. While I prefer an automated sequence due to my introverted nature, I understand the importance of championing my products and being prepared to discuss their benefits with those who may not initially understand their value.
#11 personalized welcome videos
The eleventh point involves sending personalized videos to people who opt into my funnel. This strategy could create a personal connection and impress potential customers, making them feel valued and seen. This personal touch could be particularly impactful when dealing with higher ticket offers, as it gives potential customers a sense of being personally attended to.
However, it’s essential to note that this approach might be challenging to scale, especially if you’re getting numerous opt-ins daily. For instance, I currently receive around a hundred opt-ins a day, making it impractical to send each one a personalized video.
An alternative to this would be to filter through the opt-ins and identify those who seem to be a good fit for my program. Then, I could record a quick one-minute video for each of these selected individuals, which would be a manageable task and potentially increase the conversion rate significantly.
I’ve also experimented with a Facebook Messenger bot that sends automated messages to those who opt into my Guerrilla Publishing book funnel. The bot checks in with them throughout their journey, asking about their thoughts on the materials provided. Despite its potential, I’ve noticed that it’s not significantly boosting sales at the moment, but I believe it’s due to various factors in my funnel that need fixing.
One idea I’m considering is incorporating a generalized video into the Facebook Messenger bot system to provide a more personalized touch without the time investment of individual messages. Additionally, I’m thinking of making highly personalized videos where I review the potential customer’s books on Amazon, offer advice, and invite them to join my program. This approach could provide high-value content and create engaging case studies, making it an exciting prospect for future testing.
#12 retargeting ads
The twelfth point revolves around leveraging Facebook Ads for retargeting opt-ins. Retargeting is a powerful strategy that allows you to get back in front of individuals who have already shown interest in your product or service but haven’t yet made a purchase. The key here is to reach out to these potential customers, often referred to as a “warm audience,” with targeted advertising campaigns.
For example, on my DIY book formats or DIY book covers websites, I get about 500 visitors a day, but only around 100 opt-in to my offer. That means there’s a large percentage of interested visitors who don’t take the desired action. By retargeting those visitors, I can give them another opportunity to opt-in to my offer.
The cost for retargeting ads is often lower than for general audience ads, primarily because these individuals are already familiar with your platform. They might remember visiting your website and seeing your offer, and upon encountering your ad, they might decide to opt-in this time.
Point #13 – Retargeting Signups with Open and Close Ads
The thirteenth point delves deeper into the concept of retargeting, focusing on retargeting the actual sign-ups with open and close ads. This strategy is about showing your offer to the people who already signed up for your freebie or lead magnet, a warm audience that you know is interested in what you have to offer.
The idea here is to present your product or service at the right time to the right audience. One effective way to do this is to leverage the sense of urgency or scarcity. This can be done by highlighting when the offer is opening and when it’s about to close, thus urging potential customers to take action before it’s too late.
Retargeting can be set up to be automated, thus presenting your offer and the closing offer to the right people at the right time. This approach could significantly boost conversions for all of your courses and funnels.
However, it’s essential to note that success with Facebook Ads, or any advertising platform for that matter, requires a deep understanding of how to optimize for conversions and target the right audience. It’s also about setting realistic expectations. While the goal is to boost conversions as much as possible, it’s okay if you’re making 200% on your advertising investment, because it’s still profitable.
Scaling your business with advertising is a crucial step in growing your platform. However, it requires a solid understanding of your conversion funnel, a robust system for tracking and optimizing your ads, and a willingness to invest in the process.
#14: thankyou vids on upsell pages
The fifteenth point revolves around integrating thank you videos into the upsell pages of your online sales funnel. This tactic focuses on engaging with the customer after they’ve made a purchase to both express gratitude and to lead them towards further sales opportunities, usually in the form of an upsell.
One strategy used here is setting up ‘tripwire’ offers. These are low-cost offers presented to customers when they first sign up. The primary aim is not to make a large profit from these offers but to generate some income that helps support your advertising and platform investment efforts.
Once a customer purchases a tripwire offer, you can then present them with an upsell. This is usually a slightly more expensive product or service that complements their initial purchase. The idea is that if a customer has already made a buying decision, they might be more open to making another, especially if the offer provides significant value.
One approach to this is to package multiple courses or products together into a larger, more expensive offer, providing the customer with an opportunity to get even more value at a discount.
However, just having an upsell offer might not be enough. By adding a thank you video on the upsell page, you can create a more personal connection with the customer. This video could express gratitude for their purchase, explain what they can expect next, and introduce the upsell offer.
This approach could lead to a softer sale that feels more personal and less pushy. It helps to further build trust with the customer and might increase the likelihood of them making additional purchases.
The key here is to test different approaches to see what works best with your specific audience. This could involve split testing different video formats or testing a page with just a video and a call-to-action button against a more traditional landing page. Ultimately, the goal is to find the most effective way to guide customers through your sales funnel and encourage them to make additional purchases.
#15: use a book in your funnel
Leverage a Book for Personal Branding and Sales
The sixteenth point hinges on the powerful tool of personal branding through writing a book. This strategy extends beyond merely providing educational content; it’s about weaving a narrative that convinces readers to take action, making your book a crucial part of your sales funnel.
Personal Branding and Storytelling
A well-crafted non-fiction book can be more than just an educational resource. It can be filled with personal stories, creating emotional relevance and building a relationship with the reader. It enables readers to get to know, like, and trust you.
Book as a Sales Tool
At the back of your book, you can have a strong call to action, usually in the form of a free opt-in offer. This offer can lead to more powerful conversions because, by the time readers finish your book, they’ve already received immense value and are likely to have positive feelings towards you and your brand.
Direct Sales in a Book
One innovative approach is to include direct sales links within your book. These can be links to landing pages for discounted offers or even deadline-based offers. This approach may be particularly effective if your book is a free download.
Book as a Lead Generator
Your book can also act as a lead generator, particularly if it’s published on Amazon. Even if you’re not making a significant profit from the book sales, the leads you capture can be far more valuable in the long run. The key is to ensure your non-fiction book isn’t a sales pitch; instead, it should make the reader believe in your message and trust you enough to follow up with you.
Increasing Book Value
Turning your book into an audiobook, or selling paperback versions, can increase the perceived value of your product, which in turn means you can spend more on Amazon or Facebook ads for your book.
The Book as a Quality Product
The focus should always be on writing a good book that people genuinely enjoy. This strategy contrasts with the approach some people take, where they write a book primarily as a calling card or an upsell opportunity. A well-written, engaging book can sell itself and naturally lead readers to explore your other offerings.
In conclusion, the main idea is to leverage a well-crafted book to establish a strong personal brand, create an emotional connection with your audience, and guide them naturally towards your products or services. This strategy forms a part of a larger authoring platform where you can generate income not just from book sales, but also from the additional opportunities your book creates.
#16 hook attention (emotion, not information)
Intrigue is information management.
Creating an enticing introduction for your email series. Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich,” the aim is to captivate the audience without revealing too much too soon. In the same way Hill teased about his ‘secret’ and how it changed lives, this technique can be employed in your email series. The initial few emails or videos should focus on hooking the reader’s attention, offering value, and stirring emotions. Instead of overloading them with information, focus on their desires and pain points. Guide them from where they are to where they want to be, and convince them that your email series will aid in achieving this transformation. By doing this, you can increase your open rates and get their emotional buy-in.
#17 – get the click first
Refrain from divulging all details in your emails. Previously, I would share features, pricing, and discounts of the product directly in the email. However, it’s more strategic to spark the reader’s desire for the product first. The price is insignificant if they don’t want it. Therefore, emails should primarily aim at making the reader want the product enough to click and check it out. The sales page is where you guide them through objections and sell the product, not in the email. My new approach is to remove informational details from the email and focus on the ‘why’—why this product matters, how it can help, providing case studies and testimonials. The goal is to inspire them to take the next step and believe in the product’s potential.
You want people to be enticed enough to click the link; that proves they have a little bit of desire. Let that desire linger as long as possible. You don’t really sell people things. You get them to focus on the problem or goal, feel those pain points or positive benefits, and make them want it enough to open their wallet. And if that sounds scammy, it IS: unless you know you actually have a quality product that will work for them or help them; something they will be happy to have bought.
#18 YouTube videos (and more)
The nineteenth point is about optimizing your YouTube videos to increase visibility and engagement.
The first and easiest step to enhance visibility is to have compelling thumbnails for your videos. An attractive, clear, and colorful thumbnail increases the chances of users clicking on your video when it appears in search results.
Endnotes in YouTube videos offer the opportunity to suggest a next step, call-to-action, or even recommend other videos. This feature can significantly improve user engagement and retention.
Keywords & Branding
Proper use of keywords can improve your video’s ranking on YouTube. Additionally, a brief 30-second branding intro at the beginning of your videos can help establish your brand’s identity and create the right associations in the viewers’ minds.
Consider including an ad for your own products or services in the middle of your videos. It’s a smart way to promote your offerings to a captive audience.
Consider creating a consistent aesthetic for your thumbnails, which can help with brand recognition. It might be a big project, but the impact it can have on your visibility and branding is considerable.
In conclusion, both points emphasize the importance of desire creation over information overload in emails and the various ways of optimizing YouTube videos for better visibility and engagement.
#19 branded images for Pinterest & social media
The nineteenth point centers on the use of infographics in your content strategy. Infographics can be highly effective tools for conveying complex information in a visually appealing, easy-to-understand manner.
Infographics for Blog and Social Media
One of the initial steps you can take is creating a consistent theme for the featured images on your blog posts. In addition, consider creating Pinterest-sized images that are optimized for sharing on that platform. Not only does this make your content more shareable, but it also helps with SEO as you get backlinks from Pinterest.
Infographics as Checklists
Another great use for infographics is as checklists. For instance, if you have a blog post detailing 22 ways to boost your evergreen funnels, this can be transformed into an infographic checklist. This type of content tends to be highly shareable and can be used in various ways across different platforms.
A LinkedIn Example
Consider creating a LinkedIn checklist that walks users through the steps you took to optimize your LinkedIn profile. This type of content is easily digestible, conveys your expertise, and encourages sharing.
Create an Array of Infographics
By creating a template for your infographic checklist, you can quickly generate a variety of them. This strategy could entail creating 20, 30, or even 50 different infographics. These infographics can then be distributed across your various channels, providing a wealth of content for your audience.
Infographics as Call-to-Actions
Consider using infographics as a part of your call-to-action (CTA) strategy. For example, if you have a free tool on your site, you could use an infographic as a CTA to guide users to the next step. The infographic could be something like a scorecard where users can evaluate the effectiveness of their book cover, for instance. Not only does this provide value to your audience, but it also leads them towards taking the next step, such as signing up for a course on book cover design.
Shareability of Infographics
One of the main advantages of infographics is their shareability. They can be easily shared across social media platforms, providing an effective way to distribute your content widely. Moreover, since all the information is included in the image, it’s easy for users to understand your message quickly.
In conclusion, infographics can be a powerful tool in your content strategy. They provide a visually appealing way to convey complex information, boost the shareability of your content, and can serve as effective CTAs.
#20 stacking offers in multiple newsletter sequences
My 20th conversion funnel strategy involves creating multiple funnels for my products. I’ve noticed the biggest impact on conversion and sales comes not from tweaking individual funnels, but from stacking offers together. The idea is to create a system where, once a customer completes one funnel, they’re introduced to another funnel for a different product. This approach can keep the customer engaged for several weeks or even months as they are presented with various offers.
I have an array of free books and courses to offer. Currently, most of my funnels run for about 30 days or less. After this period, I usually put the customers on a general email list for updates or campaigns. However, I see potential in a different approach – continuously adding customers into new funnels for different products once they’ve completed the initial one.
I aim to build a sequence of funnels that last from three to six months, occasionally repeating the same offers. I understand that a customer might not be ready for a specific offer the first time it’s presented, and their readiness may change over time. Therefore, presenting the same offer months later might lead to a conversion that wasn’t initially possible.
21: full website redesign
As for my 21 conversion boosting strategy, I’m considering a comprehensive website redesign. While I understand this is a massive project that might not be completed within a month, I’m keen on optimizing my platforms. I want to use December to improve my platforms, so I can shift my focus towards scaling up and concentrating on my writing in the new year.
The redesign includes revamping my websites for improved conversion optimization. For instance, my Creativindie website gets a few thousand visitors a day, but only a small fraction of those visitors sign up for my offerings. By making my website more conversion-optimized, I aim to increase the proportion of visitors who engage further with my content and offerings.
The proposed design would include a prominent welcome opt-in offer at the top of the page, followed by sections detailing the three main solutions I offer. These would be followed by a personal biography section, testimonials, and credibility boosters, finishing with another opt-in offer at the end.
Finally, as an ambitious goal, I aim to grow my income to $21K by the end of December, which is about triple my current income. I’m ready to learn more about advertising and invest in it, understanding that some failed attempts are part of the journey. This process is crucial for building my list quickly and scaling my business.
In the end, I plan to document my progress and the outcomes of these strategies in a comprehensive blog post, showing the before and after for each strategy. By the time I reach my birthday on December 22nd, I hope to have achieved many of these goals, which would allow me to focus on high-level creative projects that I’m passionate about.
2023 updates and goals…
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t done most of these things. I got sidetracked. I might try again this year. I’ve already started redesigning the websites, adding new content, optimizing SEO to regain some lost traffic.
Project 1: My two main projects are my DIY book design templates, which still get good traffic and optins, but horrible conversion. Since I already have traffic, I hope I can focus on those and make them profitable quickly. I’d also like to shore up traffic to my main sites, with some easy SEO and new content.
Project 2: I also want to finish 5 full fantasy series, which would be about 5 new books (I have a lot of unfinished series). I’d like to get those out, boost traffic to my YA fiction blogs, and start making serious, predictable money writing fiction.
Project 3: I spent a lot of money last year – way too much – on potential new side project blogs, but I’ve let them sit without even putting on basic content. I’m going through and adding 30+ articles to each with some basic design. I just want Google to figure out they exist. If nothing else, I want them to be trustworthy so I can link back to my main “money pages” (the pages that might actually earn money somehow) so they rank better.
Project 4: I made a little manifesto for this blog when I started, but I’ve always wanted a real, serious nonfiction book on creativity; which became two books. This week I figured out a modern spin on it that I think is timely… something like this maybe. I think it’s time I try to get a serious nonfiction book published, so I hope to finish the first few chapters and send out some proposals this summer.
Fears and Limitations: one of the reasons I’m optimistic about finishing more projects this year, is that new AI tools allow me to make a lot more stuff, quickly. But it’s a two-edged sword, because everyone else can do it too, and Google/Amazon/Any Big Company could just decide to keep all the traffic by summarizing my content instead of sharing it.
Other things I forgot to mention:
There are two big things missing from my list above.
- affiliates. I never really figured out or got into using affiliates, but I really need to. It’s a significant way to grow fast and get a ton of backlinks to boost your content
- testing. all the stuff above, is just a guess until it works. The most important steps in my funnels are probably the tripwire and main offer; but also an upsell offer or add-to-cart bonus offer. I should be testing out variations of all my offers in different places; testing out pricing for everything; figure out one thing at a time to maximize profit and figure out what works.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.