I’ll never forget that moment:
The day when a client hired me… and I had no idea who they were.
I saw the sale notification arrive in my inbox. The purchase came from someone I’d never met or spoken to. $800, added quietly to my account.
And all I could think was, Oh my golly dear goodness, it worked.
See, I’d been trying to get this exact result for months. To build the kind of business where you don’t have to spend your time chasing down clients, but instead wake up to new sales notifications in your inbox.
Literally selling while you sleep.
This kind of business takes time to build. Selling on autopilot takes careful planning and long-term effort. But if you can do it, it means you never having to get on another awkward sales call again. All your calls become friendly Q&As to make sure it’s a good fit, or else you get to forgo calls altogether.
Now, last week, I shared how I used my list to bring in 3 sales and 2 client leads with one email…
But now, I’m going to show you how the whole system works. How to structure your business so you can spend way less time selling, and more time doing the work you love.
It takes just three ingredients:
1) A way to bring in ideal clients to your website
Most newer business owners bring clients into their world (and onto their websites) through 1-on-1 communication. You spend your time growing your network through networking groups, meetups, and online conversations.
But if you want to bring people in automatically, you need to find a system that scales. A marketing technique that lets you attract a larger number of people with the same amount of work.
My #1 way to do this is to start publishing weekly content. This could be a blog, podcast, or video show. And it’ll be slow going at first. But as you produce more, and as you learn how to distribute that content effectively, your reach will start to grow.
2) A way to nurture the relationship with those individuals
You already do this 1-on-1. It looks like inviting that person you met at the networking group to a coffee meeting, or emailing back and forth with a new contact who might be a good client.
The scalable version is an email list. When you start an email list, you’re able to communicate with those leads every week, and over time build trust with them and show your expertise. Then, when you make it known that you’re accepting new clients, some subscribers will be eager to jump on board.
3) A productized service
Your final step is to make it really, really easy to buy from you. That’s why I’m such a fan of productized services.
A productized service is a service package that you’ve carefully thought out. It has a set price, set deliverables, and set process that you repeat for every client. It could be anything from a 5-page website to a month of social media posts, or even a single coaching call. Readers know exactly what they get and how long it’ll take, which makes it an easier sell.
To make it even easier to buy that service, you need a buy button embedded right on your site that lets visitors process their payment and agree to terms. This can be done with a calendar tool like Calendly or Acuity (so they can schedule a time slot), or with a cart tool like ClickFunnels, Snipcart, or SamCart.
But let me be real with you…
Okay, you guys know I’m all about honesty. So let me make it really clear: Creating this system takes work. (But I think the results are totally worth it.)
For me, it was over a year of creating consistent content before I got that first client without any direct communication. And because I then went on a year-long exploration of which business direction I wanted to head in (and stopped accepting clients for a good portion of time), I don’t have clear data to show its ongoing success.
However, my goal here is to show you that setting up a marketing funnel doesn’t have to be complicated. Because that’s exactly what this is—a marketing funnel. A system to bring in readers and convert them into buyers on autopilot. People do it for product business all the time. But it works for productized services as well.
And psst—you don’t need to go fully automated to use these tricks
You can make your sales process much easier even if you implement only a few of these ideas. As I started adding the different steps into my business bit by bit, I saw the benefits right away.
Even if you try just a few of these methods, you can create a significantly more effective sales process.
For example, you might continue doing 1-on-1 networking, but start to offer a super sexy free download through a link on your business card. Then you get some of your new contacts on your email list.
Or you might create a productized service, but instead of letting people buy from you directly off your website, you direct people to a contact form. That way you can schedule a call and make sure they’re a good fit before closing the deal.
But the key is to pick one step and give it a try. If you want to build a business that gets sales while you sleep, start today. Publish one blog post. Start an email list. Or start promoting one productized service.
Future you will thank you.
P.S. On Thursday, I’ll be sharing an in-depth explanation of that first step (bringing clients to your website). Stay tuned!
Coming soon: The Cowriting Club
Psst… Do you have a to-do list of emails, articles, or social posts to write?
The Cowriting Club is a writing mentorship and accountability group, designed to teach you the key writing skills every business owner needs, so you can build your authority and attract your ideal clients.
The mentorship program launches this February. Click here to join the waitlist and be the first to hear about it.