Who do you think of when I say “first in flight”?
The Wright brothers, right?
Interesting though, back then, it wasn’t the Wright brothers, but a man named Samuel Langley.
Back when there was a race to be the first in flight, a bunch of men were trying different things.
Langley was the expert of the time, and even had government backing him with money. $70,000 USD, which was the financial equivalent of $1.7 million to $64.4 million of today’s money, depending on your rate of return, inflation, and all that fun stuff. (src)
So how did Wright Brothers, who back then were bunch of nobodies, win?
Langley focused on the engine. The Wright brothers focused on the flight.
If you have a really powerful motor on a non flying vehicle, that’s called a car.
If you have a flying vehicle with no motor, it’s called a slow plane. But still a plane.
Most entrepreneurs start out just like Langley. They focus on scale & operations when no one wants their stuff.
I wrote a lengthy post about why the latest “buzz” in growth hacking is useless to most startups, because no amount of fuel is going to start a fire.
Now, this isn’t just for companies. It’s with any human endeavors where you are trying to get something in exchange for your work.
Companies launching new products, writers launching new books, non profits launching a new charity, governments launching new service, etc etc.
So how exactly do you find out if the THING you’re building has any kind of traction before you plunk your hard earned money (or god forbid, someone else’s hard earned money) into your new venture?
Simple: ASK people if they want it.
Now, if you read a bunch of blogs, there’s a lot of buzz about how you should be doing MVP (minimum viable product) but you gotta take that with a grain of salt.
In one of the entrepreneur Meetups I organize, someone asked me if they could pitch their company, which was basically a MVP. OK, im fine with that so I asked him what the URL was. When I checked it out, it was a GoDaddy parked page with nothing on there but GoDaddy ads. He then explained that he was going to “explain” his idea to people.
Story cut short, he didn’t get to present because if he can’t invest 2 weeks of his life trying to show people what his stuff is to do, why does he think that his customers are gonna commit to him or, better yet, give him cash for this supposed “idea”?
So here’s what you can do.
1) Build a squeeze page
Squeeze page does NOT mean you get to spam them.
Squeeze page does NOT mean you get their email in exchange for some useless ebook.
Squeeze page does NOT mean you can just throw up some headline & call to action and you’re going to get 1000 sign ups.
Come on, get a reality check.
No, you have to deliver REAL solid value.
Take a look at the squeeze page I buit around marketing tactics that boosted my lead generation by 1800%. That ebook you get is 27 PAGES long.
And this is why my email open rates are 38%+ every time I send anything.
Not because I’m sexy or good looking (which by the way, isn’t so far from the truth), it’s because I give a lot.
I “trained” people to look for my stuff because I give away more than my competitors do.
I won’t go too much into detail because you can google “how to do squeeze page” and there are BILLIONS of resources that talk about this, but some of the main points I want to emphasize:
- squeeze page is just a permission for them to start engaging with you. You must first earn this trust.
- you have to A/B test your offer (or at least the page – headline, body, image) to maximize your results
For one of my local marketing customers, I had a hair & nail salon that wants to use email marketing to drive traffic to their store.
We gave away free lip waxing ($10 retail value) in exchange for their email/info. Even though it’s not the most powerful incentive, it was enticing enough for hundreds of white collar women office workers 25-45 in NYC area to want to hear from them week after week.
2) Build an autoresponder sequence
If squeeze page is getting the permission to speak to them, .. then why don’t people talk to them after?
Simple: people are too lazy to write an autoresponder sequence.
If you don’t do this, there is no POINT in doing the squeeze page. Why bother collecting information that you’re not gonna use? In fact, if you don’t plan on doing this step, might as well close your browser now and leave this post because without this, you just wasted time reading this.
Repetition is the tool you use to build up your reputation, your expertise, and further desire for your customer to want to buy from you.
Here’s how I build mine:
a) Build out 24 sequences
Why? Email open rate across the board is around 25%. In another words 1 in 4 get opened. On the average, it takes about 6 impressions of a message before your buyer decides to take any action. So 4 x 6 = 24.
If you sell really expensive stuff (like insurance, houses, cars, solar, etc.), you might want to consider doing longer.
Each one should deliver really SOLID value, meaning you give away LOTS and LOTS of great information, including how-tos, case studies, white papers, videos, etc. (Like this local marketing case study.)
The last thing you want to do is sound sales-y.
B) Space them out anywhere between 2 to 4 days apart from each other
The number of days spaced out depends on
- how close they are do the buying part of the funnel (i.e. ready to buy or are you completely new to this idea) – if you’re ready to buy now, hell, get aggressive.
- how receptive they are to the messages I am sending (i.e. open rate, engagement rate, CTR) – if I am losing them , i might be overwhelming them or sending irrelevant information
Remember, it’s not set it & forget it.
You have to constantly test your subject line, your landing page, your offer, etc etc. Once you get to a “ratio” that you’re comfortable with, you can relax but doesn’t mean you should forget it.
3) Host a webinar
The odds are that your customers
- aren’t going to buy just because you have some kick ass landing page
- aren’t located anywhere NEAR you
Solution: you have to do virtual sales presentation via webinar.
The great things about webinar are that
- one you can do them in your pajamas
- it’s about as close you can get to a in-person sales presentation
- it’s fairly cheap these days (under