The Content Factory
The 3-Step Action Plan Designed to Attract, Win & Keep More of Your Ideal Customers.
If you’ve ever struggled to keep your pipeline full with promising opportunities, win new business (luxury or high ticket clients), get prime referrals, turn customers into loyal repeat customers; or wondered how the uber successful make it look so easy, then this may be the most important article you ever read.
You don’t have to look very hard to find businesses or professionals that struggle. They’re everywhere, but it’s not always obvious. From the outside, they look fine. However, in reality, they’re just breaking even. Or perhaps they are making a profit, but not reaching their full potential.
They — want — more.
They’re at various levels of stuck and don’t know how to break free.
Every single day, everywhere I go, I spot problems. Most people don’t notice them, but I do. It’s my job to find and fix the mistakes that stop them from achieving the next level.
Some of the top culprits are:
Mistake #1: Expensive websites that look fantastic, but do absolutely nothing to fill your pipeline with new business.
Mistake #2: Marketing systems that are backwards, that focus on products instead of people and build boredom instead of trust, likability and relationships.
Mistake #3: Leads that never convert to customers, because they were not properly qualified. Or they were, but there’s no proven sales process in place to close the deal.
Mistake #4: Advertising that generates debt instead of leads and sales, because it lacks platform diversification, purpose, continuity, tracking, testing and optimization.
Mistake #5: Sales copy that repels instead of attracts, because it talks about features using clever words and corporate-speak, instead of benefits using stories that talk plainly and directly to your prospect’s pain, fear or desires.
Mistake #6: Social media campaigns that annoy instead of engage, with feeds filled with facts, figures and sales pitches (often from strangers), instead of interesting, entertaining and relevant information that delivers real lasting value.
Mistake #7: Working hard in your business, but hardly working on your business. Keeping so busy with day-to-day tasks that growing your customer-base or improving efficiency is completely ignored — or worked as a frantic after-thought.
Mistake #8: Publishing content (newsletters, videos, posts, blogs, articles) that motivates people to unsubscribe instead of learn more, because it’s canned, boring, rare, out of touch or out of date. Or worse, no publishing at all. Total silence, making your prospects and customers wonder if you’re really the most qualified person or company to solve their problem.
What’s the answer?
There are simple solutions to all these problems, but most don’t know what they are. So they work long crazy hours performing random activities (Facebook posts, newspaper ads, flyers, cold calls), hoping something will work. Or they hire expensive consultants (out of desperation) who sell them unnecessary solutions like SEO, pretty websites and advertisements — none of which are terrible ideas, but unless they’re done properly and carefully managed as a part of a master plan —
They’re a waste of time and money.
If you had a master plan, understood it clearly, knew the exact steps needed to take you from where you are today, to where you want to be in a year from now (and you actually followed and stuck to the plan) — then you would be in control.
There would be no more random activities. No more lying awake at 1:28 am, racking your brain. But instead, a very clear path, designed to achieve your desired outcome.
It’s better than hoping at some point, by chance, one of your random activities will pay off.
Don’t you think?
The solution is a simple 3-step plan designed to do one thing — build a large and growing list of raving fans and loyal customers.
If you have that — all is well. Everything is else is details.
It’s the secret to attracting, winning and keeping more of your ideal customers.
It’s peace of mind.
It’s a profitable growing business that’s fun again.
And it all starts with a small network of faithful followers — something you may already have, but probably aren’t leveraging.
Most professionals and businesses struggle, either because they don’t know about (or believe in) this process, or they do and just aren’t willing to invest the time.
I get it.
Traditionally, building & nurturing your list — your customer database — has been an intimidating, expensive and slow process that you weren’t entirely sure was worth it.
So why invest your precious time and money?
First, I’m about to explain it more clearly than ever before, prove that it does, in fact, work (incredibly well, and faster than you think) and how to eliminate 80% (or more) of the time required to make it happen.
Unveiling & Unleashing the Power of Your Business’ Most Valuable & Hidden Asset
Your most valuable business asset is, arguably, your list — a database of all your current and past customers, prospects, followers, anyone who has an interest (or knows someone with an interest) in your business.
Everyone has a list, but most don’t use it to its full potential (or at all). The most successful entrepreneurs, professionals and businesses know how to leverage it.
Those who struggle, don’t.
There are, of course, other things crucial to success, but few — if any — as important or as lucrative. If you were to ask the #1 person in your industry to put a price on their list, it would rank at (or near) the very top of their most valuable assets.
Products, buildings, experiences — even cash — don’t compare.
To rise above the crowd, beat the odds and build a profitable business that lasts, you need a big and growing list of loyal customers and raving fans — people who want to do business with you, not your competition.
On December 31, 1997, Hotmail, a two year old free webmail service with 8.5 million subscribers, was acquired by Microsoft for $500 million. Why did they pay so much for a free email service? They could have easily bought (or built) it for much cheaper. The appeal was probably not email functionality. It’s more likely they were attracted to Hotmail’s 8.5 million loyal subscribers.
Jeff Walker, Internet entrepreneur, became a #1 New York Times bestseller as a first-time author, simply by telling his large list of raving fans about his new book. Brendon Burchard, Russell Brunson, Gary Vaynerchuk and countless other entrepreneurs all become bestsellers, too, in record time because they had a big list of people who love them.
One of my clients (regular people and local brick & mortar startup) used their list of under 2,000 members to generate between ten and thirtyfive thousand dollars over a period of about 10 days (5 separate times) and nearly $500K in new annualized revenue — all within 8 months. Those are impressive results, achieved without any advertising — just with their modest list.
A friend and business partner built a nearly 7-figure coaching business entirely from his list of 10K friends, followers & clients.
And I landed a $100K contract from one of my lists with just 83 people on it. The power of a list is incredible, but you will never achieve any of these things if:
You don’t have a list
You do, but stopped communicating with them
You communicate, but not often enough or send them nothing of value (canned content or a never-ending stream of sales pitches)
How Powerful is Your List?
Are your friends, family, leads and customers referring others, instead of you?
Are you getting regular requests to appear as a guest on podcasts, radio or Facebook Live interviews? Or, is your PR calendar empty?
Are your customers loyal to you, making repeat purchases and moving up your value-ladder — buying your higher-tier products and services? Or not?
Are your prospects eager to move forward, converting to appointments? Are they calling you up, ready to buy with credit card in hand? Or, are they setting appointments and buying from your competitors instead?
Are your former clients sorry they left and returning to you? Or, did they forget all about you?
If you’re not getting more referrals, if your customers are not buying your up-sells, if you’re not getting attractive offers from the media and other business owners AND you’re not converting more leads and former clients to loyal customers — then you need to unleash the power of your list.
Step #1: Make Videos
Until you develop a relationship with the people on your list, it’s just a collection of names, nothing more. It has zero lasting value.
And creating a relationship with your list, like all relationships, takes work.
You need to ask questions, share, give and keep at it. It’s a conversation that never ends. If you stop, it will fizzle out and die. So if you care about them — and I know you do —
Don’t stop, ever.
The best way to build a relationship is to talk face-to-face, one-on-one or in a group (at seminars or conferences).
But since that’s not always possible, you need another way.
Video is your next best option. It’s not your only option, of course, but hearing your voice and seeing your facial expressions builds a connection faster than simply reading your words. You could write books, newsletters, post to Online groups and forums — all things I’ve personally done. And I can tell you from experience, they work.
But they are much more time-consuming and not nearly as effective.
Video is best. And it’s even faster and easier if you keep it simple. Just have a natural conversation with another person on camera. The end result is nothing fancy. No high-tech skills required. Also, it dramatically reduces (or even eliminates) any nerves or fear you may have of being on film. It’s not live, so you can do as many takes as you want. But don’t get carried away, value is the goal, not perfection.
Whether you do it perfect — or not — your audience will love it.
All you need to do is set aside a little bit of time each month (about 30 minutes will do). Look for experts and influencers in a related market and have a discussion with them. Q&A-style interviews work well. But any format is fine. Just keep it simple and make sure your focus is to deliver useful content to those watching, and not to sell. More on this later, in Step #2.
Doing this every month helps you grow your network, influence and serve your customers, all at the same time.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to find people willing to talk with you. Just look for noncompetitive businesses with something helpful to offer. For example, a Real Estate Agent could interview a Title Specialist, a Lawyer or a Home Inspection company. The Real Estate Agent’s list is interested in all of those things. And those experts are interested in the Real Estate Agent’s audience, too.
It’s a win/win for everyone.
When it’s time to meet, log into your favorite video conferencing system (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Webex), turn on your camera and mic and start talking about your viewer’s biggest questions and challenges.
It doesn’t need to be complicated.
If you don’t have any ideas off the top of your head, do a quick Google search to uncover common problems in your market. For your first couple of times, you don’t need to spend a lot of effort on this. Find a hot topic and go with it. But getting to know your ideal customer better is incredibly important.
So don’t put it off for too long.
Because the more you know them (what they want and need), the more you can help.
If you’re brave, do your video on Facebook LIVE or YouTube LIVE. This allows you to get instant feedback from everyone watching. And you can send out the recording later to those who missed it.
Either way, (LIVE or not) you’ll have valuable content to share with your list.
The next step is editing and publishing to YouTube, social media, your blog and email. Publish the whole video to YouTube. Then break it up into smaller videos (one for each question) and post them as teasers to social media.
You decide how often you want to post your full videos. I suggest twice each month (at a minimum). That will take less than 30 minutes — about 5 minutes to answer each question, plus some time to research and setup.
The more you publish, though, the better.
People are always worried about “bugging” their audience. But I’m telling you this from experience, you never need to worry about that if you’re providing value. You’ll see.
I’m on lists with people who publish every single day, sometimes multiple times each day. I don’t have time to consume it all. But if I see a topic I really care about, that’s pressing or that hit a nerve, I take a look.
If I’m a huge fan, I not only watch their videos, I buy their stuff, because they have my attention. They impressed me.
And I’m not (at all) bothered by their daily content.
In fact, I look forward to it.
Remember, you’re providing a solution to someone’s problem, an answer to their question. If they are too busy to see your video today, they can watch it tomorrow. If they don’t want to see your videos anymore, they can unsubscribe.
And that’s okay, too.
You’ll be left with a core group of fans who really want to hear from you.
That is the goal.
A big & growing list is nice, but not necessary. You can become very wealthy from a small list — a core group of raving fans — who believe what you believe, want what you want, are friends with your friends and who love you.
Make your goal to find that group of people, to get to know them better, to build a relationship with them, to impress them & to keep impressing them.
If you learn how to do that, if you actually do that, they will become loyal to you, buy whatever you create and ... they will spread the word for you.
And there you have it. You now have a way to give value to your audience, talk about things they care about, educate them and stay top of mind. All of which builds your relationship.
But to turn your viewers into leads and loyal customers, you need to do more than show up.
Step #2: Add Value
Creating educational videos for your list is important. It sets you apart from the vast majority of your competitors who aren’t doing anything extra at all. It turns you into an instant authority. And over time, as you continue to publish, your list will even begin to see you as a celebrity.
But the goal is not to raise your status.
It’s to serve your customers at the highest level, to help them achieve their greatest desires.
And you can’t do that with free videos alone.
The best way is to sell them your top products.
But not everyone is ready for your best stuff just yet. They need to get to know you first, experience some of your free offers. That’s what showing up and teaching on video is for, but if you want to transition them from visitor to lead and eventually to loyal customer —
There’s more to do.
In addition to the video content itself, you need to give proper thought and attention to the title, the Intro/Outro and the call to action. Especially, the call to action, because that is the bridge to your best stuff.
That is what moves them from viewer to doer.
So here’s a checklist to help with your video-creation process, to make sure you’re including each of the essential “bridge” components.
Video Title: Create something pithy that speaks directly to the question, challenge, pain, fear or desire you’re addressing in the video to grab the attention of your audience.
(5 to 10 seconds) What-toExpect: Start by stating the purpose of your video. You can simply say your title out loud or elaborate a bit, but try not to go beyond 15 seconds. Short and to the point is better. Otherwise, people may lose interest and click away.
(5 to 10 seconds) Intro: Once you’ve provided a clear and concise what-to-expect, you can (if you want) add an Intro — to build your brand and authority. This is a canned sequence that you will use on all of your videos. Keep it to 15 seconds. This requires some creativity and editing skills. So it’s totally fine to leave it off. Later, you can hire a pro to do one for you.
(2 to 10 minutes) Content: Answer the question or the thing you promised in your Intro. Don’t worry about perfection. Keep your language conversational. The more technical you get, the more people will tune out and lose interest. If you’re recording your video alone, talk naturally, as you would to a friend sitting across from you. You can go longer, if the topic requires it. But try to keep it to 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes, 15 max. If you need more than that, consider breaking it up into more than one video. These are meant to be short and educational, not hour-long webinars. That’s a different strategy.
(10 to 30 seconds) Outro: This is where your call to action goes. Or at least part of it. This section is canned, just like the Intro. Any offer that’s generic to all videos can go here: e.g. subscribe to your video channel or schedule a strategy call.
Video Description: This is one of the most important, but overlooked and rushed parts of videos. If you did a nice job impressing your viewers, they will probably scroll down to the description to see what else you have to say. The description is a great place to add a transcript of the video; items you forgot to mention, but are an important part of the answer you covered; links to products mentioned or anything else you can think that would be of use. Go out of your way to impress. People notice. Also, this is where you can repeat the generic call to action and any specific call to actions directly related to the topic just covered. Don’t neglect the description. People and search engines read it. It could be the difference between someone contacting you, hiring you, or not.
I want to share a few more thoughts on the call to action, since it’s so important, to make sure you get it right.
After people watch your video, don’t leave them hanging.
Perhaps you only covered one small piece of a larger solution. Or explained the “why,” but not the “how.” So instead of leaving them frustrated and guessing, tell them what’s next. Give them something to do, some action to take — clear instructions after each video on how they can get even more value from you.
If you did, indeed, solve a problem for them during your video, they may want to get started fixing it right away. So what can you do to make that process easier for them? What is the next logical step?
That’s your call to action (CTA).
Maybe provide a template or a checklist to follow, a report that goes into more detail, a way to schedule a free consult or a strategy session with you. Give detailed instructions: download this report, join this group, schedule a call or simply ask them to leave a comment. Think it over. Figure it out. And then tell them what they can do (right now) to get started. Be specific. Don’t make them jump through hoops. Don’t bait and switch them. Help them solve their problem. That’s it.
The next (and perhaps most important) step is following up.
A study by the Thomas Publishing Company revealed that 80% of sales to businesses were made on the fifth call. Yet only 10% of salespeople make more than three follow up calls — proof that salespeople give up too soon.
The new business you need may be one follow up call away.
Step #3: Follow Up
Not everyone who sees your video and call to action will take the same path:
Some will see it and immediately leave
Some will watch it to the end, take action & call you
Some will watch and take no action
And a bunch of other combinations
Your videos set the stage, positioned you as an expert and started a conversation. Now, regardless of what they do, you should always do the same thing — follow up and continue the conversation, forever.
Waiting around is a low-level, apathetic, passive activity that lets too many unknown factors rely on chance. You want to be — as often as possible — the generator of activity for your business, because then you control the outcome.
— Grant Cardone
Too often, people miss out on something great, because they sit on their heels and do nothing. That doesn’t help you or your prospect.
It just delays everything.
It delays your prospect from getting a solution — your solution — and you from making a sale.
Make it a priority — every single day — to help as many people as possible. Begin with your list. Prioritize your followup by reaching out to those who saw your videos (you can pull a report from your email system to see who watched).
Shoot them and email, a private message, give them a call or (better yet) visit them in person.
Make it clear that your intention is to further serve them, not to sell your products or services.
Start by finding out what they’re up to. Ask about their life, career and family. Take a genuine interest in them. Engage in conversation. Look for ways to further serve them. If they’re a customer, offer suggestions on how they can maximize their purchase. And before ending the call, ask them to help you by referring any friends, family or business associates who would have a use for (or an interest in) your products and services.
That’s the basic flow of all follow ups. But you can (and probably should) tailor your message to the specific video they watched and the kind of relationship you have with them.
Here’s a generic script to get you started…
And (if you can) schedule a “catch up” meeting
“Hi Bill, Ed Bordi here. Just thinking about you. How are things? What are you up to? Tell me about the family, the house, the job?” This series of questions typically prompts them to ask what’s going on in your life. Keep your reply short, upbeat and positive. No one needs or wants bad news. Then follow up with, “Hey, I noticed you subscribe to my videos, do you have any feedback or questions or problems I can help you with?” This is where you add value. And then wind things down with, “We should catch up this month over lunch. When is good for you?” Ideally, you want to commit to a date and time while on the call. And then finish up with, “Bill, great talking with you. I look forward to catching up with you on [date/time of the meeting you agreed to].”
Although this is not a “sales” call — you’re not asking them to buy anything — it is part of the sales process. You’re reestablishing a bond, deepening your relationship and getting them to think and talk about you again.
This whole process puts you in a better position to make a sale with them or someone they know — when the time is right (tomorrow, next month, next year or five years from now).
But, by all means, if they want to buy today — take the order :)