All the “gurus” have been telling you that you need to “write a book” or “build a webinar” or “host a live event” before you can build a thriving Solopreneur business.
But, you know deep down inside that you are NOT going to get any of those things accomplished anytime soon…..
And, let’s be honest, you have bills to pay right now!
You don’t have time to build out a complex webinar funnel only to realize that once it’s finished, you still need to find people to sign up, show up and take action!
Now, should you aspire to create all these marketing assets?
But, if you’re struggling to build your first landing page and consistently book appointments to sell your B2B consulting, coaching or speaking services then you need to keep it much more simple!
You need to start with a foundation that can help you build authority as an expert in your space and get you booked on phone calls to sell your services.
As a company, in the past 5 years we’ve spent over $500,000 testing, refining and adapting this process, and have run over 1000 clients/students through it, who have generated millions in new business.
So, if you are sick of all the BS guru tactics and strategies being taught online today that are telling you to create some complicated sales funnel….you are going to find my SOLO Funnel refreshing.
I’ve broken it down in this detailed video called “The SOLO Funnel featuring the Missing Link” so you know the exact steps needed to Clarify your audience, Connect with them and Convert them into paying clients.
If you don’t know me and are questioning why you should listen to my advice, my name is Trevor Turnbull, the CEO of Linked Into Leads and the Founder of the Experts Selling Machine mentoring program. And, I created the SOLO Funnel because of my own personal experience as an entrepreneur for the last 15 years and specifically as a, what I call a Solopreneur.
Now this isn’t a new term, you probably know what I mean when I say that. You’re a one man or a one woman show. And, typically what I find with Solopreneurs, and this was my case as well, is that you struggle in one of three areas (or all of the above)
- TECH: There’s are so many different tools out there that you could and should be using in your business, but which ones do you choose? How do you implement them? How do you make sure that you’re not wasting your money? And, how can you make the best decisions going forward.
- TIME: Where is your time best served? What should you actually be focusing on? How can you make sure you are spending your time on the high priority tasks.
- TEAM: As a solo preneur you can only wear so many hats. You can’t do the sales and the marketing and the operations and the technology and the everything in your business. Otherwise you will go a little bit crazy, right? You need to leverage software, you need to leverage outsourced help, you even need to leverage agency services or consultant services at times where your skills might not be at the level that they need to be and you just need to have somebody else do it for you.
Again, the SOLO funnel was created specifically for the Solopreneur. To give you a really clear picture as to how you can leverage Linkedin in particular (The Missing Link as we call it) to use as your primary lead source. Because if you are selling business to business and you’re selling services, typically higher ticket services, this is where it makes the most sense. This is exactly what you need to do.
I’m going to define what we call “The Three C’s” and why you need to address each one of them to build a thriving Solopreneur business.
STEP 1: CLARIFY
Linkedin is a massive database of professionals that pre-populate their profiles with the information that you need to go and find your ideal target clients. Within LinkedIn Sales Navigator in particular, you get access to a ton of different search filters (as well as a boolean search filter within the search bar).
These filters will really allow you to narrow down to that perfect client. Now, a mistake that I commonly see Solopreneurs make is that if you’re a marketing coach or a business coach or a speaker or a consultant or whatever it might be, you may be able to help all kinds of people.
In other words, you might have a very broad target audience, but what I want to encourage you to do is PICK ONE, whether it be based on location, industry type or role.
And know that this does NOT mean you can’t work within other niches, but you will be focusing your LinkedIn profile positioning and messaging to be specific to that niche (for your dedicated LinkedIn campaign).
Because the more narrow you can get and the more you can make your profile very specific to the pain points that your specific audience has, the more relatable it is to them, right? So you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile really defines…..
“Who you serve rather”, “How do you serve them?”, “Why should they trust you?” and “How can they find out more?”
And, if you want to proactively using Linkedin as an outbound lead source, you’re going to have to upgrade to Sales Navigator. There’s just no way around it. It’s a pay to play platform. If you want to do the amount of activity on a daily basis where you can really see some traction with the systems and the process that we teach, you’re going to need to get it.
Now they offer a 30 day free trial, which is great. You just have to know how to use it properly (which is why you are here reading this article)
STEP 2: CONNECT
So that leads me to the second step, which is all about connecting. And as it relates to “connecting”, there are two things you need to consider. Your messaging strategy and your authority campaigns. Let’s start with the latter.
AUTHORITY CAMPAIGNS & ELEMENTS
Listed on the left side of the SOLO Funnel blueprint is “Authority Campaigns”. These are different types of campaigns/pages you can create to help build authority with your prospects. And, on the right side of the PDF is “Authority Elements”. These are the different “elements” you can include to make your pages really SPEAK to your target audience and take the action you want them to take.
You’ll see that I have six “Authority Campaign” types listed out. Now, there’s lots of different types of campaigns you could create, but these are the six most prominent ones that you want to consider as an expert Solopreneur consultant, coach, or speaker. And, they really are in priority sequence based on the fact that the top one is the easiest one to do as well as the most important first step that you need to take.
Now again, another common mistake that I see Solopreneurs make is that they get caught up in the whole world of “Internet Marketing” where they attend webinars about learning how to produce webinars or how to produce live events or even how to write a book….whatever it happens to be.
And yes….you want to aspire to create all of these Authority Campaigns…. absolutely!
But, most of the Solopreneurs I speak with are not ready for that.
They need to start with the basics first (Appointment Campaign) and then perhaps a guide/report/white paper to capture email leads. From there, you can consider creating “value videos” where you address specific “pain points” your target audience experiences and how you can help solve those challenges.
Video is a great format to do that and it’s the most media rich. You could pull out the audio recordings and turn that into a podcast. You can transcribe it and turn it into a report or article. There are a number of Authority Campaigns you could create. But, you should start from the top and work your way down.
If you are struggling to sell your services as a B2B service provider, the last thing you need to do is create some complicated webinar funnel or write a book that no one will read or plan a stressful, time-sensitive event. None of those will get you results fast!
And, on a side note, you’ll notice on SOLO Funnel PDF that I have link up examples of each of these types of Authority Campaigns. So, click those and check out the pages and “funnel hack” your way to see how all the pieces fit together.
Now, let’s talk about your message sequencing in your active outreach on Linkedin. In the middle of the SOLO Funnel PDF, you’ll notice we have “Quick Wins (1st Degree)”, and “Steady Leads (2nd/3rd Degree)”. Let’s focus on “Quick Wins” first.
It’s likely that if you’ve been building your network on LinkedIn for any amount of time, you probably already have a first degree network that includes prospects, right? But most people (including you perhaps?) are guilty of NEVER staying in touch with those people. You connect with those prospects and then never follow up because you don’t know what to say and you don’t want to be spammy, salesy and sleazy.
So what can you do? Well, of course you want to start by reconnecting to that network. Think of your first degree network, like an email list? With an email list, you wouldn’t just collect emails and let them sit there and not say anything to them, not provide value, not ask questions, all the things that you could do.
Think of your 1st degree network on LinkedIn in the same way you would your own personal email list. And, when we talk about a “Reconnect Message”, it’s as simple as using a script such as.
“Hey [NAME], I’m using Linkedin to proactively stay in touch with my network. I took a close look at your profile and it looks like you’re up to some amazing things! I would love to hear more about what you are currently working on and hoping to accomplish in your business right now? And, if you see anything on my profile that’s of interest, feel free to reach out.” [YOUR NAME]
You don’t need a straight up call to action in your message. You’re letting your LinkedIn profile do the “pitching” for you and all you’re doing is reconnecting with that network.
From there, you want to consider how you can add value to your network. And, one of the best ways to do this is to “survey” your connections. One of the greatest benefits to taking this approach is that you make it about THEM and it allows you to collect information and engage in a conversation. You will find out the challenges and pain points your audience has so you know how to best provide solutions.
I can also be a great way to create content. The questions you ask can be the foundation of what you need to create valuable, insightful content that your target audience would find enlightening.
Remember, the majority of people on LinkedIn are there to either advance their careers and/or build their skill set. So, keep this in mind with everything you do and every piece of “value add” content you create and share.
On the other side we have “Steady Leads”. This is referring to people that you’re not yet connected to. And, your first step with those people is to get connected. You want to connect 1st degree with them because again, unless you’re connected, you don’t have the ability to message those people for free.
And, the only way you could reach them is through Inmails, which is part of the Sales Navigator premium service, but it is not an effective, scalable way to leverage LinkedIn from an outbound perspective. They’re like sending cold emails. They’re like doing cold calls. You should not expect a really high response rate when it comes to sending Inmails
So you want to start simple and use a “permission based messaging strategy” to “get connected”. Something like …
Hi [NAME], I’m making an effort to expand my network of INDUSTRY leaders here in LOCATION. Would you be open to connecting? [YOUR NAME]
That’s step number one. Get connected! (and please don’t copy/paste the invite text above word for word. Customize it to your own needs…it works much better that way)
Secondly is what we simply call the “Handshake Message”. If you think about this in the real world, when you go to a networking event and you meet somebody for the first time, you don’t go into it pitching your services. You shake their hand and say…..
“Hi [NAME], Great to connect with you. If there’s anything I can ever do to help you or someone I can introduce you to, please let me know.” [YOUR NAME]
Typically you want to respond to accepted connect requests within 24 hours of receiving them. From there, you want to take a very similar approach as the “Quick Wins” messaging approach mentioned above (Survey & Value).
And, on that note, writing a Linkedin article is one of the best and the simplest things you can do to create content (like this one!). If you’re going to follow up with a Linkedin message and provide some sort of “value”, it’s best to keep them on the same platform?
So collect feedback from your target audience about their pain points, write an article based on that feedback and then share your LinkedIn article with your contacts. These LinkedIn articles are added to your LinkedIn profile and they don’t require the person to click away from Linkedin to read them. They can engage with it, they can like it, comment on it, share it. You can have “calls to action” within that article to drive them, to your Authority Campaigns.
By this point, you might be thinking WHOA…where do I start with all of this information!
And, the answer to that question is, you should create all of these steps ONE AT A TIME!
This is why we call the SOLO Funnel the SOLO Funnel. (Well that and it’s built for the Solopreneur exclusively)
Because the truth is, you should focus on ONE target audience, ONE Authority Campaign, ONE LinkedIn message sequence to start with. From there, you can work your way up to include more complex Authority Campaigns to add value and educate your prospects (like webinars, books and live events). But, start SIMPLE and build these assets over time.
And, remember that up to 90% of a buyers journey is completed before they will ever get on a call and talk to you. So, it is your job focus on simply staying top of mind with your network, adding value and having conversations with your target audience.
Which leads me to the third step….Convert.
STEP 3: CONVERT
“Convert” is pretty obvious, right? It’s the action that you’d like your prospects to take, like join a community, opt-in with an email, fill out an application, book a meeting or register for an event.
And, of course, your goal as a Solopreneur selling higher-value B2B services should be to get that person on a phone, (or to drive them to an order form if that is relevant to what you are selling and your sales process). But in most cases, since what you are selling is very “hands on”, you are going to need to build a relationship with those prospects to build trust. And, there is nothing that can replace the connection of a phone call or in-person meeting.
So whether you’re a consultant, a coach, or speaker, you need to talk to your prospects! You want to connect with them on a one to one level.
You want to exchange value like I talk about in The MVP Method Guide. And, phone sales is something that is critical for you to get good at to build a thriving Solopreneur business.
And, as I say that, I realize that many people reading this will clam up and get scared about “phone sales”. But, if you reframe a sales call and think of it as an “enrollment call”, it will change your entire perspective.
Focus on collecting information, finding out pain points, illuminating that pain point (without trying to manipulate that person) and the show them how you can help them relieve their pain with the solutions that you have to offer, you will see that phone sales is simply a process of fully serving the clients you want to work with.
Now, are you going to run into resistance and self-doubt as you begin to master this craft? Absolutely!!!
But, if you are struggling to pay you bills and you don’t have consistency in your revenue, it is critical that you learn how to do this. And, the best way to do this is to seek mentorship and practice over and over again (which comes down to having enough opportunities in your sales pipeline).
Are you starting to see how all of these pieces fit together?
It’s never just one thing that is going to magically change the current reality that you are living in. It’s a series of strategic decisions that you have to make as a Solopreneur to keep the needle moving, build the network you need to have enough oppportunities and then rinse and repeat over and over again until you dial in your sales process!
It’s that simple.
And, to summarize, what I’d like you to take from this article is that you only need to accomplish ONE thing at a time to make the SOLO Funnel work for you. Don’t get overwhelmed by the EVERYTHING you could do. Just focus on clarifying your target audience, connecting with them with value in mind and converting them to take an action that will allow you to get them to know, like and trust you.
Remember, you DON’T need to follow what all the “gurus” are telling you. You DON’T need a webinar, you DON’T need a book, you DON’T need a live event and you DON’T need to “wait till your website is built” because it will never be fully completed.
Keep it simple and just start having conversations with your next clients on LinkedIn!
If you haven’t already, make sure to watch the video above to hear me explain how the SOLO Funnel can work for your Solopreneur business. And, if you’d like to see case study examples, get access to more scripts and ask me questions directly, consider signing up for our next webinar training session titled “The 3 Step Process To Land High Value Clients With The SOLO Funnel”.
And, one more thing, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.. Does the SOLO Funnel resonate with you? Is there anything you have questions on? What have you found to work the best in growing your own Solopreneur business? I’m a mentor to many, but I’m also a student and am constantly seeking feedback to learn and improve! So, don’t hesitate to connect with me and share your thoughts!