If there is one thing that a seasoned entrepreneur knows, it’s that if you want to come out on top, you have to stay agile. You can’t be attached to how things “used to be” – especially when it comes to selling online. You need to be willing to pivot on a dime in the name of serving your audience.
One entrepreneur who knows plenty about that is Jill Stanton, co-founder of Screw The Nine to Five, a seven-figure business that helps people transition out of corporate, into entrepreneurship and on to the life of their dreams. “When you come up against an obstacle, the problem is never the problem. It’s how we think about the problem,” explains Stanton, who has helped hundreds of course creators and coaches get their offer dialed in and sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in online offers. If you want to be an online sales success in 2021, here are Stanton’s top tips.
1. Prioritize Customer Acquisition–Not Lead Acquisition
“One of the age-old pieces of advice that floats around the online business space is, ‘Focus on growing your email list and you’ll be successful.’ Unfortunately, it rarely rings true these days. Lead magnets aren’t special or unique enough to get people to ascend into your online course,” explains Stanton.
“Instead, the savviest of course creators are shifting their focus from lead acquisition to customer acquisition. You bypass the whole “I hope they convert” piece of creating lead magnets and go straight to making an affordable introductory offer like a workshop series, mini-course or digital asset bundle.
“In order for this to work, the offer should be low-priced (between $27 and $37) and high-value. Make a potential customer think, ‘Wow! I can’t believe I get all of this for only $37!’ Your offer should deliver them a quick win that helps them achieve the result they joined to get. One of our students, for example, was a mandolin player who would travel the country playing gigs and teaching others on the side how to play the mandolin. When COVID-19 hit, he went all in teaching Mandolin online and offered a $37 program to help beginner players master their first few chords. Within 2 weeks his promotion generated over $21,900 in revenue!
Unlike lead magnets, which typically sit in someone’s inbox collecting dust, your introductory offer gets someone into action immediately due to the “bite-sized” nature of them and the simple fact that they invested money into learning from you and therefore have skin in the game. Use this opportunity to brand yourself and create a list of buyers instead of lookers.
2. Nurture Your Students Through A Facebook Community
“Over at Screw The Nine To Five, we’ve hosted various Facebook groups ranging from ten-day pop ups to groups that ran for more than three years. No matter what the length, one thing that always proves to be true in my experience is that people value community and connection. They also want to know that the businesses and brands they are working with see them, hear them and acknowledge them and their needs. This is where a “student community” comes into play with Facebook Groups,” notes Stanton.
“Once you have shifted your focus from trying to build an email list full of freebie seekers to one that is full of customers, it’s time to nurture those students and give them an even greater experience with your brand. You can do this by hosting Q & A threads, creating action threads, offering accountability threads, and highlighting members who are getting results through your intro offer.
“Two of our previous students created a pop-up group for teachers that landed 2,400 members in just one week. With teachers struggling with uncertainty of the pandemic, the group thrived by offering a sense of community. From there they were able to expand their team, hire even more people, serve thousands of teachers who were trying to navigate online schooling for the first time and 4x’d their 2019 revenue.”
3. Upgrade Your Customers Into Your Flagship Course
“Once you’ve built a list of customers through low-ticket intro offers, upgrade them into your flagship course by hosting a virtual experience, like a 5-day challenge, a pop up Facebook Group centered around a topic that is related to your course launch, or a video series that overcomes objections and sets the stage for your higher ticket program,” suggests Stanton.
“Not only does this work to build attention and anticipation, but it unites people around the topic of your flagship course and gives them a taste of the results you can provide if they join. One of our clients was an acting coach who teaches actors, dancers and performers how to ace their auditions. Despite the fact that COVID-19 brought the entertainment industry to a halt, she was still able to make nearly $37,000 in less than a week through her webinar and three-day bootcamp.
“When scripting your experience, stick to teaching the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ and reserve the ‘how’ for your offer. That means inside your virtual experience you’re teaching them what they need to do, and why it matters in relation to getting the result they crave. Not only will this leave participants wanting more, but it will agitate the gap between your virtual experience and your offer, making it even more enticing for someone to join in order to get the result you deliver inside your flagship course.”