What online tools are available to help you run your business? How can I adapt my funnels to maximize my conversions? These are the kind of questions that plague modern business owners. Thankfully, Susan-Lassiter Lyons is here to give us answers. Susan is an Amazon #1 best-selling author and the founder of The Investor Insights. She’s an expert in online marketing and she walks through the techniques that launched her brand and continued her success. Whether you are ready to jump into advertising, sales, or even running large events, the opportunities are ready to be discovered.
Hello, and welcome to Marketing Speak! I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and today we have Susan Lassiter-Lyons. She’s a good friend and we met through the internet marketing world. We’re in a Mastermind together and it’s just a great privilege to have her on today on this episode. Susan is a long-time real estate investor and internet marketer. She’s the founder of The Investor Insights. She is Amazon’s #1 best-selling author of Getting the Money: The Simple System for Getting Private Money for Your Real Estate Deals. She’s an amazing real estate investor and an amazing marketer too because the stuff I have learned from her around ways to optimize the sales funnel, get more leads coming in, ways to tweak the video sequences, video sales letters, webinars, and so forth-I mean, she is just an amazing marketer and so, welcome! It’s great to have you, Susan!
Thank you, Stephan. It’s so great to be here! Thanks for having me.
Yeah, so you crush it with your marketing, especially at the online marketing stuff. I just love what you do. And you know, let’s just kind of walk through some of the techniques that you use. You’re doing webinars, or have done webinars, video sequences, video sales letters, and blog launches. Can you describe some of these things and how they’ve been varying effectiveness?
Sure! So, you know that everything’s always evolving online, right? And so, we try to evolve and adapt our sales funnels and our marketing funnels to make sure that we’re kind of staying fresh and not being stale but I can tell you, back in the day, when I first launched my training and coaching company in 2009, it was just the straight-up, “Hey, I’m going to write a sales letter, a long form sales letter, and I’m going to offer you my product and you’re going to click the button to buy it, and then I’m going to say thank you, and we’re going to call it a day, and if you know I’m really on top of my game, I might send you an e-mail newsletter maybe once a month.” That, I recognize pretty quickly wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to be at all in terms of the revenue and profitability for the training and coaching company and so, what we decided to put together was video sales letter funnels. We would start with an opt-in and the opt-in would promise some sort of something-either a lead magnet like an e-book back in the day or, I’ll tell you what’s really working right now for lead magnets, is a lot of these little calculators and analyzers that I’m putting together pretty cheaply, offering people, “Hey, this is going to be available as a free download,”-kind of like that that price-to-rent comparison tool that I mentioned a second ago. You know, that’s a high value if somebody can download a piece of software. They can download a customized broadsheet for real estate investing just by opting into something. Chances are good that you’re going to get a pretty high opt-in rate. And then, we share with them a video sales letter. Right now, I’m kind of split-testing the old video sales letter versus the long form written sales letter and it seems like they’re pretty neck and neck right now. There was a time a few years ago when the VSL way outperformed the long form sales letter but now, the long form sales letters are coming back for certain markets and my real estate market seems to be one that is appealing to right now. And then, we got more sophisticated with adding one-click upsells and crossed sells and the buyer sequences to ascend them through kind of our product ladder if you opt in and you purchase a program that teaches you how to get deals and how to, for example, we just talked about go to a bank and negotiate a thousand property package, well, what’s the next thing you’re going to need? You’re going to need to know how to fund that package and so then, the next natural progression would be, “Hey, buy my Getting the Money program to teach you how to fund these deals using private money, investment partners, and what we call, portfolio lenders.” Then, certainly once they get a taste of how they can get the deals and how they can get the money then we need to build the foundational systems and processes for them to grow and scale their company and so then we ascend them to our coaching programs and some of our other high-end events and, you know, so it’s either market right to the opt-in, market right to a webinar registration, which webinars have always have performed well for us and continue to do so. You know, what we’re doing right now with something really cool that I learned from Ryan Deiss, which is the blog launch and that’s where, instead of blasting email after email during a launch like maybe a six or seven-day launch sequence for a specific product to send that traffic to your opt-in or to your video sales letter. We were able to send them to, a really long informed and very detailed content pieces posts on our blog. And so, we’ll write like, a series of three blog posts that are all centered around promoting a certain product and then, we drive that traffic right to those blog posts and I have found out that block lunch for us at least, internally, the conversion rates are running bout neck and neck so I can send the same amount of clicks to my video sales letter funnel as I send to my blog launch funnel just straight to my blog and the end result in terms of sales and earnings-per-click is just about equal. We’ve added some things to the arsenal that are really working as we evolved with the times.
So, the blog launch that’s from Ryan Deiss. Are you part of his DM Lab or did you take some of his certification courses at digitalmarketer.com?
Right. Yeah, digitalmarketer.com. He talks about the blog launch. In one of his programs and now it’s escaping me, I have his program, The Machine, which is the email marketing and then he also talks, I think, about the blog launch just on his digital marketer blog where you know they said, “Hey, here’s another way that we’re able to make email marketing work for us,” and it’s a content strategy, basically, where it just doesn’t feel like it’s so salesy and promotional. People have been on my list for a long time and they’re the people who have been on there since the beginning of 2009. I mean, if all I did was just do promotion after promotion after promotion, it would get pretty tiresome and I think that we’d have a much higher unsubscribe rate that we have so I really do try to figure out ways that I can switch it up with content and promotions and so, to me this was just a no-brainer because it’s blending content and promotion, right? So, if I decide, “Hey, this week I’m going to be promoting this program!” and then the next week, I can’t do promotion email so I have to send out content emails because I don’t want to blow up my list or have high unsubscribes. This is offering the best of both worlds because the people who are valuing it just strictly for content on the blog get, basically, a very detailed outline of exactly how that strategy works and how they could implement it on their own. The people who are clicking on the embedded links and that content to go and opt-in to watch the video sales letter and actually invest in the program are the ones that are kind of raising their hand and saying, “Look, you know I want to go deeper into this and I want your guided support to make this happen!” and so I think it works on both levels. I just know, based on the feedback that we get from our list, the e-mails-I mean, I’ve never had somebody write me a thank you email for sharing with them a straight-up promotional post to an opt-in or a video sales letter but I have gotten probably 15, 17, 18, just straight-up “Thank you for sharing that with me!” e-mails from people on my list when I have promoted the content pieces with our blog launches.
Do you drive Facebook traffic in through Facebook ads to the blog launch as well?
We do, yeah! The opt-in rates that we get from people coming through the blog links from a cold traffic are good. The sales results aren’t quite as high as they are when we market to our house list. But that’s just like anything, right? So, if I’m just going to straight-up promote to a video sales letter to a webinar, I’m obviously going to sell at a higher rate to my warm market than I am to a completely cold market so we do and once they opt in then they get that kind of warm up and indoctrination sequence so that they can learn more about me, they can learn more about what we do, and then we do make sales, obviously, from that and then continue to rotate them through our other offers. But yeah, works well. Works really well!
Are you doing the Facebook advertising yourself? Are you farming that out to an agency or a consultant?
I am. I’ve done it both ways I started doing it myself and then about two years ago, I hired an agency to do it for me. You know, like you and I were talking before we got on the call, I’ve made a lot of pretty significant changes in my business just in the last year or so and I had ended that agreement with the outsource company I was using for the ads in December 2014 and so all of last year and so far this year, I’ve been running the ads just myself.
Wow, you are jack of all trades! It’s pretty amazing!
Kind of, I don’t recommend it to everybody because it can be a lot of work but at least you know until I get everything-and this is just me, I prefer to get things dialed in myself before I really kind of turn on the faucet and scale something up and so, if I’m really going to blow the doors off something I want to at least have a proof of concept and proof that this thing is going to convert and then I’ll certainly turn it over to an agency but I like to do the testing phase myself.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. What sort of testing tools or regimens do you use? Are you using multivariate testing platforms like Optimizely? Are you just doing a real simple A/B split test?
We do A/B split tests. I’ve been doing some stuff with heat mapping. It’s really just a question of, you know, what landing page is going to convert better for us? That’s just the real basic strategy for me so I mentioned, I’m going to send some of the traffic to the video sales letter. I’m going to send some of the traffic to the long form sales letter. I’m going to send some of the traffic to a video sales letter where the “Buy Now” button is a static button. I’m going to send some of the traffic to video sales letter where the “Buy Now” button pops at like, it’s a timed pop where it will pop later on. Send some of the traffic to what I refer to as, a short form sales letter, which is kind of a summary of what they get with the VSL embedded to the top and so across all of those different types of landing environments that’s where I test. I’ll keep track of whatever the lead source is and what the sales conversions are across all of those various landing pages and then we usually send the majority of the traffic by lead source to the one that converts the best. It’s a pretty simple process, honestly. I know that there are people who probably are selling a whole heck of a lot more than I am. Someone who can really enjoy the impact of one quarter of 1% improvement on something. Unfortunately, I’m not running that kind of volume yet so we just look based on the lead source whether it’s Facebook traffic, LinkedIn traffic, Twitter traffic, or blog traffic and what landing page format is going to work and convert the best for us then we just we just go with that.
I know you’re downplaying your success a little bit here but I do have to give you some kudos here for building kind of an empire. Major seven figures sort of empire. I don’t know to the degree but making that kind of money on an annual basis and being able to fill-I know you’re not doing these events now where you fill 200 or so people in a room twice a year but you were doing that and that’s impressive! That’s really pretty darn cool! And so now, you’ve switched to smaller events because you’re enjoying that more. We talked before this episode about how your business is boring and it’s your own fault so you didn’t like the large events. You didn’t like all the logistics and so forth so you switched to smaller events. How have you adjusted things to accommodate this new model?
Here’s the thing, I’ve been investing in real estate since 1994 so that’s 22 years. I have spent a lot of time in this business and in this industry. I’ve had my training in coaching business since 2009 so what is that? Seven years now? Eight? I should be able to do math! See? Proof that you don’t have to be able to do math in order to be a successful investor! But yeah, so I’ve been doing everything I’ve been doing for a long time and as an entrepreneur-and I think this will actually resonate with people that are listening to this, or entrepreneurs who are listening, or people who run their own businesses-we kind of get stuck in these ruts and for me, I was always so caught up in the revenue goal so each year, the goals that I would set for my business would be a revenue goal. I remember, the first year that I hit a million dollars in sales, it was a huge deal. I was like, “Oh my God, I feel like this is what I’ve been trying to do all of my entrepreneurial life and I finally did it!” I think we did it back in 2012 when we first had a million dollars in revenue for the year and that year we actually hit that figure in July of that year. It’s pretty fast. I experienced back then like this real weird feeling of, it was kind of like, an entrepreneurial letdown. Like, my friend, Suzanne, at the time referred to it as “the million dollar blues”-that you know, you work so hard as an entrepreneur to hit this revenue figure and to have this pinnacle that we’ve kind of set for ourselves of this million dollar business and you do it and then you’re thinking, “Now, what do I do?” So, for my next act, am I just going to keep doing this and trying to grow to another arbitrary revenue goal? Or, am I going to do something different? It just felt really weird to say. “Okay, next year, we’re going to do two million dollars and the year after that, we’re going to three million dollars!” because it wasn’t meaningful to me anymore. So, for me, it was like, okay, last year, 2015, I turned 50 and I had accomplished every single goal that I’d set out to accomplish both personal and professional except for I still bite my nails and I still need to lose some weight but besides those two things, everything else I’ve crossed off the list. I’ve got the million dollar dream house. I get to vacation wherever I want whenever I want. I’ve got a Porsche. You know, I have the life that I dreamt about back when I was on the road three weeks a month. This is what I wanted. It’s like when you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of, what do you dream of next and what’s the next thing? And so, I was experiencing some of this weird depression, I think, and I’m referring to it now as “my business midlife crisis” where I decided this is boring and I’m not fulfilled by it anymore and I don’t want to do it and I’m going to sell my business and maybe I’ll do something else and so I went through this really weird funk last year where I decided I just want to either sell this business and walk away from it altogether or I’m going to recommit to this business but I’m going to recommit to it and do some major changes in the way that I do things. Luckily, I chose the latter. I decided to eliminate all those things in the business that I didn’t enjoy doing anymore even though they brought a lot of revenue. I didn’t enjoy doing them and I was going to start going back to doing things that I really enjoyed in my business and one of those things, one of the flips was, as you mentioned, it’s very lucrative to hold these really big 200-people events. You put 200 people in a hotel ballroom and you go up on stage and you train for three days and then you invite them to join a high-priced coaching program. I mean, we do like, half a million dollars in sales on a weekend but it wasn’t fun, it was super exhausting, and it just required a huge marketing effort to put that many butts in seats twice a year. I didn’t want my business to just to be an event business. I wanted it to be more personal. I wanted to find a way that I could make it more affordable for people and for a lot of people because honestly, where I had kind of gotten to was, I had priced myself out of the range that most new investors and certainly even a lot of beginning successful investors-I’d price myself out of their market and I really wanted to attract them so I thought, alright, I’m going to not do the big events, I’m in a focus on having smaller events. I’m going to work with the people that I really want to work with, and instead of that old fashioned internet marketing way that they taught us back in the day of, oh, you know, don’t even have a phone. Don’t talk to your customers and just do everything online. Last year was also about randomly picking up the phone and calling customers and interviewing them and finding out what they wanted and what would be meaningful to them and what would really help them achieve their goals and, once I’ve kind of inserted myself physically and emotionally back into my business, it started to be really fun and fulfilling again. That’s where I am right now. We’re focused on doing the smaller events. I’m focused on creating amazing content that you know is getting a lot of great feedback from visitors on our blog. We’re growing organic traffic month after month and we’re experiencing excellent, you know, I get like, 400-500 leads a month just from the blog. That’s just free organic traffic with no marketing effort whatsoever. Just from the content that we put out. I’m also enjoying bringing the sales process to a more one-on-one. Like, let’s have a sales conversation and find out if this program is right for you versus me, standing on a stage and talking at people for three days in this whole kind of like “I’m the star”-type of environment and the people are going to join because of that star power. For me, it’s a much more real experience. It’s much more fulfilling experience. I’m not going to lie-because we ditch some of the things that weren’t fun that were very lucrative, we’ve taken a hit revenue-wise but you know, we’re obviously going to make that up pretty quickly just by following this new path and then adding to it and really delivering what it is that our customers want.
See, you have your passive income stream from the real estate investments, you have active income coming in from your coaching and small events and to do one of your smaller events, how much would that cost and for how many days? How does that work? Is it like, 10 people in the room?
Yeah, so these are centered on hot topics and we have one that we do around a specific commercial investing strategy and we cap it at ten people. I work at my home now-that was another change that I made. I closed down my office and everybody’s virtual now and I get to work from my home office so that I get to go to an office, but I have an entrepreneurial space that I belong to where I get my mail and I can go occasionally and have office space and we do the events there so I don’t have to worry about a hotel. Ten people, it’s anywhere depending on what we’re teaching, it’s anywhere from like, $3,000- $5,000 a ticket. They get to come. It’s an implementation event as opposed to a teaching course and sales event. You are paying to come and work and I’m going to be right there with you while you’re making offers and while you’re negotiating deals and you’re going to get the benefit of actually taking the action and doing the implementation right there in the room. The one thing that I always found was missing from the big events that I did was that people would sit and listen and they take great notes and they’d think it was fantastic but then they go home and they’d be staring at this giant binder full of overwhelming information and when it came time to actually take the action, they were overwhelmed or they were just scared out of their minds and couldn’t take that first step. I didn’t see the type of outcome or success that I was hoping for from those events and so, I’m not going to continue to put forth that kind of personal, physical effort to stand up on stage and hold the energy in a room for three days and talk versus the marketing effort to put that many people in a room if the outcome isn’t going to be that great because I am about the outcome. I want the people to have the success, right? So, with these smaller groups it’s like, look, man, this is it, and I call it forced implementation. They’ll force you to take out your phone and make this phone call and negotiate this deal and make this offer right in front of me and I’m going to be right here beside you every step of the way so that you can do this and now the results that you know we’re getting from these events and from the people we are coaching as a result of this forced implementation strategy is like, a hundred times better than what we would see from those big events. That’s part of what makes it fulfilling and exciting again for me. As the leader of this company, it’s like, I don’t want to just put out stuff and have it sit on people’s shelves like the majority of the real estate investing training does. You know, I’m guilty of it too. I have stuff that I’ve purchased that I’ve never even opened or looked at. I just buy it because you think it’s the time you want to do it and then for some reason, you don’t and you move on to something else. Happens to all of us but look, if you’re going to come to one of these smaller events, it’s forced implementation and accountability, and we’re going to do this. Now, those are the small events. I’ve also kind of recommitted to just kind of flooding my market with affordable, entry-level, online home study programs as well and my market will just buy all day long and twice on Sunday the little $97- $497 entry-level front-end training programs. You know, for a long time I was like, I’m going to get away from that. I’m not going to sell anything for less than $2,000 and now, I’ve kind of come full circle and realized that this is what my market wants and it’s super easy to build those funnels and automate that and obviously, the more product that you have to sell somebody, the more opportunity there is to generate revenue.The more product that you have to sell somebody, the more opportunity there is to generate revenue. Click To Tweet
And so, how are you automating this? Are you using something like ClickFunnels, LeadPages, Infusionsoft, or Ontraport? What sort of tools?
Yes, the tools that we use are Infusionsoft and I use OptimizePress. I also have a LeadPages account and I’ll use LeadPages occasionally-I like to use LeadPages for webinar and registration pages because those go-to webinar registration pages are kind of ugly but for the most part, it’s like 95% of our stuff is built using OptimizePress and Infusionsoft and that’s how we’re able, through the Infusionsoft campaign builder, to have these kind of engagement sequences when people opt-in where we try to get them to buy the product and then if they don’t, then we have so many different opportunities to send them to-different product funnels based on feedback that they give us. They’ll opt-in to a certain front and lead funnel and if they purchase that program then they go into an ascension sequence where we try to sell them various upsells that go along with that program, to either speed up the results or automate the result. We’ll also invite them to come to a webinar to learn about our coaching program and invite them if they’re qualified to get on a call with me, we’re all make that offer to them. We also have built in some survey technology into our Infusionsoft so that we can kind of send people into the sequences that they’re interested in so that they can tell me what they want to buy as opposed to me kind of guessing, right? So, if you come into my instant private money funnel, for example, that’s a product that we have and it’s a $97.00 front-end product where we teach people how to locate private money lenders from the public records. If you don’t buy that product, then I’ll probably hit you with a survey through that engagement sequence that says, “Look, you haven’t purchased this thing. What is the actual problem that you’re looking to solve in your business?” and then based on that result, we have some conditional logic built in that we can send them into. Another funnel that would be more appropriate to what they want to do and so, we’re always trying to figure out like, “Look, man, what is it that we can do to make you a successful investor?” and we just kind of keep our ear to the to the feedback that we get and the requests that we get and we try to fulfill it every level.
That’s pretty bad ass. I mean, that’s serious automation with the upsells and the downsells so it’s really, really cool. So, you’re driving people to your small events through the webinars. Is that the best way to get people into the small events? Or, are you getting people to sign up for small events just from consuming the $97.00 product and they’re like, okay, I totally want the next thing?
It’s both and it’s really interesting. I can’t say that one works any better than the other but I can say that one way will work better than the other based on certain strategies and here’s what I mean by that-so with racing private capital, for example. I have a program called, Getting the Money. It’s a $500 product. All of the traffic that goes through that funnel is generated with the webinar and so people will watch the webinar, they’ll buy the $500 product and then as part of that, ascension sequence will invite them to a small event where we’ll work with them to build that division of their business out to work with individual investment partners. If that doesn’t work, then we have an opportunity to invite them to our coaching program where that’s a primary focus of what we do in our coaching program. If they are doing it on a larger scale, I have another opportunity where I can work with them on putting together hedge funds and private equity funds so we have a funnel that works out well for that and that specific-you know, the small event that’s attached to that and, well, there are two small events attached to that plus a coaching program. All of those sales from that funnel are driven by web and are on the front-end. I can’t get anything else to work and I’m not quite sure why but I’m not going to, whatever if it’s webinar, it’s webinar and we’ll just keep going with what works, right? But I have this other program, it’s a $197 front-end program and it’s a commercial investing strategy and I just recently launched a small event. It was $4000 for a ticket to that small event and I marketed it only to the people who had invested in the $197 product, never been to a webinar, just came from whatever lead source they came through. They opt-in, watched a video sales letter, and bought the product. I wrote a good old fashioned long form sales letter. I sent two emails to the people who had previously purchased that program and sold out that event in about, well, less than six days at $4000 per ticket. Actually, I accidentally oversold it. We sold 12 seats instead of 10 because somebody had saved the page before I took the link out but we still let them in. But yeah, so it really depends. It kind of goes back to what you asked me before about like, the split testing that I do. It’s all, usually, just based on the lead source and what landing page is going to work best for the specific product. Now if I go market that small event again and send the traffic to that long form written sales letter and it doesn’t convert the way I wanted to convert, well, then I’ll test a webinar right because I know that the webinar works in my other product funnels but until something doesn’t work, I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out another way to make it work. Does that make sense?
Yeah, totally. Now, are you doing a lot of four video sequences to promote whether it’s an event or a product? I just did a launch or I’m in the process of doing a launch for Passions Into Profits with Kris Jones and we put together a four-video sequence and that is a free “boot camp”, and then they get to paid eight week-course if they ascend after watching those four videos. It’s not dissimilar from what Michael Port did with HeroicPublicSpeaking.com and getting people to watch a four video sequence and on Todd Herman’s The 90-Day Year. This is a pretty tried and true formula. Are you employing this as well or have you in the past and decided it didn’t work as well as webinars or something else?
Yeah. You know that kind of goes back to the old fashioned product launch formula, right? I have tried that in my business. You know, it’s one of those things that I’m going to chalk up to: It worked really well until it didn’t. For me, right? I know that formula is still crushing out for a lot of people out there in a lot of various markets. For me, I found that it just isn’t as effective anymore. I’m not quite sure why it is. I think that, at least some of the feedback that I got from my people was, look, we don’t want to have to sit through these long videos because we don’t have that kind of time for this. We just want to know what it is that you have to offer, how it can help us and then just give us the link so that we can buy it. Yeah, just take my money and so it’s like, look, who am I to delay the buying process for you? You have to kind of look at your own demographics and I did a really detailed study on my demographics off my list and the psychographics and who they are and what makes them tick and so, I think that that’s the reason why a lot of things that you find that work for other people don’t necessarily work across all markets. With my people, it’s 75% male and 25% female. My whole audience skews older so these are the age buckets. They’re the most productive for us and the majority are between 45-60 years old so these are people who don’t want to sit on a computer and watch a video. They want to read something. They’re used to reading something. These are the old guys who are used to reading the newspapers. I think that’s why I’m finding that my long form written sales letters now are either equal to or outperforming the video sales letters across all my funnels because this is just what they like to do and I think that it’s reinforced by the fact that they’re sending me thank you notes for blog posts. They love reading so it’s like the video based sale sequence. You know, that watch four videos and then I’ll have the sales video, and then the opportunity to buy, and then I’ll close it, and then I’ll reopen it, and then we’ll have maybe a live cast or some like that. It’s just too drawn out. It delays the buying process and the feedback that I get from my people is that, they just kind of lose patience with it.
Yeah. Well, I guess the bottom line here is, understand your market.
Understand your market. You have to know your audience and that’s, again, one of the big lessons that I’ve learned over the course of the last year or so. When I try to look at my promotional calendar or my product launch calendar and figure out what product am I going to release, or what am I going to work on, or what’s the blog post going to be about, I mean there are lots of things that interest me still about real estate but when I actually did that thing where I wanted to get back in touch with my list and my people and I would pick up the phone and call people, once we got over the initial shock and they thought they’re being pranked.
It’s like, Justin Timberlake picking up the phone and calling you-
Exactly. It give me, definitely, an inflated ego but once we got past the first five minutes of, “Yes, it’s really me. Now, can I please ask you some questions?” I got really useful feedback and it was like, look, what I want to talk about and what they want to learn were so far apart, it wasn’t even funny and when I finally just started giving them what they asked for in the format that they ask for and that they vote for using their wallets then that’s when things really started to take off for us again.
I’ve just recently surveyed my list. I sent an email out about a couple weeks ago and I offered a free electronic copy of one of my books because I’ve got three books now with O’Reilly. That’s a pretty good deal to get a free electronic book and some of these books are like, $50. The Art of SEO is $50 retail. Social ECommerce is $40. So, they get to pick one of these for free just by filling out this 10-question survey. I wanted to find out what were their hot buttons and are they more in the consulting area? Are they more retailers? Or, they’re business to business? I was asking all these questions and got a pretty decent response. It was in the double digit percentages but it wasn’t huge. It wasn’t like, 50%. I was happy with it but what you’re talking about of picking up the phone and calling people kind of scares me-it feels weird when you don’t text somebody in advance and say, “Hey, if you’re free for a call.” I know back in the day-I’m not a spring chicken, I’m 45 years old-but it used to be, you just pick up the phone and you call somebody but now it’s feels weird unless you’ve texted in advance. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I just need to get over that.
Well, let me tell you something. I felt the same way that you did and that’s why I kind of made reference to the old internet marketing style that we were taught, right? You know, just hide behind your computer. Don’t even put a phone number on your website because the last thing you want to do is talk to somebody and I really bought into that. You know, everything went to voicemail. We have a support desk, you don’t call, you have to write out and I don’t like that kind of stuff. My mindset was really changed about that when I started picking up the phone and calling people. People are happy to hear from you. I think if you decided to go that route and-you may or may not-but if you decided to go that route, I think you’d have the same experience. People, once they got over the initial shock that it’s, “Oh my God! Stephan? Stephan Spencer? Is it really you? THE Stephan Spencer?” You know, it’s like, “Yeah, yeah. It’s me! It’s really me!” then you can have some really productive and really great conversations with people. You know, just the information that I get is going to be a lot more detailed and a lot more in-depth than, “Hey, click here to fill out a survey to get something free.” I tell you, kind of right along the same lines, when I decided that I needed to find a way to make the high-ticket sale work because I wasn’t doing those big events anymore and that’s how I was selling the big ticket coaching programs was from the stage. I wasn’t going to do those big events anymore. I had to figure out how I’m going to sell coaching now and it was a one-on-one sales conversation that I had to master and I sucked at it. And so, reaching out and having just initial conversations with people helped me get over my fear and my mindset issue of people are going to be disturbed, or they’re going to get mad at me, or they’re not going to want to talk to me, or whatever. Now, I’ll pick up the phone and call and pick somebody’s brain about a topic, or what do you think about this, or if I had this kind of program would you be interested in, or what would you do if you were doing it, or what would you want to see as part of it if I had it. Heck. Sometimes I’ll just turn those outbound cold calls into the sales calls too because people will be like, “Gee, how can I get plugged in and do more with you?” Well, let’s talk about my coaching program and see if you’re a good fit. Sometimes those outbound-again, using air quotes you can’t see-cold calls, which are really warm calls because they know who you are and they know what you’re about, can turn into a $7,000-$10,000 sale so once I made a few of those, it was like, “Oh, I don’t have a problem picking up the phone and talking to people anymore!”
Yeah, okay, you’re convincing me. I put a lot of time and effort into creating the survey though.
Well, use it. You know, I’m not saying completely-
Well, no, I did use it. I did use it.
You know, it’s fine to have both. I certainly have both. I talked about the surveys that we have embedded in our funnel just to help us know directionally where to send people. But yeah, I mean I just think that we have to do something that’s going to differentiate ourselves from the competition and I think, as online marketing evolves and online marketers get smarter and smarter, we have to figure out how to kind of maintain our position in a very crowded and competitive marketplace. If I can create a personal bond with a certain segment of people on my list who are going to give me really great information, and all it takes is a couple of hours of my time each week, then that’s time that in my opinion, is really well-spent.
We definitely need to wrap up the episode here but just for my listeners, what I used as my survey system is, Survey Monkey and then I tied that into my Infusionsoft using as a peer connector because Infusionsoft and Survey Monkey don’t natively talk to each other so I needed a middleware connector and so, I used as a Zapier for that. I think you, Susan, your survey is purely inside of Infusionsoft, correct?
Yes, that is correct. We have certain things set up because we use Zapier too. We use Zaps for certain things but mostly, for adding people to automatically having people to webinars and stuff like. But yeah, we were able to configure it all internally like with action sets and campaign builder in Infusionsoft.
Yeah. We just didn’t like the look of it. It was kind of clunky.
Hey, no bones about it, it’s not good looking! But yeah, again-
So, that’s why I went with Survey Monkey. All right, cool. Well, this has been fabulous. I just so greatly appreciate you taking all this time to share your experience, knowledge, expertise in real estate investing and marketing, in particular, online marketing. Yeah, this has just been amazing so thank you again! How would somebody who’s listening and wants to sign up for coaching, or a small event, or for an information product, where would they go?
Over to the blog. That’s where you can find everything out. So, you head over to TheInvestorInsights.com.
Cool! Well, again, thank you and thanks, listeners-will catch you on the next episode! I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. Have a great day!
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
☑ Adapt your sales and marketing funnels to make sure that you’re staying fresh and continuing to try new things.
☑ Start an email or sales letter with an opt-in that promises something, such as an e-book or tool that you can put together cheaply, but adds value.
☑ When adding upsells to ascend clients through your product ladder, make the add-ons something that they will need to get the most value out of their initial purchase.
☑ Tack sales conversions across all of your landing pages, then send the majority of your traffic to the lead source that has converted the best.
☑ If your business holds events, consider adding or switching to events that are smaller, more personalized, and focused on completing the work together.
☑ Use a program like Infusionsoft to help guide your clients through the sales process, and different programs that interest them.
☑ Use surveys to find your client’s interests so you are sending them personalized offers that they want.
☑ Don’t do something that isn’t fun or doesn’t fulfill you, as a entrepreneur you can pick and choose what works for you.
☑ It’s okay to try all of the options when it comes to marketing to see what works best for you, but if you find something that you love and that works, stick with it.
About Susan Lassiter-Lyons
Susan Lassiter-Lyons is a long-time real estate investor and internet marketer. She’s the founder of The Investor Insights. She is the Amazon #1 best-selling author of Getting the Money: The Simple System for Getting Private Money for Your Real Estate Deals.