If you want to build passive income streams for your consulting or freelancing business, you need to learn how to sell online.
While you may be used to closing your consulting gigs in person or on the phone, that’s not a process that will scale if you’re selling hundreds or thousands of webinars and online classes.
No matter how you run and market the consulting or freelancing side of your business, the passive income side of your operation will need to be focused on marketing and selling to your target customers online. In order to do that effectively, you need to build your online presence the RIGHT way.
The REAL Purpose of Your Business Website
The first step in building your online presence the right way is to understand the true purpose of your business website. The primary purpose of your website needs to be getting people to sign-up for your e-mail list.
Before you protest, let me say this:
YES, you should make sure that people can learn about you and your expertise on your website. And YES, you can be selling your products and services on your website.
And of course, you should be using your website to offer social proof, including testimonials and reviews of your products and your services.
But the absolute highest priority for your site is to get people to sign up for your e-mail list.
Your E-mail List Allows You to Keep in Touch
The reason this is so important is because once you have someone’s e-mail address (and their permission to use it) you can communicate with them over and over again — as often as you like. This means you will have dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of opportunities to sell them your passive income products and your consulting or freelance services.
Chances are, you’ll work hard to drive traffic to your website. But if someone visits your website and then leaves, they’re gone… forever. You have no way of contacting them again.
On the other hand, if they sign up for your e-mail newsletter, you can send not only send them a sales sequence to get them to buy your products, but you can also continue to send them your e-mail newsletter so that when you have another product to offer, they’ll be primed and read to buy it.
Give Them Something of Value for Joining Your List
The best way to get someone to join your e-mail newsletter list (which is also your e-mail sales list) is to offer them something of value in return for their e-mail address — like a free guide. This item should be something of value that costs you little to produce and give to them — something like a free report or e-book, or even a free recorded webinar.
Tell people that when they enter their e-mail in the e-mail sign up form on your site, they’ll not only receive the free item you promised, but they will also get a free subscription your e-mail newsletter.
Make Sure Your Offer is Seen
Make sure you put this offer and the sign-up box for your e-mail newsletter in front of every visitor to your website. This means having it on every page of your site.
You can also create special landing pages that ask people to sign up to receive the free item and drive traffic (via paid advertising, guest posts, social media posts, and other strategies) directly to the landing page.
Use a Hub and Spoke System
Think of all of your online marketing activities like a hub and spoke system. Everything you do online should be based on driving people back to your website or landing pages so that they can sign up for your e-mail newsletter.
All of your activity on social media, any guests posts you write for other sites, any podcast interviews you do, etc. — these are your spokes. They should all be geared towards sending people back to your website, which is the hub of your online activities.
Meanwhile, your website should be created with laser-focus to get people to sign-up for your e-mail newsletter list.
Maximize Your E-Mail Marketing
Of course, getting people to sign-up for your e-mail list is only the beginning. Once you have someone’s e-mail address, you need to use it to build a relationship with them and offer whatever passive income products you're selling.
Primarily, this means sending a regular e-mail newsletter to your list. You need to send your e-mail newsletter at least monthly, or else people will forget they signed up for your list. Frankly, if you want to be really successful, you need to send your e-mail newsletter at least weekly.
Don’t worry though — your e-mail newsletter doesn’t need to be overly-complicated. It can simply be a quick, 400+ word article or blog post on a topic that will be helpful to your audience. The more helpful you are to your audience on a regular basis, the more they will be eager to buy what you are selling.
A Cautionary Note
Don’t spam people. Don’t add people to your e-mail list who didn’t ask to be added. Don’t buy lists or create your own lists by looking for e-mail addresses on people’s websites. People hate spam.
Instead, work on making your marketing better, and offering such a compelling free item that people will be begging to join your e-mail newsletter list, just to get the item you are offering.
Resources to Help You Get Started
Building out your online presence this way may sound intimidating, but it’s not. Thankfully, there are lots of great online tools that can help you quickly and easily build your e-mail newsletter sign-up forms and send out great looking e-mails to your list.
Best E-Mail Marketing Only Solution
If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your e-mail list, send out e-mail newsletters, and drop e-mail sign-up forms onto your website, then I recommend AWeber. I have used AWeber on a number of my sites to manage my e-mail lists, and their interface is easy to use… you won’t need to have any technical expertise in order to use their e-mail list tools.
Best All-in-One Marketing Solution
If you’re seeking an all-in-one solution that will help you build landing pages for your e-mail newsletter, build sales pages (including upsells) for your passive income products, and run your e-mail list (including creating and sending your e-mail newsletter) then I recommend ClickFunnels.
ClickFunnels is a fantastic platform for building an online marketing and sales machine for your business. (A sales funnel is simply a set of landing and sales pages that you walk customers through as they buy passive income products from your business). I use Clickfunnels on all of my sites to run my landing pages and sales pages, and I highly recommend it. It will really help your business grow.
ClickFunnels is easy to use, but it does have a learning curve. In my experience, the best way to get started with ClickFunnels is through the 30-day One Funnel Away Challenge. After completing the One Funnel Away Challenge, you’ll have your first landing page set up, your e-mail list set up, and know everything you need to know to build your online marketing program. (Plus, after you sign up for the Challenge, you can also sign up for a free two-week trial of ClickFunnels).
Best Book for Understanding Online Marketing
If you want to learn more about online marketing — including how to build online marketing funnels to find customers, get them signed up for your list, communicate with them, and get them to buy what you are selling, then my top recommendation is Dotcom Secrets, written by Russell Brunson (he’s the founder of ClickFunnels, which is mentioned above).
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