How to politics-proof your freelancing business | Braless on Couch

There’s a huge issue out there that’s impacting just about every business on the market, especially online business owners. No one’s talking about it, but it’s such a crucial thing to address.

It’s how to politics-proof your biz.

How is your business surviving the political turmoil these days?

At the end of the day, the environment and the situations around your business are going to impact your marketing. Not only that, but it will also affect your revenue, profit levels, and risks. It’s better to address these issues now than to fizzle out in your everyday marketing routine.

First off, as a service-based business, you’re practically golden. Services are like tanks- they can last through shitty times. You’ve got a sustainable business model that luckily your clients will need even more during the distractions of political chaos. Even big businesses are pushing services right now! With all of these really important issues coming up, it gets harder to grab people’s attention.

Unfortunately politics are something you can’t compete against when it comes to selling an ebook or course to the people you know need it. Your target customer is really only going to invest if your process is proven to work. Otherwise, people are going to be consumed with all of these other things that need to be addressed, like a full culture reboot. It might be time to offer a service instead.

To politics-proof your business, you need to have something that is in high demand that your clients can’t get anywhere else. Your services and your brain are a high-priced commodity that nobody else can get right, because your brain is golden.

Secondly, and this is totally an opinion, but I have an obligation to stand up for my digital family and choose what I stand for. I know where I stand and like to make my opinion known, which can be attractive to some people and a repellent for others.

At the end of the day when it comes to political-proofing your business, there will come a time where you have to stand up for what you believe in or don’t. It doesn’t have to be on every pressing issue, but it may be a key issue that your audience needs to know so they know if they feel safe and included or not. You’ll notice big brands doing the same, and that’s because it’s important to show the people following you that you have their backs so you can gain their trust.

Lastly, when it comes to you getting people’s attention, your marketing has to address what is going on right now. A lot of time when I’m teaching marketing, I’ll ask “Where are your customers hanging out online right now? What are they doing?” Right now, the answer to that is Facebook and Twitter, where they are all checking in to see what chaos is happening in the world.

You need to find ways to stand out and adapt to the political times – aka Evolve and Succeed (get it?). Unfortunately this political turmoil is not new and your business has to evolve in order to move along with the times. Better to address it now than to let it affect your revenue in the future.

So a quick recap:

  1. Services are the small ship, ride the wave, you’re always needed.
    Courses are a bigger ship, always having to change direction and work a little harder.
    Remain flexible and adapt to the time!
  2. Speak up about what’s important and keep addressing the issues.
  3. When it comes to making your business survive, you need to have a marketing plan in place to adapt to the changes in our society. Your message needs to be clear and relevant

Get out there. Take a stand. Make your presence known. See you next week!


How This One Page Generates Thousands of Dollars by Itself

I’ve got something that applies to any industry when it comes to selling your services online. You don’t even need to break your business apart and start from scratch to do it. Instead, you’ll be simplifying your biz and making your life a hell of a lot easier.

First off, if your marketing isn’t getting you the clients you need – you need to take a step back and see where it’s going wrong. It could be something as simple as this ONE page, and I’m here to help you with that buddy.

As long as you have your basics in place – social media is running, you have even a minor following, your website is up, etc., then you can do this. You CAN sell all of your packages.

There was a hint there.. did you catch it? We’re talking about your WORK WITH ME PAGE!

You need to be able to have your bottom level, mid-level, and top-level packages sell and upsell themselves. Your services should get value by being compared against each other.

Think about when you go shoe shopping. You come across a wide range of prices and quality, and for the most part you know you’re going to get what you pay for.

A $10 pair of shoes are going to be the lowest quality, but hey, they keep those feetsies warm.
A $50 pair of shoes will give you mid-level quality and a longer amount of shoe-life.
Those top shelf, $100 shoes should basically sell themselves. They’re top-quality, will last for years, and will certainly give you your money’s worth.

You WANT your services to give off that same structure. People should know what level of work they’re going to get out of each package you offer.

Your clients want a clear message of what you’re going to offer. They want to know what you’re good at. They want to know what you want to stay away from.

Here’s a quick structure of what your Work with Me page should look like:

  • First part = A quick blurb about yourself/your work
  • Second part = A handful of testimonials
  • Then your packages:
    • Top level package
    • Mid-level package
    • Entry level package

By doing that, it’ll allow people to see what you’re good at and compare everything at once. Separating this information or creating custom packages might confuse your clients and steer them away from what you can offer.

There should be a link for each of your packages leading to an individual sales page. Your sales page is where you lock in that sale, that client, your income for the next few months.

I have a specialized sales page course that you can go and grab right now called Written Gold. It’s my strategy I use to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales every year. My Be Booked Out students have been KILLING it using this strategy, and I want you to have the same success.

When you have a Work with Me page that works, as well as three sales pages that work off each other, you’re going to have a much, much easier time bringing in a consistent income.

Click here to enroll now!


Preselling Your Course Idea (and Get Paid to Make it)

Psst, the Internet is keeping a massive secret and it’s all about preselling.

You can have a five-figure launch with nothing to sell.

As a one person money-maker focused on making bank with the costs possible, you don’t have time to waste on creating a course that no one buys. That sorta strategy will kill your business like a poorly made shuffle.

I’ve made over 20k in pre-sales alone and saved myself thousands of dollars by using Darwin’s theory of selling – only the profitable survive.

Here’s the trick – your ideas can be sold before they’ve even been created. That’s the beauty of preselling, and I’m going to take you through how you can do it for your next or first course using webinars.


What is ‘preselling’?

It’s the private launching of your course idea.

The strategy? To make sure it’s profitable by getting hard cash in your hands before you make it.

Basics of marketing – WANT vs. NEED (Course idea)

First, you need to have an idea that your peeps want not need. Crucial difference there is that most people create a course that THEY want to make, not that their peeps wanna buy. Skip that hard learnt lesson and make things that are easy to sell.

How do you find that idea? Well, you ask questions and listen. Read between the lines of what people want – they wanna learn SEO? Why? Because it means free new buyers coming to their digital doorstep.

Take that data and turn it into your course idea – teach bloggers how to get more fans by making a few changes to how they use their WP blog.

Call it ‘BlogZilla – the course that teaches you how to get more fans shouting about your blog’.

Side-note: Making courses based on surveys is a waste of your time because no one knows what they want till they see it. Surveys will lead you astray for creating profitable products.

For my 28k launch, I did three webinars educating, exciting, and pitching people who were interested in the topic my course solved (getting 6 months of clients).Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

In my first webinar, I had 91 people sign-up and 31 live attendees. (Ignore how WebinarJam decided this was two different days – Oct 1st/7th. It was a date change that confused it.) The live attendees are the crucial part of this process, they’re the ones who are truly interested and are the best test for your course idea.

Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

On this webinar, we made approx $14k worth of sales! The majority paid with payment plans (which help decrease friction of buying the program) so it reflected differently in our payments dashboard.

Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Based on the first webinar alone I knew my program idea was a solid money-maker. It had already made 5 figures!

(Head’s up: everything time related with these screenshots is wonky. I was in New Zealand and half our apps are USA time based so the dates never line up right.)

Why? Preselling is the only way to tell if you have a money-maker in your head. You create the marketing (and a freebie), then sell it till you know it’s a winner or wannabe.


Here’s the equation to a profitable pre-sale:

A course you’re PRETTY sure your ideal client WANTS + private funnels/webinars to sell it = solid pre-sale.


If people want something they’ll put money down for it.

No money = no desire for it = don’t make it.

At the end of the day, what you WANT to create plays no part in profit-making, you need to kill your (brain) babies to move forward in your business.

Between your pre-sale and delivering your course you could have a couple months maximum to get the sales in and start writing the content. That might mean that you’re wrapping up your launch and also writing content for your course which is Mad Max levels of crazy but so so worth it.

For our launch, we started preselling October 7th and then started the program on November 8th 2015. The total sales generated by using pre-sales techniques and launching was  approx 28k.

Let’s get you preselling!


Here’s my 7 Step Process to Preselling With Webinars

1. Pick an income goal for your pre-sale

Take a look at your audience size and aim for about 2% of them buying your course. Multiply that number by your course price, how much would you make?

Is that enough for you to create this course?

If yes, then time to get selling it. If no, then it’s time to focus on list-building first.

For Evolve and Succeed, our numbers were (late in 2015, before we switched to ConvertKit): 919 subscribers x .02 = approx 18 buyers. Our program is $997 so $997 x 18 = $17,946.

Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Well worth my time to create the intense program.

Per our first webinar, we hit 14 out of the 18 needed buyers.

We were on our way!

2. Pick your pre-sale strategy

The fun part – selling! You can sell something without it ever having to be on your website. Which means that if your course is not in line with your audience you can still make money from it.

Por ejemplo: you only have zebras on your list, but you wanna start targeting lions, but that would confuse (and terrify) your zebras – BOOM! Private pre-sale.

How do you sell it privately? Preselling is perfect with webinar funnels! The supreme funnel of all funnels! Funnels are a set of emails that educate, excite and inspire the reader to become a buyer. A webinar funnel uses a webinar to help fast-track the relationship between the reader and you. It burns down hesitation, opens up trust, and speeds up the buying process.

This is what the webinar funnel looks like:

Social media promos > opt-in/webinar sign-up > pre-webinar emails (educates them around your course’s main pain point) > live webinar (either solo or with another person)> post-webinar emails (pushing them to buy before the private sale closes) > send them to a waitlist if they don’t buy.

3. Create a pre-sales page + buy button

Your sales page is a key component of converting your prospects into buyers for a five-figure launch. Your presales page has crucial key elements that get those course sales in. Here are five things you’re probably doing wrong on your sales page right now. 

Here’s where you want to spend your time:

Hook, line, sinker: you need to start with a one or two sentence description of what your ideal client is struggling with.

“You spend Friday night crying into Merlot because your business isn’t getting enough clients in the door to make it profitable (and that’s why it’s a $5 bottle of Merlot).”

This works perfectly as your course subtitle.

A clear description of life after they purchase your product or service. At Evolve and Succeed, we like using bullet points so it’s fast and easy for customers to read.

Image_4.jpg

This fits in the course description section.

Testimonials: These should be short and reinforce the end goal you’re selling.

For example: if your promise is that they’ll become a zebra after taking your course, the testimonials should say “I’m a zebra now! All thanks to ZebraQueen!” Since you’re preselling and you don’t have the product, you can pull testimonials from other services or products you’ve offered and tailor them as best as possible to this new course.

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Mock-up versions of your product. You  haven’t created your product yet, I know, but if you’ve decided it’s profitable to go forward and create it, after step one, you need to design at least the logo or top of your sales pages, and you can pop that into a mac screen mockup and boom! Done. People like to “see” the product before they purchase. Make sure to mock up any bonuses that they get as well, so that people who process information visually can get a sense of what they’re getting.

Bonuses: group calls, your other courses, additional PDFs, interviews with experts, physical products, discounts, etc.

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Payment section with the button. Most people hide their prices because they have selling shame. You need your buy now buttons and prices to be loud and proud. You can choose to have them pay in full or via payment plan, depending on the price of your course and what’s best with your individual audience. If you do tiered you want ONE button to be a different color, preferably the one that’s most popular.

Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

If you do the price by itself you want the price above the button and by itself.

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed
You want to have the buy buttons/pricing table on your sales page MULTIPLE TIMES, not just once but up to 3 or 4 times. This way you get your reader comfortable with the price and make it as easy as possible for them to buy.

4. Create an opt-in PDF or freebie content (optional, but stupendous)

Okay, but Halley, what’s an opt-in?

Strap in, amigo. An opt-in is basically a free goodie (think: PDF, video, worksheet, cartoon, etc) you give someone in exchange for their email address.  You give them valuable information delivered straight to their inbox, you get 24/7 access to their inbox. The beauty of this is that you use this to strategically pick out people who could be potential buyers for your course, making your life way easier when it comes to preselling.

The opt-in is an first taste of getting success with the process or method you’re going to teach them in your course.

Easy. Actionable. Simple to understand.

Once you’ve created your opt-in freebie, you need people to see it and get excited about it. Ways you can do that: social media, blog posts, webinars, ads, and asking friends to help promote.

The person who signs up to get your freebie is someone who is VERY likely to buy your course so that means that you will send them a series of emails selling them your course after they get the freebie (it’s called a launch sequence, we’ll cover that more later).

5. Create a landing page for opt-in/freebie/webinar

A landing page is a stand-alone page that forces your reader to take action, specifically to get your freebie. You want to give them one clear, concise action forward: click this button and you get a PDF.

Because everyone has the attention span of a cracked out hamster these days, you need to give them only one thing to do on your landing page and that is click the button for your freebie.

For my past product, Five Figure Launch, our sign-up/landing page looked like this:

Preselling your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

It gives anyone who lands on the page a clear understanding of what it is that they’re getting, and they only have one button to click that leads to submitting their e-mail address.

Side-note: notice how the button is that TMNT green vs red like the rest of the page? That’s what you want, you want the buy now/sign-up button to stand out against the rest of the theme.

6. Private launch sequence

The private launch sequence (which we talked about in step four) is 4-10 emails that take the reader from sorta interested to not being able to sleep from wanting your course so bad.

For your best success you should have your webinar in the middle of this set of emails so it looks like:

Signs up for freebie > gets 1-2 emails educating them and inviting them to webinar > signs up to webinar > gets 2-4 emails talking about what the webinar will cover > goes to webinar (either buys on there but if they don’t) > gets 4-6 emails exciting them and urging them to buy.

The crux of this is the webinar and unlike solely email-based sequences, you’re going to get a higher conversion rate (aka more peeps turning from strangers to buyers) because the attendee can ask you questions, learn more about why they need your course, and get incredible value.

Webinars are an art form and when it comes to mastering them you totally want Mariah Coz on your side.

The other half of it are your emails – you need to answer your potential buyer’s hesitations, overcome their obstacles, and paint a picture of the way their life COULD be if they bought your course.

Here’s what our pre and post-webinar sequence looked like:Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

The pre-webinar emails should cover the following:

  • What the steps are to get them to end goal you’re promising
  • The biggest obstacle stopping them from moving by themselves
  • The first step they can take towards doing it themselves
  • What to expect in the webinar

The post-webinar emails should cover the following:

  • Recap of the webinar highlights and link to watch the replay
  • What success looks like and a case study (case study could be your story)
  • A taste of what your course is like (opt-in/freebie/blog post you’ve done around this)
  • Closing up and why they need to act now/recap of the value they’re getting

Schedule them in ConvertKit or WebinarJam and you’re away laughing!

7. The webinar

Ah, webinars, they even make the pros sweat. A webinar is a live online presentation that you give and attendees can ask you questions, pop on with you to talk to you, and interact with you. They can be formal (with a slide deck) or informal (with a lot of swears) or educational (you give them a workbook to work through), they can be done solo or with a friend.

There’s no limit to what kind of webinars you can put together for your pre-sale! The easiest ones are solo with a workbook I find. It allows you to interact naturally and students stay engaged.

If people can’t make it live, you have the option of offering a replay (recorded video hosted on YouTube or Vimeo or whatever you choose) so that you can accommodate CRAZY time zones or allow them to re-watch later.

A webinar is MOST effective when you give away about 15-20% of your secrets in the webinar, so that even if someone doesn’t buy your product, they don’t feel like it was a waste of time. The best webinar is one that people get enough information from that they can put into place LIVE and also inspires them to take action once they’re going solo.

How do you get people to your webinar? You create tweets, posts, scopes, emails to send out and invite people to sign up. Here’s an example of a tweet I did for my Be Booked Out webinar:

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

As you can see, the tweets are consistent with Be Booked Out’s branding and they have a large image so they stand out in your home feed. We schedule about 10 tweets, 1 Instagram post, and 5 Facebook updates per day when promoting a webinar.

The technical setup for webinars is pretty simple. All you need is:

  • A computer with a webcam
  • A Gmail account
  • A page to stick your Google Hangout onto (you can make one on your website and include a chat box, or you can use a service like WebinarJam which takes care of it for you)

Wanna be fancy? Buy a separate microphone to make it sound cleaner and clearer. Otherwise make sure to have a set of earbuds with a microphone for good results.

The thing you need to spend the most time on is your “slide ride” or the Powerpoint/Keynote/Google slides that you’re going to use to present your information to people.

Everything should tie in together visually so pick a couple of fonts and colors and stick with it through your workbooks, slides, and videos (if you end up making your course).

You can buy pre-designed slide decks on places like Creative Market. I did that and found a couple of fonts I liked and updated it accordingly.

Here’s an example of the slides that I used for my Be Booked Out webinars.

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

7. Light a fire in their souls (aka time-sensitive selling)

Part of the burning need for buying is limited time. Think Black Friday… and the sweet, sweet carnage it ensues. People forget they’re going to die and that their time on Earth is limited, so they put off the important things. Your course helps them accomplish massive goals that will help them make the most of these seconds.

When you’re preselling a good way to spark that action is by telling them the price will go up significantly if they don’t buy in the 24-72 hours. That’s usually enough to be taken seriously but if you wanna sprinkle gasoline on that flame you could offer additional bonuses – PDFs, training sessions, other courses – that expire at the end of the email sequence.

Our incentive was: a bonus worth $2,000 (live group calls) and an early-bird price.

The total value was $2,997 for a $699 price tag (and when we re-ran sign ups recently, we were able to increase the price to $997 because the first launch had gone so well).

Five figures of income secured and the course wasn’t even made. You can see the spikes in income from the pre-sales webinars and their post-webinar emails that sold the most spots below.

Learn how to presell your online course or information product with Halley Gray of Evolve + Succeed

Pretty sweet, right?

Don’t waste a minute on creating a course that doesn’t make bank before it exists. Preselling is where the profit is hiding and you can make it happen now. Don’t wait a minute more wondering ‘what if’ find out. By using this preselling method again and again you can generate thousands of dollars more and save yourself months (or years) of debt.

Next round is on you.


How I Went From Inconsistent Clients to Booked Out for Years | Braless on Couch

Making sure you’re booked out months in advance is super stressful when you’re already overwhelmed with your current client work.

You’re constantly juggling 8 jobs at once to attempt a steady workflow. I get it.

For the past few years, I’ve been constantly booked out at least 6 months at a time. I know it sounds like a mega-brag, but it certainly didn’t start out that way. You are not alone!

Story time, my friends. Like your dear old grandpa.

via GIPHY

When I first left my full-time gig and branched out on my own, I thought I was set. I had gathered 5 high paying clients as a marketing strategist. Solid starting point!

Unfortunately that momentum didn’t stick around. Contracts ended, and so did my workflow. All of a sudden I was fumbling around in a hamster wheel of tactics trying to find new clients while getting my work done. All too often I ended up fucking up in one area, or worse, letting down a client.

This is something that I not only see happening for my Be Booked Out students before they sign up (starting back up this month!), but I also see it all over internet forums.

There’s honestly just not enough time in the day to scramble doing 6 things at once, while guessing your next step. You’ll end up burning yourself out. The way to avoid this is to set a method in place and fundamentally structure your business.

I could get my clients booked out, but not myself. So what I had to do was take a step back and look at what I was doing differently for them that I was missing out on doing for myself. I found a few things:

I wasn’t packaging services correctly.
You need to have multiple packages available that basically sell each other. You don’t want to combine all of your services into one shiny package and give all the goods away at once. That might get you one sale from each client, but if you separate them, they have an excuse to keep coming back.

My sales page didn’t turn visitors into prospective clients.

I wasn’t getting paid in advance. 
(like a drug dealer)

This is a Seinfeld joke- everybody’s super excited to buy food when they’re hungry, but after they’ve eaten at a restaurant the food no longer has the same value right? Because you’re full.

Same goes with services.
Your services are far more valuable before the work is executed, but once they’re complete, they lose their shiny value. So you always wanna make sure you get paid upfront.

I wasn’t strategically booking packages over a longer period of time.

I was selling myself short. I was booking clients for 10-20 hours on jobs that would realistically take me 35 hours to accomplish (because I obsess over perfection). Booking out more time will only help you, and if you finish your tasks ahead of schedule, sweet! It’s time to treat yourself.

Fuck VIP days.

VIP days sound nice and like a special bonus to your clients, but you’ll end up giving all the goods away. Your client gets all of your hard work in one day, and then they lose interest in coming back, because there’s nothing to look forward to (unless you have something to upsell to them immediately after). A small audience is all you need to be booked out, but doing VIP days is a waste of time.

In the end I figured out what I needed to structure, and developed a strategic method. I used the same method over and over AGAIN and realized that’s what my business was missing all along to guarantee work and success. That’s the key with a method, is that it SHOULD work, no matter the type of business.

Quick! Grab a piece of paper, open up a sticky note, and write down all of your tasks and packages. Are they long term? Do you have to hustle to keep it going? pick and choose which interviews clients you do. package your shit strategically.

When you’re finished with that, head over to our Screw Feelings, Get Clients challenge. It started earlier this week, but you still have a chance to catch up! You’ll get a free, 5-day ass-kicking challenge to make sure your business is on track. Click the link below and let’s you get started!
https://evolv.ly/screw-feelings


Courses vs Services: Which One Is Right For You | Braless on Couch | Ep. 22

Believe me, I get it. You’ve been working as a freelancer for a while now, selling the best online services you can, making clients super fucking stoked about the results you give them. You’re ready to give yourself a promotion- running courses online and living off of passive income. Sounds perfect, right?

This is talked about a ton but there aren’t enough results to back it up. Truth is, jumping the gun can actually stall your business, even push it back a few years if it’s not executed correctly.

First, let’s talk about the differences with courses vs. services:

Services– working with clients directly, through web design, developing, VA assignments, etc.

Courses– running webinars, a facebook group, or daily emails coaching other freelancers to help them succeed.

I know, passive income sounds like an ideal life. You can sit on your couch binge-watching True Detective while people just buy your product online, no extra work required. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

(Here’s a secret for you, I started fail too.)

I had a babydick audience when I first started out guys – 100 people max. If that were a real-world seminar it’d be oookay, but when we’re talking worldwide web, that’s nothing. The perk to it was that I knew everyone who was tuning in and could be more personable, but I needed more for my business and my income.

When I started out, my courses ran $700/month. I thought my audience would expand on it’s own from those 100 people, and that I’d be earning enough to live off of.  Guess what? It didn’t fucking work that way. I barely had enough to pay for my groceries, let alone my bills.

If you’re new to the industry and need to be making full-time income, services are the way to go. They’re that sweet, comforting throw blanket for your bank account. Gathering 10-20 clients for the year is way easier than it is to grow an internet empire overnight. Being consistently booked out is the first step you need to take before you even consider moving on to courses.

Not earning enough money off your services? Give yourself a fucking raise! You should be raising your rates every quarter anyway – at the LEAST every year. If your technique is as incredible as you believe it is, and clients are not only willing to pay top dollar, but wait 6 months for your beautiful brain-power, then you can start with throwing in some courses. Baby steps, my friends.

Courses cost THOUSANDS of dollars to launch, so you need to be 100% confident in your approach. You need to have the stats to back it up. You need to have an audience. You need 1,000-10,000+ people/followers/subscribers to be anxiously awaiting your next post or launch in order to be making enough money from courses alone.

If you’re at that point but you’re itching for more, maybe it’s time to throw in extras. Speaking gigs, student retreats, and guest blog posts are a good way to start. Get creative and come up with an original idea that will make your course stand out from the crowd.

If you’re begging for more, make sure to sign up for our Screw Feelings, Get Clients challenge. It’s starting SO soon, and it’s really going to help your business. As always, I want you to evolve and succeed. This challenge is going to be brutally honest when it comes to evaluating your business structure and tactics. We’ve even had people apply these tips and tricks to their everyday lives (check out testimonials here!). There’s only a limited amount of slots open, so make sure to click the link below and secure your spot.

https://evolv.ly/screw-feelings