How to Get a Grip on Transition

The faint sound of a horn jolted me out of my daze…

Today is a cold grey November day in Colorado Springs.  The kind of day that shrouds the movie scene when the hero trudges to the graveyard to visit a lost loved one.  Daylight savings wrapped on Sunday I am not yet adjusted to the sun fading at 4:45p.

A few hours ago I was sitting at a stoplight in my minivan with my kids after completing a covert “car swap” with my wife, Christy. She runs a corporate event planning business (more on that later) and just a few hours prior had the minivan crammed full of trinkets, swag bags, banners and name tags.  

So I stuffed my 3 strapping sons into my sedan after school and navigated my way through the drizzle towards the event locale to switch cars for the weekend.  

Sports sedan to the rock star event planner…

Swagger wagon to the Burch boys…

Today is only Tuesday but it’s already been a long week. Christy does 3-4 “big” events a year and about a dozen small ones. The big events are her Super Bowl…she plans for months and then it’s finally here.  

Think of it like planning a wedding…but quarterly.

This particular event also has a mastermind tacked onto the back of it which elongates both the prep and delivery of her genius.  Needless to say the house hasn’t been quite as orderly and the trash bin in the garage reeked of takeout containers.  My mom gets here tomorrow…

Event Planning Hell Week…

There is something different about this event, though.  It’s the 5th of it’s kind for her client; each one growing in stature, attendees and speaker caliber.  It’s sure to be a hit.

What was different is that I had nothing to do with it.

You see, this particular event in this particular town with this particular client was one in a series that I hadn’t missed yet. I was around for the previous 4.  

In fact I was deeply embedded in the events from the jump; mapping out the event flow, the offers, collaborating on the speakers, etc. One of the early events I found myself as the emcee (turns out you have to have this thing called “charisma” to get the nod the next time around).

For three of the events I was employed by this client. I jumped in January 2017 to start my own Marketing Agency but still found myself contributing and helping out at Event #4.  I knew that things would transition as I went from employee to contractor/service provider. I’m not that naive.

And I welcomed each change and turn in the businesses of all my clients; especially my own. The striving and pushing this year to serve at an incredibly high level and obsess over results is going to garner triple the income from the 12 months prior.  

It’s amazing. I’m so grateful, and so blessed. I’m living on my own terms, working when I want with whom I want.  It really is beyond my wildest imagination what has commenced since stepping out in faith just 10 short months ago.

So I knew there’d come a day when we’d have to finally and officially, fully transition my involvement with this one client.  At the time of this writing…it was yesterday.

We found a way to amicably terminate our agreement, try to find a win-win and go our separate ways. “Good lucks” and departing platitudes were exchanged, final invoices were paid, and we’re done.

And I found myself at that stoplight, in the cold drizzle, on the eve of the 5th event with the hotel in the background and my gaze transfixed across the intersection and….

I saw my now-former client. I was leaving the venue after my car-swap and he was headed that way.

My mind wandered on how weird transition can be…

How strange it would be that of the “core 4” employees that started this company there is only 1 left…

How weird it would be to have this weekend away for the first time…

Until I was zapped out of my daze by the impatient Subaru driver behind me.

I’ve never lost a loved one and I’ve never been through a divorce…but I sometimes think of that last moment you shared with that person. They may have been leaving the courthouse, or holding your hand in a hospital bed, or walking in the opposite direction after a breakup…

Maybe you saw the transition coming and knew it was inevitable. Maybe you were blind-sided by it.

But it’s still weird.  There is now this moment in time where things look different.

So how do we move forward? How do we get a GRIP on transition and come out stronger and better for it?

1 – Gratitude

This has been a game-changer for me this year. I start and end each day with gratitude. You can’t be stressed or angry if you’re grateful. It’s physically impossible.  

Every morning I write down 3 things I’m grateful for, and every night 3 amazing things that happened that day.

This is a process.  If you’re having a truly rotten day or feel you’re being mistreated it’s easy to not feel gratitude.  But say it anyways. Be grateful for your things, your relationships, your friends, coworkers, clients, bosses, and enemies. Be grateful that you woke up, that you have freedom, fresh water, get to wear sweats, drink coffee, drive your car, etc.  

Gratitude will take you a long way.

In the transition of a relationship (be it a professional or personal relationship) be grateful for that relationship.  Be thankful for the duration of the relationship and especially what you learned along the way.  Take a moment to reflect with gratitude; force a smile if you have to, and bless the person you just transitioned from.  

Do this daily until you can’t control it anymore and it just happens naturally.

2 – Respect Yourself

I have learned a lot this past year. Others have noted how I have seemingly condensed 3-5 years of small business experience (read: failure) into 10 months. This was intentional as I wanted to fail quickly and find my way.

Through this process, I have quickly identified whom I want to work with and how that arrangement can help me over-deliver.  I won’t go into too much detail here but at this point in my business I take payment 100% up front and have a priority wait list as my agency is full. I know I can deliver results and get ROI on your marketing dollar.

I don’t take this lightly.

This means that I will not bend my fee structure around any situation. (It should be noted here that this was not always the case. In the beginning I would do anything for anyone at any time to feed my family. Luckily I sped through that phase as quickly as possible).

To be more specific, I don’t deal with unpaid invoices. I don’t tolerate excuses of any kind. Life is too short and we’re playing too big of a game for me to chase you down to either work with me or to pay me when the work has been done.  My proposals expire because I can’t wait on the client to make a decision.

I had 1 client hanging on that paid me after the work was done.  This has brought sporadic heartache throughout the year but I dealt with it in hopes of referrals or more business.

However when the agreed-upon date came and went with no paid invoice I immediately terminated the agreement.  Though I saw transition on the horizon it was expedited when the agreement was not honored and it became clear this was not someone that was serious about working together.

3 – Inform

Over communicate. Period. If you’re feeling slighted or you feel you’re not delivering on your brand promise then cut the cord.

In month 5 I took on my first consulting client. I muddied the waters by making it consulting + implementation. We started with a bang and cruised through the discovery day and mapped out a 12 month plan.

We were amped…

Month 1 we got some wins with strategic planning and plucking the low-hanging fruit.  

Month 2 it became clear we weren’t going to hit our projections due to (1) my lack of understanding of the niche he was in and (2) his lack of a crystal clear vision.  

Month 3 was starting to get awkward.  

I called him up and, even though he had 9 months left on his agreement, I gave him an “out” with a few options.  He thanked me for informing him up front and chose the option where we don’t work together at all.

It’s been 3 months and I haven’t heard from him since.

Painful? Sure. Necessary? Absolutely.

If transition is coming and needs to happen you can’t ignore it. You have to inform the other party and come to a resolution.

Which brings me to my 4th point…

4 – Part Ways

Sometimes you have to stop. Just stop it. Either you’re not living up to your promises or they aren’t and you have to part ways. This is better done BEFORE any relationships are marred or irreparable.  

If you see trouble in the future, head it off at the pass and have the courage to part ways.

Think of a time that you’ve held on too long… how did that work out for you?

When you’re tempted to hold on too long, thing of the joy you’re robbing from yourself and others by holding on to something that isn’t working.  Think of what you would do with the time and the dream clients you want to work with.

To recap:

  • Gratitude – look for every opportunity to be grateful
  • Respect – respect yourself and others
  • Inform – over-communicate always
  • Part Ways – be sensitive to the fact that you can’t force it to work

And remember to wrap the entire thing in gratitude.  

Gratitude for working with dream clients; for what you’ve learned; for your personal growth; for having courage; for respecting yourself, for ____ and ____ and ____…

I’m grateful for the ice drizzle. 

I’m grateful for my rock-star wife who is going to crush this event.  

I’m grateful for the moment to reflect on the past few years of events and I’m grateful Mrs. Subaru had the courage to honk so I could take the kids to get pizza.  

And I’m incredibly grateful for my former client that is now “just” a friend.

I wish him well.

“How Do I Price My Products and Services”

“But, How Much Should I Charge for My Services??”

I see this question over and over in Facebook groups, in-person communications, in the Question box during webinars….you name it.

It seems everyone has the same question when it comes to pricing their products or services in the marketplace.

The problem is clear; you don’t want to be too cheap and imply that you’re not good.  Conversely you don’t want to be top of market (or beyond) and drive away possible paying customers.

This time-tested question is most easily answered by these 2 words: “it depends.”

I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but bear with me for a sec.

Are There Existing Models For Your Service?

What is your pricing model for your service “like?”  Is it like Netflix (pay a small monthly fee for an overwhelming library of content), or Carmax (you set the price and don’t negotiate)?  Does it resemble an airline, Uber, Twitter, or Candy Crush?  Is it like the NFL or Mad Men?

Does 1 size fit all in your business or everything bespoke based on customer needs?

Let me tell you a story about the problem with a lack of an existing model.

I met with a client once that wanted to build a membership site using a credits system.  Each month you paid actual human dollars and got an amount of credits.  You could then spend the credits on different parts of the course; a video was a lot of credits, and audio recording was less credits, and then a PDF download or worksheet was even cheaper.

Then, at the end of the month you’d be hit with another payment of dollars in exchange for more credits.  Want more credits?  You can “fast track” the credits system with more money and get more credits.

As he was explaining this system to me, I thought, “man, that sounds complicated.  You’re going to have a tough time convincing the marketplace to take you up on that because there isn’t an existing model they can reference.”  In a Netflix world ($9/mo for a bazillion titles) and iTunes (about a buck per song) there isn’t an easy analog in your prospects’ mind and they will flee your sales pitch.

At one point I asked him, “have you ever experienced a course like this before?”  After a momentary hesitation, he admitted that he had.  Once.  I pressed deeper, “How did you like it, as a customer?”  He looked at the floor and said, “Actually I hated it.”


Punchline: the idea was shuttered in favor of a more straightforward model.

Please note I’m not condemning a certain model over the other; I’m merely suggesting that the more time it takes you to explain your pricing structure to the marketplace, the harder it will be to sell.  If a prospect can quickly think, “Oh, I know exactly what to expect with this product because I have a reference point that I like,” you’re winning.

“Hack” Your Competition

What if I told you, “I’m going to open a gym and charge $4,000 a month! It will be the best gym in town!”

Pump the brakes, pal, what are other people charging per month?  About $50 a person?  OK, let’s re-think your pricing structure before launching.

If there is a lot of competition in the sandbox that you play in, what will set you apart from the rest?  (read more about the Technique in my Process).  This is what makes you YOU.

If there are 100 Chiropractors in town doing basically the same thing you’re doing, what makes your standard of care different?  Is it education, ongoing care or a unique procedure?  Is it the experience of them coming to your office and how you make them feel?

I would strongly caution about differentiating on price.  The only problem with a race to the bottom is you might actually win.  

Key Differentiator: Value

How much value can you add to your customer? If you’re adding value over and above the actual service then you’re unstoppable.

Over the past 2 years I’ve started seeing a professional sports massage therapist.

Now, this is not your typical masseuse.  No nonsense, no incense, and no heated bed.  And worst of all, no Enya playing softly in the background.

She’s there to get work done on your body.  So bite your wallet and find something to grab hold of; it’s about to get painful.

But here’s the best part of her painful treatment: as she’s tearing your muscles apart she is educating you on what’s happening.  Every time I leave a session with her I feel amazing; not only am I  walking straighter and moving better – I am also educated on muscle anatomy and kinesiology.  It’s simply incredible.

The education is the differentiator for her business and it’s what keeps athletes coming back time and time again, despite the temporary excruciating pain.

This simple chart illustrates what happens you start to add more value:

How do I price my services?
Add more value, command higher fees

Speaking of Pain…

This is the quickest way to assess your fee structure: how much pain are you curing?

People will pay a lot more for pain-killers than they will for vitamins.

If you have a toothache and it needs to be extracted, you will pay almost anything to absolve yourself of that pain in that moment.

So ask yourself, what pain are you solving for your customers, and what are their alternatives to hiring you to solve their pain?

Can they get their pain alleviated by a different method or from one of your competitors?  Is the pain so intense they are willing to pay a premium price to make it go away?

I’m not just talking about physical pain.  If you own a decking and siding company, the “pain” someone might be feeling is they are embarrassed about the appearance of their house.  They might be dying to have more parties and be more social, so that old busted deck in the backyard won’t cut it anymore.

If you’re a cosmetic surgeon, the “pain” a prospective patient might feel is a lack of self-confidence.  They want to look and feel better, and you can help them with that.

If you’re a business coach, the pain might be that your clients don’t know the lead acquisition cost or the flow of their customers.  Their business is leaking money and they don’t know where.  They feel the pain of uncertainty, and are embarrassed or overwhelmed.

Before/After State

Marketing 101: Your product or service takes someone from this crappy, lame, “before” state to this amazing, euphoric “after” state.

And the bigger the difference between those 2 states, the more money you can charge.

If your weight-loss product promises to help me lose 1 pound in 30 days…that doesn’t move the needle much and I would be unwilling to pay much, if anything.

However, if you can educate me, hold me accountable, plug me into a support network, reshape my mindset, and help me be in the best shape of my life…that’s worth thousands of dollars.

You’re able to save me 5 minutes a week on [insert something I don’t like]…then I’ll pay you about $0.25 for that product.

Conversely if you can get me 2 hours per day back into my calendar with your life-hacking productivity system then I would plop down a chunk of change.

Let me ask you these 2 questions about your product/service:

1.) How do people feel before they engage with you?  Put yourself in their shoes.  Use words like: overwhelmed, tired, bored, lonely, scared, afraid, crazy, fat, unhappy, depressed…

2.) How do they feel after engaging with you?  Relaxed, confident, fit, happy, wealthy, in-control…

Did you move the needle a little or a lot?  Charge accordingly.

The Last Thing: Stand Up For Yourself

As I’ve worked with people over the years I’ve found that they tend to under-value themselves.

I’m no different.

In the early days of my agency the first few proposals I sent out were too low (I heard through the grapevine that people were confused why I would send them something so low).  I had an extraordinarily high “close” rate of those proposals.

I engaged that first round of clients and got great results and immediately increased my prices.

Where I missed it on value: I was pricing based on how easily I could get it done and not pricing my services based on the pain I was solving.  It’s a huge difference in the market (and in my business).

For my agency, if you have a webinar that will make you $10’s of thousands of dollars, or a 6-figure course outlined but not implemented, what is it worth to get those things “live” and online?  What is the cost to you if it breaks during your launch sequence?  Ouch.

I don’t provide integrations and funnel-builds; I provide clarity on your process and peace of mind.

Funnel-builders are a dime-a-dozen; strategy and clarity set me apart.

So, know your value and stick to it.  You got this.



The Crippling Effect of Incongruence

“Something doesn’t seem quite right…”

Have you ever felt that way?

I was in Dallas for a fundraising conference a few years back and I remember seeing some of the women in our group shortly after an offsite lunch break.

Their faces were ghastly pale.  “Uh…how was lunch?” I asked.

One of them blushed as she told me about it (the others stared blankly ahead).

They went to a place that was, um, how do I put this?

The name of the restaurant, which they had never heard of before, implied it was about the type of food they serve.  But, in actuality it was a euphemism about the type of women they employ.



They thought it was one thing and it was something totally different.


“Scent” is a term used to describe how something “smells” and if you can follow the scent all the way to an offer.

Think of a bloodhound.  He puts his nose to the ground as he tracks his prey through the woods.  He follows the trail until he loses it, or until he finds what he’s looking for.

Let’s say you click on an ad that promises a natural herbal remedy for a common cold, and it takes you to a landing page selling you a used Buick.

What!?  The trail has gone cold.  You lost the scent.  You close your browser or hit the BACK button.

If you don’t want your leads and customers to “bounce” from your ad, landing page, or offer, keep reading.

Here are 3 places to make sure you have complete congruence, and help create an environment and journey for your customers and subscribers.

Your Offers

The Splinter Offer: One way to construct your offer suite is to first get complete clarity on your core offer.

What is the core service you offer to people in exchange for their money?  What value are you promising them that is in your “sweet spot”?  How do you get them the best results?

Let’s say it’s a recurring membership to your Chiropractic Clinic.  That’s the ideal, core service you’d like the most people to buy.  You know you can provide the service, add value and get results.

The next thing would be a “splinter” off that offer.

Maybe it’s a package of 4 treatments.

It’s not as expensive as the core offer, but it moves the needle for your customer and brings in some revenue to your practice.

The important thing is that the 4-Pack is totally congruent with your core offer.  It makes logical sense that if you do a great job for your customer they will be interested in the next step.

Can you splinter your offer 1 more time?  What about 1 treatment that still gets results for your customer?

That’s congruence.

A single treatment first, then offer a 4-pack (and throw in some value-added bonuses like an x-ray or treatment plan), that then leads to your core offer of the ongoing service.

Your Branding

Do you have your brand dialed in?  To me, branding is what people say about you behind your back.

“Oh, I like that company, they are so friendly and great to work with!”

“Brand X is interesting, they are straight-shooters and give you a lot of tough love AND results.”

“Brand Y feels like me.  I can relate to where they are coming from…”

Don’t just limit your thinking of “branding” to your logo and your color palette.

Expand it to your style, your website, your offers, your point-of-view, ethics, faith, and foundation.

Here’s a fun activity: take a look at your customers and you’ll see a reflection of yourself and your brand.

I was at an event that got great results for their constituents but they did it by being mean and insulting to the people in attendance.  Every person  I met on the team was viciously committed to results at the expense of people’s feelings.  Now, I don’t personally relate to that approach so I was uncomfortable (and didn’t choose to work with them) but the room was sold out!  So, kudos to them for knowing their brand and being consistent.

It would be congruent to have a no-nonsense approach to branding, web, and logo design for this company.  Hard-edged, cutting, competitive.  Winner take all.  Think “pit-bull.”

On the other hand I work with a team that is very caring and genuine.  People are drawn to this company because they connect at a heart level.  They have extremely happy and loyal customers, and when you get to know them you see they are just like the owner of the company.  They are kind, caring, genuine and authentic.

This company can have more heart-centered branding.  Yes, they want you to get results but they want you to do it in a caring way.  Their branding is around family, heart, spirit, etc.

Does your branding reflect your values and services?  How would you describe it (rugged, caring, woodsy, pit-bull, Wall Street, tough, loving…)?

Do you have a kickboxing gym with kittens on your business card?  My guess is, “no.”

Your Subscribers

How do you communicate with your subscribers?

In the digital age, there is unparalleled access to your company (if you choose) via Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, that can further enhance your branding congruency.

However you want people to feel about your company can be further emphasized in your emails and on social media.

Are you serious and intense?  Witty and light-hearted?  Irreverent?

The cool thing is you get to decide.  Just keep it congruent.

The Importance of a Team

Did you ever play the classic NES game “Ice Hockey?”

It was back before the developers had to think of creative names for the games…the baseball game was called “Baseball”, the ice hockey game was called, you guessed it, “Ice Hockey.”

The game was very simple.  You pick your country, and you pick the body types of guys you wanted on your 4-man team.

There were 3 sizes: Skinny, Average, and Fat (my classifications).

Each body type had its specialties and drawbacks.

The skinny dude was lightning fast.  He could skate circles around the competition.  But, alas, if he touched an Average or Fat guy he would go flying across the ice.  Speed over Power.

The Average dude was, well…average.  Not the fastest, not the slowest, and not the most powerful.  If he collided with Skinny he would send him spinning, but if he crossed paths with the Fat Man it was over.

The Fat player was slow and methodical.  He’d lumber around the ice trying to steal the puck from the competition and when he was open he had a pretty hard shot.  The trick was getting him open with the faster guys buzzing around him like hornets.

The Dream Team

Let’s examine a few different lineups in this classic game.

1.) The Killer Bees

4 Skinny Guys.  They are going to be lightning-quick, pestering players and picking off passes.  They will constantly be getting knocked down by bigger players and their shots aren’t as strong.

Achilles Heel: Too weak to make a difference.

2.) The Average Joes

4 Average Players.  Not hot, or cold.  Lukewarm.  While this lineup is typically better than the Killer Bees, there are no standout players to rise to the occasion in different game situations.

Achilles Heel:  One size does not fit all.

3.) The Beefeaters

4 Fat Guys.  This lineup strikes fear into the hearts of their weaker, more feeble opponents.  That is, until you realize the Beefeaters are ultimately too slow to keep up and be competitive.

Achilles Heel: Too slow to get open and too many turnovers to win the game.

4.) The Dream Team

I spent many a sick-day from school playing this game (and have since turned my kiddos onto it on the Wii U as downloadable content).

Though it was possible to win with a foursome of the same type of player, it was waaaay easier to win with a more balanced approach.

1 Beefeater, 1 Killer Bee, 1 Average Joe, and 1 Wild Card (the 4th player is almost inconsequential at this point).


Because you had balance.  You had players looking out for each other.  If you needed some great offense or a speedy defense you had the squad that could pull it off.

Some peoples’ strengths covered their teammates’ weaknesses.

That is the key.

If you were the General Manager of an NBA team…

Would you want 5 Shaq’s as your starting lineup?


Shaq is one of the greatest of all time but could you imagine playing 5 starters that were 7′ tall and weighed 300+ pounds?

That squad would be dominant in the paint but would get destroyed by smaller, more nimble players like Steph Curry or Steve Nash.  They’d dribble circles around Shaq, spin around Shaq, break Shaq’s ankles, crossover Shaq and hit a stepback 3 over Shaq.

It wouldn’t be pretty.

Look at any team sport and you can see the trend.

A “typical” quarterback (if there is such a thing) is about 6’4″ and around 210-220 pounds.  Not traditionally the fastest or strongest man on the field (think Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Tom Brady).

Cool, let’s get some super fast guys as receivers to get open so he can throw to them (Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald).

And let’s get some 6’7″, 365 lb. beefeaters to block for him and keep him safe.

Throw in a couple of stocky, speedy 230 lb running backs and I think you’re going to be alright.

And when they score, send in the soccer player to boot the ball through the uprights.

What does your business look like?

If you are a solo-preneur then it’s probably a little lonely.  After a short conversation with many of the people I coach it becomes crystal clear: they  need to start adding team members to cover their blind spots.

Maybe you’re a great surgeon but you need a team of people helping you run the day-to-day operations of your practice.  Would you want another surgeon answering your phones or doing your accounting?  Of course not.

Or you’re a speaker that needs to hire an Exec. Asst. to help you deliver your talks, or a marketing person to help with the online marketing and lead-generation.

When you start out, you’re everything.  You’re the CJO (Chief Janitorial Officer), COPOO (Chief Office-Product-Ordering Officer), not to mention sales, marketing, HR, accounting, etc.

And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can find someone just like you to do the other duties.  So many business owners are drawn to people like them.  Eventually you have someone you get along with that shares your same strengths.  This might sound fine and dandy until you realize they also share your same weaknesses.

The best working relationship I’ve ever had was with a guy that was the total polar opposite of me.  Seriously, every personality or strengths test we took showed a complete inversion of the results.  My top 5 strengths where his bottom 5 and vice versa.

We were unstoppable!

Pro Tip: As you grow your team, be certain to look for with those that have a different skill set than you.  Cover your weaknesses so you can double down on your strengths.

Here’s a simple practice that I encourage a lot of growing businesses as they try to make a big jump in their revenues:

  1. Log everything you do each day for 3-7 days (most don’t make it 7 days).
  2. Put a green circle next to the stuff that you LOVE.  Your magic; your secret sauce; what brings you to life and only you can provide.
  3. Put a yellow dot next to stuff you’re good at, but it doesn’t bring you joy and you’re not super-efficient with it.  You might need to delegate this in the future.
  4. Put a red dot next to stuff you need to stop doing.

The green dots are your new job description.  Outsource the rest.

It’s not fair to yourself, your company, or your customers for you to do things you’re not good at.

You don’t have to crumble under the pressure of keeping the books, doing all the copywriting, trying to figure out digital marketing, and whatever else keeps you up at night.

The truth is, once you know what your earning potential is per hour and the cost to replace that task, you’ll see your business in a whole new light.  Meaning if you make $100K per year that works out to just shy of $48/hour assuming 52 weeks per year and 40 hours per week.

Would you pay someone $48/hour to order office supplies, write copy, or design a graphic for your website?  NO.  So stop paying yourself $48/hour when it’s a $10/hour task.

Tips to Scale Your Team (and Your Business)

  1. Fiverr ( – This amazing website lets you hire people to do LOTS of stuff, almost all of them starting at $5.  My wife got a logo done for her event planning company for about $40 (after revisions) where I have personally spent thousands to get a logo done. I had a professional voiceover for a major video project for about $20.  I’ve used them for design work, video editing, copywriting, you name it.
  2. Upwork ( – This site allows you to hire freelancers from all over the world.  Really the sky is the limit here and you can get a LOT done for a fraction of the cost of an in-office employee.
  3. Integrated Solutions – At my agency, Red Anchor Marketing, it’s critical that the project that we manage has all of the systems integrated.  We have years of experience working with VA’s (virtual assistants) and freelancers to see a project through to completion.  Our area of expertise is helping businesses get more customers using digital marketing.  So, find a team member you can trust, interview them and vet them and let them help you explode your business.

Don’t try to do it all by yourself, Shaq.  You need a team.

The Power of Specificity in Your Business

Imagine, for a moment, that you had a yogurt company.

Yes, yogurt.

Maybe you put some nuts on the top and cram some mushy strawberries in the bottom.  It’s whole-grain, grass-fed, gluten-free, vegan, whatever…

Your dad was a yogurt man, just like your grandfather and your great-great-grandfather (back when they spelled it “yoghurt”).

Can you picture it?  You’ve put your life into this yogurt and are ready to take it to the market.  You’re ready to put it on the shelves and watch people shovel it down their throats and rake in the curdled profits.

So you put together a strategy…

You want to reach out to grocery stores (a.k.a. B2B) to stock your yogurt on their shelves.  Cool.  Sounds good so far.

You hop on the phone, make some phone calls, and get some orders.

Bam!  High five your dog – you got your first order.

Next, you want to reach out to the world and tell them to go to that store.

So you put together a sophisticated ad campaign, work out your targeting (within 10 miles of the store, affinity for healthy digestive systems, the whole deal).

What would your ad copy say?

“Go to ABC Grocery”

You want people to go that store and just figure it out right?  When they walk in through those sliding glass doors and gaze upon the 10’s of thousands of options staring back at them, and just hope and pray that they buy your product.

No, of course not.

What good are your ad dollars if you’re only advertising that store?  You are getting customers into the store, but you are not giving them a specific call to action.

You are not telling the exactly what to do and specifically where to go.

This is what it’s like to send paid traffic to your website

What the heck do you want people to do on your website?  Do you offer multiple products?  Are they clearly labeled and marked?  Is it clear what you want people to do?

What should they do first, then 2nd?   What action do you really want them to take?

One reason I love paid ads and dedicated landers is that you can be super specific.  You can adjust your copy in your ad and your landing page to tell them exactly what to do and what will happen next.

For our yogurt company, your ad would want to include:

  • What store to go to
  • What section of the store it’s in
  • A picture of the product so it looks familiar when they see it
  • A $$$ off coupon so they take action

One of my favorite, real-world examples of specificity is on the book “The Invisible Selling Machine” (link) by Ryan Deiss (CEO of Digital Marketer)

Check out the back cover:

You can’t get any more clear or specific than that call to action: READ THIS BOOK.

In marketing, you might want to try this tactic on a call to action in a video:

  • Tell them to click the “add to cart” button below with a picture in the video of the actual “add to cart” button.
  • Tell them exactly what will happen next, “Once you click that button, you’ll go to a page that look like this [insert pic].  From there just type in your credit card information and you’ll be all set!”
  • “After that, you’ll get instant access to our product on the very next page.  No waiting, no funny stuff…” (Or whatever your process is.)

This also works in your email marketing…

When someone joins any email list that I manage, I typically have a welcome email that tells them exactly what to expect, and exactly what to do next.

I’m not being cute here, I literally say, “Here’s what you can expect…” and then spell it out for them.  I lay out the frequency and type of content I’ll be sharing with them, how to stay in touch, etc.

Later on in that email I tell them, “Here’s what to do next…” and literally spell it out, patiently, step-by-step.  Follow me on Social, read a blog post, watch a video.

You don’t want to leave it to chance that they will respond to your call to action.  If it’s unclear, they bounce (leave) your page and/or do NOT do what you wanted them to do.

Don’t treat your visitors, customers, and subscribers like children, but be very clear and specific.  It’s far more dangerous to just assume they will take the action you want them to take.

I added a call-to-action in my welcome email that just encouraged people to join my Facebook group and the engagement and membership skyrocketed.

How are you specifically working with your audience?  Where can you add some more clarity and specificity in your calls-to-action and directives?

Let me know in the comments.

Prescription Without Diagnosis is Malpractice…

Have you ever heard the saying, “prescription without diagnosis is malpractice?”

I talk to a lot of business owners and they want a quick win.

“Tell me what I should do in my business make more money…I don’t care what it costs, I’ll do it today…”

Then they start foaming at the mouth and jumping up and down.  They get that hollow look in their eyes as they’re thinking of all the things they’ll do with their new revenue.

Simmer down, sir or madam, we need to examine your business and see what’s actually going on.

And this isn’t just business owners; everyone wants the easy button.

Have you ever seen a fitness product that touts the strain, length and duration of the actual workout?

Of course not, they sell you the dream of a short, quick easy solution.

You see some fitness model stroll across the TV screen and say something about “in only MINUTES per day” as she curtsies.

Yeah, minutes.  About 90-120 minutes and you’ll get results…

To truly get the results you need, it’s not about taking a magic pill or secret or hack to get lasting change.

Have you ever gone to the doctor and they prescribe you medicine within the first 15 seconds?

Or course not.  You sit down with the doctor and they want to know what’s going on.  They ask you how you feel, what your symptoms are, how your body reacts to different stresses and inputs.

As they interrogate you, they start to postulate what might be the root cause of your discomfort, then they lean in. They put their hands on you, look in your mouth, and gaze deeply into your ear canal.

The look, poke, prod, listen, ask questions, and observe.  They ask Siri what she thinks is wrong.

(Ok, kidding on that last one.)

Only after a thorough examination do they dare prescribe the remedy.  They rely on their in-depth questioning and observation and years of experience to tell you what’s going on.

They are doctors, not vending machines.

The Importance of a Diagnosis in Your Business

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, “How am I getting customers?”

What I mean by that is, “what stages does someone go through to become a customer”?

If you don’t know, then now is a great time to pause and define it.

  • Do they find you online or offline?
  • How do they reach out to you?
  • Do they call you or order online?
  • Who is involved in the process?  How many people?  What can be automated?
  • Do they come into your storefront, medical practice etc?
  • What happens first, second, third, fourth, in your business?
  • Where do people drop off in your ideal process? Is it after filling out a form? Scheduling a consultation?
  • Do you have an upsell or downsell?
  • How much does it cost you to acquire a lead?

Once you know how you’re getting customers, you can start to diagnose the problem.

Let’s say you have 100 people schedule an in-office consultation and 0 of them show up.  I think we’ve identified a gap we can try to fill in your system.

Or you have 1,000 visitors to your landing page and only 3% are opting in to your offer.  Ok, now we’re getting somewhere.

You had 10,000 people go through your video training and 0 customers on the side.  OK.  Ouch, but OK, we can work on that.

Identify the process, assess the systems at each step (a person on your team or a piece of software), identify your metrics (I want to convert 40% of traffic to my landing page to my email list and then 10% of them to customers, etc), look for gaps…

And diagnose the problem.

Need more opt-ins?  Have a clear offer and great copy writing.

Want more clicks on your FB ad?  Choose a great image with compelling call to action.

Need more people to show up for their in-office consultation?  Send them a handwritten card and call them the day before their scheduled appointment.

Want more traffic to your site or offer?  Go to the traffic store (i.e. Facebook) and buy some off the shelves.

A List of Possible Bugs In Your System:

Here is a list of “bugs” that could be in your system:

  • Unclear offers
  • Poor copywriting
  • Incongruent offers
  • Poor branding
  • Weak call to action
  • Offer isn’t valuable enough
  • You don’t speak to your customers’ pain
  • Systems breakdown
  • Disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other
  • No follow through

The Biggest Bug of Them All

I often find that the biggest bug in the system is a lack of total clarity by you, the business owner.

You don’t know how you’re getting customers, you don’t know exactly how to talk to them at each stage and you don’t know how to move them from 1 stage to the next.

You don’t know why they’re falling out of your system (or maybe where they’re falling out).

In Conclusion:

Take a few minutes to clearly audit your business.  What steps are there, who is involved at each step, and how well are you doing on that step?

Want some help?  Comment below or message me on Facebook to let me know if you want help looking at your system.

The Biggest Threat to Your Business

I was talking to a client recently about their business, and I asked them one of my favorite questions:

“How do you get customers for your business?”

He paused for a moment, and told me his method.  Now, it wasn’t the worst method I’ve ever heard, but it wasn’t consistently producing him the customers he wanted in his business.

After he was done explaining how he got customers, I asked him, “How much is it costing you to get a customer?”

After looking at me quizzically for a few moments, he admitted he didn’t know.

He was throwing 10’s of thousands of dollars per year at a strategy with no viable way to track its’ effectiveness.

The lack of understanding of your customer journey is the single biggest threat to you growing your business where you want it to go.

I’m talking about where your leads come from, at what cost, the customer conversion % and the lifetime customer value.

Traditional marketing (radio, TV, etc) doesn’t allow you to truly know your metrics.  Sure, you know the cost to put your message in front of their audience, but you don’t know how many people responded to the message and/or converted to becoming a customer.

This is one of the key powerful elements of Facebook Advertising… You get all the data!

Not only do you know your ad spend, but you see how many clicks, leads, and customers you got in your business.

Take a look at this screen shot of a Facebook ad campaign that I’ve been running for only a few days.

You can see the cost per click (28 cents), 313 total clicks on the ad, 3 purchases.  This ad also generated 96 leads (not shown) at a cost of under $2.50 per lead.  Powerful stuff!

So here are 2 important metrics you need to know in your business:

Cost per lead

What does it cost you to acquire a lead?  Regardless of online or offline strategy, this is a crucial number to track.

Luckily, Facebook advertising makes it very easy (if you set it up correctly).

Here’s a tip for you:

Isolate out your lead actions so you know this # more clearly.

If you’re running traffic from a few different sources online (say, a blog post, a mailing list AND a FB ad strategy), send them to different landing pages so you can track opt-ins (a.k.a. “leads”) accurately.

If you were to run a newspaper ad or a direct mail piece, put a different phone # as the call to action so you can track calls to that # specifically (compared to a normal office phone #).

Depending on your advertising strategy on Facebook, it’s possible to get leads anywhere from around $1 to as much as you want to spend.

You might be thinking, what is a good “cost per lead” that I should shoot for?

My answer is, “it depends.”  It depends on what you’re selling, what % are buying it, and the Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) which tracks lifetime sales, up-sells, repeat purchases, etc.

So if you have a core service that is $1,000, and you close 1 out of every 10 leads you get, then you can spend up to $100 per lead ($100/lead x 10 leads = $1,000 ad spend; you close 1/10 leads for $1,000 product and you’ve broken-even).

What if you could get those 10 leads for $50/lead instead?  Well, you’d get 2:1 on your advertising budget and you’d do that all day.  In reality the ROI can be much better than that, but it’s a good starting point.

What if you’re running a webinar getting $4 leads?  100 leads would cost you $400 in ad spend.

100 leads x $4 leads = $400 for 100 leads

 If you have a standard show-up rate of around 20% you’d get $20 people on your webinar.

100 leads x 20% show-up rate = 20 attendees on your webinar

If you close 10% of them into your product or service (let’s say that’s a $500 mini – course), that’s 2 people buying your course

20 attendees x 10% conversion = 2 customers at $500/each

So, in this example you spent $400 to make $1,000.  Better than 2:1 ROI on your marketing dollars.

Lead Conversion %

The next thing to look at is Lead Conversion %.   If you had 10 people to talk to about your product or service (either online or offline), what % would you convert to customers?

Let’s say you are a service-based business that has a core service where you make anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000 per procedure.  If 10 folks came into your practice that needed what you offer, what % do you think you could convert?  (You should know your metrics, by the way).

If you close 10%, you should be spending up to $1,000 per in-office consultation.

The Multipliers

Ok, here’s the fun part.  Once you really know your data you can start to play with the multipliers.

Let me explain.  If you had 10 leads and you closed 10%, you’d have 1 customer.  But what if you could up your closing % to 20%?  You’re already spending the money to get the leads, but now you are increasing your close % and you’re doubling your money.

What if you offered an up-sell?  If you had 10 leads, and now you’re converting 20% (2 customers), but one of those buys an “up-sell” that is 2x the price of the first offer?  Can you start to see how this can help your business?

Do you have any down-sells?  If you had 10 leads come in, 2 buy (yay!) but I’m more concerned about the 8 that didn’t buy.

Why didn’t they buy?  Do you know?  Have you asked them?

If it was a price-based objection, do you have any down-sells that could keep them as customers?

You see where we’re going here?

Achieving a clear vision and strategy is crucial for you to optimize the value you provide to each customer.

If you need help figuring out your customer journey, drop me a line on Facebook or in the comments below. I’d be glad to help you audit your process and identify the gaps.

3 Ways to Grow Your Business and Get More Customers

Regardless of the industry you serve, from landscapers to lawyers, janitors to gym owners, and arborists to architects…you want more customers, right?

If the answer is, “of course!” then keep reading (and if it’s, “well maybe…” then it’s time for you to update your resume and apply for a job somewhere).

I’ve talked to countless business owners and the #1 pain point that surfaces is, “how do I get more customers?”

I’m going to show you how to do that in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: The Watering Hole


The first step in getting more customers is finding where they are hanging out.   This could be online or offline.  If you notice that your perfect, ideal customer is loitering around bus benches…AWESOME.  You should buy some advertising on bus benches.  (Comment below if your customer is hanging around bus benches so I know what market you’re in…  haha)

In reality, they are probably spending their time online, in Social Media, blogs, etc.  They have some shared pain point, interest, or desired end result.  This might mean they are watching the same shows on TV, members of the same club, reading the same books, drinking the same beverage…. you get the idea.

Let’s take a real-world example of a Yoga studio.  If you owned a yoga studio, you want more people to come to your studio and take more classes, right?  Depending on your Customer Journey you might have a free class, lead to a paid week of classes, leading to a membership, and finally maybe 1-on-1 instruction to maximize your profit.

If you already have customers, you can start to notice and “spy” on them and look for similarities.

Do you notice that during your class there are a certain type of car in the parking lot?

Do they all wear a certain brand of clothing (shoes, pants, mats, etc)?

Are they male or female?  What age are they?

Now, if you have customers, you can learn more about them in 1 of 2 ways:

1 – Use your eyes and your brain.  Look around, be observant.  Look for similarities in your tribe.

2 – Survey them.  That’s right, just pass out a simple survey when they come into your studio (incentivize them if necessary with a drawing, a free class or giveaway) or use something like Survey Monkey (free) or Google Forms (free) to make a simple survey via email.  Or, do both.

The goal of the survey is to find out more about them…ask them what books they read, what shows they watch, what clubs are they a part of, where do they shop, where do they live?

If you don’t have customers and you’re starting this yoga studio from scratch, try the following:

1 – Check out your competition.  Who is the dominant player in your space?  What are they doing online and offline to attract customers?

2 – Sign up for a free class and use your power of observation skills to “spy” on their demographic.  Use the tips listed above.  (Now, you probably can’t be handing out a survey at the door or they’ll kindly escort you off the premises).

3 – Gather a focus group of what you *think* your customer will look like. Start reaching out to them online, email, text, FB messenger, etc.  Try to get as many as possible to take your survey.

If you’d done this well, you start to have enough data to say about your ideal customer (or “avatar”):

  • Age, gender, parental status
  • Favorite author(s) and TV show(s)
  • Zip code
  • Other interests or hobbies
  • Pain points (negative) or aspirations (positive)
  • …along with any other key data points you have gathered

Getting true clarity on this will help you craft your messaging and offer(s) to your ideal audience.

Step 2: The Beacon

Now that you know your ideal customer, and you have an idea where they are “hanging out” online.  You need to send out the beacon (or as I call it the “Bait” in my Process)

Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about “aggregating attention”, and I totally agree with the importance of this concept.

Let me explain: the world of marketing is vastly different than 20 years ago (heck, even 5 years ago).

I remember in the not-so-distant past that we’d keep the Phone Book on the counter by our phone.  In the kitchen or dining room, it was right there within arms’ reach at all times.  If we didn’t know what to eat for dinner we’d flip to the back and thumb through the coupon pages until something caught our eye.

Fast forward 20 years…

Do you still get the phone book?  Do you hear a loud “thud” on your doorstep every 6 months or so?

And when you hear that thud, you gather your loved ones, rush outside like a kid on Christmas morning and fight over who gets to look through the phone book first?



Wait, you don’t?  You mean, you ignore it for 3.5 weeks and leave it on your porch, let it get rained on and chewed on by the neighborhood dog then you throw it away?

Yeah, you and 99.9% of those businesses ideal customers do the same thing.

So, if you NO ONE (and I mean NO ONE) is looking at the phone book (in other words, it has no one’s attention) why in the world would you ever spend a dime advertising?

Same thing with coupon mailers.  Bus benches are no different (no offense to anyone who is crushing it with bus benches and has already left a nasty comment).  Billboards?

Do me a favor, next time you’re driving down the highway, watch (carefully) and observe other peoples’ behavior on the road.

If they have passengers in their car, what are they doing?

Heck, what are the drivers sometimes doing?

That’s right, they are staring at their phones.  They are not looking around at all the awesome billboards that are flying by.  Again, the billboards don’t have their attention…

I think I’ve made my point.

The reality is, everyone is on their phones.  Think about your own behavior.  When you have any downtime (as a passenger on the train or in a car, waiting in line somewhere, watching TV and a commercial comes on)…

Where is your attention?  It’s focused on that little rectangle in your hand.

What does this mean to my Yoga Studio example?

It means you need a comprehensive advertising & marketing strategy on Facebook, Instagram and Google…

Send me a message on FB if you want to chat about what this could look like in your business.

Step 3: The Offer

Ok, this is where it gets good.  You know your avatar (your ideal customer), you know where they’re hanging out…

Now it’s time to craft your offer.

Your offer is all about solving your customer’s pain.  The more pain you’re solving, the more you can charge for your product or service.

If you have a product that can make me lose 1 pound in 30 days, I would pay next to nothing for that.

But if you have a product that could transform my status and my lifestyle…that’s obviously a lot more valuable.

In my yoga studio example, what would we be “selling”?

Flexibility?  Maybe, but not that exciting.  Not too many people are staying awake at night wishing they could do the splits…

Confidence?  Now we’re getting somewhere!  Could 30 days of yoga make you feel more confident?  Absolutely!

Healthy Body Image?  You bet!

See what I mean?  If you’re a landscaper, you’re selling the idea of “having a yard that makes your neighbors jealous…without any of the hard work.”  Sound better than “I will mow your lawn for $XX dollars”?

An attorney might sell “peace of mind knowing that your kids are taken care of” instead of a “I will set up your will…”

Peace of mind, confidence, body image, better sleep…what is it your customers really want?

What keeps them up at night?

For more help on getting more customers in your business, just message me on Facebook and start the conversation.

Comment below your questions, thoughts, and techniques.