When it comes to building a solo ads funnel, the big question on everyone’s mind is usually the same…
How do you build a funnel that converts like gangbusters?
And the second question that closely follows…
Which product should you offer?
Should it be an eBook? Or perhaps a set of video tutorials? A software?
Or maybe a little bit of everything?
Truth is, it doesn’t matter.
That’s because your system’s perceived value is determined in large by the problem it helps solve and not by the content of your program.
Whether you offer an eBook containing solid advice on making money from home or a set of video recordings from the last seminar you conducted, the customer’s only concern is – does this help solve my problem fast and without pain?
Starting I didn’t know that.
So my first couple of products were eBooks.
I felt more comfortable putting my thoughts on paper rather than speaking them into a camera lens.
Besides, I didn’t have the right equipment to shoot professional videos.
Writing eBooks cost next to nothing, so it didn’t require expensive production software or extensive knowledge in video and audio editing.
I got off to a rocky start.
First, I wrote an 80-page book about mindset. I compiled a bunch of scientific studies and mixed a little bit of self-help advice I picked up from Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown and The Secret.
It failed. I sold 3 copies at $47.
Next, I tried selling a Twitter Marketing eBook on the WarriorForum. It was a Private Label Rights book I purchased and repackaged as my own. The content wasn’t great. So was my sales letter, apparently, because I sold just 1 copy at $27.
3rd time’s a charm! My third product was a 13-page eBook about list building. I wrote it in one day, at my job, selling lottery tickets. I priced it at $7 at first. But after selling 10 copies, I grew a pair and bumped the price to a whopping $9.97.
This eBook put me on the map. It got me recognition and respect from my peers. I felt great about myself and I could finally shout from the top of my lungs that I was making money online.
To my amazement, I started making 3-5 sales per day. I even opened up my own affiliate program through Payspree. It was an eBook that [sorta] changed my life.
Today, however, my personal preference is video when it comes to content creation.
• I can talk out a video faster than I can write an eBook
• High production quality makes me look professional in the eyes of my customers. This is good for branding. Something I pay more attention to now than I did back when the game was about making enough money to cover rent.
• Video is easy to transcribe and turn into a text product. For another $10-$20, I can have someone type out all the words said on video into a word document and have myself another product I could sell, give away or offer as a bonus.
If you’re camera shy, you don’t have to do “face video.”
There’s two types of screen capture videos that work best.
– Keynote – walk the viewer through a series of slides. This is an incredible shortcut for you if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like memorising scripts. The slides can serve as the cheat sheet that keeps you on track.
– Tutorial – if your “system” requires the client to set things up on their computer (almost all make money systems do), I highly recommend this type of video. This is an easy way to create high perceived value content. It also requires you to talk less, because you can show things instead.
Video is great, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you don’t want to shoot videos and you don’t want to write your own eBook (or hire a professional eBook ghostwriter to do it for you for a reasonable fee), you could also conduct interviews with experts.
It’s an obscenely profitable way to create information products. It’s a shortcut I’ve used time and time again when I had to create content in micro-niches I had no business creating content in.
Besides the money you’re going to make selling your product, it comes with an added benefit of increasing your status.
When you interview an expert, their status and credibility rubs on you. You become guilty by association. Soon you’re perceived as an expert simply because you rub shoulders with A-list players.
How to conduct a successful expert interview
Here’s what you’ll need to successfully conduct an expert interview and package it into a valuable product:
– Skype account
– Skype recording software. Before I switched to Mac, I used Pamela for Skype. Today I use Ecamm call recorder.
– Questionnaire. Some experts prefer to have the questions in advance.
This stifles a lot of people, so here’s how I recommend you think about it.
The ideal outcome of the interview is to create a product that answers all your customer’s questions about the topic. The questions you’re going to ask should be focused around what the prospect would want to know were they sitting in your chair during the interview.
Let’s say we decided to put together a product that helps people transition from a manual labor job to a freelance job working from home.
What would our customer like to know? Which questions would she’d ask the expert were she able to pick their brain for 30 minutes? What are the most nagging concerns on her mind that won’t let her sleep at night she desperately needs addressed?
Here’s some possible questions she may be wondering:
1. What kind of freelance jobs exist?
2. Freelancing is riskier than having a job. I could have 10 clients this month and only 2 the next. How can I protect myself against dry spells?
3. What are the best places to get freelance jobs for a newbie?
4. What are the 3 most common mistakes beginner freelancers make?
5. How much time per day should I work as a freelancer?
6. What’s the most money I can expect to make as a freelancer in my first month?
7. What’s the #1 shortcut to successful freelancing?
These are just 7 out of dozens of questions you can ask that would make a great product.
Keep your question count around 7. 5 isn’t enough. 10 is too much.
If you’d like to grill this expert for longer than 30-45 minutes, consider a follow up interview request. They’ll be more likely to agree if they already done an interview with you and liked it.
Keep in mind, the expert you’re interviewing will judge you by the quality of the questions you’re asking. If you ask boring surface-level questions, you’ll be perceived as someone who isn’t worth their time.
Experts have huge egos.
They appreciate people who appeal to it. The best way to get on their good side is to study their work before reaching out to them with an interview request. Then you’ll be able to come up with specific questions around their work. This sends a message to your guest that you took the time to study their work.
– Interview request script. I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews over the years. But I’ve done thousands of approaches. Getting the expert to say “YES” to an interview request is the trickiest part of the process. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so I prepared this email script for you.
My opinion of <insert expert’s product title here>
<Expert first name>, my name is <your full name>.
I just finished going through <expert’s product title>.
<Write what you loved about their product. Be specific. Refer to a particular chapter, example, technique. Share how it helped you solve a problem you’ve had. Don’t lie. Be honest. If you don’t have anything good to say about their product – consider hooking up with another expert>
I’m going to be releasing a product on <insert expert’s area of expertise here> soon and I was wondering if you’d like to be featured as an expert guest. I was thinking of conducting a 30-minute interview where you’d answer the following questions: <insert questionnaire here>
We’d conduct the interview on Skype. You get full rights.
Let me know if you’re interested. If not, that’s cool, no hard feelings!
– Specific time and date. If someone is an expert in their field, chances are they’re busy. They won’t jump out of their chair just to talk to you. That’s why, before fully committing, they’d like to know when you would like to conduct the interview.
When you’re asked to name the date and time, provide two options for them to choose from. This communicates you’re busy too and that you’re making a window in your schedule to conduct the call. It also allows the expert to look for a specific window in their schedule.
Should your solo ads funnel offer a money back guarantee?
Always offer a money back guarantee.
30 days… 60… 90… The longer the better.
Nobody likes risk. Remove it.
Make it easy for the prospect to say “Yes!”
The mistake most marketers makes is they either don’t offer a money back guarantee because they’re afraid they’ll be taken advantage of or they offer a boring money back guarantee.
Both mistakes are equally bad. The first one tells the customer you’re not confident in the quality of the product you’re selling. The second one just isn’t exciting enough to shake them out of their boredom.
Get creative. Offer to buy the product back at double the price. Offer to buy your competitor’s product for them. Challenge the customer go through the program and offer $100 if they can prove they implemented it. Reward the customer with $1,000 if they successfully complete the program and can prove it.
Don’t just offer their money back. Don’t just promise satisfaction. And don’t be boring and predictable.
If you’re worried about the risk an unconditional guarantee poses for you, read this article from Copyblogger. It explains why it’s a common mistake to fear to offer the customer to carry all the risk on your own shoulders.
The added sales you’ll generate from offering an iron-clad guarantee will encompass the few a-holes that will try to take advantage of your generosity. I believe in this so strongly that I became the first solo ad provider to ever offer a money back guarantee on my services.
Here’s 10 guarantee templates you can use for inspiration.
Spice your offer up with bonuses
Bonus is a strategic component of your offer.
Its job is to push the prospect over the fence.
Package your bonus separately from your core offer. Offer it for free, if the clients meet a buying criteria (buy before deadline, available until stock lasts, first time customers only, etc).
Furthermore, by packaging your bonus (or bonuses) separately you jack up the perceived value of your offer. You also appeal to greed, which should never be underestimated.
There’s no downside to bribing your customers with a sweet bonus. It can only increase your sales. It can’t hurt.
Sometimes I make the bonus more valuable than the product I’m selling. Other times, but not as often, I break my product into parts and offer one of them as a bonus. I do it because it pulls the prospect to buy.
For example, in my Ultimate Guide To Bridge Pages For Business Opportunities, I offer a video tutorial bonus where I walk my customers through creating a bridge page using ClickFunnels. It’s something my customer needs, but not something I’m obligated to include in the core content of the program that teaches what goes into the perfect bridge page. By adding this tutorial, I’m creating a feeling of wholeness and give the offer a premium feel at the same time.
My favorite technique, however, is to create a unique product, not available on sale anywhere else and offer it for free to anyone who buys my program before the deadline.
This way, I increase the perceived value of the bonus product through exclusivity and I’m incentivizing clients to procrastinate less and buy fast.
I also use bonuses to neutralize objections.
If I’m selling a list building course, I assume my client doesn’t know how to build squeeze pages. A great bonus can be my highest-converting squeeze page template with fill in the blanks fields.
Such bonus helps my customer save money and time. It’s an exclusive bonus, because my squeeze page template isn’t on sale anywhere else. There’s no price anchor that might lead them to believe it’s low value.
What is a bonus?
An eBook, software, video tutorials, checklist, quick start guide, a book, your friend’s program, expert interview, a service, coaching session, etc.
Ask yourself what, if offered for free, would make your customer go “OMG! I can’t believe he gives it away for free! I’ve been looking for something like this for ages! Even if the program he sells is crap, this bonus alone is worth it for me!”
How to double your sales with ethical scarcity
A group of participants were asked to rate two jars of cookies. Jar #1 presented an abundant supply of cookies – 10 or more. Jar #2 presented some cookies, but not a lot – no more than 2.
Study participants voted jar #2 to be more desirable. They voted the same way about cookies who’s supply constantly changed from abundant to scarce.
Scarcity sells. Real scarcity. Not the fake scarcity you’re used to seeing online.
So if you threaten to pull your offer down in 48 hours, do it. The prospect will respect you for it, so you’ll immediately stand out from a crowd of bullshit artists who simulate shortage.
Here’s several ways to use scarcity with digital products:
– Price scarcity – offer a discount for a limited time
– Bonus scarcity – offer an exclusive bonus for fast-action takers
– Supply scarcity – shut down the offer or double the price when you hit full capacity (works well with coaching groups, webinars, live classes, etc. don’t use with information products)
Besides deciding what kind of scarcity you’d like to present, make sure the prospect understands the clock is ticking by showing an actual clock.
It’s common sense, I know. But common sense is not so common.
I see marketers threaten scarcity without any visual aids all the time. Often, their scarcity just flies over the reader’s head because there’s nothing there for the eye to catch.
Use Deadline Funnel to create visual timers. It’s easy to use, making installing the timer on your sales page a breeze. Plus, Deadline Funnel also allows you to install timers in your email sequence and pretty much on any part of your solo ads funnel in full sync.
Listen to an interview I conducted with Jack Born, the founder of Deadline Funnel, about how to use ethical scarcity to double your sales.
There’s two types of scarcity timers you can use:
– Evergreen countdown – use this timer to set a definite time limit on the offer. It’s triggered by customer’s 1st visit to the page. Ideal for evergreen offers.
– Date-specific countdown – use to limit your offer to a date and time. Ideal for product launches and seasonal offers.
Few words about graphic design
I was never fond of the idea of sinking thousands of dollars in a pretty-looking website.
Because I made millions of dollars with butt-ugly websites. My sales copy always got the job done.
What matters far more than web design (besides sales copy) is User Experience.
UX is an art form. Its chief purpose is to make the website easy to use for the customer. Most people don’t know how to do that.
They build cluttered sites that are difficult to navigate.
I recommend reading Letting Go of The Words and Don’t Let Me Think to get a grasp on it.
Dennis Ray, Chief Operating Officer of Igor Solo Ads, took a class on User Experience in college. May explain why the first solo ads funnel he ever built pulled 156% ROI – a marketer’s wet dream!
Good news is, when it comes to sales funnels, ClickFunnels takes care of the User Experience. One of the co-founders is a world-renowned UX expert from the Silicon Valley.
So if you hate reading or short on time, just use ClickFunnels.
How to increase the perceived value of your product without changing its content
The only graphic element your sales page can’t live without is a product illustration. Sales pages with product images outperform sales pages without a product demo.
Although the product image may not have anything to do with the actual program on sale, your customer needs to see it before she buys it.
Here’s several ways to get a high-quality product illustration:
– Do it yourself – if you have a sense of style, use My eCover Maker to create your first free eCover. It’s drag and drop interface makes it simple and saves a lot of time. The downside of using this method is your eCover might look cheap.
If you got Photoshop skills or have friends that have them, I recommend Cover Action Pro.
– Hire a Freelancer – for $20-$50 you can have professional designer create a unique illustration for your product. This is a wise investment, because it will pay for itself many times over.
I use UpWork for all my outsourcing needs.
UpWork gives you access to hundreds of freelance artists. Response and turnaround times are fast. UpWork protects you by forcing the service provider work and get paid on milestones. In addition, the money is put in escrow until you are happy with the end product.
Here’s how to hire a designer on UpWork:
Go to home page and type in what you’re looking for:
You instantly get a list of freelancer that fit the description. Let’s narrow down our search using these filters:
We’re looking for a designer with a 90% and up job success rate and who isn’t low balling his pricing (that shows they’re no good):
Pick several candidates. Don’t jump on the first one you liked. Contact each one and request samples of their work. That’s the best (and perhaps only) way to judge a designer
Each designer has their own style.
Choose the one you like most. There’s no right answer here. This is about your vision and them being able to translate your vision into an ecover.
Once you chose a designer, you’ll need to start a contract with them. Get an estimate of hours they’ll require to complete the project and ask about how many revisions do you get. Try to get at least 2 free revisions as the first mock up is never perfect.
Great thing about UpWork is freelancer doesn’t get paid until the job is complete and until you’re happy with it. The money’s being put in an escrow and is held by UpWork until the project is complete.
So there’s zero chances of you getting scammed.
Once you’re happy with your product illustration, use the same designer to get a cover for your bonus too. By creating a separate cover for your bonus, you instantly increase the perceived value of the entire offer. If you have several bonuses, get a cover done for each, even if the only difference between them is module titles.
Exit Pop & Exit Intent
Your solo ads funnel is a bucket and its leaking profits.
Exit pops help seal some of the holes through which you’re losing customers.
For example, when the prospect first lands on your squeeze page, there’s only two things that can happen. Either he a) stays and opts in or b) leaves.
If he opts in – great.
But if he leaves – you lose him forever. That’s a potential sale you’ll never make.
So you install an exit pop and as soon as the prospect tries to leave offer him a free report in exchange for their email. Experience shows you’ll get at least 8% (1 in 12) of visitors to download the report.
If you ran 1,000 visitors to your squeeze page, and it generated 30% optin rate, it means you’ve generated an extra 56 subscribers on your list. These are 56 potential sales you otherwise would have left on the table.
You didn’t spend more money on traffic.
You didn’t work harder.
And to sweeten things up even more, you got all these extra leads for free and without lifting a finger.
Not using a move out pop (appears when customer tries to leave the page)..
…and an exit pop (appears when customer clicks on “X” to close the browser tab) is saying “No” to free money.
Exit pops stretch beyond your squeeze page, so they can also be used to offer 2nd chance offers.
As I presented in the Perfect Solo Ad Sales Funnel diagram offers a funnel path consisting of several products.
Offer a downsell for each product in your solo ads funnel, and you will see a 10%-20% profit boost without any additional expenses, working harder or buying more traffic.
Here’s how you can use exit pops and exit intent pops to downsell your information products:
– If you’re selling a $17 video course about freelancing – downsell to a $9 eBook about freelancing. Same content, different media.
– If you’re selling a $37 blogging blueprint – downsell to $17 core program without bonuses
– If you’re selling a $97 backlink software – downsell to a single-user license at $47
– And if you’re selling a $27 membership – downsell to a $1 trial for 7 days
How to create an exit pop fast without coding
This is another reason why I recommend to build your solo ads funnel with ClickFunnels.
It allows you to maximize your revenue without having to buy a ton of extra software to piece it all together.
Here’s how to create an exit pop in ClickFunnels:
Non-ClickFunnels Exit Pop Solutions
– Convertables – drag and drop exit intent software with a wide range of triggers such as show an exit pop on 1st visit, show after X seconds on site, etc.
– Popup Domination – great intuitive solution for building crisp stylish exit pops on the fly.
– Optin Monster – more than just an exit intent software. Optin Monster offers an advanced optin form suite which includes split testing, page level targeting, analytics and more.
How to upsell for good karma and high profits
The more solo ads funnels I’ve built, the more I learned this to be true:
A buyer is a buyer is a buyer.
When you launch your solo ads funnel you’ll be tempted to tinker with your front end sales page. You’ll never feel you’re generating enough buyers. But the truth is, your front end is fine. It’s your upsell that needs urgent attention.
An aggressive upsell path is the cornerstone of a profitable solo ad funnel.
Upsell money is how you recoup most of your advertising dollars on a solo buy.
Create at least 2 upsells. More, if you can. Price them higher than your front end.
How to price your upsells
Follow the rule of 3.
The rule of 3 states you should have at least 3 offers in your solo ads funnel. A front end offer, an upsell #1 and an upsell #2.
Upsell #1 should be priced at 3X the cost of your front end offer.
Upsell #2 should be priced at 3X the upsell #1.
You’re selling a $9 eBook titled “How To Quit Your Job As A Full-Time Freelancer In 30 Days.” You offer an upsell video series titled “Dirty Little Secrets Of A Six Figure Freelancer” priced at $27. In addition, you offer a “Freelancer’s Black Book” priced at $77 where you give contacts of people and companies who are always looking for freelancers and who are willing to pay $10-$20 an hour for simple jobs such as commenting on blogs, uploading videos and transcribing audio files.
$9 x 3 = $27 x 3 = $81 (round it down to $77)
The beauty about upsells is that even poorly-positioned upsells convert. You can expect at least 10% of people who buy your front end offer to buy the first upsell. And another 30% of those who bought the first upsell to buy the 2nd one.
A single-offer solo ads funnel limits you to just $9 per customer.
Multi-offer solo ads funnel stretches average customer value to high double digits.
You recoup your ad spend faster. You make more money. And above everything, you scale faster by reinvesting your profits back into solo ads.
But that’s not all.
Your solo ads funnel goes beyond the sales pages.
Your thank you pages, follow up sequence and product delivery pages are profit centers too.
Promote additional products through these pages to maximize revenue and offset solo ad costs.
You could easily make an extra 30% in revenue each month with this technique at no extra cost or work.
How to profit from your ‘Thank You’ page
The most common thank you page mistake I see is not having one.
The next most common mistake is the thank you page that offers no upsells.
Dilettantes don’t dim thank you pages important. But they are. To you and the prospect.
They’re important to you, because – just like any other web real estate within the boundaries of your solo ads funnel – they offer an opportunity to upsell your customer while generating tons of good will.
They’re important to your customer because it’s the first page they see that’s not a sales page. The way it’s presented determines how they feel about their purchase.
Most marketers don’t understand how important their thank you pages are.
They channel all their attention to their squeeze pages and sales pages instead. But that’s like building a car and working only on the engine and gear box, ignoring the interior, the seats, the steering wheel and the windshield.
My first successful info product was a 13-page list building eBook. At $9.97 it could only make so much money. The first version of my thank you page included a big thank you headline, a download link for the book and a signed photo of me at the bottom of the page wishing success.
At the time I didn’t know that each transaction is a bridge to the next one. I was satisfied with making one sale because that’s what I thought a solo ads funnel was for.
But soon I started looking for ways to increase my revenue. In addition, I needed to double my profits and I knew I couldn’t double my front end conversions.
How do you make more money without selling more front end units but without creating upsells?
Observing other marketers, I decided to upsell my customers through my thank you page, so I added a P.S. at the bottom of the page recommending the customer buys a traffic product. I linked to an $9.95 affiliate offer called “Instant Traffic Shortcuts” by Richard Legg.
This feeble tweak doubled my profits.
8 out of 10 people who bought my eBook bought Richard’s program. I started making an extra $9.95 per sale eight times out of ten from the same affiliate marketing traffic.
The reason it worked was relevancy.
I upsold my clients with a product that matched well with their original purchase.
It was an accidental choice, I admit, yet a life changing one, because these extra $9.95 per sale allowed me to quit my day job at the computer store several weeks later.
The perfect solo ads funnel squeeze page
Squeeze page is the front door of your solo ads funnel.
It consists of a headline, an opt in form and a product illustration. The opt in form hooks up to your autoresponder. When someone “opts in” (e.g. types their email address into the form and hits enter), they’re added to your mailing list, so they’re now officially a subscriber and you can email them stuff.
Squeeze page has only one agenda – to squeeze (hence the name) your visitor’s email address. That’s how you build a list.
Most marketers incentivize visitors to share their email by offering an ethical bribe – a valuable free information piece tightly related to what they’re selling.
Some give away a part of their paid product and others try to over deliver by giving away their entire product line.
It’s called moving the free line. And it’s supposed to make your potential clients adore you for being a generous god.
I used to do it too. I used to give away my best content for free. But I don’t it anymore.
The idea of holding my customer’s email address hostage for a carrot is as alien to me as not putting butter on my toast.
All it helps achieve is lure freebie seekers onto your list. That’s counterproductive to making money.
An optin bribe, by design, gets in the way of selling. It invites prospects into my world with the wrong intention.
The ideal outcome I strive for with my squeeze pages is to screen my traffic based on interest.
The opt in form serves as a hoop the prospect has to jump through to unlock more information about the solution I sell.
And to do that, I use something that’s far more effective than an opt in bribe – a big idea.
Because it appeals to the one psychological trigger that’s more powerful than greed or a free lunch – curiosity.
Surprisingly, big idea squeeze pages pull higher opt in rates than bribe pages.
It’s not uncommon to see 40%, 50% and even 60% opt in rate with the right big idea. These numbers are hard to believe, but they’re real.
Stick to the following rules to generate high double digit opt in rate:
– Headline – introduces the big idea to peak curiosity and desire to unlock the next page by opting in.
– No video – it’s a common misconception to believe video gets better customers, so avoid using video on your squeeze page. It lowers opt in rates and slows the prospect down.
– No heavy graphics – stylish looks slow down load times. That’s bad for your opt in rate, so keep it clean and simple.
– Opt in form above the fold – above the fold is anything your visitors see the moment they land on your page, without having to scroll down. Obviously, there are different fold sizes for different devices (mobile and desktop). You shouldn’t let that concern you. What you should concern yourself about is making the opt in form visible and easily accessible. Don’t hide it.
– Ask for email without name or phone number – it’s a cardinal sin to collect too much information on your squeeze page because it repels prospects. It projects neediness. And most importantly, it ignores one of the most sensitive issues your prospect’s concerned with – privacy. People are touchy about their privacy. As a result, they’d much rather share their email address than their real name or phone number. Remove the name and phone field and watch your opt in rate soar by 5%-15%