Steal These 3 Lead Generation Hacks From Successful Membership Site Owners To Grow Your Online Business In 2024

Steal These 3 Lead Generation Hacks From Successful Membership Site Owners To Grow Your Online Business In 2024

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For years, I thought the best way to grow my business was to be the first to try the latest sales and marketing trends.

Now I know it was a recipe for disaster.

Instead, I now look for proven lead generation models that are working for businesses today.

And it’s made my life so much easier.

Here are the top 3 most successful lead generation funnels across all my clients, students, and community so far in 2024.

Hack #1 – Quiz Funnels

Quiz funnels are ingenious.

A good quiz funnel will produce a lower cost per lead than almost any other funnel. But that’s just for starters. You will also end up with a more engaged lead, and through the quiz the lead will tell you their exact pain points and how to sell to them most effectively.

You can still get a quiz funnel wrong, but when they work, they really really work.

Hack #2 – Webinar Funnels

Just when everyone is ready to write webinar funnels off, they surge back into popularity.

I especially love webinar funnels for evergreen sales. Unlike other funnels, the minimum price point for a webinar to work is $497 a year or $47 per month. What I love most about webinars is your ability to optimize the funnel over time.

What I love most about webinar funnels is how quickly you can get them up and running.

Hack #3 – Front End Mini Product Funnels

If you‘ve been following my content for a while, you’ll know I’m a massive fan of front end mini products.

With advertising costs rising, every online business needs a way to recoup their ad spend before the bill hits their credit card. And that’s exactly what a front end mini product gives you. No more watching your ad costs rack up, hoping your launch in three months will get a positive ROAS. 

You instantly know if your ads are making money or not.

These are my top 3 funnels. 

But remember, the only bad funnel is the one that isn’t launched.

It’s all about getting started. 

And every funnel you build makes the next funnel quicker and easier.

So drop a comment below…. what funnel are you working on?

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The one Meta ad objective you should never use for profitable ad campaigns (and what to use instead)

The one Meta ad objective you should never use for profitable ad campaigns (and what to use instead)

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A villain lurks in plain sight.

Ready to steal ad spend from advertisers that don’t know better.

Promising cheap clicks that make your ad metrics look good.

But their only purpose is to burn your cash and give you nothing in return.

If you run Meta ads to grow your online course, membership, or service business…

Or, an agency runs them for you…

There is one ad objective you never want to see inside your ad campaigns.

The Meta Ad Objective You Should Never Use

Avoid the traffic objective at all costs.

In all my years of advertising online, I’ve never found a good use case for the traffic objective. Sure, traffic campaigns will send lots of people to your website. But Meta shows your ads to people who like to click links, not people who opt-in for lead magnets or buy digital products online.

You’d be better off taking your hard-earned cash and lighting a bonfire with it in your back garden. 

Here are 3 objectives to use instead:

#1 The Video View Objective

You can build some exciting campaigns based on the video view objective.

Launch a series of videos optimized 15-second views. Build custom audiences based on view percentages and retarget your most engaged viewers with ads for your lead magnet or offer. 

This strategy works especially well for new accounts where Meta doesn’t have a lot of pixel

#2 The Lead Objective

Use the lead objective if you want people to opt in for your lead magnet.

I often see new advertisers try to trick Meta into getting a lower cost per lead by using the traffic objective. This method always backfires. There is a problem with cheap traffic – it’s low intent, cheap traffic!

Don’t try to outsmart Meta. 

#3 The Sales Objective

If your ultimate goal is to generate sales within 5-7 days, even if the first step is free opt-in, use the sales objective.

The sales objective targets Meta’s highest-value users – people who have made or are likely to make a purchase online. Yes, you will pay a higher cost per lead for these people. But, they will be more likely to buy your digital product, which will lead to a higher return on ad spend.

Because all that matters is your return on ad spend.

For all my gripes, Meta has built a phenomenal advertising platform. 

Don’t try to outsmart it or trick it.

Tell Meta the action you what you and they will deliver the people who are most likely to take that action.

Happy advertising.

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How a membership changed my life

How a membership changed my life

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Back in 2015, my business was exhausting.

Every evening I shut the door, I knew I’d have to wake up and make more sales the next day. 

I was like a hunter going from kill to kill.

Sure, I had repeat clients, but I was continuously in sales mode.

That was until the day I launched my first membership.

That launch changed my life. 

And I’ve seen hundreds of my students and clients experience the same feeling when they launched their membership or subscription. 

Here’s why I believe memberships are the best way to grow your revenue and your profitability.

#1 Experience the joy of recurring revenue

There is no greater joy than selling once and getting paid over and over.

Recurring revenue gives you cash flow stability, certainty, and confidence. And even more importantly, it’s compounding. Every subscription or membership launch adds new sales to your past sales, which triggers compunding.

Compounding is the most powerful force you can harness in your business.

#2 Stop leaving money on the table

For every 100 people who buy from you, 20 would be happy to spend 5 times more.

This is the 80/20 law applied to sales. Most businesses don’t have a continuation offer to make to people willing to spend more. A membership or subscription is the perfect backend offer, increasing your customer lifetime value and your profitability.

With a membership or subscription, you always have a next-step offer for your best clients.

#3 Build a community around your business 

Community is the new hot topic in marketing and business growth.

There is no better way to build a community than around a membership or subscription. Not only is a community attractive for existing clients, but it will also bring new prospects into your world. So, your membership will act as a lead generation machine for your existing business.

Your clients are looking for a space to belong; give it to them.

I believe memberships today are to business, what websites were in the 1990’s.

Very few businesses have one…. 

….early adopters make a killing.

….and soon, every business will have one.

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3 ways I use reciprocity to increase online course and membership sales without being slimy, salesy, or manipulative

3 ways I use reciprocity to increase online course and membership sales without being slimy, salesy, or manipulative

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Ever noticed when someone does you a favor, you feel the need to return it? The feeling is called reciprocation.  Reciprocation is a strong psychological driver, and it’s the foundation on which the best lead generation and launch funnels are built. And because reciprocation only works when you give value first, you can never be accused of being pushy or manipulative. After delivering over 100 online launches, countless lead generation funnels, and over $10,000,000 in online sales, I’ve seen the power of reciprocation firsthand. Here are 3 ways I use it to sell more online: 

1. Offer something valuable for free

Your goal is to make your free content better than your competitor’s paid content. A lead magnet is a high-value resource we offer to people in exchange for their email address. When they opt-in, we not only have their email address, but we also trigger a feeling of reciprocation. By giving them something of value for free, they will be more likely to say yes when we ask them to make a related purchase later. The higher the value of the free gift, the greater the feeling of reciprocation.

2. Show them how to get maximum value from the freebie

If you can help someone take action to solve a pain point, they will be forever grateful. Just because you’ve given them a highly valuable resource doesn’t mean they will automatically get value from it. Draft a follow-up email sequence showing them how to implement the lead magnet and sprinkle in some additional gifts and surprises along the way.  If they get a result with your freebie, they will be instantly more likely to purchase your paid product.

3. Run a free masterclass

Running a free masterclass before offering your course, membership, or service is the foundation of an online launch. During the free masterclass you build excitement, demonstrate your ability to help your audience get a result, and trigger reciprocation. By delivering value in advance of making an ask you win people over and give them a taste of what it will be like to work with you. Whether you call it a workshop, webinar, masterclass, or challenge, the principle remains the same A properly structured masterclass is the key to maximizing sales during your online launch. The higher the value you freely deliver the greater your sales will be when you make an offer. There is no such thing as giving away too much value for free. But what you give away has to make it easy for your perfect fit client to get a result. No one wants more information, even if it is for free. But when you give your audience shortcuts, frameworks, and blueprints to achieve their desired result, they’ll love you for it. And, they’ll be way more likely to purchase your paid offers. 
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What AI is lacking, and how you can use it to get ahead of your competition

What AI is lacking, and how you can use it to get ahead of your competition

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Do you have dedicated AI exploration time every week?

Time that you are free to play? Time with zero expected output?

If you said NO, you are probably the same as 99% of online business owners.

I’ve used AI almost every day for 5-6 years, but I even struggle with dedicated AI playtime.

The fact is, it can’t stay that way for long. AI is coming, and there is no stopping it.

So, what do we need to do as online business owners?

Let’s dive into it….

What is AI lacking?

AI doesn’t have and never will have human intuition.

Sure, AGI (when it comes) will have something akin to human intuition, but it will never have the same feel for your business and your customers as you do. Successful online business owners all have one thing in common – an almost telepathic connection with their audience.

The role of intuition in business success is underappreciated today, and it will become even more important in the future.

What does that mean for you?

As AI reaches further and further into our business operations, we need to develop intuition checkpoints.

I see it every day in the sea of putrid ChatGPT garbage that people post on social media and use in their ad copy. Sure, all the individual words make sense, and it’s said confidently, but it completely misses the mark. Yes, AI is the way forward, but we need to control it and shape it based on our intuition.

In an odd twist of fate, AI will force us to connect with and document our intuition, a practice most business owners have never consciously undertaken before.

How can you use AI to get ahead of your competition?

So, the real opportunity lies in leveraging AI to build a more human business. Who would have thought!? 

The unthinking online business owner will see AI as an opportunity to cut costs, reduce workload and spam the world with crappy content. The smart business owner will leverage AI to create a more connected and human experience for their clients. Sometimes, it’s funny how things work out. 

If you want to win during the initial 10-year adoption phase, this is where the real opportunity lies.

The opportunity in AI is massive, but so many people misunderstand where the real opportunity lies.

And don’t worry, you are not behind.

If you are reading this, you are still early to AI.

But, the earlier you start your journey, the better positioned you’ll be to take full advantage.

And we need to be ready because the rate of AI adoption is starting to make the Dotcom Age look like the Stone Age.

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How To Figure Out If People Want Your Digital Product Before You Invest Time and Money Developing It

How To Figure Out If People Want Your Digital Product Before You Invest Time and Money Developing It

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You have an idea for an online course or membership, but what if nobody buys it?

The last thing you want to do is invest valuable time, effort, and money in creating a program that no one buys.

I’ve helped hundreds of people launch their first online course and membership.

And this is the process I’ve used to help them to quickly figure out if their audience wants their digital product before they build it.

It’s called a founding member’s launch, and it’s the best way to profitably launch your first digital product without wasting money on building something people don’t want.

Here are 3 steps to deliver your founding member’s launch: 

Create your online course or membership outline.

Start by outlining the key modules of your course or your membership success path.

People need to know that you have a proven path they can follow. Your outline is the roadmap to their desired destination. You wouldn’t jump on a ship with a captain who didn’t know where they were going, nor would your audience.

Each step on the journey should be clear and should excite your audience.

Identify the transformation you can help people achieve

Next, describe your audience’s life when they implement your digital product.

What will they see, hear, do, and feel differently than they do today? While you can launch a digital product before you build it, you need to know your process works, and it will get them the results they want. Your job is to describe what the result looks like in the life of someone who has implemented your digital product.

Steps 1 and 2 are the foundation of your offer.

Offer access at a special founding members rate.

The final step is to launch our founding member offer.

Be clear with your audience that you intend to build the digital product with your founding members. Position it as a positive that you will seek their feedback and create content to answer their questions. In addition, they also get access to your course or membership at a much lower rate than people who buy in the future.

The founding member launch is a win-win all around.

Never invest in building a program before you find out if people want it.

Not alone could it be a giant waste of time, effort, and money.

But, it’s also doing a disservice to your students.

When you “build with” your founding members, you will discover many challenges and problems you never knew existed.

Using a founding member launch helps build a stronger digital product that will help future members achieve an even greater result faster.

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3 Must-Track Meta Ad Metrics to Profitably Scale Your Online Course or Membership

3 Must-Track Meta Ad Metrics to Profitably Scale Your Online Course or Membership

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When I started running Meta ads for online courses, memberships, and service providers, I drove myself crazy tracking every metric and stat.

Now, my team and I manage over $750,000 in client ad spend a year, but we track only three key metrics.

If you want to simplify your ad reporting and run profitable campaigns, here are the only 3 key metrics you need to track.

Metric #1 – Unique Outbound Click-Through Rate

Unique Outbound Click-Through Rate (UOCTR) is the most underrated metric, especially for new ad campaigns.

Your UOCTR is the best metric for the quality of your ad. Your initial goal is 1% – 1.5%. Anything over a 2% UOCTR, and your ad is highly engaging. While UOCTR does not mean that the ad will produce the highest return, I’ve never seen a 0.2% UOCTR with a positive return.

UOTCR becomes less important for established campaigns, but this is a great metric to track as long as you keep your ad copy and creative aligned with your funnel.

Metric #2 – Cost Per Lead

Cost Per Lead (CPL) is a multiple of your cost per thousand impressions (CPM), UOCTR, and opt-in page conversion rate.

Don’t get me wrong, your goal isn’t to get cheap leads. But you can use this metric to calculate if it’s even possible for your funnel to make money. The biggest factor impacting your CPL is your opt-in on-page conversion rate.

Our minimum opt-in page conversion rate target is 40%, but 60% – 80% is more than possible.

Metric #3 – Cost Per Acquisition

The Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is the king of all metrics. It’s the cost of acquiring a paying customer.

If I were to track only one metric per campaign, I would focus on CPA. While a high CTR or a low CPL are directionally correct, they don’t always give you the lowest CPA. If you have a funnel that converts in less than 7 days, this is the #1 figure you should look at every day.

Because the only true sign of a good ad campaign is Profit or Return on Ad Spend.

I love data, but too much data can confuse your day-to-day decisions.

No matter your campaign type or maturity, these 3 metrics will give you all the data you need to make quality optimization decisions.

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My top 5 lead generation funnels for digital product owners and service providers who want to grow their business online

My top 5 lead generation funnels for digital product owners and service providers who want to grow their business online

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When I started my first business, I believed it was incredibly complex.

After more than 20 years running successful 6 and 7-figure businesses, I see things differently.

I now see that all business activities fall into managing just 3 key categories.

And my job, every day, is to optimize one or other of these categories.

The 3 categories are – Leads, Sales & Fulfillment.

One of the reasons I love helping people build funnels online is that it helps them work on two of the big three categories: leads and sales.

Here are my top 5 funnels ranked from easiest to most complex to implement.

#1 – Meta Lead Ad Funnel

I love Meta lead ads if you’re getting started in lead generation.

Your leads submit their details via a form on Facebook or Instagram. This means you don’t need to worry about landing or thank you pages. Simply hook your Meta business manager to your email platform, and you’re off to the races.

#2 – Lead Magnet Funnel

The next step up is a standard lead manget funnel.

Here, you drive traffic from Meta or Google ads to an opt-in page offering a lead magnet. Your leads submit their details through a form on the landing page, which triggers a delivery and engagement sequence in your email platform.

#3 – Book A Call Funnel

If you need to speak to a prospect before they make a purchase, the book-a-call funnel is perfect for you.

I like to drive traffic to a lead magnet opt-in page and then give people the opportunity to book a call on the thank you page. You can drive people directly to the option to book a call, but you may find you end up on calls with lots of unqualified prospects.

#4 – Webinar Funnel

I love webinar funnels if you’re selling a mid- to high-value ($497+) digital product or service.

You drive traffic to the webinar opt-in page. Registrants join the webinar, during which you make an offer for your digital product or service. Registrants then get entered into an email sales sequence for 5-7 days.

#5 – Front End Mini Product Funnel

This is my favorite funnel of all time, and every business should have a front end mini product funnel.

You drive traffic to a lead magnet. On the opt-in thank you page, leads who opt in are offered a mini product ($27 – $97). The goal of this funnel is for the sales of the mini product to cover the cost of your ads, giving you an unlimited budget for lead generation.

Your business will die if it doesn’t have a consistent and reliable way of generating profitable leads.

The fact is every business has a lead and sales funnel.

It’s just some people are intentional about the design and results of the funnel.

It doesn’t matter which funnel you start with. All that matters is you start today.

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Should I cancel my premium subscription to ChatGPT now that GPT-4o is free?

Should I cancel my premium subscription to ChatGPT now that GPT-4o is free?

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GPT-4o is now free to all ChatGPT users.

Many online business owners and marketers have been asking themselves the same question.

Should I cancel my $20 monthly paid subscription to ChatGPT if I can get the newest and most powerful model for free?

My simple answer is NO.

Here are 3 reasons I think you need to keep your subscription:

Chat limitations

On the free model, you are limited to 10-16 chats per 3-hour period.

While 10-16 chats sound like a lot, you get the best outputs by breaking big prompts into smaller sequential prompts. You can burn through 5 – 6 prompts for even basic tasks very quickly. The last thing you want to be worried about is hitting your limits.

One of the primary strengths of AI today is unlimited iterations. If you rely on the free version, you lose this ability.

Defaults to GPT3.5 after limits

Once you hit your limit on the free plan, you default back to GPT3.5.

GPT3.5 is a significant step backward from GPT-4 on all fronts. Earlier this year, I noticed that the quality of the pre-work research and brainstorming my team produced for my blogs declined rapidly. After a little investigation, it turned out one team member’s ChatGPT subscription failed, and she was working in GPT-3.5.

Only then did I realize how big the output quality difference between 3.5 and 4 was.

GPT-4o is free to all, but GPT-5 will be pay-to-play

Don’t miss your chance to get first access to GPT-5.

GPT-5 is the release we are all waiting for. GPT-4o is a little step up, but GPT-5 will be a giant leap forward. To test the model and protect server resources, OpenAI will likely only offer GPT-5 to its paid tier first before making a limited version available to free users.

I want to be first in line when GPT-5 is released.

Even if I only use ChatGPT for 5 minutes a month, it will save me and make me more than the $20-a-month subscription. 

OpenAI doesn’t care about the revenue from their premium subscription.

But they will use it as a filter for access to new features and models.

I’m happy to pay $240 a year to be at the front of the line.

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The best book I’ve ever read on persuasion and influence

The best book I’ve ever read on persuasion and influence

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This is, without a doubt, the best book I’ve ever read on persuasion and influence.

If you have an online business, your job is motivating people to make change.

Even if making a change is in someone’s best interest, no one likes change.

So, we have to master the skill of influence. 

Now, there are lots of books about persuasion and influence.

And I’ve read most of them.

But my #1 book is – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B Cialdini

Here are some of the key persuasion principles:

Reciprocation:

People feel obligated to give back to others who have given to them first. By doing favors and providing value to others, you can increase the likelihood that they will reciprocate.

Commitment and Consistency:

Once people make a decision, they will feel internal pressure to behave consistently with that commitment. If you can get a micro-commitment first, people will be more likely to say yes to a follow on “bigger ask”.

Social Proof:

People look to the actions of others to determine their own, especially when uncertain. This deep evolutionary shortcut stems back to a feeling of safety in the herd. The more people doing something, the more correct it seems. 

Liking:

People prefer to say yes to people that they like. Factors that increase liking include attractiveness, similarity, compliments, familiarity, and cooperation. Stories are one of the best ways you can trigger this in your online business.

Authority:

People feel compelled to follow authority and tend to obey official-looking people, titles, and clothes. As an online business owner, you can trigger this by sharing your wins or, even more powerfully, sharing the wins you have helped others achieve.

Scarcity:

Scarcity drives desirability. When there is less of something available, people want it more. If you only have 10 spots available in your coaching program, highlight them in your promotional material. It will make the program even more desirable.

This book is a great read and a fascinating dive into human psychology.

I can’t recommend this book enough if you are involved in marketing.

If you are at all interested in persuasion and influence, I can’t recommend this book enough. 

Have you read it? What do you think?