The Freelancers' Show 130 - Landing Pages and Increasing Conversions with Tim Paige

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The panelists talk to Tim Paige of the ConversionCast Podcast about landing pages and increasing conversions.

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Only two hours by train from New York City, this is the perfect place to enjoy early fall at Octoberfest, while you mingle with industry pioneers, in a resort town in upstate New York. Get your tickets today at levelupcon.com. The space is extremely limited for this premium conference experience. Don’t delay! Check out levelupcon.com now]****[This episode is brought to you by ProXPN. If you are out and about on public Wi-Fi, you never know who might be listening. With ProXPN, you no longer have to worry. ProXPN is a VPN solution which sends all of your traffic over a secure connection to one of their servers around the world. To sign up, go to ProXPN.com and use the promo code tmtcs (short for teach me to code screencasts) to get 10% off for life]****CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 130 of the Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hi everyone! CHUCK: Eric Davis. ERIC: Hello. CHUCK: Curtis McHale. CURTIREUVEN: Good day. CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv, and this week we have a special guest, Tim Paige. TIM:**Hello everybody. I don’t have any – you guys all have a different greeting. I need something interesting. Like a “Whazaa,” like go back to the ‘90s or something. [Laughter]**CHUCK: There you go. So you want to introduce yourself really quickly? TIM:**Hi, I’m Tim Paige. [Laughter]REUVEN: That was really quickly. I’ll grant you that. TIM: Right. I guess I’m the Conversion Educator at LeadPages. Well I don’t guess that, I know that. I’m a husband and a dad – I got a little baby boy named Owen; he’s about to turn a year old which is about the scariest thing in the world – and I love marketing. It’s my whole presentation in a nutshell. CHUCK: Awesome. So one of the things you do as the Conversion expert – whatever your job is at LeadPages is you do the ConversionCast, which is kind of fun to listen to. TIM: Thank you. Yeah that’s a lot of fun. It’s every week, it’s every Monday, and it’s just myself and another marketer. They could be a solopreneur, they could be a freelancer, they could be a part of a large organization like WizKey, AWeber, Mob, KISSmetrics, stuff like that, and they just come on and we talk about one thing that they’re doing that’s working in their marketing. So if you listen to an episode, you’re going to get basically one thing that you could try in your business. Most episodes will apply to everybody; sometimes youll get something that’s kind of specific. It’s really, really fun especially if you’re nerdy about marketing or if you really are interested in what’s really working in online business. CHUCK: Right. Do you want to explain a little bit about – I just want to get the ball rolling and talk a little bit about LeadPages and about landing pages. We talk about freelancing; we talk about how to build your business. Where do landing pages actually fit in? I mean is it just the basic website for your business or are there better ways to use landing pages versus an informational site about your business? TIM: You know, it’s really interesting; I talk to a lot of new freelancers, new entrepreneurs, people who are trying to strike out on their own, and what I get asked about 99 times out of 100 is, “What’s the first thing that I should put on my website?” And my answer is always, “The first thing you should do is start collecting email addresses.” And the reason for that is – imagine that you are a freelancer and what you want to do is you want to go out into the world and get new clients. Well, would it be easier to launch your service to nobody or to a bunch of people? Well, clearly the answer is to a bunch of people. It’s a dumb question. But the beautiful thing about starting by collecting leads – that means that you’re always going to be working on expanding your customer base and giving more opportunities to connect and engage with an audience that you can then turn into clients when that time arises that they’re going to need your services. So where this all fits in is, a landing page is really very simply defined as just a page that’s designed to get people to take an action. Typically a landing page will really just get people to take one action, and that can be entering their email address; it can be registering for a webinar; it could be buying a product or hiring you or scheduling an appointment with you. But the most common kind of landing page that –. When people refer to a “landing page” what they’re talking about is an opt-in page – meaning it’s designed to get people to enter their email address. And so, very simply, if you’re getting started, I would even encourage you to get a domain, and if you’re a freelancer your domain could simply be yourname.com, and link that, at first, just to a landing page, and that landing page should give away something that’s really clear and easy for somebody to want to download and that will solve a specific problem. We’ve done a lot of testing around this; we’ve got a couple of billion points of data at this point. We found that the highest converting giveaway – and you might hear me refer to it as a “Lead Magnet, ” which is the thing you give people in exchange for them entering their email address, so if you hear me say “Lead Magnet” that’s what I’m referring to. But the most effective lead magnet we’ve ever given away was a list of tools – a list of resources. So for example, let’s say you were a web designer, a freelance web designer, you might give away a list of the only three tools that you need to make sure that your website looks beautiful or something like that. Give a list of tools that your potential customer would want to download and would help them solve a specific problem. Your landing page would be something as simple as a nice background; it could be something related to your industry, and then a headline that says something like “Free report reveals the only three tools that you need to make sure your website looks great and does x, y and z” and then just a button where people click it, they can enter their email address and that lead magnet will get sent to them. I think the landing page is the first thing that you should implement in your online presence, and it’s also the thing that you should be spending a lot of your time and effort focusing on optimizing and making sure that it’s effective. REUVEN: So let me just ask you Tim, because all that sounds really great, but I guess I’m still somewhat confused. And I’ve been doing web stuff for a long time; I’ve had a site for a long time and a homepage for a long time, and I get a little confused between my site, my homepage, and a landing page. So are you suggesting that I should be spending lots of time on the homepage of my website, turning it into something that will get me a lot of leads and have people sign up and with the giveaway and so forth, or should it be another page on my site? Or does it really not matter? TIM: It does matter but it’s going to really be different depending on your industry. So I’ll ask you this question: The majority of people that come to your site – are they going there for the first time? REUVEN:[Chuckles] That’s one of those questions that I probably should be able to ask – answer, huh? Yes, yes, actually almost certainly.**TIM:**So then, yes. You would want your homepage to actually be a landing page. What happens when people typically go to a website is that website looks like a whole bunch of things that are all over, no matter how beautiful your website is. Most websites have a bunch of links along the top, a bunch of banners along the right hand side, or even one or two banners, maybe some blog posts and stuff like that. There’s a “Start Here” thing, there’s this thing here that they can click on, and for most people, if they’re coming to your site for the first time, whether they found you on Google or they were linked to you or whatever, they typically have no idea what they should do first. So if the first thing that they see is a really nice, clean landing page that only has the option for them to either enter their email address or continue onto your blog or whatever, then they don’t have that paralyzing uncertainty about what to do, right? If I go to a website for the first time, I’m like “Oh, my gosh, should I click on the “Start Here” or really is that not for me? Maybe I should look through the blog posts. I don’t know. Ooh, here’s something free, should I click the thing for the free thing, or I’m not sure.” And that can lead to people just going “Well, I’m gone” and leaving the website because they don’t know what to do, or kind of clicking around, not finding specifically what they’re looking for and leaving. But if they land on your website and the first thing is, “Hey, free report reveals blah, blah, blah” and that ‘blah, blah, blah’ is something that will solve a problem for them, then they’re more likely to enter their email address. And the beautiful thing is, when you capture somebody’s email address right away, they don’t have to come back to your website in order for you to continue engaging with them and continuing the conversation with them, and then that’s the real problem. If somebody comes to your website and doesn’t find what they’re looking for very, very quickly, they’re going to leave to your website and chances are they’ll never come back. But if they leave your website and you’ve got their email, hey you’ve got reasons to bring them back, you can continue engaging, you can provide more content, etc. [Crosstalk]. That was a really long answer to your question.**REUVEN:**No, no, no that was fantastic. That was fantastic because it basically means also that instead of focusing on, as you said, what kind of links should I have on the homepage of my website, I should think about what kind of thing can I give people that will give them value, not just because it’s basically, a.) To show off my expertise but also to get them added as leads.**TIM: Yes, exactly. And you want to make sure you’re giving something of value, like you mentioned. You don’t want it to – here’s my 80-page eBook on how to do this one thing and then they open it up and each page has two lines or something. But even in that case, I’ve really found – and we’ve done this a lot – we’ve given away things that are crazy valuable. We did a six-part video course that took us a month to create; we wrote an eBook that took us two weeks to create, and they were both insanely valuable. And yet this one page pdf that we gave away that was a list of five tools – that converted better than anything that we’ve ever given away. Even an hour-long coaching call with me or an hour-long coaching call with Clay, who’s the CEO of LeadPages, none of that out-converted the one page pdf. I get asked a lot, “What should I give away? Should I make an eBook? Should I do all this?” And I’m like “No, one-page pdf, list of a few tools” because one, it doesn’t take that much time to do so you can have that up and running really quickly and two, it’ll convert better than anything else. REUVEN: Okay, very interesting. ERIC: Yeah I mean one thing you got to do is kind of look at how clients – kind of the sales funnel for the client. At what stage do they hear about you? Do they investigate you? What does it go through? For mine, I found a lot of people that’ll come to my site and they’re there to learn more about me and decide “Okay, should I get in touch with Eric or not?” And some of them would use the contact form but I’ve had a lot – I have kind of a, I think it’s a seven-email , kind of a newsletter, auto-responder thing where I say, “Hey, if you want to learn more about me, here’s this free thing, it’s seven days, no obligation” and the point of that is to get someone to say, “Yeah, I’d like to learn a bit more.” It’s more focused so they’re not jumping from page to page to page and missing the important stuff. I was just looking on my stats on that – I’ve had a really good response on that. I think about every month or so I’ll email that list if I have availability and say, “Hey I have some time coming up if you want to work with me, just reply back to this email” and we’ll start a conversation and that whole process has been working really good. I actually use LeadPages and I do some – I have different white papers I've been giving away and it lets me track which ones are – where most people are interested in but they might not opt-in or which ones people opt-in the most. I haven’t done it yet but I’m going to actually track that in more detail so I could figure out, “Okay, people come to my site. What do they really care about, and focus on those kinds of topics. And to try to really hone in on what my ideal client wants and needs. TIM: Yeah that’s huge. You said two really big things there. One is that you’re keeping track of those analytics and maybe you could be doing them better, but the fact that you’re even looking at them or noticing that there’s something going on with their trends there is big. A lot of people ignore that kind of stuff; they’re not looking at their analytics, they’re not looking at their conversion rate, they’re not trying to discern what’s actually getting them results. Looking at it in the way that you are, where you’re like “Hey what do people really want?” and just looking at what they’re opting in for will tell you what they really want. The other thing that you said was really important is that you know – you’re recognizing the source of your traffic. What are people wanting when they go to your website? So for you, they’re wanting to learn a little bit more about your services – that’s awesome, that’s really good to know. Another example of something where it’s kind of unique is – so I do voice-over services for podcasts and stuff like that and I know that about 95% of the traffic that goes to my voice-over website is already familiar with me and are only going there because they want to listen to a couple of samples and then order. So I’m not focusing much on capturing email addresses there because I know that most people going there are already ready to go, they just want to hear my voice and buy from me. Whereas if I were getting mostly cold traffic whether it’s links from other websites, whether it’s from Google or whatever it is, then I would focus more on lead capture. So it’s really important to know where in a funnel your audience is and then act accordingly. ERIC: Yeah, and I know for me, a lot of my clients are very high-value clients so it’s going to take weeks, months, maybe even like a year of following up and building a relationship with them before we actually go to having a project. So getting their email and getting them introduced to me, and make it so I can contact them instead of them forgetting about me, it’s always been important in my business. TIM: Yeah, that’s really important. I was mentioning that at my podcast movement talk about a month ago, one of the big problems is we rely so much on people coming back to us, right? Either getting in touch with us or listening to our podcast or doing all things that require other people to take actions, and I think we forget that we’re not the center of anybody’s universe – a lot of times not even our significant other right? But really, we’re the only person whose universe we’re the center of is our own. If we remember that other people have other stuff going on, they have their own lives to live, they have their own businesses, their own jobs, their own problems and kids and families and all this kind of stuff – if we remember that and we know that chances of people remembering us or our business, or whatever it is of the thousands of other options that they have, are pretty slim. If you make it so that you have the option to continue to follow up with them and you can reach out and you can be proactive, then you’re so much more likely to be able to turn that person into a client. The other thing is remembering timing. You mentioned the follow-up process – sometimes people are reaching out just because they want to have somebody ready in case in the future they ever have a need, right? So if somebody is in the need for a great article for their website and they’re looking for a freelance writer, they might not need an article right now but they might know that there will come a time when they need an article and they need it fast, so they want to have somebody ready. If you’re always sending them great tips on how to craft great content and how to make sure your blog posts are all set, you’re going to be top of mind, and when they’re ready to hire that person, you’re going to be that person they think of because you were right there. CHUCK: So what do you do with people once you’ve gotten them in? I'm asking kind of a leading question because, like I said, I sat through your talk and I watched the webinar. What do you do with folks when they’ve gotten the lead magnet, they're on your list, and let’s say that they're kind of brand new people to you, so they're just kind of at the top of that sales funnel? TIM: What we do is, obviously we deliver that lead magnet, that giveaway, to them right away so now the immediate gratification, the need to have something right away is taken care of. CHUCK: Cha-ching! TIM: Yeah, right. Exactly. We give them something right away that they can use, and then what we do is we actually have it set up so that every three days after somebody opts in, they're going to get an email that will link them up to a lesson – I can get into that lesson in just a second. What I would encourage you to do is get your auto-responder, whether you're using AWeber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, GetResponse – there are bazillions of different products out there that you can use – but whatever email service provider you're using, set it up so that after somebody opts in, they're going to get an email every three days for a minimum of six lessons, or for a minimum of six emails that link to those lessons. What the emails will say is really clear. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Your first email can say something like, “Hey, I hope you enjoyed the resource guide” – whatever it’s called; give it a name and put it there – “I hope you enjoyed the five tools resource guide. I've created a course for you that’s going to help you do x, y and z. There are six parts to the course and the very first part you can access right now by clicking this link. Click here to watch the first video” and then link to a lesson page. And then in your PS, make sure you say something like, “Don’t worry, the second part will be coming to your inbox in just a few days; keep an eye out for that email.” So now you're telling them about your current lesson, you're getting them set up for a future lesson that’s going to come to them, and you're kind of creating this excitement. When they click that link, they're going to go to a lesson page. The reason I'm talking about this – and it’s really great that you asked this – is because this kind of automated sequence that we have set up for us here at LeadPages is generating over $10,000/day in revenue, and it’s automated. We don’t have to do anything for this right now; it’s not like we’re personally sending out this email every time somebody opts in – it happens automatically. And so this means that, as a freelancer, you don’t want to be focusing all your time and effort on marketing. If you want to spend some time away when you're not doing business, if you want to take a week or a month to go on vacation, you can do that and it’s like you have a marketing team taking care of marketing for you and you don’t have to focus on these one-time promotions and deals, and so this is really important. So then what you do when you send people to these lessons is – if you're using LeadPages, great; we’ve got these lesson pages all set up for you, all you need to do is kind of input your own stuff. But if not, just make it a really nice lesson page that has some key things on it, but the main thing is make sure that your lessons are really valuable, and at the end of each lesson, you have an opportunity for somebody to engage with you. So here’s what I would do: spend the first three minutes of every single lesson providing lots of value. That value could be something along the lines of – let’s say you are a web designer. The first three minutes could be like, “The three most important design elements of every website and how to change them today” and you could talk about that inside your video. Then at the last minute, you say, “If you would like somebody who’s got 20 years of experience” or whatever it is that you got, or whatever your USP is, you could say, “If you want to work with somebody who can do that, click the button below and schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me” or “Click the button below to hire me right now” or whatever it is that your call-to-action is. And so it’s three minutes of value and then kind of one minute of  pitch for your product or service, and you're going to do that for six lessons and do it all across the board. The reason why I say a minimum of six lessons is we found the highest conversion rate comes between lesson four and lesson six – that’s when most people will click that button once they’ve engaged with you. Again, it’s going to be different based on your industry; you might find that there's a longer cycle there, but I can only show what we've experienced in our business, and that’s what's really worked for us. Again, we can go more into detail on those lesson pages, but I think that’s a great place to start. CHUCK: One thing that I struggled a little bit initially after I – because you brought this up in the webinar – was that I'm in kind of a place where I'm doing services, so I was struggling with what to do those lessons on should I choose to do that for my customers in such that they would have enough value for them to go, “Oh, awesome! I want to hire this guy!” ERIC: Yeah. TIM: The biggest thing is just to think about your potential customer and hopefully, if you're freelancing, you know your customer pretty well, and you'll know what their big pains are, right? So if they hire you, what’s the biggest problem that you're going to solve for them? What's the biggest benefit that you're going to get out of that? And then take that and since you're a freelancer, you're going to be doing the work for them, so just take that and break it down into things that you can teach them that would be something that they could do themselves, but chances are, when they go to try to do them, they're going to probably get frustrated and go, “Dang it, I should just hire somebody to do this.” A great example of this is, I've got a buddy Ben Krueger, who runs a company called Authority Engine. What his company does is they basically produce podcasts for people. They’ll go in, they’ll write your show notes, they’ll edit our podcast, add your intro, outro, edit out all of your uhms and ahs and all that kind of stuff, but he teaches all sorts of stuff on his podcast and on his website and on his Youtube channel about how to do that: how to edit your show, how to do this, how to do that, and he gives away basically all this stuff that he does for you. He tells you how to do it. But then what happens is people will go and do that and go, “Oh my god, this is taking so much time. I'm so frustrated right now. I don’t want to be doing this” and then they end up hiring him. So you can just provide lessons – especially as a freelancer this is an amazing thing to be able to do – provide lessons that will tell people how to do what you're going to do for them, and then you can provide the opportunity that you'll do that for them. Another example would be – I use this example a lot – real estate agents. As a real estate agent, you're doing what somebody could probably go out and learn and do themselves if they wanted to. But you're going to save them a bunch of time, you're going to always have your finger on the polls of what's going on in the market, you're always going to see new homes right away when they go on the market – that kind of stuff – so you could provide a lesson on how to go out and find homes, right? What websites to stay on top of, what neighborhoods to look in, what newspapers to look in – all these kinds of stuff – and then you can say, “You know what? If you want to avoid all that kinda stuff, if you'd rather save all that time, if you'd rather have somebody find the best deals for you, you click the button below the video and you could just hire me and I’ll show you the best homes.” That's the key, is finding the big pain, solving that with information, and then just saying, “If you'd rather just avoid all that and get it done quickly and easily, you could just work with me.” ERIC: Yeah, and I found that that’s a good way to do it, especially if it’s like –. I do computer programming, so it’s very, very complex, very technical, and I can start describing it but for most of my clients, it’s so over their head that they just, “I don’t know what to do.” And so I've kind of buffered that with, “Okay, if this is too complex or you don’t understand this, you can hire me. I can teach your programmers to do it, or you can give this to your programmers,” but the way is to give them an easy out. If they recognize it’s a problem and they can see, “Okay, solving this problem would make whatever go away,” they have some kind of thing that they can do, some kind of action to get them out of that state and into a better state. TIM: Yeah, that’s great. Just make it easy for them; that’s a great way to go. CHUCK: Alright. Let’s say that I get all this set up, they get the email, they get the lead magnet, they go through all the lessons, they click on the button, they get their consultation call with me – is there anything else I should be doing with them at this point to help close the sale? TIM: Yeah, so what I would encourage – and this is something that I think you saw on my webinar – is that –. As freelancers, I think this applies maybe even more so than some other industries, but I would really encourage you to start doing webinars. Because as a freelancer, you have so much information and so much knowledge and so much know-how that many, many people lack in your industry – hopefully. And so what I would really, really encourage you to do is that I would encourage you to start doing webinars for a number of reasons. One is this is another great way to continue growing your list. It is the best way to grow a list that I've ever seen – nothing converts like a webinar registration page. Two, these consultation calls are great, but they are really time-consuming, right? I mean, you're spending one-on-one time, trying to hopefully close a deal with that one client, whereas with a webinar, you can provide a lot of the same information, but provided to a field of a bunch of people. You might have 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 people on a webinar – even more, I mean, we’ve done webinars with a thousand people – and so this is an opportunity to provide all that great value in a live setting where people can interact with you. They can ask you questions; if you're doing design freelancing or something, they can actually say, “Hey, can you check out this page and see what you would change?” and then you can provide them that free value on a webinar. You can record it and you can provide that whether it has a free giveaway or as part of your auto-responder sequence or you could use that as a product that you sell. “Hey, here’s a live training that we did on how to do x, y and z and it’s $47” or whatever, and you can use that as a piece to your funnel where later, people could hire you for a more high-end one-on-one thing or whatever it is. Webinars are such a great way to grow your list; it’s such a great to increase engagement with your audience, they're a great way to close more sales. I was talking to somebody a couple of months ago who was getting between 30% and 40% sales conversions on his webinars, and this was actually a web designer. I mean, this is so big that you have such an amazing opportunity for engagement with your audience on a webinar, and this means that you can do less one-on-one consultations. I used to do one-on-one consultation for a previous business that I was doing, and I had to stop doing them because I was doing 5, 10, 15/day, and that was only 5, 10-15 prospects that I was working with. I started changing it – I was doing a webinar every single day, but each webinar would have 5, 10, 15 people on them, meaning I only have to spend an hour of my time instead of maybe 5 hours or 10 hours or whatever it is that I was spending, and it really saved me a whole bunch of time. It really didn’t affect my conversion rate; I was still converting around the same number of prospects, but it gave me my time back. REUVEN: Wait, let me just make sure I get this. I know you said it very explicitly but I'm going to double check with you. TIM: Sure. REUVEN: So I'm going to be coming out with an eBook soon; I'm going to be doing some online courses, and of course I'm always looking for new, good clients. It sounds to me like if I do webinars on a somewhat regular basis, even half an hour every month, that’s going to help me with sales and conversions for all of those. TIM: Yeah, absolutely. And what you want to do is pitch one particular product on a webinar. Because the thing is, people will have – if you go, “So I've got the eBook, I've got the course and you can hire me,” people will go, “Wait, I don’t know which one’s for me” and then they’ll leave. But if you only give them one option, then it’s clear – do I do this or do I not? It’s really a clear decision. I would encourage you to maybe do a webinar and send them to a course because it’s a decent price point where it makes the webinar worth it. But yeah, once a month of doing that and providing a whole bunch of value that would maybe be a lead up to the course – don’t make it a pitch fest, but just make it, if you go through the course –. Let’s say, you go through a course and you're going to learn how to write blog posts that convert every time. Well you might teach one or two of the aspects of that course in this webinar for free, and then you can say, “I've got this course that goes in-depth that provides you this, it provides you that, it provides you all these resources and all these kinds of stuff. If you’ve gotten value out of this webinar and you want to take it deeper, you can sign up for the course, blah, blah, blah,” and yes, you will see an amazing conversion rate on those webinars. Plus, it will grow your list, so you'll have more opportunities to continue to engage with your audience. CHUCK: I kinda want to jump in on this a little bit. Let’s say that Reuven goes ahead and starts doing these webinars for this particular thing with his Python book and a Python course, but he doesn’t really have a presence out there in front of Python folks. I honestly don’t know what kind of presence Reuven has in front of Python people, but let’s just say that –. REUVEN:We’ll find out, right? [Chuckles]CHUCK: You know, because I mean, this show is about freelancing; his blog is probably targeting more of the type of people that he wants to work with. Let’s say he doesn’t have a strong Python presence. Doing a webinar with one or two people showing up – is that embarrassing? Is it cool? Is it bad? TIM: It’s actually not that big of a deal for a couple of reasons: One is, the main reason to do webinars is for the list growth, because you might have one or two people show up, but you might have had 20 people register for that webinar, and 20 people is not a ton, but that’s 20 potential prospects that, over time, may become customers by that course or whatever. But what I would say is getting one to two people on a webinar is still pretty much the same as doing a consultation call, which you may have already been doing, and now you're providing value, you're connecting with a few more people. But I will say, if you're doing a decent job, you're promoting it on social media, you're making it like it’s a big deal – maybe you're reaching out to your circle of influence and asking them to promote for you – you can have 10 to 15 people one a webinar and still have a really successful webinar, and get one or two sign-ups for your course, or even more. ERIC: This is really interesting, because I do kind of – I call it the “intro call” where it’s my talk with one company or a big group of people there about how they need my help, what kind of state their software’s in, all that stuff, and it’s very free-form. And I've been wanting to structure it a bit more so it has certain sections I go through so I can practice it; I can kind of not be scrambling for, “Okay, what should we talk about next? How should I lead them into my offer, my proposal at the end?” But I never thought of actually doing a webinar and doing more of a group setting, and even if I have to take it off – do the webinar and then do a short 10-minute custom one for each person – having that, “Here are the standards of working with me; here’s what I do; here’s me building up my expertise” and all that in the webinar, that could be a nice little tool. TIM: Yeah, absolutely. Again, it frees up so much of your time and people are much more likely to engage you if they know that they can ask you questions and you can do that on webinars. I do 90-minute webinars for LeadPages, and I get to about 65 minutes or so, and then we do Q&A after I pitch the product. The cool thing is, you're giving people an opportunity to buy or hire you or take whatever action that you want, and then, after you’ve already made your pitch, now you can answer their questions, and now people will ask you lots of questions. They’ll ask about your product, they’ll ask about what you taught in the webinar, and it’s just really such a high level of connection that it kinda makes it worthwhile. And even, again, if you don’t close anybody on that webinar, since they’ve opted in, since they’ve registered for that webinar, now you’ve got all these new leads on your list that you can kind of nurture through your auto-responder sequence and eventually get that sale. REUVEN: And I guess part of my reluctance – a small part of it; most of it’s laziness and being overwhelmed with other things – but part of my reluctance to do this sort of webinar that you're describing is, “Yeah, but I want to teach courses and people are going to pay for those,” but it sounds like – this is what a lot of people have been saying – that you really want to do give away some of your stuff in order to drive those sales, and it’s okay if you repeat it in both the free webinar and in the paid-for course. TIM: Yes, and I would even challenge you to give away some of your best stuff on the webinar, because you have an opportunity now to show people, “Hey, you're not buying crap. If you get this course, you're not going to get junk. Look at all of this value I provided to you in the last half hour” or whatever it is. “Imagine what you might get when you spend a couple hundred bucks or a thousand bucks” – or whatever you're selling your thing for – “imagine the value that you could get in there if you just got this much value out of 30 minutes.” But if you provide kind of like a really watered down webinar where it’s like, “Here are a few things,” the chance that they're going to want to buy your product are so slim. And yeah, the beautiful thing is on these webinars, you can provide so much value and then your course should take that same stuff and just basically expand on it. For example, on a webinar that you're talking about – I would say an example with Python, but I don’t have a clue what I'm talking about there – but you could do it in four sections: here’s one element, another element, another element and another element, and you go kind of a basic overview on how to do that or how to implement that on your website or whatever it is that you're doing. And then you say, “In the course, we’re going to not only describe it and what it can do for you and how to use it, but we’re going to break each thing down step-by-step so that you'll have actional things, plus you'll have the checklist to make sure that you’ve done this all right, plus you'll have access to this thing, this thing, this thing” and you just make it so it’s irresistible, that if somebody got a lot of value out of that webinar, there's no way that they're not going to want to buy your course. I hear that a lot, that people are afraid to give away too much, but I would encourage you to give away as much as you possibly can to make it irresistible for somebody to want to sign up for your thing. CHUCK: Well, the other thing that I see here is that the course is probably going to be several hours, and so if the webinar is one hour or two hours, there's no way that you're going to give everything away. TIM:Right. Yeah, you're not giving away the [inaudible] on a one-hour webinar.CHUCK: I have another disconnect here. You're talking about the webinar as a way to build your list and then people get on your list, they get the lead magnet, they get the six lessons, “Click here to buy the course” – where do you promote the webinar? TIM: There's a couple of different ways: you can promote it on social media, you can promote it to the list that you already have, that kind of stuff. What I found is, we’ve talked about kind of a little bit of a system here: we’re giving away the lead magnet to get them on the list, right? And then we've got them on the list and we’re doing those lessons every three days. What we found that has worked really well is, since they’ve already gotten that instant gratification from that lead magnet, and then they’ve gotten that lesson, and then another lesson, and then another lesson, we found that after that third lesson, they're pretty well-engaged. They pretty well know a little bit about you; they might be really interested in your product or service, they might have some questions – that’s a great time to invite people to sign up to your webinars, right after that third email that they get. We actually put an email in our auto-responder sequence – because we do a webinar every single week; we do more than that, but we have an internal webinar that we do every single week for our audience – after that third email, we have an automatic email that goes out between the third and fourth lesson that says, “Hey, if you’ve got questions you want answered, we’re going to be doing this webinar about x, y and z. You can sign up for it through this link. We’ll be answering all of your questions; we’ll be doing this, this and this.” Now you're taking care of your existing audience, and the beautiful thing is on that webinar registration page, there are social buttons. We found that a good percentage – I don’t know the number off the top of my head – but a good percentage of the people that registered for that webinar will then share that on Twitter and Facebook and all that kind of stuff. Now their friends – they likely have people in that same field or with that same interest – their friends are more likely to go ahead and then either opt in or register or whatever it is, for your stuff. It’s going to grow your list that way and you're taking care of your existing audience. CHUCK: Awesome. And then do you promote it as well on things like your podcast, or your blog, or do you kinda push people toward the list there as well? TIM: We definitely promote it via the blog and the podcast and all that kind of stuff. The webinar for us is kind of the number one thing that we promote. We promote the webinar harder than anything just because it does grow our list faster than anything, because we’ve seen such a high conversion rate on the webinar. I would say that if you know that you’ve got a webinar that’s working for you, if it’s converting in terms of getting people to register for the webinar and getting people to buy in the webinar, then I'd put lots of effort into that. At first, I would say put the effort and attention into getting people to your landing page, but after that, once you’ve got a webinar that you know is working, I would put tons of effort into that. If we’re doing Facebook ads, we’re driving them to a webinar registration page. If we’re doing something, for example, we’re testing something new on the podcast next week where people can listen to the podcast and then they can text, for example, LeadPages to a number like 38645 – I don’t remember what the number is. They would text LeadPages to that number and they’ll get a text saying, “Sure, give us your email address and you'll be all set for this webinar.” So we’ll be promoting it that way and they can text to register for the webinar. Now, people will get added to that webinar. Everything that we really do in terms of driving traffic right now, for us at LeadPages, is typically driving it to a webinar because we know that the conversion rate is so high and the sales conversion rate is high as well. CHUCK: And then during the webinar, you say, “Go to this page and sign up for the mailing list”? TIM: No, because when they register for the webinar, that gets them onto the mailing list. CHUCK: Oh, gotcha. TIM: Because they have to enter their email address to get the webinar information. CHUCK: And do you still send them the lead magnet? TIM: No. At that point, we would just get them onto the webinar. The kind of “lead magnet” is the information for the webinar. CHUCK: Ah, gotcha. REUVEN: Okay, so two quick questions about this. One is, you're saying that your mailing list is how you get on the webinar. Does this mean that I sort of use my main mailing list for webinar registration and vice versa, sort of mixing them? Or should I be doing a separate webinar list? My second question is, it sounds like you're implying that I should just sort of redo, obviously tweaking and improving, but redo the same webinar every month or two if my courses are the same. Or are you saying that I should put effort into creating new content each month or two for a webinar? TIM: To answer the second question, I would actually say that it really depends on your audience. We have done typically – we do the same webinar three weeks out of four, because we do it every Thursday. For three weeks, we do the same webinar, and then we try a new webinar on Thursdays, and we've been testing them to see what converts best, and if we find one that out-converts the original one that we do for three weeks, then we change it and then we start doing that one. I would say try a couple of different webinars to see what works best for you, and then maybe stick to that one for a little bit. So yeah, you can change it up if you like to, or stick to the same one, but it all comes down to testing and seeing what your audience responds to the most. REUVEN: You were talking about using a mailing list for registration. So you were saying, how do you get people who come to the webinar onto your mailing list? Well, you get into the webinar by registering for the mailing list. I've got a mailing list already; it’s not that huge, and I'm really starting to try to use it better and better, but even so, I don’t see how I could sort of combine the two. I mean, although maybe I should, right? Maybe I should be saying, “Okay, my mailing list is for promoting my products and my webinars and if people aren’t on my list, then that’s okay.” TIM: Yeah, that’s exactly right. What happens is the webinar is really a two-sided tool. It’s great for growing your list and it’s great for getting new customers. I mean, it’s great for a lot of other things, but in this discussion, that’s what we’re talking about, is growing your list and getting more sales. What you're going to do is you're going to use all of your available tools to get people to that webinar. One way is tell your existing audience, “Hey, I've got this great webinar and I'm going to show you how to do x, y and z.” What that’s going to do is it’s going to get your existing audience, who may have already engaged with you a little bit, to join you on the webinar, ask you questions, and you'll have an opportunity to kind of personally try to convince them to either buy your products or hire you or whatever. The second thing it’s going to do with your existing audience is, since they’ve already engaged with you and they're already familiar with your stuff, they're more likely to share it when they do register for that webinar. They're more likely to go, “Oh man, this is going to be a great webinar. I know because all their other stuff has been great” or “all his other stuff has been great” and then they're going to share that on social media so it’s going to help that way. But the other side of that is, you're going to promote that webinar in other ways – not just from your list – because when people who are not on your list register for the webinar, they will get added to your list. And you'll want them to get added to your regular list, so that after they join that webinar, they're going to get that follow-up sequence that we were talking about earlier so they can continue to kind of get more content, more value from you and have more opportunities to buy your product or hire you. REUVEN: Makes sense, makes sense. CHUCK: So what do you do with people after they're on your list and they’ve gotten all of the lessons? I'd like to keep sending them A++++ content, but I don’t know if I have time to make videos every three days. TIM:[Chuckles] Yeah. So we just start out with that three-day sequence, and it’s a great place to get people started, get them familiar with your concept, your company, your brand – whatever you're going. And then after that, hopefully you'll still be creating content. You'll be writing blog posts, you'll be doing stuff like that, and so you can just say, “Hey, we wrote a new blog post about this. Go check it out” and send them to your blog post. If you're doing a launch, you can use it for your launch. But it’s really that first sequence that gets people started, and after that, then you can use it for just your general promotional efforts and providing more value. You don’t have to do something every three days forever – although if you can find a way to do that, that would be helpful. But obviously that’s tough to do.CHUCK: The other question I have is, Reuven mentioned he’s working on a Python course. I've been working on a Ruby on Rails course for a while; I keep putting it on the back burner. Let’s say I revive the thing, part of my thinks that I should do a webinar that just kind of helps people get started, those intro stuff, and part of me thinks that I should do a Q&A because I'd like to do more. I guess the question is, is it okay to do a Q&A webinar to get started, to figure out what you want to do the regular webinar on? TIM: Yup. I actually encourage people, for their first webinar, I really, really encourage them to do a Q&A webinar for a lot of reasons. I mean, for one, if you’ve never done a webinar before, it can be really intimidating, even if there's one or two people on it, it’s still kind of intimidating because you're presenting. Doing a Q&A, I mean, people are going to ask you a bunch of questions, but they're going to ask questions about something you're an expert on. My one tip for the Q&A webinar is to not be afraid to say, “You know, to be honest, I don’t know the answer to that, but I'm glad to know that that’s something you want to know, and I'm going to find that out. I’ll be sure to send an email out and let everybody on the list know the answer to that once I find it out.” That’s a great thing to do. Start out with a Q&A webinar, and that’s also going to let you know what people really want to know about, because you're going to see the same questions pop up over and over and over. That’s going to tell you, “Hey, people are really focused on this area of whatever it is that I'm going to talk about, and that will kind of give you – it will steer you in the direction of what you want to design your primary webinar to be about. CHUCK: Awesome. Well, I kinda lost track of time; I didn’t realize we were so close to the end of our time. Do you have some things that you want to share with us really quick for our picks? TIM: Sure, yeah. One that’s a little self-serving is I would encourage you to check out that webinar that I do, because it’s going to go just a little bit more in-depth in what we talked about today. You can go there – I think it’s LeadPagesWebinar.com. For some other things, I think that digitalmarketer.com is a blog from Ryan Deiss. He’s got some of the most valuable content that I've ever seen in terms of high-quality marketing. He talks about a lot of similar things that we talked about here at LeadPages. Another great blog is Firepole Marketing. That’s Danny Iny, and he talks about getting increased engagement and how to get people to connect with what you're doing and do it in a way that is really integrity-driven, and I really appreciate that. I think, as freelancers, that’s something that’s really important, so I would encourage you to check out those three resources. CHUCK: Awesome. Well thanks for coming, Tim. We’ll let you go so you can get to your next appointment, but we really appreciate you taking the time to come talk to us. TIM: Yeah, thanks for having me one the webinar – on the podcast. I had a great time and I hope that this is valuable to the freelancers in the audience. CHUCK: Yeah, I think it is. TIM: Great, guys. Have a great one. CHUCK: Yeah, you too. REUVEN: Thanks, Tim! CHUCK: Alright, well you guys want to do the rest of the picks? Reuven, why don’t you go ahead and go. REUVEN: Okay, I'm going to have two self-serving picks and one non-self-serving pick. The two self-serving ones are the links to my upcoming eBook, which I'm calling Practice Makes Python, which is, as we’ve talked about, is about Python programming, but it’s not meant to teach you the language. The idea is it’s supposed to teach you – sort of give you lots and lots and lots of practice through lots of exercises after you’ve already gone through a Python course, and don’t yet feel like you really get the nitty-gritty of the language that you're going to have to use in your actual work. That should be coming out on mid-October, is my hope. And then I'm starting to do online courses again. I tried it earlier this year; I'm now continuing, now that I finished the PhD and have oh so much free time. My first one is going to be – or my first will be on Functional Programming Python. I've got the links in the show notes. I'm not sure if the show is coming out before it happens, but if so, feel free to sign up. The third thing is I was just listening to Brennan Dunn’s podcast earlier today, what he now calls his Double Your Freelancing Podcast. He had an interview with someone who talks about – his name is Kurt Elster – about how to follow-up with clients after you’ve met them, after you start with them, and all sorts of different stages. I found this to be quite interesting, actually; I thought it was a really great way to not only just meet people, but then do something that's more effective than just, “Oh, we should really talk at some point.” Anyway, those are my picks for this week. CHUCK: Awesome. Curtis, what are your picks? CURTIS: All coffee-related today, because of my new office. I'm going to pick AeroPress, which is super easy to clean and it makes great coffee. I also picked up an AeroPress metal filter, so I don’t have to go through all the paper ones all the time and repurchase them. The final one is the decent Burr Grinder, which is actually surprisingly much cheaper than I thought. That’s my coffee set up for my office, along with a kettle which I don’t like so I'm not recommending it. CHUCK: Alright. Eric, what are your picks? ERIC: Alright, so I got two. One is a post called The Difference Between Productivity and Getting Things Done. It’s just a lot of productivity ideas. A really good idea out of it is to kind of figure out what's working for you, and that’s the whole point of the getting things done versus just focusing on productivity. The second pick, which is where Tim’s from, is LeadPages. I've actually been using LeadPages since they launched. They do all my landing pages. The thing I like the most is they have a feature section or whatever called Lead Boxes, where instead of having a full, landing page it’s actually like, you can make a link or a button that someone clicks and it opens up a lightbox-type thing that asks for an opt-in and it hooks into their system, sends it to – in my case – AWeber. They can also give away a pdf download or any kind of other file download, which is what Tim was talking about, the lead magnet, all that stuff. I was looking at my Lead Box. As I said earlier, I use this for my white papers. You click the Lead Box, it opens up, you opt-in, and then I have lead pages send the white paper. For those, I'm getting – of the people who open the box, I'm getting an 80%, 90% opt-in rate, so they work really, really good. I have them separated out so I can look at this list here and figure out which white papers are doing the best. That’s kind of what I was saying earlier, about how you can focus on what stuff your clients actually want versus there's one here that’s only a 30%. No one wants that white paper, so I'm not going to do anything on that topic. I might even remove it to make it less visible. LeadPages has a great system. There's other ones out there, but I've been using them and I recommend them. CHUCK: Awesome. I have to say that this is a little bit impulsive, but I'm going to pull the trigger on what Tim was talking to us about. This isn’t up now, but the show comes out in a week, so I have a week to put this up. If you go to freelancersanswers.com, there will be an opportunity for you to get on a webinar and do some Q&A with us – or at least with me. I’ll see if I can rope some of these other guys into it, but I don’t know what their schedules look like. We’ll answer questions about getting started with freelancing, help out whoever shows up, and have a good time, so I'm going to pick that. I'm also going to pick – I listened to another book. I tend to do that; I pick them on the show because I like them. This one’s called Hounded. It is the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles. ERIC: I like that one. CHUCK: Yeah, it was pretty good. I listened to it in about a day and a half, just because I was sick most of Sunday, so I just kinda laid around and listened to the book, and then finished it up yesterday, so that’s my other pick. That’s all I've got, so we’ll wrap up the show and we’ll catch you all next week! [This episode is sponsored by MadGlory. You've been building software for a long time and sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Work piles up, hiring sucks and it's hard to get projects out the door. Check out MadGlory. They're a small shop with experience shipping big products. They're smart, dedicated, will augment your team and work as hard as you do. Find them online at MadGlory.com or on Twitter @MadGlory.]**[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN.  Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more]**[Would you like to join a conversation with the Freelancers’ Show panelists and their guests? Wanna support the show? We have a forum that allows you to join the conversation and support the show at the same time. Sign up at freelancersshow.com/forum]

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