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EXECUTION Sink or Swim: 1 Month to Sign My First Agency Client

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MrStoic886

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 7, 2014
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I think it’s about time to start taking this shit seriously.

As I’m writing this, I currently have a grand total of £198.85 in my account, with no credit cards and no known ways of getting a loan.

I have around £420 on the way from previous client work, £40 in crypto, and £280 in the pipeline for leftover client work. I still need to pay for outreach tools though (~£110/month).

As I’m currently living in Medellin, Colombia, that means I should have just about enough to last me one month or so.

I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients. Being able to live by the beach in Thailand or Bali doing just 1 hour of work a day (thanks to @Lex DeVille) was nice, but I always knew I wanted something a bit more fastlane.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been focused on building this new agency I’ve wanted to create for so long. I’m mostly following a course/mentorship run by a couple guys who run their own successful agency (and no... their names are not Tai Lopez and Grant Cordone). I’ve learnt a lot from it so far and feel like I’m making progress, but sadly no clients signed up yet.

Aaand that’s pretty much why I’m here... I want to share with all of you guys what’s working for me and what’s not. Hopefully I can provide some value, and hopefully you’ll hold me accountable without roasting me too hard.

I have about 4 years experience in marketing, (both agency and freelance work) so I’m not exactly fresh off the boat, but I’m sure I still make plenty of mistakes you seasoned veterans will pick up on.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.
  • Rewrote Upwork profile and applied to a bunch of related jobs, got just a few replies and one sales call + proposal.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
  • Create a basic website that tells people how I can help and shows 1 or 2 mini case studies.
  • Find some emails and start doing cold outreach with the new website in my email signature.
  • Do warm calls or followup emails to the people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn - at the start of Jan when everyone is back to work.

I’ll be updating this thread regularly with major actions I take and any considerable progress. Feel free to ask questions, tear apart my plans, or offer new ideas. I’m clearly in a bit of a tight situation, so I’m open to (almost) anything.
 

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Val Okafor

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Nov 14, 2015
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I think it’s about time to start taking this shit seriously.

As I’m writing this, I currently have a grand total of £198.85 in my account, with no credit cards and no known ways of getting a loan.

I have around £420 on the way from previous client work, £40 in crypto, and £280 in the pipeline for leftover client work. I still need to pay for outreach tools though (~£110/month).

As I’m currently living in Medellin, Colombia, that means I should have just about enough to last me one month or so.

I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients. Being able to live by the beach in Thailand or Bali doing just 1 hour of work a day (thanks to @Lex DeVille) was nice, but I always knew I wanted something a bit more fastlane.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been focused on building this new agency I’ve wanted to create for so long. I’m mostly following a course/mentorship run by a couple guys who run their own successful agency (and no... their names are not Tai Lopez and Grant Cordone). I’ve learnt a lot from it so far and feel like I’m making progress, but sadly no clients signed up yet.

Aaand that’s pretty much why I’m here... I want to share with all of you guys what’s working for me and what’s not. Hopefully I can provide some value, and hopefully you’ll hold me accountable without roasting me too hard.

I have about 4 years experience in marketing, (both agency and freelance work) so I’m not exactly fresh off the boat, but I’m sure I still make plenty of mistakes you seasoned veterans will pick up on.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.
  • Rewrote Upwork profile and applied to a bunch of related jobs, got just a few replies and one sales call + proposal.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
  • Create a basic website that tells people how I can help and shows 1 or 2 mini case studies.
  • Find some emails and start doing cold outreach with the new website in my email signature.
  • Do warm calls or followup emails to the people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn - at the start of Jan when everyone is back to work.

I’ll be updating this thread regularly with major actions I take and any considerable progress. Feel free to ask questions, tear apart my plans, or offer new ideas. I’m clearly in a bit of a tight situation, so I’m open to (almost) anything.
You seem to be doing everything correct, inbound marketing, aka blogging for my target audience have helped me in the past when I put myself in similar position. It worked faster than I thought, so it maybe something to consider. Upwork is a numbers game, just keep applying, buy more tokens or upgrade to Agency if you have to so you get unlimited tokens to apply for more jobs.
 

Andy Black

Figuring it out as I go along!
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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May 20, 2014
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“Who already has your customers?” (Jay Abraham)

Are there people or businesses that already serve a lot of businesses in your target market? Can you get on their radar?

A couple of examples:

1) I’m helping a B&B coach by running Google Ads campaigns for four of her paying students. We’re doing those campaigns for free to see if we can move the needle for them. These “clients” just have to pay the ad spend and provide feedback.

Why do this free work? The B&B Coach runs a Facebook group of 1,600 B&B owners, and has a lot of connections in the industry. If we can help some of her paying students then maybe we can do a JV and offer a service to all of her Facebook group.


2) Another business owner sells services and products to makeup artists. He has started referring his clients to us because if we can generate more business for them then he’s provided his clients with an even better service. His clients will be able to buy more services and products from him, and will refer other people to his website development service.

This business owner would also like to promote my Google Ads course to his email list. Obviously I’d do a revenue share with him, and am considering creating a specific one just for his industry. He has an email list of 70,000. Worth me putting some thought into it right?


...

Some differences in what I’m doing to what I read in your OP:


1) I do **zero** outbound. I don’t randomly contact lots of people on LinkedIn or anywhere. I’d rather spend that time building and dialling in campaigns for a few clients for free. Especially if it’s students/clients of someone who has a lot of clients.

2) When I do a call with someone it’s not a “discovery call”, it’s just a chat. They’ve typically reached out to me or someone has introduced us. I might have the exact same call with them that you do, but I call it a chat. I’m shooting the breeze and then seeing if I can help them there and then. If they don’t become a client then that’s great - that’s one more person out there who knows I know what I do.


3) I don’t have a website. I prefer to spend my time building relationships and working on client campaigns and trying to move their needle.

I do have a LinkedIn profile and andyblack.net redirects to it (so people can check me out when I email them from andy@andyblack.net).


What would you do differently if you weren’t allowed to:
  • Create a website?
  • Tell people what you do unless they contacted you first?
  • Initiate contact with people?

4) I’m not on Upwork.


5) I don’t focus on the $1,500-$2,000/mth clients. Those would be consulting clients for my one-to-one consulting. I’ve only recently made the decision to even take on consulting clients. I prefer the $300-$600/mth productised service clients/customers. Granted, I still do a lot of the heavy lifting (consulting) for them, but my goal is to build people, processes, and technology to help them at scale.

I’m not advising you to lower your prices, just asking you to consider it if your living expenses are so low and your back is against the wall.


Speaking of which, I have a whole thread about “If your back is against the wall”. You can find it and other brain-dumps in the Inbound/Sales thread in my signature.
 

WJK

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 9, 2017
962
2,181
542
Nikiski, Alaska
I think it’s about time to start taking this shit seriously.

As I’m writing this, I currently have a grand total of £198.85 in my account, with no credit cards and no known ways of getting a loan.

I have around £420 on the way from previous client work, £40 in crypto, and £280 in the pipeline for leftover client work. I still need to pay for outreach tools though (~£110/month).

As I’m currently living in Medellin, Colombia, that means I should have just about enough to last me one month or so.

I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients. Being able to live by the beach in Thailand or Bali doing just 1 hour of work a day (thanks to @Lex DeVille) was nice, but I always knew I wanted something a bit more fastlane.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been focused on building this new agency I’ve wanted to create for so long. I’m mostly following a course/mentorship run by a couple guys who run their own successful agency (and no... their names are not Tai Lopez and Grant Cordone). I’ve learnt a lot from it so far and feel like I’m making progress, but sadly no clients signed up yet.

Aaand that’s pretty much why I’m here... I want to share with all of you guys what’s working for me and what’s not. Hopefully I can provide some value, and hopefully you’ll hold me accountable without roasting me too hard.

I have about 4 years experience in marketing, (both agency and freelance work) so I’m not exactly fresh off the boat, but I’m sure I still make plenty of mistakes you seasoned veterans will pick up on.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.
  • Rewrote Upwork profile and applied to a bunch of related jobs, got just a few replies and one sales call + proposal.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
  • Create a basic website that tells people how I can help and shows 1 or 2 mini case studies.
  • Find some emails and start doing cold outreach with the new website in my email signature.
  • Do warm calls or followup emails to the people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn - at the start of Jan when everyone is back to work.

I’ll be updating this thread regularly with major actions I take and any considerable progress. Feel free to ask questions, tear apart my plans, or offer new ideas. I’m clearly in a bit of a tight situation, so I’m open to (almost) anything.
It sounds like you blew up your life without building a lifeboat. Uh? What if you sink?
 

edgefinder

Contributor
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Dec 13, 2016
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“Who already has your customers?” (Jay Abraham)

Are there people or businesses that already serve a lot of businesses in your target market? Can you get on their radar?

A couple of examples:

1) I’m helping a B&B coach by running Google Ads campaigns for four of her paying students. We’re doing those campaigns for free to see if we can move the needle for them. These “clients” just have to pay the ad spend and provide feedback.

Why do this free work? The B&B Coach runs a Facebook group of 1,600 B&B owners, and has a lot of connections in the industry. If we can help some of her paying students then maybe we can do a JV and offer a service to all of her Facebook group.


2) Another business owner sells services and products to makeup artists. He has started referring his clients to us because if we can generate more business for them then he’s provided his clients with an even better service. His clients will be able to buy more services and products from him, and will refer other people to his website development service.

This business owner would also like to promote my Google Ads course to his email list. Obviously I’d do a revenue share with him, and am considering creating a specific one just for his industry. He has an email list of 70,000. Worth me putting some thought into it right?


...

Some differences in what I’m doing to what I read in your OP:


1) I do **zero** outbound. I don’t randomly contact lots of people on LinkedIn or anywhere. I’d rather spend that time building and dialling in campaigns for a few clients for free. Especially if it’s students/clients of someone who has a lot of clients.

2) When I do a call with someone it’s not a “discovery call”, it’s just a chat. They’ve typically reached out to me or someone has introduced us. I might have the exact same call with them that you do, but I call it a chat. I’m shooting the breeze and then seeing if I can help them there and then. If they don’t become a client then that’s great - that’s one more person out there who knows I know what I do.


3) I don’t have a website. I prefer to spend my time building relationships and working on client campaigns and trying to move their needle.

I do have a LinkedIn profile and andyblack.net redirects to it (so people can check me out when I email them from andy@andyblack.net).


What would you do differently if you weren’t allowed to:
  • Create a website?
  • Tell people what you do unless they contacted you first?
  • Initiate contact with people?

4) I’m not on Upwork.


5) I don’t focus on the $1,500-$2,000/mth clients. Those would be consulting clients for my one-to-one consulting. I’ve only recently made the decision to even take on consulting clients. I prefer the $300-$600/mth productised service clients/customers. Granted, I still do a lot of the heavy lifting (consulting) for them, but my goal is to build people, processes, and technology to help them at scale.

I’m not advising you to lower your prices, just asking you to consider it if your living expenses are so low and your back is against the wall.


Speaking of which, I have a whole thread about “If your back is against the wall”. You can find it and other brain-dumps in the Inbound/Sales thread in my signature.
Thank you, Andy, for the reply, I am figuring out how to grow myself. (finally admitting my current approach is not going to work)
 

Andy Black

Figuring it out as I go along!
Staff member
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Thank you, Andy, for the reply, I am figuring out how to grow myself. (finally admitting my current approach is not going to work)
I’d be happy to have a chat in the new year if you want. Even better if we could record it and drop it in here.
 

James Orman

Contributor
Dec 22, 2019
26
21
14
I think it’s about time to start taking this shit seriously.

As I’m writing this, I currently have a grand total of £198.85 in my account, with no credit cards and no known ways of getting a loan.

I have around £420 on the way from previous client work, £40 in crypto, and £280 in the pipeline for leftover client work. I still need to pay for outreach tools though (~£110/month).

As I’m currently living in Medellin, Colombia, that means I should have just about enough to last me one month or so.

I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients. Being able to live by the beach in Thailand or Bali doing just 1 hour of work a day (thanks to @Lex DeVille) was nice, but I always knew I wanted something a bit more fastlane.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been focused on building this new agency I’ve wanted to create for so long. I’m mostly following a course/mentorship run by a couple guys who run their own successful agency (and no... their names are not Tai Lopez and Grant Cordone). I’ve learnt a lot from it so far and feel like I’m making progress, but sadly no clients signed up yet.

Aaand that’s pretty much why I’m here... I want to share with all of you guys what’s working for me and what’s not. Hopefully I can provide some value, and hopefully you’ll hold me accountable without roasting me too hard.

I have about 4 years experience in marketing, (both agency and freelance work) so I’m not exactly fresh off the boat, but I’m sure I still make plenty of mistakes you seasoned veterans will pick up on.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.
  • Rewrote Upwork profile and applied to a bunch of related jobs, got just a few replies and one sales call + proposal.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
  • Create a basic website that tells people how I can help and shows 1 or 2 mini case studies.
  • Find some emails and start doing cold outreach with the new website in my email signature.
  • Do warm calls or followup emails to the people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn - at the start of Jan when everyone is back to work.

I’ll be updating this thread regularly with major actions I take and any considerable progress. Feel free to ask questions, tear apart my plans, or offer new ideas. I’m clearly in a bit of a tight situation, so I’m open to (almost) anything.
Have you tried creating content and marketing yourself on Youtube? Might be a faster way to get clients.
Also you can try offering your services on fiverr.

Also, I'm currently in Bogota, Colombia nice coincidence. Maybe I could use your help marketing later on. I'm helping my girlfriend start a beauty salon right now.
 

BizyDad

Know Thyself
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Speedway Pass
Oct 7, 2019
476
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454
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“Who already has your customers?” (Jay Abraham)

Are there people or businesses that already serve a lot of businesses in your target market? Can you get on their radar?

A couple of examples:

1) I’m helping a B&B coach by running Google Ads campaigns for four of her paying students. We’re doing those campaigns for free to see if we can move the needle for them. These “clients” just have to pay the ad spend and provide feedback.

Why do this free work? The B&B Coach runs a Facebook group of 1,600 B&B owners, and has a lot of connections in the industry. If we can help some of her paying students then maybe we can do a JV and offer a service to all of her Facebook group.


2) Another business owner sells services and products to makeup artists. He has started referring his clients to us because if we can generate more business for them then he’s provided his clients with an even better service. His clients will be able to buy more services and products from him, and will refer other people to his website development service.

This business owner would also like to promote my Google Ads course to his email list. Obviously I’d do a revenue share with him, and am considering creating a specific one just for his industry. He has an email list of 70,000. Worth me putting some thought into it right?


...

Some differences in what I’m doing to what I read in your OP:


1) I do **zero** outbound. I don’t randomly contact lots of people on LinkedIn or anywhere. I’d rather spend that time building and dialling in campaigns for a few clients for free. Especially if it’s students/clients of someone who has a lot of clients.

2) When I do a call with someone it’s not a “discovery call”, it’s just a chat. They’ve typically reached out to me or someone has introduced us. I might have the exact same call with them that you do, but I call it a chat. I’m shooting the breeze and then seeing if I can help them there and then. If they don’t become a client then that’s great - that’s one more person out there who knows I know what I do.


3) I don’t have a website. I prefer to spend my time building relationships and working on client campaigns and trying to move their needle.

I do have a LinkedIn profile and andyblack.net redirects to it (so people can check me out when I email them from andy@andyblack.net).


What would you do differently if you weren’t allowed to:
  • Create a website?
  • Tell people what you do unless they contacted you first?
  • Initiate contact with people?

4) I’m not on Upwork.


5) I don’t focus on the $1,500-$2,000/mth clients. Those would be consulting clients for my one-to-one consulting. I’ve only recently made the decision to even take on consulting clients. I prefer the $300-$600/mth productised service clients/customers. Granted, I still do a lot of the heavy lifting (consulting) for them, but my goal is to build people, processes, and technology to help them at scale.

I’m not advising you to lower your prices, just asking you to consider it if your living expenses are so low and your back is against the wall.


Speaking of which, I have a whole thread about “If your back is against the wall”. You can find it and other brain-dumps in the Inbound/Sales thread in my signature.
Other than the bit about a website, I could've written this. Great minds think alike, and fools rarely differ. :smile:
 
OP
OP
MrStoic886

MrStoic886

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
May 7, 2014
45
82
118
You seem to be doing everything correct, inbound marketing, aka blogging for my target audience have helped me in the past when I put myself in similar position. It worked faster than I thought, so it maybe something to consider. Upwork is a numbers game, just keep applying, buy more tokens or upgrade to Agency if you have to so you get unlimited tokens to apply for more jobs.
Thanks. I've found plenty of jobs through Upwork in the past, it's just a bit more difficult starting in a new niche and aiming for bigger projects.

How did blogging help you in the past? Did you manage to organically attract leads through SEO?

“Who already has your customers?” (Jay Abraham)

Are there people or businesses that already serve a lot of businesses in your target market? Can you get on their radar?

A couple of examples:

1) I’m helping a B&B coach by running Google Ads campaigns for four of her paying students. We’re doing those campaigns for free to see if we can move the needle for them. These “clients” just have to pay the ad spend and provide feedback.

Why do this free work? The B&B Coach runs a Facebook group of 1,600 B&B owners, and has a lot of connections in the industry. If we can help some of her paying students then maybe we can do a JV and offer a service to all of her Facebook group.


2) Another business owner sells services and products to makeup artists. He has started referring his clients to us because if we can generate more business for them then he’s provided his clients with an even better service. His clients will be able to buy more services and products from him, and will refer other people to his website development service.

This business owner would also like to promote my Google Ads course to his email list. Obviously I’d do a revenue share with him, and am considering creating a specific one just for his industry. He has an email list of 70,000. Worth me putting some thought into it right?


...

Some differences in what I’m doing to what I read in your OP:


1) I do **zero** outbound. I don’t randomly contact lots of people on LinkedIn or anywhere. I’d rather spend that time building and dialling in campaigns for a few clients for free. Especially if it’s students/clients of someone who has a lot of clients.

2) When I do a call with someone it’s not a “discovery call”, it’s just a chat. They’ve typically reached out to me or someone has introduced us. I might have the exact same call with them that you do, but I call it a chat. I’m shooting the breeze and then seeing if I can help them there and then. If they don’t become a client then that’s great - that’s one more person out there who knows I know what I do.


3) I don’t have a website. I prefer to spend my time building relationships and working on client campaigns and trying to move their needle.

I do have a LinkedIn profile and andyblack.net redirects to it (so people can check me out when I email them from andy@andyblack.net).


What would you do differently if you weren’t allowed to:
  • Create a website?
  • Tell people what you do unless they contacted you first?
  • Initiate contact with people?

4) I’m not on Upwork.


5) I don’t focus on the $1,500-$2,000/mth clients. Those would be consulting clients for my one-to-one consulting. I’ve only recently made the decision to even take on consulting clients. I prefer the $300-$600/mth productised service clients/customers. Granted, I still do a lot of the heavy lifting (consulting) for them, but my goal is to build people, processes, and technology to help them at scale.

I’m not advising you to lower your prices, just asking you to consider it if your living expenses are so low and your back is against the wall.


Speaking of which, I have a whole thread about “If your back is against the wall”. You can find it and other brain-dumps in the Inbound/Sales thread in my signature.
Massive value as always, Andy. I guess if people are getting referred to you or finding you themselves, you don't really need to sell them on your services or prove your credibility with a website.

This has given me a few ideas - possibly:
  • Reaching out to people who work with my audience and offering some type of commission deal
  • Paying relevant influencers to advertise my offer on their social media
  • Posting valuable advice in the places my audience hangs out - maybe LinkedIn groups
Although I'm not in an ideal situation to be offering free services right now, I'd certainly consider doing reduced rates if people would consider referring me to people they know.

The only thing I'm not so sure about is whether a reduced rate would actually be a big enough incentive to work with me or refer people. I've only gotten to the point of mentioning price (end of the sales process) a couple times, so I would have to mention it up front somehow instead.

It sounds like you blew up your life without building a lifeboat. Uh? What if you sink?
Exactly. I have no other option but to succeed.

I actually did something similar 2 years ago when I quit my job at a marketing agency and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand with 0 clients and less than £1500 to my name.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

What service(s) are you providing?
Generating leads for a specific niche of coaches using Facebook ads funnels.

Have you tried creating content and marketing yourself on Youtube? Might be a faster way to get clients.
Also you can try offering your services on fiverr.

Also, I'm currently in Bogota, Colombia nice coincidence. Maybe I could use your help marketing later on. I'm helping my girlfriend start a beauty salon right now.
I have not tried Youtube, no. Maybe one day!

I hadn't considered Fiverr as I usually mentally associate it with low-priced services. There's actually some bigger gigs on there nowadays though. I'll look into it for sure.

Good luck with the salon!

Other than the bit about a website, I could've written this. Great minds think alike, and fools rarely differ. :smile:
What do you mean about the website bit? Do you think it would help?
 

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BizyDad

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What do you mean about the website bit? Do you think it would help?
I just meant that unlike Andy, I actually have a website.

No, if you use these tactics, you don't need one. The website my company had for my first 7 years at this company was a horrible keyword stuffed mess. My current website has a ridiculous picture of a giraffe. It never comes up. To the best of my knowledge, I've never won or lost a client because of my website.

If you are going to use other marketing tactics, like ads or SEO or other online tactics for client acquisition, then yes a website can help, obviously.

Just a word about your response to Andy above. I don't think your ideas will work. His (my) tactic works because it eliminates risk to the target center of influence (at least temporarily work for free), then it builds trust and value (getting results), which leads to people naturally wanting to refer you more business (differentiation because you've done what no other marketer has ever offered them).

You try and make it about a discount or incentivize them with commissions and your tactics will often go nowhere fast.
 

Andy Black

Figuring it out as I go along!
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
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Free is *sometimes* better than doing work at a reduced price. Making it free means they don’t know what your prices actually are. Putting too low a price on it can devalue your service. It also makes it less of a “gift”.

It can be just as hard to sell “free” because people want to know what the catch is. People are more comfortable if they understand why you’re doing it for free.

However, there’s often no need to do work for free. I’ve seen people do extremely well saying they’re looking for case studies in a new industry and will do the first month at half their normal rate.

If you’re going to help folks in Facebook groups and communities you’ve got to have the right intentions (of helping people not gaining clients). You’ve also got to be wary of coming across like the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Folks have highly tuned radars nowadays.

The best is to be seen to help others. Go out of your way to help one person at a time, and don’t do that damned “idea extraction” or whatever it’s called.

The last thing you want to come off as is a marketer or salesman. As Gary V says, marketers have ruined everything.

Have you checked out that thread in my signature?
 

edgefinder

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I’d be happy to have a chat in the new year if you want. Even better if we could record it and drop it in here.
Thank you, Andy, I appreciate it, of course, we should put it into here.
 

GatsbyMag

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So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
I've heard that Linkedin can detect automation tools and will ban your account after some time, not sure if this 'Meet Alfred' software has a way of bypassing this security.

I'd recommend using Quiklist.io (it's free) for prospecting on Linkedin - a good way to build contact lists quickly, that way if you're banned, you still have your list of contacts which you gathered earlier. Also try upgrading to Linkedin Sales Navigator when your business starts to take off, it will save you a lot of time.

Best of luck
 

Itizn

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I personally find myself in a similar enough situation. My assets aren't as low but I am in a position where it really is time to make my business work. Or face the consequences.

You have a good blueprint it seems, I believe you'll be fine.
 

PapaGang

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I think it’s about time to start taking this shit seriously.

As I’m writing this, I currently have a grand total of £198.85 in my account, with no credit cards and no known ways of getting a loan.

I have around £420 on the way from previous client work, £40 in crypto, and £280 in the pipeline for leftover client work. I still need to pay for outreach tools though (~£110/month).

As I’m currently living in Medellin, Colombia, that means I should have just about enough to last me one month or so.

I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients. Being able to live by the beach in Thailand or Bali doing just 1 hour of work a day (thanks to @Lex DeVille) was nice, but I always knew I wanted something a bit more fastlane.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been focused on building this new agency I’ve wanted to create for so long. I’m mostly following a course/mentorship run by a couple guys who run their own successful agency (and no... their names are not Tai Lopez and Grant Cordone). I’ve learnt a lot from it so far and feel like I’m making progress, but sadly no clients signed up yet.

Aaand that’s pretty much why I’m here... I want to share with all of you guys what’s working for me and what’s not. Hopefully I can provide some value, and hopefully you’ll hold me accountable without roasting me too hard.

I have about 4 years experience in marketing, (both agency and freelance work) so I’m not exactly fresh off the boat, but I’m sure I still make plenty of mistakes you seasoned veterans will pick up on.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:
  • Set up a LinkedIn profile from scratch and optimised it for my audience - I’m targeting a specific niche, helping them get leads via Facebook Ads funnels.
  • Sent around 1500 connection requests while aiming not to get banned. I’ve gone from 0 to 250 connections.
  • Ran followup messaging campaigns to these people, testing and tweaking, using automation software called Meet Alfred.
  • Had 5 “discovery calls”. 2 resulted in a followup sales/strategy call which I sent a proposal to each for $1500-2000.
  • Rewrote Upwork profile and applied to a bunch of related jobs, got just a few replies and one sales call + proposal.

And what my plans are to try next:
  • Continue current LinkedIn outreach and Upwork activity.
  • Post more content on Linkedin to provide value to my niche and show that I know my shit.
  • Create a basic website that tells people how I can help and shows 1 or 2 mini case studies.
  • Find some emails and start doing cold outreach with the new website in my email signature.
  • Do warm calls or followup emails to the people I’ve connected with on LinkedIn - at the start of Jan when everyone is back to work.

I’ll be updating this thread regularly with major actions I take and any considerable progress. Feel free to ask questions, tear apart my plans, or offer new ideas. I’m clearly in a bit of a tight situation, so I’m open to (almost) anything.
Glad to see you taking action. Here is my two cents:

If this is a BTB business, why are you on Facebook? People go to FB to hang out. What happens if you 100% commit to LinkedIn? That's where your prospects are. Your time is limited. Make a lot of quality video content, execute some content marketing campaigns (PDF guides, brief tutorials, checklists, white papers, etc.), give value in some form that builds trust, capture the email list from these offers, then work your CRM software.

Just curious. I know you are selling FB funnels, and you have to be on it, but your prospects will overwhelmingly be on LinkedIn. What if you go all in on that? You master the platform faster than the majority of people on it.

Just my opinion. Also, you might want to study and employ an ABM (account based marketing) strategy.
 

PapaGang

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I've heard that Linkedin can detect automation tools and will ban your account after some time, not sure if this 'Meet Alfred' software has a way of bypassing this security.

I'd recommend using Quiklist.io (it's free) for prospecting on Linkedin - a good way to build contact lists quickly, that way if you're banned, you still have your list of contacts which you gathered earlier. Also try upgrading to Linkedin Sales Navigator when your business starts to take off, it will save you a lot of time.

Best of luck
Yeah, I'd work Sales Navigator and stay away from anything that will get you banned.
 

peterb0yd

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I was making decent money earlier this year - until I decided to burn my boats and leave all my freelance copywriting clients.
Uhh... what?

Why not keep the clients and sign them under your agency, then hire someone good to do the work?
 
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MrStoic886

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I guess it's about time for an update!

So I continued the LinkedIn outreach - I did a lot of testing and tweaking with the messaging, which didn't end up changing much. Also posted some content to see if that would help. I have put this on hold for now though, as I can't justify spending $99/m on LinkedIn Sales Navigator and $49/m on Meet Alfred at the moment. I only got a couple more people on the phone, both of whom didn't have much of a budget, and just wanted some free consulting.

I was targeting life coaches specifically, which I now think may have been a mistake. It seemed like it fit my criteria at the time and seems interesting to me. I found that most of those who need help getting clients don't have the budget for this kind of service though, then the coaches who can afford it already have enough clients and don't need help finding more. There is the option of offering a cheaper service such as LinkedIn lead gen and outsourcing it, but I would rather look for bigger fish to fry.

So, I'm back to the drawing board on my niche for now. I need to target businesses who sell higher-ticket services/products, those who have a more scalable offer, or both.

Aside from LinkedIn, I've been open to clients from other niches on other platforms. Just keeping it within the lead-generation realm. I reached out to previous clients (only about 10) letting them know I have some time free if they/anyone they know needs help with fb ads or funnels. Nothing came of that.

I also followed up with some older leads to see if they still need help. No luck.

Had a quick go with emailing too - both cold and to my LinkedIn connections. I will give this a proper go when I have time.

Fortunately I have made some progress through Upwork though. I've been sending out a few longer, highly-customised proposals, which seem to be getting better results than the shotgun approach. Got 3 solid leads since the last update, once of which I'm now working with. I lowered my price a bit, but luckily he offered a commission on top which will add some passive income if I can help him get a few clients.

Upwork isn't exactly ideal as I'm still working as a freelancer, but it will help me to build more case studies and experience for now. This all builds momentum with the type of service I'm offering so that I can scale up in the future.
 

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MrStoic886

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I just meant that unlike Andy, I actually have a website.

No, if you use these tactics, you don't need one. The website my company had for my first 7 years at this company was a horrible keyword stuffed mess. My current website has a ridiculous picture of a giraffe. It never comes up. To the best of my knowledge, I've never won or lost a client because of my website.

If you are going to use other marketing tactics, like ads or SEO or other online tactics for client acquisition, then yes a website can help, obviously.

Just a word about your response to Andy above. I don't think your ideas will work. His (my) tactic works because it eliminates risk to the target center of influence (at least temporarily work for free), then it builds trust and value (getting results), which leads to people naturally wanting to refer you more business (differentiation because you've done what no other marketer has ever offered them).

You try and make it about a discount or incentivize them with commissions and your tactics will often go nowhere fast.
Makes sense, yeah. I did make a start on a website, but will leave it for now. I was thinking I needed it for email outreach, but the method I'm trying actually works better from a personal gmail.

I will have to have more of a think about how I can provide value to build trust. It can take some time setting up a whole Facebook ad campaign and funnel, which I'm not in the position to do for free right now.

Free is *sometimes* better than doing work at a reduced price. Making it free means they don’t know what your prices actually are. Putting too low a price on it can devalue your service. It also makes it less of a “gift”.

It can be just as hard to sell “free” because people want to know what the catch is. People are more comfortable if they understand why you’re doing it for free.

However, there’s often no need to do work for free. I’ve seen people do extremely well saying they’re looking for case studies in a new industry and will do the first month at half their normal rate.

If you’re going to help folks in Facebook groups and communities you’ve got to have the right intentions (of helping people not gaining clients). You’ve also got to be wary of coming across like the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Folks have highly tuned radars nowadays.

The best is to be seen to help others. Go out of your way to help one person at a time, and don’t do that damned “idea extraction” or whatever it’s called.

The last thing you want to come off as is a marketer or salesman. As Gary V says, marketers have ruined everything.

Have you checked out that thread in my signature?
I thought about offering free consulting to my LinkedIn connections as a way to provide value and start a conversation. I just need to come across as helpful and not salesy I guess. Re-reading the Astonishing Secrets thread helped get me back into the value-giving mindset.

I've started implementing some of the stuff in your Inbound/Sales thread - telling more people about what I do, and reaching out to old clients. I'm spread pretty thin right now, but will slowly work my way through the rest of it. I imagine the "showing people what I do" thing will work better after I get stuck in with this new client.


Is the thing making progress?
Thanks for the bump and holding me accountable! I've been busy taking action, will try to keep the thread updated regularly though.

I've heard that Linkedin can detect automation tools and will ban your account after some time, not sure if this 'Meet Alfred' software has a way of bypassing this security.

I'd recommend using Quiklist.io (it's free) for prospecting on Linkedin - a good way to build contact lists quickly, that way if you're banned, you still have your list of contacts which you gathered earlier. Also try upgrading to Linkedin Sales Navigator when your business starts to take off, it will save you a lot of time.

Best of luck
Meet Alfred seems to be the safest automation tool from what I've heard, although I'm sure there is still some risk involved.

It can take up a lot of time sending 50-100 connection requests a day, visiting profiles, sending followup messages, and keeping track of everything though.

Unfortunately my Sales Navigator membership is about to run out, but I'll give the Quiklist thing a go if I can, thanks. I imagine it'll be helpful for building a list to cold email.

Glad to see you taking action. Here is my two cents:

If this is a BTB business, why are you on Facebook? People go to FB to hang out. What happens if you 100% commit to LinkedIn? That's where your prospects are. Your time is limited. Make a lot of quality video content, execute some content marketing campaigns (PDF guides, brief tutorials, checklists, white papers, etc.), give value in some form that builds trust, capture the email list from these offers, then work your CRM software.

Just curious. I know you are selling FB funnels, and you have to be on it, but your prospects will overwhelmingly be on LinkedIn. What if you go all in on that? You master the platform faster than the majority of people on it.

Just my opinion. Also, you might want to study and employ an ABM (account based marketing) strategy.
Where were you meaning with the content marketing campaigns? Sending the content to people via LI/FB messages?

I'm not sure what you meant by "I know you are selling FB funnels, and you have to be on it, but your prospects will overwhelmingly be on LinkedIn. What if you go all in on that?".

My service offering is Facebook ads funnels, with my clients primarily being those who run B2C companies and are ready to scale up. My clients are businesses, so I've mainly been reaching out to them on LinkedIn [B2B]. I will maybe run paid ads for my own business once I'm ready to scale up. I am still working out the best niche to focus on though.

Is Account Based Marketing something which is easy to learn, quick to implement, and will be ideal for getting my first few clients?

Uhh... what?

Why not keep the clients and sign them under your agency, then hire someone good to do the work?
My copywriting clients were primarily agencies. I did consider it, but it would not have been easy or worth it for me to outsource the copywriting. Anyone good enough also charges high rates. I actually managed the hiring process for two of my past clients to find someone new to replace me, so I saw the quality and rates for myself.

That's one of the reasons I decided to move on from offering copywriting as my main service. It's not something you can easily scale unless you can find and close the top-paying clients.

I maybe could have outsourced the work to a copywriter from The Philippines or something and then edited it myself, but it's just not something I see myself doing long term. I want to be focused on one scalable niche/service rather than being a full-service agency. For now at least, anyway.
 
Last edited:

guidaccio05

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Good stuff! Will be following.

Btw, Account Based Marketing (ABM) was mentioned in your thread and you asked about it. At my previous job I did some ABM and basically it is reaching out to your target decision-makers with tailored content to their current problems they are facing. The more personalized the better.

To be honest, if I was in your position, I would run a set of webinars to your top 3 coaching niches, and then sell them your services at the end. Pretty scalable and if you teach something useful they will have a good time whether they buy or not.

I would also perhaps start by sending cold emails/messages to get the first few clients to validate the market.
 
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MrStoic886

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No huge updates as of now. I'm currently making enough to survive though, thanks to my old client offering me some more interesting projects, as well as this new client I found through Upwork. Still looking to take on another one or two clients, but lately I've been too busy working and living life to focus on finding more!

I just wanted to drop a quick thanks to @Andy Black and his "When your back's against the wall..." method and everything in this thread: HOT TOPIC - Andy's Inbound/Sales Braindump

I reached out to a few previous clients letting them know what I do now. None replied with interest straight away, but one of them just got back to me asking if I can take a look at their landing pages and ads. I must have been the first person who came to mind when he was talking with his business partner about the marketing.

I can't guarantee that I'll be able to work with this client again, but it's nice to get an inbound lead for a change. He mentioned something about Adwords as well, so you can probably guess who I'll be talking to first if we need help with that.
 

Andy Black

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I reached out to a few previous clients letting them know what I do now. None replied with interest straight away, but one of them just got back to me asking if I can take a look at their landing pages and ads. I must have been the first person who came to mind when he was talking with his business partner about the marketing.
Simple right?
  1. Let people know what you do.
  2. Get/stay top of mind.

He mentioned something about Adwords as well, so you can probably guess who I'll be talking to first if we need help with that.
And this is a good example of the above.


Well done getting an inbound lead.
 

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