In the past couple of months, I’ve seen a pattern with most of the people that come to me for help. This is how the conversation goes:

So, your product is finally built.

How long has it been? At least 4-5 months right? Worse of all you first started thinking this would be a 4-week project right?

But it’s not all bad. During this time, you learned like you’ve never learned before. You stumbled across a bunch of books you had to read. You learned about lean, and customer development, even managed to get your product to be built. Seriously, congratulations, it’s not an easy feat.

But you know there’s something wrong. You have no customers. So, now what?

Well, in a perfect world. You’d launch using THE Mythical launch sequence. Of course, it would be on a Tuesday, you’ve read that Tuesdays are the best days to release or launch anything.

You’d have everything planned.

  • Tech Crunch Article
  • Inc. Magazine Article
  • Interviews with major blogs ready to go
  • Hacker News Post with an optimized Title
  • Product Hunt Submission ready to go
  • You have an email blast ready to go out to 5k people
  • You’ve bought 20k worth of TV ads on cable and network channels

After all this goes out, you should be set right?

NO!help-blue

I’ve said it before – Launching is a Myth. Instead, let me propose the idea of launching to one customer at a time, and how you can grow an empire by doing it in this way.

Let’s start at the beginning

Like Cesar Millan says, I rehabilitate dogs, and I train people.

It’s the same thing with your product. We have to change your mentality first.

OK so, think of this for a second. Read the next paragraph and just sit.

How do you convert an anonymous visitor into someone who trusts you – and – is willing to give you money in exchange for your product or service?

First of all you need to start with that anonymous someone. Then get them to trust you before they are willing to exchange money for what you have to offer.

So, let’s start right at the top.

At the top of the funnel

funnel

Your most important job is to get people to the top of your funnel at its widest point. A small percentage of those people will go through your ‘funnels journey’ as you gain their trust, and money, in exchange for value.

So you can see that understanding what people are looking for, is possibly the most important phase of the funnel. This is how you lure that anonymous person to the top of the funnel.

This is why when a user lands on your website, you need to ask yourself, a few questions.

  1.  How did that person land on my website
  2. What is their motivation (what do they want, what are they looking for?)
  3. Does my website immediately satisfy that motivation?

I want to give you a specific example of someone who does extremely well. If you’re a consultant or freelancer, you’ve probably heard of him. His name is Brennan Dunn.

He doesn’t know I’m writing this article thinking of his methods, but I think everyone, including people building tech products, can follow in his footsteps.

People are interested in having their problems solved

Think about this, and always keep it in mind. People don’t care about your agenda. They only care about theirs.

This may sound like a negative thing, but it’s a good thing. At the very top of the funnel, Brennan creates articles that are actual solutions to his reader’s issues. They are getting their questions answered, and problems solved. Brennan is appealing directly to THEIR agenda. Not his.

But to do this, he has to understand his audience deeply. But seriously, pay attention, when I say, the *key*, I mean it. This is the key. He knows exactly – down to the wording – what his audience wants to read, or better said, information they *need*, want and *hint*would even pay for *hint*.

That’s his magic. This is how he does such a good job of getting so many people to the top of his funnel.

Building Trust

So, let’s recap.

This random person lands on Brennan’s article, one that is actionable and aims to solve a specific pain.

What is our goal now? To build that trust up.

It’s like dating. You don’t go from meeting to marriage and kids in one go. It’s a process that takes time.

So let’s say this random person finds on of Brennan’s articles titled “how to get more clients”. After spending 2-3 minutes reading it, they are now armed with ideas on how to land more customers for their freelancing business.

Can you see the transaction that just occurred? The random visitor is giving Brennan his attention and time in exchange of his advice.

If Brennan could solve this particular problem for free, and then what else can Brennan help with?

Down the rabbit hole

So what now? Sell your course, book, web app subscription?

No. Not yet.

Think of it this way. What is the least they can give you, in exchange for more help? Something that is extremely valuable to you but may not seem like a lot to them.

Perhaps something you can use to build their trust further?

Yes. Their email Email. This is where email marketing comes in.

Voila. The person signs up for Brennan’s newsletter or one of his free email courses where he continues to deliver value.

Going for the pitch

I can’t tell you exactly when you should offer your first pitch.

You have to nurture this relationship enough so that you can ask for a sale. And it goes without saying, that the more expensive your product is, the more nurturing you will have to do.

But what works for most people is something like 80% giving, 20% asking.

If not, imagine Brennan immediately offering that random person who’s just read 1 article, a $2000 course. A bit too fast, right?

Low risk pitch

Brennan’s first offer is his course – which is called Double your freelancing rate. Go google it after you’re done with this article.

This course is relatively inexpensive, I think it starts at $50 and goes all the way up to a few hundred dollars.

But think of it this way, has Brennan earned the visitor’s trust already?

The visitor has read a bunch of emails from Brennan and has gotten a lot of value out of the relationship already. Applying the free advice he’s been getting landing more customers. So a $50 premium product that will help him even further doesn’t sound that bad.

$$$$ Time!

success-green

Let the pitching begin

Well, that’s where this goes.

After a certain point, Brennan will not only pitch you the first course, but also will reveal a second course called The Blueprint. Then there’s Freelancers Guild, and at a certain point, you’ll be offered his SAAS Planscope.

But it doesn’t end there.

A few times a year Brennan offers the Consultancy Masterclass, which is an actual live course and its 2-3k. Let me tell you, he sells out of those in no time. I’ve taken the course, so I know.

Do you think it ends there?

Brennan continues to offers a $5k /mo coaching for high-end consultants, getting on a few hours per month on the phone to help out his clients on a 1-1 basis. Once again, he’s fully booked on this.

Why it works for Brennan

Well, as I said in the beginning, Brennan is extremely good at understanding what people need, and he provides it to them. He’s figured out how to systematically add people to the top of the funnel. Last time we spoke, he was adding 9% of his visitors to his funnel (That’s a great number, by the way).

Let me just add though, he does it by providing REAL value, not only in his paid courses but in his free courses as well.

Rinse and repeat

Brennan’s example is one that I like a lot, hell I’ve gone through that entire rabbit hole, all the way down to the coaching.

Brennan has been able to build a real multi-million dollar product empire, all while working on his own terms.

This is this is exactly what launching to one user at a time means.

Further research

Before we finish, though, I want to leave you with some homework. Research some of these sites and see if you can spot the same framework.

  • Smart Passive Income
  • Fizzle
  • Social Triggers
  • I will teach you to be Rich
  • Nathan Barry
  • Conversion XL
  • Buffer
  • Testmunk
  • Close.io

and many more.

Can you apply this?

Tell me your thoughts about this approach to getting new customers. Can you replicate it? Leave a comment, Yes or No and why.

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  • Davide Di Prossimo

    Hey Carlos,

    This post is great. Thanks for reminding me of the reality of doing business and getting customers/advocates/happy users.

    I am going to share this on our newsletter, called Follow Weekly. Perhaps you’ll get some traffic from it.

    Thanks Carlos.

    Cheers

    • carlos

      Thanks Davide!

      Glad this post resonated with you 🙂

      Looking forward to your newsletter, signed up for it.

  • Lisa

    Hi from NZ!
    Wow – I’m at the beginning of my journey to be an entrepreneur (especially coming from the music industry). It’s a bit of a scary step but I WANT it so have to constantly push myself to get over the fear 🙂 Thank you for this awesome article, I’ll be referring back to it often xx

  • Ramin

    Hey, Carlos, thanks for including Close.io in that list of awesome companies 🙂

  • Barry Oates

    Fantastic article and so inspiring.

  • jackie harris

    At last a voice of reason. I actually think this whole launch insanity is just a case of “Emperor’s New Clothes’. What’s not said, is that for every £100,000 in revenue launch, there’s more than likely been £75,000 in costs.

    A few years ago I did the BSchool course – which was great, and as part of that I’m in a Facebook group with BSchool graduates. All the talk is about launches, launching big, 6 figure launches, 7 figure launches – and everyone seems to try and out-do each other with large tales of spectacular launch success. For those of us that are just mere mortals, this can make you feel a total loser. I think I’ve done well if I sell a couple of things a month.

    It’s time to stop the launch-frenzy and run our own businesses our own way – and one at a time is great for me.