So some people, inside and outside of SFM have been asking me that same question for the past couple of weeks, triggered by my videos and apparent success at attracting leads…
How did you manage to attract 600+ leads in less than 2 months, from scratch, with limited budget and time available?
When I first received this question I have been considering that, compared to people like Stuart, Jay and other great guys within the SFM Family (The Lifestyle Team or Dan Holloway anyone?), or even other people who may have not yet made it to the leaderboards I really cannot consider myself successful (yet )…
Then I started remembering one of the critical aspects of ‘success’ (read my article on how to measure success): never compare yourself to other people.
Does this mean that we should never look up to the people like the ones I have mentioned as a source of inspiration, motivation and as an outright example? NO!
What it means is that you cannot and SHOULD not compare the success that you are having in your efforts with the level of success other people have, even though you should always look at them to learn and refine both your mindset and your strategies.
I’d like to draw a parallel here, that many of us can easily relate to: going to the gym.
We look at all the great examples of fitness and sculpted body we have around us, like the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s of today, and feel immediately compelled to ‘compare’… we compare our bodies with those highly trained and intensively ripped muscles, and immediately start marking the ‘obvious’ differences between them and us: they have GORGEOUS bodies… while we don’t! (I’m working on that as well!)
Notice how at the very beginning this automatic comparison gives us the KICK we need to get action. It’s like our brain starts telling us ‘I need to do something about this because I too can have such an amazing body!’.
And we sign up to the gym the next day.
Let’s point out at least TWO keywords from above that I want you to reflect on: ‘obvious’ and ‘can have such body’.
Based on what we can see and hear, our mind influences our own behavior making us believe that what we see is real and realistic for us to achieve (thus the ‘obvious’ and the ‘can have’ thoughts).
After a few weeks (usually around 4) MANY of us (not everyone) would still repeat the same reasoning that brought them to sign up to the gym in the first place (i.e. if they have done it, I can do it as well).
And here’s what they are doing wrong!
You see, what attracted them to take their first action is NOT what will keep them focused, committed and motivated throughout the rest of their personal journey from ‘who I am today’ to ‘who I want to be’.
Let’s go on with the gym example to bring more clarity.
Those who, after 4 weeks of signing up, were still comparing their current self with the picture of Arnold they saw on the magazine will, almost certainly, see a drop in their motivation, in their continuity and, ultimately, in their results.
In two months, they stop going to the gym altogether because (so they keep repeating to themselves and the others) ‘this does not work for me’
Can you see the subtle trick that has enabled another person, starting in the same exact situation of the person just described, to actually SEE the result of what they were doing after 4 weeks and, as a further outcome, to press on and keep reaping more and more of the desired outcomes?
You got it: it gets down to ‘comparing’.
In the first case (the give-upper) the comparison they had in their mind was absolutely unrealistic, to begin with.
In the second case (the go-getter) they had the still picture of Arnold in mind, but they were NOT comparing themselves with that kind of results after 4 weeks.
What did these two individuals do differently?
The Give-Upper simply only took into account the ‘obvious’ and used it for her/his own reference.
The Go-Getter saw through the obvious and understood that intermediate steps are required to get to Arnold’s level of fitness.
The obvious I am referring to is that before Arnold Schwarzenegger became the super-duper-pumped Schwarzy we all know, he had to work his b£@& off!
Some people simply fail to take the step from emotional to rational.
What got you to take your first action (i.e. Arnold’s image) is NOT sufficient to get you to your desired outcome: going beyond the obvious will take you there, understanding that there is work involved and that you may not get there in 4 weeks, but through an iterative process of self-assessment, evaluation and, where required, corrective actions.
While our brain may intuitively assert that going from Mr. Bean to Arnold in 4 weeks is not possible (…quite evidently…) our emotions may still mask that with petty talk and inconclusive action taking.
What is inconclusive action taking? Signing up to a gym and expect that you will get to Arnold’s muscles in 4 weeks!
Or, like in my case, believing that I could get from 0 to 100,000 subscribers (or leads) in 4 weeks!
That is, knowing where I was starting from, in terms of time available and of marketing budget to pay for advertising on ANY platform.
In my digital marketing terms, my own Arnold’s picture was the video of Stuart talking about his many followers (me being one of them).
If there is ONE thing that I would ask ANYONE who is just getting started with building their own list of subscribers (leads) or anyone who is not measuring a great success after some time is this: what are you comparing your digital marketing results to?
If you are just getting started and you have, let’s say, 500 $ a month available for your marketing budget, can you realistically expect to achieve the same results of Stuart Ross in 4 weeks?
No, you can’t. And there is no shame in that.
The only shame would be NOT to realize it and to, therefore, fail to take the appropriate actions.
Another expression to describe what you need to do here is ‘goal setting’.
The 90-day Marketing Blueprint session in SFM for those who get their Elite+ Membership explains how you should focus on ONE of the strategies they talk about in the Elite Curriculum to generate consistently 10-20 leads a day within your first 90 days.
I can tell you that it works. I have signed up to my Elite+ Membership of the SFM/DEA on March 15th and have started getting into the virtual classes and the live calls within the first 2 weeks.
On March 27th, I got my first Lead joining the list… hurray!
Does that seem like much? Absolutely NOT… and YES!
It wasn’t much because it was still a long way from my 10-20 daily leads…
It was a lot because I was able to attract ONE person, one human being, to sign up to my newsletter! At that point, all of a sudden, generating 10 leads a day didn’t seem such a big thing anymore… what I did that attracted that one person, I could refine, tweak, optimize and then repeat to scale up my reach.
To the day of writing this piece (April 22nd, 2017), not even 2 months after having started with SFM and taking action based on the Elite+ Curriculum, I have attracted more than 600 leads.
Doing the math this amounts to an average of 11 leads a day since that first lead joined my list.
The key word in the SFM Elite+ Curriculum’s 90-Day Marketing Blueprint is ‘consistently’.
11 leads a day since I started is my average, although I have really been able to generate ca 15-20 new leads ‘consistently’ every day only since the last few weeks.
Looking at how I defined success (i.e. 10-20 leads generated daily and consistently) I can now say that I hit my desired outcome.
In 2 months after starting already.
This has made ME reflect, and should make YOU reflect as well.
I have joined SFM and applied to the Elite+ Membership almost immediately, following my emotional lead (i.e. Stuart) and by checking in with ‘my’ reality and connecting with other people like me who joined SFM at the same time and for the same reasons I did.
That gave me the confidence that I could achieve something in 4 weeks that would be commensurate to my commitment and budget: no magic wand or abstruse recipe here.
My brain kicked in immediately when I started taking action, and all the guidance and mentorship from SFM not only provided me with the necessary digital marketing education on the techniques I should use (and keeps doing it) but most importantly with the indispensable support and guidance to keep things PRACTICAL!
By keeping things practical, I got the tactical advice that I needed to get me started and going, after assessing what I could put on the plate as input (i.e. time, activities, money) to obtain a specific desired outcome (i.e. 10-20 new leads generated consistently on a daily basis).
I didn’t squander my time complaining that 10-20 leads a day would not be ‘enough’ (enough for what?!). If I had kept comparing myself with Stuart Ross, probably not even 100 new leads a day would have seemed enough to me and I would have already abandoned the game!
And this would have been a HUGE mistake.
What I am building here (and you should as well) is for the LONG term, not for the SHORT term.
It means that even if it takes me 1 year, 2 years, 5 years to get to my digital lifestyle and reach total independence for me and my family, with full-time income generated online, this IS WORTH IT!
This may seem trivial to you, but the example of the gym is a lot more fitting than you think.
Keeping your focus on building your leads, and marketing material and the relationships that will ultimately create followers and customers, every day, while being realistic when you watch your reference picture (again, Stuart is my reference picture) is what is going to take you from 10-20 new daily leads to 100 with a feeling of constant progress.
But if you had in mind to get to 100 leads daily after 2 months, without checking in with your situation and realistic expectations, you may be in for some hard landing from your high mental flights…
Do you want to know how I have attracted 600+ leads in less than 2 months?
I have started with an overall assessment of my digital skills, available time and financial situation.
Here the initial results as it originally appeared on my notes:
A. Digital Skills:
o AS IS: I need to ramp up FAST, there’s too much I don’t know about Digital Marketing!
o TODO: get the SFM Elite+ Membership to get the Elite Curriculum and access all the advanced and live material
B. Available time:
o AS IS: I have 2 small kids and a wife, a job and recently got a self-commitment to get fit-again and have signed up to the gym! I have managed to create a pretty stable schedule throughout the week, and I am regularly organizing family activities on the weekends!
o TO DO: slot between 1 and 3 hours of work every single day including weekends. Compromising family time or daily job is NOT an option, so I’d have to work smarter earlier and later in my days.
C. Financial Situation:
o AS IS: I have a mortgage, my wife and I work full time, we have 2 (lovely but expensive ) kids and have just asked for some in-house support to keep our 5 months old baby home until next year. We are managing some savings on a monthly basis luckily without compromising on the quality of life too much. I mean, we still afford to go and eat out ca twice a month, go skiing in winter and to the sea in summer.
o TO BE: based on my calculations, I would need to reserve anything between 1000 and 2000$ every single month to pursue my marketing strategy. That means no new car (will still drive my 6 years old Volvo V60 for a while), no expensive vacation this year and cutting down on restaurants, personal expenses and some savings for the next 12 months.
This was MY assessment when I started, yours will be different because we all start from different start lines!
In the end, the desired outcome of 10-20 daily leads consistently (i.e. L) can be derived with a simple formula:
L = A (Digital Skills) x B (Time Available) x C (Financial Situation) x O
Where O stands for ‘Other Factors’
Want an example of ‘O’? Your mindset. The level of commitment. The host of your domain. The weather. You name it!
Naturally, I wanted to exaggerate with this last one… but you get my point.
Even if we had the same exact A-B-C combination, we’d never get the same exact results.
There will always be deviations!
The question people ask me is ‘How have you been attracting 600+ leads in less than 2 months after starting from scratch?’
The formula above is my answer…
But the question they should really ask is ‘Am I setting myself up for success?’.
I mean, if you start with A=0, B=0 and C=0 then you must know that you need to create the right conditions for you to be successful with your desired outcomes, even if it’s ‘just’ about getting 10 new leads a day every day.
The Elite+ Membership of the SFM/DEA can give you all the support you need to get to your digital business and lifestyle creation, all the education, all the tactical as well as the needed strategic insight and the leadership lessons you want.
But you cannot expect SFM to be your answer if you don’t manage to move the needle on your OWN situation.
You see, SFM will serve you as a silver bullet to get to your desired outcomes if you are ready to do what it takes and listen to the advice that the several SFM successful leaders provide.
So, how did I attract 600+ leads in less than 2 months starting from scratch?
By making sure that I study and learn new Digital Skills every day thanks to my SFM Elite+ Curriculum.
By taking action every day to find more time and more money to dedicate to my digital marketing strategies.
At times, when I have been lacking money because I needed to pay taxes or had that water leak repair to pay for (it’s true and we’re still in the process of fixing this, unfortunately!), I have found ways to be more creative with my activities.
You know how much a podcast costs? 0, nada, nichts, nothing. You can publish one in 5 minutes for FREE.
Does it take time to publish a podcast? Yes.
Is it going to work and bring you more leads? Yes… if done it properly. I had mine published on iTunes – for free – to reach the broadest audience possible.
Another example? Reaching out to industry experts and successful digital marketers asking not just for ‘help’, which may seem quite dry and unrewarding for them, but to propose a collaboration.
What collaboration could you possibly offer?! You’re thinking.
I’ll give you my 2-cents here, from something that I am actually doing and intend to do more of from now on: interview them and offer them another space to reach more people with their story, with their message… and sometimes with their product.
It could be a Skype interview, that you can agree to record and publish on YouTube, or a simple written Q&A that you get to publish on your blog.
They get to promote their personal brand for free and even get the satisfaction of talking more about themselves (we all love to do that!) and you get free material and free traffic, what’s not to love about that!?
…if you then get them to tweet your article to their audience, here you have it!
All free, high volume and quality traffic for you!
Part of your reality check of you Digital Marketing effort, especially when you start from zero like I have and you probably are doing, concerns getting to the understanding that paid advertising is going to be the biggest generator of new leads.
This is especially true for new starters and sometimes also with seasoned digital marketers… why do you think that the Ads industry is doing so well these days? Because everyone, small or big, wants that.
For a reason: it works. It is the single most effective part of any single marketing strategy.
If you are starting now and plan to achieve your 10-20 daily leads in less than 2 months, then you NEED to have paid advertising as a relevant part of your marketing strategy.
And yet another revelation for you.
Even when you will ultimately be bringing in 100 new leads a day, paid advertising will be your consistent weapon to your digital marketing arsenal.
Because you can get great at refining your message every single day, with your videos, articles and social media activity, and this will get you very good at converting your leads into customers and generating long lasting lifetime value with and for them.
BUT (there’s always a but…) you will still need to attract new leads and paid advertising is simply the fastest and more efficient way to reach your desired outcome.
What WILL change as you get better, as you refine your personal brand, get clearer in your message and unique value proposition, as you optimize your tools and tweak, segment, and dissect your advertising, is that your paid advertising will become more and more efficient at bringing in new leads.
How do you measure ‘efficient’?
You should really get into the SFM Elite+ Curriculum if you haven’t done that already, as this is all part of the foundational training.
An efficient paid ad is an ad that brings in leads fast and at a low cost.
What is fast and what is low cost?
You guessed the answer… IT DEPENDS! 🙂
It depends on how good your targeting is… but if you’re planning to generate 10-20 leads daily with one of your ads… then you have a measure of how fast you need it to be.
What about the cost?
The platforms (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, etc.) all have their peculiarities, targeting capabilities and… cost.
What I can offer you is a set of ballpark figures that I have taken from my specific experience with Facebook Ads so far, in terms of cost per acquired lead.
Low cost per lead: between 1-3$
Medium cost per lead: between 3-10$
High cost per lead: up to 10+$
You will notice, once you start placing ads (on Facebook) that as the platform ingests your ad for the first time, its cost per lead will be (on average) High.
This is due to the fact that the platform will need some time and some traffic so that its algorithms can appropriately match your desired audience (i.e. the target you define) with the current traffic and your message.
At first, winning that click is going to be more difficult to obtain and therefore more expensive.
As the ads get more clicks and conversions (i.e. a lead is acquired) the algorithms get better and ‘more efficient’ at matching your message with your target audience (i.e. they start becoming faster and less expensive).
The ad platform will work for you to optimize as much as it can the positioning of your message with your target audience… but there is a limit.
And that limit will be reached as soon as you start seeing (usually after a week, maximum 2) that you are not getting any faster or cheaper lead in through that ad.
This is where you need to seriously apply your digital marketing skills, or had you thought that it would have been just as easy as placing an ad on Facebook?
Your ads are a reflection of your own personal brand in the digital world: exactly as you work to define and refine your digital brand, so you should tweak and optimize your ads.
The clearer, the more specific and believing your brand becomes, the easier it will be for your paid advertising to convert visitors to leads.
If you’re not doing it already, you should get into the healthy habit of regularly measuring and optimizing your ads.
How? You should be used to it by now… IT DEPENDS!
Your message and Your brand are yours and yours alone, what works for me is not guaranteed to work for you and vice-versa.
Even if we had the same message out, some people may not like you, or your hair, or your voice, while others will.
This is what Digital Marketing is all about: a balancing act between the science of making your ads more efficient, with the art of finding the right message for your target audience.
There is one thing that you must do, though, no matter what your message and your personal brand are: you need to monitor, measure and analyze the performance of your ads.
You may not be exactly sure of what brings some people to respond to your messages, but you can understand which of your messages is doing a better job of it… simply by looking at its performances in terms of leads generation, time and cost per lead.
And once you see what works best in you ad what do you do? You repeat it because you can see it working!
And you tweak it… just as much as you are able to understand if what you changed has really had an impact… and let it run until you can measure its performances… and then continue the cycle.
So, what got me to attract 600+ leads in less than 2 months starting from scratch?
Taking all of the actions I have described in this article. Diligently. Consistently. Congruently.
And applying for the SFM Elite+ Membership.
Without it, I would most probably still be trying to understand why my ads are costing lots of money without bringing any lead.
Without it, I would not get the chance to keep learning important technical, marketing and leadership skills that are serving me well (I find) in the creation of a digital business and lifestyle I love.
Without it, I would not have met and be in contact with great digital marketers and, simply put, great people from all over the world who are ALWAYS available to provide their support, help, perspective or just outright motivation to get going.
Do yourself a favor, set yourself up for success.
And if you’re still not convinced about the BOOST that your digital marketing and lead generation activities will get from becoming an SFM member, use the form below to sign up to my newsletter and get the free 7-Day Video Series by the Founders on how to build a successful digital business and lifestyle you love.
Plus, you’ll get to receive MY awesome updates and articles! :-)))