I build systems from business basics…
Business basics are pretty basic, right? Sales, marketing, messaging, packaging…
But a LOT of people wait until they have learned more, mastered more, and build up more business assets and sequences and funnels and landing pages or finally finesse exactly their messaging or their package before they feel confident and able to start working with clients.
But I believe that rather than a straight and narrow staircase, where you can only ‘officially’ be in business when you have all the foundations perfectly solid, it’s more like a spiral staircase, where you become more and more masterful and official as you work on bits and pieces… and where your foundations get stronger and stronger while you work on them AND while you work and master them with clients.
When I was beginning to build some consistency in my business – in how my day was run, how many hours I worked, how my life was and my schedule was, as well as how much income I was making and how I was making it consistently – what I was doing was learning to build systems from what I had ALREADY built casually…
In the beginning of my business, after trying the whole ‘build everything up first’ and having my first three launches bring in less than $700 combined, I decided to go back to the most basic of basics, and got good at sales conversations and booked a bunch of discovery calls.
I had gotten really good at sales conversations, booking discovery calls, and meeting and attracting clients online using places like Facebook groups and even my personal and business Facebook pages.
I had gotten REALLY good at being a human while still bringing conversations from the comment thread to the sales call and booking paying clients.
So I knew that as long as I had enough comments and conversations in my social media, then I would book more than enough clients every month.
Which is pretty awesome.
But the PROBLEM was that I could never really be sure WHERE those conversations were going to be generated from.
And if I would have enough of them each month to BOOK enough clients.
I was in Facebook groups, commenting, posting. I was on my own social media channels – Facebook, my group, my biz page, IG, Pinterest, whatever else.
But I couldn’t predict HOW MANY people would comment, message me, engage, respond, and I couldn’t always predict how many ideal clients I would be attracting with each piece.
And so sometimes I would book enough clients from a single Facebook post.
And sometimes I would need more time and engagement to get to my client booking goals.
And so I had a problem.
I could be consistently booking clients, but the amount of TIME I had to spend in order to be doing that was unpredictable.
I might need 5 minutes. Or 5 weeks.
I could never be sure where my next client was going to come from.
And I quickly fell RIGHT BACK into the pattern of working too many hours.
Because it was just too easy to go “oh, so I haven’t generated enough conversations yet, haven’t made enough sales yet, have made enough money yet, so I must need to spend a few more hours in Facebook groups so that I can.”
And that was even WORSE than when I was in the beginning of my business spending too many hours writing content for launches that would never work that I wasn’t ready for.
Because my work hours were now so unPREDICTABLE. I had no idea how many hours I was going to have to work to create consistent sales because I didn’t have a system to consistently generate conversations. I would just go until it did.
And that could be five minutes.
Or fifty hours.
Not helpful. Not consistent. Not good for so many reasons.
Here’s what I did:
1) I said, “FAAACK no…”
2) Also heard my mom say “Sarah, you have no consistent income, what are you doing over there?” and my mentor say, “Sarah, you’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met… but your brain is just floating around in space with nothing underneath it.” Um…. OUCH.
3) “FAAACK no…” I said to myself again, embarrassed and humbled.
4) LOOKED FOR SYSTEMS.
Systems – a series of tasks and ways of working, automated or otherwise – would ensure some consistency and at least statistical numbers, meaning I could put my systems in motion and lean back and trust that even if it took a bit of time, a certain number of potential clients would book discovery calls on average every time I ran the systems.
Sounds like a dream boat for a woman who had finally grown the confidence of booking clients every now and then!
Now my mentor had said to me that I needed to create systems. That was true to scale and create some consistency and momentum. But in order to be able to create those systems, what I personally needed was that creating systems needed to be the easiest thing in the world or I wouldn’t do it, because I was just too damn busy worrying all the time about my next cash that I had no energy left between that and client work.
So I started to ask myself, “Where have I ALREADY started building systems? How can I SO EASILY take what I’ve already put together and make it more consistent, more solid, more of a foundation for my brain to sit on…?”
I took my existing and really basic system, something that I hadn’t even realized I had built in my constant client-booking situation – killer posts, comments, conversations, and free sales calls – and turned it into more and more automated systems over time, a process I now teach to my clients as ‘Onramping’, which allowed me to keep making money and serving my clients at a high level WHILE I built all my systems in the background, RATHER than having to spend TONS of time up front building systems like lead magnets and launches and list building without making any money while I did so, or worse, not even knowing if my messaging and offers were valuable and sellable!
Here’s how it works…
Let’s say I have booked the majority of my clients in the past by going into Facebook groups with a killer post that I’ve written, which encourages engagement. Then people see the post – usually people outside of my network since I’m in another person’s Facebook group – and comment. Now depending on how I’ve written the post, people might be commenting because they’re like ‘this is so inspirational’ but if I’ve done it right using my formula for engaging future CLIENTS, they’re doing one of two things.
They’re either commenting ‘Oh my gosh this is me, send help!’ or they’re clicking on my name and thinking ‘who IS this chick, I wanna talk to her!’ and finding me on my other Facebook channels, where I have sales calls and other offers waiting to help and serve them.
From there, I’m chatting away with them in the comments, using my system for comment and social media conversation I’ve put together (another casual and informal practice I was good at that I didn’t realize was a system), and if the conversation continues and I think we’re awesome to work together, I invite them to a sales call (again, in a very specific way, that I discovered I’d built a system around.)
COOL! Casual systems. Means I could keep doing that WHILE doing all the longer term work – building lead magnets, funnels, sequences, FB ads, and launches – so that I could keep serving clients and making money AND BONUS testing my new messaging and offers.
Then for every new offer I want to try, including the free ones, I try them first in my casual system because I KNOW that it works, so I can test the messaging WITHOUT having to put a lot of work on the back end of teching it and paying for resources, until I know the messaging works.
So I’m making money on the new offers, while I’m testing them and serving people.
And then I just keep automating more and more of the system until I have this beautiful automated funnel with a free sales call offer and a killer post on it that I already tested and know works because I used it in a Facebook group a bunch of times and am already working with 4 clients because of it!
What I was able to do was to take messaging and sales strategies that I ALREADY KNEW worked with my clients and readers and translate them over time to more automated systems, basically getting them in front of new eyes with less effort.
But in order to be able to build those systems, I HAD to have my business basics that I knew were working.
After I started created some consistency with those simple systems, I had WAY more room in my brain to come up with NEW onramps and strategies and ways to generate conversations and serve my clients EVEN BETTER, AND I had the actual TIME to BUILD those ideas and test them. WITHOUT always feeling stressed and rushed.
Ready for that?
Here’s your checklist:
1) Are you working on mastering the basics? Sales strategies and conversations, messaging (how you say what you’re doing) and marketing (how you’re getting that in front of new eyes). And your packaging is strong (clients are getting results and it’s fun for you to deliver)?
2) Are you booking clients? And HOW have you been booking clients? Look for unofficial, casual, informal looking systems.
3) Once those first two are working for you, start building more automation on your go-to way to book clients FIRST. Example, if a free discovery call offer you have is really working, try turning it into a PDF lead magnet with your 10 top tips gleaned from running that offer over and over with a discovery call offer at the end of the delivery sequence.
4) Once number 3 is working, start adding in more automation, such as a FB ad, to get even more traffic to this FAB onramp you’ve built (and already made money from) over time!
P.S. Interested to see even more inspo and business goodiness? You can find my free Facebook group here >> https://buff.ly/2FLoXNn
Interested in working with me? Let’s chat. There are ways to work with me, regardless of your budget. There’s never LITERALLY NEVER been a better time to invest in a better future for you and your biz <3