Here’s exactly what I did.
This post isn’t theoretical — it’s proven.
I’m going to show you how I used a blog post, Facebook ad, and $100 to land the exact kind of consulting client I wanted (and several more great leads)…in a week.
It’s a simple formula.
If you have expertise in a subject matter, a clear idea of whose problems you help to solve, and a product or service which delivers that value, it will work for you no matter what field you’re in.
To implement this plan you’re going to need to create three things:
- A blog post.
- A Facebook ad.
- An email response to send to leads who are interested in whatever you sell.
Following is a breakdown of how I created each element, but first here’s a bit of backstory for context.
I’m an audience growth strategist (and publisher of a newsletter 25,000 people seem to dig), which is a fancy way of saying I help people and companies use social media, content, and marketing to grow and activate their audience.
While I work with all sorts of different clients, my goal for this experiment was to get comedians to hire me to help them grow their careers.
The service I offer them is a two-month consulting package where I help them learn how to get the most value out of the time, effort, and resources they put into social media.
Now, on to the good stuff. Here’s how to do what you need to do to land yourself a new client…
Step 1: Create the blog post.
You need to write a blog post that accomplishes four things:
- Expresses the problems your ideal clients have and demonstrates your understanding of them.
- Provides immediate (free!) value to your ideal clients and features actionable advice they can implement on their own.
- Makes it clear you’re an expert on the subject matter and convinces them your knowledge can help them.
- Makes it clear they can hire you to help them solve their problem or accomplish their goals.
Here’s the post I wrote to check those four boxes with a target audience of comedians interested in growing their career:
As you hopefully noticed, each of the four goals outlined above is accomplished in the post.
I made it clear I understand my audience’s problems in the introduction where I reference the common struggles I hear from comedians all the time.
I fed their own words back to them in this section here:
Those issues perfectly align with the problems I solve in my consulting service.
That’s not a coincidence.
I then include 17 bits of advice and tactics comedians can implement immediately — this both provides value and demonstrates my expertise.
As much as possible I share specifics in my advice as opposed to generalities — and ideally tips comics haven’t heard before.
For example, in the excerpt below I don’t just suggest they use Facebook ads, I explain exactly how to use them to accomplish a common goal:
If you’re not sure how to write a blog post that’s going to be valuable to others, here’s a post that can help you figure that out:
To check the final box and make sure any comedian who enjoys my post is aware they can hire me for additional help, I incorporate multiple references to how they can email me for more details about how I can help them.
There’s one in the intro section, a couple smuggled into the individual pieces of advice, and a final call to action at the bottom of the post.
I don’t reference pricing or specific products —that’s intentional.
I want anybody who’s potentially curious about working with me to reach out and can worry about closing the deal with them once they do.
Somebody may not be sure they want to spend a certain amount to hire me based on a blog post, but if we have a deeper exchange that may change their calculation.
Step 2: Create the Facebook ad.
Once the blog post is finished (fyi, mine took me about five hours to create), the next step is to get it seen by your target audience.
There are a lot of ways to do that, but if you’re willing to invest a bit of money into Facebook ads, they’re incredibly cost-effective and well worth when used to promote valuable content to a specific audience.
I created an ad to target comedians and planned to spend $5 a day on it for 20 days. My assumption was if it landed me a single client that would more than pay for itself.
And it certainly has.
The “ad” I ran is really just promotion of a post on my Facebook page.
Here’s what it looks like:
A couple things to note about how I created this to apply to your own ads:
- In the first line I made it clear this post exists to help comedians (who I knew would be the people seeing it because I targeted them).
- I framed my creation and sharing of this post as a generous act — I’m not “selling” to people, I’m trying to help them. Both things are true, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Almost immediately, the ad performed well because all it did was put something genuinely helpful in front of an audience who could use some help.
There were lots of positive comments, people tagging other comics to check it out, and people thanking me for putting in the time to share my expertise with them.
Referencing that the post took me hours to do write also probably helped in framing people’s opinion of what I had created.
Here are the results the ad generated in the first 20 days:
- 8,030 people reached
- 1,046 people clicked the link to read the post
- 108 post reactions
- 146 post saves (a huge number that shows how the audience valued it as a resource)
- 38 shares
- $0.09 cost per link click
- $106 total budget spent
Pretty incredible, right?
But it doesn’t stop there.
All the traffic driven by the ads triggered additional organic sharing within the community of comedians which drove even more people to read the post.
So while I paid for 1,046 people to read the article, organic sharing led 3,355 people to read it during that time period. It effectively cost me 3 cents per potential client!
Those are great numbers, but at the end of the day what matters is if all that attention translated to actual new leads and clients.
The answer is a resounding yes to both.
I’ve had dozens of comedians reach out to discuss working with me since launching this post — a couple have hired me already and a couple more are strongly considering it.
Those new clients didn’t know I existed before this blog post and Facebook ad — that was all it took to attract and convert them.
Well, that’s not quite true. There was one other thing I had to do…
Step 3: Create a standard email response.
Because I don’t mention exactly how I work with comedians or my fees in the blog post, potential clients who reach out didn’t know if they could afford me or not.
Some probably assume I charge $50 (I don’t), and others may assume I charge $50,000 (I don’t).
I can’t spend all my time doing phone calls with potential clients who will never be able to afford my services, so I wrote a simple email response to send to people who inquired about my work.
It’s an overview of what I offer, how I work, and what I charge.
I customize it a bit based on a potential client’s initial outreach, but it looks roughly like this:
Hey NAME, glad you found the article helpful and thanks for reaching out.
There are a few ways I work with clients:
1. I do 90-minute consulting calls for a $XXX fee.
2. I can work with you to develop and implement a custom overall strategy to accomplish your goals (specifics depend on your needs obviously).
This is designed to help you figure out how to use social media and content to build your audience and ensure that the time, effort, and resources you’re putting into this stuff are being used efficiently to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
It’s typically a two-month commitment for a fee of $XXXX per month but again, it depends a bit on what you need.
3. If those options are out of your budget, send me a couple specific questions and I’ll be happy to give you a little free advice.
Let me know what you may be interested in and we can discuss next steps.
A couple things to note about this email:
- Sharing prices at this point filters out people who won’t be able to afford me, so neither of us has to waste more time.
- By offering a one-off call and a two-month package, I’ve created a way for people to work with me who may not be willing or able yet to go for the bigger package. This offering allows them to to hire me and dip their toes in the water, while still being worth my time.
- By offering free advice to people who respond with a specific question, I get to help people and reward them for reaching out. It also starts a relationship and who knows, they may be able to afford to hire me down the road.
- This email template makes it quick and easy for me to respond to anyone who reaches out after reading the blog post (and lots of people have) without consuming too much of my time.
A final thought…
What I outline above is certainly not the only way to attract clients an every market and service has its own unique characteristics.
However, it’s worked well for me and I shared it because it’s a simple format you can apply to just about anything and likely see success — as long as the content you create offers legitimate value to the audience you target.
I’ve continued to run the ad at $5 per day targeting comedians and continue to get new leads coming in every week. If anything, it’s getting even more cost-effective as it goes on as more people share it and there’s more social proof on the post.
I’m such a believer in this approach that I plan to create alternate versions of this system to target other types of clients I’d like to work with in the future.
Speaking of which…
If you’d like help creating a similar system for yourself to attract your ideal clients, I’d be happy to help. Email me and we can talk.