Welcome to Part 4 of “Build Your 7-Figure Evergreen Machine.”
In this series of articles, you’ll learn how to evergreen your business – transforming your sales cycle from the old-school launch model to an automated “sell while you sleep” evergreen model.
Disclaimer: The following information is aimed at people who have a proven product with a bare minimum of 100 paying customers. If you’re just getting started, we recommend you start with some beginner material (like this or this), and bookmark this article for later. If you do have a proven product, catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
In Part 1, we talked about the value of automation. In Part 2, we showed you the steps to automate your sales funnel. In Part 3, you learned how to evergreen your customer experience to create repeat buyers. Today, it’s time to pull it all together with an actionable, step-by-step plan to build your Evergreen Machine.
A few important rules to know before we dive into the step-by-step plan:
Rule #1 of the 7-Figure Evergreen Machine:
The most important ingredient in a successful Evergreen Machine is ACTION.
It’s not enough to read this series and ponder the possibilities while keeping your same old system in place. At the end of the day, if you want to create real, lasting growth in your business, you have to take action and make it happen. If you don’t, you’re hoarding the information in this series, and not really using it.
We’ve created 5-, 6-, and 7-figure Evergreen Machines for our consulting clients again and again. And when we look back over our clients’ different sources of income, their evergreen funnels are consistently their #1 source of predictable, recurring revenue. That’s because they committed to the idea of the Evergreen Machine and took action. They were open to change, and excited to go through every step of the process.
We want you to see the benefits of evergreening, just like our consulting clients do. All you have to do it ACT.
Rule #2 of the 7-Figure Evergreen Machine:
A successful Evergreen Machine requires you to be generous with your expertise.
Your evergreen funnel relies on you giving away a lot of valuable information in the form of carrot content, educational marketing emails, blog posts, social media posts, etc.
Your gut instinct might tell you to withhold your most valuable information for paying customers. We’re here to tell you – don’t worry about that. Go ahead and share your deepest, smartest insights. Tell your absolute best tips and tricks. Don’t hold back on anything.
Why? This is how you PROVE your expertise and BUILD TRUST with your customers. We’re not saying you have to give away all of your information, but every piece of public content you put out into the world absolutely has to have real value to it. No chintzing. No hedging. Share what you know and the customers will follow.
Here’s an example of why this is such important an important concept when evergreening:
Our team recently attended a marketing conference. At the conference, we went to a seminar that was aimed at a big pain point for pretty much every business owner. The seminar was packed with people hoping to solve this pain point. The room was electric with anticipation.
The presenter was the CEO of a company that has grown from a small team into a hugely successful, well-known multimillion dollar business. They’re the best in the biz, and everyone around us was pumped to hear the secrets behind their success.
Imagine our disappointment when the CEO took the stage and tossed broad platitudes at us for twenty minutes. “Write a mission statement.” “Establish your core values.” What did he think this was, Marketing 101? The mood in the room instantly dissolved from excitement to disappointment. We watched audience members’ faces drop all around us.
Then, CEO wrapped up his presentation with a sales pitch for his company’s newest product, and people started to get angry.
If he had given us incredible information instead of stuff we already knew, we would have been jumping at the opportunity to listen to his sales pitch. We probably would have signed up for the product on the spot. But because he didn’t show us his expertise, and he didn’t provide anyone any real value, we were disinterested in what he was selling. We didn’t believe it was worth it.
Contrast that with many other speakers, who are also selling their name, brand and products – but who give out amazingly useful and powerful tactics in their seminars. The sales pitch in those seminars is never “sign up now” – it’s “check out this additional information at my website.” They’ve proven their worth, and because they have that Evergreen Machine running, they know they can sit back and let their marketing funnel do its job.
Rule #3 of the 7-Figure Evergreen Machine:
The 75/25 Rule: Learn It, Love It, Live It
What the CEO should have done was followed the 75/25 Rule, carving out 75% of his presentation for free, valuable content, and using the last 25% for the sales pitch. Instead, he gave us 25% worthless content and 75% sales pitch. His percentages were way off. He didn’t prove his value. He didn’t win our trust. And at the end of the seminar, he didn’t make his sale.
This story is another way of saying: Your Evergreen Machine will only function if you give away valuable content freely and openly. For example, if you’re building a new email funnel, you should lead with 3 educational, informative emails before sending 1 sales email. Follow the 75/25 Rule, and you’ll impress your customers and make the sales you deserve.
With all of this in mind – the importance of taking action, and the importance of being generous with your expertise – it’s time to go step-by-step through the experience of creating your first Evergreen Machine. This will take work on your part, but it’s doable, and it WILL transform your business when done right!
The Step-By-Step Evergreen Machine
Here’s a checklist for you to work from. Make sure you go through each section piece by piece and check off what you’ve accomplished.
1. Make time to build your Evergreen Machine the right way the first time
☐ Schedule six, 2-hour “appointments” over the next two weeks for you to complete this checklist.
Note: Our friend John Logar uses a great mind trick to make sure you actually use this time. He suggests you label each appointment in your calendar as a Doctor’s Appointment, and you treat it with the same respect you would treat a regular medical appointment. This is a high-priority meeting – you aren’t allowed to reschedule it, and if anyone tries to take this time from you, you have our permission to tell them: “I can’t! I have a doctor’s appointment!” Turn off your phone, disconnect any distractions, and commit to doing the work during this time.
2. Establish your baseline sales numbers using data from your previous launches
☐ Appointment #1: Read (or re-read) Part 1 of this series to familiarize yourself with the concept behind “evergreen” and how it will help you generate recurring revenue.
☐ At the end of Part 1, there is a formula for establishing your baseline sales numbers. Complete the formula and save the numbers in a spreadsheet or other document. You absolutely cannot complete the rest of the checklist without these numbers, so get out your calculator and put on your Math Hat! You don’t need to be a math whiz to complete the formula.
3. Create a piece of valuable carrot content that will appeal to potential customers
☐ Appointment #2 – Hour 1: Spend one hour figuring out what your tribe (your readers, your prospects, your customers) are most interested in learning from you. Find this information by looking for clues in your current system. What are the topics of your most popular blog articles? What keywords are your visitors Googling to find your website? What email topics have the best open rate? Make a list of all of these topics.
☐ Appointment #2 – Hour 2: Brainstorm ideas for carrot content based on what you discovered. Write a list of 5-10 different ideas that you can write about. Under each topic idea, add 3-5 bullet points to flesh out the idea. After you finish this, stop for the day. It’s important that you let these ideas marinate in your mind for a period of time before you decide which to move forward with.
☐ Appointment #3: Select one topic from your brainstorming list and write about it. Include your best ideas and don’t hold anything back – nothing is so secretive you can’t share it in your carrot content. The simplest way to finish your piece is to save the Word document, Google Doc, etc. as a PDF. Just hit “Save as PDF” or “Print to PDF” when you’re finished. Congrats! You just made your new carrot content. This is ready to upload to your landing page or squeeze page.
4. Set up your evergreen funnels to educate prospects, demonstrate your value, and sell your product
☐ Appointment #4 – 30 Min: Read (or re-read) Part 2 of this series to learn how to set up your evergreen prospect funnel, sales funnel, downsell funnel and last chance funnel.
☐ Appointment #4 – 90 Min: Spend the remaining time of this appointment setting up your evergreen funnels in your CRM as described in the Part 2 article. The sub-steps for Infusionsoft users are listed below, with more detail outlined in Part 2.
☐ Create a new funnel
☐ Create a new form
☐ Put the form on your landing page
☐ Add a start tag
☐ Set up a pre-sale/prospect funnel
☐ Set up a sales funnel
☐ Set up a downsell funnel
☐ Set up a last chance funnel
☐ Add a product purchase tag
☐ Add a finish tag
☐ Congrats! You finished a HUGE chunk of work. Pour yourself a drink, pat yourself on the back, and take a break. You deserve it.
5. Set up your evergreen customer funnel to keep customers happy
☐ Appointment #5: Read (or re-read) Part 3 of this series to learn how to create repeat business by establishing an awesome customer service funnel.
☐ Spend the remaining time of this appointment setting up a solid post-purchase customer experience. The sub-steps are below, with more detail outlined in Part 3.
☐ Make sure customers can sign into the course platform immediately upon purchase (ideally without being forced to check their email first).
☐ Make sure you have content immediately available within the course platform so your customers have something to look at right away.
☐ Write a welcome email that every new customer receives.
☐ Set up a customer funnel to maintain ongoing communication.
6. Turn happy customers into repeat buyers with Bonus Content and cross-sells
☐ Appointment #6: During your final appointment, refer to Part 3 once again. First, decide on a piece of Bonus Content to release two-thirds through the course, and write out your Bonus Content if it doesn’t exist already.
☐ Next, decide on a cross-sell product (if you have more than one product) and set up a cross-sell funnel.
7. Measure your progress and optimize your systems
☐ Take another look at all the numbers you came up with during your first appointment. Review your projections and budget accordingly. Push your Evergreen Machine live…woo hoo! Then, let it run its course for one month.
☐ After a month, analyze your progress. First, look at your baseline numbers from Step #2. These numbers are B.E., Before Evergreen. Then, use the same formula to come up with NEW numbers based on the past month. These numbers are A.E., After Evergreen.
☐ Next, take a look at all of the separate components of your A.E. numbers. Look at the number of people who came to your opt-in page, the number of people who opted in, the number of people who looked at your sales page, the number of people who purchased, etc. See if you can identify any potential issues. Do you get a lot of traffic to your opt-in page, but not enough opt-ins? Do a lot of opt-ins visit your sales page, but very few of them purchase your product? How do these individual components measure up when you put your B.E. and A.E. numbers next to each other?
☐ Use this information to begin optimizing your funnel. Let’s say you have lots and lots of leads, but nobody opts in. Maybe you should be targeting different leads who would be better suited to your product. Or, let’s say you have lots of opt-ins, but very few purchases. Is your carrot content attracting the right kind of customer for your product? Wherever you can identify an opportunity to test, go for it. Make a change to ONE aspect of your Evergreen Machine, run a cohort through the new process, and run your numbers again. Did you see a positive change? Optimize each item one at a time, run a cohort through it, and run the numbers. It’s tedious work, but it will show you how to improve. Just do it!
One more thing…
We said it before, and we’ll say it again. Creating your own 7-figure Evergreen Machine is a bit of work, but it’s worth it. And it will only help your business if you take action to make it happen.
If you look “under the hood” of any 7-figure online business, you’ll find that they use evergreen over the traditional launch model every time. That’s how they grow so big and why they have such satisfied customers. Not only that, but once businesses see the results, they set up another evergreen funnel, and another, and another. It’s hard to stop when you see how well it works.
We believe you can be just as successful as our 7-figure clients. Make the time, follow the steps, and you can grow a 5-, 6-, or 7-figure Evergreen Machine to call your own!
Before we go, we want to thank everyone for participating in this series. If you have any questions while going evergreen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rachel (email@example.com). We’d be happy to talk with you.