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The Follow Up Process That Helped Me Double My Freelance Business | The Sales Series

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“This ONE trick doubled my income”. As dumb and clickbaity as that sounds, it's kinda true.
Here's what I mean… the last time I did a deep dive into my freelance business, I realized something interesting…
  • More than 50% of my annual income was directly attributed to following up with leads who never replied.
  • About 20% of my income came from following up 4 or more times in a row (with zero response).
That's pretty wild if you ask me, especially considering that most freelancers only follow up one time (if that).
Seriously, this is the “secret sauce” that could double your income if you're willing to commit and do it right.
Now, I know what you're thinking – “Follow up? That's it?”
It's way more powerful than it sounds because it's easy to do, yet so few actually do it.
Even if you're currently making just $10k a year. Imagine turning that into $20k just by implementing what I teach you in this week's podcast episode.
Today, we're diving deep into the world of short term and long-term follow-ups.
But here's the best part – you can automate the heck out of this. Most good CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software, in case you're not in the know) can make this easy.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How to follow up with you leads in an appropriate way
  • When to follow up
  • Getting people to show up to your sales calls
  • Scheduling follow-up calls before getting off the call you're on
  • Cross-selling your other services to clients
  • Getting unambiguous answers
  • Brian's “Fibonacci Follow-up” process
  • The advantage of “last chance” follow-ups

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[00:00:00] Brian: and welcome to the Six Figure Creative Podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. If this is your first time listening to the show for whatever reason, thank you so much for giving this podcast a chance. There's a ton of podcasts out there that you could listen to. And for some inexplicable reason, you gave this one a chance.

[00:00:12] Brian: This podcast is for you. If you are a freelancer who offers creative services and you want to make more money from those creative skills that you offer And you that without selling your soul. If that sounds like you you are in the right place This is our last episode before christmas. I'm so excited for christmas I don't know how you celebrate but my wife and I we go home to my in laws her parents for the holidays and Every year, it is an absolute, I know what word to use, my brain went somewhere between circus and masterclass and Christmas decor.

[00:00:43] Brian: If you follow me on Instagram before, and you've seen these before, I always do this. Like. Christmas story series of all the decor around my in laws house, you could sell tickets to this thing That's how insane it is. first they have a big house second They have like 15 Christmas trees set up in this big house. every nook and cranny filled with some [00:01:00] amazing ridiculously I don't want to say overdone because you can't overdo Christmas, but like if you could overdo Christmas, I would say overdone It's just a Christmas explosion. So if you want to see the one we have this year it's Tuesday now probably this Saturday, I will probably post the Christmas delights of this household and you'll see what's going on there, but it is fascinating.

[00:01:22] Brian: If you've never seen Christmas done in a high level. Follow me on Instagram and just look at my stories this Saturday and or Sunday. Maybe it'll be Sunday and Monday. Either way, just around Christmas, check my stories and you will see this kind of wrap up I've done. It is to see this. We do Christmas different here. If you're not from America or we're from the South, it is just not done this way elsewhere, I don't think. So looking forward to that. It's always a delight to go home and just see the like Christmas explosion that happens at the in laws house.

[00:01:47] Brian: That being said, Christmas is not the topic of today's episode. We're actually on the still on the cell series. We're in episode three. Now there may be one more. I'm not sure. I'm kind of figuring out if I want to do wrap up series, but this may be the last one in the series.

[00:01:59] Brian: But either [00:02:00] way, this is one of my favorite episodes because this thing we're gonna talk about today, this thing will literally double your income. If you do it. If you're not doing it now, and if you're doing it now, but you're not doing it well, then you could probably add another 20, 30 percent to your income just by doing it.

[00:02:12] Brian: Well,

[00:02:13] Brian: that thing, if you haven't already figured it out, or you read the email or maybe the description or maybe the title of this episode, which I don't know what it'll be yet. You might've seen that it's about following up.

[00:02:21] Brian: The reason I love this subject is because it's so easy to do. So few people do it and it accounts for such a high level of income for pretty much anybody Even if you're just making like 10k a year to double that to 20k because you actually start following up that's a pretty good return on your investment of time and effort when it comes to doing this stuff So today I'm going to outline a bunch of things to think through a bunch of scenarios to do follow ups on how to follow up how often to follow up all the things that matter when it comes to short term and long term follow ups

[00:02:48] Brian: and the best part about this is If it's not easy for you to do because you have so many things to do, if this becomes unmanageable because there can be a lot of scenarios, like really specific scenarios where you need to put a follow up in, if you can't remember [00:03:00] to do all these or you just have so much other stuff to do, you can pretty much automate all of this.

[00:03:04] Brian: Most good CRMs will allow you to this. If you need a good CRM, maybe we'll have something for you and maybe you want to get a waiting list. For a CRM with automation capabilities, just go to sixfigurecreative. com slash CRM. Maybe there'll be a waiting list there. This would only make sense for people who are already full time.

[00:03:19] Brian: Because what we are about to put out It's not an easy piece of software. It's more for those who are ready for this sort of thing. But I'm going to keep it vague for now. Because that's not the topic of today.

[00:03:29] Brian: So today we're talking about following up. first thing I want to start with is, when should you follow up? when I talk about following up accounts for half of your income what qualifies as a follow up? what scenarios make sense for a follow up? Well, Let me go back to what I said in the first episode in this series.

[00:03:41] Brian: We talked about setting up a CRM and getting all of your stages and stuff set up. and whenever somebody's sending an inquiry in, that kind of starts, that's the trigger moment that like an opportunity arises, now there's actual money on the line. this is just my nice gentle reminder to you that every deal or every opportunity or every project Whatever you want to call it has a next step always has a [00:04:00] next step And many times that next step is a follow up.

[00:04:03] Brian: so this episode I'm going to map out.

[00:04:05] Brian: When follow ups play into the next steps to push a deal through a pipeline. So let's review the CRM stages. I talked about this again a couple episodes ago, but a follow up is what we're going to do anytime a deal gets stuck in a stage. So just really quick, you have the inquiry stage. Someone has inquired about your services, maybe pricing, availability.

[00:04:22] Brian: Can you do this thing? That's an inquiry. The second stage is accepted, meaning like You've accepted this lead. You don't have to have like this big triumphant moment I accept this lead. This lead is now mine. An accepted lead just means that they're qualified for you, like you would want to work with them, and you can actually help them, that they make sense for you.

[00:04:37] Brian: So like that just means that it's good for both parties, as far as you can tell, right? The next stage is they've booked a call with you, a discovery call or sales call, whatever you want to call it. next is they actually showed up to that call, which for some industries can be harder than you think.

[00:04:49] Brian: And then after that is you've made an offer to work together in some way. And then finally, you've closed them. Those are like generally the stages. Everyone's going to be slightly different than that, but that's just like a good, broad, applicable[00:05:00] pipeline set up for most freelancers.

[00:05:02] Brian: And throughout each of those stages, leads can become stuck. When I say stuck, it just means they cannot move to the next stage. I'll give you a bunch of examples here. So in the first stage, they've sent an inquiry in what could keep things from actually becoming accepted. if they're just a bad fit for you or you're a bad fit for them, you reject the lead. that means it's not going to get to the next stage, but I wouldn't call it stuck because we know the definitive outcome of what that lead is now designated. That means that opportunity, that deal, that project is dead.

[00:05:30] Brian: It's lost. You would just mark it as lost in your CRM. Most CRMs have some sort of like when lost kind of categorization. So that deal is lost. No next steps really needed in most cases and I definitely wouldn't call it stuck there when it is stuck there It generally means you don't have enough information about the project in order to know if it's a good lead or a bad lead Maybe they didn't fill everything out.

[00:05:50] Brian: Maybe they filled things out vaguely Maybe they fill things out and that just brought up more questions Either way, you don't have enough information or you need more information in order to accept that lead [00:06:00] Hopefully that makes sense. If it doesn't make sense, I failed you. I'm sorry But this is where follow ups come in because when an inquiry comes in, you don't have enough information in order to accept the lead to put it to the next stage in the pipeline.

[00:06:10] Brian: This is a great opportunity for you to follow up because what's going to happen is you're going to reach out to them You're gonna say hey, thanks so much for reaching out for filling my inquiry form out I would love to talk more about this, but I need this information. Can you give me this information XYZ?

[00:06:23] Brian: Whatever This is the first opportunity for following up with people to get them unstuck from this stage now I'll talk about again how often to follow up what you can kind of say in these follow ups later on We'll talk about like my two kind of Frameworks when it comes to short term long term follow ups, but right now I just want to talk about what scenarios make sense to start the follow up process So this is the first place that a deal can get stuck It's on the inquiry stage or the inquiry part of your pipeline and you're gonna keep essentially following up with them until you have a Definitive yes or no this project can move forward or no this project doesn't make sense But again go back to what I said earlier and in the first episode of the series every deal has a next step[00:07:00] So that next step is I don't have enough information I need to get that information from them.

[00:07:03] Brian: So I'm going to ask for more information. What do I do now? I need to schedule a follow up, That makes sense. So now I need to follow up in order to get that more information. And if they don't reply to my follow up, I'm going to keep following up. And my general rule for you is you follow up until the deal is either a yes or a no.

[00:07:19] Brian: And if you never stop following up. To a deal until it was a yes or a no, you will make so much more money. Now, again, you can become annoying if you do it too often, you can become annoying if you're not saying the right things. We'll talk about how often we do things, maybe what you say later on, but I just want you to have this thought process and I want you to have this approach to how you manage your opportunities in your CRM to know that every stage is going to be exactly the same.

[00:07:44] Brian: What do we need to get in order to get them from this stage to the next stage? And I'm going to keep following up until I get that thing. Does that make sense? So that's the first opportunity to start this follow up series or this follow up process. And that is to get the inquiry. into an accepted state or rejected state

[00:07:58] Brian: what most freelancers do in [00:08:00] this scenario is they get maybe a So so inquiry. It's like not a lot of information Seems like it could be a good lead or maybe you know, it's a good lead But they're very vague or short and the response is so you're just like I don't know if I want to deal with this You said maybe one question.

[00:08:14] Brian: Hey, can you give me more information about this? Thing and then you never follow up and that's how most freelancers do it. Shake your head if you're like, yeah That's me I send one email or one text or one DM Trying to get some more information and then the deal just kind of fades away Because I don't have any follow up process because I didn't listen to this episode until now and I'm never gonna make this mistake again Please nod your head.

[00:08:33] Brian: Yes You'll never make this mistake again Because you want to make more money as a freelancer and this is to me not selling your soul following up with somebody to get the information to clarify So that you can move to the next stage for something that they asked for. They asked for an inquiry. They asked for pricing.

[00:08:47] Brian: They asked for your availability. They showed some genuine interest in working with you. It is your duty now to get all the information you need in order to know if you can accept or reject this lead. Simple as that.

[00:08:55] Brian: So now we're in the next stage. You've accepted a lead. How does this deal get stuck here?

[00:08:59] Brian: We wanna get [00:09:00] them from accepted to booked. We wanna have a discovery call.

[00:09:02] Brian: You have an inquiry, you have the information, you know they're a good fit. But now you need to have an actual conversation about the entire project, the discovery call process, maybe what you learned last week. You're starting to implement a formal discovery call framework.

[00:09:14] Brian: Very question based, trying to get to the source of truth. Again, like I talked about last week, go back to last week's episode, if you wanna know more about the four-part sales process.

[00:09:21] Brian: But what can happen is. You're like, great. This is awesome. I think this could be a good fit. Next step is to book a call. We can chat about your project to see if this really would make sense, this is another opportunity for the deal to just move to this vague, status where it's not a win, it's not a loss, it's just Stuck. We don't have an outcome. And again, every deal has a next step. So when you have accepted the lead, you've sent the email or whether it's automated or manual to get them to book the call,

[00:09:46] Brian: we are now going to have a follow up until they book the call or until they tell us they've chosen someone else.

[00:09:52] Brian: And once they've booked the call, now they're in our stage of the pipeline that they have booked a call. And our goal is to get them to actually show up to the call. That's the next kind of [00:10:00] stage in the pipeline. Because not everyone that books a call, a discovery call with you, will actually show up.

[00:10:03] Brian: Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes they forget. sometimes they change their minds. there's a million things that can happen to keep them from showing up to the call. this is one of the prime opportunities, especially for those of you working with, colder markets where people don't already know I can trust you, you're going to generally have a lower show rate, especially if you're doing something like paid ads as a legion source. so this is a great opportunity when they book a call with you to have.

[00:10:25] Brian: Automated or manual follow ups to make sure they show for the call.

[00:10:28] Brian: This one I will share kind of a cadence because this is a time sensitive thing. This doesn't really follow my short term follow up process that I'm going to outline later in this episode. so generally what I would recommend, and this is usually doable for any kind of booking software that's out there, is an instant confirmation email when they book the call,

[00:10:43] Brian: A 24 hour reminder sent 24 hours before the call is, scheduled. Generally I want one the morning of the call if you're doing it manually or if you're doing it automatically a couple hours before the call, email base. And then if you can, if you can do texts sending one hour text reminder and then a five minute [00:11:00] text reminder, the goal for any follow up here is going to be to get them to respond to you, day before or the day of the call.

[00:11:06] Brian: if they respond to you to something, an email or a text the day before the call or the day of the call, the chances for actually showing up to the call are exponentially higher. If you can't get any response, whether it's email or text, the chances of them to actually show to the call is very, very low.

[00:11:19] Brian: If that sounds like overkill. It typically is for a lot of people, depending on their show rates. some people only get like one discovery call every week or two and people always show for those because you have when you're getting that low volume of sales calls.

[00:11:31] Brian: Generally, that means you're just getting the lowest hanging fruit referrals. People that already know like, and trust you. Those people are going to show at a really high rate. So it doesn't make sense to set up all this stuff. You would always set the stuff up. If you get a lower call rate, when you get below 80%, you want to make sure you have all this stuff set up to make sure that you're as high as possible.

[00:11:48] Brian: The next opportunity for following up when it comes to a booked call is if they miss the call, if they actually don't show up. Now you need to follow up to get them re booked because so far, remember, they sent you an inquiry, they're interested in your [00:12:00] services, you took a look at the project and their needs and what you can offer and you decided that you think it's a good fit.

[00:12:05] Brian: You've accepted the lead, you've reached out to them, they've booked the call. All of these things are indicating that they are a great fit and this would be a good project for you, but they just didn't show to the call. Old Brian would say, Ah, screw those people.

[00:12:16] Brian: If they didn't show up to the call, they didn't respect my time. I showed up to the call on time. They never showed. They no showed. I don't want to work with them. That's one way to look at it. That's the angry ego filled way of looking at it. The other way of looking at it is, Something happened. They forgot.

[00:12:28] Brian: lot of people make the mistake of allowing, discovery calls a week or more out. Those are really going to be where people forget things. Whatever the reason, let your ego push it down a little bit. Just have a follow up series. You can make this automated or you can do it manually to get them to rebook.

[00:12:42] Brian: Now, after two book calls that they've missed, that's where you can start to say, this client is probably not a good fit because they can't hold to their end of the bargain. Perfectly fine. But at least give a second chance when it comes to showing up for calls, especially obviously if they're apologetic for missing it.

[00:12:57] Brian: The next opportunity for following up is when they showed to the [00:13:00] call. How do people get stuck? When they show to the call, the next stage after showing up to the call, having the discovery call process, the next part is making an offer to them. That means that you have had the full discovery call. it makes sense that they are a good fit for you. You're a good fit for them. The project makes sense. You have talked to pricing and numbers again, based on last week's episode, we always talk numbers because until numbers are discussed until money is asked for via deposit or payment, the true objections won't come up. If that sounds like a foreign idea to you, just go listen to last week and you'll understand. But in order to get to the offered state. They have to be ready and qualified. They have to be in a good, place for this, right? Because generally this is not everyone's situation, but generally when someone comes to you, they're not ready yet, or there's something that's really holding them back.

[00:13:43] Brian: We're not going to talk numbers. We're not going to talk specifics. We're not going to offer to work with them. We're going to get the information we need. And then we're going to say that this is, not making sense right now. Let's revisit this conversation when it comes close to the project or when these, these roadblocks or these hurdles are overcome.

[00:13:56] Brian: And then they're stuck in this state Of the pipeline, and this is where they have booked a [00:14:00] call. They showed up for the call. You've had this every call. You haven't disqualified them because you could genuinely have a discovery call and say, this is not a good fit.

[00:14:06] Brian: I am pushing you off to someone else, or I'm going to refer you out. This is marked as lost in my CRM. That's perfectly valid. Again, rejections are okay. we know what's going on there, right? But many times they're just not ready yet. There's some things that they've laid out that just makes sense to where we're going to wait a bit.

[00:14:21] Brian: Maybe they need time. Example in my studio when we're recording bands. A lot of times, bands that come to you, they don't even have the songs finished. I don't want to book studio time when you don't even have the songs finished because now you're going to rush to get these songs finished.

[00:14:33] Brian: They're going to be poor quality. and or you're gonna have to push the dates off when they come up because the songs weren't ready, right? in this scenario, we would get discovery call and we would both determine that it makes sense to Re approach this conversation at a later date,

[00:14:45] Brian: This is where again a prime opportunity to follow up This can be short term. This can be long term. Again, later in this episode, I'll talk through the cadence and the rhythm of the actual how often to send these things and what to say.

[00:14:55] Brian: But our goal is to follow up with them until they're ready. And this can be very situational [00:15:00] where you don't need to follow the exact framework I tell you later in this episode. It can just be like, hey, we're going to revisit this in a month. a few weeks from now, I'm going to go ahead and reach out a little before the month.

[00:15:08] Brian: And the goal is to get to a place where you know you're both in the place where you can talk numbers, you can talk project specifics, you can make an offer to work together.

[00:15:16] Brian: Now, ideally in that scenario, you've already had the discovery call. Anytime it's open ended, they need to talk to the rest of the decision makers, whether it's a band or a spouse or a business partner. Or they need time to think it through or they need time to finish their songs as a band, whatever the thing is.

[00:15:31] Brian: In these scenarios, when I say you always have a next step, obviously a follow up is a next step, reaching out or whatever. But ideally, I'd actually just like on the call, Let's put it on the books. I know it's a month away. I know it's two months away. Let's just get it on the calendar.

[00:15:43] Brian: And if we need to cancel, that's fine. But what this allows us to do is re approach the conversation, already have it on the calendar, and now we're just following up to confirm the call, a month out or a week out. I don't if it's easier, but it's definitely preferable for me To have that call on the calendar because it just sets intentions, right?

[00:15:58] Brian: So that again is a [00:16:00] opportunity for you to schedule follow ups either it's a call or emails But this is where you can follow up to get them to the next stage Which is where you make an offer and finally, this is kind of like the last stage here and probably the area Where the most money is on the table, and that is the offered stage. And this is between offered and closed. I mean, you've made an offer, meaning they've gone through the entire pipeline, the entire sales process so far. They've done a discovery call with you.

[00:16:21] Brian: They know the numbers. You've talked numbers. You maybe even asked for a deposit or even gained a deposit, but we haven't closed them yet. This is the big one and this is the area that most freelancers do not do enough follow up on if you ignored everything else I said in this episode and just focused on this one area, this is the thing that will double your income when you've talked numbers, both sides have agreed that this is a good fit.

[00:16:42] Brian: And you haven't closed them yet. This is where you, follow up until there's a yes or no. That's the blanket advice. Follow up until there's a yes or a no. You never want these projects that have been through all these phases and all of this work. You never want these to fall away to an ambiguous state. I always say follow up until there's a yes or a no [00:17:00] because and no decision No decision was come to it faded away or they ghosted you or you forgot about them or you just kind of both grew apart that is always a node by default But sometimes when you follow up even my follow up for a long as long as a year and a half Almost two years following up with a project until it came through that was a yes in most cases that won't happen But in some cases it will be a yes and those yeses can be worth many thousands of dollars

[00:17:24] Brian: so for all freelancers out there, no matter if you have your CRM set up the way I say, and you have all these other follow up processes between the stages to make sure the leads aren't getting stuck in your pipeline. If you just ignore all that and just focus on the projects that you have quoted a price on, maybe you've sent a proposal on, maybe you've discussed it on a sales call, maybe you don't even do sales calls.

[00:17:43] Brian: Maybe you just send proposals, or maybe you just do what I did for years as a studio and just sent. text based email quotes. that was it. No matter what, as long as you just follow up with those incessantly until you get a yes or a no, that will increase your income. I don't even know what the legalities are of guarantees or when it [00:18:00] comes to this stuff, but that's about as close to a guarantee as I can make when it comes to earning more as a freelancer. It's just, following up with those leads.

[00:18:05] Brian: Now, finally, there is one more stage here that you can do follow ups on as a freelancer. And a lot of people forget this, but you can do this and you should do this. And that is the closed stage, meaning you've gotten a client. They have paid you, you've worked together. when does it make sense to follow up with these?

[00:18:18] Brian: You've got follow up when you think they'll be ready again, or whenever you think they'll be ready for what's next. So there's Cross sales, upsells, and just repeat clients. These are all opportunities to follow up with your clients. So in my case, as a music producer, mixing engineer, when I do a project, let's just say it's an album.

[00:18:32] Brian: It might be 10 songs, might be 10, 15, 000. And

[00:18:36] Brian: when the project's done, I could almost always just set a timer for 8 to 12 months in the future. And I know they will start thinking through or they'll be starting writing the writing process for their next album around that time period. If it's an EP, three to five songs, three to six songs.

[00:18:51] Brian: I know I can follow up in about four to six months and they'll be starting the writing process again. If it's a single, I know that I can follow up. In a couple months, and they'll be doing [00:19:00] another single, every industry is different. So you've got to find out what your cadence is. Sometimes it's an upsell.

[00:19:04] Brian: It means that you offer a smaller service and the project's done. And now you need to follow up and sell them the bigger service. Sometimes it's a cross sell. They came to you for one thing. The project's done. And now we need to cross sell them on another service you offer, AKA, would you like fries with that?

[00:19:18] Brian: Whatever it is, your clients are a great source of income when it comes to following up because those are the people that have already paid you, they're the most likely to pay you again. It's a lot easier to get a repeat customer than it is to get a brand new customer or client.

[00:19:30] Brian: so those are pretty much all of the stages when it comes to sales that you would fit followups in. And again, I position it in my brain as like, how do we get deals unstuck? Because we don't want an ambiguous state. We either want yeses and nos. Yeses are great. Nos are fine too. And ambiguous, I don't know.

[00:19:48] Brian: We don't know where the project's at. We don't know what's the next step. We don't know if we're going to move forward or not. We have all these unknowns. That's unacceptable. And that's what follow ups are for. It's for those unambiguous projects that have, no real decision made [00:20:00] on what the state is.

[00:20:01] Brian: We want black, white, one zeros on off when it comes to sales. We don't want gray. We don't want shades of gray.

[00:20:07] Brian: And we don't want anything to slip through the cracks and fall away. So let's talk about the actual follow up process. How often do we do it? Maybe some of the things like what we say. I've got two kind of phases here. I've got short term follow ups. I've got long term follow ups. Short term, I call this the follow up sequence.

[00:20:20] Brian: For those who know like the Fibonacci sequence, I don't even know how to explain this, but it's just essentially when you look at it, it's just numbers that get gradually farther apart the longer you go.

[00:20:29] Brian: And actually I'll read the definition. In mathematics, the Fibonacci sequence is When each number is the sum of the two preceding ones.

[00:20:35] Brian: So for example, 1 plus 1 equals 2, 1 plus 2 equals 3, 2 plus 3 equals 5, 3 plus 5 equals 8, and so on and so forth. Again, we're not here for math. idea of the numbers just get gradually far apart. That's how we handle our follow ups when it comes to short term follow ups. Whether you're trying to get someone to show up to a call, whether you're trying to get more information from an inquiry so you can accept it, or whether you're trying to get the deal over the finish line.

[00:20:58] Brian: Fibonacci follow up is great because it [00:21:00] allows you be aggressive at the start and gradually pan out the follow ups further apart so that you're not overwhelming and annoying the people.

[00:21:07] Brian: Because when the deal is fresh, when something has just happened, they've just taken an action, you can be a little more aggressive and

[00:21:14] Brian: frequent in your follow ups. But as the project stales, as things stagnate. We need to pace our follow ups a little further apart when I'm following up with that band for a year and a half. I was not following up every day. That's an insane amount of follow ups and the Fibonacci follow up is this essentially now one caveat to this.

[00:21:31] Brian: This is 100 percent situational, you're not just going to blindly follow the Fibonacci follow up. You don't even have to follow the exact amount of days that I say here. Just follow the concept of this, you start more aggressive you've gradually get further apart. And then eventually you'll move from short term follow up to long term follow up, which is the next section here. So here's my kind of cadence that I say and this is again 100 percent situational Not everyone this makes sense for, but the first follow up is going to happen one to three days after the initial event.

[00:21:57] Brian: So someone fills out an inquiry form. [00:22:00] You need more information. You've asked for more information. They have not responded to you with that information. You can follow up in a day. to three days out.

[00:22:08] Brian: The next follow up can happen after about five days. Again, give or take. It's situational. For example, an inquiry comes in on Monday. You immediately respond because something called speed to lead matters. The faster you respond to your leads, the higher chance you have of actually getting to the next stage.

[00:22:22] Brian: But it happens on a Monday. you reply that same day asking for more information, they don't respond to you, then by that Tuesday or Wednesday, you're reaching out again to try to get more information. don't hear back from them again, generally around five days out. So you could either shorten it and hit him that Friday or you could just hit him on that Monday.

[00:22:38] Brian: Either one is fine. Then we hit him seven days out

[00:22:41] Brian: again. This is. not, how many days between contacts. This is literally, you're hitting them on day one, day five, day seven. Then we start to space out even more on day 13. So about two weeks after the initial inquiry, they're getting their fourth follow up. Then we hit them up on day 21, day 34. And this [00:23:00] is kind of where we start to do, the transition from a short term follow up to a long term follow up.

[00:23:03] Brian: And this is what it looks like. We do. What's called like kind of a last call here. and this makes way more sense when we're in a sale scenario where maybe you've made an offer, maybe you didn't send a proposal in, but we put a deadline on the proposal or we put a deadline on the offer to where there should be some reason that the offer is expiring.

[00:23:19] Brian: So sometimes when you send out a quote or a proposal, it's just, it's good for 60 days because if you accept that proposal three years from now, obviously I can't honor that proposal three years later. So what's the deadline on it? 30 to 60 days is a good deadline. Depending on your industry, sometimes it can be schedule based. Like If they wanted certain dates for the project there's a deadline and how long until we have to make an action if they want those dates. So there's a consequence for not moving forward. 34, about a month later, we give them that kind of the last call.

[00:23:46] Brian: And the last call for me has always been the highest response rate for anything I ever do because people will procrastinate. They will put off decisions and the last call essentially forces their hand. If they're still interested in any way, shape or form, they will respond to this.

[00:23:58] Brian: So it could be like, Hey, the [00:24:00] proposals expiring in a couple of days. This is kind of like the last, you know, I'm going to send about this. I just want to make sure I want to see if you guys are okay, or are still interested in moving forward. Whatever the situation here is,

[00:24:09] Brian: You can come up with your own wording on how you want to approach this,

[00:24:12] Brian: but a last call is a must in pretty much any follow up sequence. It can just be as simple as like, Hey, just wanted to do one final follow up here before I mark this deal is lost in my CRM. I literally have used that exact wording in my emails. And as weird as that sounds, because most bands don't even know what a CRM is, or I think I said project, not deal, but project is lost.

[00:24:30] Brian: Or canceled or whatever wording you want to use. People understand the concept of like, Oh, it's being marked as like dead or done. People just are way more likely to respond to this last call email or last chance email. that's the cadence that we use.

[00:24:43] Brian: Now, whenever it comes to what you're going to say in these, generally you can keep it short. You don't have to do some long, crazy wording, but generally you want to ask questions or you want to have calls to actions. The questions can be. Is this something you're still interested in?

[00:24:54] Brian: Is this something you're ready to move forward on? A call to action can be, if you're ready to move forward on this, the next step is to book a call.[00:25:00] If you're ready to move forward on this, or if you're still interested in this, just respond to this. Let me know. Those are the difference between questions and calls to actions. You can use one or the other questions call to action Sometimes you can blend them if it makes sense Try to avoid the mistake of asking multiple things or asking for them to do multiple things You just want one main thing if the call to action supports the question you ask like are you still interested in this if so?

[00:25:21] Brian: That's the question if so click here to book your call with me so we can discuss the project So that's the short term. It's the Fibonacci follow up. Pretty easy to put together. a follow up after one to three days, and then you send a follow up on day five, day seven, day thirteen, day twenty one, day thirty four. give or take, situational. Your mileage may vary, but it's a good rule of thumb where it's gradually spaced out further. Then we move to the long term follow up. This is where we're just checking in monthly, Or quarterly, and this can be for pretty much any lead or any project. That's not dead. If it's marked as lost or as like a dead project, then you're not going to follow up.

[00:25:56] Brian: Obviously, although there can be situations where a lead who's not a good fit [00:26:00] now might be a good fit in the future. But again, use your brain here. But generally speaking, We have a status in RCRM that we call abandoned and abandoned means the project's a good fit. It just either through our follow up process, it didn't move forward.

[00:26:13] Brian: So we could mark it as lost, but we actually save lost in RCRM that status. We save those for projects we think have no hope moving forward. Either it's unqualified, not a good fit. We're not a good fit for them. Abandon is the status that we use when we're putting them into a long term follow up process.

[00:26:30] Brian: So that's for the projects that haven't been moved forward, but you can also do long term follow ups for projects that you have moved forward on. Your past clients should all be in a long term follow up process. I talked about this earlier where when I would record an album with a band, I know that 12 months from now, I need to be in their inbox so that I'm top of mind when it comes time to the next project, right?

[00:26:46] Brian: That's long term follow up.

[00:26:47] Brian: So again, the cadence of this depends on the niche. project needs how aggressive I'm using air quotes here, how aggressive you want to be, but anywhere from monthly to quarterly is a good timeframe here. Cause that's just once every one to three months,

[00:26:59] Brian: when you mark a project as [00:27:00] abandoned, or you have worked with a client, you can just set a reminder in the future one to three to six to eight months from now, however you want to do it. Then I need to follow up with this project or this client or this lead. And see if they're ready to move forward, or if they're ready for the next project, or if something's happened where they're interested again, or whatever, again, the scenarios here can vary drastically, but if you do this again, this is a great way to drum up interest from your backlog of leads That you've built up over time, because many freelancers, when you've been around 5, 10, 15 years, like I have, you have a long list of leads of people that you've actually talked to, you've worked with, that have shown interest with you.

[00:27:33] Brian: They fell through for whatever reason, or they're ready again for another project, or they're ready to refer somebody to you. Following up with these people, there's almost no downside to this. no, I've never had someone mad at me for the long term follow up. Especially if it's not automated, you're manually sending an email to somebody, even it can be a template, shows that you thought of them and many times this can lead to a referral, it can lead to another project, in worst case scenario, it just brings you top of mind to them.

[00:27:55] Brian: So that is my follow up process when it comes to where you say things, how [00:28:00] often you do it, short term, long term follow up. Again, this can account for half or more of your income every year. And in some cases, maybe even more than that,

[00:28:08] Brian: now, if you personally want our help with this, again, I'll push you to apply for, coaching from us.

[00:28:14] Brian: At this point, we're not taking more clients on for the rest of this year. we're full for how many clients we can take on, but early next year, we'll be taking more clients in January. Depending on when you listen and when you apply, there may be a waiting list. I don't know where we're going to be. because I'm recording this early December, and we're already basically full for December and early December, things are surprisingly busy right now, so I expect January to be a busy month. So get in sooner than later. Go and apply now if you're interested in starting in January or February, just by going to sixfigurecreative. com slash coaching, we can help you with the follow up process, the sales process, lead gen, whatever you obviously need the most help with.

[00:28:46] Brian: We first start with making a plan for you. We build out this whole, what we call your continuous clients marketing roadmap. If you don't approve this plan, we don't move forward. Like you have to approve this plan for us to even move forward with our coaching together.

[00:28:56] Brian: So this removes your risk of. Not understanding what we're doing together. [00:29:00] We will make it, we will pitch it to you, and you can accept or reject, or we can collaborate on improving this idea. And if you don't approve, then there's no moving forward, and there's no money lost for you or anything.

[00:29:09] Brian: And then from that point on, we can coach you month to month. It's just a month to month thing. There's no long term contracts on implementing the plan that we create for you. If that's something that sounds interesting to you, whether it's sales, lead nurture, lead gen, we have series on all these things.

[00:29:21] Brian: Just go to sixfigurecreative. com slash coaching to apply. And you can learn more again, end of December. Now,

[00:29:26] Brian: I'm not sure what our calendars will look like the rest of this year. But if you are like me and you understand tax write offs and things like that, and you want a nice chat tax write off for the end of the year, so that you feel that alleviation and next year's taxes, just put something in the application that like, Hey, I want to call ASAP.

[00:29:43] Brian: to try to get this investment on this year, put that application will prioritize you just so that you can process a payment.

[00:29:49] Brian: Even if we're not starting you till mid late January, Again, that's just to help you with taxes if you're trying to get that off before the end of the year. if you're still listening, another casual reminder for you is if you have any software you pay for or [00:30:00] any other things that you know are gonna be expenses in 2024.

[00:30:03] Brian: A lot of times it makes sense for you to Pay yearly or pay things upfront, contractors upfront at the end of the year to get that nice big tax write off so that again, you feel that alleviation in your taxes for 2024 when you pay the 2023 year taxes instead of. Paying through 2024 and not feeling that alleviation until 2025, it's called tax planning.

[00:30:20] Brian: Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. But for those of you who are a good fit for this coaching program, that's the kind of thing that it does make sense. Because generally we work with people that are already earning at least 25 to 50k a year, preferably 50 or more, because those people already have a proven track record. and we're just pouring fuel in the fire. Versus trying to build a fire from scratch, which can be much more difficult, not impossible, but much more difficult. So again, sixfigurecreative. com slash coaching. Look forward to hearing from you. And if you're still listening, then I thank you so much for listening to the Six Figure Creative Podcast.

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