Tools & Tips

3 Steps to Connect with ANYONE

Back when we started to Advance Your Reach a few years ago, I attended a conference and knew absolutely nobody.

I decided that I was going to host a little mastermind in my hotel room, and I invited about 15 people who I wanted to meet.

The result?

A few of those people are some of my closest friends today – and I’m still connected to everyone who came! This snowballed into countless introductions and connections made, as well as many partners we’ve made for our business.

My team pushed me to share HOW I’ve done this, and so I spent time reflecting…and realized there are 3 Key things we do – the WIN Framework.

Next week is the anniversary of that first gathering in my hotel room and it HAS snowballed. A friend I met at that event 4 years ago and I are hosting our 3rd annual party at that same event – over 100 of the top influencers are going to be there. So this was the PERFECT time to share our WIN Framework with you.

[DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET]

W – WHO

Identify Who You Want to Connect With

Identify who you want to connect with. Write down a list of 5 to 10 people you’d like to connect with.

Identify their “win.”

What does that mean?

What helps them win in life?

What helps them win in their business?

What helps them win in their marriage?

What helps them win with their families?

Do they want to be on a stage?

Do they want to be connected to somebody?

Do they need help with something?

Do they need help with something?

I- INVEST

What is their win? That’s what connection boils down to.

Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

N – Nurture

The initial “investment” is easy. It’s a great start, but you can’t stop there. How can you nurture this relationship?

Nurture them by checking in on them, sending them gifts during special occasions, or just simply pinging them.

Doing this on a consistent basis is really the secret to building long-term relationships that stick!

Download this week’s worksheet (no opt-in required). Watch this week’s video for the complete WIN framework and put it into action! I can’t wait to see what you experience. Let me know in the comments below.

How to Land Your Dream Stages

So, what is a Dream Stage?

A dream stage is not about the number of people in the audience, but rather about the quality of the audience. It’s a stage where the majority of people sitting in your audience are your ideal customers. Being able to identify and seek Dream Stages has been a total game-changer for both us as at AYR, as well as our clients.

Now, you may be wondering how you can identify your dream stage…we’ve got you covered. The first step is answering a few questions.

QUESTION #1: What problem do you solve?

This should be something that is keeping people up at night.

Hint: This ISN’T your solution.

Example: If you’re a health coach, a nutritional plan is part of your solution –not the problem. As a health coach, the problem you solve could be: trouble losing weight. Can’t you hear people saying “I’ve tried everything and nothing works! I can’t lose weight”.

It’s important to isolate the problem you solve because THAT is what people are looking for – and what will help you stand out to Meeting Planners, who directly or indirectly control stages.

QUESTION #2: Who do you serve?

Who do you solve this problem for? Busy working moms? Fortune 500 executives? Who are your ideal customers? What is your sweet spot?

QUESTION #3: Where do they gather?

Once you identify your audience, you figure out where they gather. Which events, conferences, and social gatherings do they attend? Where do they “gather” online? This may take some research, but if the previous two steps were done properly, the outcome will be you identifying your dream stages!

We’ve created a simple worksheet to help you answer these questions, you can download it here.

I remember the first dream stage I put a client on… they generated more business from that ONE stage than they had in the previous 12 months. Watch the video above for the complete story!

You see, there is nothing better than being on dream stages, and quite frankly, there’s nothing worse than being on the wrong stage. 70% of the success of an offer is matching the right offer with the right audience – this is true in any circumstance, stages are no different!

WHAT’S NEXT?

After you’ve defined your Dream Stages… it’s time to find them! And we have the resource for you! When you CLICK HERE to download our “Dream Stage Worksheet,” you also get access to our Ultimate Stage Guide. Instant Access to THOUSANDS of stages.

I can’t wait to hear all about YOUR Dream Stages… share in the comments below!

Best,

-Pete Vargas

How to Win a Stage by the Weekend!

Yep, you read that right.

YOU can win a stage by this weekend! Or even FASTER.

Whether you’ve been on no stages or 500 stages (or more) – or anywhere in between, this process will work for you.

In the video above, I break down the 4 steps to winning a stage by this weekend. There are times for a more complex campaign to win a stage, and there are times to book the low hanging fruit. This process is how we book “low hanging fruit” each and every week.

We’ve seen that people get really stuck in the research phase – this simple process will get you unstuck and ON STAGE.

Step 1: Find 5-10 Stages You’d Like to Be On

This isn’t the time to go after Oprah or the White House. This is the time to go after lower stake stages – think about local stages in your backyard or podcasts.

The secret is to simply use Google.

Simply use your particular niche as a keyword in your search. Some examples of terms you may search are:

“Top health and wellness podcasts”

“Top entrepreneurial stages”

“Top faith-based podcasts”

Now – there is an alternative strategy if you want to bypass Google and make your chances of success even greater, and it will shortcut your success.

It’s something I do every month, and it involves identifying a champion. A champion is someone who’s in your network of people you know who believes in what you do.

A champion can be a past or current client, colleague, or strategic partner or a someone’s Stage you have already been on.

Think customers, donors, subscribers, raving fans, mastermind groups, past stages, social networks, board members, associations you’re apart of, professional clubs, online groups or forums, bloggers, podcasters, authors, experts you know.

Make a list of your champions and reach out to a particular champion over the phone, let them know what type of stages you’d like to be on, and see if they know any stages you can be on. Every month we get 10 to 20 new stages based off of this strategy alone!

Step 2: Download Our Stage Winning Video Script (Normally Only Reserved for Workshop Attendees)

The next thing that you’re going to do is you’re going to download our “Stage Winning” script. Normally, we only share this with attendees that come to our $9,800 workshop that we put on every single month for about 20 business owners. But we are sharing it with you today!

Click here to download it now!

You’ll see there are six parts to this video script. Using video is one of the most powerful ways to get people’s attention because you connect with them on a deeper level AND they can see you in action.

Step 3: Download This Incredible Tool! (Link Provided)

I’d like to introduce you to this incredible tool called “BombBomb.”

It’s one of the many tools we use, but it’s also one of the most used and most effective of them all.

It allows you to record a video and send it via email to a meeting planner automatically. This saves the time of uploading it to YouTube or Dropbox and even tracks email statistics such as open rates.

You can go to bombbomb.com/reach, and get a two week trial for free. No credit card needed.

Step 4: Record a BombBomb Video Using the Script Provided!

Here’s where all the “pieces of the puzzle” come together.

Take the script we provided to you in Step 2, and shoot a BombBomb video to the 5-10 stages that you found in Step 1!

Keep these videos under 2 minutes.

I shoot about a thousand BombBomb videos a year.

A thousand BombBomb videos a year, and it’s the tool that I use every single month. It can work for you too!

Watch the video to see how I used this script to win Debbie Phelps’s stage (yep! Michael Phelps’s mom!)

And now… It’s your turn!

Here’s your challenge: Use this process to win a stage by this weekend! Then rinse-and-repeat.

And SHARE YOUR WINS! Let us know in the comments how this worked for you!

Best,

-Pete Vargas

So…why stages?

You might already know we are “all about stages” at Advance Your Reach.

BUT do you know why?

It is not to be “business famous” – though there is nothing wrong with that.

It is because time and time again, we have seen it be the most effective and consistent customer acquisition channel. Over countless niches. Since 2003.

Want more proof? Here are our top 3 reasons why stages are the FASTEST, most dependable way to grow your business.

Reason #1: Stages are Timeless: They Have Been Around Longer Than Any Other Marketing Channel

Stages have been here for over 2000 years, and they are here to stay! From the ancient Greeks and the apostles in the Bible to people like Steve Jobs and Todd Herman today. Stages have launched movements and businesses.

There are countless “trendy” marketing mediums that come and go – remember the yellow pages, radio, TV, faxes, cold-calling? Today the “hot” way to grow your business is through Facebook and Instagram. I’m not saying Facebook is going anywhere – but it grows more and more competitive by the day.

On any given day, there are multiple stages in a 50-mile radius from your house that can help you grow your business. No complicated sales funnel. No tech team. Just you, on a stage.

Reason #2: People Are Far More Likely to Pay Attention to You On Stage

Online, people are being bombarded with distractions such as emails, RSS feeds, push notifications, a dozen open tabs… the list goes on. It is HARD to break through the noise. No one is paying attention to you. 

If you put an hour worth of content out online, it might take a person 6, 12 months, maybe two years to consume an hour worth of your content – but when you’re in a room with a captive audience and you present for one hour, they’re consuming ONE HOUR of content in ONE HOUR. Do you realize how powerful that is?

Reason #3: Human Connection and Trust

Being on stage has a certain element of human connection and trust that no online platform will ever have the capability to replicate. It’s the reason people still attend conferences, events, and concerts despite the ability to watch a recording. Human connection in a physical room builds trust with your audience and because of that…

Each lead you get from a stage is worth more… as my friend Jeff Walker says: The value of a lead from stage is 10 times greater than any lead that you can get online.”

Leads from stage convert higher. I’ve seen this in our business, in the businesses of our clients and many of my friends have said as much.

Having a systematic, reliable way to acquire customers is a cornerstone of a successful business. If you’re interested in using stages, we can help!

So… what do you do now?

1st: If you haven’t watched the video above – watch it now. I share how even I got distracted by “bright shiny marketing trends” – and how we recovered and grew faster than I imagined. And I share a bonus 4th reason stages are the fastest way to grow your business. 

2nd: Download the Ultimate Stage Guide – instant access to thousands of stages. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to!

3rd: Find 3 “Dream Stages” in the guide – stages that you want to be on in the next year, and let us know what they are in the comments below!

Find Your Why: The Power of the BHAG

Every organization should have a BHAG – A Big Hairy Audacious Goal. This concept was created by Jim Collins. And it is just what it sounds like – a BIG goal. A goal that stretches you… and in 1 sentence sums up what you and your organization have set out to accomplish.

Our BHAG…

To reach 1,000,000,000 people by winning 1,000,000 stages by 12/31/2027.

HOW will we do that?

By helping you and people like you win those 1 Million stages.

Honestly, it took a while to come up with ours. And it was a team effort – something our entire leadership team helped craft and agree to.

And BOY is it powerful. It’s not something we just say. It’s something we track. Something that drives our entire team. It has lit a fire under us.

So, how do you come up with a solid BHAG?

Step One: If you haven’t already – watch the video above.
Step Two: Download our worksheet here.

Step Three: Share your BHAG in the comments below!

I can’t wait to hear from you – what is your BHAG?

-Pete

Tools We Use

“I’m just one person, I don’t have a team around me…”

“I’m not very good with technology.”

“I’m always on the road and don’t have time…”

These are actual quotes we’ve heard from speakers we’ve met on the road and at our own events. They are desperate to scale their message beyond the stage but don’t feel they have the resources or knowledge.

Let me ask you a question:

  • What if you could leverage technology to make it “feel” like you had a team?
  • What if your email marketing were automated, so when you are 30,000 feet in the air between gigs you know people are being followed up with?
  • What if you had a “system” that generated leads for you around the clock?
  • What if you were able to quickly launch new products, resources and campaigns (without having to hire a web designer)?

That would make running your business a whole lot easier, right?

Here at Advance Your Reach we don’t just “use” technology.

We leverage it.

We’re always looking for “hacks” and shortcuts to grow and run our business, and sell our products and services.

We get asked all the time what we use to run our speaking business, book stages, and scale beyond the stage.

So here it is! The 9 tools we use (and they are ALL cheaper than hiring an employee or contractor)…


CRM / Marketing Automation

First off, CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” Think of it as a database (or, if you’re stuck in the 80’s you’d call it a Rolodex). When you’re just starting your business, you might keep the names of your prospects and customers in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. That’s OK, for a period of time.

But you will quickly scale beyond a spreadsheet as a tenable option as you make follow up calls, appointments, and sales. You can’t just keep adding rows and columns to a spreadsheet and expect nothing to fall through the cracks.

What we use:

Infusionsoft.

Infusionsoft Certified Partner

What it is:

Infusionsoft is an industry leader in small business marketing and automation. We’ve used multiple CRMs (customer relationship managers, i.e. “databases”) in the past, and this is by far our favorite. Some CRMs felt too big and clunky (and we used a fraction of their capability). Some felt too small and disconnected. Infusionsoft is “just right”.

Infusionsoft captures all our leads, runs our webinar sequences, helps us book stages, follow up with customers and leads, and even process our payments.

Why we love it:

It is the backbone of our business and integrates with almost everything (most of the tools listed on this page integrate seamlessly). Someone can fill out a form on ClickFunnels or register through GoToWebinar, and they are instantly in our system and being followed up within an appropriate manner.

In short, Infusionsoft lets us run our “follow-up machine” to ensure every customer and lead has a great experience, and no one falls through the cracks.

How you can get it:

We love Infusionsoft so much that we’ve become a Certified Partner. So you can email Cody@AdvanceYourReach.com or click here to learn more and set up a demo.


Landing Page Builder

One of our favorite advancements in technology is how easy it is to get a web page up and live in a few short clicks. HUGE improvements have been made in recent years and there are multiple solutions you can use without having to understand HTML or CSS.

What we use:

 

ClickFunnels

clickfunnels_logo

What it is:

Fully customizable web page builder, but organized in a cool and easy to use interface.

Multiple templates are available based on your objective (opt-ins, webinar registrations, sales pages, etc), or you can start from scratch.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never need a web designer again. Many companies are building their entire web presence completely on the ClickFunnels platform (as opposed to WordPress, Squarespace, etc). You can get a free 14 day trial here.

Pros:

  • Fully customizable
  • Very fast to make pages
  • Great integrations

Cons:

  • Slightly higher learning curve
  • Price (but, you get what you pay for)

 

Another option:

leadpages_logo

LeadPages

What it is:

Landing page builder largely based around ease of use. There are lots of templates available, but they are not able to be customized. So if you like the template, but you want a video instead of a picture… tough luck!

**UPDATE they are rolling out a Beta version of a customizable drag & drop page builder but I have found it to be clunky at the time of writing. We’ve had issues with the lead boxes integrating with our CRM and have had to uninstall and reinstall the integrations multiple times (as advised by their support team). Inconvenient, to say the least…

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Can get started for only $47/mo

Cons:

  • Not customizable
  • “Look and feel” not as modern

 


Membership Plugin:

We offer products, services, archives through a membership site platform. Basically, you have to have a username and password to access the content (even if the content is free).

There is much to be said about a membership model (think Costco, Netflix, Amazon Prime, a gym or YMCA, etc.). Look at your bank statements, and I think you’ll be surprised to see all the transactions that are related to some form of membership economy.

memberium-logo-mp

We use Memberium to manage it all. Memberium is a WordPress plugin that integrates Infusionsoft and WordPress. You can protect content (think of a resource, blog post, digital product, video, etc) based on membership levels. You can offer free courses and free content but you still have to be a member (which is a powerful way to grow your list, by the way).

Pros:

  • World-class support (seriously, it’s the best!)
  • Excellent training via their video documentation
  • Reliability and consistency
  • Full integration with WordPress and Infusionsoft

Cons:

  • You might need to rely on their support as the install/setup can be kind of tricky.
  • You can’t use it if you don’t have WordPress and Infusionsoft

Video Emails:

As a speaker, author, communicator, would you agree that it’s important for people to understand your speaking style? To get a vibe for what you might be like on stage?

Video email does just that. It’s hard to communicate via black text on a white background on a computer screen. Adding a video has shown that 81% get more replies, 68% convert more leads, and 56% get more referrals over normal email.

We use a service called Bombbomb and we love it…

bombbomb_logo

What it is:

Bombbomb is a way to send videos in an email. You can use your webcam or your smart phone, record a video and embed it right there into your email. We use it for 1-on-1 communication (we still use Infusionsoft for our mass email communication/automation).

You are alerted when someone opens your email or watches your video. They can also reply with video and keep the conversation.

People get dozens (hundreds?) of emails each day, and sending a video can make you stand out. Plus, you can make these really cool email templates:

Bombbomb Template

 


Digital Marketing Resources:

I don’t care what your area of expertise, we are all marketing on some level. As a speaker, entrepreneur, author etc. you’re always marketing. You might be marketing to get on a stage, to have someone sign up for your newsletter, read your blog or e-book.

You are solving a pain point on the other end of that phone, email, or computer screen. How you communicate that pain and solution is “marketing.”

dm-certified-logo-dark

We are huge Digital Marketer gurus. They are a great company based out of Austin Texas, and they provide seemingly endless resources around marketing yourself and your message online.

One thing I love about Digital Marketer is called DM Labs. It’s an awesome resource (also known as “all you need to learn about marketing) and you can get started for only $1. Check it out here.

Our other favorite resources are called Funnel Blueprint (how to construct any funnel for anything, including landing page templates and email templates) and The Machine (all your emails for any reasons).


Graphic Design

Last but not least, we use 99 Designs for graphics, e-book covers, branding, presentation decks. We even hired the last one for a larger project (started out designing some banners and we expanded that to presentation decks and all visual components for our live event).


Comment below anything that you love to use in your business! We are always looking for new and improved tech to make everyone’s life easier!