The truth about six-figure automated sales funnels

Every online entrepreneur dreams about having a full-fledged automated sales funnel that generates a six-digit income… maybe even seven digits for the more ambitious! For introverts, the most attractive thing about this system is the minimal face time required.

Set up a website, have people sign up to your list by giving away some freebies, offer a product or service, and bam! You’re up and running with your six-digit automated sales funnel.

But are automated sales funnels realistic for creative hustlers? Yes and no. It’s definitely not as easy as most bloggers who are trying to sell you a course or product would make it seem.

Let’s not downplay human interaction

An automated sales funnel can generate lots of money (yes, even seven digits). However, it’s rare for a creative hustler to build such a funnel without having to interact with people. I’ve never seen or heard of this happening to a single person in my network.

At the end of the day, our livelihood as creative hustlers still depends on the relationships we build with people.

Think about it. Take any dream automated sales funnel you’ve been exposed to and really examine who’s behind it. I bet you’ll see they’ve done any (or all!) of the following:

  • Reached out to strangers to build relationships (ahem, prospecting)
  • Written articles for other websites
  • Been interviewed for a podcast
  • Spoken at an event, conference, or in front of an audience somewhere

Go ahead and research the person who has built your ideal online sales funnel. Please let me know if you find anyone who hasn’t done at least one of the above, because I would love to learn their system!!

Odds are, you’ll discover that people who are most successful at creating automated sales funnels have done all of the above, and maybe even more.

The important thing to realize is that all of the above items require relationship-building: making friends out of strangers.

Should we dismiss automated sales funnels?

Not at all; they can still be extremely useful.

As a creative hustler, you should use automated sales funnels for a few reasons:

  1. Prospecting. This is where I see the most value in automated sales funnels. When someone signs up to something you offer (whether they pay or not), you can be 95% (my made up number) sure they are your people—aka prospects.
  2. Prove your authority. Having an automated sales funnel that provides value proves you’re legit. Being credible will sometimes motivate prospects to reach out to you directly. If you’re lucky, they can afford your freelancing or consulting work.
  3. Broaden your influence. Providing free resources or selling things to people or companies who can’t afford you is a great way to broaden your influence. This is especially true if they grow large enough to afford you one day!
  4. Supplement your income. You’ve heard it before: never place all your eggs in one basket, especially when it comes to making money. Having a semi-passive income feels really good. Believe me.

BUT automated sales will never replace…You.

People will pay you according to their trust in you.

Even the best automated sales funnel could never replace your skills, or reach the personal level of trust you can build with your clients.

Let me give you an example.

Recently, I sold a project for $50,000. Some might say that’s higher than average for a creative hustler. But what if I told you that I actually sell most of my projects for at least five digits?

Do you want to know what my secret sauce is? Good ol’ human interaction.

That’s how the best sell. The truth is, no one closes high-priced deals without some sort of human interaction. Usually, the more interaction, the better handle on the project you’ll have—which means better pricing, experience, and chances that the client will rehire or refer you.

My client would never hand $50,000 to an automated sales funnel, and I don’t blame them either! However, they would gladly hand it to Luis. Not because I’m special, or because like most creative hustlers, I’m extremely good looking (just kidding… or am I??). It’s because they trust me.

“Oh, but you’re just lucky.”

Nah, not really. I’ve put in the work to build trust.

Let me prove it by asking you this: If one of your previous clients had to invest at least $10,000 in a project today, who would they buy the project from: you or me?

Odds are, they would buy it from you before they would buy it from me, because you’ve built trust with them (at least I hope you have!), and I’m still a stranger.

Automated sales funnels can still generate lots of money, though.

There are two ways to use automated sales funnels to generate a strong income:

  1. Sell evergreen products to lots and lots of people. These products are usually not expensive, which is why you need to sell to lots of people. Examples would be e-books, physical products, a video course, etc.
  2. Sell an experience with the promise of human interaction. You can sell this at a higher price than you would an evergreen product, because of the experience and human interaction you’re promising. Examples would be coaching, consultations, community access, events, etc.

With either method above, you’ll have to do some heavy relationship building to spread the word about your product or service, and get exposure to generate traffic to your automated sales funnel.

An automated sales funnel is simply that: an automatic tool we build to funnel sales.

Let’s not get caught up in the hype of thinking that just because we build a tool to help us automatically funnel sales, all the heavy lifting has been done. An automated sales funnel lightens the load in some steps of our sales life cycle, but does nothing in regards to the toil of building relationships.

Only you can put in the work to build relationships. At the end of the day, that’s what this business is all about…yes, even for us introverts!

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