Episode 53: Building a Strong Sales Funnel with Darren Hesselink

Episode 53: Building a Strong Sales Funnel with Darren Hesselink

A digital marketing expert shares the funnel building and lead generation strategies he uses with his clients.


Darren Hesselink uses his expertise to help advisors, coaches, and consultants generate more leads. In this episode he shares the same tips he gives his clients on messaging and lead generation, and reveals what one skill has been key to his success as a digital marketer.
Darren is the founder of Energetic, a multi-channel marketing agency helping advisors, coaches and consultants improve lead generation results.
Darren’s list of recommended copywriting books:

Related: How Platinum Skincare Became a Glowing Example of Personalized Marketing


Chris Davis: Welcome to this episode of the ActiveCampaign Podcast. I’m your host, Chris Davis. [00:00:30] Today I have Darren Hesselink of Energetic. Energetic is the company, if you haven’t seen our case study on Platinum Skin Care, the company Platinum Skin Care, they use Darren and his company to execute or implement ActiveCampaign for their marketing. I felt like it would be great to have the mind behind the marketing come onto the podcast and talk about some funnel building strategies that Darren used, [00:01:00] not only for Platinum Skin Care, but for all of his clients.
One thing to note, you’re going to want to take notes on this one. You know what? I think you should take notes on all of the podcasts, so I’m going to stop saying that. What brings me to say that to this one is there’s a special mention of LinkedIn, using LinkedIn as a strategy for lead generation. You want to make sure you pay close attention to that portion of the podcast. Me and Darren, we had [00:01:30] fun with this one sitting down and just talking about how to approach funnel building the right way, so I hope you enjoy the episode.
Darren, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?
Darren: I’m doing good, Chris. It’s good to be here. Excited.
Chris Davis: Yes, great to have you on. Darren, let’s jump right into it, man. I’m like jittery. I’m so excited to just pick your brain and start talking about some real automation and business growth use cases. [00:02:00] But first and foremost before I get ahead of myself, tell us a little bit about you. Who are you? How did you get to where you’re at now, Darren?
Darren: Man, that’s kind of a long story, but you know the first time that I got a lead using digital marketing was back in 2009. I was running a fitness business at the time and I started marketing myself using SEO and digital marketing and stuff like that. Once I got that first [00:02:30] lead in, that first client, I was hooked. I’m like, “I can create stuff online and just funnel people into my business.” That was really the start of it.
I was a financial planner for a while. But really I was just in sales for 10 years and leveraging digital marketing along the way. Where I’m at today, working with clients all over the country, helping them build marketing automation funnels. If they want to promote a webinar, they want to build their eCommerce site to [00:03:00] attract more leads, that’s really where I live and breathe every day.
Chris Davis: Great, great. You said something there. You said in you were in the, I think you said fitness, right?
Darren: Yeah.
Chris Davis: In 2009, now this is why I want to make sure I point this out. You said three words, fitness, 2009 and SEO.
Darren: Yes.
Chris Davis: To this day, as we’re recording this right now in 2018, there are still so many people that struggle just understanding [00:03:30] what SEO is, let alone how to leverage it. As a fitness trainer in 2009, how did you even know or where did you even get the courage or foresight to say, “Let me try this?”
Darren: Well, the one thing that I truly believe in is leveraging other people and not trying to be the master right away. I bought a system. I went out … I can’t remember the name of the program, [00:04:00] but it was a lot of basically building a website that can capture leads. So essentially, creating a sales letter. At the time, sales letters were huge right before they turned into the three step video sales letters and all the other stuff you see out there now.
I built a sales letter website. It was testimonials that had a story about, “If you really want to get in shape, here’s the true path. You can waste your time doing all this stuff, but here’s all the real answers.” [00:04:30] Then I basically built it around a local keyword search. If someone was searching for me locally, they were going to find me. I was in a not a huge area, but there wasn’t enough competition and I just capitalized on all the keywords no one was going after. Created all this content and people would find me.
Then I actually … The funny thing is, is I’m a huge believer in combining digital with traditional. I actually ran really, really cheap articles [00:05:00] in the local newspaper. I ran an ad in there and funneled people to the site. They’d learn the story. Then they’d want to come in.
It was just like, “Okay, how can I get in front of people the most efficient way?” Facebook advertising really wasn’t a thing back then, so you have to think, “How can I get eyeballs on this message?” It just really worked. It wasn’t expensive. That’s the greatest part. I built the site in Dreamweaver, I think, which today you probably if you really want to do, [00:05:30] create a do-it-yourself site, you might go to Squarespace or Wix or something like that, even though I’m a huge WordPress junkie, but just super simple.
It was all about the messaging. I think that’s the biggest thing that people don’t get right. It’s not, “Oh, I want to use this technology and this technology.” Well, yeah, those are great, but start with the right message. Get in your customers’ heads. Really figure out what they want. Then figure out a way to show them you have the answer. That’s pretty much marketing in [00:06:00] a nutshell, you know?
Chris Davis: Yeah, I agree. As you’re talking, I’m seeing how your sales background comes into play as well. Like being able to meet people where they are and solve a solution that they may be experiencing, but not be willing themselves to actively go out and search for.
Darren: Yeah, I mean, people make sales way too complicated. Just figure out what they want. Help them build a path to get there. [00:06:30] You don’t have to be a sleazy salesman. You just have to be a consultant. Help them figure out what they want and help them get it. They’ll [inaudible 00:06:35] you.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and the fastest way to kill a sale is to be robotic, right?
Darren: Yeah, oh yeah.
Chris Davis: And not personal in that. I can see how that experience you take that into, like you said, “Hey, let me be strategic and run this ad and not remove myself totally from the entire process.” [00:07:00] Like, “I want to be personal when it’s time to be personal.”
Darren: Yeah. Well, and I wish I had the tools we have today. It would have been so much better. Cause back then email automation really was just starting. You couldn’t do the things you can do today, which over time people have gotten so to where they’re getting so many emails per day, you have to create a way to stand out and stay in front of them over time. That’s where you have to build that [00:07:30] element.
Chris Davis: Yeah, so this is one of the reasons why I was really excited to have you on. In fact, I was watching … We did a case study on one of your clients, Platinum Skin Care. Danny, our videographer, had been working on it. I knew he was working on it. Then shortly thereafter when it was published, I said, “You know what? I should really watch these videos.” Normally I watch them internally, but I had just been so busy with end of the year and everything.
I watched the video and [00:08:00] I saw you on there. You were just saying … It was almost like …. I don’t want to call them the expert’s trigger words, but it’s like when you know something and someone’s trying to talk about what you know in a way that’s intelligent and they don’t know, you can smell it a mile away. Like you fraudulent individual.
But the opposite is true too. If somebody knows what you know or shares the same approach, you spot it a mile away. As you were talking, [00:08:30] I was like, “Oh my, yes, segmentation. Yes, yes, that’s how you build a funnel. He gets it.” I was like, “Danny, can I interview him?”
What I wanted to do, Darren, was just kind of let you talk through the funnel building process. Some of the things that have worked for you from driving leads, using multiple offers, coupling that with webinars or other means of [00:09:00] speeding up the decision making process, segmentation, referral strategies. I just wanted to let you have the floor and just kind of lay it out starting with how do you approach lead generation?
Darren: Well, lead generation to me, if you think about marketing, it’s message, target market … Or target market, message and then the medium that you’re going to go after. No matter the business, you start there because [00:09:30] it’s the foundation. It’s like building a skyscraper. You want to build that skyscraper in the middle of your town or the middle of your market so that everyone knows who you are. But you got to start with the right foundation.
What it comes down to it, if I can figure out who that ideal customer is and really hone in on who that person is, that’s the whole game. What is that person dealing with in their life? What are their emotional cues? What are they struggling with? What do they want fixed?
Then coming up with messaging [00:10:00] that really gets in front of that market at the widest point possible. I have to give a shout out to Derek Halpern of Social Triggers because he was one of the first guys that taught, or that I learned from, the breakdown of how many people are out there actually looking for your product. Where there’s really only 3% who are ready to buy right now. 7% are kind of on the fence. The other 90% either don’t care or they really don’t know they’re in pain yet.
When we do it, we look at trying to come [00:10:30] up with a message that resonates with the widest audience possible. Instead of going after a market and saying, “Hey, I’ve got this great fancy widget,” we build funnels on the idea of, “How can I tap into what they all really want?” and market to that.
For skin care, a lot of it has to do with antiaging, techniques with eating for that. Platinum Skin Care, and they’re looking to double. From January to this year, there’s a ton of strategies that we put in place. I’ll tell you, it’s not [00:11:00] any one individual thing. It’s a whole cohesive, multi-channel approach. But we build a funnel. That’s where we start. We start with the person. Get the messaging right. Then figure out where they are.
I was meeting with a guy yesterday who came to me and he’s doing a service for churches, where he’s selling kind of like an emergency response service. I said, “Look, if you’re going to try to get in front of these churches, you’re going to have a really hard time going on Google and hoping [00:11:30] that you find a search term that these people are looking for. They don’t even know your product exists.”
We had to think outside the box and we go, “Okay, if we can get 1,000 churches in our Detroit metro area that we can target, we can send a direct mail campaign that funnels them to a website, that has all the right messaging. Now they’re learning about us. Now we can re-target them on AdRoll. We can re-target their amount of AdWords on Facebook. We can get in front of them again, but then it’s figuring out well, who is that person that’s going to make that decision. Then writing all [00:12:00] our copy writing, all of the marketing, tailored to that exact person.” There’s a lot of bureaucracy in a church getting things done. When there’s an emergency happening, the decision tree typically isn’t very good. That’s a combination of traditional and digital, like I said before.
When I’m looking at like a service professional like a coach or a consultant, typically it’s the same process. I’ve got a client that we’ve been working together for a little while. It took a really good amount of time trying to [00:12:30] figure out what that message was and who his key clients were.
But once we really honed in on it, we figured out that he’s the guy you call when you want to grow from a million dollar revenue per year to 10. He’s the guy that he looks at your business and goes, “You’re good at the sales. You’re good at these functionalities of your business. I’m the guy that you bring in to fine tune your process, fine tune your business structure, the way you offer your service, all those things to really take you to the next level so you can hire the right people [00:13:00] to work in your company.” That’s our messaging that we’re leading with.
Then we’re doing a combination of events locally, where I’m actually coming in and teaching some stuff at these events. He’s going to talk about what he does. Then as we really fine tune that audience, we’ll venture more and more into Facebook or LinkedIn.
Honestly, today in my personal funnel, I get probably 90% of my clients on LinkedIn. I think it’s kind of like an untapped resource.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Darren: [00:13:30] Yeah, I mean I can pump Facebook funnels. I’ve done really, really well with them. Really, really great ROIs for personal client attraction. But when you’re working B to B, you got to think outside the box. Cause the way I look at it is like, okay, so you get your target market. You really get the messaging fine tuned. You know what they want. Now let’s look at the medium. Where are we going to get in front of these people?
But typically, what I’ll do is I’ll work with a client to figure out what their current client list looks like. Who are they [00:14:00] working with currently? Where am I going to find those people? If they’re in a service profession where their product is not super sexy … Like I have a video marketing company, and we do LinkedIn for them. We get leads on LinkedIn for them. We’ll get video quote requests. Because Facebook’s too consumer driven. It doesn’t really make sense for them. I helped them close a $500,000 a year contract with [00:14:30] a government agency. They brought me in for the sales process. I manufactured the entire sales presentation to close that deal. You can’t find that person on Facebook. You’re not going to get that deal through Facebook. You know what I mean?
Chris Davis: Man, this is so good, Darren. We’ve got to take a detour. I just realized as you were talking … I said, “I would love to continue down funnel building, but I think I would be at a [00:15:00] disservice to our audience.” Because let me just recap really quick some of the things that I almost fell out of my chair when you said.
First off, when I asked you about funnel building strategies, this is how you know someone knows what they’re talking about, everybody. You still haven’t mentioned technology. You said it starts with your audience, then the message, then the medium.
Darren: Yes.
Chris Davis: [00:15:30] Darren, I could hit stop right now actually. That alone is … It could just stand on its own. I see so many people making that mistake.
Then second, you said you get a lot of your leads on LinkedIn. Now I know when you said that, I was like, “I wonder what he’s doing?” I can only imagine our listeners are thinking the same thing. Let’s take a detour. Let’s pause in the LinkedIn parking lot here. Talk through some of the ways that you’re leveraging LinkedIn for [00:16:00] lead generation.
Darren: Well, there’s some secret sauce behind it, but the thing that we do mostly is we kind of automate a connection request scheme essentially. We use Sales LinkedIn Navigator. You have to use it if you really want to make LinkedIn work for you. Some people are like, “Oh, that’s 80 bucks a month.” Well, if you get one client, that pays for your whole year.
The system for that really [00:16:30] is, is really, really, like I said, defining who that audience is on LinkedIn. Making sure that the ideal customer that you want is on there. That’s the pre-work. Then, what we do is we automate a connection request system and connect with so many people per day. We send out messaging to them. Then essentially use a lead magnet to capture their data.
The thing that you can’t do with ActiveCampaign and they’ll ding you on it … And this is good for [00:17:00] everyone listening. Do not take a bunch of your LinkedIn contacts that you’re requesting and put them into ActiveCampaign. Your delivery will stink. Everyone will unsubscribe. You’re going to get dinged and you’re going to get kicked off the platform. You’ll be put in ActiveCampaign jail so to speak.
But what you do is, is you automate connections so that you’re getting in front of your ideal customer with a message that’s going to attract them in. Like, “Hey Bill, been connected for a week [00:17:30] now. Just wanted to reach out. I see you’re in this niche. I have this really cool piece that I’d like to send over to you. Message me back if you want me to send over this link.” That’s like more of a soft approach.
Or, you can do, “Hey, I’ve got this really cool technology that I think could help you. We’ve seen it double or triple lead generation for some of our clients that we work with in your exact niche. If you’re a financial planner, you’re a CPA, or you’re whatever, [00:18:00] check out this strategy because it could severely increase your leads. Book a call with me and I can tell you about it.”
There’s definitely a softer approach and then there’s a hard approach where you’re going after meetings right away. It really depends on what you’re selling, what works better and how powerful your hook is. The more powerful that hook of something people really, really, really want, the more likely it is that they’ll book a call with you right away.
If you have a product that’s really expensive and it’s [00:18:30] a once in a while purchase like a video for instance, I’m going to do a soft approach. I really want to give them a ton of value, get them into my funnel, and then I can personalize all this really cool followup with them.
It’s almost like you’re doing Facebook but there’s no ad costs. You’re just leveraging your time every day to get a market.
Chris Davis: Right, wow. Now are you doing this from your personal LinkedIn or do you have a business LinkedIn that you have set up making the connections?
Darren: I do it all from [00:19:00] my personal LinkedIn.
Chris Davis: Okay, okay. Yeah, I think it has to be your personal-
Darren: You could run ads and all that stuff, but it gets expensive and I think for someone who’s just trying to learn these systems would be a great way for them to leverage their time and money to get in front of the right people.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and this is the biggest piece is when we’re talking about mediums, there is no right or wrong for your business. I just, I cringe, Darren, when everybody is just [00:19:30] saying as they’re trying to grow their business and you ask them, “Tell me about your business plan. How do you plan on generating leads?” It seems like everybody’s starting point is Facebook ads. It’s just like, that’s just one channel. That’s one medium out of-
Darren: Yeah, and it’s so saturated and it’s so hard to write. If you don’t have a good enough offer, if you’re behind on the marketing ball in terms of your … Like let’s say, like there’s a phrase called like you have an immature [00:20:00] marketing message. Essentially meaning, it’s not what’s resonating with people currently.
Maybe you’re looking at someone’s funnel that worked a year ago. You read some blog post online and he’s obviously not giving you his up to date strategy because good marketers would never do that. You start promoting a message that worked six months ago and no longer works. You’re like, “why am I not getting leads? My cost per click’s too high. I’m spending $1, [00:20:30] 000 and not getting anywhere.” That’s Facebook. You have to stay on the eight ball when it comes to that. You can make it work. Don’t get me wrong. But you got to commit to that strategy.
Chris Davis: Yeah, absolutely. Now I get LinkedIn requests all the time. I feel like people do this wrong. Right after I accept the request, I don’t feel like they’ve done their due diligence. They’re probably using a tool just like Sales Navigator, but I don’t think they’re doing their due diligence [00:21:00] and really researching who is good for their messaging. Because the minute I get one of these canned responses that you could tell is just like, “Hey, let’s do this, and this is …” I just delete it. Then I don’t connect. I delete the connection as well.
But this speaks to understanding your audience and the right messaging. There have been times where people have done it the right way and I’m like, “Oh, okay,” and we continue down that path of conversation.
[00:21:30] I just want to say that to say what Darren is outlining works with any medium. If you do it the wrong way, you can break it with any medium. Don’t just think, “Oh, he’s using LinkedIn. I’m going to jump on LinkedIn, use this sales tool and start making money.” You have to have the right steps covered. You have to do things in the right order. You have to nail who your target audience is. The only way you know that is through service. [00:22:00] It’s the only way.
Darren: Yeah, you got to talk to people. If I was starting brand new from scratch today, what I would do is I would leverage whatever contacts I could and I would get in front of the people that I want to work with. I would just say, “Let me buy you lunch. I just want to pick your brain. I just want to learn as much about this industry as possible. I’m trying to do this and this.”
Then the other thing would be I work a lot of performance. Be willing to say, “Look, I’ll start for this low rate and [00:22:30] work with you til I can earn some ROI. Then I can earn more money from you.”
I just think people need to be flexible because … Especially if you’re a digital marketer, man, this space is so saturated right now. Kids are coming out of college going, “No, I’m not going to get a job. I’m going to become a digital marketing,” and you don’t make any money. It’s a really competitive space.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and the thing about it is no matter [00:23:00] how saturated or how overpopulated any industry niche medium is, the consistent theme+ is that if your messaging is personalized specifically to that audience, you’ll always stand out. Somehow they’ll go and find your email. Instead of you worrying about, “It’s going to spam. I need to change providers. I need a new strategy.” If your messaging is magnetic, they will go and [00:23:30] search for it. If they don’t see it, they’ll reach out to you. Say, “Hey, I didn’t get your email. Where is it?”
Darren: Yeah, well I think that if you look at skillsets that you really need to have to do digital marketing in a correct way, the number one in my book would be copywriting. I have countless books on copywriting, swiped files that are humongous filled with examples of other people’s copy. That, to me, is one of the most … [00:24:00] I think where the ones that make it get it. The ones that don’t, fail to really make an impact. Copy is everything.
Chris Davis: Yeah and it’s back to the messaging. I promise you this happens so many times where … And I get it, that people don’t understand how to approach web assets when you’re marketing your business. But every web asset, whether it be a website or a web page, like you said funneling people from perhaps direct mail to a web page, [00:24:30] it is a virtual representative of you. When someone lands on that page, that representative starts to speak. What it says is your copy. If it’s saying, if it’s speaking, if the messaging is right on point, people are going to be like, “Yes, yes, yes.”
I heard a copywriter-
Darren: It’s a slippery slope. You’re [inaudible 00:24:53].
Chris Davis: Yes, they say that the goal in copywriting for the first sentence [00:25:00] is to get them to read the next sentence. Then go to the next sentence and get them to read the next sentence. So many people build these mute websites that can’t say anything, but they look really good, they’ve got all this flashy stuff. But the person cannot hear them cause the website literally is not saying anything. There’s words on there, don’t get me wrong. There are words on the site, but there’s nothing coming out in terms of messaging that is magnetic to me, my pains, my desires and getting me to move [00:25:30] forward.
I’m so glad you highlighted copywriting cause it is. It’s a lot of people want to look at, “Hey, let me look at what tools you’re using. Let me look at this. Let me look at that. Oh, this is what’s wrong with your business. You need a new product.” It’s like whoa, slow down.
Darren: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I take a lot of business from other marketers because of that very fact. I’ll audit their site. They’ll meet me or whatever and hear my story. That’s another thing we should talk about, the power [00:26:00] of story. Story’s everything. But it comes down to that. They’ll realize, “Yeah, I have this great site.”
A buddy of mine, he was getting pitched this site. It was like $40,000 for his company. For the revenue size of that company, that was pretty legit. When you come into this service level, what they do and everything. But I asked him, I was like, “How many clients are you going to get off that site?” He goes, “No one. No one is going to become a client off my site.” Because they are such a niche provider that there might [00:26:30] be only 200 clients around the country that they really want to go after.
Yeah, you want your site to support your message. But I said, “Look, you need to just build this yourself or something. That if you’re not willing to spend money, or I’ll help you, coach you through the process and look at it from what messaging is going to resonate. They want to hear the story. They want to see the case studies. Why don’t you work on building that? Then you can worry about what your site looks like and having all the fancy videos on it and all that other stuff in the background and building this fancy [00:27:00] tool. When in reality, all you need is a good enough site that has a really powerful story.”
So many people get that wrong. They jump in and they spend all this money on a fancy website. There was another one recently where they were building this eCommerce site and trying to do it all back end with these advanced tools. I’m going, “Why the heck [inaudible 00:27:19] Shopify? Put it into there. Use a free skin and build out your messaging and build out that structure so you can actually charge for your products and fulfill the orders. [00:27:30] Why don’t you focus on building that first? Worry about the design later. Then your 20,000, 25,000 deep into that site now when it doesn’t have the functionality you need it to. It looks like shit.” Sorry, it looks like crap. Sorry for the language.
Chris Davis: No, you’re fine.
Darren: But they’re struggling now because they’re not getting what they want. They’re super unhappy with the provider. It’s because they didn’t start with what I always tell people to start with. Talk to someone like me who can point you in the right [00:28:00] direction. Even if like my services weren’t right for someone, it’s, “Look, this digital marketing game’s really complicated. I want you to learn the true path to get to where you want because there’s a lot of people that are going to want to sell you something, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you.”
Chris Davis: Right, exactly. That’s your responsibility as the business owner to identify that. That’s not their shortcoming. That’s your responsibility to see.
Darren: That’s the fault of that web developer without a doubt. They shouldn’t have taken on that client unless they [00:28:30] truly had the right situation and could see the long term potential of it.
Chris Davis: Yeah, exactly. Oh man, this is good. Darren, so I would … Not to put words in your mouth or to define your strategy myself, but I can only imagine. We’ve spent about 20 minutes just talking about your unique approach to building funnels and how you … You’re not ashamed to leverage a medium that’s “unpopular,” [00:29:00] or not by-
Darren: I’m building a direct mail campaign right now for one of my clients. You’ve got to think outside the box. If I can get someone to open that letter, cream envelope, dice in there, it’s a lumpy letter. It’s going to get opened. But if it’s in front of the right people, they’re going to end up going to the site.
So totally unpopular, but guess what? The more that people run to Facebook, the more that all these other situations work because guess what? I’ve been so disenfranchised [00:29:30] with Facebook lately that I don’t even barely go on anymore. Let’s be honest. That’s going to happen. Things are going to change. Facebook’s going to lose its popularity. Why do you think Zuckerberg’s going, “Oh, I got to make it more content friendly. Get rid of all these ads.” Because people are leaving.
Chris Davis: Yeah, this is true, and especially depending on your audience … Back to knowing your audience. If you’re trying to target me on Facebook as a … I’m a business owner, serious about my marketing and business [00:30:00] growth, efficiency. You’re not going to find me on Facebook, you’re just not. You’re not going to get me there cause I’m not on there enough. Now you may get me on Google. You may get me on LinkedIn. But you’re not going to get me there on Facebook. It definitely is worth, everybody, for you to do your due diligence to identify the … Let me finish that. Identify your medium. But remember, copy first.
Darren: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Chris Davis: Please, please, please do not try to leap over that step [00:30:30] and just go into the design process. But, Darren, I would imagine, for you, in the capacity that you’re using ActiveCampaign, it’s just an extension of what you’re doing. Like it’s you know what you need to do and you’re just essentially saying instead of approaching ActiveCampaign like, “I need you to do everything,” you’re just saying, “Okay, this spot will be handled by ActiveCampaign, this spot and this spot.”
Darren: Yeah, ActiveCampaign’s crucial. I use it for every one of my clients. [00:31:00] But it also, you have to build it on the right foundation. Don’t get ActiveCampaign until you have what you need.
The other thing with ActiveCampaign I think if you want to make your email automations really, really good, and this is … If you’re in this lane, guys … I’m talking to the audience now. If you’re in the ActiveCampaign lane and you’re trying to build email funnels, learn to tell a story. Don’t just write an email that’s like, ” [00:31:30] Hey, here’s three tips. Wake up early. Work harder during the day.” No one cares about that. They want to hear the story behind it.
I always say it’s like, “Tell a story. Hit them with the problem. Agitate them on why that problem needs to be fixed. Then give them the solution.” Don’t just lead with crappy copy, so to speak. That’s huge. When you’re writing emails … If you looked at Platinum Skin Care’s, we’re really building out this really awesome story [00:32:00] driven new customer funnel. I’m sure you’ll have me on again to talk about that.
But it’s all story driven. It’s why she started the business. “Look at this success story. Let me tell you about someone who was dealing with pigmentation on their face and they were really embarrassed. They were dealing with all these problems in their life. It was ruining their situation. Here’s how we helped them fix it and reverse that.” That story’s going to go above and beyond anything that you’re doing.
I love it. [00:32:30] If you can think about it, that’s like the next layer. Message, target market, message, medium, and then the power of story is just so powerful.
Chris Davis: Yeah, and now that you have tools like ActiveCampaign, you can really customize that story, make it really personal to that person’s pain, that person’s journey, and create a marketing experience that we didn’t have the ability to create two years ago.
Darren: Yeah, for sure. For instance, like you go on your site [00:33:00] and you’ve got different product lanes, you can track that with ActiveCampaign. Saying, “Okay, this person’s going in this category on my site and they’re an email subscriber.” Well line out once that category tag hits, put them into a new automation that talks about those pain points, that talks about how to figure out those solutions and tailoring your ActiveCampaign.
For beginners, I would say just build one funnel. Get 10, 20 emails together that you can put into a funnel for someone that subscribes. [00:33:30] Just do a straight funnel, just straight line right down that email and then every three days or whatever it is.
Chris Davis: And optimize that. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Just focus on-
Darren: No, don’t get into the advanced ActiveCampaign funnels. You’ll break your brain. Get into it where okay after email three, I see that I can segment this audience now. I can send them in three different paths for a little while. Then bring them back into the main automation and tailor it to where like if they don’t open this email, they get another one. There’s [00:34:00] so many ways you can do that, but don’t do that first. Don’t try to build the advanced funnels until you’ve mastered a basic one and are actually getting people into it. Don’t waste your time until you’re actually attracting people.
Chris Davis: Wisdom, wisdom has been dropped. Hopefully it has been received. Darren, thank you so much for coming on and just being the expert, the professional, the professional that you are. Where can people [00:34:30] find out more about you and your company?
Darren: All right. Well, my company is Energetic.media. That’s my website. I know it’s funky. People tell me I should have a dotcom, but whatever. It is what is. That’s Energetic, the word energetic, .media. Right now I’m tailored a lot to professional services. I’m actually rebuilding my website right now. If you go there, you’re going to see a lot of stuff on financial planners. But hopefully in the next week or so, depending on when this podcast is launched, it should [00:35:00] be updated.
My whole story is I’m looking for partners who need someone like me on their team that can’t afford to hire someone, but need someone to come on and really leverage what they’re good at, so that I can fill that digital marketing gap for them. Do it on a performance or partnership basis where I can grow with you. That’s my kind of unique angle where I put my skin in the game for the right type of companies and the right type of professionals.
Chris Davis: Yeah, great, wow. All of the links, [00:35:30] all of the information, everybody, will be in the show notes, so you can just click right there to the website, reach out to Darren on your own. Again, thank you so much, Darren. Glad to have you on. We will definitely do a part two. It sounds like we’ve got three parts actually because you said a few things here, I’m like, “Oh, it’d be good to a deep dive there.”
Darren: You know what I do want to do, Chris, though? I want to make sure that we link to some of the copywriting stuff, like some of my favorite books on copywriting. I think that’d be a huge value add for people to get to.
Chris Davis: Great, [00:36:00] we’ll add those too. Just email me after this and we’ll get them in there as well. Thanks again, Darren. I look forward to the reception on this podcast and anybody who may reach out to you as a result of everything we shared today.
Darren: Sounds great.
Chris Davis: All right, have a good one.
Darren: Thank you.
Chris Davis: Thanks so much for listening. LinkedIn sales navigation tool, I believe is the word. The tool is not [00:36:30] as important as the understanding and strategic approach. Remember, don’t let your friend, or you don’t be that friend, that builds a mute website. All of your web assets should speak in a way that is magnetic to the audience. That’s your business. That is your responsibility to make sure that you know how to talk to people.
When I’m starting a new venture or I’m trying [00:37:00] to identify or get more granular, more targeted with my messaging, I talk to people. I’m always in research mode. It could be somebody on the train. It could be somebody just random. I’ll ask them questions and see what their response is. I’m always collecting data and I recommend you do the same because what’s going to make or break your lead generation for your funnel is going to be your ability to fine tune your messaging to your audience in the right way. I’m so glad Darren brought that up.
I hope you enjoyed all of the nuggets [00:37:30] that were dropped in this episode. If you’re not a subscriber to this podcast, please do so right now. We’re on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud. Anywhere where you can use a keyboard and a monitor, you can listen to this podcast. Anywhere where you can talk on a phone without being hooked up to a phone line, you can listen to this podcast and so keep that data. You can listen to this podcast. Make sure you’re subscribed.
For those of you who are long time listeners, [00:38:00] please make sure you give us a five star rating in iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher, whichever one you prefer to listen to it in. But please let us know how we’re doing, how I’m doing, so that we can continue to get the word out. All right?
If you need any help, any help with ActiveCampaign, or any help just thinking about how to approach using ActiveCampaign effectively, ActiveCampaign.com/training, you can sign up for one-on-one and talk to one of our [00:38:30] success team members about your business and how you should be using it. They’ll help you think through the targeting as well.
All right, if you’re more so a self-paced learner and you say, “Hey look, appreciate the human interaction. I want to take it … I’ve got this. Let me learn at my pace,” ActiveCampaign.com/learn is the education center where you’ll find all of the guided content for you to consume at your heart’s desire.
This is the ActiveCampaign Podcast, the small business podcast [00:39:00] to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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