You know what makes absolutely no sense?
Deciding you're going to train for a marathon by completing a series of 100 meter sprints.
Or deciding you're going to train to be a sprinting champion by running a long, slow 10 miles a day.
I hope you're laughing at these examples because it's painfully obvious how misaligned they are: you’re training one way and then planning to perform in a completely different way.
But that leads me to an uncomfortable question: Since this misalignment is perfectly obvious to you when it comes to running, why are you choosing to do this exact thing in your marketing?
Most of you - without having even realized it - have chosen a marketing plan that is not at all aligned with your ideal clients or your business model.
You're doing the marketing equivalent of training for a marathon by running a series of sprints.
And I'm guessing it's working about as well. Meaning, not at all.
Welcome to the concept of Traffic and Relationship Marketing Funnels.
Understanding the difference - and which one is aligned with your business - can change everything.
Here’s what I mean by Traffic and Relationship Marketing Funnels:
Traffic Marketing means your business is a volume business: you move a lot of leads through a sales process that leads to a (relatively) low cost product and your conversion rate (the number of leads who buy your thing) is pretty low.
That’s a traffic funnel: High volume, low cost.
Think: Amazon, software, e-commerce, books.
Relationship Marketing means your business is the opposite of a volume business: you move very few leads (in this case, quality over quantity) through a sales process that leads to a high ticket offer and your conversion rate is through the roof.
That’s a relationship funnel: Low volume, high cost.
Think: Coaching, Service Providers, Consulting, Agencies, even Course Creators
And now you see the problem.
Small business owners (especially those who market over the internet) are almost always taught traffic tactics: opt-ins, email, launches.
They're almost never taught relationship tactics, or if they are, they're taught to move past them as quickly as possible because they are "inefficient".
Which leaves you feeling confused, frustrated and even mad that your endless traffic-based content creation seems to be going nowhere.
You're busy all day, you're producing endless content - so why aren't enough people buying?
They're not buying because they're not traffic buyers, they're relationship buyers. And until you meet them in a relationship funnel, you're going to stay frustrated.
I'm guessing some of these scenarios might feel uncomfortably familiar?
✅ You're trying to amass a ton of followers on social media and then sell them an expensive product
✅ You're launching a podcast, writing a book, building out a tripwire funnel and then wondering why no one is upgrading to your 10k package.
✅ You're creating (yet another) pdf opt-in gift and wondering why it doesn't seem to be enough for someone to know, like and trust (and buy from) you.
✅ You're doing everything in your power to stay “efficient” but efficient looks a whole lot like not making any money (which by the way is not at all efficient).
If this is you: Stop. Just stop with the content and traffic madness and let's build you a relationship funnel that'll actually convert.
WELCOME TO BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIP FUNNEL.
Build Your Relationship Funnel is a 2-day, 4-session intensive workshop happening on February 21 + 23, 2023. It is designed to:
1️⃣ Help you understand the difference between Relationship and Traffic marketing and sales, and why Relationship marketing is a strategy that can help you grow (it's not just something you do when you're first getting started).
2️⃣ Orient you to the 3 stages or marketing - Awareness, Engagement, Sales - and how they work together in a Relationship funnel.
3️⃣ Help you design your very own Relationship-based Awareness, Engagement and Sales strategies.
Hi I'm Michelle.
I design tiny companies that last.
I have an MBA from one of the world’s top business schools and 15+ years experience growing small businesses, which means I know how to focus on what actually matters.
And knowing what actually matters is how I help my clients achieve results that are sustainable and scalable in the long term while also staying resilient and adaptable in the short term.
In other words: More progress, less shiny object chasing.
It’s the way I grew my first business in the social impact tech sector, and it’s what I've used to help 300+ CEO's create businesses that work for the important stuff: profit, energy, passion + time.
What They're Saying About Build Your Relationship Funnel
Build Your Relationship Funnel exceeded my expectations. One of your superpowers is breaking down complicated information in a way that doesn't feel overwhelming.
I’m so glad I did this bootcamp. I was on the fence because I had recently invested in a couple other programs and I didn't want to confuse myself by taking on too many different strategies at once, but this one really helped me connect some dots that I don't think I would have connected otherwise.
You blew my mind on the first day with the idea of getting most of the trust transfer with connections done in the awareness stage. That deceptively simple (just because it's simple, doesn't mean it's easy) bit of intel changed everything about how I think about marketing.
Now I am very focused on finding audiences to borrow and doing more targeted networking. I've gotten two podcast guest spots just today through networking (following your recommendations). With cold pitching to podcast hosts, I managed to book two spots over several months, so this is clearly a much better strategy.
I also really liked the format of BYRF where you instructed us to ask clarifying questions during the learning sessions and to save questions that were more specific to our businesses for the Q&A. That kept us on track and moving through the amazing amount of valuable material, while allowing for a really interactive experience.
The Build Your Relationship funnel blew my expectations out of the water. It was hands down the most thoughtful, human-centered, knowledgable explanation of marketing I've encountered in the 7 years I've been in business. You made me feel like I don't have to be ashamed when I use the word "marketing."
Coming in I felt like I wasn't making good use of the reputation and relationships I have, and I wanted to make some changes, but didn't know exactly what to do. In addition, I never felt like I had marketing "system" in place, just a hodge podge of things that seemed to kinda work, but weren't logically related.
Post-bootcamp, I can just *see* things differently. The ideas of early trust transfer, engagement being the validation of the initial impression through confirmation and customization, and email as the logistical route toward true engagement blew my mind. It's so precise and gave me so much insight into what I want to be achieving in any given engagement activity. And it made feel less worried about engaging my audience through coaching.
I also learned that I am doing some things right--by which I mean, in a way that fits me and my business. I just need to tweak them, or be more deliberate and systematic about them
I feel way more comfortable with my decision to get off social media and to use the remaining channels I'm still on in particular ways. That choice makes sense now, within the relationship marketing framework, so I feel confident about it, which is a big deal for me.
Build Your Relationship Funnel Will Cover:
Session 1: Relationship Marketing Fundamentals
Before we dive into building your relationship funnel, we'll spend the first session deep diving into the fundamentals of relationship marketing:
-> What it is - and what it isn't
-> How you can still scale while using relationship marketing
-> What makes it different from the marketing you're probably used to
-> Why it's a great idea for most creatives, service providers, coaches + consultants, agency owners and even course creators
Session 2: Design Your Awareness Strategy
Awareness - the moment in time when your leads come to know you exist - is the first stage of any marketing funnel, and it's a critical one in any relationship marketing funnel.
We'll go over the basics of how the awareness stage works, look at examples and best practices, and then you'll design an awareness strategy that makes sense for your business.
Session 3: Design Your Engagement Strategy
Engagement - the stage where your leads grow to like and trust you - is the second stage of your relationship marketing funnel.
And it's so so so much more than simply sending out a newsletter.
During this session we'll dive into Engagement strategies that work for relationship funnels, and specifically how to think about engagement strategies that can straddle the line of scale and relationship-building at once.
You'll then take the examples and best practices we've talked about to design an engagement strategy that makes sense for your business.
Session 4: Design Your Sales Strategy
This is the big one! Every marketing funnel needs to end in an invitation for a sale - and that's true of relationship marketing funnels as well.
We'll talk about how to take the relationship you've built and transition it into a conversation and invitation to work together further.
No flashing deadlines and false scarcity here - but there will be sales, and during this session you'll take our examples and best practices and use them to design a sales strategy that works for your business.
And You're Off!
You're ready to go! By the end of the four Build Your Relationship Funnel sessions you will know exactly what you need to do, and in what order, to get your funnel implemented.
And in case you have a few extra questions, I'll hold a pop in office hours one week after Build Your Relationship Funnel wraps so you can get any implementation questions answered.
Build Your Relationship Funnel
February 21 + 23, 2023
Investment is $1250
Sessions take place from 11-1 and 2:30-4:30 pm eastern each day.
Not sure if Build Your Relationship Funnel is right for you?
Send Michelle a message and she'll help you decide.
Here's Exactly What's Included
Two Days of Intensive Bootcamp Content
Build Your Relationship Funnel takes place over 2 days.
We will have 2, 90 minute sessions each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (central US time). Each session will be followed by 30 minutes of optional office hours.
All session will take place over Zoom and will be recorded for your future reference.
Relationship Funnel Blueprint
After your last session you will leave with a Relationship Funnel blueprint, which is the custom relationship funnel you will build over the course of the workshop to meet your specific goals.
The Blueprint will make clear what your strategies are for each stage of your relationship funnel - Awareness, Engagement and Sales - and the specific action steps you will take - in priority order - to make those a reality.
Build Your Relationship Funnel Workbook
During the Bootcamp you'll have a workbook to guide you through our discussions, use as a central place to take notes and begin the brainstorming process for your Blueprint.
The workbook won't be where your final plans land - those will be captured in the Blueprint - but if you're a person who likes to follow along with a workbook, I have you covered.
All Questions Answered
I'm with you hand in hand as we work through the Bootcamp and will be answering all questions in 1 of 3 ways:
1. There will always be time during the sessions for q&a
2. I will hold 30 minute q&a sessions after each of the 4 bootcamp sessions, so if you have an immediate question, I'll have an answer.
3. One week after we wrap up I'll hold a bonus, 60 minute q&a to cover any questions that come up as you begin to implement.
No one is left behind in my bootcamps.
Workshop Portal for Lifetime Access to Content
When you join the Bootcamp you'll receive access to the Bootcamp portal where all the Bootcamp materials and recordings will reside. You will have access to this portal for 1 full year, and in that time you'll be able to download anything from the portal to your local drive, so you have lifetime access to all the material.
But Wait! That's Not All!
(I love getting to say that)
Build Your Relationship Funnel also includes these bonuses:
BONUS: Implementation Office Hours
I'm not going to leave you hanging after the Bootcamp with no support. One week after we wrap up I'm holding a 60 minute drop in office hours on Zoom so you can ask any questions that have come up as you move into implementation mode.
Can't make it? No problem, you'll be able to submit your questions ahead of time and I'll address them in the recording.
BONUS: Resource Library Access
You'll have access to a curated resource library full of email templates, campaign templates and planning documents that will walk you through how to implement the different action steps you'll identify in your Build Your Relationship Funnel.
What They're Saying About Build Your Relationship Funnel
Build Your Relationship Funnel exceeded my expectations by showing me just how much of my strategy was focused on traffic and not the kind that I wanted. Once you see it, it's hard to unsee. The bootcamp also provided a perspective that I knew in my head but wasn't always able to articulate. Taking the bootcamp has helped me with my business but also with evaluating and assessing my clients based on their goals.
I was interested in the bootcamp because I've pivoted with my business to get to a hire-tier client and wanted to put together a strategy that will help get in front of the right audience. I already had an inkling of the power of relationship marketing but I wanted to get a better idea of how to put a funnel together that would help me achieve my goals.
My biggest takeaways were based on the different strategies for each stage of the buyer's journey - Awareness, engagement, and sales - and seeing how the options were similar but by being more calculated and strategic you can achieve better results.
Post-bootcamp I’m excited about building out my target network and the private targeted collaborations. I think this will help make the most visible longstanding difference in my business.
You did a great job walking us through a concept and course that would require rethinking things in a way that could be challenging. I'm aware that's not easy to do because it takes people out of their comfort zones and requires them to have a level of trust to see things in a way they haven't considered before.
Renee Rubin Ross,
Build Your Relationship Funnel is a terrific combination of inspiring and incredibly useful.
Working through this (relatively quick!) program helped analyze past successes and build on them.
The most helpful takeaway was to shift from being "generally useful" to focusing more specifically on the audience we want to serve.
We clarified our messaging from "nonprofit strategic planning" to "equitable and inclusive nonprofit strategic planning that brings out many voices and perspectives."
This one change/clarification attracted new clients within hours! (No kidding.)
And it continues to serve as a filter for many emerging opportunities.
This renewed focus is also energizing, since we get to connect with our ideal clients rather than trying to be all things to all people.