Revenue models. Planning and implementing an actual sales process: online and in real life.


Writing Rate Calculators


  • Chris Brogan (The Owner's Path) via newsletter, 13 July 2014: stop selling, start solving!

The Project Management Triangle

  • Good - Fast - Cheap - You can have 2 out of the 3 (see also: Wikipedia)
    • If a client wants it good and fast, it won’t be cheap.
    • If they want it fast and cheap, it won’t be top quality.
    • If they want it good and cheap, it cannot happen fast.

Revenue Streams / Sales Models

Youtube: here and here

Revenue Models

Asset Sale Ownership. Right to a physical product - cars, products, hardware...

Usage Fee Cell phone companies, FedEx

Subscription Fee Not per use, but flat rate. Netflix,, camera gear, car rentals

Licensing e.g. Software. You don't own a copy, but license it to use on your hardware

Intermediation Fee Business brings 2 parties together for transactions - e.g. AirBnB, Etsy, Cafepress, real estate brokers

Advertising Fee paid by brands and companies to get in front of potential customers, e.g. on Google

Pricing Tactics

  • Inside revenue streams, we may have PRICING TACTICS
  • FIXED:
    • Cost + Markup: you decide what to sell product/service for: production cost + markup (profit)
    • Value pricing: price on customer segments, or features they need
    • Volume pricing: encourage high volume purchases, product becomes cheaper if buying more
  • DYNAMIC: prices move! e.g. negotiation
    • Yield management: airlines. Seats get cheaper shortly before plane takes off, based on experience, time etc.
    • Real-time markets: stock market, eBay
  • FIXED/DYNAMIC: how to know which one to use? Talk to and understand audience.

Salesperson's Philosophy

E-Mail by Paul Jarvis, Feb 22, 2015

"Like any relationship, the awkwardness [between seller any buyer] can be avoided with two of the most important qualities: honesty and respect."

  • Stand behind what you make 100%
  • Making money is okay (naysayers can always walk away)
  • Design for the audience
  • Want your audience to do well
  • Value critical thought and discussion
    • But not complaining, berating, putting down
  • Listen, take note, make what the audience wants

Getting Testimonials

Article by M.J. Plebon on LinkedIn

  • Ask happy customers for testimonials and reviews
  • To post in which venues? Identify the ones that have high credibility in your market
    • B2B: LinkedIn
    • B2C: Yelp and similar directories / Facebook, G+
  • Offer tools to make testimonial writing simple and fast
    • Step by step instructions to find my profile
    • Direct links to your online presence
    • Guidelines: examples of other reviews for inspiration
    • How did they feel when using product/service?
    • What was pleasantly unique/unexpected to them?
  • It's like farming: plant seeds, be persistent, patient

Give for Free or Sell?

  • Write about small, quick wins: techniques that are fast to implement and generate benefit! Best: from my own experience.
  • Pat Flynn: give away content that shows people exactly what to do to solve their problems!
    • Offers value (ppl can start on their own)
    • Shows why paying for the service is a good idea

Article on Copyblogger

  • Free content:
    • Attracts target audience
    • Encourages sharing of my ideas
    • Establishes peer connections
    • Informs audience of my value:
      • What problem do I solve?
      • What can I help achieve?
    • Shows proof and results (e.g. case studies)
    • "Free taste"
    • Tells my story
    • Can be used to reward prospects for attention
  • Don't make it too complete
  • Don't explain too much "how" - rather: "what", "why"
    • Only reveal first few steps
  • Limited support
  • No free access to me
  • Low barrier to entry
  • Don't cover advanced contents
  • Should be easy (no hard work for reader)
  • Paid content: when to hold back and charge
    • People want the info for its value
      • Could provide transformation
      • Make a great deal of money
      • Save time
      • Make recipient more popular
    • Info is difficult to acquire
  • People pay for trust, exclusivity, quality, better technology, experiences
    • Higher perceived value

Sales Advice

  • Provide a regular and premium option instead of yes-no! (Copyblogger, Jul 7, 2015)
  • Give all the emotional reasons why anybody should stay with my product
  • Can I explain this to a third grader so they'll immediately understand?
  • Set up a sales process that exudes quality at every step!
  • Talk about what you notice they’re doing and how you can help
    • Study target and shape pitch for them (in their writing style)
  • Pitch them sth. that’s missing from their site
    • e.g. read their mission statement and find what topic needs more coverage
  • Show my research: case studies, abandoned blogs

Generating Excitement

  • Use time constraints / make product time-sensitive!
  • Pam Wilson (BIG Brand System) in her newsletter from Nov 1, 2014:
    • Talk about product/service months in advance
    • Offer pre-order with reduced price
    • Offer limited-time "early-bird" access to loyal clients
    • Implement low "early-adopter" price (lasts for a week)

From Blog to Sale

  • Here's how it works together:
    1. Outposts meet readers, leads, customers where they are
      • Google+: tech, hobby
      • Twitter: general interest
      • Tumblr, Pinterest: creative niches (photography, design)
      • LinkedIn: B2B professionals
      • Facebook: everything
      • Conversation starts here before blog post is released
    2. Concierge/content landing pages: lead to best content
    3. Lead magnets turn readers into subscribers
    4. Conversation shifts to inbox w/ long-term e-mail campaign for continued attention and targeted offers
    5. Optimized confirmation pages: user takes "one more action"
    6. Webinars and Google Hangouts deepen communication & rapport

Sales Process

Real Life

  • Establish credibility and trust before selling
    1. Become acquainted at first meeting
      • "What caught your interest to meet with me?"
    2. Discuss all associated problems
      • "Have you thought about...?"
    3. Ask more questions: e.g. re. preferred solutions
    4. Establish time and money value
      • How much time and money can you save the client?
    5. Offer them to take the next step
      • "When would you like to start?"


  • 1. Pre-sales
    • Consider questions, objections: what will stop them from buying?
      • Anticipate their process of talking themselves out of buying!
      • Examples: timing, won't work, no trust, won't use, distance, learning curve, no time
    • Present offer crystal clear and complete
      • Confused people don't buy
      • Why is this offer perfect for the client?
      • What will they gain?
      • What are the exact features?
      • What are they missing out on?
      • How has this helped others?
      • How is there no risk?
    • Guarantee
      • Will I waste my money? Will this work? Is there a catch? Will I feel like a fool for buying?
      • Extend the guarantee beyond what others offer
    • Testimonials: they lend credibility
  • Highlight true benefits! Crucial: "what's in it for me?"
    • List my features, why I include them, how they connect with customer's desires, get to the root of the emotional benefit
    • First: create emotional desire
    • Then: back up with logic and data
  • 2. My Product or Service
    • Customer in mind! Keep them engaged and trusting
      • Tailor product to their needs
      • Listen to their feedback
      • Adapt to requests
    • Set up customer service system before launch!
      • Personal or Team
      • Build FAQ
      • Social Media?
    • Make it easy to use!
      • How can I "wow" them at first glance?
      • Brainstorm about confusing aspects, listen to feedback
      • Provide guides, manuals, FAQs
    • Deliver what I promise and beyond
      • Surprise bonus
      • Additional service
  • 3. Post-Sale
    • Follow-up system: nurture the relationship
      • Are they implementing my product?
      • Do they need support?
      • Are they happy? (ask for testimonial if they are)
    • Offer related products that help the customer move forward

Call-to-Action Button

  • Article on Copyblogger
    • Introduce contrast, e.g. by making a button in a colour that stands out
    • Add a little extra line below the button ("you can always get the paid plan later")
    • Simple CTA: fewer choices! People will feel happier because there were less alternatives
    • Make buttons look like buttons: set apart from other elements
      • A 3D effect
      • A contrasting, non-grey color
      • Feedback on hover (e.g., different color)
      • Whitespace around it
      • An arrow pointing to it with instructional copy
  • Button copy: first person! (imagine "I want to ~" in front of term)
    • Ex.: "find out more", "learn the truth"
    • Make sure people actually do want it
  • Click triggers: e.g. testimonials, star ratings, security messaging
  • Best practices are...
    • Increasing the size of the primary button
    • Using a higher-contrast color for the primary button
    • Greying out or visually ‘cooling’ secondary calls to action (e.g., "Update cart")
    • Moving the position of the primary button above the fold
    • Removing competing calls to action, like email opt-ins
    • Removing the global navigation
    • Adding influential testimonials
    • Adding risk-reducing messaging near the button (e.g., "Next, you’ll review your order")
    • Offering multiple payment options, including adding PayPal

Online Checkout

  • Remove checkout obstacles
  • If account creation is necessary: "Continue" button instead of "Register" (suggests less engagement, commitment)
  • Print prices in small fonts
  • No Dollar signs (instead: e.g. CAD, USD) (psychological effect)
  • Free shipping (or free shipping above high double-digit price)
  • Personalize once you have people's data (e.g. "Thanks Matt!")
  • Slim sign-up forms! No unnecessary shit ("company name")
    • Pre-populate as many fields as possible!
    • Tick-box for identical shipping & billing
    • Coupon code fields only for those who qualify
    • Validate right after field is filled (e.g. checkmark if it's ok)
  • Credit card form: tie into image of card!
  • Few buttons with clearly understandable labels
  • Assure customers all the way to paying: money-back, security
  • Keep showing what they're getting (solution, value)


  • Copyblogger : higher price sparks curiosity
    • Create comparison: between your own products (cheap version vs. top-of-the-line)
  • Charge according to the project management triangle! (aka "quality triangle")
    • "Your emergency is my opportunity"