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Stop Creating Content That Doesn't Do This (+ Your New Content Strategy)

sales funnel

I first heard this idea from Brendan Burchard, who says that content should serve one of two purposes: it should sell or it should capture.

It's really important to raise awareness of your brand, product or services, but at a tactical level content marketing is to capture or sell to the customer. That's it.

99% of your content should be created with that purpose: to capture their email address or send them to a sales page. Not every single piece of content you create needs to have that strong of a CTA, but your overall strategy should be aiming towards it.

This video is about the channels you use to get traffic so that people can even find your lead generators. This is the start of your sales funnel and in my experience with freelancers, it’s the least considered part!

So you really need a traffic system – how people find out – as well as a nurturing system – what happens once they do find you – in your sales funnel. Lots of people build one and wonder why the funnel doesn't work.

Why do you need a sales funnel as a freelancer?

Because being a writer is not a business. You need to build a business around your skill

I’m going to say that again: being a writer is not a business. Being a photographer is not a business. Being a designer is not a business. Being a coach is not a business. Even being a financial advisor isn't a business.

These are skills.

So you need to build a business around your skill set, and you need to tell people about it so they can even consider you as an option to solve their problem.

The two types of traffic you need in your sales funnel

Marketing is at the wide end of the sales funnel; it pushes leads into the sales funnel, and then the sales team (hahaha jokes – you) take over to close those leads.


With organic traffic, you need to focus on things with virality or discoverability built into them, such as:

  • Instagram reels, such as the way Country to Coast EA uses reels to direct you towards a discovery calls
  • SEO blogs, such as the way Pivot Wealth uses blogs to invite you to their webinars, events or to a discovery call
  • Referral systems, where you leverage your existing community to give out referral codes so their friends/fans get discounts. I've seen photographers offer discount codes on printing as a way to incentivise people to book shoots, for example.

Organic traffic that doesn't have virality built in (and therefore should not be top of your marketing strategy):

  • Facebook
  • Instagram tiles
  • Throwing a big slap-up event
  • Going to Chamber of Commerce events
  • Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on your logo so you don't have to think about any of this but still feel like you're being productive... (I see you)

The point of organic traffic is to get you in front of lots of new people (ie. traffic). Channels such as Pinterest and YouTube act more like search engines than they do social media platforms.


  • Social media ads, such as using Instagram ads that direct you to a downloadable or a webinar or even just a sales page (Erin May Henry got me into her world this way, and I’m genuinely grateful for it!)
  • Referral program, where you pay someone a commission for everyone they send you that becomes a paying client
  • Influencer marketing, where you pay upfront for promotion of your products or services


They don't need to be weighted the same, but you should build up to doing all of these things. I want freelancers to have 3-4 organic traffic sources, and 1-2 paid traffic sources as part of their sales funnel. If cash is tight and you don’t want to advertise, start with commission-based referrals, where you are not out of pocket unless someone is giving you money anyway.

Of course, you could think of it as one more thing on your to do list, or you could think about the fact that without traffic leads you'll have nothing else on your to do list...

Now, as a reminder, all this traffic needs to lead people to a place where you either CAPTURE their email address or you SELL them something. And if you’re looking for ideas of content that captures people, check out the ideas in this blog post.

Which brings me to CTAs...

What is a call to action?

You need to understand that your prospect has three options: 1) become your client, 2) become your competitors’ client, 3) do nothing. You may think your problem is your competitor, but in reality, it's more likely to be inertia.

You need a very clear call to action – not something wimpy and vague like "don't hesitate to email me”.

If you confuse them, you lose them.

Be crystal clear about what they should do next. Here’s some clear CTAS:


To summarise, I want you to think of ways you are going to get in front of new people (en mass) and then what exactly you're going to ask them to do.

So I am prescribing you with three next steps:

  1. Audit what you currently do. How many times are you directly, obviously, strongly asking someone for either their money or their email address? What moments in your current business could you add these or strengthen these?
  2. With your current social media, are you harnessing platforms and tactics that have built in virality or not? If not, it’s time to rethink how you’re using social media in your business.
  3. Explore a referral program. Are there people who work "adjacent" to you, such as photographers and stylists, copywriters and web designers, copywriters and photographers, graphic designers and photographers, project managers and accountants? Start a list of some “preferred partners” that you can create a referral program with, where you give commissions to those who refer clients to you.

Basically, every entreprenuer, solopreneur, freelancer – whatever you call yourself – needs methods to find new traffic in their business.



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I work with freelancers, consultants and coaches (basically: one-person service-based businesses) to move away from the hustle and create a business that gives them freedom.

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