Top 10 Other Digital Gurus That Inspire Me

#1. The Futur

I cannot express how much The Futur has changed my life and how I run my business. If you are a graphic designer or web developer you HAVE to start watching them on YouTube now! CEO, Chris Do goes over fantastic tips on pricing, sales, getting leads, and everything you didn’t learn in college or design school. All the things that creatives hate doing in their business he gives course info out for free that honestly would cost you $1000s of elsewhere!

#2. Charisma on Command

Now I don’t care what industry you are in; everyone needs to watch a least a few videos from Charisma on Command. No matter who you are or how much you’ve achieved, everyone can benefit from taking their charisma to the next level. I’ve loved it through the years as it helps this introvert with sales and pitches…my least favorite thing about my creative business. They have popular videos such as How to Be Charming Without Trying and How To Stand Up For Yourself Without Being A Jerk. Check them out!

#3. Justina Blakeney

I find Justina Blakeney so inspiring. She is the founder and creative director of the home décor brand, Jungalow®, and the author of The New Bohemians book series. Her creativity, confidence, and joy are contagious. Not to mention I would love a house full of her decor and her art as wallpaper!

#4. Sorelle Amore

Sorelle Amore is an Australian/Polish photographer living in Iceland — best-selling author, YouTuber, and recently an ethical investor. Her course: Advanced Selfie University is crucial if you are trying to organically market yourself with beautiful photos but don’t want to hire dozens of sessions from a pro photographer. She has traveled to so many places as a digital nomad and her success story is very inspiring. Sorelle’s personal YouTube channel is great, but for all those reading I would highly suggest her new Sorelle Amore Finance channel. She goes over some great finance tips for solopreneurs like off-shoring, saving smarter, and many more things that are fascinating.

#5. Jona Jinton

Another Sweedish digital creator with the same vibe a Sorelle Amore is Jona Jinton. Jona is a photographer and singer and her videos are downright meditation sessions as she highlights her minimalist lifestyle in Sweeden and photography tips with stunning footage and relaxing music.

#6. Baumgartner Restoration

Now this one is purely a personal preference for entertainment and relaxation. Baumgartner Restoration is a YouTube channel that showcases the painting restoration process. In high school, I couldn’t decide whether to be a graphic designer or art curator. At the time I went with the most lucrative career path as art curator positions were few and far between. The museum snob in me still longs to work for The Smithsonian or The Metropolitan Museum of Art, however. His content is purely a relaxation enjoyment for me!

#7. Christine McConnell

If you’re a horror-nut like me who also likes to DIY as many crafts and projects as possible you’ll enjoy Christine McConnell either on Patreon or YouTube. She’s a baker, crafter, artist, actress, and creator that you may have caught on Netflix’s The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. I love her vintage lifestyle. She’s like your grandmother who loves all things 1950’s and haunted houses!

#8. Bailey Sarian

Another content creator that is specific to those who love true crime and makeup is Bailey Sarian! In just 1 year she sky-rocketed as the top YouTube creator of 2021. Her Murder Mystery and Makeup series is a hit and she recently released a new show called Dark History that chronicles that dark true crime history that we never learned in school.


#9. Christy Gior

For all the mommies out there, Christy Gior is a great YouTube channel to watch! This might be a little “inside baseball” but as someone who is very interested in adopting one day, I can’t get enough of her sweet and honest chronicles of her family’s life as a foster mommy and adopting mom.

#10. Tony Robbins

Now, of course, I can’t make this list and not include Tony Robbins. He has inspired us through his life coaching for decades, but honestly — he is a great content creator for business owners. Any issue that you to become inspired for, he’s your guy!




Why Your Sales Funnel No Longer Works

Wait, what…?

I get kind of a twisted kick watching the reaction of people in the digital business world when I say this. I have always said this. The sales funnel is inappropriate for professional services. My stance always creates quite a stir. Turns out the sales funnel is central to the way most people think about how to acquire new customers.

Now I’m a millennial and if anyone who was alive in the ’90s and early ’00s remembers all the old diet supplement websites we fell for. “Just pay Shipping for Dr. Smith’s Fat Buster Pills!” These terrible-looking websites were the original basis for platforms like Cl*ckFunn3ls™ and other similar funnel platforms that are still being peddled by influencers today who have affiliate links to promote with.

This exact template is still being used by modern coaches and funnel enthusiasts alike.

Aside from these websites just making users fell gross… The idea of a sales funnel is not just useless in the world of professional services, it is a distorted and misleading model. The sales funnel model causes otherwise smart people to do the wrong thing when trying to drive business development.

You know the sales funnel. Everyone does, and that is part of the problem.

At the wide end of the funnel are prospective customers who are believed to be primed to buy your product or service. Leads are filtered. The uninterested are culled. The rest are pre-qualified, pitched, and (hopefully) closed over time.

When selling consulting or professional services, the goal is not to find leads then process them like your digestive tract. The objective is to identify a community and position yourself to serve that community over time.

The Math

Now I’ve said it before I’m bad at math, but even I questions the traditional sales model numbers. When managing sales, traditional sales funnel theory tells us to measure yield from one step to the next:

  • 20 of 100 leads result in an initial meeting (a 20% yield).
  • Half of those meetings lead to an opportunity to make a proposal (a 50% yield).
  • 2 of 10 proposals yield a sale (a 20% yield).
  • So, the overall lead-to-sales yield is 2% (20% × 50% × 20% = 2%).

2%! 2%!? What a waste of time…

And from the consumer’s end, millions of dollars are being gained by attracting them in with a small offer. An offer that any TikTok marketer will tell you only takes the professional a bit of time (ex. Record a video of professional tips) to make. Charge for that video and never work again as all that passive income comes rolling in every time someone pays and automates the already recorded video. And to the consumer, they often are getting sub-par info or info they already knew. By 2021, consumers are onto you AND seeing sales funnely website or offer, feels gross.

But instead of jumping into a sales funnel business model what should you do instead?

Are you selling a product?

  1. Start with quality leads: Know who might buy your product. In addition, have someone who can separate themselves from the business pick the products. (Ex. If you’re a boutique owner who loved the color yellow and you end up only stocking yellow products, you won’t sell much). Gather intelligence. Ideally, interview someone who used to work at a company that you want to emulate. The object here is not complicated. You are trying to amass a list of human beings you might call on who would be in a position to authorize the purchase of your product. Keep a list of those people.
  2. Sell! Sell! Sell!: This is where previous sales experience is essential. Which I know is hard to hear if you’re starting your eCommerce or brick-and-mortar boutique. If you do not have sales experience either find another business to run or hire a salesperson to run it for you. Selling is a conversation. The goal is to get a customer to express a “felt need” for which the salesperson or shop can propose a solution. If you have products that can be bought elsewhere, you won’t make sales that can sustain you full-time.

Are you selling a professional service(s)?

We all know that consulting and professional services are sold differently than products. Expert services are sold on reputation, referral, relationships… not selling features of the service. The purchase of professional services requires a leap of faith beforehand.

Despite this, the temptation is to pretend the purchase of expert advice or services is the same as buying office supplies. We’ve been encouraged to accept that the funnel and step-by-step sales process is appropriate. It’s not, and here’s why:

  • The number of relevant leads is limited in a funnel
  • The duration of relationships between client and professional is often long, which causes issues when you are constantly thinking of the client as a new lead to toss back into a new funnel
  • Each client is special, your measurable client data will change per client and the progression of your relationship with them cannot be reduced to anywhere in the funnel process

The super-salesperson is a myth when it comes to professional services. Now there are tons of people online. You see them in Facebook ads and everywhere else convincing you with great charisma to buy their course. You buy. You start the course. You learn nothing. But that person still sold the hell out of you in the beginning, because he’s a salesperson, not a professional service provider. Focusing on the meeting and the art of the sale suggests that some people have some special way with others that causes the target of their affection to bend to their wills. Make sense!?

Salespeople who are thought to be really good with people often come off as just inauthentic and slimy. Call it the backfire effect. I myself am a terrible salesperson. I always have been. I’m here to provide professional creative services, not sell you something you don’t need or want.

The sales funnel assumes that you first create awareness, then uncover interest and desire, and finally that you manifest action. (This is the “AIDA” model of client engagement to which you were exposed in undergraduate marketing.) But what if you stumble on desire first which causes you to get yourself in front of a prospect (awareness)? You decide to do a pilot (action) that leads you to lift the stone on what turns out to be their real problem (interest).

In short for professionals… Do good work for a client. Stay in touch. Keep a long-term relationship with them. It’s that simple. Don’t toss them into a garbage disposable known as a sales funnel.