Paid traffic is a great way to get exposure for your webinar. However, seven-figure funnel creator and bestselling author Akbar Sheik shows us that you don’t need paid traffic to be successful in online business.He talks about leveraging things that you already have in place as a webinar business card. Your business card can create a ton of revenue by clearly defining to your core audience the benefit that you want, the pain point you’re trying to alleviate, and the offers you’re making.
Akbar recounts clicking on people’s social media profiles and something would say, “Foodie, serial entrepreneur, world traveler,” and it’s useless. It should instead say something like, “We build seven-figure funnels. We’ve done this three times recently,” or, “We scale and get your videos viral.” Discover how you can implement the webinar business card into your business to see tremendous results.
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The Webinar Business Card with Akbar Sheikh
If I told you that there was something called the webinar business card, a funnel on the side, does that pique your curiosity at all? I’ve got off the call with Akbar Sheikh who is a seven-figure funnel creator and has used webinars to make multiple six figures in his own business, in his done for you or funnel consulting business. The cool thing about this is he didn’t spend a penny on paid traffic to promote it.
Paid traffic is a great way to get exposure for your webinar, but what Akbar talked about in this episode was leveraging things that you already have in place. He leverages this as a webinar business card. Akbar comes from a humbling background and it goes to show you that you don’t need paid traffic to be successful in online business. Akbar is such a good inspiration. He’s a great guy and you are going to enjoy this episode of Sold with Webinars. Learn from it. Figure out how to implement what he’s talking about into your business. I guarantee you, you will see tremendous results.
Akbar, welcome to the show. I’m happy to have you on.
Thank you. My privilege. It’s a real honor.
Why don’t you give us a quick background about who you are? Let our audience know who is Akbar? What makes him special? What makes him tick?
A simple guy from Connecticut. I grew up in Connecticut. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My family is into retail and I was groomed to be in retail and take over the retail. Turns out, I hated it, which is a big disappointment to my dad. I hated it so much, it drove me nuts. At that time, it pulverized me as a human being, so much so that I ended up homeless.
It took me a while to recover from the homelessness and find my big why. It took me fifteen years to find something I was passionate about. I did finally find that, this whole world of internet marketing. I love it. I work all the time. I am not interested in the four-hour work week. Here we are now enjoying life, rehabilitated and recovering and recovered and enjoying being on fine podcasts just like this.
I remember we met back at one of our conferences. I’m not sure if you remember this, but we sat down in the 2 Comma Club room over at Funnel Hacking Live. They had a private reception. We sat down and we were in the back room. That was when you got your first 2 Comma Club award. Since then you’ve had other 2 Comma Club funnels. You’re very successful. I know that you’ve got a lot of wealth of knowledge in this topic.
Let’s talk about this side funnel. You’ve got the seven-figure funnels, which is great. You know what you’re doing. You’ve got the marketing background. When we were talking, you’ve got this little side project that’s plugging along. It’s profitable for you. You don’t even put any paid marketing behind it. Tell us a little bit about what this side webinar is.
Easily it could have been a seven-figure funnel, but I didn’t want it to be. It’s an evergreen webinar funnel. It is to sell. I have a little side business of building funnels for people and that’s what it sells. With a simple opt in page which has 80% opt in rate. As soon as you opt in, it goes directly to playing a webinar. You can’t schedule anything. There’s no option, it goes directly playing it, which is probably not recommended. I’m sure you can attest to that.
At the end of that webinar, which I don’t even think pauses and the whole thing has spelling and grammar errors. The call to action is to schedule a call with me and they answer a little questionnaire, which is my filtration system. I call them and then I have about a 50% closing rate at that point. That’s what the funnel looks like. It’s done well. It’s done six figures in the past ninety days. I haven’t spent a dime on marketing. I haven’t sent a single follow-up email for an ugly funnel. Easily it could have been a seven-figure funnel, but that’s not my core business. That wasn’t the strategy there. I’ve been very blessed with it and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.
What’s your offer on the webinar? When you hop on the call with these people, what is it that you’re helping them with?
I’m helping them build a funnel.
Who is your target avatar? Who were you speaking to you in the webinar?
I used to make it crystal clear who this webinar is for. Initially, the business plan was this is for existing businesses who are stuck. 92% of small businesses are stuck at a certain income. They’re making $20,000, $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 or whatever it is and they plateaued, they’re stuck. I wanted to come in there and remaster their funnel, remaster their emails, remaster their funnel, give a little remix.
I have seven ethical principles of persuasion. They don’t have the right testimonies or they don’t have any testimonies, they don’t have the right guarantee, they don’t have the right narrative, their emails are sucky, so many holes. I go in there and I plug in all their holes. I fix everything up. When I first got into internet marketing, I was dealing with newbies a lot and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because a lot of newbies think they know the worldwide web and think they can make a million dollars by clicking a few buttons. I wasn’t interested. I wanted to work with intelligent people who are driven and who follow instructions. A little bit more grounded.
That’s why I specifically painted that avatar because if you’re not working with people that you enjoy, it going to affect your business big time. I very clearly identified my ideal market and exactly what I wanted to work with. That’s what I put on the webinar and said, “This is for this.” Funny enough, a lot of newbies still didn’t care. They still applied to work with me. I work with a lot of them but I make sure that they’re serious people and I make sure that they have a great product or service that will benefit the world. I reject quite a bit of business.
Someone could make a living from all the business I’m rejecting because I only want to deal with products and services that make the world a better place. I’ll give you an example of it. There’s been some weird trend lately. There’s some product that anything that’s on the internet, there’s a little box, it will stream to your TV. You can get HBO for free and it’s legal, apparently. I said, “I have no interest in this.” I have people that are insistent, “Please build us a funnel.” I said, “I have no interest in this. You’re not making the world a better place by having people stream HBO for free. Go find someone else.”
It’s a simple webinar that qualifies your ideal prospects. You mentioned earlier when you were talking about your webinar, who this is for. Even though you clearly defined who this is for, you still get other people that come through. This is clearly for the existing businesses, but you still get newbies that come in. When clients are coming to me and we’re building that slide form or we’re trying to identify their ideal customer, we usually have something similar.
We only want to work with this certain type of person, but they’ll always say, “I don’t want to exclude the other market,” I’m like, “Don’t worry about it. You’re not going to exclude them,” especially if you’re targeting the more affluent. The people who are less affluent, they pitch themselves as this other person. Even though we’re calling this person out, you’re still going to get the wider audience.
They actually are more ready to close.
Those are the easier ones to close because they’re like, “That’s where I want to be. That’s who I picture.”
To cement that a little bit, it turns out the majority of my clients are the newbies.
A simple business card funnel, we’ll call it a business card funnel because it’s the link in your Facebook profile. Is this on your personal profile or is this on your fan page profile?
I don’t have a fan page. I’m creating it now. I just gave someone a tremendous budget to build my brand. People talking about, “I’m not getting enough traffic.” They’re their own worst enemy. When I click on people’s Facebook profile, it’s a joke. What does it say? “Foodie, serial entrepreneur, daddy, world traveler.” Garbage, useless, meaningless. You know what’s on mine?
Mine says, “We build seven figure funnels. We’ve done this three times, website,” and it works like a charm. People are saying, “That’s easy.” Any one of you who has a business has a result. You have to have some result, otherwise go get a result. It’s really easy to get a result because if you’re talented then you’ll get a result. If you can’t get a result then you shouldn’t be in business in the first place.
An example, I have one lady who promotes YouTube videos. One of her videos got 50,000 views. Her profile said the same thing, “Mommy, cupcake lover,” and all those nonsense. Instead it should be, “We scale or we get your videos viral. Lately we’ve gotten one to 50,000, website.” This is your business card and people are wasting this prime free real estate with their nonsense.
It’s created me a ton of revenue by clearly defining to your core audience saying that the benefit that you want, the pain point you’re trying to alleviate, that’s what I offer you, “That’s exactly what I need, click, webinar, phone call, close.” I don’t know why people are not taking advantage of this. I assume they will because I keep talking about it and I guess it will catch on.
It all depends on how much noise we’re making. There’s something that is fascinating that’s happening in the world of digital marketing. This whole concept of funnels has taken the world by storm. I’ve fallen victim to it. A lot of my clients had fallen victim to it. They feel they need this crazy complex funnel. This automation, that’s what’s going to bring seven figures and it’s like, “We have to take the step back.”
I wrote an ad about this, the digital marketing reset button. It’s apparent because our most profitable funnels, they haven’t had anything to do with email sequences, email follow-ups. Everyone wants the perfect email follow up sequence and segmenting. If they didn’t buy, send them this. If they did buy, go here. If they didn’t attend, go here.
People want personal. They don’t want automation. Email open rates, I don’t care what any email marketer tells me. They’re going through the floor, at least in my funnels. They’re dropping consistently. A lot of my emails aren’t even getting delivered, not even going to spam. They don’t even go into the promotions folder.
For whatever reason, they’re not even getting delivered. People have to understand they don’t want to be put through hoops. The hoops that we build with automation, that comes in optimization. That comes when you’ve got your offer completely dialed in. You know exactly who your avatar is and you’re able to send tons of traffic to it.
You build in the automation, but you can get seven figures from your funnel. Your little side business card funnel is a perfect example of it. Your Facebook profile, your LinkedIn profile, optimize that first and then start building your funnels. More people need to do it.
I agree with you completely. That’s a problem from over consumption that people constantly keep listening to all the content out there without implementing it. I’ve seen other people’s successful webinar funnels, simplicity wins. A lot of people have the wrong idea of what funnel hacking is. They’ll go see someone’s webinar and copy it, but that doesn’t work. Everyone has their own fingerprint.
You have to melt your identity, you have to bake that in the webinar because I call out my people. I tell them what I believe in. I tell them what my beliefs align and those people are the ones who come to me. I tell them, “Do not call me. I don’t care how much money you offer me. Do not call if your product or service is not ethical and it’s not aimed to make this world a better place.”
That’s my brand. My brand is about small businesses. It’s about me truly and my heart believes in that small businesses are the backbone of this great country. Entrepreneurs are kind hearted, inherently good people that want to give back. When they succeed they want to get back to their community, to charities and to enrich other people’s lives.
That’s why I like to help them because that’s my way of trying to make the world a better place. If I can help more entrepreneurs make more money, they’re going to start donating and giving back to their communities. That’s the grand ripple effect. I put my personality out there. I put my beliefs, I put my big why out there. When you do that in your webinar, and that’s not in any webinar script, you get all those people coming to you.
The reason why we have stuck to webinars is for that exact same point. It’s to share your message to attract the right people because it’s attraction marketing. People don’t want automation. Your customers don’t want automation, they want to deal with people. Even if they’re sitting across on the other end of the computer screen from you, that’s what’s going to sell.
That’s why webinars are powerful is because you can interact with them on a live webinar. You can ask them questions, you can connect with them, you can tell stories to them, you can listen to their stories. That’s what group selling is. That’s what webinars are. Until people understand that, you need to be more personal with your customers. This whole world of automation is going to be a big letdown for a lot of newbies in particular.
Another thing, I’ve seen people fail at a webinar. They’ve done a webinar, they didn’t make anything, and they never tried one again. I want to say to all those people, there are a lot of people out there like that. It’s counterproductive because the thing is if you fail at a webinar, there’s a reason you failed.
It’s not the system. Webinars work. They work phenomenally well for a tremendous amount of people, it’s not that. You didn’t do something right in the webinar and that’s okay. You need to hire consultants, show them the webinar, see what’s wrong, ask people and tweak something. Maybe you didn’t have your personality in it. Maybe your call to action was too late. Maybe your offer’s not valid.
There are a lot of different things that could go wrong but you’ve got to keep tweaking. You’ve got to test, tweak and scale but you’ve got to keep changing. If you give up, you’re not going to make it. This is a bold statement and correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve never seen anyone fail at this, if they keep testing, tweaking and scaling. I’m not a big tester, by the way. I’m not like, “We’ll test the green. This letter being green and this letter being red,” I’ve never done any of that, but I’ve never seen anyone fail who keeps trying, who keeps tweaking, who keeps implementing and keeps moving forward. You tell me, am I wrong?
No, you’re not wrong. That’s where most people fail is they quit and they give up. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do for those people. I’ve had a couple of coaching clients who give up. They’ll run one webinar and like, “I spent $300 in traffic. X number of people registered, X number of people showed up and nobody bought.” I never promised this was going to be a winner off the get-go. You have to have realistic expectations.
I have great news for all these people because when I was homeless and I cashed in every last chip I had, I had one thing left to my name. One thing left to my name was a beat up 1980 hooptie car. I needed to get into internet marketing and I needed some seed money to get started. I sold that car. That’s $2,000. Now, I have nothing. Literally nothing. I got into this business, thirty days go by and I’m hitting the phones hard daily. I’m getting a lot of calls, not a single sale. This is where 99.9% give up. The good news is, it’s the same thing. I said to myself, “There’s a ton of other people making money doing this. Something must be wrong in my phone calls,” so I tweaked my script.
Instead of blaming the system, I simply blamed myself. I tweaked the script. Second month in, first sale. I’ll never forget $500, then $1,000, then $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $30,000, $50,000, on and on. The good news is, it’s you. The good news is it’s your fault, it’s not the system. You’re doing something wrong and the great news is it’s impossible not to fix it. It’s on you to go in with this mentality, which is the mentality I came into this world with when I cashed all my chips that, “This works and I’m going to stick with it until I make it work.” It’s 100% on you. Success is an option. It’s your choice.
One of the things I want to get your opinion on is as I run my live webinars, my weekly live webinars promoting my webinar course. A lot of questions that I get revolve around, “How do I create a sales message? How do I create a sales webinar without testimonials or proof? Will this work for me if I don’t have any testimonials?”
What is your opinion on that? How would you approach that? How would you answer that? If you were helping a newbie or one of your clients, you’re helping them with a webinar or helping them with any sales funnel without testimonials, what would you suggest?
There are two things, there’s social proof and then there’s authority. Creating authority, sometimes you have to be a little creative. If you lack certain things you have to make up for it. If you’re lacking, for example, a little bit of social proof, you need to be a little vulnerable. You need to show some pictures of your family. You need to show some pictures of you doing your hobbies. You need to get people to relate to you, “This guy’s cool. He likes volleyball. He’s got a nice family. He’s got a nice dog.” Expose yourself a little bit more. That makes up for it in the brand a little bit. “This guy’s a real guy, he does real things.” If you’re a business, it’s not hard to get some success.
Recently I had a little a-ha moment. I was a tweaking or critiquing people’s funnels, people’s copy, right there for free on a Facebook Live. The guy loved it. Right then and there he shot me an awesome video testimony. I didn’t need it, but that’s how easy it is to get a testimony. Let’s say you’re a copy dude, go critique someone’s copy for free and get a testimony right then and there. It’s not hard at all.
Honestly, if you don’t know how to get a testimony immediately, you’re in the wrong business or something because it’s not that hard. That being said, there are other ways to get authority. Getting some press, which is easy to get. We’ve all had some accomplishments in your life, highlight that. It can even be a cute little thing like, “I’m an orange belt in karate.” As matter of fact in my website, it says, “I’m an orange belt in karate.” Show that you’re human, show some accomplishment and if you don’t have any accomplishment, you can get it immediately.
Going back to your business card webinar, let’s break it down. I want to give my audience the crystal-clear image of simplicity. Your steps are simple: opt in, auto play webinar, not even the time. It’s a video that plays on demand following a webinar flow and then call to action which is fill an application and call me, an appointment scheduling exercise.
Talk about the structure of your webinar. How long is it? What are the core things that you talk about? What do you think is the most important part of your webinar that connects with your audience and gets them to schedule?
By the way, if anyone checks out my webinar, I want to say this because people will check out my webinar. It doesn’t pause. I want it to pause, I don’t know how to do it. I never looked into it. It’s a side project. Your webinar should pause. It’s silly that it doesn’t pause. You lose a lot of money, I know I am, but again it’s my side. I haven’t seen the webinar in a while. I filmed it and I haven’t touched it since. I filmed it once, put it on and I haven’t seen it in a long time.
The story I’ll walkthrough is where I was struggling, you had the a-ha moment, you went to success, what was the vehicle that took you from A to B and then you teach them something. I coach people on webinars as well. This is something that people don’t do properly is when they’re teaching something, you’ve got to make their jaw drop. You’ve got to make them, “That’s cool,” because that little connection there, when they associate that jaw dropping with your content, that’s a solid connection. You need that. A couple of powerful things and by the way, it’s not too hard to impress people. Show it to some people and check out their reaction.
Use some statistics and Google it. With my webinar I just Googled some stuff. As matter of fact, all the images are from Google. Use some statistics, here’s a good one, “92% of businesses are stuck. 92% of businesses don’t scale,” that’s a great, hard-hitting statistic. That makes them feel they’re not alone. I specialize in psychology of sales.
You have to align yourself with them that, “It’s not your fault. You were following the wrong system. Come with me and we’re going to do things differently,” because remember, people don’t want improvements, they want something different. They want something unique. The main thing with me is painting my belief pattern and painting why I do what I do and highlighting how I do things differently. I truly believe that a funnel is like a fine dish at a Michelin star restaurant.
I feel that every word, every image has a specific purpose. They all need to be married together to create this harmony, to create this masterpiece, especially with copy. People are pretty bad at copy, generally speaking. If your copy’s bad, it’s like elevator music, forgettable background noise. If your words are of purpose and are concise and powerful, this creates an orchestra that can create a masterpiece.
Take a look at movies. You’ll have movies with a terrible script and a lot of them will flop. We have a phenomenal script, they can become Oscar award-winning, instant classics. What was the difference? It was the script, it was the words. Ask what’s one of the most powerful things in the world? It’s fair to say words. You can accomplish anything with words. Understand this too, a funnel is a piece of art. You need to be an artist to create it, even the most simplistic funnel.
A lot of people are not capable of that, and that’s okay but do what you do best and outsource the rest. If you’re awesome at teaching stuff, then teach stuff from the webinar. If you stink at copy, get a copywriter. Don’t try to do everything because you’re not great at everything. That’s where a lot of people get hung up.
For example, ClickFunnels Facebook group, there are endless questions on there about this little tech stuff. I don’t know any of it. I have a tech guy who handles all this stuff. You’re wasting your time. You’re undervaluing their time. You’re doing this stuff that you can pay someone $10, $20 an hour to do. Your time has got to be worth minimum of $500 to $1,000 an hour. People are over complicating it.
Complication is the reason why most people fail in the world of online business and small business entrepreneurship. I use this example all the time, it’s like, “Why would you push people through many different hoops?” If you’re building this complex funnel before you’ve ever tested the offer, sending traffic, you’ve got a lead magnet, you’ve got an email follow up sequence, you’ve got this and you’ve got that before you ever make them the offer. You’re never going to know if that offer is what they want. You’re pushing them through way too many hoops.
Go direct for the sale and get a yes or no decision as quickly as possible. If it’s no, ask them why it’s no? Don’t be mean about it, just be like, “Cool. Why not?” That is much more important. There are courses out there, people are going to sell you $1,000-course for how to create the best lead magnet. People will go buy that course and be like, “We’ve got the best lead magnet,” but they still don’t have an offer yet. they’re like, “I’m buying another $1,000 course on how to create the perfect funnel,” and they still don’t have an offer yet. They go through all this stuff and it’s six weeks at a time.
You’ve got to be yourself on these webinars too. I had this childhood dream of becoming an international number one bestseller. My book title is 7 Figure Funnels: A slap you in the face with a cold wet fish blueprint on how to build a million dollar online business in 7 ethical steps. My editor begged me, he’s like, “You’re joking? That’s funny.” I’m like, “No. I want that to be the title.”
They’re like, “You can’t do that.” I’m like, “I don’t care. That’s going to be the title. I like it.” It became a number one international bestseller in several countries and the key is just be yourself. That attracts your base marketing, and in my experience has been powerful and profitable that it supersedes and beats out any other templates that you can find out though.
Akbar, we’ve talked about a ton now. We talked about a lot of really important things. Rule number one, we talked about simplicity. Simplicity wins almost every time. I can’t say 100% of the time because I don’t have the data to back it up. I have a lot of data to prove that simplicity will win almost every time.
Your business card funnel, you’re on the side, auto webinar, no pausing, no time scheduling, no email sequence follow-up funnel has produced six figures in the past 90 days with no paid marketing, which is freaking awesome. If you don’t understand what we’re talking about with simplicity and getting it out there, then you’re missing the point of this entire episode.
Being yourself personality also sells and being ethical and staying true to who you are. There’s so much truth behind that and not over complicating funnels, not over complicating your sales process, making the offer and if you’re starting out, getting proof by offering to do something for free for somebody.
You don’t have to build them an entire funnel. You want to go through a full-blown service. Give them something small and tangible for free in exchange for testimonial. That’s how you start to build yourself up as an authority. It’s not even borrowing credibility, it’s real credibility at that point.
On that point, all these gurus that you see, I don’t think guru is a bad word. People make it a bad word for a marketing tactic. All these gurus that you see, they started exactly where you are.
Everyone has to start from somewhere. They never started where they are right now. They had to come from some steps back.
I was homeless. I’m saying that to motivate people honestly, to encourage people and motivate people. I went to listen to Gary Vee speak. He had a whole hour to give a keynote speech. He talked for two minutes, “I don’t have anything to say. This is what you do. Just don’t give up. Anyone have any questions?” and then he took an hour of questions. It is that simple. Just be yourself and just don’t give up.
Where can people connect with you? What’s your profile? What’s your funnel? What’s your website?
We can be friends on Facebook, Akbar Sheikh. For your audience, I’d like to give a gift, Joel. My book is $47 on Amazon. I’ll give it to your audience for free. Go to my website, AkbarSheikh.com/Bestseller and you can get a copy of it for free. I love to connect.
I had a blast. I learned a ton. We’ve shared a ton with our audience. This is super important stuff. Simplicity will win every time, so many times that we want to put so many more steps in there like, “What happens if they do this?” Stop. Give them all the same email sequence, give them all the same offer until people start saying no.
Eventually somebody’s going to start saying, “Yes,” and like, “Why did you say, yes?” I said, “Yes because of this cool thing that you offered.” Keep doing more of that. It’s that simple. If you take action on that, you could have your own business card webinar funnel that does six figures without spending a dime on paid traffic. You’ve got to coin that your business card funnel or your profile funnel.
Akbar, I appreciate your time. Go check out Akbar’s free gift, his bestselling book. I appreciate you for sharing that with our audience for free. Connect with him. Give him some love. Show him some love and thank him for his knowledge and his expertise. Akbar, thanks again.
I appreciate it. Thanks for everything you do. I love your stuff.
I appreciate you. Thanks so much for being here. We hope you enjoyed our episode and we look forward to giving you the next one. You can also follow and watch the behind the scenes look at how I’m personally launching a brand new six and seven-figure product from scratch at SoldWithWebinars.com/TV. If you’d like to come hang out with other fellow experts, join our Facebook group at SoldWithWebinars.com/Experts. Join us next time and I’ll see you there.
- Akbar Sheikh
- 2 Comma Club
- ClickFunnels Facebook group
- 7 Figure Funnels: A slap you in the face with a cold wet fish blueprint on how to build a million dollar online business in 7 ethical steps
- Akbar Sheikh – Facebook
About Akbar Sheikh
Used to be homeless living in my birthplace, San Francisco. I was trained by 7 figure earners, then I taught them how to make more money online. Should have died in the hospital from partying too much, but then God saved me, now I’m clean and living abundantly. Lost 50 lbs, quit smoking, renounced my title as the fast food junkie king of the east. #1 international best selling author Awarded top 30 social entrepreneur 2017 I won a shark tank event in San Francisco where one of the judges was the co-founder of iTunes. Philanthropist Don’t have a problem wearing 2 different socks. Didn’t do much homework in school, but always paid attention to interesting stuff, was a B- student.