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Has this ever happened to you?  You put yourself out there at a networking event,  you feel like you've had dozens of amazing conversations – yet a week later, your net results from that event are exactly zero.  Nobody chose to opt-in your email list and no appointments have been scheduled for follow up. Or, maybe you have had some results, but you know that just getting a few more people into your community would make a big difference in your bottom line. You have a conversion problem at the beginning of your funnel. For more info on conversion, check out my free video training series.

Changes at the beginning of your funnel have the biggest results at the end of the funnel.

Imagine for a minute what a 10% increase at the beginning of your funnel means…  Let's say you go to a networking event and get 22 people instead of 20, to opt-in to your list. You offer free strategy sessions to people who opt-in…11 people take you up on that offer instead of 10.  You convert at 30%  and you end up with 4 new clients instead of three. That extra 10% could be worth thousands of dollars to you over the lifetime of the customer.

Here are three quick solutions to fix a leak in the beginning of your conversion funnel. 

1. Your business cards/marketing collateral don't have an interesting call to action (or a call to action at all).

You can be ahead of 90% of the people out there by including an opt-in opportunity on your business card. Make it easy for people to get on your list.  Another quick trick, if you have a freebie that will help somebody – go ahead and ask them if they want it in your conversation.  Fold over the corner of the card – and jot down what they asked for.  When you get home, process the folded corner cards first.

2.  You don't have an opt-in on your website (or your opt-in isn't working).

The number one goal of your website is NOT to get people to buy. Unless you are selling something physical, the chances of someone just wandering by and purchasing cold turkey, are just about zero.  Your website goal should be to get people to opt-in.  Create a quick checklist or a longer video course (like this one) and feature it on your website.  Also, include calls to action in your blog posts.  Create links to content that your audience will find useful.

3. Have a strategy to turn fans and followers into subscribers. 

Yes, your goal with social media is to build the know, like, and trust factor – but the real goal is to get people to opt-in to your list.  You can engage, build followings, live-tweet till the cows come home – but the end result and true measure of your efforts is email list growth.  You control your list, you do not control social media.  You can grow your list on social media by being helpful and referring people back to your blog and website when answering questions.  Also, don't be afraid to post links to your opt-ins daily on all social media.  Mix in other content – but don't forget that the goal is to grow your list.

Where else is your funnel leaking in the beginning section?  Post your ideas in the comments.