Caelan Huntress
Father of 3. Website designer. Digital marketer. Retired superhero. Take my next training at https://caelanhuntress.com/masterclass
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I’m going to tell you about 10 books that changed my life, which is tricky for me, right now. Most of the books that changed my life are not currently in my possession. My library is in storage in the United States, the last 1000 books I could not bear to part with when we moved to New Zealand, so the interesting part of this exercise is — I have to see what really sticks.

In selecting my top 10, I want to scan my eyes lovingly over my bookshelves, to make sure that I can pick the ones that matter the most to me. But without my books here, I have to rely on memory and impact to make my choices — which is, I suppose, a more authentic method of selecting the books that mattered most. …


Let your customers write your headlines for you

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

My sales page wasn’t converting. It was pretty, and had great testimonials. The price testing showed me it was a good offer, solving a difficult problem for a market that had money to pay. All of the ingredients were there. It seemed like a good sales page, but my conversion rate was low.

I got on the phone with a few friends who were in the market for this service, and asked them to be candid with me. “I don’t really get it,” they told me frankly. “I don’t see what’s in it for me.” …


Create a pre-designed proposal template you can customise for every new client

audience chairs
audience chairs
Photo by Berezko on iStock

“Can you send me a proposal by the end of the day?”

When I started my first web design agency in 2010, this question forced me into upgrading my business. I had only made four websites at that time, and a new client wanted a detailed proposal about what I could do with #5. After making three websites (for free, for friends) I created a portfolio as my fourth website ever. With this early website as my only credibility, I started selling.

I thought my new little portfolio would be enough to convince someone to hire me, but it wasn’t. A portfolio may demonstrate what you can do, but it’s not enough information to close a deal. When you sell your services as a freelancer, people want to see a document that lists all the details. …


Fix Your Lead Generation With a Simple Sales Funnel

chess pawns in circles
chess pawns in circles
Photo by Olivier Le Moal on iStock

To make pavlova, a delicate seasonal dessert in New Zealand, you need eight ingredients: eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, white vinegar, cornflour, cream, strawberries, and kiwis. If I gave you a shopping list, you could buy everything that goes into the dish. But you would not know how to make it.

For pavlova, you don’t just need eggs. You need beaten egg whites. The fruit goes on the outside, not the inside, and it is sliced thinly. The time in the oven is critical, and the order of the steps can make or break the dessert. …


Selling feels sleazy when you ask for commitment too early

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Photo by AndreyPopov on iStock

On the same day, I received a party invitation and a sales pitch. One of them made me very uncomfortable, and the other did not.

The sales pitch was on a used car lot. I happened to be walking by, and on a whim, I wandered in to look at some prices. Smelling a potential customer, a salesperson came over and quoted me a price. When I shrugged, he used all sorts of sleazy tactics. This was my only shot at getting a deal like this, he said. …


Sell to the heart before trying to convince the mind

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Photo by haryigit on iStock

On my third day stranded in the airport, I began to make bad decisions.

The kids were hungry — again. The healthy snacks my wife prepared had run out yesterday. The food choices near the gate looked appetising, despite the behaviour problems that we know pre-packaged foods cause in the sensitive stomachs of our children.

Traveling for five days with my wife and three young kids, we were bumped from two consecutive flights. There were still two more days of travel ahead of us until we finally made it to New Zealand. …


Stack Your Offers To Sell In Sequence

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Photo by Brian Jackson on iStock

Have you ever been offered a free sample in a grocery store? Maybe it was a bite of a bagel, or guacamole, or a little sausage on a toothpick. Something small. Something new, and interesting. Something free.

After taking a bite, were you asked to become a shareholder in that company? Were you asked to become a distributor, and turn your garage into a warehouse full of their product? Were you asked to take out your phone and tell your friends and family about it?

Probably not. At most, you were offered the chance to put something new into your shopping cart. This is the power of free samples — they lead to a small purchase, and not a big one. …


Sell Them What They Want, When They Want It

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Photo by BrianAJackson on iStock

The day was hot, and I was exhausted from running five kilometers. The Rugged Maniac obstacle course was filled with mud pits and climbing nets. After 37 minutes on the course, I was thirsty.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was handed a T-shirt, a medal, and a beer token. But what I really wanted was more water, and my bottle was empty.

An enterprising young entrepreneur was nearby, sitting on a cooler full of ice-cold water bottles.

‘Five dollars,’ he said with a grin.


Track Your Activity And Double Your Conversion Ratios

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Photo by SunnyGraph on iStock

Many years ago, I was a car insurance salesman, and I was very unenthusiastic about what I was selling. I don’t like cars very much. They just get me from place to place.

Lots of my customers thought about their car insurance the same way. They don’t really like insurance, they just know they need to have it. Setting up or changing car insurance is treated as an irritating chore.

How can you sell something that you don’t care about, to people who don’t care about it? …


Plan a publishing schedule that matches your goals

calendar on ipad
calendar on ipad
Photo by Rawpixel on iStock

When the Huffington Post was first starting out, they posted an average of one post on their blog every 58 seconds. James Clear, one of the most popular bloggers on the internet, published twice a week on his blog for many years. Now he’s down to once a week.

Your answer is probably somewhere in between.

Do you know your content marketing goals?

Publishing content has a purpose. If you don’t know that purpose, it’s going to be difficult to find the right cadence for your publishing. Typical goals for content marketing include:

  1. Publishing content to build brand awareness
  2. Publishing content to generate new leads
  3. Publishing content to nurture your relationship with your…

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