Autopilot Booking System

The Autopilot Booking System

Ken Kelly here … last year my website automated 343 bookings with a value of over $100,000 (USD) in turnover.

sales funnel98 % of these bookings were done on auto pilot. It made my life so stress free. I’m going to share how you can do the same.

This is a process that sifts and sorts potential bookers, filters out the unlikely ones and leaves me with those enthusiastic to commit money … or what is called a funnel. What Julian is showing you with creating Youtube videos, that too is a funnel to collect potential clients. You will be creating many versions of  ‘the funnel’.

In this series I am inviting you to look over my shoulder as I expose the methods of how to set your website to autopilot. 
I will be showing you the inner workings of my own website and sharing what works for me.

The fee for this is $0.00 and better still, you don’t need any special coding skills or to be a computer whizz kid to follow along.

Why do I need a website?

For this system to work you need a website. Not just any old website, you need a website that you can get into and make changes yourself. In this first video I show you how to setup a website from scratch in under 5 minutes.

The internet is the single biggest revolution to business since the industrial revolution.
You don’t have to look far to see the impact that online shopping has had on the high street as we see anchor stores with over 100 years of trade, closing their doors and going bust.
The message is plain and simple, “Get online or go out of business”.

This is scary, we are performing artists not marketing gurus or web designers. A search online for someone to build a website returns thousands of results with confusing claims of Google first page ranks, pay per click campaign, bits, bytes, metadata and a whole pile of words that sound just like magic words that have been made up for a show.

You’re going to need to do some prep work for you to choose a useful domain name. I’ll get to that soon. First, I just want you to see that this is not technically scary, that it is well within your ability.

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I remember taking the plunge and hiring a web designer to build me a site. The site looked ok, it had my picture on it and the text I sent through and even a video of me at a show but it certainly wasn’t bringing in any bookings. When I asked why I wasn’t coming up on Google, the designer said that for yet another fee, he could do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to make my site visible. SEO? Site Visible? I didn’t know I had paid for an invisible website.

I learned the hard (and expensive) way that a website needs to be more than an online glossy brochure. A successful website is a piece of software that guides a booker through a process that leads to you getting booked. I am a magician and I love learning secrets so I set about learning the mysteries of internet marketing and the complexities of website design. What about you? Where do you fit into all of this?

JigsawHowDoYouFit

Understanding how all these pieces of the puzzle fit together is simply going to make you better and faster at this. In these videos I show you behind the scenes of my own website exposing all the tricks that make it work. I will be teaching you all these techniques as we go through the autopilot booking system together, but first, lets take the 30,000 foot view (as Julian would say) and look at the big picture and see how this can work for you.

Part 1 of the sales funnel

  • Where my website traffic comes from
  • How I direct that traffic using a call to action
  • Why I hide my phone number on my website
  • The automated booking form
  • 5 tips that get bookings on autopilot
  • Why I smile when I don’t get booked

Part 2 of your sales funnel

In the second part of the process you looking to get the most relevant information in front of the booker in the shortest possible time. If the booker has the information they needed to make a decision and the package meets their requirements, it is likely that they will take action and book you.

  • What info should you send a potential booker
  • How to make it personal and gain an advantage over your competition
  • Where do you mention your price
  • How get your potential booker to take action and book you

Enquiries go stale quickly.  As soon as the booker has another offer on the table that meets the brief, they are less likely to consider your offer so swiftness is the name of the game.

You can’t man your computer 24-7 waiting for enquires. Thist is where the auto-responder ‘s first email smooths the way for you. It tells the potential booker that you are ‘on the case’ and that your package is worth waiting for. It buys you a little extra time. 
Even with this time buying technique, the clock is still ticking as the potential booker has a buying need, they want to have the chore of finding an entertainer sorted.

efficiency and productivityFocus on giving your client all the information they will need to book you in one shot. Think about questions the client may have and answer them in your package information. Make sure your price is big and bold -don’t be shy and hide your fee in the last sentence – be proud and make it a bold statement.
Give your booker clear directions on what you need them to do to be able to process their booking. You will save your booker the frustration of a string of emails too and fro.

 

The Aweber form fields are editable allowing you to setup the fields you need in your enquiry form. Fields will certainly include date and time but consider what other information is useful to you for you to better serve your client.
I ask for the name of the birthday child in my enquiry form. This allows me to personalise the emails I send.
I have recorded a much higher booking rate from an email that says blah blah Emma’s 7th birthday party, rather than blah blah your child’s birthday party.

aweber form setup

Be sure to add a call to action. It is so easy to forget to tell the booker what we need them to do and sometimes its about stating the obvious. You want to give a clear instruction of what you want your potential booker to do, something like “to make a booking, reply to this email with the following information. Then put the info in.
You will increase your success rate by giving a call to action because when the prospect is reading your package info they are involving themselves on an emotional level. Its almost like they are talking to you and you need to tell them what you want them to do. Don’t be shy, make your call to action load and proud and your potential bookers will reward you by becoming customers.

Part 3 of your sales funnel

  • What to put in a confirmation email
  • Getting your booker to market you
  • What to put in your contract
  • How a an envelope and stamp can make you money
  • How to measure success and what is working

This is where it gets exciting as this is where the potential booker makes the decision to trust you with their entertainment needs. The client or prospect or potential booker is now your booker and they have moved to the next stage in your sales funnel.

The Booking Confirmation Mail

There is strong evidence that shows that buyers are psychologically susceptible to making more buying decisions or following calls to actions once they have made the decision to buy. If you want to see the might of this in action then take a look at the impulse item racks in the checkout lines of supermarkets.

When your booker was a prospect, you were just another option on the table, but, once the buy decision was made you became their entertainer. Your booker has formed a psychological bond with you and you are able to use this in your confirmation process.

Give your booker 3 steps to follow and include one that helps your business grow. The three step process covered in the video helps you by increasing your social media presence, it makes sure you have the correct details for your gig and it leads the booker to unsubscribe from your prospect list and add themselves onto your bookings list. This is so powerful, your booker does all this for you because you set them 3 steps to follow to book you.

The Contract

confirm your bookingBy sending your booker a contract, ok its not really a contract, its a confirmation letter, you can accomplish a variety of goals. Firstly it formalises the relationship which lowers your risk of a cancellation. It gives you opportunity to put your terms and conditions in writing, and as the booker has to sign and return it, they are more likely to read them. Terms and conditions may refer to cancellation fees and conditions you need to be able to deliver your act, by signing the terms your client is agreeing. The contract gives your booker the piece of mind that they are dealing with a professional, I have found bookers find comfort in having what is on offer laid out beforehand.

Get paid for your time!

make the time paySending the contract takes time, paper, ink, a stamp and an envelope so you need to be compensated for your investment of time. The information used in the contract is a simple copy and paste from the information the booker provided on Aweber so this takes less than a minute, printing takes two minutes and addressing an envelope, packing it and placing a stamp taken another 3 to 4 minutes. In the video I cover how you can make a profit on this time investment and how you can provide a better level of service to your booker in doing so.

The last part of the funnel is measuring your success and adjusting the system to maximise the areas that work. using simple spreadsheets and the information provided from Aweber, you can really drill down into your business and see what is working. having the stats on hand is like having your finger on the life pulse of your business, if anything starts to go wrong you will feel the change in pulse and you can take action.

How Aweber Works –
Autopilot in 3 minutes!

I have shown you what Aweber does, now let me walk you through how it works.


Now You Can Multiply Profits AND Automate Your Business



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Start your own magician business plan right now by clicking the hand of actionThere you have it. It is not hard to set up a system like this. You CAN do this. I want you to succeed at this which is why I am telling you to just put the brakes on for a moment.

There is some very important foundation work to be done first. This is not hard and it doesn’t take long and you MUST do it. It’s tough love! You are going to create a business plan.

 

 

Meet the Author

Ken Kelly

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • A few questions:

    1) What is the approximate time frame over which we will be building our whole site and getting the SEO working / tweaked? I know you could truthfully say it’s a never-ending, ongoing process (especially for SEO), but I mean to get the site to the point your current website is at with what you feel is the best way to implement SEO?

    2) Any idea how well Aweber integrates with other site builders? If I want to use AWeber but not Bluehost, will that be an issue?

    3) Does any name I want to keep on a list count as a subscriber for the limits in AWeber? I’m presuming the answer is yes but wanted to check in case I could manage a list and have names on it that weren’t active subscribers. For example, someone who doesn’t book you, but you want to send the reminder to in one year, they would count towards the subscriber limits? Or would I be able to keep them inactive and then activate them in a year?

    Thanks,
    Bart

    • Ken Kelly

      Hi Bart, firstly thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      Now to answer your questions.
      1) SEO is a topic we will loo into in depth. You hit the nail on the head when you say it is an ongoing process. With regard timeline I am not sure to be honest. This is more about the journey than a fixed destination for me but it will be a topic of focus sooner rather than later.

      2) Aweber integrates with any host on any platform.

      3) they remain an active subscriber until deleted. Part of the Autopilot booking system requires a booker to stay on your list for a little under 1 year. With Aweber you may have a number of active subscribers before you start paying more. A regular performing artist should stay in the lower band within a year unless they use the account for other businesses.

      there is a way of turning the subscribers off for a period of time by downloading your list as a csv file and re-uploading it 11 months later however this defeats the object of autopilot.

      I hope that helps answer your questions.

      • Thanks, Ken! I look forward to following along and building my site.

  • Hey Ken,

    I was wondering if the system you created in Aweber would work with another autoresponder like MailChimp or Simplycast?

    • Ken Kelly

      Hi George, I am not too sure. I started with mail chimp but I found it was limiting so I moved to Aweber pretty early on. as this series of posts goes on you will see how the list automation settings start kicking in. the post so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

      • George Patrick

        OK Ken, quick couple of questions then. I know most likely I am getting ahead of myself here, but when your prospect has agreed to hire you are they automatically switched from one autoresponder to another or do they just stay on the same one?

        I like the giveaways you give to the birthday mom or dad and I was thinking along the lines of doing something like that for a preschool. Meaning send them a package of all the types of shows for preschools and then maybe send something like a teachers guide from on or two of the shows. What do you think?

        • Ken Kelly

          Hi George, I cover this in part 2 of the overview. I am aiming to get part 2 live early next week. I look forward to sharing it with you.

          • George Patrick

            I just watched Part 2 and Part 3. It was what I though an excellent system. I was talking yesterday to a friend about this site and he was amazed that the information given here so far was free.

            He also asked me to ask you Ken, where do you get your images from they are clean and crisp? I may have to switch back to aweber, because I don’t know if my autoresponer company does the switching from one list to another automatically.

            Thanks for this great information.

          • Ken Kelly

            Hi George, thanks for your kind comments. I have some good news for your friend and I hope good news for our magician business community. Colette, who does all of the graphics and pictures for my own website and for Magician Business, will be sharing her top tips on website graphics from entertainers. Colette has agreed to a podcast interview and she will be covering the information from her lecture delivered at Trix in the Stix magic convention. The lecture is called “The Money Shot” and Colette shares how you can get your website looking tip top.

  • Great info here Ken! Can you just clarify? Is WordPress a program that helps you create a website that can be uploaded to any host, or is it a program that needs specific hosts?

  • Ken Kelly

    Thanks for the question Steve. I have made this for you which I hope will give you an idea of what WordPress is. http://www.magicianbusiness.com/tech-vault/what-is-wordpress/

  • This website is packed full of powerful information. Thanks for making it.

    Curious, do you have a way of finding out what sorts of subject lines, etc get flagged as spam? I don’t use aweber for my business but always wonder if my mail gets flagged as spam even if it’s not.

    • Julian Mather

      David, Thanks first for your encouraging comments. Ken is the person to answer this. I’ll get him onto it. I wonder the same thing myself.

  • Oliver

    Awesome! I’ve learnt lots, and my website is looking much better now; just a side note, you forgot to change the site password and username so anyone can post, edit or delete that site!

    • Ken Kelly

      Hi Oliver, thanks for the reminder. Good luck with your site, let me know how it goes for you.

  • George Patrick

    Hi Ken, quick question. On your autoresponder settings are you using a double opt-in or single opt-in?

    • Ken Kelly

      George, for the booking process I have found it best to turn double opt in off.

  • Ken,
    Great job! With all that you are sharing I’m looking for a little advice. With my website currently built on a WordPress platform (using a theme) would you suggest starting from scratch or trying to modify the existing site? Thx
    Looking up,
    Keith

    • Ken Kelly

      Hi Kieth, thanks for your kind words, I am so glad the content is useful to you. It’s difficult to answer your question without having the full picture of how your site is performing. I have taken a look at your bidideaballoons.com site and you do have a good structure in place. Are you experiencing any particular issues with your existing site?

      • Ken,
        Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure we have issues but I’m also not sure how it is performing. I know we don’t rank high on Google and I would like to incorporate the Aweber auto responses you talk about here. Thx.

        • Ken Kelly

          Keith, now I understand what you mean. Julian and I will be looking in depth at how to measure what is working on your website and we will also be looking at getting seen locally. With regards Aweber integration, it is as simple as signing up and putting the code on the page. Have a look at the last video on this page, it walks you through the setup process. Aweber will immediately begin measuring the stats on your booking form giving you how many visitors see it and of those how many fill it in. With Aweber you can set it up so that anyone who books will be moved to a separate list and this will give you your closing ratio. Let me know how you get on.

  • I like what I heard

  • Clayton Poland

    Thanks for these videos Ken and Julian! I was poking around on the site this morning and came across this series of video.
    Question for you Ken. You personalize most of your emails to your bookers using the name of their child, age, location, etc. Does Aweber automatically pull these specifics from the contact form they fill out? Or do you manually create the personalized section in your auto responder?
    Does it work well using your smart phone or tablet? If I were away from my pc for an extended period of time, could I quickly and easily generate a personalized response from my smart phone.

    • Clayton, it is a pleasure. Thank you for taking your time to comment.

      Yes, you can use personalised fields within your email and yes Aweber fills this information in for you. You setup the fields you require when you create your enquiry form within Aweber so the client is the one populating the customisation for you. So no, you don’t have to manually add the personalisation yourself hover you do need to setup the response (once) that goes out and you define what personalisation you want to include during that process.

      Does it work well using a smart phone and tablet.

      Yes and no.
      Yes it works and it is easy to do. You can reply in a few short clicks from within your Aweber dashboard. If you have a standard response to everyone then it can go on autopilot however I have found that does not for for me.

      I prefer to add a little personalisation so a reply takes me around 3 to 5 minutes even with most of it being pre-poulated.

      There is a copy and paste element to doing this level of personalisation and I find that cumbersome from my smartphone but easy from my iPad.

      If you are considering using Aweber, email me before you go ahead with buying it and I will gladly give you a more detailed overview so you can make an informed decision of whether it will fit your business.

      • Clayton Poland

        I am considering Aweber. The form on my website was built through the Godaddy form maker. It is a bit tricky to edit. It seems to take several edits to make the change stick. Everything else works great on the site, but the form builder is a bit clunky.
        I’d welcome a talk about this.