This strategy is not ideal for all B2B businesses.
It is for serious B2B service-based business owners who want a consistent pipeline of qualified sales calls booked each week without having to spend a penny on ads.
In fact, it’s the exact strategy I used to help service-based business owner Shannon Costella get more clients than she can handle in less than 60 days (video testimonial below).
If you want to consistently get 4-8 qualified sales calls booked per week for your service based business (web development, web design, finance, engineering, architecture, legal, sales, marketing, writing, translation, etc), generate revenue and scale your business then THIS strategy will do it.
Grab the first outreach message I had David, a web development agency owner send to start getting his first clients below.
Then read on to see how to start getting 4-8 qualified sales calls every week..
The Bullseye Approach:
An Automated B2B Lead Generation Strategy To Get 4-8 Qualified Calls Booked Per Week (Without Ads)
Paid ads, SEO, email marketing… all are important factors to focus on for long term growth. But nothing beats a B2B lead generation system which targets in-market clients actively looking for your service, that delivers consistent calls booked day after day.
Here’s what that looks like:
So, how do we find these in market clients without spending a penny on ads?
Simple. We use the largest online marketplace available where your ideal clients are actively searching for your service…
Now, contrary to popular belief, clients aren’t looking for just a freelancer, they are searching for a solution to solve their business problems.
Whether you’re an agency owner or freelancer, it makes little difference. Actually having a company backed with great results can give a distinct edge over a cheap freelancer in some unknown country.
We’ve closed high ticket deals from $1,500 – $5,000 USD on Upwork for our digital marketing agency using this strategy that we’ve honed over the past few years. Now I’m going to reveal exactly how it works, step-by-step.
The 3-Steps To Using “The Bullseye Approach”
There are three steps to execute “The Bullseye Approach” strategy successfully to get 4-8 calls a week & land deals with in-market clients
Step 1: Define your Ideal Customer Profile.
Step 2: Position Yourself As The Stand Out Option On Upwork.
Step 3: Target Them With Consistent Personalised Proposals.
Below is a breakdown of how every part of the strategy works. But first let me tell you what this has to do with a bullseye.
In the centre of a dartboard lies the bullseye. This small circle is metaphorically speaking the “in-market clients” actively looking for your service.
Everything outside this circle is noise, or even worse “out of market clients” that wouldn’t bat an eyelid at your business.
Now, once you focus on the targeted circle of clients that fit in the bullseye, everything becomes clearer, and when you send your outreach messages to them (aka your sharpened darts), that’s when the magic happens.
Define Your Ideal Customer Profile
We need to clearly define who we want to work with first in order for us to effectively position ourselves and qualify our ideal prospects before we work with them.
The benefit of doing this is we only take on qualified clients whom we want to work with long term, who can afford our services, and avoid those nasty helicopter clients who hover over our shoulder every minute.Trust me. I’ve been there.
Now, how do we define our customer avatar? Well, the easiest way is to use our free customer avatar worksheet below:
We look at 3 key elements of defining a customer avatar below:
|1) Firmographics||Location, Industry type, Annual or Monthly Revenue, Size|
|2) Demographics||Profession, Gender, Age, Income, Family Status|
|3) Psychographics||Their Problems, Pain Points, Goals, Lifestyle, Values|
You don’t have to analyse every detail, but try to identify what impacts or drives customers the most when making a purchasing decision.
For example, here is the customer avatar for my digital marketing agency One Umbrella below:
|Location||UK, US, Canada|
|Industry||Ecommerce, Digital Products, B2B|
|Size||Small & Medium sized businesses|
|Revenue||No minimum but must afford our starting retainer at $2,500 USD|
|Profession||Director or CEO|
Their problems & Goals
Here’s where it gets interesting. To understand your ideal customer’s problems and goals, you need to define them clearly or your positioning will fall apart like a house with sloppy foundations.
By diving deeper and understanding your client you’ll be able to position yourself as the stand out option for them.
The easiest way to do this is to break it down in three simple tasks which we outline in our free customer avatar worksheet:
Task 1 = List out 5x pain points (their goal is typically to solve these)
Task 2 = List out 3x benefits of not having each of those 5 pain points
Task 3 = List out 5x positives of working with you + 5x emotions experienced after working with you
An example of how this looks like for our digital marketing agency One Umbrella below: Task 2 = 3 x Benefits of not having each pain point:
Task 1 = 5 x Pain Points:
|1||Have a business idea but unsure on how to launch|
|2||Have tried running ads and failed previously|
|3||Struggling to compete with bigger brands|
|4||Unsure of what marketing channels to focus on|
|5||Have limited resources to invest|
Task 2 = 3 x Benefits of not having each pain point:
|Pain point 1||Pain point 2||Pain point 3||Pain point 4||Pain point 5|
|1. A strategy and plan to follow||1. Stop losing money||1. Gain security for their brand||1. Avoid wasting money||1. Maximise profit|
|2. Making their idea a reality||2. More time to focus on the business||2. Being a market leader||2. Run efficient advertising||2. Re-invest in the business|
|3. Increased feeling of certainty||3. Reduced stress and workload||3. Reduced anxiety||3. Gain clarity on what works||3. Become financially abundant|
Task 3 = 5x Positives of working with you
|1.||Proven digital marketing formula|
|2.||Receive an end to end service|
|3.||Avoid common mistakes and marketing pitfalls|
|4.||No long term contract - Low barrier to entry|
|5.||Increase in revenue, profits and personal income|
5x Emotions experienced after working with you
|1.||Relief they've found a solution|
|2.||Less worry & stress about their cash flow or marketing|
|3.||Pride that they can support themselves or family|
|4.||Gratitude for our service|
|5.||Confidence & feeling of security in their business|
Now that you’ve defined your customer avatar, we’re going to use this information to help you stand out on Upwork with your headline in step 2 and brainstorming keywords in your niche in step 3 of the bullseye approach.
We also use it to craft your Upwork profile and unique proposal template (covered in our Scale in 60 Days B2B Lead Generation Program.)
Position Yourself As The Stand Out Option On Upwork.
Your First Impression - How To Stand Out From The Crowd Of Freelancers & Agencies
Now assuming you’ve signed up to Upwork, and are approved the next steps would be to fill out your profile.
There are five initial elements to your profile that a potential client sees after you’ve applied for a job they’ve posted and their first impression of you as a potential candidate:
- Profile pic
- Hourly rate
- Earned amount, Job success score & Trust Badges
- A preview of your cover letter (250 characters max)
Getting these five right will intrigue your ideal customer to click and read your full proposal, your main profile and get in contact with you.
Done incorrectly and you will be scrolled past in a blink of an eye.
P.S If your Upwork profile hasn’t been approved, we go over a bulletproof method in our program on how to do this the right way.
1. Profile picture:
Your profile picture is the first impression your ideal customer will get when they scroll through your proposal after they’ve submitted their job post.
Do not underestimate the power of a good profile picture.
Here you want to keep things simple, professional looking and clean. Avoiding using selfies, or images of you with a distracting background.
You want a portrait shot of you, only. Not a cropped pic of you with a group of people.
Below are some examples of what kind of picture to use and what to avoid:
It’s very rare you won’t have a decent headshot of yourself. If you’re struggling to find any, get someone to take a picture of you.
Worst case you can find someone on Fiverr to edit your picture or photoshop any distracting backgrounds etc.
Your headline is right next to your profile picture in Bold so naturally it follows the eye right after the profile image.
Writing a good headline is about positioning yourself as an authority whilst being specific about the service you offer.
Here you can also be a bit creative to grab your ideal customer’s attention. You have up to a 69 character limit to make an impact.
Here are some guidelines I recommend for writing an effective Upwork headline:
- Mention your specific service
- Use authority statements + any credentials
- Use a metaphor related to their need (optional)
Service – Google & Youtube Ads
Authority statement or credentials – Google Certified, 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Metaphor related to their need – Revisit the pain points in your customer avatar worksheet. Let’s say their main need is generating sales = Sell Like Hot Dogs.
Average Headline – “Google & Youtube Ads Professional” = Nothing that stands out, pretty much everyone else on Upwork.
Stand Out Headline – “Expert Google & Youtube Ads That Sell Like Hot Dogs Or Your Money Back” = Intrigue, attention, guarantee, authority.
Use your personality to craft a headline that is congruent with you. Also, mention only one or two services max in your headline.
Upwork now has specialised profiles so you can create three separate profiles/headlines targeted to completely different niches.
Aka don’t spam every service you offer in your headline like below:
3. Hourly rate
Your hourly rate will give your ideal customers a snapshot indication on how much your services cost.
The right hourly rate depends on the type of service and jobs you want to be hired for.
Going too high can put off potential clients, and too low will attract unqualified clients who can’t afford your services.
Now, from the client view for selecting a candidate there are 5 options they can filter from as shown on the right.
From experience, we typically recommend to keep your rate in the range of $29 – $89.
This means you won’t show up as an option for anyone filtering for $10 and below but could experiment and test the $10-30, $30-60 and $60 above range.
4. Earned Amount, JSS, Hours Billed, Best Match & Top Rated Status
The sections of your proposal that your customer will see next are your earned amount, your job success score, and any trust badges you have on Upwork.
These all play into authority and trust to winning new business.
Upwork has four top main filtering options when it comes to a client selecting a potential freelancer or agency shown below:
We’ve already covered the hourly rate, so we’ll move on to Earned Amount.
Upwork has 6 main filtering options when it comes to earned amount:
- Any amount earned
- $1+ earned
- $100+ earned
- $1k + earned
- $10k + earned
- No earnings yet
Typically you’ll receive more invitations, and responses the more you’ve earned through Upwork.
You want to get as quickly as possible to $10k+ on Upwork, as that’s the metric most customers will select when filtering out candidates for their job.
Job Success Score:
Your Job Success Score next to your earned amount indicates how much clients have liked working with you directly on Upwork.
Most potential clients will select 90% (or top rated and above) when filtering candidates, so protect yourself by having a qualification process and clearly defined scope of work before taking on new clients.
Hours billed doesn’t show up on the initial section of your proposal but it is an option when clients use the filter options so we’re including it.
You want to get 100+ hours billed, even if you prefer fixed-price projects because some clients will select this since they want someone experienced on the platform.
It’s not as important as the amount earned on Upwork, which is the first option for filtering.
Upwork uses the amount and types of jobs you’ve done to show you as a “best match” with potential clients.
The best matches are ranked higher on the job proposal section among other freelancers or agencies.
Avoid taking on one-off jobs that you wouldn’t want to do regularly as Upwork will use this to “pair” you with clients who are looking for that job instead of the ones you want more of.
- Top Rated
- Top Rated Plus
- Expert Vetted
Next up is the Upwork badges, you gain them by building a great reputation through successful ratings from multiple clients.
These will in turn give you more trust and status against other freelancers or agencies.
Becoming Top Rated typically gets you around 20-30% more responses and calls booked. So it’s something you should aim for long term.
Top Rated Plus or Expert Vetted are more challenging to achieve but you get the idea, the better credentials you have, the more qualified and easier it is to close new deals.
A Preview of Your Cover Letter (250 characters)
From sending well over 20,000 proposals on Upwork over a 3 year period, having a great personalised cover letter that communicates the right message will give you a distinct advantage even over more experienced freelancers or agencies.
Here’s what that looks like:
Notice how I:
- Grab their attention with a scroll stopping emoji
- Mention their name
- Demonstrate authority on the B2B industry and their product launch
- Write in a conversational tone
- Leave a cliffhanger for them to want to read about the two reasons…
Here’s the reply:
People buy off people. When you can convey a direct emotional impact on a person with your cover letter, you immediately trigger them to connect with you over anyone else.
Once they’ve clicked on your proposal, then they will then see your full cover letter, profile bio, portfolio, work history and any testimonials or certifications.
We go over how to optimise each of these to attract clients, as well as how to target clients who have a budget to invest in your services (after these sections of your profile are optimised) in our 60 day program.
Want to get more clients from your UpWork profile?
In my Scale in 60 Days B2B Lead Generation Program To Get 4-8 Qualified Calls Per Week (Without Ads) we will go over:
We will work together 1-on-1 for 60 days to get your UpWork profile bringing in new client requests consistently, every week.
If you’d like to work with me, apply below.
PS- Here are some screenshots of people who responded to my proposals from my own Upwork profile:
Target In-Market Clients Who Want Your B2B Service Now
Build 5-10 Customised “Boolean Search” Links To Start Finding Qualified Jobs
So we’ve addressed the first impression on what your ideal customer sees when you apply for their job post, but how do we find qualified jobs to apply for on Upwork in the first place? = Boolean Search!
If you don’t know what “Boolean Search” is, that’s fine. It’s quite easy to understand and implement.
Boolean searches simply allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your job results shown on Upwork.
This is one of the secret ingredients that will help you find more qualified jobs and at the same time remove a ton of jobs that aren’t.
We’re going to cover three steps on how to do this properly below.
1. Brainstorm Keywords In Your Industry or Niche
The first step is to brainstorm keywords in your industry or niche that ideally your typical client would be mentioning in their job post.
We will use these keywords to craft customised search links that you will save and use each day to find qualified jobs.
There are two types of keywords you want to brainstorm
- Brainstorm keywords related to your service
- Brainstorm keywords related to your ideal customers pain point
For our agency we specialise in Facebook & Instagram ads so when listing out keywords related to our service we come up with the following:
Facebook, FB, SMM, IG, Instagram, FB, Retargeting, Campaigns
Notice how we include abbreviated terms such as “FB” and “IG”, these may be entered into a job description so we want to include them.
For brainstorming keywords related to our ideal customer pain point we have the following:
ROAS, Leads, Conversions, Scaling.
You can use your customer avatar sheet for this too. The more you have the better as you will create 3-5 search links with different keywords when we’re done.
After you’ve brainstormed that we will move on to using the Boolean search technique to combine these and also filter out unqualified jobs.
2. Brainstorm “negative keywords” NOT related to your service
Negative keywords let you exclude jobs from your search results that are not qualified, helping you improve the quality of jobs found and reducing time spent on search links.
For our agency we specialise in Facebook & Instagram ads so when listing out keywords that we don’t want to appear in our Upwork job search results we come up with the following:
Developer, editor, translator, VA, entry, assistant.
Warning = You don’t want to exclude related services that your ideal customer may mention in their job description.
It wouldn’t make sense for us to exclude the word “graphics” or “design” as there may be a chance they can be entered in a job post relating to Facebook ads.
E.g. a potential client could type in the job description “We want a Facebook ads expert who can manage our campaigns. We already have the ad creative and video graphics ready to go.”
If we use the word “graphics” as a negative keyword then that job will be excluded from our results even though it’s a qualified job for us.
This requires some experimentation to find the right keywords, but below is how we put it all together.
3. How To Combine Keywords & Filter Out Unqualified Jobs
- Take your list of qualified keywords related to your service and customer pain points
- Add an open and closed bracket around your first and last qualified keyword ( )
- Add “OR” after each keyword
- Add “AND NOT” after your qualified keywords
- Repeat step 2 and 3 and add your negative keywords
Here’s what it should look like:
(Facebook OR FB OR SMM OR IG OR Instagram OR FB OR Campaigns OR ROAS OR Conversions OR Scaling) AND NOT (Developer OR editor OR translator OR VA OR entry OR assistant)
Please note: There is a 200 character limit so most likely you won’t get all your qualified and negative keywords in one search link result.
You want to use the above formula to create around 3-5 unique search links that cover all your services.
Once you’re done, the last step is using Upwork’s additional filters to further narrow down the results.
4. Additional Filters & Daily Search Process
"Using Filters To Narrow Down Qualified Jobs"
There are 9 additional filters available on Upwork for you to further refine your search links.
We’ll cover the most important:
- Experience level
- Job Type – Hourly / Fixed Price
- Client location
If you offer a high ticket service e.g. over $1,000 then we’d recommend removing all “Entry Level” experience job postings as they pretty much will be looking for a beginner level candidate and have a very low budget.
We only include Intermediate and Expert. There are over 4800 intermediate postings in the above screenshotted search link and some of them will definitely be open to working with an expert so it’s crucial that we’re not too picky here.
Job Type - Hourly / Fixed Price
As you can see we’ve selected an hourly rate option, but did not add any minimum hourly rate.
The reason for this is there are many job postings that are listed as hourly which have not been given an hourly rate by the client e.g. Below image.
At the moment the Upwork filter will exclude these jobs completely if you put in a minimum hourly rate amount.
Therefore you want to include all hourly jobs but not enter any minimum amount.
Next is the fixed price filter but unlike the hourly rate filter, if a client enters a fixed price, then they have to enter an amount instead of leaving it blank.
This means we can enter a minimum amount and exclude a lot of low paying jobs from our page results. For our agency we set a minimum of $750.
The last filter we’ll cover is client location.
Now with client location filters you have to manually select the countries from which clients will be located.
The last filter we’ll cover is client location.
Now with client location filters you have to manually select the countries from which clients will be located.
For us it’s western countries e.g. United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia. We do include some European countries too.
From experience we avoid third world countries as the quality of job and budget is very poor in most cases.
Creating a Search Link Document
Once you’ve completed your first search link, you want to copy the URL and save it in a google doc.
Then repeat the process above to create 5-10 highly customised search links that you or your assistant will be able to use daily.
Below is the process of going through the job pages, and using a qualified criteria to find qualified jobs.
This is critical as there are going to be many jobs listed but you want to have a clear process for identifying them that you or your assistant can clearly follow.
How To Go Through Search Links
Jobs per page:
The first setting you want to tweak when going through your search links is the “jobs per page”.
Simply scroll to the bottom of the page results and change the “jobs per page” to 50 per page as it will reduce the number of pages you must go through, saving time on each link.
Make sure when you do this to copy/paste each link in your search wizardry document, as it will save this setting for next time.
Creating a qualified criteria:
Next you want to create a criteria so when you hire an assistant there is a simple checklist for each job to identify if it’s qualified or not.
For our agency we have a 3 point checklist:
- Is the client looking to run paid advertising or build a sales funnel?
- Is the hourly rate above a minimum of $20?
- Are they in an industry that we specialise in? (see below)
- eCommerce, B2B & digital product businesses
There is additional criterias which we have that usually come in to play when you click on a job and are able to fully view the description, e.g. below:
- Jobs that are for an employee position.
- Jobs that are only pay per performance.
- Jobs to work for a digital marketing agency (or white-label).
- Jobs that are ONLY to grow followers or likes
- Jobs that state they have a small/low/tight budget.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list you can then start sending outreach messages to qualified prospects and land clients.
Grab the first outreach message I had David (one of my coaching clients) send to start getting his first clients below.
Now You Try It
Every scalable service based business is built on consistent high-quality leads and a winning sales funnel.
But sending one proposal to your ideal customer with a link to book a call, then hoping and praying for sales isn’t a scalable strategy.
Sure it can work. But we found a more SCALABLE solution: The Bullseye Approach.
It’s helped us scale our call bookings for our agency from 1-2 calls a week to 8-10 consistent qualified call bookings of our ideal customer highly interested in working with us.
With this strategy you can scale your service based business to consistently close new deals (without spending a penny on ads, wasting time cold calling businesses or sending spam connection requests on Linked-in).
If you’d like to get my 1:1 coaching help to apply this strategy in your business, where I will help you:
- Get 4-8 consistent qualified call bookings every week
- Get clear on exactly who your best customer avatar is to target
- Craft your UpWork profile and proposal template based on your avatar
Apply below for a consultation and we’ll see if my “Scale In 60 Days B2B Lead Generation Program” is a good fit: