There’s a zeitgeist of ‘fighting for attention’ in today’s online marketing.  Strategy is the 1st step of my FastTrack for Social Marketing Methodology and without it…well, you’re leaving money on the table.
I’ve come across a lot of different strategies that work beautifully in marketing online for your business and this episode also details why strategy is soooooooo important. 

When I used to work for Price Waterhouse Consulting & Computer Sciences Corporation, multi-billion dollar companies…we would walk in on these multi-million dollar consulting engagements and the #1 KEY to success is having a project plan and a strategy in place.  The return would be MASSIVE when you get this right.

So, whether you’re one person entrepreneur, or this big billion dollar company, one of the things that you start out with, and this is how I always start out my strategy calls with clients are these 3 things”
1. Goals (what are your goals/vision)
2. Current state vs future state
3. Funnel hack – “Who’s got your customers” – find 5 of them and analyze what they are doing that works.

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Maria Gudelis
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Welcome to episode three. I’m so excited today to talk to you about strategy, because it’s one of the key things that you need to have nailed down in order to be successful. The surprising factor is sometimes strategy … your strategy sucks or doesn’t work. So I have … Actually when you listen to this episode, you’re going to see some things that you can do if your strategy sucks right now, okay?

So, listen, this is episode three of the I Am Possible Radio Show, and guess what? I’ve called this podcast episode, or this whole show, I Am Possible, because I love this quote by Audrey Hepburn. “The word impossible stands for I am possible.” What I want you to know is that no matter where you’re at in your business right now, and kind of where your mindset is at, just know that you are great, and that all things are possible, all right?

So, let’s talk about strategy. Now, one of the things that I’m kind of known for is a lot of my blueprinting and strategy calls. You know, when I had a social media certification program, kind of step one of that social media methodology was strategy, right? Some of the strategy calls that I’ve done back in the day, and also now, recently for a ad agency that invests over a million dollars, that’s right, a million dollars in ad spend per month.

You know, I’ve come across a lot of different things that works now in marketing online for your business, and also from a strategic perspective, kind of the background of why strategy is so important. That when I used to work for Price Waterhouse and Deloitte and Touche Consulting, kind of the big five consulting firms and computer sciences corporation, a billion dollar corporation. We would walk in on these multi-million dollar consulting engagements, right? You know, one of the key successful things is having a project plan and a strategy is what you’re going to do.

So, whether you’re one person entrepreneur, or this big billion dollar company, one of the things that you start out with, and this is how I used to always start out my strategy calls with is, first, what are your goals, right? What are you trying to achieve here? What are your goals? I can’t say it better than how Craig Ballantyne says it, he’s a phenomenal person. If you don’t follow Craig, go ahead and follow him, whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, or his podcast, Early to Rise Podcast. He says, “Your values and vision determine your every decision.” Let me repeat that, because it’s so important. “Your values and vision determine your every decision.”

That relates to your business as well, right? So, basically, you know, what are your goals, right? I’m going to work through an example here. Have I ever told you the story about one of my clients, she actually got onto a lot of speaking engagement circuits because of having a one hour strategy call with me, all right? So I’m going to detail how, you know, I had the call with her, and how it was structured, because I believe if I tell things in a story, that you’re going to remember it more.

Okay, so she came to me with very little social media presence online, and yet she had this amazing book, and it was in the health-related field. What she wanted to know is, “Maria, I really …” This is my goal. This is how it was structured in the call with her, is that basically I said, “Well, what’s your goal? Where do you want … you know, if you close your eyes, right now,” and maybe you want to do this right now, maybe you want to get pen and paper out. Don’t do this if you’re driving right now. But, you know, one exercise you could do is start with a blank sheet of paper, and close your eyes, and think deeply, okay, if you could make … wave a magic wand, you know, where do you want your business or your life, like a perfect day six months from now, right?

You know, so for her it was, “Maria, I want to be on the speaker circuit about my book, because I want to help transform many people’s lives with the things that I’ve discovered in weight loss.” Okay? Specifically, because she was also into the kind of spiritual and more yoga kind of thing too, she wanted to target, specifically, the Kripalu Center.

If you don’t know what that … who that is, what that is, Kripalu Center is really big in the yoga field, and it’s in Lenox, Massachusetts, and they have an amazing retreat there where you can go. I used to go with my mom every Mother’s Day, for a three day Mother’s Day retreat there, where you can do yoga all day, you eat amazing food all day, go for wonderful hikes and everything, and it’s in Lenox, Massachusetts. Fabulous place.

So, she wanted … she knew that she’d made it, right? Absolutely made it, that’s why I snapped my fingers. When she’s speaking at the Kripalu Center, invited by them, right? So that was her goal, all right? So, then it’s like, okay, well, what do you need to have happen to get that goal? In her case, she said, “Maria, I need to up my social media following. I need to have a bigger tribe, I need to have more people that are my Facebook fans,” right?

So, what we did then, is okay, this is the second thing that I do in my strategy calls, and this is what I did with her. Okay, well, tell me what your current state is, so I know where you’re at right now, and then we can kind of map that to your future state. Where do you need to be to get that goal, all right? So, her current state right now, we totaled out, because this is kind of going by metrics, right? Now we’re talking key performance metrics. Her current state is that she had very little Facebook fans or followers, all right?

So, and I forget the number right now, but just work with me here. Let’s just say it’s 1000, you know, as a number. Then [inaudible 00:05:32]. Okay, what does the Kripalu Center need to see? I’ve done this in a recent strategy call too, where it wasn’t necessarily about money first, it was more just about exposure and building that audience. So I said, “Please come back to me, go ask your publicist whether … what’s the number of Facebook or Instagram, you know, followers that you need.” She did come back to me and say, “It’s 10,000. That’s the magic number, I need 10,000.” Right?

So then you can work backwards from that metric, right? Because it is going to be $1 per follower? Or is it a list? You know, is it going to be $3 per email to get on your list? So if you need 10,000, yeah, that’s $30,000, right? But, you can break that down over a year timeframe, or maybe you’re going to self-liquidate an offer, and have a funnel where, you know, for every person that becomes … gets on your email list, you’re kind of paying for say that paid traffic, if that’s what you’re using, paid traffic, by, you know, having some kind of offer in place on the thank you page, right?

Maybe it’s an offer for $27 to buy, you know, I’ve seen some that sell social media templates that works really well in that example, or it could be in the weight loss niche, you know, it could very well be a meditation. You know, “Hey, buy this for this meditation.” I’m going off track for a minute, because I’m giving you concrete examples of clients. But let me get back to current state versus future state, KPI.

So, in her case, to get to the Kripalu Center, you know, we identified how many people she had already, and what she needed. Then we also identified does she have a lead mega in place, right? So, if current state, no lead mega in place, okay, future state, oh okay, we better get a two page PDF going here. That’s basically maybe a Cliff Note summary of what you’re teaching in the book, okay?

Then, what we want to do is well, do you have an email autoresponder in place? What’s your technology stack? So we actually go through current state of what your technology stack is, right? When someone does join your email list, you have some sort of automation in place where you’re tagging that prospect, right? Then when they become a customer, are you tagging them that they become a customer, right? Are you segmenting your list as well? So you can kind of do what … I love how Frank Kern calls it, intent-based branding, right?

You can follow up with them with the right message based on what action they’ve taken with you, and where they are in your funnel. But, current state, you know, yes, what technology are you using for your email marketing system? What is your automation sequence? Do you have emails in place? Do you have a 30 day, do you have a 60 day kind of email sequence? I don’t mean you’re going to bombard your people every single day with an email, but is it once a week? Is it twice a week? Is it three times a week? And what are you saying in that to get them to become a customer? To turn them from a cold prospect into a sold customer of yours, as an example, right?

So that’s kind of future state, we need that in place. So, now once you have that current state and future state, then you can kind of go backwards as well. What I like to kind of quote is Russell Brunson’s funnel hack, right? You know, name three … at least three, up to five, other people in your area, that either you think are competition, or that are similar to what you sell, and are successful. Find out what they’re doing and funnel hack them.

You know, and if you don’t know what the word funnel means, it’s basically kind of what is their sales process online? What is their customer journey? How are they successful online? Where does it start? Does it start with a video on Facebook or Instagram, or YouTube, and then go to say, “Sign up for my webinar.” Then from the webinar, is it a call, you know, to sell something? Or is a, you know, just a simple image ad, and it’s going to a, you know, “Sign up to get my checklist, you know, my five fat-burning, you know, foods that will help burn your metabolism faster right now,” et cetera.

So, find out, that’s the best think you could do is … so, you … from the strategy call, you know, your goals, your vision, your current state versus future state, and then who else is doing that? Basically, who’s got your customers, right? Who’s got your customers? Even when I hire an agency to work for my brand to do something, that’s usually one of the first questions they ask me too, it’s like, “Who’s got your customers, Maria? What other brands do you feel you sell something similar? So that we can start targeting, you know, either that person as well in Facebook Ads.”

But also, specifically, you know, what are they doing online that that’s successful? What kind of funnel do they have? Are they doing a book funnel? Are they doing a free PDF giveaway? Are they doing a webinar? From the webinar, a call, an application. What’s working now sometimes is, believe it or not, straight cold traffic, or people who really aren’t in your customer journey further down yet. But if you’ve got a lot of testimonials under your belt already … and all you need is three to really get leverage and go, maybe you want to bring them right to an application page, because I’m telling you right now, this is one of the best tips I can ever tell you, 2019 and beyond.

Because the fight for attention has gone even bigger and bigger, and people are being bombarded with so many advertisements per day, what’s happening now is if you send individuals straight to a phone call with you, and say they’re qualified, you use a qualification process, and you nurture them with the the right testimonials that kind of match kind of where that customer wants to go at, their future state. I’m telling you that there’s individuals, right now, that are starting from kind of scratch, and all of a sudden making 20 grand a month with that type of funnel.

It may not have worked as well 10 years ago, because maybe you need to further nurture individuals in the customer journey, but now I think because it’s almost like a zeitgeist going out there right now, that individuals are kind of too busy, really, to sometimes consume too much content. So, if you kind of just start asking for the sale faster, if that person’s sort of like a red personality, they’re somebody that can make a decision like that, you know, snap of the finger, guess what? They will probably buy from you, and you … what does that mean to you? The more cash flow you have in your business faster, right? You have momentum, more cash momentum in your business faster, then you have more money to reinvest that in your business.

Whether it be investing in your … systemizing your business, standard operating procedures and hiring the right staff, or contractors to do things to free you up to do what your zone of genius is, or whether it’s basically to pump that money back into your business, into amplifying your brand. Whether it be through paid traffic, whether it be by adding other marketing channels, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, as an example, or even direct mail, believe it or not, works really well still too. That gives you so much more power.

So, I went off on a tangent, because I felt I had to, because I see what’s working now in the marketplace so well. If you have a high ticket offer, it works really well, and you could actually structure a whole product launch around that. So, let’s get back to strategy, okay?

So we have strategy, your goals, your current state versus future state, identify your key performance metrics, and that’s going to help you measure success down the road, if you can, you know, manage those key performance metrics. Then, who’s got your customers, kind of funnel hack them, right? Then, I’m going to bring this in. Strategy can be long term and short term, okay? Because when I mentioned the momentum, cash flow momentum, you know, maybe your need for short term cash right away. If you need that, then you need to adjust your strategy, right? To maybe ask for the sale faster, okay?

Now, if long term can definitely be, “Okay, what’s my long term strategy?” Maybe you don’t have that high ticket offer yet ready, but you will in six months, or a year, and it’s okay to do that, right? When I first started, one of my first challenges, I think it was $1. It was called the Ultimate Consulting Challenge. My strategy was $1-$97. Boom, that’s it. All right, I’m going to have a 14 day challenge, $1 only to get in, people thought I was crazy. “You’re only charging $1 for that? You’re going to go 14 days, do a webinar twice a day?”

That’s right too, because I had well over 1000 people in it, and I had to appeal to all timezones. So, I did a webinar twice a day to appeal to the European timezone folks, and then also to North American folks. What I did then, is that constantly throughout that 14 days, I had various $97 packages available. I had a legal contract package, because that made sense. If they’re starting a consulting firm, they’re going to need contracts, right?

So, and sometimes I didn’t know what they needed until they told me, right? Because everyone’s like, “Can I use the same contract you use in your consulting agency, Maria?” I’m like, “Okay, I’ll make a package out of that,” and bam, within two days I had that ready and sold. The other thing was software. If you have software, I was giving away, back in the day I created this app called The Customer Lifetime Value Calculator app, and it was an app they could download on their iPhone. That was developed, I think it was back in 2010. Through that, by giving that away for free, my strategy was more and more people would come into my tribe, know they could trust me, so then when I asked for the $3000, the $10,000 sale, guess what? It would happen, okay?

So, the point I’m trying to make is that be prepared to kind of, with your strategy, that think of it like an airplane, you finally get … you know, you’re in the air, you’re making money, right? No matter what business you’re in, you’re in the air. But sometimes you got to adjust, you know, your altitude where you’re going. Maybe you’re going to all of a sudden, you know, go up even higher, and that would be like, you know, when you’re charging higher ticket prices, whatever. Sometimes you’re going to stay steady, because you’re in the long term strategy here where you just want to constantly, “You know what? For the next six months, I’m just going to do list building brand awareness, and then I’m going to do one huge mega product launch.” All right, that’s just one other example of strategy for you to think about.

So, I’ve thrown a lot of ideas about strategy for you, but I’m going to bring it back to the three points, most importantly. Before I do that, one really quick thing. If you got value out of this, please go ahead over to the iTunes review, leave me a review, I’d love to get a review from you. If you use Instagram, you know, do a little Instagram Story, screenshot of this particular podcast episode that you’re listening to, and just tag me, and I will share that to my Story as well, so you can get some free publicity from that, hey. So, and free publicity is always good, isn’t it?

So, listen, the three things, goals to determine your own strategy, goals, you know, what is your goal? What is your vision? Your values and visions determine your every decision. Your current state versus future state, you know, where are you now? Where do you want to get to? Then funnel hacking, you know, who’s got your customers? You know, find three to five individuals out there, or businesses out there, that are like yours, kind of a competitive analysis. If you really want to get detailed with that, you can do a whole competitive analysis of it.

But basically try that out, and then stick with it, right? Do not pivot right away, stick with it until you’re absolutely certain that that strategy isn’t working or is working. That’s more important to tell you, because one of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of business owners out there make and companies make, is that they might have a phenomenal strategy and they were on the 90th yard line of the football field, and they literally only had 10 more yards to go, and they were going to score and score real big. But then they gave up and started back on the one yard line of the football field with a brand new strategy, brand new webinar, or brand new lead magnet.

Please don’t do that, stick with the one thing for a while, because you know what? Sometimes it takes time, depending on how long your sale cycle is for people to know, like and trust from you, and ultimately buy from you.

So having said that, I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.