SFR 210: Quick Targeting Checklist – Stephen Larsen

SFR 210: Quick Targeting Checklist

Jan 22nd, 2019 anchorwave

If you ever sat down to create a sales message, you’ve probably gone through a process to discover a few vital things about your target audience.

Things you'll want to know about marketing analysis

You’ll want to know:

  • Vehicle-Based False Beliefs
  • Internal False Beliefs
  • External False Beliefs
  • Which Stories to Craft
  • The Source of their Current False Stories

…there’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes in the pursuit of a message that sells.

All of which is great! HOWEVER, (all caps for emphasis) a lot of times marketers skip over one VITAL area along the way, and that is…

Who’s already highly likely to give you money?


If you ignore this question, you’re going to create a customer who:

  1. Takes a lot of convincing to buy
  2. May not be ready to buy
  3. Is high maintenance

Wrong target audience

I’m not saying you’re NOT in the right market, I’m saying, you’re selling the wrong person in that market.


I actually went through this situation at the beginning of this year… During January, February, and March of 2018, I was selling in the wrong zone. I was like, “Crap, I’m selling the wrong customer. I’m selling a more challenging customer.”

It’s not that I’m NOT willing to help those people…

But I’m here to make a change in Steve Larsen’s world before I make a change the world business, and you should be doing the same.

Before you focus on ‘changing the world’ you need to cash out hard and make a lot of money. Capitalist Pig, Baby!

Steven Larsen Capitalist Pig

So now before I even decide to start selling a product, I run through this brief checklist, so I know if it’s even worth pursuing… and that’s what I’m going to share with you today…

BUT FIRST, how’d you like to join me for a mud run?


You may not know, but probably the third funnel I ever built was for a charity 5K warrior mud run.

We had fire pits, mud pits, and crazy obstacles where you put on armor to tackle them. All the money went to the charity for the Fisher House Foundation which helps support bring family members to the bedside of injured service members.

Fisher House Foundation

I was still in college, and it was my first event funnel. The funnel worked and the way we promoted it worked very well. We got on the news several times, and 650 people show up for the event. Then we used the funnel after the event to raffle off some cool items too. I enjoyed it a lot.

It was very validating for me to sit back and be like, “Oh crap. I knew this would work, but man this funnel stuff really works.”

Looking back, it’s funny how long it took me to build a simple two-page event funnel. I remember finding random places on campus with fast, free internet. I think it took me 40 hours to build!


Selling mud run to couch potatoes sales message

I have a question for you:

Q: If I’m selling a mud run, who is the easiest person to sell?

A: Somebody who already does mud runs, right?

If you’re thinking, “Yeah, Stephen, No Duh!” You’re right, it is, “No Duh!” But a lot of the time, people don’t have that approach with the products they sell.

Now let’s flip this a little bit…

Q: Who would be the most challenging person to sell a 5K warrior mud run to?

A: Someone who’s never run a race in their life:

  • They like being clean all the time
  • They don’t own a pair of running shoes
  • They don’t like being outside

Target audience easiest person to sell to

That person is gonna be a hard sell – they don’t even WANT to do a mud run.

Let’s talk cookbooks:

Q: Who would be the best person for me to target if I’m going to sell cookbooks?

Yep, you’ve guessed it…

A: Somebody who already buys cookbooks.

…BUT there’s a lot of marketers out there who create their product, and it’s a freaking 5K warrior mud run, they’re like, “I want to change the world.”

So they focus on selling to somebody who has literally lived their entire life on the couch… Because it means they’re changing the world while they do business.

Trying to change the world with marketing analysis

I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t try to change the world. I want to change the world too. BUT as far as a product goes, that’s a sucky way to do your marketing.

I’m trying to get you to think about how you do your targeting.

There seems to be this theme going on, especially for a lot of new marketers, but even for experienced ones…

  1. They find the vehicle, internal, and external related false beliefs
  2. Craft stories.
  3. Set up all these campaigns and sequences.
  4. Make ads and creative
  5. Create content.

…They make all this cool stuff, but it’s targeted at the person on the couch rather than the person who’s already in motion doing the thing.

I see this often. I wouldn’t bring this up if it wasn’t true.


Probably once every other week, I’ll start looking for NEW books to buy on Amazon. I’m looking for ways to spend money because I need a dopamine hit. I know that’s what I’m doing…

Check out the episode where I talked about emotional buying and D.O.S.E. (it’ll change the way you market ? )

Change your marketing analysis

I’m like, “Huh, I haven’t read those hundreds of books on my shelves… What if I go buy more books? Oh yeah, that makes sense.”

So I spent $200 on more books, and I do that routinely.

Here’s a couple of the latest books that I’m really excited to read,  I don’t know these authors, I’ve not been asked to say this. I just love books… I mean, look at these titles:

Steven Larsen product strategy books

#1: Marketing to Mindstates: the practical guide to applying behavior design research in marketing.

“Oh, baby! Can you imagine the mental ecstasy? Woo! That’s going to be a good one, right?”

#2: Changing Minds: the art and science of changing ours and other people’s minds.

“Wow, that’s some tiny, tiny font, but that’s really cool stuff, I’m excited about it.”

I’m excited to read the book Changing MInds, I’m not dropping on the book at all, but if you’re focusing on changing the minds of your customers, it’s highly likely that you’re skipping over the easy buyers.

It’s NOT gonna be an easy sell.

Target audience for books

If you wanna sell books, then your target audience should be book buyers


I know without a doubt, one of the reasons all my stuff has done so well this year, is because I’m targeting people who are already in motion, doing the things that I’m selling.

I’m NOT trying to convince somebody, “Hey, come do a mud run, I know you’ve never put on running shoes.”

I’m convincing the person who is running: “Hey, you like that run? Why don’t you come over and do this run? Super cool! I’ll give you X, Y, and Z.”

Target audience for running

The length of the bridge to the sale is super tiny!


Let’s talk about hot, warm or cold traffic… Check out Eugene Schwartz, baby…

When you hear people say, “Oh, you’ve got to create a bridge…” You need to remember that NOT all bridges are the same length.

I think of it as an education bridge and the education bridge required for hot traffic is very short. Why? Because they’re already in motion.

Target audience education bridge

The education bridge required for cold traffic is freaking huge.

In fact, there are NOT many products that ever really hit true cold mainstream traffic. It’s usually the hot and the warm traffic that’s sold to… that’s it!

If I’m going to sell anything, I’m looking to sell it to people who are already taking active steps in their life – because it means I don’t have to work on rebuilding dumb false beliefs.

I’m still going to rebuild false beliefs, but it’s way easier to knock down the false belief for HOT or WARM TRAFFIC.

Knocking down false beliefs with your sales message

COLD TRAFFIC; it’s like freaking Fort Knox. It’s super hard for me to break down those kinds of walls. Cold traffic doesn’t even want those walls broken, a lot of them don’t care:

“You mean I didn’t have a problem before, and you’re trying to educate me that a problem exists? Oh, I don’t want MORE problems in my life!”

Sales message for cold traffic

Cold traffic is really challenging.


When I left ClickFunnels, the product I started selling was an MLM product. Why did I choose that?

The reason I chose MLM was that I knew people in that space were already trying to do funnels, but there wasn’t anybody who had stepped up and said: “Hey, here’s where you can come learn about MLM funnels.”

That’s partly what I mean when I say: listen to what the market’s telling you. The market is telling you how it wants to be sold.

Listen to what marketing analysis is telling you

The market said, “Stephen, would you please make cool funnel education in the MLM space.” Well, it didn’t actually say that… but I was looking, and I was like:

“Crap! Y’all are trying to do this stuff. Why don’t I just set something up? Here’s the training. Here’s the pre-built stuff. Here’s the Q&A sessions. Here’s the bam, bam, bam, boom. Done!”

It was a big success out the gate because, metaphorically, I was selling people who were already doing mud runs.

I was selling people who already owned running shoes…

A lot of them were already trying to build MLM funnels – they were just sucky… Does that make sense?

Your target audience is already buying


It’s so much easier to do what I call customer collection.

  • Selling Hot Traffic = Customer Collection
  • Cold Traffic = Customer Creation

I know I’ve talked about this before, but customer creation is really, really challenging. Not many markets ever survive that area.

Customer creation, that’s a different beast.

Customer creation product strategy

Y’all know I’m a ClickFunnels fanatic, and I will be forever… call me minion or whatever…

If you think about what Russell did, that man’s a genius because when he first started ClickFunnels, he sold to hot traffic.

He took ClickFunnels and put it into the website space; he threw rocks at websites. He said, “Hey, websites suck, why don’t you come over here and start doing this funnel game?”.

Q: Now who does that attract?

A: The people who are already likely customers.

ClickFunnels didn’t create customers, it collected customers.

Think about that… and think about how you’re marketing right now.

Your target audience education bridge

When you think about the length of the education bridge you require your customers to cross before they’re able to purchase… make sure you’re not trying to build a MASSIVE educational bridge just for prestige.


I’m super psyched guys, I’m getting to do some really fun consulting soon. I can’t tell you yet because the contract’s still going down, but it’s a cool place that makes a lot of movies that you’d know.

However, I’d make a BIG mistake if I went in and said: “Hey, let’s sell to the people who DON’T watch movies already”.

Product strategy mistakes

That’d be stupid… don’t do that!

When I start building a marketing message…

  • I’m gonna to sell mud runs to the people who already running races.
  • I’m gonna to sell cookbooks to people already buying cookbooks.
  • I’m going to go sell software to people who’ve already bought software.
  • I’m gonna sell movies to people who already watch movies

BECAUSE it means I don’t have to go in and say: “Hey, you should buy this thing.”

Super fast, easy way to sell.

Otherwise, you’ve gotta go through this massive convincing game and the convincing game sucks. I HATE it.

You get into a feature war…

If you feel that you’ve been in a feature war with your customers, you’re selling the wrong person.

I’m not saying you’re NOT in the right market, I’m saying you’re selling the wrong person in the market.

Wrong person product strategy


If you watch the way ClickFunnels, and other successful companies that blow up fast, one of the things they’re really good at is grabbing the super easy hot traffic, (who need a short education bridge), from other markets.

Then when they can feel that the market’s starting to dry up, they DON’T turn to warm traffic, they just go grab the next market… and the next market.

Russell’s like, “Let’s go sell the B2B space. There’s a group inside of that B2B space that would love to build funnels. Now let’s go to the supplement space. Yeah, let’s show them how it works for supplements. Let’s build a few supplement funnels and do a few episodes about it.”

Easy buyers product strategy

BOOM! Easy buyers to pick up.

That’s how a company without any VC funding, any of their own money, or any kind of debt, in general, gathers hundreds of millions of dollars!

They’re NOT getting distracted by trying to create new customers… they didn’t focus on Customer Creation for the first three or four years. It’s only been in the last like six months when ClickFunnels started doing things like the One Funnel Way Challenge, which I help run…


My explicit role in the One Funnel Away Challenge is to help create a customer.

I’m there to groom, I’m there to sift and sort, I’m there to get people out who shouldn’t be in there; the people who are going to be the most challenge customers.

Steven Larsen one funnel away challenge

Sure, they could buy, but they’re NOT dream customers.

Dream Customers:

  • Want the short education bridge.
  • Are fast purchases.
  • Have faster success stories.
  • Don’t fight me along the way.

If I’m going to sell a mud run, I’m NOT going to sell to people who’ve never run ever because they’re going to ask me dumb questions like:

  • Should I warm up?
  • Should I tie my shoes?
  • Should I bring a water bottle?
  • Should I get good sleep the night before?

…You know what I mean?

I’m not making fun of anybody, but you gotta understand…


Sales message questions

If you want to see if you’re selling the right person, look at your support tickets.

Look at the questions coming in after customers buy from you to see if they’re short education bridge style questions?

I’m not going to give you a parameter here, but you’ll start to see, “Oh sweet, I’m getting a lot of good questions there…” or, “Oh man, I’m getting a lot of dumb questions.”

They’re not dumb questions in themselves, but they represent:

I did not create the right marketing. I created the wrong bridge. I’m selling a more challenging customer.

Millions and millions of dollars are created just by soaking up the easy buyers who are already in momentum and want to purchase things that you place in front of them.

Every time I see somebody on Facebook saying, “We just turned on ads for cold traffic.”

Marketing analysis cold traffic

I want to reach through my screen, give them a hug and then slap them. I’m like, “No! why?” Don’t ever create ads to cold traffic, especially out of the gate.

People create brand new products, and the first thing they go do is create cold traffic massive bridge marketing. *Rough* That spells somebody who’s gonna fail and call funnels a scam later on:

Marketing analysis

“I put all this money in, and it didn’t work!”

Yeah, duh! You’re trying to sell a mud run to somebody who’s never got off the couch. They’re NOT gonna do a mud run for fun.

So, to help you avoid making this mistake, I want to walk you through my quick Target Audience Checklist.


I’m part of a cool project that I can’t tell you about yet, but I just spent three days writing an EPIC 25 page project. I’ve got legal pads and paper all over the place, filled with ideas…

One of the things created was a CHECKLIST to help people briefly identify if they’re targeting the right person.

Target audience checklist

So before you even move on to creating a marketing message, finding false beliefs, and telling new stories. All that stuff that we do…

You need to ask the questions:

  • Am I even talking to the right person?
  • Is this the easiest sell?
  • Is this the sale have the smallest education bridge?

You want to be able to say, just, “Oh, hey, there’s a mud run in your area. Here’s the date, and the cool offer that comes with it.” AND Sweet! It’s sold.

Selling with product strategy

Let’s think about this in terms of business-building…

If I’m going to sell a business building education program, business-building events, business-building information products, or coaching, whatever…

#1: I would expect to sell people who already have a business.

Okay, feel me when I’m saying that.

If I’m going to sell something called, “How to build your business” it’d be a drastic mistake for me to sell people who don’t have a business yet.

This can feel counter-intuitive… but it’s true!

If I’m selling business building education, the best purchaser will be somebody who already has a business and who’s just looking improve.

It’s going to be a much larger bridge for someone if they’re building a business for the first time. They’ve got to deal with all the mental crap besides all the strategy stuff.

Target audience mentality

The mental junk that goes down inside someone’s brain the first time they build a business is huge.

I deal with that all the time; thousands of people saying things like:

“Well, I know you said to publish, Stephen, but what if someone reads what I’ve written?”

People have asked that! I’m like, “Isn’t that the point? Yeah, hopefully, they do. Then you can ask them if they liked it?”

There’s a lot of mental stuff that goes down…

So if we’re going to sell business building education and programs, you should sell people who already have a business. *Easy Sale*

#2: I’m going to sell to somebody who’s already been list building.

If they know enough to build lists, we’re talking easy drop in the hat sale.

Product strategy

#3: I’m going to sell to somebody who has a product that’s at a similar price point to mine.

It’s soooo easy that to sell a $15,000 product to a person who also sells something around 15 grand – in their mind, the can easily justify the purchase. They’re like, “Oh man, that’s one sale for me.”

BUT if I target somebody who’s still at a nine to five, they’re like, “15 grand! Holy crap, that’s like two or three months of work.”

You know what I’m saying?

It’s gonna be really hard to get that individual to say, “yes!” So I’m going to target somebody who already has a business, and who sells an expensive product… because they can justify it:

“Oh yeah, you’re right! Hey, that sale we just got let’s just take that cash over to Stephen.”

#4: I’m going to sell to people who already have an internet presence.

Target audience with internet presence

They don’t ask questions like, “But how do I build a social media profile?” They’ve already solved that problem.

The length of the education bridge needed is represented by the number of problems they’ve already solved in order to use your product.

If the bridge is super freaking long, it means they have a lot of problems to solve.

They haven’t walked through a lot of things that are required in order to be successful with your product. They’ve far more problems than the person who’s hot traffic.

I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t help them, but gosh, just freaking sell somebody who’s already:

  • Likely to buy
  • Highly likely to be successful
  • Highly likely to do exactly what you say

When I sell somebody that’s hot traffic versus somebody who’s cold traffic, my business and my personal happiness increase by leap and bounds. Personally and emotionally, I feel better.

#5: If I’m going to sell to people on how to publish, the easiest sale is to somebody who’s already publishing.

Are there as many people? No, but they’re fast sales.

There are still MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to be made before you have to throw in the towel and start selling warm traffic.

I’m super pumped, I just bought…

Nothing is there yet, so you can’t check it out yet, but I’m super stoked because I want to teach you how I created my content publishing machine.


Sales message warning signs

So, to wrap up; think about this…

If you have to defend your product like it’s a dissertation for your Ph.D., it’s highly likely that you’re NOT selling to, or haven’t figured out how to speak to, hot traffic.

Mega Hot Traffic is:

  • Problem-Aware
  • Solution-Aware
  • Educated Already

They just need to see your solution – which makes it really simple to sell to them.

Take a look at who you’re selling to see if you’ve picked hot traffic; the easiest sale with the shortest education bridge?

If you’re not selling anybody yet, when you build your product, (or if you do affiliate marketing), make sure that who you’re targeting is already massively dispositioned to purchase.

This usually means your customer is already purchasing something similar to your product, and they just need something new to buy to scratch the itch.

Then all you have to do is…

Already purchasing product strategy

*Just stand in front of them*

Until Next Time – Keep Crushing It!

Hey, just real quick:

A few months ago Russell asked me to write a chapter for a secret project he was doing. I had to write a chapter for a book, this was the letter I got from him.

He said:

“Hey Stephen, let me ask you a quick question…

You suddenly lose all your money, along with your name and your reputation, and only have your marketing know-how left.

You have bills piled high and people harassing you for money over the phone.

You have a guaranteed roof over your head, a phone line, an internet connection, and a ClickFunnels account for only one month.

You no longer have your big guru name, your following, your JV partners. Other than your vast marketing experience, you’re an unknown newbie…

What would you do from day #1 to day #30 to save yourself?

Russell Brunson

Hey, if you want to see my answer and a bunch of other marketers who also answered that in this amazing book and summit, just go to

One funnel away challenge

You can see the entire summit, you can see the book, you can see what we wrote in there and each of our detailed plans. Just go to

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