The best way to generate highly qualified leads on demand is to recognize that not all leads are created equal.
That's why we use the SSF Method. Something inspired by MJ Demarco’s book “Millionaire Fastlane”. SSF stands for Sidewalk, Slow Lane, Fast Lane.
If you aren't familiar with this method, it’s essentially a way to category the types of leads into these 3 buckets.
Leads in the Sidewalk don’t know yet that they have a problem worth solving. They need
someone to point out the pain in their life and show them that it really is a big deal that they
need to pay attention to. Someone on the Sidewalk isn’t going to give you much time, so
you have to quickly make the pain relevant while still adding value.
Once someone sees that they have a problem worth solving, they arrive in the Slow Lane.
Here, your lead is in “information gathering” mode and wants to know more about the
problem and the process for solving it. Here is where you explain the unique process you
use to solve their problem, all while positioning yourself as an authority. Once your lead
understands their problem, and how it’s solved they move into the Fast Lane.
A Fast Laner is basically ready to buy. These are the people you’re talking to on the phone.
Someone in the Fast Lane is ready to make a purchase to finally fix their problem. All you
need is a system for closing over the phone, handling objections, and collecting payment.
This is the method behind building an effective lead generation system for a high ticket
offer. Now, let’s take that theory and break it down into practical, actionable steps you can
APPLYING THE SSF METHOD TO ONLINE MARKETING
You know what an online marketing funnel is, sure. But when we take the SSF Method and
apply it, we end up with a special kind of funnel that caters to each of your lead’s mindsets.
In each lane, you range from having just content to having a full “funnel” with a Facebook ads, a landing pages, lead magnets, and email sequences.The idea is to generate your leads in the Sidewalk, and pull them through your funnel to the Fast Lane and your product or service.
Some people who join your list may be in the Fast Lane and we can give them the
opportunity to go straight to a phone. Others take more time to convert, so we bring them
through the Slow Lane to the Fast Lane before presenting them with the offer.
BUILDING THE SIDEWALK
The first step is creating Sidewalk content, also known as audience-building content. This
is typically a short video or blog article that talks about the pain points your audience
members are feeling.
Sidewalk content is a non-threatening approach to content marketing that essentially allows
our audience to put their hand up and say, “Yes, this is interesting to me.” The goal is to get
the minimum level of engagement from your audience so you can pixel them on Facebook
in order to send ads to them in the future.
The goal here is to actually get your audience members to realize that they do have problem
that needs some attention. This content should take less than 5 minutes to consume, since
your audience doesn’t know you and you have to earn their attention before asking for their
The overall purpose of your content is to make the pain they feel relevant to them right.
Your audience has a million and one problems in their life at any given moment. The job of
your Sidewalk content is to bring the pain you solve to the top of their mind so they are
compelled to take action on it.
Once you’ve built an audience with your Sidewalk content, you will re-target these leads
with ads for your Slow Lane lead magnet. Sometimes, you may need to send multiple
content pieces to your audience in the Sidewalk to get a maximum awareness of their pain.
You can do this with short video ads, long form Facebook posts, blogs, or even published
pieces in established media outlets.
The whole idea is to offer value first and start building a relationship with your lead. This is
especially important for those of us who sell high ticket offers.
To recap the Sidewalk, your job is to get your lead to pay attention to the problem you solve.
It’s about them, not you, so don’t talk about yourself. Capture their attention, and build
trust. Get their attention and start building your audience. Keep it simple.
PAVING THE SLOW LANE
In the Slow Lane, your job is to explain your unique process for how you solve your
This is meant to be a high level overview. It’s not a detailed, in-the-weeds academic paper on
how to solve every intricacy of the problem they encounter.
In this lane, you offer a lead magnet to your prospect that’s either a longer guide (like this
one) or a 10-15 minute video. It should be process-oriented and educate the lead about
their problem and why your solution works. If you’ve done your job in the Sidewalk, they
should be aware of their problem now and an offer like this should make sense for them. You
can even have an opt-in to your Slow Lane guide within your Sidewalk content.
If you’re sending leads from Facebook to a landing page, it can include elements of social
proof, and have a short description of the lead magnet. Typically, having 3-5 bullet points is
appropriate in the Slow Lane.
Once they’ve opted in, you send a 7 email sequence that is focused on building up your
authority, showing the outcome of the service you offer, demonstrating that your solution is
the best, and offering them the opportunity to get into the Fast Lane.
SPEEDING THROUGH THE FAST LANE
Here, your lead is hyper-engaged. They feel the weight of their problem, they understand
your process for how you solve it, and they believe that you have the authority and expertise
to fix it. They’re ready to have a conversation about what it looks like to work with you.
This is the appointment booking portion of your funnel. You offer them your solution, and
it’s a very simple offer: “Let’s get on the phone to take a look at your situation and see how I
You’ll likely want a simple application form that qualifies applicants based your industry and
their ability to invest in themselves. The application leads to a simple page where the lead
can schedule a quick 10 minute triage call. The idea here is to have a sales assistant get on
a call with a simple script and screen applicants so you’re only getting on the phone with
If they get through the screening call, they book a call with the sales assistant on the phone
for a full strategy call with you.
Then you hop on the phone and close the sale :)
WEEKLY CONTENT STRATEGY
Now, not every lead is going to convert from your Slow Lane into your Fast Lane
immediately. In order to convert those leads, you simply need to create high quality content
on a weekly basis and send it to your email list.
This doesn’t need to take a ton of time. It can be a short text or video blog that contains a
“call to action” to book a call with you.
The idea here is to continue to have a conversation with these prospects
about your topic of expertise in a way that provides value to them. This
helps to build your authority and strengthen the relationship between
It also enables you repeatedly make the offer for them to get on a call with you, in a way
that isn’t spammy, intrusive, or annoying.
Over the next week, month, year or longer, one of two things will happen for the prospects
on your email list: they will either unsubscribe or they will decide to take the next step with
you and book a call!
(Oh and PS - you can maximize the ROI of the time you put towards creating this content
by repurposing it as Sidewalk audience building content as well!)