The Project Apollo Accelerator Program
Achieve Moonshot Growth for Your Service-Based Business
Work side-by-side with agency business development expert, Jeff Sauer, and put a plan into action that will allow you to set and achieve your most ambitious business goals
Project Apollo is an intensive, application only program for professional service business owners.
The accelerator program is designed for business owners currently making $4k to $40k per month, who want to increase revenues by 50-100% in the next 12 months.
Build a business development machine in the next 6-months that will pay you back for years to come
Most people say that landing your first client is the hardest part of building a business. But, while getting your first few clients is exhilarating, and a big step for any business...
The jump from having a handful of clients, to building a thriving agency is by far the hardest part of growing your service-based business.
There are a couple of big reasons why generating reliable, consistent revenue growth is so challenging.
For starters, your time is stretched thin. Between working with the clients you have now, managing new employees, and putting out fires, your day is packed. Unfortunately, the first thing that typically gets bumped off the schedule is the most critical - Business development.
Also, growing a service based business from initial success to highly profitable requires a different approach to business development. You can't rely on tactics like customer referrals and word-of-mouth to attract a plentiful supply of big-budget, long-term relationship clients.
Instead, you need to establish your presence as an industry leader whose expertise is seen as crucial to the needs of your target clients.
Figuring out how to focus on business development and position yourself a market leading problems solver may sound out of reach right now.
But it doesn't have to be.
That's why I created Project Apollo Accelerator... To provide you with the hands-on leadership, experience, focus, and accountability it's going to take to get your business to the next level.
If you join us in the Project Apollo Accelerator, together we'll spend the next six months focused on building the lead generation engine that will pay you back for years to come.
Let me show you how.
Setting your business on a trajectory for Moonshot Growth
Just imagine if, by the end of this year, you could:
Think it’s impossible to accomplish all these objectives in just six months while still running the day-to-day operations of your business?
Well, maybe it would be on your own. But you don’t have to go it alone!
Introducing The Project Apollo Accelerator Program for Agencies and Consultants
Project Apollo is an intensive, hands-on, application only program with one mission in mind: helping your business reach your moonshot goal.
This program is designed to help service-based businesses that are making $4K to $40K a month, significantly increase their revenue in the next 12 months.
In this program, you'll meet weekly with five-time Inc. 5000 agency owner and Business Development expert Jeff Sauer.
Together with Jeff and a small group of like-minded business owners, you'll work to achieve predictable, scalable revenue growth.
You'll define your Moonshot Goal for your business.
You'll build your plan-of-action to reach that goal.
And, most important of all, you will become laser-focused on achieving your goal, step-by-step.
The experience, support, and accountability of the Project Apollo Accelerator Program will help you set your business on a trajectory towards your most lofty ambitions.
Together, we'll take the goals that feel out of reach for your business and put them directly in your line of sight.
We'll work to eliminate your distractions and develop solutions that are custom-tailored to your business objectives.
Then we'll provide the support and accountability to help you make your plan a reality.
The Origins of Moonshot Growth
In 1958, the US passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, and NASA was born.
By 1961, a new program was approved by the US Congress with the intention of putting the first person on the moon, which would establish superiority in the space race and strike a victory in the Cold War.
In 1966, the first unmanned mission into space took place. The first successful crewed flight took place in 1968 and the goal of reaching the moon was achieved in 1969 after several iterative missions to get there.
It took a decade to get there, but this moonshot program ended up being successful for the United States, sparking the golden age of space exploration. While the most tangible evidence of the moon landings is 842 lbs of rocks, the legacy of these missions is much longer lasting.
These initial exploration missions paved the way for launches of satellites for communication, entertainment, mapping, and research. Basically, all modern entertainment and logistics were made possible by these initial space missions.
If it weren’t for these first missions into space, we might not have GPS systems, Silicon Valley, or the iPhone.
What did they call these famous moon missions commissioned by the US government?
The Apollo Project.
Building A Business With Your Moonshot In Mind
It’s easy to see the success of the Apollo Missions and assume the moon landing took a year or two to pull off (or if you spend too much time on Youtube, that it was recorded on a soundstage in Hollywood).
But the reality is that it took eight years from approval to moonwalk, nearly a decade to create a giant leap for humankind.
Building a consistently profitable business is no different. It’s easy to see other business owners touting their unique version of success (walking on the moon) and assume that it took them a few years to get there and that things were easy.
Yet, what we don’t see is all the smaller missions leading up to that success, and how the unwavering progress toward that goal took nearly a decade of focus to achieve.
How do I know this?
Because my agency business set a moonshot revenue goal, and then worked hard to achieve it. I’ve been to the moon, and I’ve brought back my own version of rock samples (Five Inc. 5000 awards) as proof the mission was successful.
But it wasn’t an overnight success. Far from it. Here’s what our moonshot growth really looked like:
It took six years to become an overnight success, and then another four years to reach the moon.
Defining Your Moonshot, And Taking Steps To Get There
You’re probably familiar with the concept of survivorship bias. You see it in every business book, where an executive takes 100% of the credit for the success of a business and attributes that success to a handful of key principles that got them there. They are the winners, writing the history books.
Of course, assigning credit to a few tactics is out of touch with reality at best and complete and utter bullshit at worst.
These business books are told from the perspective of survivors who achieved their goals. Yet, they conveniently forget to address the struggles they had along the way.
They have either forgotten what it was like to struggle or they see honesty as a sign of weakness. So they scrub the hard times from the manuscript and summarize years of trial and error into a single “formula” for running a successful business.
If you follow these formulas literally, you will find they contradict each other. Business books aren’t a blueprint for your success, they are a victory lap celebrating someone else’s success.
Sometimes they inspire, but more often they can be depressing. The early challenges you are facing right now in your business are whitewashed from theses books. Yet, your challenges are everywhere you look.
So is an inspirational autobiography from the 1980’s the answer to building a better business?
You don’t need another motto, false measuring stick, or bag of soon-to-be-outdated tactics to reach your Moonshot goal.
To grow from initial success to having the business of your dreams you need focus, accountability, experienced leadership, and unwavering commitment to a clearly defined goal.
The Project Apollo Accelerator Program is an opportunity for you to take action and rapidly advance the growth of your business.
Together, we’ll start with the dream of landing your business on the moon; then we’ll work backward to build the Apollo Program for your business.
How is Project Apollo Different?
Project Apollo is not your standard online training program. We are going to avoid the pitfalls of normal “work-at-your-own-pace” skill-based training, and focus on actions that drive results for your business.
Here’s what you will NOT find inside the Project Apollo Accelerator Program:
And here’s what you WILL get inside the Project Apollo Accelerator Program:
Curious about how we’ll put these plans into action? Let’s take a look at how participating in the Project Apollo Accelerator Program will help you build your rocket-powered business development machine.
Distractions Are Your Enemy, Accountability Is Your Ally
The first step in Project Apollo is to define your moonshot; a one-three-five year goal that will be the driving force for your business.
Sounds easy, right? Sure, if you want to spend the next five years of your life chasing a goal that you spent five minutes thinking through.
But, what your goal really needs is some tough love and vetting - which is the first thing we do inside the Project Apollo Accelerator Program.
As soon as the program kicks off, you’ll use our templates to map out what you want to achieve for your business within the next five years. This includes your target revenue, employee headcount, profitability, and company valuation (i.e. how much someone would pay to buy your business).
I will personally review your targets, provide honest feedback, and (if needed) call you out on your bullshit.
Then, we will put together a plan that is reasonable, achievable, and measurable.
We will define your moon.
Finally, we’ll get to work building your rocket ship.
Commence Project Forcefield
(Leave Distractions Back On Earth)
Distractions are on the “No Fly” list for the Project Apollo Accelerator Program. Leave them behind.
With a moonshot target in mind, you’ll start taking steps to get there.
The first order of business? Removing any distractions from your life and business that will impede upon your goals. In other words, put a forcefield around your business that prevents distractions from coming in.
This includes phasing out any unhealthy client relationships, services, side-projects, and time-suckers from the equation.
I know what you’re thinking: “Great, Jeff wants to take the fun out of my business!”
How much fun is a business that isn’t growing how you would like it to grow?
How much fun is the stress over cash flow and making payroll?
How much fun is the regret that you waited too long to take your business more seriously?
Let me be blunt: If you want to build a healthy, profitable, and valuable business, you’ll need to watch fewer cat videos on YouTube. But that doesn’t mean you can’t watch them at all. In fact, my favorite YouTube escape is Binging with Babish. I never miss an episode.
You can still have fun and grow a multi-million dollar business (and even more fun if you decide to sell the business at some point).
But you must prioritize.
There’s no room for distractions on your Apollo mission.
Building The Rocket Ship For Your Mission
With your foundation in place, the moonshot in your sights, and distractions outside your forcefield, it’s time to get to work building the rocket ship.
The rocket ship you are building is a business development machine that fills your pipeline with the right type of clients.
It will take us six months to get there.
By the end of this program, you will have the components of a fully-functioning business development program that will allow you to effectively close more lucrative deals. Deals that bring in predictable recurring revenue and create an annuity for your business.
You will have a system for generating hundreds of inquiries each month, qualifying only the best leads into prospects, pitching your services to those most likely to buy, and closing better deals with more favorable terms for your business.
We will achieve this through intensive weekly live calls with Jeff Sauer. Each call will introduce a component of your rocket ship and hold you accountable for taking action and achieving your planned results.
We will spend two weeks on each component, with the first week introducing the concept and answering your questions, and week two going through your efforts and suggesting refinements.
You will receive real-time feedback from Jeff and your peers, allowing you to focus on a new component of your rocket ship every two weeks. By the end of the six-month program, your rocket ship will be ready for the journey.
The best part? You’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned each week to your business development process immediately. No need to wait six months if you have a sales call tomorrow. You can ask Jeff for advice on our weekly live calls.
So what will we cover in the program?
First, let’s talk about the format of the program.
Every module in the Project Apollo Accelerator Program includes:
The program consists of twelve sections, each taking two weeks to complete over the course of 6-months.
Part 1: Your Business Identity
Defining Your Moonshot (Weeks 1-2)
Before you can start to put the pieces of your business development pipeline in place, you need to know exactly what you want your business to achieve. Sure, success is never a straight line. But like any major expedition, you at least need a map that will guide your directional heading.
In this module of Project Apollo, you’ll develop your 5-year-plan. You’ll identify how many clients you need to bring in, as well as the revenue and profit margins you need to hit your 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-year income targets. You’ll also map out how many employees, contractors, or support staff, and additional resources you’ll need to achieve your goals.
Then, Jeff, and the Project Apollo team will review your growth plan. We’ll evaluate it, scrutinize it, and make sure your projections make sense.
By the end of this module, you’ll have a model that you can use to guide every significant financial decision you need to make about your business over the next 5-years. This roadmap will show what’s going to bring you closer to your goals. And it will help prevent you from lusting after the shiny objects that will take you further away from your Moonshot target.
What Are Your Service Offerings? (Weeks 3-4)
Defining your “best” service offerings is crucial to achieving your Moonshot goal. The sooner you can hone in your most in-demand and profitable services, the faster you will grow.
But it’s not always obvious which service offering will give your business the best chance to thrive. Sometimes your best services are the ones you currently view as “complementary” goods, or they are the services you only offer because clients “keep asking for them.”
In this module, you’ll put your service offerings through our three-pronged test. Next, you’ll learn how to use your customer data to hone in on your best offers. Finally, you’ll work through a keep, kill, combine exercise to determine which services have the best chance to take you where you want to go.
Your Unique Selling Proposition & Elevator Pitch (Weeks 5-6)
All too often, businesses develop marketing material, paid media, or “dial for dollars” without considering what makes a customer want to buy from them. Maybe you’ve worked for one of these businesses.
Perhaps that describes your business today (Trust me, I’ve been there!).
But selling high ticket items (services) without a great Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is hard! Super hard. On the other hand, when you nail your USP, selling gets a lot easier.
Think about it, if you can answer the question “What do you do?” in a way that makes your prospective customer say “I want that!,” how much easier would selling become? A LOT easier.
In this module, you’ll develop the perfect USP for your services.
Your Target Customer Archetype (Weeks 7-8)
Understanding the industry, company size, location, budget, culture, and pain points of your ideal client companies is vital to targeting the right individual prospects with your marketing efforts.
Identifying details about the individuals within the companies you hope to reach makes targeting even easier. Knowing their job titles, behavioral details, needs, and networks is the icing on the cake.
Once you’ve defined these characteristics, relationship building becomes a more achievable process. You can appeal to your ideal customers through outreach, inbound marketing, and paid advertising.
The exercises in this module will help you identify who to approach, how to talk to them, and how you can stay top-of-mind as they negotiate the decision-making process. All so you can close more deals.
In this module, you’ll identify your Target Customer Archetype , and put together a list of prospects that fit your customer avatar. You’ll also develop a plan of action for establishing relationships with these target customers.
Part 2: Messaging, Marketing, and Amplification
Epic, cornerstone content (Weeks 9-10)
How do you attract more customers to your business at scale? Show them you’ve got the goods!
We do this by creating epic, cornerstone content that positions your business as a trusted authority in your focus area - based on your service offerings and USP. This section is all about showing your customers why you’re the best solution to their problems.
Pulling back the curtain on your epic solutions enables you to separate the do-it-yourself’ers (DIYers) from those who can afford to work with you.
Defining an epic content strategy for your business heightens your industry position, showcases your expertise, and makes your business more attractive to prospective clients.
Share what you do best with the world and you’ll start to fill your inbox with new leads.
But it gets better from there. Use your epic content to land mentions in industry publications, get invitations to speaking gigs, and leverage paid promotion strategies to expand your audience exponentially.
Rocket Engine: Driving Referrals And Organic Demand (Weeks 11-12)
Once you have your epic content developed, it’s time to put yourself out there. But instead of trying to boil the ocean (i.e. spend your time and energy going after everyone and their second-cousin), we will show you how to play “small ball” with your efforts.
The truth is, you can drive all the traffic you want to service offerings but if you are missing the mark with the messaging, it won’t matter. That’s why we recommend playing a few “home games” with your solution before going after the masses.
Preach to the choir by sharing your epic content solution with your existing, receptive audience network. Show them all about the solution you’ve mastered.
Tell everyone. Shout it from the rooftops. Make it your status updates and your profile picture. You’re epic and you know it.
Let the DIY’ers try to replicate your expertise on their own. Let those who are looking for your white gloves solution identify themselves, and make it easy for them to connect with you.
Get feedback on your solution from the marketplace, and use it to make your content more clear, sharpen your value proposition, and gain confidence in your ability to deliver the goods.
Rocket Engine: Advertising Your Niche Service (Weeks 13-14)
What if I told you that at this point you’d be on the path to comfortably saying:
“I know my best solution, I know my target customer, and I have battle-tested USP. I am developing an epic solution that will position me as the leader in my field and it has been vetted by my target customers. Get me in front of the biggest audience possible.”
Would that get you excited about your future prospects?
Well, it’s time to light the match.
You have all the pieces of a winning combination for your business development rocket ship, and you’re ready to ignite the engines.
In this module, you’ll put together a paid advertising plan for your business, set up a campaign to match your target budget, and add tracking pixels to track of your audiences.
Rocket Engine: Partnerships, Outreach, and automation (Weeks 15-16)
Your epic content that you developed ins section 5 that you want to tell everyone about? Well, you have a captive audience who is waiting to get in on that announcement. They just don’t know it yet.
Drawing from your Target Customer Archetype, it’s time to share your epic solution on the only network dedicated to professionals, LinkedIn.
In this module, we will cover the 80/20 of LinkedIn outreach, so you can get your message in front of your specific audience in a few minutes a day.
Prove the model for generating leads. Then discover opportunities to train a staff member or assistant to take over of outreach on your behalf. Be epic, be targeted, and get ready to start fielding sales calls.
Part 3: Sales Process
Capturing Inquiries, Qualifying leads, Appointment setting, and Phone Screening (Weeks 17-18)
You’re ready to pique their interest with your epic solution, but are you prepared to handle the influx of inquiries once you’ve poured
gasoline rocket fuel and lit the match?
Is your website ready to take in leads directly? Who receives them, and what are your expectations for how quickly your business will respond? What is your policy for taking phone calls with prospective customers? How do you know if a lead is qualified? How do you separate the serious prospects from the tire kickers?
Truth is, you need a process and a policy to make sure nothing slips through the cracks with the leads you generate. What questions should you ask them? How do you discover red flags early in the process? When should you pitch your services?
In this module, you'll develop a vetting process for the leads you generate. You'll use our proven Data Driven blueprint to filter out the prospects who aren’t worth time, so you that don't waste your efforts on low value sales calls.
Project discovery and feasibility (Weeks 19-20)
Would you ask someone you just met on the Internet to marry you without getting to know them first? Probably not!
The same goes with prospective clients. You want to get to know them before you propose a legally binding contract for services, right?
You want to spend time discovering if you can move the needle for their business and meet expectations, right?
You want to understand what you’ll be getting into and make sure all the numbers check out, right?
Exactly. That’s why you’ll need to have a discovery process to make sure your project will run smoothly after the contract is signed. We’ll show you which questions to ask, when to ask them, and how to gain trust before the contract is signed.
Pitching and closing deals (Weeks 21-22)
If you’ve done your homework to this point and taken action, pitching your services is more of a formality than a crapshoot. You want to work with the prospect and they want to work with you - don’t screw this up.
Of course, you won’t screw things up if you stick to the script, which you will develop with direction from the Project Apollo team. We’ve seen it all in pitches and we’ve developed a process you can use to close more lucrative deals.
Using our PENCO method, you’ll define the exact steps to Pitch your services, Estimate fees, Negotiate, and send Contracts to your prospects.
Plus, we’ll show how to schedule and structure your follow-up messages when prospective clients go radio silent.
Forecasting Revenue and Resources (Weeks 23-24)
We complete the Project Apollo Accelerator program much the same way we started - projecting the impact of your moonshot goals on your business.
But this time it’s different. We are no longer making an educated guess on performance, we are bringing these numbers back down to earth by focusing on your actual results.
What will your business look like when your business development rocket ship takes you to the moon? We’ll walk you through the changes ahead for your business and how to navigate your upcoming success.
If you’re ready to make an unwavering commitment to your goals, and make business development your top priority for 2019, then it’s time to apply for the Project Apollo Accelerator Program.
But, before you apply I want to make sure you have the right expectations.
There are 50 spots available in our inaugural Project Apollo Accelerator Program beta cohort. All applications to this program will be reviewed by Jeff Sauer and the Project Apollo team. Preference will be given to applicants based on the order they applied and their fit for the program. Every applicant will be contacted directly by our team. No payment is due until after you have been accepted into the program.
Limited to 50 Companies
Your Questions About Project Apollo
Every service business has to make investments in lead generation to grow their revenue and profits.
Many small to medium sized agency owners invest in sales systems, marketing automation training, or paid media programs as ways to spark growth. But without the building blocks of a complete program (like the Project Apollo Accelerator Program), these tactics typically produce a short term revenue spike at best. More often than not, without a targeted plan, bonafide offer, and proven lead qualification process, these tactical moves become money pits and time wasters.
The Project Apollo Accelerator Program is hands-on and action-focused. It's not a one trick pony or a passive education system.
It is a significant time and money investment.
I (Jeff Sauer) have proven out the methodology and structure of Project Apollo to the tune of $70 million in Agency services sold.
If you join the Project Apollo program, we expect your outcomes to be ROI neutral in the short run and highly positive over the long term.
Although we can't guarantee your results, we have designed this program, and the mission objectives you'll complete, to help you achieve significant long-run revenue opportunities that outpace your current growth targets.
You will need to commit 4-8 hours a week to participating in the Project Apollo Accelerator program.
In addition to the program, you will need to dedicate another 20% of your time over the next six month to business development to make your business and your membership in this program successful. You'll work on one critical component of your business development machine every two weeks for six months.
Along the way, you'll have the support of our live workshops, office hours, guided videos, personal feedback and peer business owner network.
When we say that this program is designed ONLY for business owners who believe business development is their #1 business priority for the remainder of 2019, we mean it. Project Apollo has to be your biggest priority.
Not ready for the commitment? You can still apply and we will consider you in future runnings of the program.
Yes. All the workshops will be recorded, and we'll hold regularly scheduled live office hours to help complete your mission objectives. You will also be able to turn to the Project Apollo team for help anytime you need.
Completing your mission objectives is the most critical part of the program and our team will be there to hold you accountable. Each mission objective provides a vital component of driving results and growth for your business. Our entire Data Driven team is invested in helping you stay on track with achieving your objectives.
No. The Project Apollo Accelerator is designed to help any professional service-based business owner who is looking to build long-term, lucrative client relationships. The structure and methodology of the program are derived from Jeff Sauer's success as a digital marketing agency owner and freelance analytics, web development and PPC consultant.
However, the model you'll follow can be applied to most businesses that sell high-dollar value ($500/month or more) service contracts. Also, we review every application before you are accepted to the program and we will bring up any concerns with your business during the review process.
So if you're interested in the program, the best thing to do is apply, and then we'll clarify your specific objectives before you're invited into the program.