You’ve heard of the Dream 100 strategy.
But maybe you’re not exactly sure what it is — or maybe you know what it is and you’re just looking for a breakdown of how to actually execute it in your business.
Look no further.
In this guide, we’re going to explain what the Dream 100 is. Then we’ll show you various ways you can apply it to your business.
And finally, we’ll give you 6 in-detail steps to execute it.
What is the Dream 100?
In online marketing, the Dream 100 is a process for finding and infiltrating the online congregations of a specific target market.
It was created by Chet Holmes and popularized by Russell Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels, in his Secrets Trilogy…
- DotCom Secrets
- Expert Secrets
- Traffic Secrets
You can think of the Dream 100 as the top 100 places where you want to get in front of your dream customers online — those could be podcasts, blogs, newsletters, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, specific influencers, forums, subreddits, or pretty much anything else.
Once you’ve identified your Dream 100, the rest of the process involves infiltrating those communities to get your offer in front of your target market, drive people to your sales funnel, and grow your email list.
There are a lot of different applications of the Dream 100 — and we’ll discuss those in detail here shortly.
As an example of how powerful the Dream 100 can be for your business, check out the video below…
Applying the Dream 100 to Your Business
You should now have a basic idea of what the Dream 100 is.
Shortly, we’re going to walk through 6 detailed steps to making it happen.
But you might be wondering how you’re supposed to apply the Dream 100 process to your marketing efforts — what exactly can it help you with?
Here’s a list!
Want to increase brand awareness by getting published on top media outlets? Create a list of the top 100 writers/editors on those outlets and go through the Dream 100 process with them. For the publications where that doesn’t work, you might still be able to run ads or buy your way in through sponsorships.
This is one of the best uses of the Dream 100 (as you can see in the video above where Russell befriended Tony Robbins). Make a list of the top influencers that your target market follows and try to connect with them organically. For influencers who you can’t connect with organically, you can probably still pay them to promote your products or services to their followers.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is something that I specialize in as a freelancer. And you can easily apply the Dream 100 method to SEO. Identify the top 100 keyword phrases that your target market is already searching for in Google and make it your mission to rank on the first page for those keywords — you can do that by writing optimized content on your blog or by paying to rank via Google ads.
Social media is one of the best places to apply the Dream 100 strategy. You can find influencers, groups, or forums where your target market congregates. Then you can either work your way in with organic engagement or buy your way in with ads.
What if influencers in your market were selling your products or services for you? Better yet, what if you only had to pay those people when they made a sale? That’s how influencer marketing works and the Dream 100 is a wonderful strategy for finding and building relationships with potential affiliates.
Getting mentioned in podcasts or newsletters is a great way to build brand awareness. And the Dream 100 is how you make it happen systematically. Make a list of the top 100 podcasts or newsletters that you want to get promoted in and start gunning for them. Start by trying to get mentioned organically and pay for sponsorship if that doesn’t work out.
Want to guest post for other publications in your market to promote your products and services? Make a list of the top 100 publications you want to write for and then start sending pitches. If that doesn’t work, there’s usually a pay-to-play option as well.
Step 1. Identify Your Dream Customer
As we’ve discussed, the Dream 100 process consists of finding the places where your dream customers congregate and then infiltrating those places with your message/offer.
But you can’t do that if you don’t know who your dream customers are.
So that's the first step.
Identify your dream customer.
In fact, you should know your dream customer so well that it materializes as an individual person — you might even consider giving her a name and finding a picture to represent her.
Consider the following story that Russell tells in his bestselling book, Traffic Secrets — it does a great job of illustrating just how important having a customer avatar is…
- “I don’t know if Alexis will like this,” said an executive at Sally Beauty Supply.
- Confused, my friend Perry Belcher asked, “What?” He set down his new scented hand sanitizer that he had brought in to pitch at the meeting.
- He picked up his new UV nail polish and handed it to the group. “Okay, well, how about this product?” he asked.
- They looked at it, opened it up, and smelled it. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Alexis won’t like this either,” they replied.
- More confused than ever, and now a little frustrated, Perry brought out his third and final product to pitch to them.
- In a similar fashion, they looked at the product, gave it a quick once-over, and then said, “Sorry, Alexis definitely wouldn’t be interested in this one either.”
- More frustrated, Perry looked at the two execs he was talking to and finally blurted “Who is Alexis?! Is she the decision maker? Why isn’t she in this meeting instead of you two? Is she here? Can I just talk directly to her? I know that I can convince her that your company needs to sell these products!”
- There was a moment of silence, and then both execs burst out in laughter.
- “Alexis isn’t a person. She’s our customer avatar!” one replied.
So how do you identify your dream customer?
We’ve got to work backward.
It starts with the three core markets: health, wealth, and relationships…
Your business falls into one of those categories — which is it?
Once you’ve identified the market that your business operates within, then it’s time to identify your submarket.
Here are some examples…
- Health —> Weight Loss, Strength Training, Nutrition
- Wealth —> Investing, Real Estate, Finance
- Relationships —> Dating Advice, Marriage Advice, Love
There are a near-infinite number of submarkets — this will really depend on your business and the products you sell.
Next, it’s time to identify your niche. Go one layer deeper. For example…
- Health —> Weight Loss —> Personalized Meal Planning
- Wealth —> Finance —> Paying Off Debt
- Relationships —> Love —> Going Through Divorce
Going through this process will help you differentiate your business from other businesses and carve out your spot in the marketplace.
And it’ll make identifying your dream customer 100 times easier.
The most important thing you now need to identify is what pain you helping your dream customers get out of and what pleasure you are helping them access.
Let’s take this as an example…
- Health —> Weight Loss —> Personalized Meal Planning
If my business offers personalized meal planning, then the pain I’m helping my customers escape is the hours and hours it takes to plan healthy meals and create grocery lists every week.
The pleasure I’m helping drive them toward is the simplicity of healthy meal plans and grocery lists delivered every single week for a very reasonable cost.
That tells me a lot about my dream customer.
Try it for yourself…
- What pain are you helping your dream customer escape?
- What pleasure are you helping your dream customer achieve?
That’ll take you 90% of the way.
Once you’re finished, try to answer some of these questions as well…
- What is their biggest fear?
- What is their biggest desire?
- What do they love more than anything?
- How much money do they make?
- What are their primary points of frustration?
Answer those questions and you’ll have a crystal clear idea of who your business serves. Then it’s time for Step 2.
Step 2. Build a Sales Funnel
You know who your dream customers are.
And soon, you’ll start identifying the online areas where they like to hang out. Then you’ll infiltrate those congregations and promote your offers.
But you can’t do any of that before you have a compelling sales funnel.
It’s just a series of pages that are built to convert your dream customers into leads and sales — one page at a time, a sales funnel will drive the right people toward taking the action that you want them to take.
It’s not like a website (which behaves more like a brick wall than a door)…
It’s a systematic process by which you can convert visitors into leads and leads into customers.
The sales funnel you need to build for our purposes here is one that generates leads — that means your sales funnel should offer something that your dream customer really wants for free or for a very low price.
That’s exactly what we do, for instance, with our 5-Day Lead Challenge…
So… why do you need a lead-gen sales funnel?
Think about it.
If you’re driving tons of awesome and motivated traffic from your target market, the number one thing you want to do is grab their email address… so that they become traffic that you control.
You see, there are three different types of traffic — and the third type is the most important.
- Traffic You Earn — This is traffic that you earn through public relations, organic relationships, and the “work your way in” part of the Dream 100 process. But you only have it so long as other people keep promoting your stuff.
- Traffic You Control — This is traffic that you pay for. You can control it a bit, where it comes from and where it goes. But you only have control as long as you keep paying.
- Traffic You Own — The goal of all other types of traffic is to turn it into traffic that you own. Quite simply, this is your email list, the people you can contact whenever you want with whatever offers you want. You own this traffic and can utilize it in whatever way you deem appropriate or necessary.
In terms of the Dream 100, here’s what this process looks like…
You pull people from the Dream 100 process to your lead-gen sales funnel and then those people become traffic that you own.
That’s why you need a compelling sales funnel.
And to learn how to create one, we highly recommend taking our One Funnel Away Challenge — it only costs $100 and we’ll walk with you step-by-step to help you create a high-converting funnel.
Step 3. Find Where Your Dream Customers Congregate
So you’ve identified your dream customer and you’ve built a compelling sales funnel that will turn traffic into leads like clockwork.
The next step is where the Dream 100 really comes to life — it’s also where it gets its name.
Create a new spreadsheet and make a list of the top 100 (the “dream 100”) places where you want to get your sales funnel in front of your dream customers.
There are different ways to create this list based on your specific marketing goals (as we talked about in the section about various applications of the Dream 100).
But here’s a good starting place…
- 10 websites and forums
- 15 active Facebook groups
- 50 influencers on Facebook & Instagram
- 30 podcasts
- 40 email newsletters
- 20 blogs
- 20 YouTube Channels
Keep in mind: these should all be relevant and specific to your dream customers.
That is, the websites, forums, podcasts, newsletters, etc. that you identify should be the places where your dream customers love to hang out already.
What you are going to do next is simple.
You’re going to inject your message and offer into those communities by either working your way in or buying your way in.
But before we get into that, here’s a question that people often ask…
How prestigious should these blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and influencers be?
The answer depends on where you’re at in your business. If you’re just getting started then you might choose some lower-hanging fruit. Or if you have a more established business, then you might be willing to shoot for the moon.
But one thing’s for sure: your list should make you excited about the possibilities.
You should be able to know for a fact that if you get attention from the places on your list… your business is going to grow beyond your imagination.
That’s why it’s called the “Dream” 100 — you’ve got to do a bit of dreaming. 😉
Once you have, it’s time to start “working your way in” to those communities.
Step 4. Work Your Way In
Let’s get into the fun part of the process.
You’ve made a list of 100 or more places where your dream customers are already hanging out online.
Now we’re going to infiltrate those congregations with your message, brand, and offer.
There are two ways to do that. You can either…
- Work Your Way In — This is all about building authentic relationships with key decision-makers and turning those people into fans of your products or services so that they’ll promote them to their audience.
- Buy Your Way In — This is all about paying to get publicity. That includes ads, sponsorships, and paid influencer marketing.
Where possible, we recommend starting by trying to work your way in — it’s cheaper and it has a much bigger long-term impact on your business.
(Because people don’t just stop being fans. They stay fans… and they keep telling people about your business for years to come)
How do you turn your Dream 100 into die-hard fans for your products or services?
Here’s the process!
Days 1-14: Find, Follow, & Engage With The Right Person
The first step is to identify the person who you should be trying to connect. For a list of influencers, that’s easy… you just want to connect with the influencer.
But what about the other categories?
Here’s a quick reference guide for who you should be trying to connect with based on the platform.
- Forums → No one in particular. Forums are just a place where you should start engaging regularly to build rapport and drive periodic traffic to your funnel.
- Facebook Groups → The admin or owner of the Facebook group.
- Influencers → The influencer themselves or, if they’re big enough, their agent.
- Podcasts → The podcast host or, if they’re big enough, their manager.
- Newsletters → The editor-in-chief of the newsletter is a good place to start.
- Blogs → The writers of the blog or the editor-in-chief.
- YouTube Channels → The creators of the Channel.
Once you’ve found the right person for each of your Dream 100, write down their name, email address, and social media links.
(Hunter is a great free tool for finding email addresses)
Subscribe to all of their stuff and follow them on every channel.
During the time you’d normally spend scrolling social media, instead use that time to engage with your Dream 100. Like their posts, comment on their videos, and share their most interesting content.
But be authentic.
Stay true to yourself and your business.
Your goal for the first 14 days is to start organically connecting with these people so that they see your face a bit and recognize you as a fan of theirs.
Days 15-30: Contacting The Dream 100 (No Pitches Allowed)
By this point, your Dream 100 will be a bit familiar with you. You’re not a stranger anymore… you’re a fan.
That makes you more approachable.
And so this is the part where you contact your Dream 100 directly via email or direct message (ideally on their primary platform) and try to open up a dialogue.
You’re not trying to pitch them anything at this point.
You’re literally just trying to get a conversation started, build rapport, and start an authentic friendship. Here are some ideas for conversation starters…
- Ask a clarifying question about something that they posted.
- Tell them a SHORT story about how their content/products have personally impacted you. Thank them.
- Present yourself as a newbie and ask for permission to ask them for tips about something relevant you’ve been struggling with.
Follow the conversation wherever it goes.
And try to do this a few times over the next couple of weeks.
You’ll find some of your Dream 100 who you vibe with better than others — that’s okay, that’s an important part of the process.
Keep momentum with the budding relationships and allow the incongruous ones to fizzle out.
For some additional tips, here are some red flags to watch out for and some green lights to try and foster during this part of the process.
These are taken straight from Russell’s bestselling book, Traffic Secrets.
Don’t send a templated message. So many times I see copy/paste emails that have been sent to 500 other influencers that day, and these messages don’t get a response. Write each person a personal message or don’t send anything at all.
Don’t tell me your story yet. There will be a day and time that your Dream 100 will care about your story, but it’s not with the first message. You telling them your story is them serving you, and you have not built up the reciprocity yet. Serve first, or they will never have a chance to serve you later.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen your face.
Most of your Dream 100 spend time publishing things they believe in, and if you don’t think they read the comments on the things they publish, you’re wrong. Make sure that they’ve seen your face actively participating in meaningful ways in the discussions they create, so when they see you pop in their inbox or as a direct message, they recognize you. During this phase, you are selling yourself to the Dream 100, not your product. If they don’t like you, they’ll never want to know more about your product.
They tell me how great I am.
I know that sounds shallow, but come on, there’s a reason we’re doing this. I personally feel very uncomfortable when people give me direct praise, especially in front of people, but I love reading it in comments or messages, and I remember the people who tell me how what I’m doing has impacted them.
They’ve done their homework.
They know who I am and what I care about, so when we do talk, they ask me about stuff that’s important to me. When people ask me about my wife or kids or wrestling or things that I’m really passionate about, I relate to them differently and I remember who they are.
They don’t ask for anything now.
Just don’t do it. Trust me. If you ask too early, the answer will always be no. There will be a time, but that time is not now.
By now you should have a pretty decent relationship with some of the people on your Dream 100 list.
You’ve engaged in some conversations with them and maybe even offered some tips back and forth. Now the goal is to try and make them a die-hard fan of your products or services.
And to get them to help you promote it.
How do you do that?
Let’s start by reading a couple stories about how Russell Brunson did it with two separate book launches. The first is for DotCom Secrets…
“When I launched DotCom Secrets, I knew that I was going to spend a lot of money on paid ads (i.e., buy my way into the Dream 100), but I also wanted to get as much free initial traffic as possible. I started by sending a pre-release copy of my book to everyone on my Dream 100, including dozens of podcasters, bloggers, email list owners, and influencers. I wanted them to read the book, and if they liked it, I hoped they would promote it to their followings. A few days later, I sent them a certified letter in the mail (I could have sent an email, but I wanted to make sure I got their attention) telling them that if they liked the book, I would love to have them help promote the book on the launch date. I’d even be willing to pay them $20 for every book they sold.
Almost instantly, I started getting responses from people on my Dream 100 list who had now read my book and wanted to help me promote it on launch day!”
Now see how he took that to another level for Expert Secrets…
“When we launched Expert Secrets, I wanted to take that same strategy to the next level. We took our Dream 100, and as soon as I had a cover designed for the book, I sent them a copy of the book with 300 blank pages inside. I hadn’t started writing it yet, but I wanted them to be aware that I was writing another book. As I got closer to my launch date, I sent them a copy of the book with the first four chapters in it (to help them get excited), and as soon as I had the first, unedited draft, I sent them another copy. They had a chance to see me create this book with them, and because of that, many of them had a vested interest in its success.”
By the time the books launched, he had this huge ecosystem of people he’d connected with via the Dream 100 process — people who liked and trusted him.
The next step was simple.
Make them a generous and compelling offer. Something that will be difficult for them to refuse because it’s so good.
Start by giving them your products or services 100% for free. Then tell them that you’re willing to pay them $XX (the number should be compelling) for every item they sell for you.
You might not make much money on the products that you sell through your Dream 100, but that doesn’t matter because you’re turning all of those people into traffic that you own… and you can easily monetize them down the road.
That’s how you systematically work your way into your Dream 100 and gain tons of free publicity.
Step 5. Buy Your Way In
You won’t be able to work your way in with every person on your Dream 100.
Some people simply don’t have the time for another friendship and others just aren’t very responsive.
For the ones where you weren’t able to work your way, take the simple route: buy your way in.
We don’t recommend going this route first because it lacks the organic viral potential of the work your way in strategy (something that Russell has got to benefit from many many times).
It’s still a great tactic. And the reality is that you’ll need to do both. You’ll need to work your way in and buy your way in.
How do you buy your way in?
Well, it’s a lot simpler than working your way in.
Here are the main options…
Sponsorships — You can pay to get sponsored on most podcasts, blogs, and newsletters. And the costs are often pretty affordable. Just ask them for their rates, choose your placement terms, and see how many leads you generate.
Paid Ads — Want to place ads where your Dream 100 audience can see them? Most platforms give you the ability to create an audience based on certain influencers. Just choose those influencers’ audiences for your targeting in order to run your ad to them!
Influencer Marketing — Many influencers will happily promote your products for a fee. Just reach out, ask them how much they charge, and see what your budget allows.
Step 6. Follow-Up Funnels
So you’ve gone through the entire Dream 100 process.
You’ve identified your Dream 100, built relationships with them, and driven tons of promos through them.
And you’ve got a ton of shiny new leads because of it.
But what comes next?
Well, the next step is to send those new leads a Soap Opera Email sequence that guides them toward your front-end offer.
You can learn how to do that in the video below…
Once they buy, you can continue to drive them up your value ladder… turning them into fully committed customers.
If you want to learn more about this process, we highly recommend getting a copy of Russell’s bestselling book, Traffic Secrets — if you use that special link, it’s free.
Final Thoughts on The Dream 100
The Dream 100 is a wildly powerful and effective marketing strategy for creating viral promotions.
It starts with identifying your dream customer and finding the places where they congregate online. Then you must build a lead-gen sales funnel, either work your way in or buy your way in, and finally, craft compelling follow-up funnels to keep moving those new leads up your value ladder.
That’s the process.
It’s simple and mind-blowingly effective for growing businesses.
Click below to get the book that made this process famous (and to read about tons of real-life examples of the Dream 100 process in action!)…