Just over two years ago, fresh out of college - having unexpectedly landed my dream job as 'Lead Funnel Builder' at ClickFunnels - I found myself sitting just feet away from my marketing hero, Russell Brunson.
For the first few months, I was practically mute. Looking back, I think I was in shock. Inside, my head was whirring and going crazy: 'Oh, my gosh, I'm sitting next to Russell Brunson. RUSSELL BRUNSON! Look it's Russell Brunson. I'm in the same room as RUSSELL BRUNSON...'
After a few cool moves to start a conversation: 'Hey, Russell, I nearly put a poster of you on my wall.'- *AWKWARD*- I decided that the best approach was to stay quiet and learn everything I could by watching the Master Marketer doing his thing.
It was fascinating to watch Russell's brain work; the incredible way that he’d create offers, recall marketing campaigns, get into the zone to brainstorm and solve problems. Each day I learned far more than I ever had in my whole Marketing Degree.
The main reason I started my Sales Funnel Radio podcast was to record all the nuggets that I was learning and pass them on.
Day after day, I'd sit there mesmerised, listening to Russell coach and talk with his inner circle. I'd listen to him advising all these massive gurus and influential people - as well as entrepreneurs who were just starting out. So much golden advice- I was a like a sponge soaking it all up.
After about three to four months, a funny thing happened - I started to notice patterns in the conversations that Russell was having. So one day, as he finished on a coaching call, I turned around to him and said: 'Hey, Dude, you're kinda saying the same things over and over again.' And, he goes, 'Yeah!'
Now, if you're an expert in your field, you've probably noticed a similar pattern? You like to dive deep into your subject; you're obsessed with it.
You have sooo much knowledge to pass on, but the problem is that a lot of the people you're serving don't need to go that deep with you.
They don't want to freak out and geek out the same way that you do - they just want to take the next step- or get to the next level.
So we had this idea to create a way to guide people from the ground up, on a step by step path, to create a million dollar company. From that point, Russell could take them EVEN HIGHER. It was a win/win solution.
The entrepreneur got access to everything they needed to help them on the first part of their journey, and Russell got to spend less time on the basics, and more time in his zone of genius.
I spent six months going through twelve years of Russell's videos, and all of his content. I backward planned and organized the material into the exact steps needed for a million dollar business. We created a 200-hour membership area - it was freaking huge and packed with VALUE... And that's how 'Secrets Masterclass' was born.
On its launch, Secrets Masterclass made a million in three weeks! What was even more fun was that people who joined the program made a million dollars too. A lot of people became hundred-thousandaires, while many others made money on the internet for the first time in their entrepreneurial life.
It was such a success that we decided to take the material from the Secrets Masterclass and condense it into a three-day live event -'The Funnel Hack-A-Thon' (aka, The FHAT Event.) The FHAT event was loads of fun and got excellent results for the participants.
Then right before the 2018 Funnel Hacking Live in Orlando, Florida, Russell asked me if I wanted to go on stage to do a presentation (Hell, Yeah!)... The challenge was to take the material from the three-day FHAT Event and present it in ten minutes. Holy Smoke!
At first, I didn't think I could do it. It was soooo challenging. Luckily, my head is kinda geared towards sorting this stuff out - I love to take a complex subject and simplify it down to the essentials.
So I put on some music and got my brain into gear. I started at 4pm and didn't finish until 5am the following day. That's eleven solid hours spent creating a ten-minute presentation. CRAZY!
Hands up, guys - at the event I ran over time by seven-minutes (sorry, Russell). But you get the picture? Twelve years of teaching - turned into a two hundred hour membership site, then condensed to create a three-day live FHAT event, finally turned into a ten-minute (ok, *cough* seventeen minutes) presentation.
Well, all this condensing got me thinking…
Sometimes you have a fantastic product that you've been selling it face to face, but it's not selling online the way you want it to.
Here’s the problem (and most entrepreneurs have been through this at some time):
You decide that you're going to sell a something - so you go out and find a product that is selling well. That's smart. That makes sense.
However, once you find your product, then you just kind of toss it out there and kind of hope that people start buying it. And that's the extent of your plan. I've definitely done that before… and then been shocked that no one's buying. Duh!
The truth is if you want to take less risk and make your product launches more successful - you need a better way.
A bit more work up front is the best way to ensure a launch that goes well, makes money while serving both you and your customer…
Often when things don’t go well, we think it’s a problem with the funnel. However, it's usually NOT a funnel problem. It's usually a marketing problem! If you can sell your product face to face, but you’re not making online sales, then you're just not doing the necessary ‘marketing’ to qualify your customers in a way that makes the sale easy.
So, I started to wonder what would be the quickest way to help entrepreneurs create an effective Marketing Plan that would take away the guesswork and risk to bring in a constant stream of qualified leads.
I started distilling the material down again...
My goal was to find a way to design a marketing plan without having to go through two hundred hours of content.
Once again, it took me a whole night of obsessing, but by the time the sun came up, I’d created a two-page document that solved the problem. By filling in a two-page sheet, you can design your offer and the marketing that sells it.
It doesn't matter if you're selling face to face, or on the internet; this is the core stuff that anyone would want ever.
About three weeks ago, I taught this method at my own event. It took about six hours. I think that’s the fastest I can teach this while still being effective.
As I was watched people fill out the sheet I could feel the energy in the room change. Suddenly, I’d sense that someone in the front had got it - then another person and another - until the energy of the room was buzzing with people having breakthroughs.
It didn’t matter what kind of funnel they were building - whether it was free plus shipping book funnel, low ticket, high ticket, coaching, agency - it was the same process. It's still the act of selling and putting things together.
‘You need to start creating the marketing and designing the marketing before you freaking launch the product.
I know you might be thinking, ‘Yeah, Steve, that’s obvious!’... But let me ask you, ‘Do you actually do it?’
Before you even go into ClickFunnels and consider building a funnel - you need to take these steps:
Essential Steps Before You Build A Funnel
- Do not open your ClickFunnel Account ;-)
- Figure out what's selling and where? Identify the red ocean - what's the current offer that people are paying for?
- Discover the Story that’s selling those existing products, i.e., What's the sales message/ story that gets your potential customers to open their wallets?
- Design your New Opportunity. Your aim is to get the sales message to the point where somebody is so excited, that they’ll take their wallet, and whoosh, hurl it at you - then you know you’ve got a winner!
- Next, go obsess over the fulfillment of your offer.
Once you know that your sales message is good and the fulfillment of the offer is great, then you can freak out over all the bells and whistles of the funnel.
Obviously, you create a rough draft of the funnel to sell your product, but don't obsess over it.
Right now, my funnel is limping on one leg. It’s broken, I know it is. There's lots of stuff that's wrong with it, but I don't want to shift my focus away from what I’m working on yet.
Every time I say that people are shocked, ‘What? Why is your funnel broken, man? You were the lead funnel builder at ClickFunnels. Are you kidding? Why is your one funnel limping along?’
BUT that stuff doesn't matter. The funnel won’t make the sale. What makes the sale is THE SALES MESSAGE.
The success of your product has so much less to do with pages or what color the button is. On a page level that's great, but on a market level you need to figure out:
- What’s the current offer that people are paying for?
- What's the sales message that’s working to sell that offer?
That's all Funnel Hacking is. If you know those two things, you’ll have pretty much everything you need to create an opportunity. Then you go and design your New Opportunity before your actual funnel.
You need to be able to stand up and deliver the sales message so that people want to give you cash. It has nothing to do with being online or offline and EVERYTHING to do with your sales message.
The act of putting a product on the internet is just a method to market your sales message.
I love how Joe Polish talks about the difference between Sales and Marketing:
‘Marketing systematizes and automates selling. Marketing is selling in advance.’ - Joe Polish
Sales is an activity that happens face to face.
It's a whole bunch of logical closes as to reasons why people should act now:
- It's 50% OFF
- Buy one, get one free
- You’ll get ‘this’ bonus
- Act Now!
Marketing is how you get somebody to your face so you can sell to them
Marketing delivers people to your offer who are (to quote Joe Polish again):
- ‘Pre- Interested’
- ‘Pre- Motivated’
- ‘Pre- Qualified’
- ‘Pre- Disposed’
The great news is that the better you are at marketing, the less hardcore sales tactics you’ll have to use. Just think about that:
Marketing delivers people who are ready to do business with you. It’s the act of attracting pre-qualified people in an automated way
so that you don’t have to knock doors or cold call to find them.
In my opinion, selling is the most prestigious career out there, but marketing will take you to the next level.
When I buiIt my first ever funnel in ClickFunnels, we didn't have the $97 a month. So we put everything together before we even pushed ‘go’ on the two-week trial.
We designed the funnel. We designed the offer. We designed the videos. We wrote the copy. We had to build the funnel and get customers before ClickFunnels started to bill us. And that’s how we did it.
If I think back through on every successful funnel I've ever had, I’ve taken the time to design the marketing before I ever build the freaking funnel - Every Single Time!
If you've got products that are not doing as well as you want, then take a step back and look at your marketing.
You've got to get into the psyche of the person who's leaving the red ocean. You've got to know the psyche of your prospective customers.
Anyways, I'm excited. I want to do an event where you’ll be able to work through this two-page document with me. You’ll design your sales message, your story and your offer in a way that attracts customers easily from the red ocean.
It doesn't matter what funnel you apply it to; this is the first step that you need to take before you even open ClickFunnels...
My wife is due to have our third kid any day now. She keeps having contractions, and I'm going to sleep with an eye open so that I can be ready. I don’t exactly know when the event will be, but I’m thinking sometime in August - so stay tuned, and I’ll let you know.
Until next time- Go Crush It!
Want me to speak at your next event or mastermind? Let me know what I can share that would be most valuable by going to stevejlarsen.com and book my time now.