This is a guest post from Greg Roth from UniTel Voice and Startup Stockpile. As a marketer and an entrepreneur, he loves helping businesses discover new apps and use technology to grow. Enjoy the post and let us know if you have any questions or feedback! Turning it over to Greg now…
This client interview is about the power of Facebook groups. With just 30 minutes a day, Josh Stanton and his wife, Jill, built a 45,000 member Facebook group…
And that group generated between $300,000 and $400,000 worth of business for them.
Because he’s a Deadline Funnel client, Josh jumped on a call with me and shared a lot of details about how you can do it too.
Watch the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
Josh: Awesome to be here, we just had a chat on our podcast which was fantastic and I’m super excited to dive into and jam on some cool strategies today with you.
Jack: Absolutely, so let me give you a little bit of an intro so everyone knows about you. Josh and his lovely wife, Jill, they’ve got a website that I just love the name, it’s one of the best named websites I’ve heard, screwtheninetofive.com so you should definitely go look them up.
So the way that I actually met Josh was because he’s a DeadlineFunnel client and he sent us a message. Then we got to chatting and I looked up his website and was really impressed with what they were putting out. They were interviewed on a whole bunch of podcasts and so we got to chatting. Josh and Jill are really, really talented and they teach a process where you can create a Facebook group.
They have really systematized how to create a Facebook group, whether you’re just starting out with a new online course or if you’ve got something going. So for example I told Josh, “I’m thinking about possibly creating a Facebook group for DeadlineFunnel clients.”
So this is a topic that’s very interesting to me and Josh is coming out with a course that he’s co-creating with David Siteman Garland. We’ll talk about that at the end here, but we’re going to be talking about a specific niche topic inside of the whole concept of building a Facebook group which is, how to monetize it without pissing off your Facebook group. So let’s go ahead and kick it off, why don’t you give us a little bit of the backstory, give us a thumbnail sketch of how you started with Facebook groups and that might be a good place to kick it off.
Josh: Yeah, okay so we started a Facebook group because we kind of had issues getting to know our audience. When you have just an email list it’s quite difficult to, it’s not really like a two-way conversation basically, it’s like you read my emails and occasionally people would email back but not really.
So we heard about Facebook groups a couple of years ago and we started our first one. Back then it was called the Screw the Nine to Five Community and that grew so much faster than what we were expecting, I think within the space of about 12 months it grew from nothing to over 45,000 people in that group.
Josh: And they’re all entrepreneurs looking to start businesses, they already have businesses, blah blah blah. So we grew that out and we had a lot of success with that particular group but we also made a ton of mistakes along the way too.
For example, one of the things that we didn’t anticipate was the amount of spam that would actually go into a group of that size and how difficult it is to moderate something with 45,000 people in it. So essentially, we didn’t create the right kind of rules and the right kind of environment to form the perfect type of community to help fuel our business. So what we actually did is we shut down a group of 45,000 people.
Josh: And it was a big call, I remember when we made that call it was like “Yo, should we be doing this, we’re about to press a button here to shut this thing down, should we shut this thing down,” because it’s generated $300,000-$400,000 worth of revenue for us. We made that call.
We reopened with a whole new set of rules and quickly that group has grown from like zero, I think it’s almost 12,000 people in that group now so it grew from zero to 12,000 in a few short months just because we kind of knew what we were doing at that stage. The group for us has allowed us to really connect more, back and forth with our community.
I don’t really think that there’s any other platform that allows for that two-way conversation in order for you to figure out what people truly need.
Mainly we use it as a way of trying to understand what their wants and needs are so we can start to build products and offerings based around those. I don’t really think that there’s any other platform that allows for that two-way conversation in order for you to figure out what people truly need. So our Facebook group is very powerful for us.
Jack: I want to get into some of the ideas that you have that you’re going to share about how to monetize your group.
Jack: But something that’s always been the obstacle, the block that I have, that’s prevented me from moving forward with a group is the time commitment and yes I have a team but they’re busy doing their thing. I keep wondering am I going to have to hire someone, which maybe it’s worth it, but I have a feeling that you’ve come up with some systems so what would you say about the time commitment involved?
Josh: Yeah so the main thing is you just have to be really organized. We have a procedure that we run and one of the things we love to do is we create a monthly content calendar. So the good thing about Facebook groups is you can schedule content.
I know a lot of people will use a tool like say, Meet Edgar, which automatically schedules things on a week to week basis. The problem with using those third-party apps is that your reach is significantly lower as a result of that as opposed to if you schedule directly through the Facebook group platform. It’s a lot better that way.
So what we do is, at the end of the month we organize 30 days worth of content. These aren’t long posts, these aren’t super long articles, 1000 word articles or anything like that. They’re sort of engagement starters so they’re like questions to get the engagement going, that’s the main thing we want to focus on.
We also have posts that go out the same time each day as well throughout the week and so those are kind of like our theme type posts so they tend to stay the same each time. As far as the time commitment goes, we automatically put everything out so it takes us about a day to schedule everything out for the whole month. After that we spend maybe 15 minutes in the morning and then 15 minutes in the afternoon just going through and commenting on any of the posts that we’ve submitted or anything else that kind of needs addressing as far as what other people submit. So you can get away with doing like 30 minutes a day on a Facebook group no problems.
Jack: Okay, okay terrific and I’m sure that’s covered in the course that you’re coming out with with David Siteman Garland.
Josh: Yeah absolutely.
Jack: Which we’ll talk about in a bit. By the way, hopefully everyone’s heard of David Siteman Garland, he was an early early client of DeadlineFunnel. I knew about him before he joined DeadlineFunnel, but it wasn’t until later that I realized that he was an early advocate telling lots and lots of people, so I owe a huge debt of gratitude to David Siteman Garland, so thank you David.
Josh: Yeah and he’s a funny guy too.
Jack: He is, he’s a very funny guy. Alright so let’s go ahead and dive in because if we’re going to build this group, even though we want to build a community and have this interaction, we also are running a business and so how do we balance these two things of making money but at the same time not make it feel like everything’s just revenue-driven?
Josh: So this is a big issue a lot of people have is when they start their groups. A lot of people will start their groups and say “I’m not going to sell anything to you in this group, this is going to be a free resource for you”. The problem with that is you’re setting a certain mood and you’re creating a certain environment in that group which is if anyone posts anything that is somewhat related to people purchasing, then everyone is going to be up in arms. It’s going to create this really awkward situation.
You never want to do that, you want to start a group and let people know when they first join, that this is a group for your business, that’s like the first thing. I just want to set the stage with that.
After that, we don’t, and this is a big mistake a lot of people make, we never really post direct links to sales pages, we never do that and the reason why is it doesn’t really work.
If you post a link directly to a sales page and you say like “here go buy my product,” no one is going to buy it, because they’re going to immediately get their defenses up and be like “oh this is a bit weird, why is he trying to sell me his things?” We don’t do that right, we have a really cool process, it’s a three-step process that we use, so I don’t know do you want me to dive into maybe the first step?
Jack: I do, let’s go through it.
Josh: The first step is, Facebook groups have the poll option, so we use polling a lot and we use it for a couple reasons, one for market research, two for engagement and three to really help us figure out what people are willing to purchase. So we’ll run a poll and we’ll say something like “hey guys we’re about to start coming out with our next batch of content and we’re just wondering what topics you guys are most interested in,” and in the poll we’ll have five to ten different options.
They’ll be like “are you interested in learning about sales funnels? Are you interested in learning about Facebook groups? Are you interested in learning about Blogging?” About all these different topics right and based off that people will go ahead and submit their answers and we’ll take that top result. So we ran a poll last year and sales funnels were really big back then and they still are really big, of course, but that was clearly the number one topic. So we took that topic and we said okay we’re going to create a sales funnel around sales funnels here and this is how we’re going to actually start moving people from our group towards becoming customers of our brand. So that’s the first step, is to run that poll to find out what that initial ideal is that you’re going to move forward on.
Jack: Okay got it. Okay so you’ve got the poll, now I want to be clear now, these are not people, it’s a mixture of people who.
Jack: Have done business with you before but probably more people who have not, correct?
Josh: Exactly, exactly there’s a lot of people, so one thing you’ll notice when you start a Facebook group is they tend to grow based off the level of engagement that you have, so the more engagement you have the more often it’s going to show in the sidebar in the groups platform and the groups app. So it will be related groups or popular groups or whatever it is right.
Generally we grow by a few hundred per week just because we have really good engagement, whereas I know a lot of people who don’t have good engagement, their groups don’t really grow that fast. So that’s the main thing, the main priority we want to work on.
We don’t actually spend money trying to grow that group or anything like that, so it’s super important that we let you guys know about that. You’re going to make sure the engagement is high and your group will grow organically. And that’s really great because all the new people joining, they’re not customers yet so it’s a good chance for you to bring them in, let them get to know you and your brand before eventually wanting to go on and purchase.
So the first step is we ran this poll, so we’ve grown engagement, we’ve grown this group then we ran a poll to find out what is this audience most interested in right now. Let’s say they said sales funnels, that was the topic from last year and so what we did then is we moved into the second step.
We took the information from the first step and we created a three step evergreen sales funnel based around that particular topic. The steps for the sales funnel are really simple:
- Create an offer
- Create a lead magnet for it
- Drive people from your Facebook group to a ‘read’ magnet
We created a offer called the perfect sales funnel. It’s just a course showing people how to create a similar sort of sales funnel.
Then we created a lead magnet for it, something related to sales funnels. In this case we found out people wanted to take our emails that we use in our sales funnels. So we just created those as templates and we provided them when they opt in.
The third thing we do, and this is a really important part because this is where you’re going to be driving people from your Facebook group is, we create what we like to call a read magnet which is just a blog post essentially based around that topic. So we have a blog post and it’s like how to create a dangerously effective four-part sales funnel. It’s a really popular blog post so that’s the starting point of the sales funnel.
So Step 1: lead magnet. Step 2: congruent lead magnet. Step 3: congruent offer based around us.
Jack: And that’s interesting that you, I want to point out that you’re building. That you listed those from back to front initially.
Jack: And that’s the order that you create them in I would imagine, is that because you want to know where they’re ending up and so you kind of work backwards from there so that you know what content to write?
Josh: Yeah exactly because if we created the content first then by the time we got to creating the course, the course might be a little bit different based off the content, whereas when you’re creating a course you’re going to be much more thorough and then you say okay this is what the course is all about.
What do we want to provide people in the actual free content? Generally you’re not going to provide them everything in the free content that is provided in the course, so you’re right that’s exactly what we do.
Jack: And then you shared with me the last time that we talked, that I think when people opt in you’re using sometimes DeadlineFunnel as a short call-to-action.
Jack: So why don’t you work through the mechanics, not the mechanics of actually how you copy and paste, but the kind of the tactics behind that.
Josh: So one of the things that we wanted to do was include a fast-action bonus or a fast-action opportunity to purchase at a lower rate, it was kind of like a one-time offer. So we were looking around for something, I think we were using just the timers and ClickFunnels at first. It was kind of annoying because people were refreshing the page and they were like “oh I don’t get it, the timers reset, this is ridiculous.”
It was kind of annoying because people were refreshing the page and they were like “oh I don’t get it, the timers reset, this is ridiculous.”
So that was when we came across DeadlineFunnel and we found out that we could make it so if people refresh the page, the timer wouldn’t refresh. Essentially, it would stay to whatever it was when they initially came to the page.
So what we do is we have a 20-minute one-time offer countdown on the thank you page but we do it a little bit different than most people. When they opt in they don’t just hit a sales page that says “here’s a product, buy it.” Instead, what we do is we do a value-driven one-time offer which is another blog post off the back of it. So when they opt in, we say “hey just want to let you know we’re sending your email templates out to you right now, that should arrive in about 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, read this piece of content.” I think it’s three mistakes most people make when it comes to sales funnels.
What happens is a lot of people will read that content and then when they get to the bottom that’s when we introduce the one-time offer to them. So we’re not hitting them straight away with the product, we’re giving them more value before we actually mention this one-time offer to them.
Jack: Interesting. So as I’m listening to you talk through this process that you use, it’s really fascinating because it’s at least to me, tell me if I’m right. It seems almost like writing an epic blog post.
Jack: And then having a content upgrade that leads into your offer, your funnel.
Jack: But the difference is that rather than say trying to take people directly from paid Facebook ads or some other mechanism like that, what you’re doing is you have an intermediary step where you’re using a Facebook group, you’re building that up. Almost like you’re, I know that this is not an accurate analogy, but sort of like your house list.
Jack: I know that it’s much more than that, you get the interaction, but that is where once you have this thing created, rather than “okay we have the epic blog post, now let’s go buy some traffic and bring people to it.” You’ve got the group and what’s great is that there’s really zero guesswork because you ask them what they are most interested in so at least you have a very informed process to be able to create that thing that they’re most likely going to buy.
Josh: Totally, we’re essentially building up a bit of a launchpad organically for free which I think is really important. When you’re moving to the third step, at this point you’ve run a poll, you found out the best topic and then you’ve created a sales funnel based around that.
By the way if you don’t want to create a course, one thing I think is quite possible to do is like a pre-sale essentially. So before you create the course you can launch it out to your Facebook group and be like “hey we’re going to take on a few people at a lower price, we want you to help us build out this program.” So that’s one way of doing it. For us we were like “we know this course is going to sell.” It was pretty obvious, it was like the most popular thing.
So we create this three step-sales funnel and then what we do is we go back to the group and we haven’t run any ads at this point. We go back to the group and we say “hey guys remember a month ago how we ran that poll to find out what you’re most interested in, what content you’re most interested in learning about? Well we went out and we did a whole bunch of research and we wrote this epic blog post or this epic piece of content based around sales funnels, here’s the link.” Boom.
Here are people from the group and now they’re hooked right, they’re interested in it and they’ll go check out the post, a lot of them will go through and purchase the product through the funnel but at the same time you’re also using them to go and share all that content out to other people which grows traffic over time too.
So for us it’s like, we’ve seen benefits in terms of SEO as well with this too because our group has gone and shared our content out a lot. I think that post, I think in the end it’s had something over 1000 shares or something like that and because of that we’ve actually, I think we’re ranking on page one for how to create a sales funnel and all these other keyword terms, so now we’re getting this organic traffic which is just going through the sales funnel every single day and generating revenue for our business without spending money on ads.
Jack: So this is really really cool, so you’re taking this bigger group which a lot of them have not done business with you, you’re polling, you’re getting an idea of what they want, you’re creating this process, the read magnet, the lead magnet and then the one-time offer but this is not a huge purchase. So it’s moving them from someone who’s a community member, I wouldn’t say necessarily prospect but kind of a community member on the free side of your business, to someone who’s made a purchase.
So I want to ask, what happens next? Is there some sort of immediate upsell? I’m guessing not, but is there any sort of immediate upsell after that, or is this just a way for you to open up the relationship and then that kind of brings them into your world as a client and then you can sell them other things later?
Josh: Yeah so I think what’s really important to note at this stage is, this person who has purchased that introductory offer and these are offers of less than $200, so they’re not super expensive offers. They have become a customer right, and there’s a big difference I believe between a customer and a client.
There’s a big difference I believe between a customer and a client.
Josh: So a client is someone who is willing to work with you ongoing, a customer is a purchase that one off product right. From here we want to transition them from a customer into a client and so this is where we move towards or we have a core offer after this which is our membership community called Screw You. So it’s like “hey you’ve learnt how to create effective sales funnels for sure but there’s a lot more to running a business than just creating sales funnels so we have this incredible community of like-minded entrepreneurs, we have 18 fully loaded courses covering things from how to get started with your business to hiring a team and all the steps between. Why don’t you come and join us inside of this community and hang in there for a long period of time.
So essentially it’s about upgrading them from a customer into more of a client-based thing. You might have a coaching program after that or you may have, in your case, you may have a software that you’re looking to get them subscribed to. So from here it’s like you can kind of do anything, we just have this really simple three-step process for getting them into a customer status but from here we want to move them more towards being a client.
Jack: Yeah, I totally get your point of moving someone from customer to client so if anyone doesn’t understand the difference, rewind and listen because there is a difference. Client is more of a relationship, customer is more of a transaction. But even going from the freebie community group to making a transaction is a big step because I would imagine if you look through your analytics and your metrics, the revenue that you’re able to generate from people who have done even one transaction with you in the past is much, much higher than people in the group who have never purchased from you before.
Josh: Yeah absolutely. So we have all those people tagged in Infusionsoft so we can kind of tell what the lifetime value is of those people. I think the main thing, this is a really cool tip, is that when you are creating links in your Facebook group and let’s say you’re driving them through these sales models through these read magnets right, make sure you setup UTM tracking on them so that way in analytics you can see that people are coming directly from the group. That’s really important otherwise it’s sort of like okay where are these people essentially coming from.
That’s my only suggestion on how to sort of track that and what we can see is that around 50% of our revenue has come off the back of our group, which is pretty incredible if you think about it. And there’s all these crosses that happen too, like people are in our group but they’re also seeing our ad too at the same time, but the reality is, is the group has really helped us build a bit of a relationship before they go ahead and become a customer and that kind of increases our chances of moving them towards becoming a client.
Jack: Yeah absolutely, it’s sort of like if you’re on a bunch of podcasts and someone has heard you speak a bunch of times and then they see an ad. In your analytics it might show that ad generated the sale but in reality there was a whole lot of other stuff that went into at least developing that familiarity before they saw that ad.
Josh: Yeah, I think I’m a big proponent of the fact that you must have at least seven interactions with someone in order for them to feel comfortable becoming a client of yours right and I think what Facebook groups kind of allow is you the chance to interact with them more frequently and more easily than email and stuff like that.
Jack: Yeah you’ve developed the know-like-and trust before they’ve even entered your official funnel. I guess you could consider the Facebook group kind of the top-end of the funnel but still the point is just like you said, they’re getting to know you, they’re having multiple interactions with you before they’ve even had a chance to purchase anything.
Josh: Yeah exactly, exactly and yeah I think it’s just a lot easier just interacting with people in that kind of setting as well. It is kind of a struggle these days interacting with your email list but it seems like the reach at least right now is really really good with Facebook groups and so if you’re having problems right now building a bit of an audience I would say this is a great platform to get started with right away because I don’t know how long the reach is going to stay this high. If it follows the same trend as say Facebook pages then there’s a chance in the future that that reach is going to be a lot less so take advantage of it right now.
Jack: So real quick question on an advanced topic that I’m just curious about. Are you starting to use things like ManyChat and Facebook bots with your group in some sort of creative way?
Josh: So the problem with doing that is we, I don’t know at least at this stage, I haven’t checked it recently but I believe back when we were trying to do that is that we couldn’t interact through ManyChat in Facebook group posts. We could do it with page posts but it may have changed but if you can do that now I think it’s great. I would say the best way of utilizing that combination would be through Facebook Lives inside of the group.
So if you’re setting up ManyChat and let’s say you want someone to opt into something right and let’s say you’re talking about Facebook groups and I might have some kind of lead magnet that I want to get people going down the ManyChat funnel and so I will just be like, when we talk about Facebook groups like “three tips to running a successful Facebook group,” or whatever and then at the end or at the start I’ll say “hey guys if you want to grab your Facebook groups checklist, I’m going to send you a free checklist. Just type checklist below and we’ll send that out to you in a Facebook message.”
That’s another way of kind of running funnels, there’s so many ways you can run funnels off the back of Facebook groups. I know this one lady I spoke to recently, she has a Facebook group of literally 250 people that’s it, it’s such a small group and she’s really strict with her group too, like if people don’t comment or post within a month she removes them from the group.
Jack: That’s smart.
Josh: Yeah and she uses a tool to track who does that so her group is always really small but the engagement is super high so she does content, she’s a content marketing coach and so everything in the group is kind of around how do you use content marketing to grow your business and so what she does is I think every Tuesday she’ll do a post, some kind of post related to content marketing then anyone who comments back on that post, she’ll private message those people and say “hi I noticed that you replied back to this and you said blah blah blah, heres what I think.”
She’ll provide a bit of insight and then she’ll say “by the way on Thursday I’m having a training coming up.” And I think she does a paid training “it’s $100 and I only let in 20 people or whatever and I just want to invite you to that training,” and so from there off the back of that she sells her annual program. So she has a group of 250 people, she has a coaching business of $350,000 a year off the back of one Facebook group, it’s pretty crazy. Yeah.
Jack: That’s nuts.
Josh: Very interesting.
Jack: Which is a great lead-in to the project that you’ve got going on with David Siteman Garland, because the two of you are teaming up to teach how to do this. So why don’t you tell everyone where they can go sign up to learn more about this, because probably right when this is going on, right when you guys are kicking this off we’ll be releasing this interview so go ahead and share where people can find out about it and give us a sneak peek about what you guys are going to cover.
Josh: Okay so the course or it’s actually a workshop, so it’s a one-day workshop and you can find it by going to createawesomefbgroups.com, David Siteman Garland’s branding by the way, create awesome things. We’re going to be covering four things in the workshop.
The first thing we’re going to talk about is how to start your group the right way, remember I mentioned at the start, a lot of people will start a group with the intentions of being like “this is a free group and I’m not going to sell anything and this is not for my business,” that’s a huge mistake but there’s also other mistakes people make too.
The second thing is we’re going to talk about growing your group and some strategies you can use to grow a group. Literally you can grow a group by 1000 people within the space of three months no problems at all.
Then the third thing we’re going to cover is how to engage your group, which is the most important thing, because without engagement you don’t get growth and you also don’t get people interested in your brand.
Then the fourth thing is we’re going to go into the actual sales component of it as well. So those four things at createawesomefbgroups.com.
Jack: Awesome, fantastic. So is there any sort of parting tips or wisdom that you want to share?
Josh: Yeah, look I would say the main thing with this is to get started, it really is, so if you know that groups may be a good opportunity for you just get started because if it doesn’t work out the first time around that’s okay. Just like what we did, we grew a group to 45,000 people but then we closed it down and we reopened it back up. In a few short months we went back up to like 12,000, so for you it’s just about getting started and just learning the actual approach to running a Facebook group. For us it’s been the most powerful thing in our business so far to date and I really think that now is the time before Facebook starts bringing down the reach as well.
Jack: Very cool. Alright so I’ll make sure that there’s a link below this interview on the page so you can just click through to that, if registration is still open definitely jump in because I know David Siteman Garland and Josh are going to make sure that there’s a lot of good content coming out. This is a topic that I’m interested in and so I’m excited about seeing the inside of this training as well. So Josh thanks so much for joining me and for sharing your experience.
Josh: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Jack: You bet.
Resources mentioned in this article:
Josh and Jill Stanton’s website, Screw the Nine to Five
Josh’s Facebook Group Workshop, Create Awesome FB Groups Workshop
I met Susie Moore in Vegas at an event put on by Selena Soo, who is a publicity strategist and expert who had several different experts on her panel come and speak. Of course, they themselves are experts, and one of those was Susie. I met Susie and her wonderful husband, Heath, and as you’re going to see, she’s just a bubbly, warm, very, very caring person, but also, she’s a real expert at what she does.
Just as proof, and I’ll get into the official intro in just a sec, Susie sent me a copy of her latest book and when I saw it … She didn’t give me the copy that she had when I first met her, because she was going around and showing it to everyone. But on the cover, the first thing that I noticed was a quote from Arianna Huffington. Then on the back you’ve got another quote from James Altucher, so when you hang with those people, you’ve definitely got to know your stuff.
Watch the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
Jack: Hi, this is Jack Born. I’m the founder of Deadline Funnel and I’m here with my good friend, Susie Moore. Before we get into the conversation, let me give the official intro. Susie is a bestselling author and creator of Five Minutes to Famous, which we’ll be talking about in just a bit, as well as a coach to CEOs/founders, and advisor to tech startups. She has been featured on the Today Show, Oprah.com, Business Insider and Marie Claire, and many, many, many more. Susie, great to have you here.
Susie: Jack, it’s so awesome to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jack: Absolutely. I would love to get into some of your back-story and catch people up with what you’re doing now. Before we turned on the recording, you were talking about your book interviews and the publicity that you’re getting, but why don’t we go back to some of the story that you shared with me when I first met you in Vegas.
Susie: Yeah, absolutely. I have a corporate background. I am a corporate person. I work for myself now, but I still wear a blazer. The corporate life is something that I certainly enjoy. Being somebody who wants to create and, I’m not sure if you know the four different tendency types, so Gretchen Rubin, but being a rebel. I always just wanted to work for myself and do my own thing and really set my own agenda. When I was working full time, I was working as a sales director and that job was fine, but I knew it wasn’t really going to be my life’s work. I started side hustling as a coach. I started writing and blogging and guest posting just to attract clients to me. Then my site gave me this great opportunity to leave my full-time job in around 18 months.
Jack: That’s amazing. When you said side-hustle, I just realized I didn’t even mention what the book is. The book is called What If It Does Work Out? How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life. I’ve really, really enjoyed reading through it. Would you agree that it’s probably targeted to someone who’s in their corporate job, looking to start their side hustle, not someone who’s deep into already running their business?
Susie: Yeah, it’s certainly not for experts. It’s certainly not for advanced people who are already truly running a business, but a lot of people do stop and start, stop and start, or they’re maybe limping along a bit in their business, and they haven’t really fully committed. If you have a dream or a vision for something else other than your job and if you don’t want to have one person being able to ruin your life, which is just your boss, then side hustles are definitely for you. They’re much more simple to start and excel in than you think.
Side hustling for me, it worked. I’ve seen it work for lots of different people. Now I’ve been in my business full-time for three years.
Jack: Awesome. You’re really well known for your ability to get publicity. Your Five Minutes to Famous, which we’ll probably talk about more in a little bit, you also teach people how to be their own publicist. Publicity … I was thinking about this before our call. I don’t know if you’ll agree or disagree, but to me, it seems like my limited understanding of what you teach people and the power of publicity is kind of similar to, in my world and what I’m familiar with, is kind of similar to possibly doing joint ventures, in the sense that you’re tapping into … It takes a while to nurture the relationship, but one good connection can really open up an entire tribe or community that otherwise you really wouldn’t have access to.
Susie: Yes, absolutely. In fact, I actually say that media is the new affiliate, if you’re willing to really give it a try. It’s an affiliate you don’t have to pay, it’s an affiliate that you get tremendous credibility and authority from, because as soon as you’re featured anywhere, if it’s Glamour or GQ or Fast Company, wherever, that brand immediately lends its credibility to you.
It allows you to charge more premium prices, it just positions you with authority with your audience, and also, of course, it’s a great way just to get exposure and free leads and to really build your brand in whatever niche you’re in. It’s really available to anybody.
Jack: Right. Are there some tips that you can share for someone who’s looking to get into publicity and getting more press and more credibility? What are some of the first things that someone wants to do?
Susie: I think the first thing that we need to do, if we want to really make publicity work for us, because we could throw lots of things out there. We can certainly test lots of things. The most important thing is just knowing who you are and what it is that you represent and what you stand for. I call it your celebrity identity.
Why do people need you? What is it that you represent? Is it freedom, is it money, is it the ability to have a great relationship, great sex? Really, it could be anything. What do you represent? Is it financial security for families? Knowing who you are and then knowing who your audience is, because you always want there to be a match. I call that your money spot.
When you match your celebrity identity with your money spot, then there’s so much potential for you to get tremendous traction with a passive audience. So not people you’re targeting or sending ads to, but the people that might not even necessarily be looking for you, who can access you.
Jack: Talk to me about Five Minutes to Famous. How did that come to be?
Susie: It came to be because a lot of people were asking me, my publicist was, and a lot of the questions I got were, “How did you get featured here? How did you write there?” The things that were just coming up for me, people were curious about. I just created a program. As you know, the best programs are always directly answering what people want, plus just creating what you want to create.
It certainly wasn’t my goal to create something surrounding guest posting specifically, and getting great exposure that way, but when you find people like your students and people in your community asking more and more how they can get a piece of what you’ve got, then I just handed it all over, like, “Here’s exactly what you do.”
I think that exposure in any business is important and you have to be okay with being visible and being seen. A lot of CEOs struggle with that, or entrepreneurs struggle with that, but it is something that over time you do get more comfortable with if you allow yourself to.
Jack: Does “Five Minutes to Famous” focus in on a certain type of publicity, like TV or podcasts, or guest posting?
Susie: Guest posting is primarily the easiest way to control the message and frequency and to really put your content out there, and allow yourself to be featured on different platforms. Even TV producers or radio producers, website editors, they’re constantly looking for the talent and information and sources. If you content is out there in terms of a blog specifically, the written word is still the most shared. That’s the best launching pad.
Jack: Very, very cool. Let’s talk about your upcoming trip to Bali. Is that a business trip?
Susie: Strictly business, no fun allowed. I think one of the best things about having an online business is the flexibility and freedom that you have. I think most people don’t take advantage of that, Jack. Depending on where you’re at in your business, if you really have this online connection, that’s all you need to do lots of different things.
I just want to take advantage of what I’ve got and sometimes it’s nice to disconnect from New York a little bit, as much as I love it here, and have time to create. It’s constantly the consuming and the people and the action, versus the quiet creation, too. I think quiet creation is where really the magic happens, so it’s important to allow space for that, too.
Jack: Right, to break away from the noise. There’s another advantage … I’m glad we’re talking about this, because there’s another advantage that I’ve found when I went on a really big trip. I think it was about two and a half years ago, I took my family to Australia. For us, we didn’t want to go just for a week. This was purely relaxation and to see as much of the country as we could. We went for six weeks. For me, I had never gone on just pure vacation for six weeks. Even though I was bringing my laptop in case it was an emergency, I really wanted to unplug. Besides, I’m completely 12 hours from you guys once I get over there.
For me, leading up to it, it was almost like doing a launch because it really forced me to say, “Okay, I’m not going to be able to do …” All these little tasks that I was holding on to, it really forced me to delegate that to my team. At the time I was bringing on some team members and it was really a great opportunity to say, “Okay, this is coming up, so here’s what we need to do. We need to put the systems in place so that everything can run without me.”
That’s something that I don’t hear a whole lot of people talking about, but I think that’s a great way for business owners and entrepreneurs to really force themselves not just to get away, like you said, and get that creative space, but also to systematize their business so things don’t run amok while they’re gone.
Susie: Yeah, it’s like a wonderful test. Like you said, like a launch, because you brace yourself and do all the things until the open period, but it’s really true. You know that you’re going to have different limitations while you’re away in terms of what you can normally do, so I’m squeezing in all sorts of things right until I leave. It’s true. It really makes you focus.
I actually love what Stephen Covey said, who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He said, “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” For me, when I think about my life, not just this year or even the next couple of years, but my entire life, one day, if I’m lucky enough to be an old lady, I want to look back and think, high-fiving myself constantly about the things that I decided to do. I just know something like this, like going away for a long time, is probably always going to be one of those things.
Jack: Right. I completely agree. I found myself … We have a big trip coming up. I’m not going to talk about it right now, but we have another big trip coming up, so I’m using that as another opportunity to further distance myself from the day-to-day operations of the business.
In this year I found myself really time blocking segments of my day and week that I’m really holding true and I’m doing a very good job of holding true to that and blocking out time for going to the gym or spending time with family and those sorts of things, because I find that it really makes the whole rest of the week just run that much better. I’m more energized. Sometimes it’s hard because you still have that inner struggle, like, “If I didn’t go to the gym, then I could spend an extra hour writing this blog post,” but I think it’s really, really important to do.
Susie: I’m in a Mastermind with the fabulous Melyssa Griffin, who I love, who’s a great friend of mine. She has a business that hums along. She doesn’t check her emails, she has lots of systems in place, and it really allows her to do her thing. She’s a big fan of Deadline Funnel, I mean, we all are.
Again, that gives you massive freedom too, because there’s a whole massive important part of your business which is your launch but Deadline Funnel makes it evergreen, and it’s automated. Everybody knows their time’s ticking and you don’t have to constantly be reminding them physically in any way.
Jack: I can vouch for that. First of all, Melyssa is great and when I email her directly, I end up talking to someone on her team.
Susie: Yeah, you do. You have to text her if you want to talk to her.
Susie: You’ll never get her. She’s like the Queen. You can never get her.
Jack: She’s done a very good job of unplugging. Years ago, I worked for a guy named, Perry Marshall, who has been doing really, really well over the years getting publicity for his own books, so he is a marketing thought leader. When I was working for him, he really outsourced his email inbox and did a very good job.
He was the first one that I saw firsthand actually do that. He had someone on his team, Lorena, who would answer his emails. There were a very small handful of emails that she knew to pass on directly to him, but if you emailed him directly, you were talking with Lorena.
Susie: Yes. It’s fantastic. It’s really probably the most important thing that I’ve picked up from her. If somebody else can do something 80% as well as you, that can go, so you can really focus on what’s important and the next thing. That’s really your job.
There’s a great expression that I heard. I can’t remember who told me, maybe it was Jeff Walker. He said, “If you are on an airplane going somewhere, the pilot doesn’t come and bring you the coffee because he’s flying the plane”. It’s like other people who help you in other ways.
It’s important too for you to be leading your business and doing things that are going to add the most value. Emailing about a refund or emailing about a question is something that somebody else can do probably even better than you. The delegation thing is magic.
Jack: One of the things that was both liberating and also, it was a little bit of a dent to my ego when I brought on a team of coding engineers, is that they’re so much better than I am. I look at the code that they write … I can write code, I wrote the first version of AW Pro Tools, version 1.0 of Deadline Funnel, so I’m very skilled, but there are people who do it much, much better than I do.
It was a little bit of a blow to my ego, but at the same time, I love that I’m now surrounded and supported by people who share the mission, but at the same time are so much better at that aspect of the business than I am.
Susie: It does feel a bit weird. You can feel a bit displaced sometimes, when people are doing a better job than you in some areas, but I think that’s really when you’ve created something successful. Truly, you want to be able to remove yourself.
Like we’re speaking, we just got into the conversation, of being able to leave the business or if something happens. Your business being able to survive and thrive because you’ve set this great foundation up, means you can get value no matter what.
Jack: So you can go to Bali.
Susie: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, or other fabulous places. Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s something that if you can learn that as early on as possible, it really helps. Having systems in place that help you, because it’s not just people, it really is technology. Technology like Deadline Funnel, that really allows you to be hands-off and still trust and be able to excel because you know everything’s ticking along as it should.
Jack: Maybe this is a good segue. I just wanted to touch on, real briefly … You were talking about systems and automating things. I know that you’re probably not the one actually setting up Deadline Funnel for your business. It might be Heath or someone else on your team. Do you have some insights into how you guys are using it in your business right now?
Susie: We had a live launch model until a few months ago, so with live launches, we put it on our sales page and we put it on our emails, so it integrates nicely with OntraPort, which is a system that we use. We thought that maybe OntraPort would have a feature, but they don’t always. You need to find something that’s really compatible.
We use Deadline Funnel on our sales page. We’re thinking about even using it on our opt-in pages. There are so many ways you can use it. With live launches, we had it on our sales page and in the emails too. Whenever an email was received, the closed copy reader was always highlighted.
Now we’re in an Evergreen model, we’ve switched our business to Evergreen, and it’s wonderful, because people are always at different stages of the PLC, the pre-launch period, the open cart, day one, two, three, four and five depending on the product, and they’re always at different stages, depending on when they opt in, on their own schedule and sequence, and Deadline Funnel magically knows.
It just knows what to do. It knows who you are and when your time’s up. It’s fantastic because not only do I have to keep reminding people and do Facebook Lives and send out emails, but when there are emails the email countdown timer is included. When people are on the sales page the timer is always present, it’s on everything. Everything we use.
Jack: Awesome. It’s interesting. I’m writing some content, some long blog posts about getting off of launches and being able to … The key isn’t to never do a launch, but to launch when you want to, not because your business and your whole life depends on it. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who start with a launch and then that’s all they really know how to do, so they’ll just launch, launch, launch, and it gets tiring. Sounds great. You’ve gone from doing launches to being able to not rely on them as much. Now they kind of are a business booster rather than being the main thing.
Susie: It’s no secret that human nature responds very well to deadlines. They respond very, very well to … No one wants to part with money. No one’s like, “How can I spend my money today? How can I open my wallet and buy stuff?” This deadline, this scarcity, it’s critical.
I think, of course, Deadline Funnel is active in the online world, when it comes to courses, but I think it can be related to anything. Truly related to … Anyone who can ever see a timer, if it’s to buy a flight, to buy clothes … Truly, anything, to make an order on something, I think just the scope of where it can be useful hasn’t even scratched the surface there.
Jack: I remember you told me that in Vegas and I certainly hope that you’re right. Maybe I could get your help getting the word out via publicity.
Susie: Sometimes because of my tech background, I work as an advisor to different startups and CEOs and one of them was racing around. I was like, “Is there a deadline? Is there a deadline?” Without a deadline, nothing happens. Nothing happens or things happen, but they don’t happen with the same measure of success, especially within a certain period.
I think the way we can think about deadlines and how we can use them … Right now, it’s almost like we can’t keep this secret to ourselves for the online programs. It’s like there’s so much potential here. I don’t mean necessarily for meetings, but just how we consume everything, how we purchase everything.
Jack: You were talking about people not wanting to part with money, but in some ways, I know that it goes even beyond that in the sense that people, if there’s an opportunity to put off, to procrastinate their decision, it’s just so much easier to just hit the snooze button. “I’ll come back to that later.” Really, that’s one of the main reasons why deadlines work so well is because we know …
Anyone who’s honest with themselves knows that humans procrastinate and the deadline just forces people to say, “Okay, the procrastination period is over. You’re either in or you’re out.” People have already made up their mind, but they need that deadline to actually say, “Okay, I was already in, but now I’m going to actually pull the trigger.”
Susie: Yes, it helps us. I’m not a huge procrastinator because I like to take action, but when I do have deadlines, they’re useful and I know whether or not something’s going to work for me whether or not I feel the urgency. In that way, they were useful.
Jack: Before we go, and thank you so much for your time. Before we go, I want to make sure that we talk about Five Minutes to Famous because you’ve got an area on your website, I believe it’s FiveMinutesToFamous.com/workshops. Right? Workshops with an S?
Jack: Yeah, where people can sign up and learn more about how to build their email list through publicity. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?
Susie: I offer free training, it’s called Overnight Rockstar, because it can be overnight. I tell you, Jack, when you are in Oprah.com or Elle or Cosmo, whatever, and you post that on Facebook, everyone thinks you’re famous, including your mother. They’re like, “Oh, now I understand what you’re doing with your life, with your laptop, wherever you’re going in the world.”
A lot of people want it, but it needs to be demystified a little. I give a free training, it’s called Overnight Rockstar, and you get it at FiveMinutesToFamous.com/workshops. There’s a whole lot of value just in that free workshop. I do make an offer at the end, I’m always clear about that, but even if you just stay for the free training, there’s lots of juicy nuggets in there that you can take action on immediately.
Jack: Is there a deadline at the end of the …
Susie: There sure is. Thanks to you, Jack.
Jack: Terrific. Susie, as always, it’s great talking with you. Always enjoy your personality and just having a great conversation with you. For anyone who’s interested in learning more about publicity, go to FiveMinutesToFamous.com/workshops and sign up. I know that it’s awesome content. Thank you so much, Susie.
Susie: Thank you so much, Jack!
Resources mentioned in this article:
Susie Moore, https://susie-moore.com/blog
Melyssa Griffin, http://blog.deadlinefunnel.com/client-interview-melyssa-griffin/
Perry Marshall, https://www.perrymarshall.com
Gretchen Rubin, https://gretchenrubin.com/
Five Minutes to Famous, http://fiveminutestofamous.com/workshops
Deadline Funnel, https://deadlinefunnel.com
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/0743269519
We’re happy to bring you a new feature that will make it easier than ever to test your Deadline Funnel campaigns.
It’s called Preview Mode.
Here’s a short video of how it works and how it makes building your funnels even easier.
Here’s how Deadline Funnel Preview Mode will make your life easier
Work on your pages without being redirected:
Have you ever wanted to edit a page in your evergreen funnel but when you go to take a look at your changes Deadline Funnel redirects you because your deadline expired?
With Preview Mode you’ll stay on the page.
See details about how your Deadline Funnel is set up:
At the bottom of the page you’ll see details about your Deadline Funnel campaign, including tracking information. You can even reset your tracking without leaving the page.
Make it easier for your team members to work on your pages
If you have team members working on your pages, you simply add their IP addresses to the Preview Mode dialog and they can work on your pages without being redirected.
You can activate Preview Mode on a live Deadline Funnel campaign without it affecting prospects.
Preview Mode only shows for the people you choose.
How to activate Preview Mode:
- Go to View All Campaigns
- Click Preview Mode in the top right of your admin
- Click the button “Enable Preview Mode for My IP Address”
Now you can view the pages in your funnel in “Preview Mode”.
Let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments below.
It’s been a busy and exciting time here at Deadline Funnel. After months of hard work, we’re excited to announce several new features that we hope you’re going to really like.
New Deadline Funnel Interface:
If you’ve logged in recently, this update is not news to you. We totally re-designed our admin and the reaction has been awesome. When you log in you immediately see the new look:
The changes are more than cosmetic, the new user interface makes it faster and easier than ever to create your Deadline Funnel campaigns. Watch our intro video here:
New Hybrid Deadline Feature:
This new deadline type is perfect for when you want your deadline to be on a set day of each regardless of when people enter your funnel. Check out the video here:
Read more about all of the deadline types here: https://documentation.deadlinefunnel.com/article/528-how-to-choose-a-campaign-type
Floating Bar Improvements:
We’ve made some significant changes to the floating bar that are what our clients asked for and more. You can now adjust the size to suit your needs and also choose to include or exclude the countdown timer, text, and call-to-action button. All of these new features still include our mobile-responsive features, so you can feel confident using them on mobile. Check out that video here:
If you’re using the Deadline Funnel WordPress plugin, be sure to download and install the most recent version of our plugin to take advantage of these floating bar improvements. You can find the plugin under My Account >> Code Snippets >> WordPress.
New Integration with ManyChat:
Last but not least, this new integration can be a real game-changer. In this short video you’ll start to see the potential of using ManyChat to boost your sales further with Facebook and an automated Deadline from Deadline Funnel:
You can find more information about our integration with ManyChat here: https://documentation.deadlinefunnel.com/article/525-how-to-integrate-deadline-funnel-with-manychat
That’s it for now, but know that we are working behind the scenes on even more new features and improvements. If you have any feedback or questions we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Jack Born: Hey, this is Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel, and I’m here with my friend, Selena Soo. I met Selena at an event that she put on in Vegas. It was a first class event. It was just a real treat because she had … Not only was she sharing some of her knowledge and experience of how to get publicity, but she had top notch panelists that she got from New York and various corners of the world to all show up and share their experience. Just the whole thing from beginning to end was just really, really top notch.
Selena Soo is a publicity and marketing specialist for visionary entrepreneurs, experts, and authors who want to reach millions with their message. She’s helped clients and students get featured in places like O, the Oprah Magazine, Forbes, Inc, and land interviews on popular podcasts and national TV.
Many of Selena’s clients have become industry leaders with seven-figure businesses, raving fan bases, and hundreds of thousands of followers. Her approach comes down to building powerful and long lasting relationships with influencers in the media in a thoughtful and authentic way. Selena, it’s great to have you here.
Selena Soo: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Jack Born: Let’s zoom out and talk about why is publicity important for entrepreneurs, even online entrepreneurs.
Selena Soo: Yeah, absolutely, I mean, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they don’t need publicity in the beginning stages of their businesses. They think, “Well, maybe if I have a buck I may need publicity. Or, if I have a seven-figure business I’m going to look into it”, but you know, in the beginning stages of our businesses, it’s important that people see us as that “go to” expert right from the get go, because people have a lot of options.
It’s one thing to go to networking events night after night and talk to people about your work, or get on the phone with them and tell them you’re the very best at what you do. When it’s only coming from you, it’s not that credible. But, if you have influencers, podcasters, magazines, you know, websites where your ideas are being featured, where the podcast host is saying, “This person is amazing. You have got to check out their work!”, that just adds so much more credibility. I just think publicity is important because we need to learn how to generate buzz in our industry, and also having that skill of getting other people that have platforms of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions of people, to open that platform up for you, your ideas, your message, your story, your product, and service is a really powerful thing.
So, I think that it’s a skill that people should learn early on in their business career.
Jack Born: Yeah, I was talking to Susie Moore recently, and she was one of those speakers at your event, and that’s where I met her. So, made great connections at your event. Again, kudos. I know that one of the things that we talked about when I was speaking with her was, when you do this successfully, the way that you teach you are able to reach a new tribe, a new audience, a new group of people. She likened it to almost having an affiliate relationship because you’re getting that warm introduction.
Selena Soo: Right.
Jack Born: But, there’s no payment, at least in the form of affiliate commissions.
Selena Soo: Exactly, yeah. So, I mean there’s different ways to build your audience and they’re all worthwhile. There’s organic, and that’s through content and publicity. There’s JV partnerships and then there’s also paid advertising. But, the thing about publicity that’s really powerful is that it is a form of content marketing when you put your ideas out there. The other thing is that if someone is listening to an hour long podcast interview, and then opts into your email list, they’re a lot more likely to buy than somebody who just opted in through a Facebook ad or a free gift.
Of course, I think Facebook ads are important, but I think that you want to think about having a multi-pronged approach to really engaging people and getting them onto your list. So, it’s a great way to attract new people. Ramit Sethi, one of my mentors, who has a company called I Will Teach You to be Rich, and GrowthLab, built his audience of hundreds of thousands through content marketing and publicity. Susie Moore, one of our panelists, who is a life coach, she’s had her business for about two years and has multiple tens of thousands of people on her email list because of publicity and writing these articles.
So, it’s definitely something to think about. The other cool thing is that publicity is powerful because it also opens up the doors to other opportunities. If you’re looking to do a TED Talk one day, or speak on big stages, saying that you’ve been on podcasts, you’ve been in magazines, and you’ve shared your story multiple times is going to help you with that goal. If you want to get a book deal, and you can say to the publisher, “I have been featured in these places”, that could lead to tens of thousands of dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars more in your (book) advance. It could lead to corporate or brand partnerships, so there’s a lot of reasons why publicity can be valuable, beyond the publicity itself.
Then, of course, it can help you attract new clients and cultivate clients who are already thinking about you. I’ve had situations where I’ll start doing a bunch of media. I publicize it to my audience, you know, I’ll share it on Facebook. I’ll put it in my newsletter. People are like, “Wow! You’re really going places! I feel like this is a sign that we’re meant to work together because I’m seeing you everywhere”, and there’s where you want to be in your business.
You want to create leverage. Deadline Funnel is a way people can create leverage when they use that tool in their business. With publicity, you’re reaching thousands or even millions of people, versus only having one-on-one conversations where you’re trying to convince people that you’re the best at what you do.
Jack Born: So, this sounds amazing and incredibly powerful, but as with anything, you have to know what you’re doing. Where should someone start, if they have never even attempted to do publicity before?
Selena Soo: Yeah, I think the first thing is starting off with a strategy because it can feel overwhelming. There’s so many media outlets out there. There’s so many stories you can pitch. How do you even begin? So, the first thing is thinking about what kinds of media are going to help me reach my goals. There’s a concept I developed called the publicity pyramid, and it has four layers of publicity that you can be thinking about.
The mistake that people make often times, is they’ll come to me or talk to their friend and say, “I want to be interviewed by Oprah on SuperBowl Sunday. I want to be on the Today Show”, and that’s usually not going to be your first stop with publicity. That may be a later stop if that is your path. What we recommend is choosing and pursuing opportunities at the base of the publicity pyramid. So, at the base are guest posts. So, these are on websites that have audiences, that have traffic, then they’re redirected back to your site, where you’re sharing your thought leadership, and ideas.
There’s a lot of websites that are built on the contributor model. Places like Forbes, Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Business Insider. These are pretty well known brand names, so it can boost your brand pretty quickly by being on the site. You can also share your ideas in an in-depth way and you can also direct people back to your website. I found that some of my biggest list building opportunities have come through the right guess post opportunities. I recommend guest post opportunities as a first stop for people.
Then, the next level would be podcasts. So, after you’ve explained your ideas in depth, you’ve shared your story, you ran it out. Now you’re ready to talk about it in-depth in a back-and-forth podcast interview. The people that tend to listen to 30-minute or hour-long podcasts are people that care about investing in themselves, and investing their time, investing their resources into listening. These are people that tend to be buyers, so if I’m doing a launch for a product, whether it’s a coaching program or an information product, myself and others, I would recommend that you go on the podcast circuit and speak to those warm audiences of people.
I think online publicity, you can move the needle in a really big way for online entrepreneurs and people who have high-end products or services to sell or courses. The next level is magazines and TV. With magazines, often times it’s going to be a quote. So, they’re going to share a little sound bite from you that’s going to be included in an article. Then, with TV, it’s a three-minute, typical segment with you. So, that’s a lot faster, shorter, so you really want to be prepared for those experiences. While it will help you reach lots of people, it’s not always as in-depth as a podcast interview, or a podcast or guest post could be. I recommend starting at the bottom and moving towards the top as you are releasing a book or doing things that are more mass market.
Jack Born: So, what would you recommend in terms of an approach? So, when you’re reaching out to someone who’s got a podcast or somewhere where you want to do a guest blog post, what is a good way to approach?
Selena Soo: Let’s use podcasts as an example, because I think that’s most relevant to most of your listeners. So, okay, they’ve identified podcasts is a place where they really want to focus on. They need to make a list of podcasts that would be great for them. One technique that I recommend is the follow the leader technique. Who are other people in your industry that are doing similar things? Maybe they’re a couple of steps ahead of you. Maybe they’re your colleagues. Then, go in to iTunes and go into the podcast section and type their name. All the podcasts that they’ve appeared on will show up. That’s a great way to start developing a list.
You could also type in something like best business podcasts for entrepreneurs. There’s lots of websites like Inc, Entrepreneur, Forbes, that compile lists for you. So, if you just do those two things, you’ll probably come up with a really good list of podcasts. You can also go on to iTunes and look at the best business podcasts there, or go to new and noteworthy for that section, so easily you could find 50 podcasts that could be great for you to be on.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is with podcasters, they are influencers. The podcast is part of their business and they have spent money to develop the podcast. They’ve got an audience that they really care about, so building relationships is an important thing here. They’re going to want to know if they’re going to bring you on to their podcast, that you’re going to have a lot of value to share with their audience, that you’re on brand. If you don’t have a website or any information about you online yet, that’s going to be a bit harder for someone to be like, “Oh, I would want this person”, because it’s like their personal endorsement of you.
Once we identify which podcasts you want to be on, what I recommend you do is start following those people on social media, on Twitter, engaging with their content. If they are posting their podcast on their website and there’s opportunity to leave comments, leave a comment, write a five star review on iTunes about the podcast. Plant those seeds so you’re starting to get visible and you’re starting to add value before you even ever pitch yourself.
Then, in terms of the email pitch, there’s a couple of steps I recommend. People follow, and the first is of course the subject line. That is sort of like e-mail marketing 101, like having a subject line that will get their attention. So, think about with a podcast, what would you talk about? Turn that into an interesting headline that can even be used for the potential episode you do with the podcast host. Then, once you get into the e-mail, the first thing to do is develop a connection, because these podcast hosts tend to be successful entrepreneurs and influencers in their own right.
So say something about how you really enjoy their podcast, but also add something specific. Otherwise, it can seem like a copy and paste, really general comment that maybe is not genuine. So, even if you just started listening to their podcast, “I just discovered your podcast two weeks ago. I’ve checked out your last three episodes and I thought it was so amazing that I left you a five star Amazon review”, something like that. Even if you just discovered it that week, you could say that, if you listened to the episodes or part of the episode.
Then, you want to briefly introduce yourself by sharing some credibility markers. Why should they pay attention to you? There’s a lot of people that are jumping into entrepreneurship nowadays, so maybe … There are different levels of business. Some people just started their business yesterday, other people are more well established. Think about what are your credibility markers. Could it be that you’ve been in business for x number of years? Could it be that you serve a certain number of clients, or you’ve developed a certain audience, or you’ve gotten a specific result, or been in other forms of media?
Think about some things that you could share that would really make you pop. Then what I would do is just share your story ideas, or the topics that you could talk about in the podcast interview. So, just the most interesting, exciting elements of your story, your highs and your lows, actual take aways that you could share with the listeners that could help them reach a goal.
You could also mention if you’ve been on other podcasts before. It can be helpful for someone to know, “Okay, you’ve got experience with this”. Similarly, if you’re pitching yourself to guest post somewhere, you may want to include a writing sample or say, “I’ve written at other places”, so people know, “Oh, you have experience in this media”. So, those are some of the key elements of a pitch. If you do that, chances are your pitch is going to catch someone’s eye.
Jack Born: Do you have any guidelines for how long is too long for that first e-mail?
Selena Soo: Yeah. It shouldn’t be that long. In terms of introduction … So, the first part of the pitch would be making that warm connection. That should be just one or two sentences. When you’re introducing yourself, that could be just two sentences as well. Below the bottom of your e-mail pitch, you could include a media bio, that’s a little meatier, and also a link to your website or about page. But, you don’t want to tell your whole life story. Then, you want to transition into your story idea. It could be like, “I was thinking that I could do, I would love to suggest a podcast interview on the topic of how to develop win-win relationships with influencers”, right? So, you’re kind of sharing the topic. Then, “Here are some things I could talk about”, then just include a couple of bullet points, typically three to five bullet points is really great.
In those bullet points, include actionable take aways, numbers, results, lessons that you could teach, interesting elements of your personal story. Then, kind of wrap it up with sharing that you’re happy to talk about other topics, or “Here are some other interviews I’ve done before”. Let them know you’re flexible, that you’re happy to talk about other things, but just kind of putting everything on a silver platter to help make it easy for the podcaster to make the decision whether it’s a yes or a no.
Jack Born: One of the things that I’ve noticed, and you seem to be hinting at this or saying it directly, is that whether you’re doing a guest post or you’re on podcasts, if you do a really good job in one or two key places, it could actually bring other people to you, but it certainly makes it easier to get that second, third, fourth, fifth engagement.
Selena Soo: Yeah.
Jack Born: Can you talk a little bit about that and other ways to use, if you get a publicity win, other ways to leverage publicity?
Selena Soo: Yeah, absolutely. Early on in my business, I had the opportunity to write a guest post for my mentor, Ramit Sethi, and it was called How to Get your Favorite Expert to Notice You. It was a guest post for the website, and I was so proud of the piece, so I wanted to leverage it. I knew a lot of people would discover me from Ramit’s site, and they did. I had about a thousand people sign up for my e-mail list pretty quickly. It’s grown since, in terms of people that come specifically from that guest post, but I knew that I also wanted my audience to know about it. I knew that they could help me make the article go more viral.
So, I shared with people. I shared my story about how I met Ramit, how I got the opportunity, and encouraged them to share on social media, and encourage them to leave a comment. Because I did such a good job of really rallying them to do that, I had about 267 comments on that vlog post.
You really have to make it easy for people to do that, so I guided them, “Just like, leave a quick sentence about your favorite idea, what you enjoyed, or just any words”, and people would respond to me and say, “This was so great, Selena. I loved your guest post with x, y, z”. I would just respond back and say, “That is so amazing. I’m so moved that you read the guest post. Would you be actually willing to include what you just said to me, those two sentences, on the guest post as a comment?” So, I really directed people to do that. That’s how I got all those comments.
Then, later when I pitched myself to other podcasts that are familiar with Ramit’s brand, or other guest post sites, I say, “I have done this guest post with Ramit, and in fact, it got 267 comments”, and so that adds a lot of credibility.
Now, of course, the article had to be good or else people wouldn’t want to read it or leave a comment. But, I also played an active part in building that social proof and having that opened up doors for the next opportunity, and the opportunity after that.
Jack Born: Another thing that I know that you teach, because you mentioned this at your Impact Millions event in Vegas, is using those credibility markers, on your website or your order form. Just to really emphasize that, “Hey, you can trust me. I’m a respected authority”.
Selena Soo: Yeah, absolutely. So, there’s some people that are prolific writers and they want to write all the time. Others, they want the media logos because they add credibility and it can open up new doors. Either way, it’s valuable to have these media logos. You go to other industry colleagues’ or competitors’ websites and you see that they were featured on Inc. and Forbes, and Entrepreneur. It is such a valuable thing to have.
Once you get that media hit once, you can include it in your media bio. I have a client who is a life coach, and she is focused on helping successful, ambitious women, particularly entrepreneurs. It is so powerful in her media bio, and her bio in general, to say, “Nicole has been featured in Inc. and Forbes, and Business Insider”, right? That gets the attention of her ideal clients. It also gets the attention of other media when we’re pitching her. If she were to want to pitch herself for a speaking event, you know, that is also going to help open up doors. Something that you invest energy into today, getting these articles, is something that you can use five years, ten years, 20 years down the road to help you get more opportunities in your business and really impress your ideal clients.
Jack Born: Now, I know you’ve put together some resources. Can you talk … We’ll make the link available wherever this video is, either below or in the description on YouTube. But, can you talk a little bit about what those resources are?
Selena Soo: Yeah, absolutely. So, I created a three part video series to help people get publicity, and I really broke it down. This is sort of a mini course, in a way. There’s three videos. The first video is about how to develop your expert topic, so get really clear about what you want to present to the media, because you want to make sure that they see you as the go to expert, so how to pick those expert topics and then when you check out that video, you’ll also get a list of 100 media outlets that you can start pitching to, podcasts, magazines, websites, and it’s broken down by categories. Business, health, personal development, so definitely check that out.
The next video after that is about developing your story ideas. The last video is your seven step action plan to getting publicity. Another cool thing that I’m doing is when you opt into that video series, you’ll have a chance to win a trip to New York City. You’ll just have to fill out a little questionnaire to show me that you have actually watched the videos by answering some multiple choice questions, and sharing a little about yourself. So, I’m going to be flying one person out to New York City to be mentored by me, and to meet some of the influencers and media, network, a fun influencer dinner party, and Jack, you’ve been to one of my events, so you know how fun those can be. So, I’m excited to extend that opportunity when people opt in to check out the video series.
Jack Born: Yeah, if it’s anything like the Vegas event, it will be first class. There will be some great connections. You’re in New York City, right?
Selena Soo: Yes, I am.
Jack Born: A lot of the influencers, like Susie, live in New York City, and I know several of the others who were at your event are from New York City. Seems like, obviously, that’s where there’s a lot going on, so a great place to be flying to.
So, I want to switch gears here real quickly. You mentioned publicity for a launch, and this was earlier in the conversation, but you shared with me that you’re making some new additions to your business because, well, why don’t you talk about it specifically with regards to Deadline Funnel, and how you’re using it in your business?
Selena Soo: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve had my business for five and a half years, and it’s been a launch based business. On the one hand, launches are so fun, but they’re also a lot of work. You kind of reinvent the wheel every time, even if you’re using the same launch sequence, there’s things that need to be updated. You’re doing webinars live, and things like that. So, I’m looking to create a more sustainable business. I think this is relevant for anyone who is interested in publicity and looking to attract more people. There are going to be people on your list who join at any moment in time, and you want to be able to have something to give them, and so in the past, people would need to wait until I had a launch.
But now, we’re growing our list through Facebook ads, and we’re adding Evergreen products, Evergreen webinars, and so we’re using Deadline Funnel to create that urgency to get people to buy, so they feel like they’re in a launch. There is that urgency and incentive, but we’re able to automate that and make it happen year round. I talked about there’s different ways to grow your audience. Publicity is one way, but another way is paid media, and the way to really make paid media work, is if you have a product on the back end so you can monetize all the leads that are coming in, or break even on traffic.
We’re looking to exponentially grow the business, and there’s no way that we can do it without some kind of funnel. But, a key part of the funnel is creating that urgency so it mimics a launch. So, we’re using Deadline Funnel for that. We’ve been testing different price points and different things, so we’re breaking even. I think this is going to be a huge part of our business moving forward. Moving forward, I’m going to have one big launch, and then ideally, everything is going to run in this automated way. I don’t know a better tool than Deadline Funnel to help with that piece. So, that’s been huge for my business.
Jack Born: Thank you for sharing that. The mantra that I’ve been sharing recently is, “You should launch when you want to, not because you have to“, and that’s really the model that you’re going to. So, that’s great. The other really great point that you made is you may get a great publicity opportunity in June, and if your launch is in January, there’s going to be a lot of lag time there. So, having that Evergreen portion of your marketing catalog is really, really important.
Selena Soo: Definitely. Yeah, that’s probably the thing I’m most excited about in my business right now is growing it in that really systematic way. I remember initially I did have some resistance towards automating things. I thought, “Oh, I’m doing an Evergreen funnel. Is it less high touch? Does it not seem as genuine?” But, one thing that I’ve discovered, is to make your Evergreen funnel work, you have to put your best foot forward. You need to refine your webinar so it adds as much value, and really incentivizes, and leads people into a buying decision. Your e-mails have to be the best they could be, so I think by adding that, it’s actually forced me to make my marketing and just everything better and better to really serve my people
So, it really has been, yeah, a really great thing for my business. I didn’t realize it would be so great. I had a mental block because I was so used to doing everything live. Then I realized, you can do both. You can launch when you want, and you can also have that Evergreen funnel running in the background.
Jack Born: Terrific. Well, to close this out, I just want to encourage anyone who is watching this, who, like me, wants to focus more on publicity and really tap into markets and tribes that we currently don’t have access to, in a way where we’re being introduced by a trusted resources, the person who runs the podcast, or the website where that guest post is being read. It’s such a great way to reach a new audience, and really display your expertise. If you’re interested in that, I highly recommend that you jump in and click the link on this page, or in the description where the video is and take advantage of Selena’s offer.
I think this is the third time I’ve said, she put together a really world class event in Vegas, and it really showed me, opened my eyes, to where you can take your business with publicity. I met people whose business is being run off the backs of publicity, and just doing nothing but that. So, if you’re doing paid media, I think adding in publicity is a great way to improve what you’re already doing. You can also borrow the credibility that you get from the publicity, and improve the conversion results that you’re getting with your paid media.
Both sides help each other. Click the link and sign up, because I know that Selena’s got some great resources and a lot of great experience. Selena, I really appreciate the time, and thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Selena Soo: Thanks so much, Jack.
Resources mentioned in the interview:
Melyssa Griffin is someone who really, really excels at growing a huge community, growing a tribe and connecting with that tribe on a really, really deep level. Developing a type of authority, but also the “know, like, and trust” of that tribe, that I truly haven’t seen anywhere else.
Just so that you know why I say this, I noticed that Melyssa was using Deadline Funnel. So I reached out to her, and after we were able to connect, we arranged a time where she would do a webinar to talk about how she uses Deadline Funnel with her audience. I had what I thought to be the maximum amount of registration seats on my webinar, but I soon realized that I needed to get a whole lot more, because her audience just completely blew through that amount. And really, one of the things that I kick myself for in 2017, is not having not having called GoToWebinar ahead of time and asking for an even higher limit.
Melyssa’s webinar was one of our most successful webinars in 2017, and I can just tell that her audience really looks to her for advice and trusts everything that she says. And so that’s really, really important. Anyone who’s selling an online course or really selling anything online, you can’t have too much authority, you can’t have too much of a relationship with your audience. It’s so vitally important. And so I hope that we can talk about that today, and I hope that you learn that. But if nothing else, I think that you should join her email list and join her community and see firsthand how it is that she goes about doing that.
Watch the video, read the transcript, or listen to the interview below!
Melyssa also hosts the top-rated Pursuit With Purpose Podcast that you definitely should check out, which covers topics like meditation, relationships, and mindset in order to help her community reach their full potential in all areas of their lives. Past guests include Deepak Chopra, Lewis Howes, and Susie Moore, another Deadline Funnel client, who I just interviewed yesterday. So, Melyssa, great to have you here.
Melyssa Griffin: Thank you so much for that extremely generous introduction, Jack. I really appreciate that. And it’s always such an honor to collaborate with you on anything. So excited for this interview and to be able to communicate with your tribe. I’m sure that they look up to you in very similar ways.
Jack Born: Yes, well, I’m really looking forward to hearing some of the things you’ve been up to. So why don’t you start by sharing a little bit of your background and some of the big lessons that you’ve learned. Because a lot of our clients are course readers as well. And I know that was a big turning point for you. You started as a schoolteacher, and when you launched The Nectar Collective, I think from my research you started a web design business at the same time. But at some point you decided that you wanted to launch your own course. And that really, I think, was a big turning point for you. So what are some of the big takeaways that you learned from that point?
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. So for just a little background, pretty much exactly what you said. I started my website as just a blog. It was supposed to be for fun. Never even knew that this online business world existed in this way. And then started a graphic design studio after a few months of realizing like, “Wow, I can turn this into a business,” and had that for a couple of years, and then realized that I wanted to basically affect more people rather than working one-on-one and have more time freedom away from my business. So I put out my first course thinking maybe I’ll get a few people, a handful of people, to sign up for it, and in that first month got about 150 sales, which made around $25,000, and that was like a light bulb moment.
Wow. I could switch my business model from working one-on-one with clients to creating courses that stand alone and can be sold over and over again, pre-recorded courses that people could just go to my website and buy.
And I could, a) affect more people in my community at a lower price-point than working one-on-one, making it more accessible. And, b) have this business where I could easily scale it to more and more income without having to work with hundreds of clients. So since that point, I think I’ve worked with around 6 or 7,000 students in my courses, and it just completely changed how I run my business.
I have this business where I could easily scale it to more and more income without having to work with hundreds of clients.
So that is a big takeaway for me, just finding a business model that allows you to reach the masses, I guess you can say, and take less time away from you. Because if you’re constantly working with clients and trading your time for money, then there’s always gonna be a ceiling to what you can earn, because there’s only so much you can charge per hour or per package. And once you hit that limit it’s like, well, there’s no real other place for you to go. And then it can become kind of overwhelming.
So I think that regardless of what you sell, everyone should have some kind of scalable product inside of your business. You can still do one-on-one. You could do coaching services, graphic design, whatever, but have something that’s scalable that you can use in that way.
Regardless of what you sell, everyone should have some kind of scalable product inside of your business.
Jack Born: So from where you are now, when you look back to your growth, and if you were able to go back to a younger Melyssa and share some of your insights that you’ve learned over the years, what would be some of the big lessons that you learned that you wish you knew back then?
Melyssa Griffin: Hmm. I mean, not even to get on your good side or anything, but definitely automated funnels and Deadline Funnel were a huge turning point. Because we went to courses after doing my graphic business. I shut that down, and then I moved on to doing courses. And I started by doing course launches, and that was great. That’s how I made that first $25,000, and it was working really well.
But then after the launch was over, and I didn’t have anything to really promote anymore, the next month I didn’t make that much money. I was like, “What’s happening? How am I gonna keep making sales of these products on a month-to-month basis? Is it just gonna be this one time thing? Or do I have to do a big launch?”
And it took me a few months to figure this out, but I eventually created my first evergreen sales funnel, which was an evergreen webinar. And we incorporated Deadline Funnel to basically create authentic deadlines for people who are going through this funnel, so that they only had a couple of days to purchase in order to get some extra bonuses. And that was another huge turning point.
Because it started to show me I could make money on a consistent monthly and daily basis of my products without having to launch anything. Because launching is very stressful, tiring, and your audience gets tired if you do it all the time, too. They’re like, “Okay, we’re kind of done with having you keep selling stuff to us.”
Launching is very stressful, tiring, and your audience gets tired if you do it all the time.
By having these automatic funnels, a) I get to teach stuff to people, because my webinars are filled with free information. They actually have really generous steps involved in them. And then, b) I’m able to make money from my courses on a regular daily basis without having to do very much work. It’s just kind of like responding to some customer service emails, and that’s basically it. There’s not a whole lot else that goes into it.
So it’s very hands off in that way, and that allows me to focus on other things, like creating new courses, new funnels, speaking, having a mastermind, doing all these different things. So that is definitely something that I would have gotten started with earlier had I known that that was even an option.
And then something else that I would say is just like keeping my eyes on my own paper and not being so worried about what other people were doing, especially in those early days when I was getting started. I felt like everything was kind of like, “Okay, this is my idea, but are other people doing it? Are people gonna like it? Is this something that people do? Maybe I should be more like them or I should have their voice in my emails, or I should create products that are more like this.” And what I found is that if I followed that path of doing what everyone else was doing, then it made me just kind of blend in and be this generic copy of everybody else.
Where I really started to grow and shine in my business, is when I started to embrace my own voice more.
Where I really started to grow and shine in my business, is when I started to embrace my own voice more and embrace what I can bring to the table for my audience. And maybe not following the exact mold that other people do, but being okay with that. And it ended up being a lot more fun and profitable, too.
Jack Born: Was there anything that you did that helped you find your own voice? Because I think everyone starts by emulating. You see people being successful, and that’s honestly a shortcut to success. Why reinvent the wheel? But at some point you need to say, “You know, I want to be my own variation of this entrepreneur.” Was there anything that you can share that was helpful in you finding that voice?
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. What I would say is give yourself a deadline of when you are able to consume other people’s work. Maybe it’s signing up for their email list, reading their emails, what do they say? Looking at how they market their courses or looking at their sales pages, researching their Instagrams and really have maybe a couple of weeks where you research what other people are doing, not to copy them, but to get ideas of what you could be doing for your business kind of pulling little pieces from everybody. But give yourself a deadline.
After that, “I’m done, and I’m not gonna be doing this research anymore.” And maybe you do that every six months or every year or something. But it’s in this confined box, so that you’re not on a Monday morning when you have so many things for you to do opening up someone’s email and thinking, “Shoot. Maybe I should rewrite my entire email now, because this one is really good that this other person wrote.”
Comparing was starting to fog up on my own mind and make it difficult for me to remember what my voice sounded like.
And you’re really just staying in your own lane of what you want to do. Something that I did, and I think this is also just a factor of listening to yourself. I noticed that maybe a year ago I felt like I was getting too much information from other people, too many other people’s brands were in my feed and my inbox, and it was starting to fog up on my own mind and make it difficult for me to remember what my voice sounded like. I remember having this moment of thinking, “How does Melyssa write? What does Melyssa say? I don’t even know anymore, because I’m so infiltrated with all this other information from people’s brands.”
So I went on my social media and through my inbox and unfollowed everybody. I was following zero people on all my social media accounts. Even my Facebook profile, my personal account, I was like, “I’m just gonna go through and unfriend anybody I haven’t talked to in the past year and just make it really clean, really simple, and where I’m not consuming any other people’s information. My Facebook feed actually said, “No news to show. Sorry, there’s nothing we can show in your feed.” I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen that in my life.”
And that period of time was really helpful for me. I spent a few months just being completely solo, not following anyone’s work, because it allowed me to get back in touch with who I am and what my voice sounds like and what I want to bring to my audience.
And then I could selectively re-follow people later on when I felt confident in what I brought and what my voice was. And during that period of time, I would say, be actively working on your voice. Maybe you start to write based on how you talk. I usually write out my emails and captions and stuff based on how I would actually explain that topic to a friend, so that it’s not this robotic corporate-sounding things. It’s like, “This is how I talk, and this is who I am, and I’m conveying that here in my email to you.” So spend that time away from everyone else actively working on your voice and what you sound like and what you bring.
Jack Born: The listening to yourself, I know that that’s something that has become more and more and more of your focus, especially with the Pursuit With Purpose podcast. I want to get into that real quick, but before I do, I really want to emphasize that once again, you really walk your talk. One of the most shocking emails that I saw in 2017 was when you announced that you were gonna close down this huge Facebook group of, I think it was 70,000 members.
Most people would sell off a beloved pet in order to have a Facebook group of 70,000 people, and you were closing it down. Again, in my research leading up to our talk today, I’ve heard you say that it was primarily because you felt like it was out of alignment with what you wanted to do, and you wanted to have smaller, more focused, deeper interactions with smaller members of your audience. Is that a fair assessment?
I felt like I’d grown this big community of people who weren’t really talking to each other.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. People bring that up, and for me it was like I had grown this thing to 70,000 people, and there were so many people leaving comments and threads, and it was a very active group. But as I scrolled through it, it just didn’t feel like people were actually connecting. I felt like they’d pop in, ask a question, then bounce, and there wasn’t real interaction happening.
In that space with my brand, I started wanting to venture more into facilitating deeper relationships with people. And I felt like I’d grown this big community of people who weren’t really talking to each other. They were just kind of posting in the group, and I didn’t feel like I was facilitating a community that was in alignment with that deeper vision that I had.
It was a tough choice. I definitely had some calls with my team. I had to do a lot of thinking to myself. I knew the impact that it would have on the people who were in it, because I know that some people did get a lot of value from it. But I just didn’t feel like it was in alignment with where I wanted to go. So if it meant losing some sales because we didn’t have that marketing channel, I was okay with it, because I feel like if my business isn’t in alignment with my purpose and what feels good to me at the end of the day, then it’s not something that’s worth pursuing.
If my business isn’t in alignment with my purpose and what feels good to me at the end of the day, then it’s not something that’s worth pursuing.
Jack Born: Let’s talk about your Pursuit With Purpose podcast. Why don’t you first talk about how you wanted it to be different than other podcasts out there and why you felt the need to start it.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. So around the end of 2016, I’d had this great year in my business. We quadrupled sales. Actually, I think we quintupled sales five times to over $1 million, and it was like this crazy goal that I didn’t expect to ever hit in my life, and there I was hitting that goal.
I think I had basically a breakdown at that point, end of 2016, because it just felt like I had spent the entire year building this business, which was so great, and yet I was completely miserable. And the reason was because I’d spent all that time building my business and then neglecting my personal relationships, my family, any activities or hobbies that I enjoyed doing. It was literally like I would spend all day on this business, and I’d be looking at people’s social media accounts, reading their emails, and just getting in the zone of comparison and competition.
And it really started to wear on me at the end of the year. And I would see all these big numbers that people were talking about, their million-dollar launches and six figure this and that. And I thought, “I need to hit that. I need to do this. I need to basically be enough.” And I think at the end of the day I was really striving to just prove my own self worth to myself.
And I had this moment at the end of 2016 realizing that I was doing that and that I was making myself miserable with this business. So I decided to start shifting things and to focus less on the income that we were bringing in and more on the mission and purpose that I’m fulfilling with my business. So at the start of 2017 I started to make some big shifts.
We did a big fundraiser to raise money for Pencils of Promise, and we really just started to shift our focus, especially during launches, automation from “How many sales can we make no matter what?” To “How many people are we affecting, and how can we affect them in a deeper way? How can we create these relationships with people that really fuel their full potential?” That kind of spurred the closing of the Facebook group. It just didn’t feel in alignment with that vision anymore. It was like the old Melyssa kind of tactic.
I started the podcast as another way of sharing the message of what I went through and helping other entrepreneurs who maybe feel distracted by talk of how they should earn X amount of money.
And so I started the podcast as another way of sharing that message of what I went through and also helping other entrepreneurs who maybe feel distracted by talk of they should earn X amount of money or they should have 100,000 Instagram followers, just feeling like their worth is measured based on how much they’re earning and how many people are following them versus what they’re actually doing with their business and the kind of life that they’re creating. So it’s called Pursuit With Purpose because I still want to help people pursue their biggest dreams, whether that’s building a business or anything else that they want to do with their life, but I want it to be purposeful.
So I bring in people who talk about a range of different topics from self love to, I interviewed Gabby Bernstein about how to stop judging ourselves and how that can help your life. I’ve interviewed people about meditation and how to have better relationships. Because I think if you have this holistic view of your life, and you’re working on bettering yourself and your mindset, then that will just translate into what kind of business you’re able to build, too. So that’s what the podcast is about.
Jack Born: And I recommend anyone who’s into podcasts, and hopefully everyone is, you definitely should go check it out. You’ve interviewed some great people including our mutual client, Susie Moore. So shout out to Susie.
Melyssa Griffin: Yes. Love Susie. She’s amazing.
Jack Born: Yeah, she’s awesome.
Melyssa Griffin: She’s amazing.
Jack Born: But one of the things that I picked up in my research was that you really have a strong focus on your morning routine, which is something that’s been a big thing for me in developing my morning routine. And I think there’s a lot of parallels in what you do and what I do. Some differences, of course, but can you share what’s your philosophy about starting your day off right, and what are some of the things that you do?
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. So I notice, I actually fell out of doing my routine for a couple of weeks around the holidays, around December, January, and I felt it. I felt a total difference in my life, how I reacted to things, how I showed up, how confident I was, how well-rested and energetic I was. So I can see firsthand how much of a difference it makes in my life to have a really solid morning routine.
So what I do for my routine is I get up. The first thing I do is I make my bed, because I want to start my day doing something productive and really showing up for myself, because I think there’s so much self-integrity that’s involved in our lives that it’s easy to just be like, “I’ll do all this stuff for other people, but then my own stuff, I’ll just kind of push off,” and I think making your bed is that first key to showing up for yourself.
Journaling has been one of the best things for my own personal growth and for finding my voice that I think I’ve ever done.
So I do that, and then I also journal. So journaling has been one of the best things for my own personal growth and for finding my voice that I think I’ve ever done. In the morning I journal three pages, at least. Sometimes it’s like 12. But other times it’s three. At least three pages. And it’s called morning pages.
It’s actually this thing created by Julia Cameron, and the reason it’s three pages is because by the first page maybe you’re just kind of like in a stream of consciousness, whatever comes up. By the first page you’re kind of just going through the motions, getting stuff out. By the second page you’re kind of like, “Okay, what else should I write about?” And by the third page, you’re just digging as deep into yourself as you can, because you’re like, “What else can I write about?”
And then you really start to pull out the deeper layers of who you are, because you get rid of that surface level chatter from the first and second pages. So I do that, and I always end with at least three things that I’m grateful for. And that alone has really shifted my own consciousness of seeing things from a place of gratitude rather than a place of lack. And that helps me just go into my day with more gratitude for everything that happens. And then I read. I always read every morning, and I try to read every evening, too. And that is just a way for me to have some space for myself and to gain knowledge.
Actually, I wasn’t a big reader until a couple of years ago when I realized anything I ever want to know in the world is available to me for like $8.00, and I can read a book and learn anything I want for like eight bucks. And I was like, “Why am I not doing this more? Why am I not reading more?” So I try to read at least one or two books per month and really keep that an active part of my process.
And then I meditate. Meditation has really helped me, too. I try to meditate twice a day. It doesn’t always happen, but that is the goal. And I always have a green juice, some kind of healthy cold-pressed juice. I live in Venice in LA, and since I moved here the green juice culture really infiltrated my life.
Jack Born: I think it’s required.
Melyssa Griffin: Yes, it is.
Jack Born: You have to drink it there.
Melyssa Griffin: It’s totally required. You need green juice, and you need a crystal and a yoga mat if you want to live in LA. So I do that. I always try to start with something healthy. I drink 10 cups of water per day. So I always start with a glass of water, too, just being hydrated gets rid of headaches, helps you with energy levels. And those are the biggest things that I do each day. There’s some other little things that I throw in like supplements and whatnot, but journaling, reading, meditation are the big three for me. It’s part of your routine.
Jack Born: Yeah. In my morning, I have kids that need to get to school, and my oldest daughter went from grade school to junior high. And so now she gets up an hour earlier, so now I have to get up an hour earlier so I can fit this stuff in. So I wake up at 4:30.
Melyssa Griffin: Wow.
Jack Born: Yeah.
Melyssa Griffin: Oh my gosh.
Jack Born: But I have to.
Melyssa Griffin: What time do you go to sleep to wake up that early?
Jack Born: 9:00 usually.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, nice.
Jack Born: So I get up at 4:30. By 4:45, 5:00 I’m doing about 15 minutes of meditation, and then I journal. I have done the morning pages for some time, but now I’m not doing that as much. But now I have a structured process that just works for me. Part of it is writing down things that I’m grateful for. But looking over my day and kind of time blocking what’s going on today and then also focusing on the one thing. What’s the ‘no matter what emergencies come up’, ‘no matter what craziness happens’, what’s the one thing I want to knock out today that’s gonna move my business forward? And so that’s kind of the structure of my morning.
What’s the one thing I want to knock out today that’s gonna move my business forward.
And then sometimes instead of taking the kids to school it’s going to work out. A big chunk of time in the morning is dedicated to just getting things started, but I feel like it really helps power the whole rest of my day. So that’s really helpful.
Melyssa Griffin: Right. Right. I feel like people, like as entrepreneurs, I think our instinct is just get the work done, just start working when you wake up. I used to be that way, but what I realized is if I’m not at my best, then my business isn’t gonna be at its best either. So I really need to prioritize my own personal growth. And if that means starting work at 10:00 or 11:00 every day, then that’s what I need to do. And maybe I have less time to get work done, but I’m gonna get more thoughtful work done. I’m gonna do it better than I would if I just got up and got started working.
Jack Born: Right. Quality over quantity.
Melyssa Griffin: Yes.
Jack Born: So this has been terrific. Let me ask you just two final questions, and then we’ll wrap up. So for someone just starting out who sees the success that you’ve had, what would be a piece of advice that you would give to someone just starting out? Maybe they’re in the middle of creating their online course or they have an idea. They’ve got inspiration, but they’re not sure if they should make the leap. Someone just starting out, what sort of advice would you give them?
Melyssa Griffin: The advice I want to give is something that I already said, so I won’t go too much into detail, but it’s just about keeping your eyes on your own paper and really trying to block out the other voices out there for the time being and letting your own voice come out and shine and not feeling like you need to match up to anybody else, because you’re doing your own thing, and that’s beautiful. So really just doing your stuff and believing in your unique qualities.
Other than that, I would say get started with as little as possible. You don’t need to hire a video team. You don’t need to have beautifully recorded videos or perfect email sequence. If you’ve got an idea, then you can start pre-selling that idea before you even create the course. That’s what I did for, I think, all of my courses when I first launched them. I sold them before I created the content.
I obviously had an idea of an outline and what I wanted to talk about in each video and module, but it wasn’t created yet. I just had this idea. Did some research based on a survey that I sent to my audience, which is another great thing that you might want to do, found the thing that they needed help with most, which at the time was getting more traffic to their site. And then I made a course that targeted that idea, but I pre-sold it. So I would say get your idea, start growing that audience. It does not have to be big at all, and start pre-selling whatever that idea is. And then after you get some sales, then you can begin creating the course.
Jack Born: And so let me finish with this question. Is there a powerful question that you turn to often to help you give clarity and direction?
I started asking myself, instead of, “What do I want to do?” It’s, “Who do I want to be?
Melyssa Griffin: There actually is. I started asking myself, instead of, “What do I want to do?” It’s, “Who do I want to be?” And when I’m able to answer, “Who do I want to be in this moment? Who do I want to be in my business? Who do I want to be in my life, in my relationships?” Then it gives me so much more clarity on what I want to create in the world and how I need to show up in order to create those things. So who do I want to be is something I go to a lot.
Jack Born: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Melyssa Griffin. And please go check out her podcast, Pursuit With Purpose, and go sign up for her email course. It’s really, really good. I commented to Melyssa via email, I don’t know, a year or so ago when I first signed up. I said, “Man, your first five or six emails,” which is where I was at at that point, “are really, really good.” I really feel like I’ve got a sense of who you are. I think that your voice does shine through really, really well.
Melyssa Griffin: Thank you. I appreciate that. I remember that email you sent me. That meant a lot.
Jack Born: So it’s been great having you. Thank you so much.
Melyssa Griffin: Thank you, Jack. I appreciate you having me on.
Resources mentioned in this article:
Alanna Kaivalya was interviewed previously to discuss how she uses Deadline Funnel to grow her business.
The Deadline Funnel team was thrilled to hear back from her a few months later when she told us she had 5x’d her monthly sales in 5 months and…
She won Ontraport’s annual award for “Ontrapreneur Of the Year”!
Way to go Alanna!
A few days before she went to the Ontraport event she and I did an update interview to share with you what’s been working so well in her business.
JB: Alright, one of my most favorite things is when I get an email from a client saying, “Thank you so much, I want to share my results,” and I’m so happy, because I got this email from our guest, who I’ll reintroduce in just a second, and the email went, “I hope all is well with you, I thought I’d shoot you a quick email to let you know I’ve been selected as one of five modern entrepreneurs by Ontraport and will be honored at an award ceremony at the Ontrapalooza event in October. You and Deadline Funnel helped to make this possible for me and I can’t wait to be interviewed and start talking to more people about my incredible Evergreen Systems.”
Welcome back, Alanna, great to have you!
AK: It’s my pleasure, I’m so glad to be here, Jack, it’s always a great time talking to you, so thanks for having me.
JB: Absolutely. We emailed back and forth a few times, there was a hurricane in between and now you graciously offered to come and share some of what you’ll probably be talking about at the event. But also, you shared with me a sneak peek of your results. You’ve grown really rapidly since April. So why don’t you take it away, tell us what you’ve been up to and what’s working.
AK: Yeah, I have so much excitement around the fact that I get to share this news with you, it’s been a huge turnaround for me. It seemed like it took … it was like a slow roll getting it all together and then starting about April and May, things just started to skyrocket and I have a huge debt and gratitude to Deadline Funnel and the services that you provide, because it really makes my systems work.
One of the things that I’ve been chasing ever since the book ‘The 4 hour work week’ came out in 2005, is this magical passive income, which always seemed to elude me, no matter what else I did.
I got into online course creation a couple of years ago. I have loved it, but it has been difficult to try to figure out how to market it and of course I got stuck into a launch cycle, trying to launch course after course after course, which is exhausting and overwhelming. Landing on Deadline Funnel and the fact that I could create Evergreen Systems with that was really a magical shift for me.
I’ve been in process to get that to work and since April and May it has worked like gangbusters. One of the things I feel really passionate about is marketing to non-traditional marketing sources. I am a yoga teacher by trade and by heart and my people are not necessarily online and I find that a lot of marketers right now are providing internet marketing tools and solutions for other internet marketers, who are then internet marketing to internet marketers, which is great for the internet marketing crowd, but that’s not who my crowd is.
It’s taken a while to actually figure out the magic recipe that people who are not used to internet marketing want, but also specifically what my audience wants, which is not a heavy sales pitch. They need a lot of education around being able to actually just even jump online and believe that you can learn yoga online. They’re very skeptical, they’re leery of the amount of personal connection, so a lot of education is really necessary. With that education, of course you do still need to provide that deadline, that pressure to say, “Hey, now is the opportunity, now is the time to join.” And that of course is where Deadline Funnel helps to provide that timeline of, “Look, I’m giving you a special offer and you do need to jump on it now.”
The kind of basics for the Funnel that I’ve found are really successful for me and my audience, again, building that education, building that rapport. I do use webinars, primarily, to do that. I’ll have a Facebook ad that leads people to a webinar registration. I use Easy Webinar, which has been great because it integrates with Ontraport, which, of course, I’m an Ontraport user.
Through the Easy Webinar, which is an Evergreen webinar, people meet me, essentially. They get to know me, they get to see my face, that’s really important. I show up at the beginning of the webinar, I show up at the end of the webinar and then I have a portal for them to be able to ask questions and submit questions that I do actually respond to. And then I give them a timed offer, and that’s how I keep the system Evergreen. Instead of going through the craziness of open and close or a continuous launch cycle, I’m able to roll this essentially all the time and keep my leads flowing and keep my income flowing, too, which is amazing.
JB: And I would imagine, whether you do it all the time or not, you get the opportunity because it’s an Evergreen Funnel, you can come up with different headlines or different tweaks that you can find improvements every so often.
AK: Yeah, exactly. Ads do kind of peter out, so you have to refresh them a little bit, either refresh them with images or the content or even the lead. I provide different little bonuses, when people register for my webinars they get a free gift. So I can change that out, too.
Again, it’s a lot about education. There is a huge amount of emails that go into these Funnels introducing myself to people, reminding them of all the benefits that they get when they join the courses with me, that I am here on the other end, that this is my passion, you will be my student, we will get to hang out.
All of that really goes into the stats. Of course, it’s all about the stats for us, right? We have to watch all those numbers and see what people are responding to, see what the open rates are, if things start to fall off, how to pick them back up. There’s a lot of different things you can tweak and play with.
I think that I’ve hit on a pretty magical combination and I’m honestly really excited, because I have started to become more active in the marketing community, because a lot of people are interested in figuring out how to market to non-traditional, not-internet marketing markets.
I’ve witnessed and seen the stress of people having to deal with their launch cycles, and Oh my gosh, it’s so nice to just have that continuous kind of rolling Evergreen cycle.
JB: Yeah, absolutely. I call it the launch revenue rollercoaster. When it’s up it’s up and then it drops off a cliff. It’s nice to be able to … I’m actually writing a long article about this, that my position is launches aren’t necessarily bad, but you should launch when you want to, not because you feel like you have to.
Let’s talk about the differences in the way that you’ve tweaked your education-based marketing and how you view that different than maybe what you see marketers sell and marketers do.
One of the things that I actually do … I have, of course, like many of us, digested as many webinars from as many experts as possible and tried to learn all those things and utilized various webinar templates, utilized various email sales templates. First of all, the heavy-handed sales pitch doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. People want to hear from me, they really just want to get to know me. For anyone who is targeting a non-traditional or non-marketing audience, I think that a level of authenticity and just being really genuine goes a long way. And letting people know that you’re not some sleazy, weird salesperson … you know, I’m not here just to make money. I do love and appreciate the fact that I can make money at this, but this is my career, this is my calling, this is my craft, this is my heart and soul. I’m also here to provide a service. And when I can let people know that then that’s really important.
Another thing that has really helped also is … Of course, we as marketers always provide some kind of testimonials or social proof to let others … Other people are doing this, right, it’s not just you alone. You’re not gonna be the only person on my online teacher training, you’re not gonna be the only person in my online course, this has been happening for a while, we have hundreds of people in these courses now.
I use a little tool called Proof, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s pretty cool. It will pop up a little thing that says, “This person just registered, or this person signed on,” and I’ve actually seen a big boost from that, where people can actually see, visually, oh wow, Joe from Arkansas just signed up for the webinar. People really appreciate that, so there’s that kind of friendly personal connection that I think is really required with this.
The other thing is too, I’ve been on a lot of webinars where it’s obviously automated, but not just because that’s obvious to me because I know what’s going on, but they don’t actually show up. They literally start with a slide and you never get to see the person’s face, you never get to connect with them visually, and I think that’s a really important … I mean, it’s small, but that’s a really important difference, that you actually have to show up, your shining, beautiful face has to show up on the screen for folks. They want to see that.
The other thing is too, just providing tremendous amounts of content. Giving people lots of options, giving people lots of opportunities to either work with you or kind of get snippets of what you have to offer, before they actually buy into the product. I know we’re all familiar with lead magnets, but sometimes one isn’t enough. Sometimes one type of lead magnet isn’t enough.
The other really key thing is in the webinars, again, it’s not, for me, all about the sales pitch. I mean, obviously I tell them about the offer at the end, but the webinar is actually literally educational. I actually take them through my course. So I say, “Okay, I have this online course, it is eight modules. Let me show you what you get in Module 1. Let me show you …”, and that’s actually the bulk of the webinar. Orienting them, it’s like an orientation. Orienting them to the program itself. “Here is what it’s gonna look like when you log in. Here is what the actual interface looks like. Here is what the forum looks like. Here is a snapshot of the Facebook group. See all the people in there? Here is a sample of the lesson from this module. Here is how you and I are gonna interact.”
If it’s an audience that isn’t used to being online, you have to overcome that actual barrier in and of itself.
AK: Many of my people don’t think you can learn yoga online, so I actually go through and show them how they do it, so that it’s familiar to them. I actually walk them through the checkout process, “Here is what the checkout page looks like, here is where you’ll enter your credit card information. I promise you it’s secure. Here is my money-back guarantee.”
That’s really probably the biggest major departure from how I structure my Funnel. It’s really more of an orientation, rather than a sales pitch. These people have no idea what going online means and they don’t want to do it. So I’m overcoming that barrier and that skepticism.
JB: There’s a lot to unpack there, but there are two things I really want to focus in on that I think are great that anyone can use. One is that you’ve mentioned several times about the importance of, on your webinar, of them being able to see your face.
I’ve been doing a lot of reviews of sales pages lately for people who buy on special offers for Deadline Funnel. More often than not, when I see that there’s a page where there’s no video of the person actually speaking, I say, “Look. Even if you’re uncomfortable, just five seconds of you just saying ‘Hi, my name is Jack and this is my passion. Let me tell you about how I help and who I’m here to serve.'” Just a few seconds gives someone that sense of, “Hey, I know this person. It’s not just salesmanship that I’m reading online or emails that I’m reading.” It adds that extra dimension, which you really just can’t get any other way.
I’ve seen your site, you’ve got videos, where you’re speaking into the camera. And the technology is so easy these days that you don’t need a high-tech setup. You can just set up your iPhone and record away.
If someone’s not doing that, I would really recommend that you add at least a video on your sales page of you talking into the camera. At least walking them through the course.
The second thing that you mentioned that I think is really, really powerful, is that you tackle one of the major objections head on, which is, “Look, a lot of people who show up on my webinar, they want to achieve this goal, but they just don’t believe that you can learn online.”
Rather than just trying to dance around it, you face it head on and you show them, “Look, here are the results that other people have gotten and here is how it works and here is a preview,” and just walk them through the entire thing, so that they can see for themselves, “Okay, this is what I’m gonna get, this is what’s gonna happen next.”
That’s really great. And anyone can do that. That’s really, really good.
AK: Yeah. Because it’s not a course pitch. I got a webinar template from one of the big top experts, slide by slide. Seventy slides to webinar success. And I went through and I was like, “Okay.” It felt really unnatural and really uncomfortable to me. And I thought, “Well, maybe that’s just me and that I’m not used to doing it.” But I went ahead and did it exactly as the template said, and again, a marketing internet marketers kind of template.
I got such vile responses from it. My clients were like, “I’m not here for a sales pitch, this is ridiculous, I don’t even know what you’re selling me.” It was just really clear, that this wasn’t gonna work for them.
So dialing it back and again, really trying to go with a level of authenticity of like, okay, how do I get people over that hurdle?
One of the biggest objections I get regularly is, you can’t learn yoga online. So let me show you that you can, let me tell you that you can and let me show you exactly how we’re gonna do it.
It is truly, like I said, I think that it is an orientation. I’m not selling them the course, because they don’t even know what an online course is. I’m actually selling them the idea of being online. That this is possible. And I think backing it up that extra step for people who are going for markets that aren’t used to being online is very powerful. And it gives them a level of confidence, too.
It’s almost like a ‘try before you buy’. They actually get to see what they’re buying into.
JB: That’s awesome. That’s great.
That was a ton, but is there anything else that you’ve found that really … Because you’ve had tremendous growth. Am I allowed to talk about the type of growth that you’ve had?
JB: Okay. You wrote back to me and you said that you’ve quintupled your monthly revenue since April.
JB: I mean, that’s fantastic.
AK: Yeah, what a fun word to use, ‘quintupled’. I quintupled my monthly revenue since April and I’m a career yoga teacher, I have made more money in the last two and a half months than I have in literally years. It’s mind-blowing to me and I keep joking with my friends, “You can make money on the internet, it is totally possible.”
I’m really excited to finally have results. I’ve always believed in my product, I’ve always believed in my courses, I’ve always believed in the power of online learning and have really been a pioneer as far as yoga goes and to yoga online. I kind of pushed into it and extended into the online market, even before anybody else was doing it and before it’s been proven. Because I just had so much confidence in the power of online learning and the ability for us to connect, no matter where we are and to neutralize the playing field of it.
Being able to take an online course with me is far cheaper than flying to New York, spending the money to put yourself up in a hotel. It makes it more accessible.
The other thing that I would say is, I actually also had to find the price point that my audience was comfortable with. Now, I don’t recommend, as most experts would, being the cheapest kid on the block. There is no value in undervaluing yourself, at all.
I remember going to an all-day conference of internet marketers and talking about my stuff and this was months ago, probably back in February, where I was still frustrated, like, “Why isn’t this hitting yet? What haven’t I figured out?”
I have the world’s first and only 500 hour online teacher training. Still is, it’s amazing. And I announced that I’ve got this online teacher training, it’s incredible and it’s priced at $1,995, so just under two grand. And then on the webinar, I give a $500 off offer. So they can actually get it for $1,495. And this, “Huhh?” Went up from the audience, like “Oh my god, you’ve got 500 hours of training and it’s only $1,495,” and I had people rushing up to me afterward like, “You’re undervaluing yourself, that’s way too low, it should be no less than $5,000, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
And I was scratching my head, thinking like … First of all, there is not a teacher training on the planet in-person that is five grand. This is just not a market that bears that kind of inflation. I wish it was, it’s just not. I wouldn’t sell a single product, if I priced myself like that. Which is completely understandably how other consultants may be able to price their courses. Totally fine.
So, I’m able to sell 30 to 40 people in that teacher training per month, because I have priced it, where people are able to actually buy it. It’s not where Amy Porterfield might price her course. It’s not where some of the other experts might price their courses, but it’s what my market will allow.
I think, really being flexible in that a little bit and not, “No, don’t be the cheapest kid on the block.” If your market is not used to paying thousands of dollars for consultant services …
JB: Sure, but something else to point out, you mentioned this earlier, you’re contrasting it versus the prices someone would pay to come out and travel there, hotel and pay for you for several days. That’s a good comparison, because I believe, actually I know, that you used to do that, that used to be part of your business model.
You know exactly what that is and people really, truly were paying that all the time, and so, by comparison, no it’s not cheap, you’re not giving it away at 300 bucks or so. But at the same time, it’s a discount compared to what they would pay, if they had you in person.
AK: Right, exactly. And you don’t have to take time away from your family, you don’t have to pay for the flight. For example, the average teacher training price in person in a studio is probably around $2,500 to $3,000. So to pay $1,500 for a full program, that’s amazing. And I can do that, because it’s online.
It’s just a different market and I think that recognizing and respecting your market and realizing that you’re gonna have to play with the pricing … I did the same thing with some of my other online courses. I looked at sort of comparable things out there and there are people who are able to sell their courses for $1,000. My course has twice the information and my people won’t pay that.
It’s almost like, it’s not a science, it’s magic.
JB: You have to test around.
AK: You really have to test it around and you have to tweak it and you have to tweak it in little degrees and you have to tweak it continuously, until you hit that magical place, where people are comfortable, where they see the value in what you’re offering, where they feel like they’re getting out of it what they’ve invested into it.
It’s fun. It’s actually really fun in the end.
JB: Yeah, and I can tell … so were talking about the money and I know that, like me, the people that you serve … I mean, the money is awesome, but nothing feels better than seeing that you’re able to impact so many people at the same time.
AK: Yeah, it’s really exciting. The ability to scale is awesome. Again, I’m able to serve so many more people at such a higher level, because it’s online. If I had 130 people sitting in front of me for a teacher training all month, I wouldn’t remember all their names, I wouldn’t be able to answer all their questions, there’s no way. But I have 130 people in my teacher training this month right now and I’m totally able to answer all their questions, get them all personal attention, because of the online nature of the course.
It’s pretty cool, when you think about it, that I’m actually able to give people a much higher level of education this way. I’m hugely passionate about that.
JB: If you don’t mind, let’s finish up with a few nitty-gritty kind of tactical, in-the-weeds kind of details, because I know someone watching this is gonna want to know more details.
Anything that I ask that you don’t want to answer, just don’t answer. So when you’re driving people from Facebook, are you sending them directly to a registration page? Or is there something else?
AK: Yes. Facebook ads straight to webinar registration page.
JB: Okay. And is the registration time set up for top of the hour?
AK: Yeah. Here is another fun sort of, again, industry-specific tweak that you’ll need to magically stumble onto.
The general rule I’ve heard is that you should have an immediate one available or 9:00pm. That doesn’t work for my audience either, nobody’s up at 9:00pm apparently. I have three webinar Funnels right now. Two of them have 11:00am, 8:00pm fixed in the user’s timezone and a last-minute registration, so on the half hour. If you show up at 11:15am, your next available will be 11:30am, and then 8:00pm. So they’ve got three options to choose from, 11:00am, 8:00pm or immediately available. That’s for two out of the three.
Now, my teacher training webinar, which is … It converts like crazy, it’s an awesome webinar, I actually do it once a week. It is at 8:00pm on Wednesdays in the user’s timezone, period. And what that actually allows me to do, is, let’s say a person registers on Thursday, they have to wait now six days for the webinar. It makes it more of an event. And I also have a six-day email series that leads up to that Wednesday webinar that essentially, again, educates them about what this huge program is gonna be like.
One email is all testimonials, one email is evidence of what the graduates are doing, how they’re spending their time, how they’re able to work, some of the things they are doing out in the world. Another email links them to a blog that a graduate actually wrote. Another email goes through the Frequently Asked Questions that they might have, even before the webinar about the course. Another email explains why I actually put this course together and why it’s so amazing that it’s online.
Depending on when they register before the webinar, they’re getting any one of these series of emails, which is actually gonna give them more information, more credibility, more rapport with me. They’re gonna see me in their inbox and it establishes a little bit of excitement for the Wednesday webinar. And then on Wednesday, 8:00pm their time, they get the webinar.
Setting it up that way has actually increased the rate at which people watch and watch the replay, which is great. And then, of course, they go through a 24-hour sale cycle.
JB: That answered my next question, so there’s a 24-hour deadline.
What’s interesting that I want to rewind to, is, that it sounds like everyone who’s going to the webinar is well-aware, through multiple emails, that there’s something to buy on this webinar. It’s not like a big surprise.
AK: No, and in fact, the ads are that way as well. There is no hidden agenda here. I am here because I have an online course and I want you to enroll. The ads say that. The emails say that, it talks about that. It’s not like, “Take my training!” Or like, “Get this free bit of content,” it’s, “Take my online course. I want to show you more, I want to take you inside my online course, I want to show you my online course. Interested in online teacher training? Come join me for online teacher training. Come learn all about it.”
So again, orientation. Orienting people to the fact that online is a thing.
JB: Now I do want to point out that in some markets that might not be the best strategy, only because, I would guess because it’s working so well, there’s a significant population of yoga instructors, who want online training. You don’t have to convince them, “Hey, online training is good for you.”
You could do that, but the people who are responding to the ads, it’s about online training, right? Or certification.
AK: A lot of people want to be a yoga teacher. So the ad is like, “Want to be a yoga teacher? Let me show you how you can do that online.” And then people are like, “Oh!”
And right on the webinar registration page, the video that’s on the webinar registration page … The first thing that they see is me, like “Hi, I’m Alanna, I want to tell you …”
And actually already there give them some education about how online training works. It’s not something that they’ve necessarily heard of, many people are skeptical about it. It’s the same with my other online courses.
Yoga teachers … The reality of this particular community is that it’s actually really difficult to make a living as a yoga teacher. So many yoga teachers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, to increase their education in order to make their careers better. They are looking for education. So that’s the thing that I highlight and call out and then I let them know that it’s online, which also means it’s gonna be less expensive. Which, for a market who isn’t making much money already, is awesome for them.
JB: So your course is available all the time, but on the webinar it said a $500 discount and then you’ve got some extra bonuses?
AK: The teacher training … The bonus is the $500 discount. I have a fast-action bonus, that if they register within 60 minutes, I’ll buy their course books for them.
AK: That’s within 60 minutes, otherwise 24 hours to get $500 off. And then I have different setups for my other courses. Some of them are just the course plus a bonus course and some of them are courses with a discount plus a bonus course as well. And again, that’s that magic. What are people willing to spend, what do they need to actually join me on this.
JB: What do you do with the folks who register but didn’t buy?
AK: For the teacher training, God bless Ontraport for the ability to tag everybody and have behavior-based responses. So registered and did not buy for the teacher training, they get an invite to … Maybe you’re still interested, do you want to take my eight-day free mini course?
I use Teachable for many of my online courses and Teachable allows you to do a free mini course. I actually pulled out little bits of the full program and separated it out in the same manner that are in the full program. So they get a lecture every day, they get a corresponding email every day, and once again at the end of that eight-day free trial, they get another offer.
For my other courses … One of them, I do follow up three days later and say, “Hey, maybe you need a little extra time, let me give you that offer again.” The other one, I offer them another three-day free mini course and then try to take them through the Funnel again.
For some people, 24 hours is a lot of pressure, they need a little more time to think about going online, they want to do a little more research. So just giving them a little bit of a window of breathing room and perhaps a little more information is what then leads them back into actually purchasing. If they don’t purchase in any of those scenarios, they do remain on my email newsletter, of course I am very diligent about weekly newsletters, continuously doing offers on my weekly newsletters. And there’s a lot of cross-colonization here. These are all yogis, so if they don’t end up buying the teacher training program, I’ve had a lot of them that then end up buying another course with me.
If they don’t buy on the teacher training program now, some of them are enrolling with me nine months later. It’s a lot about continuing to build that rapport and follow up, but there’s also retargeting with Facebook ads, which is brilliant.
JB: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing all those details.
JB: So you’ve come a long way. You kind of started to mention this, but I’m gonna go ahead and do a little bragging for you. You were one of the first, or the first yoga teacher to have a podcast online.
AK: That’s right.
JB: I think you were also either the first or one of the first to have an online course. No, the first to have an online course over 500 hours.
You’ve been breaking ground for a long time, you’ve come a long way. For someone who’s just starting out, they’re new to online course creation, they’re excited about the results that you’re getting. What would you tell someone who is just starting out right now?
AK: Hang in there and make the investment. Get your systems ready, get them working. It is a very large investment of time, capital, effort upfront, but the reward is well worth it. The ability to be able to sit back and watch your phone light up with registrations, it’s magical. It’s so rewarding.
And the ability to scale, if you are someone, who wants to be able to reach more than just the amount of people that can fit into a room with you, there’s nothing better than learning online education.
The systems are available to you to make this happen. Deadline Funnel is absolutely one of my top go-to’s, I could not do what I do without that. It is possible to create these Evergreen systems. So just hang in there.
I know what it’s like to be so invested and in the thick of it and have so much of your heart and soul in an online course and to be wondering, “When is it gonna work?” Trust me, it does work. You can make money on the internet and it’s a wonderful place to be.
Hang in there and just keep going.
JB: Thank you so much, Alanna. Thank you for coming back and sharing the update with your success.
AK: My pleasure.
JB: Can’t wait to hear about how Ontrapalooza goes for you.
AK: Yeah, I’ll send you some pictures.
JB: Absolutely, that’d be fantastic.
Resources mentioned in this article:
Over the past month we’ve released several new updates to Deadline Funnel that we’re very excited to tell you about.
#1: Improved integration with Drip
Drip recently added the ability to put an HTTP Post action a sequence as a step.
Prior to Drip’s update our integration relied on webhooks that sent a lot of extra data to Deadline Funnel that wasn’t needed and required extra steps on your part.
The new method of integration with Drip is much simpler.
And if you have an existing Drip integration you’ll be happy to know that we will continue to support this legacy API integration.
But going forward you should use the new Drip integration method.
We’ve also integrated with several lead generation platforms.
#2 & #3: Optimonk and OptinMonster Integrations
Optimonk and OptinMonster are both software platforms for quickly creating optin forms that grab attention and grow your list.
We’ve also added two email software platforms to our list of integrations.
#4: HubSpot Integration
HubSpot provides tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages and search engine optimization.
HubSpot has seen tremendous growth since it was founded in 2006.
#5: KlickTipp Integration
KlickTipp is an email automation platform that’s very popular in Germany.
#6: Klaviyo Documentation for Email Countdown Timer
If you use Klavivo then you’ll be happy to know that you can easily add animated countdown timers from Deadline Funnel in your emails.
#7: Updated ActiveCampaign Marketplace Automation
If you use ActiveCampaign for your email marketing you can easily add a prebuilt funnel that we created for you.
Just a few clicks and it’s added to your account.
This update includes:
- Improved timing steps to properly synchronize Deadline Funnel and your emails
- Emails are easier than ever to edit because the new ones use the visual editor instead of hard coded HTML
- Includes a goal that takes subscribers out of the automation automatically when they buy
- And we added notes to key steps so you know what you need to change when you’re setting it up
We hope you love these new updates and we’re working behind the scenes on several new updates we’re excited to share with you soon.
Kimberly Jimenez first started to learn about marketing online when she helped her husband market his startup business using social media. Since then she’s helped digital marketers find more clients and she’s worked with small local business owners all the way up to an agency with a $4 million advertising budget.
Along the way she decided to try her hand at creating training courses and she’s quickly built up a tribe of enthusiastic online marketers that look to her for advice on gmarketing that works, on any budget.
She’s a Deadline Funnel client and I’m excited to share this interview with you.
I really appreciate how she willing shared that her first online course “was terrible”.
I’m sure you’ll get lots of inspiration and insights from this interview.
Wath the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
JB: Hey, this is Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel, and I’m here with Kimberly Jimenez, and she’s a Deadline Funnel client. Wanted to get her on the phone, have this interview, and just talk about her business, so great to have you here.
KJ: Thank you so much, Jack. I’m so excited to finally meet you and talk a little bit, chat a little bit about business and life, and the awesome products that you guys provide us with.
JB: Oh, well, thank you very much. Why don’t you start by giving us a little bit of background about what it is that you do, who you serve, and how you got started?
KJ: Sure, sure. We currently run a membership site for online creators, and we teach bloggers, eCommerce stores, basically any type of entrepreneur who’s running a business online, how to leverage online marketing to get the word out there and build a sustainable business. So that’s what we’re doing right now, we sell online training courses, and it’s really fun, but I didn’t always start out this way.
I started doing social media marketing for my husband’s startup, back when I had no idea what social media even was. It was kind of like a happy accident. Wanted to help him kind of get the word out there for his local business, which, at the time, was a student relocation service that he started in his dorm with his brother. Yeah, so totally different business model, very kind of blue-collar, but it was so much fun, and we started seeing a ton of results with Facebook marketing, and it kind of just exploded from there.
I was in school at the time, in college, studying for my Nutrition and Dietetics degree, like, my last year in school, and I just fell in love with the idea of creating content online. Like, I just thought, “Oh my gosh, this is such an amazing creative outlet, and you can make money doing it? What?” So that was really, really interesting and fun, and so I started interning. I guess it was just an internship, at a marketing and advertising agency, so that was really fun, just like a college gig, just to pay the bills and see how it went. It was a fun job. But I really fell in love with it, started considering it as a potential career option even though I was so close to finishing my degree.
And three months went by, I got an offer from a corporation in town, and they said, “Hey, we’d love for you to start our marketing department, our social media department, from the ground up. Here’s full-time salary, benefits, private jet, $4 million marketing budget. Do you want to do it?” And I was like, “I don’t know what you want me to do? Like, I just … I do social media for people in town, I don’t have tons of experience.” But yeah, they went for it, and I said, “Sure.”
So, I loved it, spent about six months doing that, running really high-level campaigns, and learned a lot about running advertising, and running high-level marketing campaigns online, and bridging that gap with what was already happening locally, so we had local marketing teams, and also our digital marketing teams, and that was really, really fun. I learned so, so much about ROI and metrics and KPIs, and all those fancy terms.
So… long story short, I decided to leave my corporate job after about six months. Loved the people I was working with, but I wanted so badly to work with smaller businesses who didn’t have $4 million marketing budgets, who didn’t have the resources to actually get the word out there, because I’d gone through that with my now-husband, starting up his little company in college on a shoestring budget, and that was my real passion. So I decided to quit and do some freelancing, social media, and yeah, just started my own business, and two years later, we’re here. I mean, it’s been four years since I started my business officially, but now it’s been about two years since we’re doing the online training aspect of things, so, long story.
JB: Yeah, so when did you get into course creation? When did you start with that?
KJ: Yeah, so it’s been about two years. It was late 2015. I got to the point in my business where I had 17 clients, and it was getting a little bit out of control in terms of all the work that I was doing, and from the beginning, I knew that that would be kind of the end goal. I did want to get into online education. I loved showing people what to do, and because being so entrenched in other people’s businesses, doing their social media marketing, I quickly realized that if I wanted to provide any kind of ROI, I needed to help them set up an actual funnel in their business. It wasn’t just about posting nice pictures on Twitter or Facebook; I really wanted to show them results.
And that just kind of became a natural evolution, and I started showing them, “Okay, this is how we have to move clients from our Facebook page to actually coming in the store and paying for our products,” and so that whole process led into being really involved not just in the social media marketing side, but also with their overall campaigns and their overall marketing, and then their business strategy. So we were going all the way back to, “Okay, does this product, does this offer make sense for what we’re trying to promote here?”
And so that just became kind of like a natural evolution, and I kind of switched into, or shifted into doing more consulting work, not just the actual management, and loved it, it was really, really good, but after about a year, I was like, “Okay, I need to take the next step,” and my husband was actually really encouraging me to. He’s like, “You are way too busy, you’re working way too much. This is what you always have loved and wanted to do, and your audience is asking for courses, so why don’t you try it, keep your consulting clients, and see how it goes?” So it’s just been a gradual transition over the years, and now, we only offer, we do have a couple consulting clients, but primarily, the core of our business is online training.
JB: So what was your first online course about?
KJ: Oh my gosh, it was terrible. It was, oh, epic failure. It was so bad. I can talk about this all day, but … It was about social media marketing, it was showing online business owners and also local business owners how to start their social media marketing from scratch, like how to get from zero to actually producing, you know, generating revenue. And it was a great course, but I spent like four months obsessing over it. It’s this behemoth, massive course that just became insanely overwhelming for people to take. And it was good, but it was a challenge, because I didn’t take the steps necessary to validate the idea, and then communicate it via a message that resonated with people. So that’s another story for another day, but that was my first course, yeah.
JB: Well, but we all have to start somewhere, and obviously, you learned a lot. So you kind of touched on the validation and also not obsessing over making it this huge behemoth. What are some of the other lessons that you learned from getting things going? And then, compared to now, what have you learned?
KJ: Sure. Where do I start? I learned so much, it’s been quite the journey. But I think the most important thing, at least for me, was that making a transition from, let’s say, a client-based or a service-based business model into “passive income,” and I … Air quotes, because it’s not totally passive … Is a big transition, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I had so much to learn.
It was like, okay, I knew, of course, the online marketing side of things, but specifically, the messaging was the hardest part for me, just really diving into copywriting and understanding that it’s not about having pretty sales pages, or getting really nice graphics, and having the best tools, it’s also about the messaging, and getting that part right is everything. So I spent all this time tweaking my website and making things pretty, and making sure that they look legit, but at the end of the day, what actually worked was switching up the messaging, so it wasn’t until I actually started learning about copywriting, about really understanding what my hook was, that things started to work. So I think that is really important.
Of course, validating your idea before you launch it. Just because someone, or your audience is telling you, “We want training, we want a course,” it doesn’t mean that they even know what they want, first of all, or that that’s the best way to actually launch something. If I would go back, I would definitely have started with something smaller, like an ebook, maybe a paid webinar, some kind of offer that was simple to set up, that I could just launch with very little effort, little amount of time, and just get it out there and see if it actually resonated with people, get feedback from students, and see, okay, what can we do better? Is this making sense? Can we break it up into different courses, or should we add this resource?
Instead of spending four months creating this giant course about everything you could possibly think of, I would’ve been a lot easier and a lot better, just for me and for my students, if I would have just launched a very small beta version and gotten feedback, made it better, and went from there. So I think those two are the biggest lessons that I’ve learned throughout this entire process of shifting that model.
I guess the third thing would just be, at least for me, I jumped into it way too fast. Like, I fired 80% of my clients, I kept like four clients, fired everyone, I was like, “Yes, I’m going to do this online course thing.” And then it was like four months, and I’m not done with it yet, and my revenue’s dipping, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, now I have to really make this happen.” So it was insanely stressful, and it didn’t have to be, if I would just … Kept my clients, launched something small, and then built upon that.
JB: Worked your way into it, yeah.
KJ: Yeah. It would’ve been a lot easier. So yeah, I guess those would be my three biggest lessons that I’ve learned throughout this process.
JB: Yeah, sounds like you burned the boats on the beach.
KJ: Oh, for real.
JB: You really forced yourself into action. So, you mentioned the importance of copywriting, so is there a particular resource that you went to that was really influential for you?
KJ: Yeah, I took a couple of copywriting courses, like on Skillshare, and I really started understanding, like … Mostly it was, truly, the courses helped, but what helped more than that was just paying attention to other people in different industries. Not just the online space: paying attention to what Nike was doing, and the copy that they were sharing; paying attention to the products that I was already purchasing, and what about their entire spiel really resonated with me, and so understanding the process of storytelling.
So one of the things that I started doing was, whenever I read an email that really spoke to me … I signed up for a ton of newsletters, and I started reading emails, and the ones that really resonated with me primarily were telling stories. They were showing examples, they were talking from the heart, and I started kind of figuring out how to break it down and understand, why was it that I just couldn’t take my eyes off of copy — like, I just kept reading and reading and reading — and why I would make purchasing decisions. So just paying attention to my own instincts, and why I was so inclined to purchase a specific product, made such a difference.
And I think courses are fantastic; books are really great too. Right now, I’m reading this book called Words That Sell, and it’s fantastic. It’s like a really nice glossary of tons of phrases you can use to start up an email, or open up a sales letter, and it’s really helpful. But more so than reading books and checking out courses, it was really paying attention to what spoke to me, and then practicing.
Just sitting there and picking a random product, and trying to write a sales page about it, which was, like, the hardest exercise ever. I just … It’s nerve-racking sometimes, but practicing and practicing and practicing and practicing, and just being intentional about figuring out what is that hook, what is that one message that you want to share individually with each individual piece of copy that you create, whether it be via an email sequence, or your sales page, or even your checkout page, and then tying it all together.
I think it’s an art, and it’s just … You have to study it. So I just really started studying it, and I’m not great at it still, I have a ways to go. I think it’s just a process, and you just have to continually get better at it, because communication is key, no matter what type of business you’re in. Whether you are selling coffee at the corner, or you’re really just selling online training, regardless, communication is so powerful and so important, and I think that’s one of the foundational elements of business that we don’t, as entrepreneurs, we don’t really put a lot of emphasis on. Like, it’s easy to chase the shiny objects, and I have done it a lot.
JB: Yeah, we all have. Yeah.
KJ: I still have to catch myself sometimes, you know, and be like, “Wait, this isn’t … It’s important, but it’s not that foundational element.” So just kind of figuring out that aspect of my business made a really big difference, and I’m still not close to being good at it, but I’m trying to improve every day, and I think that having that … Just being determined and having that intention is really important.
JB: I really love what you said there, so I want to talk a little bit about how I’ve done that as well. When I was really just getting my feet wet a long time ago, there was a guy who’s now a friend of mine named Andre Chaperon, and I just could not stop reading his emails, and I would look forward to his next email. And at the time, I didn’t know why they worked, or the mechanics behind it, but once I started to learn a little bit more, read some, buy some courses, and then he would send out another email, and I would notice certain elements that are in it, and I would start to spot those same elements.
And just like you said, sometimes, I really want to pick … I’ll recognize something, and I’ll think, “Man, this is a really … I know this is a marketing email, but I read the whole thing, and I loved it,” and so I’ll want to really look at it and try to figure out, like, what were the elements that made this so easy to read, and really pulled me in? So that’s great, great advice. So, who is it that you … How would you describe the folks that you serve right now?
KJ: Yeah, sure. We serve online creators, so bloggers, authors, experts, anyone who’s trying to share their message out into the world, and they’re doing it online, whether it’s selling jewelry and handmade items on Etsy, or they’re writing blog posts and having … You know, they’re running YouTube channels or podcasts. So anyone who is in the online space, and they’re sharing their services, their products, or their programs online.
JB: Okay, and your courses primarily teach them how to … Is it paid Facebook advertising-
JB: … is it social media with sweat equity? I mean, what do you primarily teach?
KJ: Yeah, so we actually developed a custom success path for online businesses, so we teach everything from running your email marketing and starting an email list, how to start your social media, and all the way through advertising, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest, so it’s … Literally, we have over 14 courses inside of our membership, so we share everything from blogging to creating videos. And the difference between having just a crazy course library where you teach everything to everyone, that’s not really how we structure it. We actually have a six-part success path, and so there’s six different stages of entrepreneurship, starting with validation, all the way through scale.
So whenever a member joins us, they’re immediately taken to the success path, and they can identify what stage of entrepreneurship they’re in, based on how much income they’re generating, what their audience numbers look like, what their metrics look like. And it’s very, very interesting, because once you select the stage that you’re in, you’re given a custom action plan, and throughout that action plan, we link to courses, video resources, materials, to help you get to that next stage of entrepreneurship. So that’s kind of how we have structured it.
It’s a little bit different than most membership sites where you get an open course library, and that’s what we used to be, but a lot of our members were very confused. They’re like, “Okay, should I start with the email marketing course? Should I start with the Pinterest one? Should I go over here and learn how to run funnels, or how to design online training courses?” So it was very overwhelming, so we created a success path, and just gave them a roadmap of “Here’s what you do first. Once you go through these training courses, you implement the material that you’re learning, and you get results, you move into the next stage.” So that’s how it’s laid out, and every month, we come out with a new training course. This month, we’re talking about video marketing, and next month, we’re going to talk about business workflows and setting up systems. So it’s really just resources for business and for marketing, but they’re laid out in a specific order, based on the stage that our members are at.
JB: Awesome, awesome. And if someone wants to take a look at some … I would imagine you’ve got some free resources that someone could come check out.
JB: So where would someone go if they’re interested?
KJ: Yeah, they would go to kimberlyannjimenez.com, which is my website, /resources, and there’s a whole slew of free checklists and cheat sheets, master classes, videos. We have a YouTube channel, so there’s tons of free content that they can take advantage of.
JB: And you and I connected originally because I found out that you’re using Deadline Funnel, so tell me a little bit about how that became a part of your business and how you use it.
KJ: Yeah, so it’s interesting, because I’m going back to that first course that I created. I was starting to learn about, you know, just creating funnels … Because it’s different when you do it for a different business. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that place where creating stuff for clients is … For me, was way easier than creating it for myself.
JB: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.
KJ: So I was like, “Okay, I need to go back to basics and kind of figure out how I want to sell this product,” and so I was listening to Ryan Deiss and learning about tripwire funnels, and all that good stuff, and I decided to create … Like, not really create, but splinter off one of our main modules and sell it as a separate product to introduce people to my first course. So I was trying to figure out how to make it so that we could have a specific offer expire after a set amount of days, and so I was Googling, and I found you guys after trying three or four other solutions on the net.
I tried some WordPress plugins, and I tried a couple of different options, but I kept getting emails from customers telling me, “Wait, so the deadline on this email says there’s two days left, but then I open it here and I go to the sales page, and it says it’s expired.” And so it was nerveracking trying to figure out, “Oh my gosh, how can we make this offer expire after a set amount of days, and have it be evergreen and individual to everyone who joins our email list?”
Because I could’ve run timely or, I guess, real-time promotions, and have it start on Monday and end on Thursday, but that wasn’t going to be, I guess, sustainable going forward. So I was looking for solutions, and I found your site, I signed up for it, started testing it, fell in love with it, and that was … I think it was either late 2015 or early 2016. I could be wrong, but around that time. I was listening to all your YouTube videos, and trying to figure out how to set it up, and I was like, “Okay, I think we got it this time,” and it worked really, really well, so I was so, so happy with it.
I think, fast-forward like three months later, I purchased a training, it was a webinar that David Siteman Garland was running, and he mentioned the tool, and I was like, “See, I knew I picked the right one.” So he was going through it, and kind of showing you how you could do evergreen promotions and set it up that way, so that’s kind of how I bumped into you guys, and now we use it for everything. I mean, from our tripwire funnels and having offers expire there, to our core offer, which is our membership site, to our master classes that we run on our website, as well as our actual real-time promotions. So it’s been a fantastic experience. I highly recommend it. I’m always talking about you guys in our membership site, so thank you for an amazing product.
JB: Oh, thank you very much.
KJ: It’s truly the best solution I’ve found, at least. I’ve tried so many — I’m talking, like, six or seven — and they just never really work, because I love how you guys have your system set up, where no matter where people are opening up their emails, if they’re opening on their smartphone or on their computer, whether they have the same IP or not, I just love the technology is so accurate and so great, and we never have issues with it, so thank you.
JB: Oh, well, thank you, thank you very much. That’s great. Well, this has been great. I would love to keep chatting. Maybe there’s an opportunity for me to do a training for your folks.
KJ: That would be amazing. That would be great.
JB: Yeah, it would be awesome. I’d love to do that. So, it’s been great chatting. Any final words of advice for a new course creator out there that … Maybe some words of encouragement or advice?
KJ: Yes. It takes longer than you think. I mean, it’s just going to take time, and that’s one of the things that not everyone tells you, but just keep at it. Keep trying new things. If you’re struggling to put the material together or get your first course off the ground, don’t get stuck in perfection paralysis. You cannot ever get a product to be 1,000% perfect. You just have to ship it, just have to get it out there into the world, and then make it better as you go.
And then, if you’re struggling to get it off the ground, maybe you’re not having a ton of sales right now, first of all, you’re not alone. Most of us go through that process, and it’s not fun, but if you just stick with it, if you continue to make tweaks, to really learn who your audience is, and fall in love with your customer, instead of falling in love with your product, that’ll make a huge difference. So, truthfully, I like to tell my members all the time, you can’t be in the business of the business that you’re in. You have to be in the business of whoever you’re serving. So if our members decided tomorrow that they no longer want a membership site, that’s totally okay with me. You know I’m going to be scrambling to get something together that can serve them.
So I’m trying as much as I can to walk my talk, and really fall in love with the people that we serve, and provide solutions that they’re looking for, regardless of what that looks like on the back end, whether it’s a service-based model or it’s an online training model. So really fall in love with your customer, understand what it is they want, have real conversations with them on the phone or in person, start paying attention to their challenges and their pain points, and forget about falling in love with your own stuff. Just create something that they can really get tons of value from, and that serves them, and you will be set forever.
JB: I love that philosophy. I just, a few minutes ago, got off the phone with someone. I was doing sort of a customer care call, and they needed some help with this complicated funnel, and this was the second call that I had had with them, and they said, “Look,” they kept apologizing, and … His name is Zach, and Zach kept saying, “Look, I really don’t want to take up any more of your time,” and I said, “Look, Zach, stop apologizing. It’s not … Like, at the end of the day, it’s kind of about the countdown, but really, it’s about getting your funnel set up, because you want the end result. Like, my solution just happens to be a part of it, so let me help you.” And that’s the philosophy that our team takes, so I love that, falling in love with your customer, that’s great.
KJ: That’s awesome, and a huge testament of the type of company that you guys are building. I’ve had nothing but an amazing experience with your customer support team. You guys always go the extra mile without us having to ask for it, so thank you. I really, truly appreciate it. I don’t think enough companies are doing that, especially in the online space, so big kudos.
JB: Oh, thank you very much. Well, this has been a great conversation. Thank you for taking the time.
KJ: Sure, absolutely. I had a really good time chatting with you, and again, it was awesome getting to meet you, and thank you for letting me talk so much.
JB: My pleasure. Take care.
Resources mentioned in this article:
Recently I talked with a client who had a fascinating story to tell about how he has transformed his life and business using Deadline Funnel. He went from several part-time jobs to one full-time job with international impact.
Wath the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
JB: Hey this is Jack Born, I’m the founder of DeadlineFunnel, and I’m here with a Deadline Funnel client, who was just today, just a few minutes ago chatting with my team in chat, and Allegra said, hey you’ve got to talk to this guy, he said that now he can earn a full-time living thanks to DeadlineFunnel and he loves it. So here we are. So David Charrier, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your business, who are you, how did you get started with an online course?
DC: Hi everyone, hi Jack, it’s good to talk. Yeah it all started a few months ago actually, not even a whole year. I just wanted to shoot a few tutorials. I’m a music teacher and I’m traveling a lot to give some workshops and stuff and a friend of mine just gave me the idea to shoot some tutorials and put them online. So I started to shoot videos and teaching people this way and I heard about DeadlineFunnel from a friend of mine and I have to say that it has literally changed my sales.
It’s been really wonderful and useful and I really like the way that when it’s over, it’s over, if you refresh your screen, it’s over. So I felt really comfortable with that, ethically speaking. So I’m really grateful for this really, really powerful tool that DeadlineFunnel is.
JB: So you say you just started just a few months ago and you’re already, we’re not going to share the screen right now, but you shared your numbers and you’re doing very, very well. Why don’t you show the instrument that you teach people how to use.
DC: Yeah I’m actually teaching this wonderful, beautiful shaped instrument. Let me play you a few seconds.
JB: That’s amazing. That is amazing.
DC: It is.
JB: So, where are most of your people … Are your clients all over the world?
DC: Oh yeah, actually I could show you the map. I already shared to you my dashboard but maybe I have the map right now and I’m going to share my screen real quick. Yeah they’re coming from all over the world, it’s incredible. I’m glad I did that map actually, once they buy the product they receive the link where they can add a marker and their location. And can you see my screen?
JB: I can but I’m not seeing your browser yet, I’m seeing … There we go.
DC: There we go. Just a few seconds, the computer is running slow.
JB: So while you bring this up, I think I know the answer, but it’d be more interesting hearing it from you. So some people ask, it doesn’t come up very often but sometimes people ask, well, yeah I can see DeadlineFunnel working in the U.S. and maybe Canada or Australia, but what about France, or what about Germany, I don’t know if it will work for my market. What do you say?
DC: Yeah, maybe you can tell from my accent I am not American, I am a French dude. I live actually here in Toulouse right here in the map, southwest of France and I just started this business. I didn’t even know it would be a business but it went well and it’s possible and you know I really like that saying that everything is sellable. You can sell everything if you have something you really master.
Kind of we’re still learning, I’m still a student but selling something you know how to do to people who don’t know how to do it, well it works for me and it’s truly possible. It needs time to be really focused on it and I’ve been working on it a lot, but now I can really say that I’m making a living out of it and I have two people working for me on the website.
JB: Hearing this, I just got shivers, hearing this just makes my day because to be even a small part of what you put together is really a dream come true for me and for my team. I just love the fact that we are part of this success story.
DC: You are completely part of it and look, look at the map, here they are, all of them, in the U.S., even in weird places like there’s a dude right here learning from me.
JB: That’s amazing.
DC: And as you just said, yes, you guys are really part of that success because you provided me a great tool that works and I really felt okay with that and it grew all my sales. And in a good way. It’s not like buy, buy, buy, it’s really like, I have an offer, I’m doing that for you and you can enjoy it for that amount of time and I really enjoy all the options you are offering and I love it and it works.
JB: And you’ve worked with our team on chat. So even though we didn’t have the French videos, you were able to talk with us and get quick help.
DC: Yeah no problem with communication and it’s amazing how available the people I was chatting with were with me. And like scheduling a Skype, that’s amazing. I really feel close to you guys, it’s not something really far and we can really connect. And once I’ve had a guy from your team helping me like crazy on Skype for a long time it was a few months ago and it’s amazing, he took control of all my stuff, he helped me so, so much.
JB: Oh that’s awesome, that’s great. Yeah we really try to go above and beyond because we really want to. First of all we just feel like it’s the right thing to do but we want to be part of success stories like this and grow with our clients.
So I know that people watching this, just starting out with their own online courses are going to wonder, so what is the way that you get the word out that you even have a course available? Do you do free YouTube videos or post on Facebook, what do you do?
DC: Your questions is how I do to give them the lessons?
JB: No I’m sorry, my question is how do you market? So in other words, are you buying ads on Facebook, are you doing YouTube videos and then people click through to your website, how are you getting people to find you?
DC: Okay, so my strategy let’s say, I don’t pay anything on Facebook, nothing so far. I just provide some free content for the people on YouTube. So you have some free videos that are on YouTube, people just see the videos and then, hey guys, I have free tutorials for you, just subscribe here to receive five days email of free tutorial. They subscribe and I’m giving them, giving them and real content. A real long exercise for free, one, two, three, four, and then guys, if you enjoyed my method, who I am, the way I’m teaching, I have a big bundle.
I have seven hours of tutorials and I have a special offer for you and it’s going to only last five days and then you know I have that email sequence I really like deadlines are a really powerful tool. And I mean for the five days, during the five days they have one email every day giving them some other exercises, some preview of the curriculum. I share with them some student’s feedback and stuff so they can see it works for other people and there’s an enthusiasm about the course and yeah, they almost all buy at the end of this five days.
JB: Yeah and you were showing with me when you were showing your dashboard that you do have it for sale all the time, anyone can just show up and buy but it’s this special deal where most people are buying through the special deal before the deadline expires, right?
DC: Yes. 90% of my buyers did it through the funnel. I don’t have a lot of sales apart from the funnel. They have to go through the funnel and this funnel really transforms them from prospective into buyers.
JB: So you said that you used to travel around, maybe you still do, but if you think back to where you were a year ago, how is your life different in terms of just, I would imagine, having the ability to choose when you want to do what you want to do, in your words how is your life different now?
DC: Yeah, it’s so different. So back in the days, in the years sorry, I was a nurse’s aid trying to do two jobs at once. Nurse’s aid and musician. Then I went for half part-time of 50% nurse’s aid, 50% musician. And then I was full-time musician but traveling a lot to do a workshop. You go in the U.S., you have the jet lag back and forth and you did x amount of money.
And here, I don’t want to say I don’t work but kind of. I’m at home, I can do my own stuff, I can keep on developing, doing all the projects. We’re having maybe a year or two some kids with my wife and I want to be a dad at home. I don’t want to be always up road teaching and performing and stuff. So it’s another way of living, another standard, which is a really great one and yeah, I used to teach through Skype but with time zones, audio problems, sometimes video connections, wi-fi slow and all that, it was a bit of a mess and now it’s literally different and yeah, so cool.
JB: That’s fantastic. Well congratulations and I really appreciate you jumping on this call and sharing this inspiring story that I think so many people are going to be able to relate to, so thank you very much David.
DC: Oh it’s my pleasure. Let’s just share the screen for this much. I’m a little bit predict. How do you say, predict?
DC: But like you don’t want to show too much of your, yeah I know what I mean. So this is this month.
JB: That’s fantastic.
DC: Yeah it’s been 140 core sales and yeah it’s great.
JB: Looks like all the numbers are up and things are growing and that’s fantastic.
DC: Yeah it’s all green so it’s great. Yeah, I love it. Yeah I don’t want to be pretentious but just sharing what this tool has done for me so just wanted to do this little Skype and get to know you guys even better.
JB: Awesome well we like to travel so we’ve been to Australia, I hope to come to France one day, maybe I’ll come by and you can give me some lessons.
DC: Yes some lessons and yeah, good wine, good cheese, good stuff, anytime.
JB: Alright, thanks so much David.
DC: My pleasure.
David’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwiJWmdnD8sVNFkSiRGzY3A
David’s Website: http://www.handpandavid.com/
David’s Course Website: http://www.masterthehandpan.com/
David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/charrier_david
David on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charrierdavid/
We’re happy to announce some new countdown styles!
You can see the new designs in the Appearance tab of your Deadline Funnel account.
Here’s are a few examples of embedding the new timers on a page 🙂
Recently, I met with Alanna Kaivalya, the Yoga Doctor, to hear about how she’s using Deadline Funnel to increase conversions for her online courses and yoga certification programs.
Watch the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
AK: It’s my pleasure, Jack. I’m really excited to chat with you today.
JB: Let’s start with your business. Why don’t you talk about your business, who you serve, what you do, and how it’s evolved over the past several years.
AK: I am a lifelong yoga instructor. Essentially I’ve been in the yoga industry for 17 years. I have specialized in training and educating teachers and even taking them further once they’re already yoga teachers, being able to take their level of education up a notch. This was something that I was doing live and in-person, in studios for a very long time and when you teach a teacher training, it’s a two-hour commitment, which can be exhausting. It’s very time-consuming.
I was traveling. I was on the road for probably 50% of my time for ten years straight, doing all of this teaching. At some point I realized that trading my time for money was … it was not only limiting for me, it was also limiting to who I could reach. I also realized there were some problems with the in-studio experience that I wanted to solve. I’d been a real fan of online learning and education for a long time.
I was actually the very first yoga teacher ever to do a podcast and I had a very successful podcast starting in 2005. Over two million people listened to it. And that really got my attention as a way to scale and as a way to reach people who wouldn’t normally have access to awesome yoga education. In 2015 I became the first person to put a full 500-hour teacher training online and since then I’ve also created a whole bunch of my own continuing education courses. I’ve really fallen in love with it.
As a medium, teaching online is really incredible. It’s a wonderful way to work with people. It allows me to increase the accountability for their knowledge, to follow up with them. We give them a real individualized and personalized experience in their learning process. So I absolutely love that. And that’s what I do.
JB: I’m curious, before we dive into the nitty gritty of the marketing side of things, it must have been interesting going from teaching teachers in a one-on-one or maybe a group environment, but everyone’s in the same room, to teaching them virtually. How do you deliver that … what sort of obstacles … how have you gotten around some of the obstacles that might be there because you can’t see how they’re instructing? Is a lot of it … does it even require showing someone … because I guess you’re not really teaching poses are you?
AK: No, I do. It does. There are a lot of obstacles. One of the things that I … I really focus on setting the bar very, very high and my standards are very, very high. I wanted to ensure that as I moved the in-studio training experience online. When I was getting my doctorate I had the good fortune of actually taking a few classes online. And I thought to myself, “If I could take doctoral-level courses online, I could probably figure out how to do yoga this way.”
The delivery of my online teacher training is actually with a learning management software that is the same type of learning management software that universities use. There is a super-high level of accountability. I’m able to track everyone’s progress. They actually have to upload assignments to me and their assignments are videos, so they have to record themselves actually teaching, actually doing the poses, actually adjusting students, actually talking about what they’ve learned.
I have a team of mentors who then review all of the video assignments to offer personalized feedback for each and every person based on what it is that they see. I have, of course, an online forum, a private Facebook group where we interact. I do lots of live webinars with them to take their questions and follow up. What’s really blown me away is actually how personalized and individualized we can be, so that we can target each and every person and make sure that they are learning and understanding the material all the way through. Then at the end, they actually have to teach an entire class for us. And in an in-studio experience, that’s impossible.
If I have even ten students, having everybody teach a class, that’s a full ten hour day. That’s not even counting feedback and all that stuff, so moving it online allows us actually to see everybody teach by the end and they’re amazing. They’ve completely … I had a certain level of standards and they have just completely overwhelmed me with how well they’ve done.
JB: I know that one of the main things that you use to get new clients on-board is webinars. Can you talk us through what you’ve learned about webinars over the years, maybe some tips and how you use it in your business?
AK: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I have run into, is because this is the first online teacher training program, nobody has ever done this, everybody’s wondering how it works. How does it work? What do you do? How do you actually become a yoga teacher online? I realized that in order to get people to jump on-board with me and really been a maverick in this process, I needed to hyper-educate them about exactly what they were going to get, exactly how the program works, exactly what’s expected, exactly how we deliver the information, what their participation is.
Like I said, my love affair with online learning has been … it’s been for a long time, so I had done webinars in the distant past, just as ways to educate people on certain topics. So I would do a webinar, say, on a certain micro-topic in yoga, and people would join me for that. I’d never thought of it as a sales mechanism. But the reality is, when we launched the online course, I had this idea in mind, “Oh, if you build it, they will come.” It doesn’t work that way, Jack.
JB: It doesn’t.
AK: If you build it and then market the hell out of it, then they’ll come. I had to figure out what online marketing was on the back end. It wasn’t really something that I was involved with or really understood, but we launched this amazing course, we had a great initial launch. As I was finding out, initially launching something is fairly … it’s not easy, but it’s a lot easier than creating an Evergreen system where people are consistently enrolling with you. I learned that webinars were a thing, so I started researching online marketing and I thought, “Well that’s something I can do.”
I basically put together a webinar. And the first ones I did were just on Google Hangouts, just literally inviting my Facebook community, like “Hey, come check it out. I want to tell you about this.” And it actually did really well. It was the comfort that people need in knowing what the process was, how the online training works. And also increasing that trust factor, where they’re able to see me, I’m here, I’m reassuring them that I’m here for them every step of the way, and that was really important.
Seeing the response with the webinars, I was like, “Okay, well this is something that we need to consistently do, because want to see me, they want to have all information, so how do we do this on a regular basis?” And that’s kind of where my, I guess, webinar life started.
JB: Initially you were doing these live and then at some point you decided you wanted to try to ‘Evergreen’ your client acquisition. Can you talk about that, because I know for a lot of people it’s pretty common to have some struggle going from doing webinars where you schedule them, you do them, and then you have some sales. But to move from that to having the thing running all the time, can you tell us about that?
AK: Yeah. I mean, part of it is just necessity. I really wanted to be able to have this evergreen consistent enrollment and we were scheduling the webinars every Wednesday. You’re doing the same webinar, the same spiel every Wednesday, and some Wednesdays you’re totally on and some Wednesdays you’re not super on and you see that reflected in the numbers. So it became really apparent to me that if I can do one where I’m on and I nail it and that’s a high-converting webinar, then I should probably just run that one over and over.
It took me a little bit of research to find the right webinar platform because there are many options out there. Not all of them were right for me, and not all of them really worked very well. I use a CRM called Ontraport, so I needed one that would integrate with Ontraport. A few of them did that, but EasyWebinar was really the best solution for me. That’s the webinar service that I use. I sort of …
I kind of snuck the automation piece in. I didn’t really tell anybody at the beginning that these were going to be automated webinars, because I felt embarrassed about it. But honestly, now I think it’s the coolest thing ever, that this webinar just runs all the time. The EasyWebinar platform was really easy for me to set up, it was really easy for me to automate, and it was also really easy for me to see all that data, because that’s of course really important as an online marketer, seeing what times work, what are people responding to, what times are they actually watching versus not watching, how many people do we have on the replay. So having a really high-powered webinar service is important for that.
JB: At what point did you decide to add in the Deadline Funnel?
AK: Interestingly, I think these things started to happen at the same time and I didn’t realize I could integrate the two right away. Because creating that start-to-finish funnel with Deadline Funnel, with the webinar, with all of the email integration, it’s a big process. On the other hand, I’ve got this big online teacher training, but I also have started doing my own courses. And part of that was, I realized that in a launch you can make money. I got in this launch-cycle where it’s like, “Oh, my gosh, I have to make some cash. I guess I’ll just launch another course.”
That, of course, becomes exhausting because all of my courses, they’re not small. They over-deliver on all cases, so I was just burning myself out with constantly launching, but I didn’t know how to create the evergreen urgency. I got an email from some online marketer. I don’t even remember who it was, obviously, that had a countdown timer in it, and I was like, “Wait a second. That is brilliant.” Somehow I did just the right research and I found out who the countdown timer came from and of course it was Deadline Funnel.
I started integrating that into my email sequences right away and figuring out how to do that and creating … all the funnels that I had had for my personal courses, more evergreen with more urgency, because before Deadline Funnel, I was literally just saying, “You have until midnight tonight.” But it wasn’t true. They could’ve purchased any time. There wasn’t actually any urgency at all. The Deadline Funnel allowed me to create the urgency in my own email funnels, and then once I started doing the webinars, I realized I could do it with that too. It is such a powerful tool to be able to create that timed offer for every individual and to just give them the push and the impetus that they need to actually opt in.
JB: Awesome. I have a question about going from … when you’re transitioning from doing the live webinars and you decided, “Okay, the next time I do a webinar where I have the energy and I’m on and I’m feeling good” … How did you language it, how did you set it up, because you can’t say, “Hey, Sunday, May 31st, is the deadline.” So did you just leave out the dates, you said tonight’s the deadline, or how did you say that specifically?
AK: For the Deadline Funnel piece? I just say, “You have 24 hours.” Right? “You have 24 hours,” and that way, with Deadline Funnel, you set it up so that it’s 24 hours after a person enters the funnel, is when their offer expires. No matter what time zone they are on, no matter when it is they enter the funnel, I say in the webinar really clearly, “Okay, starting now, you’ve got 24 hours to take me up on this offer,” and then all of their correspondence with me reflects that.
JB: Very, very cool.
JB: Are there some other things that you’ve learned having done so many live webinars and also automated webinars that might be a useful tip for someone who wants to create their own automated webinar?
AK: Yeah, actually, this is one of the things that I’ve been considering. At this point I’ve been through so much online marketing training and I’ve heard what the experts have to say, but I’ll tell you what, there’s something really salient that actually has not worked for me. I think that’s because I’m coming from an industry that is not yet online. When online marketers talk to online marketers that talk to online marketers, there are some things in that industry that absolutely work, but because I’m generally talking to people who have never done online courses, who are skeptical of online learning, who don’t know how online marketing works, I really have to take a different tack.
The general webinar sequence that people do is you start off with almost like a really heavy sales pitch, introduce yourself, give some testimonials, you do like 20 minutes of content and then you end with again, a really heavy sales pitch. I was trying that with my webinars and it just turned everybody off.
The thing that’s working for me is actually basically holding people’s hands through the process. Really starting with something very friendly. “Hey, this is going to be an online learning experience. Let me show you the insight of the course.” Basically make the webinar about telling people exactly … not selling, but “Here is what I am doing. Here is the course that you’re going to participate in. Here is how you’re going to benefit from it. Here’s how it works. Here’s why online learning is awesome.” Because they don’t have any background in it. They have not yet opted into this experience and this is likely the first time that they’re going to be taking something online.
Just jumping in and being like, sales pitch, sales pitch, tiny content, sales pitch, sales pitch, it wasn’t a format that worked for me. My ads call out really clearly “This webinar is going to tell you about the course.” There’s no “Learn this” … there’s no sneaky like, “Learn this little bit of content,” but then you show up and you’re actually being pitched something. That was a real big piece to crack and shift.
Luckily that was something that I did right away with my teacher training webinar, and that was born out of people’s questions. “What is this? How does it work? What is it about?” And then I think, honestly, people are really impressed and they think it’s very cool that they have this timed offer, that there is this sense of urgency. They feel like I’m speaking right to them. Which, in many cases, basically I am. I know my audience, I know who I’m talking to.
It just creates a really personalized experience for the individual and that’s something that I want to continue all the way through in all of my courses anyway. It’s nice to start off on the right foot.
JB: Here’s a question that I’m dying to ask you. Your audience are not marketers and they’re yoga instructors, and I have this picture in my head of people who are, just like you said, they’re a little bit allergic to high-pressure sales, right?
JB: And yet you’re getting lots of great results with Deadline Funnel. So I’m leading up to my question. Sometimes people are concerned or worried, “Oh, but I don’t know if this is going to work for my audience.” Can you speak to that?
AK: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is to leave out the high-pressure sales. Really … I do love some of the marketing jargon around solving people’s pain points. How is this going to make their lives easier? How is this going to make it better? Some of the highlights for me with online learning in regards to my industry that I imagine probably extend to others, is that I can bring the crisis down.
If I were to teach a live in-studio teacher training, people would have to take four weeks off of their job, which, who can do that? They’d have to fly out to where I am, which is an added expense. They’d have to put themselves up in an Airbnb, yet another added expense. And in order for me to smash everything into that timeframe, I would have to charge quite a lot, hire other people. It would be a much bigger investment. And the reality is, I can actually give them a better quality with more content and higher level education training online.
Those are the differences that I really highlight. I’ve found that people in my industry, they also really want to know that I am here for them. That I am not just on the other side of the screen, that this isn’t just a digital process. I will often get people asking me questions during the webinar, just to see if I’m here. Customer service is so super key and you have to be ready to answer all the people’s questions personally and that’s probably what I actually spend most of my time doing now. Now that everything’s automated essentially.
JB: Let me rephrase a question. I love your answer, but I want to know, and I’ll ask again, specific to the deadline. Obviously you found a way to communicate without being sales-y and pitchy, but some people tell us, “Oh, I don’t know if this will work … if the deadline … if the urgency is going to be too much for my market.” It’s going to turn them off. But you’ve … obviously you don’t feel that way. Can you talk to that?
AK: Yeah. Specifically with that, I think that it alleviates procrastination. Everybody is going to put off even things that are good for them. Some of the things that I focus on are like, “Look, the time is never going to feel right. So now is the right time. You’re never going to be ready, so get ready, because the offer is here.” I do stress that this is not something that they’re going to … the offer’s not going to repeat. And I don’t repeat it. They have now to jump in on this really special thing, I’m here for them. I just keep bringing it back to the personalized experience and that now is the time. There’s no reason to put it off. I don’t want you to put it off, so let’s jump in to this together. I haven’t … honestly, I think it’s a great idea to put timed offers, because otherwise they don’t have any reason to buy from you, necessarily. Especially if it’s something that’s evergreen. Especially if it’s something that’s always available.
They can get it any time, so why would they buy now? I also couple my timed-offers with special bonuses, whether that is a discount on my product or something added. There’s that pressure that if they don’t purchase in the time, then they won’t also get the bonus. I do spend some time telling them, “Here’s why the bonus is awesome for you. Here’s how you will also benefit from that.” But yeah, I’ve honestly … it’s never even crossed my mind as to why a timed offer would be a bad idea because I know it’s such a good one. People do … they will procrastinate if you give them reason to.
JB: There you go. I agree 100%. A lot of times it helps to hear from someone, especially, like you. You teach yoga teachers. If anyone’s going to be allergic to deadlines, it’s going to be, I would imagine your audience.
AK: Jack, I don’t think that the deadline itself is the high-pressure sales pitch. I think that that’s sort of the container in which the pitch is happening.
AK: It starts here, it ends here, that’s just the container. What you say and what you do in the middle of that, that’s either high-pressure or not. I don’t think giving them a timer is high … I mean, look, your grocery store runs timed sales. This is just a thing that everybody anywhere who sells anything does in order to try to get people to buy at a certain time. I don’t think anybody’s surprised or put off by that. Giving them a substantial offer within that timeframe and speaking to them in a really personalized way, I think that’s what helps them realize that this is a supportive thing for them. “We’re here for your best interest because we know you’re going to benefit from this experience, so join me now.” I think that’s a major shift.
JB: Yeah. That’s great. I want to ask you … you talked a little bit about how you package up your special offer. But what I don’t know is if they miss the deadline, is the offer gone or is it just that the price goes up and the bonuses go away?
AK: Yeah, the price goes up, the bonuses go away.
AK: It is … I mean, people can opt in. They can opt in at any time. They’ll opt in for full-price and without the extras that I give them.
JB: Right. I was just wondering, because I talked to someone earlier today who does a rolling ‘if you miss the deadline’, you just can’t get it until maybe six months later. Which, I was just curious how you did it. There’s no right or wrong.
AK: I don’t … look. I would never want to turn away a sale. If someone wants to come through my door at full-price, they are more than welcome to do so. We have had people who have not taken advantage of the 24-hour offer and a few weeks later they’re still thinking about it and it sat in their minds enough that they’re willing to go ahead and pay full-price to join us, because they know that this is what they want to do. Awesome. I want them to start their yoga journey with me. I want to be there and available for them. I want to make it easy for them to say yes with the offer, but hey, I’m not going to say no if they want to join me a few weeks later at full-price. That’s fine.
JB: The way that you do it is what we typically recommend. Again, there’s so many different ways that people use our platform, but my favorite go-to method is just like you described. After the deadline, you can still get it, but it’s not at that discounted price. You don’t get all the bonuses. So that’s the special offer.
AK: Yeah. On some level too … I find this with my own private courses, my continuing education courses, is that you kind of, for lack of a better term, you train your audience, right? This is how you operate. You’re going to be super generous, you’re going to give them extra special things, but they need to act on them. You’re always going to be there for them. You’re always there for them. You’re always available for whenever they want to start. However, if the opportunity arises, they better jump on because they know that that opportunity is not going to be there forever.
JB: That’s great advice. Speaking of that, why don’t we close with this. You’ve been extremely generous with your time. It’s been wonderful talking to you. For someone who is just starting out, and they’re watching this interview, inspired, and they’re like, “I want to do that.” They want to start their own online training. What advice would you give them that you wish you had had back when you were first getting started?
AK: Realize that launching a course and creating the marketing around it is just as hard as creating the course itself. Be ready to place as much attention on the front-end as you do the back-end, because they are both equally as important. I was really focused on just building the content and creating great courses, and I had no idea how much relationship building is required, how much of the front-end email writing is required, how much … you have to pay attention to really awesome … the things that you use to make your machine work like Deadline Funnel. Do not skimp on the things that are going to make your process awesome because ultimately it’s going to make you a better online course creator or online marketer or online salesperson, whatever it is that is your niche.
JB: Before we go, I wanted to bring this up earlier, but go ahead and tell people where they can learn more information about you, if there are some people who want to become yoga teachers, where would they go?
AK: Or sign up for my webinar and sneak in and check the process out? My main website is Alannak.com. And that’s A-L-A-N-N-A-K dot com. You can find everything there, that’s my big umbrella. If you’re interested in the teacher training specifically, the URL for that is onlineteachertraining.yoga. And that has everything that you could learn that you would ever want to to learn about it there.
JB: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Alanna.
AK: It’s my pleasure, Jack.
Alanna Kivayla.com https://alannak.com/
Online Yoga Instructor Certification, http://onlineteachertraining.yoga/
Find Alanna on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/alannakaivalya/
Follow Alanna on Twitter, https://twitter.com/alannakaivalya
I recently had the chance to talk with Jonathan Rivera from the Podcast Factory, about using Deadline Funnel in some unique ways. He runs a successful podcast consulting business and a real estate business.
Watch the video, read the transcript, or listen to the audio below!
JR: Jack, thank you for having me here. Everybody who tunes in, thank you for tuning in. Hopefully we can maybe share a tip or two that are useful for you, but I got to correct you. I actually have been using Deadline Funnel for a much longer time than that. I used it in my real estate business first and then I added it into the marketing business. When we started talking about that stuff for that podcast, I had already used it before to build our account. I started a new account because I’m like I know how it works and I know that it works and I’m excited to see which different ways I can make it work for me.
JB: Cool. Well, I’m glad that you corrected me because I definitely want to talk about the real estate business. Let’s start it there. Let’s go in sequential order. Most of the people that we talk to, like our typical client is someone who sells an online course or something digital and so there’s a ton of great applications for that. We’ve interviewed a lot of successful entrepreneurs and given some really insightful case studies, but I’m really excited to talk about how it can be used in real estate. How are you using it in this non-marketing, non-IM world?
JR: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s non-marketing. It’s heavy on the marketing, but it’s not necessarily the way that we would think about this IM world and that’s actually I guess one of the biggest hurdles. You’re feeding into one of my big problems. You make good software and I love buying software, right? One of the problems I’ve had as an entrepreneur coming up and it’s been 13 years or so that I’ve been out on my own, was just making sure that I’m using the right tool at the right time in the right place.
What I did when I first got online is, I started just learning all this stuff, didn’t apply any of it and my results were delayed for many, many years to the point where I almost quit because it was like oh, why doesn’t this work?
I’m following all the brightest, shiniest objects. I’m buying all the software. I’m investing in all this stuff, but I’m not doing anything. I had a mentor who helped me out and it’s Darin Persinger from the Making Agents Rich Show. He actually just woke me up. He’s like, “You’ve got all these skills, right? You’ve got this copywriting. You’ve got this marketing. You have internet skills that you can put stuff together online and you’re sitting around playing games here trying to sell $7, $15, $20 products and you’re letting your real estate business sit on the sideline. Why are you doing that?” I’m sitting there like, “I don’t know why I’m doing that. That’s a damn good question. Why am I doing that?”
I turned around and used all the stuff I learned online from guys like Ben Settle with daily emails, guys like you with the deadline. I took all that stuff out of this internet marketing world and plugged it into a real brick and mortar business which is my real estate business. I started using email marketing. Obviously I was already running ads. I knew ads before that. Then I added email marketing. Then I learned about scarcity and coupons and we’ll talk about all that. I started seeing immediate improvements in that business. While internet marketers are playing around trying to sell under 100 bucks and spending all this energy on that, I’m over here on this side selling $700 a month subscriptions because that’s what a rental is, it’s a monthly subscription, on the land where nobody else even does this stuff.
It’s kind of exciting when these old school people that are trying to compete against me in the rental market see what I’m doing. They don’t understand it because I’m light years ahead of them by taking all this IM stuff and applying it to a real business. Did I ramble on too much there?
JB: No. You touched on something that I wanted to ask you because we were talking about the real estate business, but obviously that’s not specific enough. I just want to be clear. Is your business model around a buy and hold type of strategy? Like you buy rental units and then you rent them out as the landlord?
JR: Yeah. That’s really what we have is rentals. I’ve learned a lot working in the rental business and I’ve learned that there’s like a 30-day cycle where your leads, if they don’t convert in 30 days, they probably aren’t going to convert at all. I’ve learned that the timeline to talk to them is much quicker where you might be thinking of nurturing somebody online for months. For me it’s like two weeks because most people are looking to move between now and the next four weeks or so usually. Learning all that stuff and all those little nuances has been interesting and I’m figuring out how to work that into the marketing that we’re doing.
JB: Very, very cool. I’m dying to know how do you use deadlines and specifically Deadline Funnel in your real estate rental business?
JR: All right. I told that you that I’ve had some good mentors, Ben Settle, a mutual friend of ours is one of them. That’s actually where this whole turning my IM thing to IRL, right, and real life is what I’m calling it, bricks and mortar. The first thing I thought about was Ben, right? Ben taught me to write daily emails. That was the first piece I plugged into the business. I plugged in daily emails. It’s an email a day for 14 days and then it’s like a Dean Jackson 9-Word email like seven days later, “Are you still looking for an apartment,” kind of thing, because I know that that timeline that we talked about is shorter. The first thing I did was the daily emails. I was already running ads on Craigslist. I was already running ads on Google Pay-Per-Click so that’s my traffic source.
They’re going to my website, which, my website is like bare bones. Just like here’s some information. Here’s where you opt-in. Then I went and got some 1920s influence. I forgot who it was. I don’t know. Anyways, I started adding coupons to the business. Everybody out there competing against me is like first month, last month, security deposit, your left testicle. They’re asking for everything. They’re asking for everything for you to move into the apartment. I saw an opportunity there where I said, “Well, you know security deposits suck.” This is a real estate lesson and people are going to just crap when they hear me say this because what a security deposit is …
It’s so complicated because you have to keep that in a separate escrow account. You can’t touch that. Then when they move out, you have to have a checklist of what’s coming off that security deposit and you have to do the accounting for that and then you have to return the unfinished portion. If you use it all, they’re pissed at you because they were counting on that as a savings account. In my mind security deposits complicate things. I came up with a coupon that said “no security deposit.” That’s all, right? I’m just turning the idea into a coupon and people were like, “Wow. No security deposit. I got to use this. I got to use this.” That worked for a while and it worked really well for us. In fact, it’s still working to this day. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We still use that “no security deposit” special.
What we did was we added a twist because we wanted more people calling quicker rather than sitting on the fence and making sure that we were getting the phone calls because we need phone calls so that we have appointments, so that we can close deals. I think it’s like that in most any business. What we did was we added Deadline Funnel or we, me. What I did, I’m going to take all the credit. Jack helped me by providing the software, but what I did was I added Deadline Funnel to it. I didn’t like that sometimes people weren’t responding right away. When I found out about your software, I’m like, “Hmm, kind of interesting. Maybe I can do a little twist on this coupon to increase that urgency that they have to use it.”
I also used AW Pro Tools to make all this happen too because you used to own that one too. I’m using all your stuff, right? I started doing the first email where I dropped the coupon. I put a Deadline Funnel on it say, “You have seven days to use this coupon.” Now it’s not only that they have a coupon that’s saving them 700 bucks, but they have a very limited time to get that 700 bucks. When we added that to the front, phone calls just start coming in. “Hey. Hey. Hey. I got the coupon. I got the coupon. I want to commit.” People just acting totally differently than the nonchalant “I lost my coupon” people.
We’ve kept that in the mix with a deadline for seven days and then their coupon goes from … It’s 700 now. It goes down to 350. They really have an incentive to use it in those first seven days. People come in with that thing printed up like, “Here. Here. Here. I don’t want to run out of time. If I called you, will you just mark it down so I don’t run out of time?” Stuff like that that I never really … I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
JB: That is just awesome. That is really great. Before we had this conversation, I did not know that you were doing that. This is just amazing to hear about. I know that this isn’t really the point of the conversation, but my curiosity I’ve got to go in this direction. How do you as a landlord protect yourself? That’s what the security deposit is for. You’re going to paint the house or whatever. How do you mitigate that risk? Is it something you guys built into the rest of your financial model?
JR: Yeah. It’s a way of looking at it. First of all, maintaining a separate account and maintaining accounting for all that. There is a cost to that for us as business owners with the bookkeeping, with managing that, with having that on the side. To me it’s annoying stuff. When you do this long enough, you’re going to realize that your security deposit doesn’t cover much. Like for instance, if we took the whole 700 bucks, just to carpet alone would cost that to replace. Not the appliances, not the paint, not the light fixtures. It’s really such a small little thing that it covers that I don’t think it is a big risk to us. Now I could be wrong, but so far I’ve seen it work out for us.
What happens with the way that we have our funnel set up based on kind of scarcity, exclusivity, because we only have so many units, we only have one available right now and we have a bunch of people applying for them because we have marketing, we have new leads coming in, cold leads, we have referrals coming in, we have renewals coming in. With all that stuff, it gives us a larger pool of people to choose from. What it has done for us in our place is help us elevate the game, right? Because if somebody is not of high quality, they’re going to probably ruin the place. When you get more and more applications, you get to say, “All right. These are our standards. These people meet or exceed the standards,” and then you choose the best one.
We start looking at more applications and we see, “This guy’s been at his job 23 years. Been renting his apartment for 16 years. Yeah, I don’t think there’s a risk there.” We’re going to rent to those people that are really well established. I mean we look at everybody that meets our criteria, but we have so many candidates come in that we get to choose the best if that makes sense.
JB: Yeah. You have better lead flow. You can be choosier. You mitigate your risk that way. From what I’ve heard, one of the biggest expenses in that business is having a unit sitting unoccupied. You reduce the time that it’s unoccupied. That’s brilliant. Very, very cool. Before we switch to your digital enterprises and podcasting and those sorts of things, is there anything else that we haven’t covered about how you’re using deadlines in coupons in your real estate business or should we move on to the digital?
JR: Yeah. I think it’s a matter of having a real world value and having something that they can lose for real. Paying no security deposit versus paying 700 is a big impact for middle-class income. Making sure that you have some scarcity in place around something that actually matters, that’s probably a key in why this works for us.
Making sure that you have some scarcity in place around something that actually matters, that’s probably a key in why this works for us.
JB: Beautiful. Why don’t you talk about your podcasting business or anything that you want to in terms of how you’re using deadlines in your digital market?
JR: Couple ways. Let’s see. Let’s start off with the geekier way, right? I’m going to give you credit because you and Anthony and your team and all that stuff, you guys are in that little bottom corner anytime I need help box like, “Come save me. I don’t know what’s going on.” You guys have awesome support. It allows me to do weird things with this software. One of the things that I was testing out for the last couple of months is I run The Podcast Factory. We do podcast production, products, all that kind of stuff, help people build their authority. I don’t have any info products. I don’t have any low-ticket stuff so to speak. My whole close is let’s do an application. Let’s find out if you’re a good fit for me and I’m a good fit for you and I can help you get the results you’re looking for.
I do that all by application and phone call. Not very techie, right? What I wanted to do was figure out how I can integrate a deadline because I know how powerful they are in my real estate business. I know that people won’t get up off their ass unless they have a hard deadline staring down at them and they have to make a decision. I wanted to integrate Deadline Funnels into my process. My funnel is very uncomplicated. You hear about me and you think you want to get a podcast done for you. You go to a page. You get on my waiting list because it’s not always open. It’s definitely not open the day you sign up. I can guarantee you that. I wanted to do a rolling, like a rolling type of thing.
What I figured out was by using a web hook with Deadline Funnel and my autoresponder that I could have a seven day deadline so that way I can open it up once every seven days and give them a countdown, right? I don’t even know how to explain this nerdiness. You guys walked me through all of this when I was setting it up, but somebody signs up today. It’s Tuesday or Wednesday. By Friday, well, they get hit with the web hooks so the countdown starts in the background. They don’t even know it, right? By Friday, I’m saying, “All right. Monday I’m going to take applications. Be ready.” Saturday it’s a couple more emails. “Applications opening up Monday.” Sunday, “Hey. Applications opening up on Monday.”
By the time they get there Monday, that’s the page where they first see the deadline and depending on where they signed up, it’s only going to be a seven day deadline. If they signed up seven days ago, the scarcity is this thing’s closing today. If they signed up four days ago, they still have three more days, but they’re forced into that zone of thinking, “All right. I signed up for this. All right. Time’s counting down. Am I going to take action on it?” It has increased by close rates like … I need to increase my prices I think because my close rates have gone up. Because it used to be like a 30% close rate and lately I’m running at like 50 or 60. I think that prices need to go up.
That scarcity and forcing them into making a decision has been really instrumental in getting more applications and getting me on the phone with more qualified people.
JB: Awesome. That’s fantastic. By the way, for anyone who wants to start a podcast, why don’t you talk a little bit about what The Podcast Factory does. Give out your URL and just give a short little I’ll call it commercial, but just tell people like what sort of needs you fill that are currently unmet if someone doesn’t get with you?
JR: Yeah. Look, there’s tons of people that do podcast and I encourage you to look at all them. That’s fine. What I do is I work with busy business owners who don’t want to build teams, who don’t want to get into the tech stuff, who just want to get their ideas out into the world as simply as possible. What we do is we plug our team into their operation. We help them have a podcast. Get all that stuff done for them so all they’re doing is talking into a mic. We’re taking care of the rest and then they get to market it. If you’re busy and you want to get your message out there, but you don’t want the learning curve, that’s kind of where we help out.
We usually work best with people that are established. Like you have to have an email list. You have to have products for sale. You have to have a marketing budget because it’s easy for me to help you amplify your results. If you have no results, there’s nothing to amplify. Plain and simple. You can find out about me at ThePodcastFactory.com.
JB: You got extra close to the microphone to make sure that came through nice and clear.
JR: I’m a pro. You know that. That’s what I do.
JB: The phrase that I always heard from Perry Marshall, from my years with Perry Marshall who would say, “You can’t steer a parked car.” In the same way I tell people all the time, so I’d be like, “Deadline Funnel’s going to amplify whatever you have going on. If you’ve got bad marketing and a bad product, you’re not communicating it right, it’s not a magic bullet. It does some incredible things, but it’s not going to take something that’s DOA and breathe life into it.” The podcast business, that’s another interesting application because that’s still outside the normal realm of what our typical client does. Like a typical client has someone who comes in and it’s …
Actually the way that you’re applying it is pretty similar because I’ve interviewed other people like James Schramko who do rolling launches and things like that. I kind of get the sense that there’s yet another business under the Jonathan Rivera umbrella. Is there another application for how you’re using Deadline Funnel?
JR: Actually not even another business, but maybe closer to what people are doing. I’m about to get all cliché on you. High-ticket sales. That’s the thing, high-ticket. I sell high-ticket, right? Let’s talk about high-ticket if you’re going stuff like that. Like our packages start at three grand and 600 a month and they go up from there. That’s probably high-ticket. One of the things that I’ve noticed is when I get on my sales calls because you won’t find anything on my website about what we charge, what we do or any of that stuff because I need to talk to you to make sure that you’re a good fit and we’re a good fit or else I don’t want to waste anybody’s time, but what I found in these calls is there’s usually about two or three things that people need. Actually I got this … Did Igor Kheifets have you on his show? I don’t know if you’ve talked to him yet.
JB: I think we talked, but I don’t think we’ve connected yet.
JR: Anyways, sometimes he schools me. I co-host a show with him, “List Building Lifestyle,” and he’s another Deadline Funnels user by the way. He’s like, “You got to get people something.” On the sales calls I used to not do it. On the sales calls it’ll just be like, “This is it. Is it a fit or not,” and that’s it. He’s like, “You’ve to give something that you can takeaway to help motivate them. You have to have some sort of scarcity there.” I didn’t really do that in the beginning probably because I was charging really cheap and people would always just sign up like, “Oh, that’s it? Yeah. Here you go. Take my credit card.” That’s probably part of it. As I went raising my prices, things changed. My numbers changed a little bit.
Igor told me you got to have some sort of takeaway. What I figured out is in most off the people I talk to they either want to build their authority further by using the podcast and leveraging that. They probably want to get interviews done or guest booking or stuff like that and there’s people that are looking for leads. They might be more motivated by a bonus, perhaps me helping them create a mini product to help them get there. Opt-ins. There’s yet another person every once in a while, I get flexible on this, it’s very rare, but if somebody’s got a little bit of a price sensitivity, sometimes I say, “Well, that’s the trigger,” right? If somebody wants interviews, I offer them as a bonus sign up the next 24 hours and I’ll hook you up with that one month of our podcast blitz.
Somebody wants the mini product thing or wants to come up with a product, sign up next 24 hours and we’ll do that. I took it to the price sensitive people because I felt like they needed more motivation. Every once in a while if they’re referred to me by someone who has my old pricing and has given it away, sometimes I’ll get close to that or honor it.
What I do is I have a deadline link. After the phone call I do a followup, your podcast show and I recap the conversation. I’m just sitting there taking notes when I talk to people. I recap our conversation, their goals and everything. I say, “It seems like maybe I might be able to help you make this decision a little bit easier. Here’s a link where if you sign up you’ll save 30%,” let’s say, right? 30%, but it’s only for the next 24 hours. They click the link. They get hit with my Deadline Funnel cookie and there it is right on my SamCart page, countdown. As soon as it disappears, the price goes up.
I have the second page set up for full price after they’re done with their countdown. That has been working interestingly for me. I don’t like to get too many price sensitive people, but I guess when it’s a referral, I will be a little more flexible because that’s a better deal for me. I have to pay for that lead. It’s been working for me quite interestingly to see people like tripping over themselves to give me money. That’s kind of a fun application as well.
JB: That’s awesome. Let’s finish up with … Would you be willing to talk about how we kind of work together with Kevin Rogers? I know that you said there’s numbers that you can’t share or you don’t have yet, but can we talk about how you’re planning on using that with Kevin Rogers, one of your clients?
JR: We actually used it and we used it for a very short time. We didn’t get to run it that long. We changed up the way we were doing things. The way it was set up is similar. This is where I got the idea when you gave us the idea of using it for Kevin like that, that’s when I took it and I implemented it into my rolling deal. I’m talking nerd talk. None of this shit makes any sense if you’re following along and all. It’s fine. The way that we did it was Kevin has Copy Chief, a forum, a community that you can join. Monthly membership I think it’s 100 bucks a month or something like that. What he does is he keeps it closed and he only opens it up three or four times a year, something like that.
We were trying to figure out how we could get more action from the podcast. When we were all sitting around at that table, you helped us come with the idea where we were going to go ahead and give people 24 hours to sign up for Copy Chief by following the URL we gave on the show. It was a special URL. Go to this URL. Skip the line at Copy Chief because there’s all these people waiting for the doors to open. You have 24 hours to join. It actually was working like from podcast to sale, right? That’s something most people can’t do. It was because we had something of real value just like I told you the coupon and saving money off that, off the security deposit was real-world value. These people couldn’t get into Copy Chief and now they had a 24 hour window. They already knew Copy Chief. They were interested in Copy Chief or they wouldn’t be listening.
They probably know it’s closed and when they hear that call-to-action on the show, they go there and they’re hit with the deadline like, “Join now. You got 24 hours because if not, it goes away and you can’t get in and you’re back on the wait.” It’s like taking the velvet rope, unclicking it. You coming in? We made some sales with that. We actually directly from the podcast started making sales. I wish we could run it a little longer to get some more data, but it did work.
JB: That’s great. Awesome. Jonathan, this has been really enlightening. Very, very enjoyable to hear you talk about all the different ventures that you’re in. I want to have more conversations with you offline about how you’re running your real estate business, but right now I want to say thank you for your time and sharing how you’re using it in your various different enterprises. If you could, lean back into the microphone and make sure everyone heard the podcast.
JR: It’s right here.
JB: There you go.
JR: ThePodcastFactory.com. If you like the Jack and you like the way that he thinks, a lot of the people that he hangs out with, a lot his contemporaries are over at The Podcast Factory. We’re just waiting for Jack to come onboard, but marketing, closing sales, all that kind of stuff, you can go there and listen to shows. We have something like 15 or 20 shows there that you can listen to right now. 15 different hosts talking about different stuff. ThePodcastFactory.com.
JB: Very cool. Thank you so much, Jonathan.
JR: Thank you.
Mentioned in this article:
The Making Agents Rich Show, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/making-agents-rich-show-darin-persinger-jonathan-rivera/id668386075?mt=2
Ben Settle, http://www.bensettle.com/
9-Word Email, http://emailcashsecrets.com/
The Podcast Factory, http://thepodcastfactory.com/
James Schramko, https://www.superfastbusiness.com/
Perry Marshall, https://www.perrymarshall.com/
Copy Chief https://copychief.com/
I recently had the chance to talk with Navid Moazzez from Virtual Summit Mastery, about using virtual summits and urgency to build your list and your profits.
Watch the video or read the transcript below!
JB: Hey, this is Jack Born founder of Deadlinefunnel.com and today we have another case study with a successful Deadline Funnel client. I’m extremely excited for this conversation because we’re going to be talking about virtual summits and I have Navid Moazzez with us and he’s an expert when it comes to virtual summits. That’s what he teaches. It’s what he does. And so we’re going to dive into that. We’re going to be talking about things that work with virtual summits, who they’re for, mistakes that people make, and things like that.
We’re also going to be talking about using urgency inside of virtual summits and maybe even how to evergreen a virtual summit. This is a topic I’m really interested in. So Navid, great you have you on the call.
NM: Thanks so much Jack for having me. This is great. Deadline Funnel has changed a lot for me for my last summit. I’m so grateful that Cody actually told me about … I knew about Deadline Funnel, but I think Cody Lister just kind of … I introduced him to virtual summits, it was more like he was using it for his content promotion summit, and I was taking it to the next level on a list building school I hosted in 2016. So, happy to dive into any of that today.
JB: Cool, cool. Well, yeah so you mentioned Cody. That’s Cody Lister who was on another interview that we did and he really was very generous for sharing exactly how he ran his virtual summit and he credited you with a lot of what he did successfully. So tell us about your business. Kind of give us the context of how you got started in virtual summits and maybe let’s take it from there.
NM: Yeah, so it always starts with a struggle, right? That’s how it was for me. I had the podcast, that’s where I started. I did a lot of that and blogging, but I found that didn’t really grow my email list that quickly, and I wasn’t generating that much money. And then I stumbled across, I think it was from some health summits or whatever it was, that I saw they were doing really successful summits where they were growing their list and they were generating actually a lot of money as well from those free summits, but on the back-end they were profiting.
And then I was studying that a lot and actually hosted my own summit in 2014 without any prior knowledge or experience. I just walked through their funnels and actually studied what they did, and re-engineered that. And then I had some great success in my first one, the branding summit. I generated about 3,000 email subscribers and $20,000 in profit from that first summit, which enabled me to quit my job and move abroad, and then I got so many questions, some other people asking me how I hosted summits, and then I start teaching them and having clients and eventually Virtual Summit Mastery was born, which is my premium flagship program today.
JB: What are some of the purposes for a virtual summit? Is primarily to create revenue or is to really get known in the marketplace and possibly build your list?
NM: Yup, it can be a little combination because when I started they had different stages and what I love about summits can work at any stage of business. It can work in any market as well. I’ve even seen it be quite successful for software companies. Teachable are doing one currently at the time of this recording. I’ve seen Drip by Leadpages, they’ve done one.
So I see a lot of software companies in addition to more experts and thought leaders, who are doing summits to expand, but I’ve seen people who are starting out, too. They can use summits really successfully, and I’ve seen people who want to grow from let’s say a high five-, six-figure business to seven figures. They have used summits as well. And I was at that stage in 2014 when I wanted to level up. So I said I want to be known in the marketplace, I did a summit, but I also wanted to grow my list and I didn’t have a product at the time, so the summit actually became my product.
And I sold an all-access pass in the back-end of the free summits. So, people sign up, I am sure Cody actually walked you through the funnels, so people sign up. It’s free to sign up for and then on the thank you page, that’s where Deadline Funnel comes in, which you can talk about, but then on the thank you page then you upsell them to an all-access pass to have like $67 to $97 typically. It depends a little bit on your market, but most of the time we’ve [seen] $67 to $97 works pretty well, and $67 being that kind of sweet spot for where you should have the Deadline Funnel and then it goes up to $97.
You can profit right there even if you don’t have a product yet, that can be your first product and then you can actually serve your audience you’re building with that summit, and then launch a course or promote an affiliate product to them. So there’s so many benefits there in addition to just the influencers you get to meet, and they can become your partners and friends as well.
JB: Very, very cool. So yeah, let’s focus on the front-end of the funnel. So when … I know that this is getting kind of in the weeds, but I’m curious about this part. So the summit is free for someone to sign up, and I think the way that most people set it up is that if you sign up you’re going to get the details about when these different events are, and if you attend all the live events then it’s completely free, right?
NM: Yeah, you can have it pre-recorded or live, but it runs as if it’s live. So there’s a set period of time, let’s say four to seven days typically. Something like that is a good summit, with 20 to 30 experts. And I tend to say that summit is like a webinar on steroids because it’s instead of just featuring one expert, maybe you’re partnering with someone with a webinar and they are promoting to their list. With a summit you can partner with 20 to 30 experts, and let’s say a handful of them promote your summit to their email lists.
They introduce you to their audience. That’s pretty good. So you actually grow your list with, per expert you have on, hundred to thousands of people come into your summit at any given time, and if you are more seasoned, let’s say you are … Or they have a lot of relationships, so you have a solid business, you can get tens of thousands of leads from one virtual summit.
From my last I got 26,070 people coming in and 2,100 customers for list building school, and I credit a lot [of] that success, actually in terms of the customers at least, to Deadline Funnel because we had that $67 offer on the thank you page and it converted like crazy. In the beginning when I had just my own list, it converted like 16%, 18% or something like. Then I think when everything was over, it was around 9 to 10% or so.
JB: To the cold traffic, 9 to 10?
NM: Yeah, not really cold, but it was affiliate traffic and Facebook traffic I’d say, and then dropped a little bit from there and my warm traffic, for my own list was the highest, but still with affiliate traffic was really high, and even the more … We actually profited from the Facebook ads as well on that low end $67 offer, which was really impressive, and then we obviously made a lot more profits since I had my … I had a premium program on the back-end as well.
So that’s [also] something you can think about doing, as well, if you’re watching or listening to this.
JB: So that premium product, did you sell that after the summit was over or was that on the tail-end of the first purchase?
NM: Yeah, it was after… I don’t think it would work as well to do it right after a $67 purchase. They’re, “Hey, here’s my $1,000 course.” That would be a little bit pushy. I mean maybe someone could make it work, but I think I wanted to build a little bit more trust there at least. Could work with a one-click upsell after $67, but then it has to be closer to the $67 offer not like a big jump in price range.
We did it right after the summit was over, the only thing that I probably would have done differently today, is to have left the summit as a big lead gen, and getting sales for the summit in that case, but then afterwards I probably would have waited a few weeks to be honest to let the list … We have build a lot of trust here. Don’t like lose that with a big promo at end, which you get a lot of unsubscribes. I would have rather have a lead-up period, especially since I was not 100% connected to virtual summit mastery.
Yes, it helps with list building, but some people might not see it as that immediately. So I would have just had a bunch of case studies and stuff like that I shared after the summit. And then maybe leading that into either a Jeff Walker-style launch or I would have done like a webinar or something like that. For this one I did a webinar and we’ve done really well with that it’s just that I’m always constantly improving, so I’m trying to see where can we make improvements on this process. Because kind of I invented to actually promote something after summit.
Most people they just use summits as a lead gen, maybe sell an all-access pass and that’s it. And then maybe months afterwards, they promoted something, which is great but you can profit immediately and spend a lot more on advertising if you have that opportunity to have something in the back-end as well.
JB: Cool, so to sum up you might wait a little bit more time, like two weeks or so after the summit is over before…
NM: Yeah, two to three weeks I’d say. I mean I’ve tested a little bit. Chandler Bolt, which is one of my other big case studies, he hosted self-publishing success summit. First one was back in 2015 when I really was involved and then a second one in 2016 as well, but he actually hosted, I think it was like a 10-day summit, and then right afterwards or the very last day, he had a webinar sell his premium course, Self-Publishing School. In that case, Self-Publishing Success Summit and the publishing school were so directly related and he actually got incredible success by doing that, and I think he had like $120,000 or $130,000 from the summit.
And then he had the rest … Like he got in total $370,000 revenue. So he had over $200,000 basically coming in from just people buying his course from like a four-day webinar promotion, which is pretty incredible, right? So we have the summit getting that in and he didn’t use Deadline Funnel by the way. That was before we starting using this, and I can just see the all-access pass sales could have gone up a lot. Yes, it’s a little bit less than the $97, but you get so many more sales by you saying, you know, this urgency on the thank you page, which I’m really excited about.
JB: So just to get into the details, when someone comes in and they’re reading the details, because initially they’re thinking, “Okay, I’m just going to register for this virtual summit, this looks exciting.” And then on the thank you page you’re telling them, okay you are … First of all, language-wise, are you saying, “Okay, you are registered.” Or do you language it like, “Your registration is almost complete.”
NM: Yeah, so actually this could be live, depending on when this [interview] goes live. We are actually setting up my current … My list summit, list building school, we are [going] to make it evergreen and Deadline Funnel obviously plays a pretty big role in making it evergreen. And so maybe depending on when you go to Listbuildingschool.com we’ll actually be live and you can actually walk through and see what we are doing with this.
But yeah, on the thank you page we are actually having a small message there up top or something where we say, “Hey, you are registered, but don’t close this page.” Or something. Basically telling them, “Hey, this is important. This is urgent.” And we also stack the offer there, so let’s say the recordings obviously of the summit, we offer that there. We also have some very interesting bonuses. So, it’s an irresistible offer so people like, “Okay I can grab this. It’s 67 bucks. It doesn’t really matter.” So they grab this, their one time off … It’s not a one-time offer, but it’s a very urgent to just … It’s a one-time offer in a way that they never see the $67, but then it goes up to $97 again pretty much.
JB: This is kind of detailed, but how much time have you been giving people on the Deadline Funnel clock to make the decision?
NM: Yeah, we have tested a little bit. Cody I believe he’s using 14 or 15 minutes. I also use … I think we use 14 or 15 minutes. You can test a little bit there. Depending on industry, also industry is really important that if it’s … They’re not as seasoned with these kind of things, like they might not even recognize the Deadline Funnel there on the page. Maybe you don’t need the countdown. Maybe you have to test different things, but you could still use Deadline Funnel to get the … To redirect them, you can have a message there.
You just have to see a little bit. So it’s in a way that you don’t come across as too pushy to your people and so maybe in some industries could be good with 30 minutes to them a little extra time if they’re not very tech-savvy it could take them that long to actually check out. You know?
I get these messages sometimes that, “Hey, I’m in the checkout here, but I’m actually not really. I don’t know if I’m going to have time to read this page.” Some people are like that. So you might want to give some extra time, but I like the 15 minutes. We got a few people who said they might need extra time, but we didn’t actually use the Deadline Funnel on our check out pages. Because we kind of, you know … If they go there they are likely to purchase, but at the same time you could use it on your checkout pages if you want to. So if you want to do it actually real the entire way, feel free to do that, but I feel that people are on the checkout page they will actually most of the time if they take their time to go there.
JB: Cool, so what was the next question … Oh, so what are some of the mistakes that you see first time virtual summit students making?
NM: Going too broad with their summit is a big mistake … And I can give you an example. Let’s say they are in the health and fitness industry. There’s some competition in that industry, but if you’re going with a health summit or a fitness summit or more broad, it’s not going to do as well. So I like to give this example with the women’s strength summit. She could have gone with a strength summit, which is a little bit more niche than just a fitness summit, but she went with a women’s strength summit and did a lot better because of it.
And now she might not … She doesn’t have to appeal to everyone either, that’s the beauty of it. She appeals to the right people and she got incredible results, about 20,000 people sign up to her summit the first time she did it, and over $60,000 revenue. So [that] was pretty good success. Again she used the event to go into a new market. She had a fairly successful blog, but used that to go into new market and being really niche. And that’s what I see with a lot of my students, niching down until it hurts. Then they’re setting themselves up for success and also if they want to position themselves faster as an expert, it’s going to be much easier to do that.
If you’re not [a well-known name] in online business, don’t do an online business summit for example. He might be able to pull it off since he has a course on the back end for it, and he has a lot more authority in that space, but you’re starting out, don’t do that. And even if you’re not just starting out, do a more niche summit. You’re going to be better off with that. Even Chandler did the self-publishing success summit. Was kind of specific to his course, and that makes sense. And think of how you want to use the summit as a starting point to build momentum furthering your business.
JB: Cool. Are there any other mistakes that you see first time virtual summit students makes?
NM: I would say also with the design of the summit to just keeping it … Like not trying to reinvent the wheel and that’s sad … Like we give people in my program templates like exactly what you see on Listbuildingschool.com or similar to what Cody uses. We give people something similar so they can pull this off without being a techie or a designer. Because I find that when you’re going to position speakers on your summit, or influencers, then they want to look good. They want to look good next to their friends, or peers in the industry. And if you have a crappy design or something like that, it’s not going to be very good for your brand.
So if you’re starting out and can come out with a really great design, professional looking, you have almost everything is … You win there right away without even hosting your summit yet, so I think that’s a piece of the design professional, and also having kind of the … Thinking about the long-term. Some people don’t do that. They just want people to promote for them. That should not be the reason why you’re hosting.
They reason why you’re hosting the summit should be because you want to provide valuable content to people and if I have you on, and I focus on that you will share like some really valuable content maybe around agency, Deadline Funnel, all that. Maybe having a tutorial on this day on my summit, and then he’s feel, “Ah, I crushed it.” People will find this valuable.
Then you got to be a lot more likely to share this interview or this presentation with your audience. So that’s kind of something I’m trying to get to my students as well because I see a lot of people making this mistake that they ask you know right away in the first email they send to someone, that they should promote it and so on. But that’s not how we do it with my students. We focus on the long-term approach and we see a lot more of our influencers actually share our summits with their audience because they think it’s so valuable.
JB: So that was something I was going to ask. I’m glad you went there. So when you get an influencer that where you know they’re going to deliver really good content, you’re not hitting them up to promote it to a list it sounds like.
NM: Not immediately. I’m not like … Right away it’s all about building the relationship. You can even start a little bit before if you have the time. You can start getting on their radar. Maybe talking to them on Twitter, be on their list, or something like this. You know just add value that maybe you read their book, share it with them. You can be on their radar so when you’re reaching out to ask them to be on your summit is not such a big ask. You’re kind of already like online friends, so to speak.
I mean I never went to meet anyone in person when I first lived in Sweden, and then later like a few years later, I met a lot of people in person, but that wasn’t the case the beginning so had to make friends online, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people. So you can do the same thing and then when you’re reaching keep the first emails short. Maybe get on the call to get to know each other for like 10 to 15 minutes, and then you can also bring up on that call like depending on who it is. Obviously if it’s an A-lister … Like I mean I have this A, B, and C-lister. Doesn’t mean you are worth less if you are a C-lister and an A-lister.
Just like different rank in terms of the audience size you have. And an A-lister they might have been doing it a lot longer, but C and B-listers they are a lot more likely to share it out because they are still looking to build up. A-listers take a little bit longer I found, but if you can get on a call with someone, you can ask is it a good fit, and whatever you had in mind to do your summit in September, to shared this your audience. If it’s a good fit obviously.
So that’s how I did a lot for List Building School. Even people who didn’t really know me that well said, “Yes.” I think I had an 80 to 90 … Around 90% actually success rate in terms of people who shared the summit with their audience. So you know that’s kind of what I’m trying to get across to my students. To just have this approach to … Even if they don’t share, so what? You wanted them on because of their valuable content, so that’s what you should focus on first and foremost, and then you still get people who will share because of your authentic approach.
JB: And I’m curious, do you have your influencers, your speakers, do you have them sign a release form as part of the process?
NM: Great question. I knew that might come up, but actually I don’t. You wouldn’t have your friends sign a contract unless it was a consulting agreement or something like this. But for a podcast sent to you or something, maybe you will have a media release in your email, like that you own the content, but really if you … Most of the time if someone came to me after a summit and said, “Hey, you can’t use this anymore.” I mean I would probably, “Okay.” I would take it down because you kind of said, “Yes.”
Most people would know. There might be industries that you might have to explain a little bit more, but I would say in our industry, in the online marketing space, people are very familiar when you do a summit, you kind of under this understanding that you can actually be … The things you will be sold might come out in books, but that’s actually promotion for you because you can share, in your case Deadline Funnel, or whatever.
JB: Oh, absolutely.
NM: You can share that, so it’s not bad to be seen. I’ve seen some industry … There’s been some discussions in my community about this too, that some people they might think that, “Hey, I’m giving away my entire knowledge in 30 to 45 minutes.” But that’s not the case, right? If you only have 45 minutes of knowledge to share maybe you shouldn’t be charging so much it either.
That’s kind of my approach to it. Like, spend 45 to an hour giving all you got, you probably still have a lot more to give to people who want to take it further with you and buy it and pay you money.
JB: So if people want to get more information if they’re interested in doing their own virtual summit, I noticed on your website that you’ve got some free resources. So can you tell us about some of those free resources and where they can get them?
NM: Sure, on my website, depending on when you are viewing this, but right now we have a virtual sign mastery blueprint, that’s kind of usually always available. You can grab that over at NavidMoazzez.com or Navid.me. And then also on Virtualsummitmastery.com we run a free workshop about two times a year, and … Depending on when you’re watching this again, then you can sign up and get access to this. But still there should be some free resources around my website about virtual summits.
You can see some case studies there too. Some of my successful students actually, in the past 12 months alone, we’ve generated hundreds of thousands of email subscribers and millions of dollars in revenue from summits and the backend. Some people are launching membership sites on the backend of their summits, courses, and affiliate products, and all that kind of stuff.
So if you are wanting to grow your list, how to build your authority, influence, and revenue, then I think it’s a really good way to do that with a virtual summit.
JB: Yeah, I’m very excited about it, and I’m talking with my team about putting one of these out as well. Which brings me to this question. Maybe this is a good place to end. How far in advance should someone be planning the summit?
NM: I would say depends who it is. I’ve had people have a bigger team. They might want to do it and maybe start planning in terms of their affiliates they’re bringing on. Started a little bit far in advance, like maybe five months six months, but it’s just planning stage. But I think for most people when they’re getting into it, three to four months. I have students who’ve done it in six weeks successfully, really well.
It just depends how much time you are spending on it, but I’ve had people have full times, they have pulled it off. I have people have several kids at home, they have pulled it off. So it’s really no excuse. I usually see when people coming to me and sometimes they say, “It’s going take me a lot of time,” yes it’s going to be hard work, but anything that has a very big ROI usually is hard work. Like going to do a product launch, it’s not easy.
I’m doing one right now for the Fall, so it’s going to be a lot of work we are putting in. We have copyright in all this, but when you are starting out you can just do it because you know it’s going to pay off for you. So I think for you and your team, Jack, is going to be pretty good. You can do some really cool things since you have a software and bundle that, the training and stuff like that. Similar to what Teachable and some companies are doing. I think you can do really well with this model.
JB: Yeah, we’re really excited and to that point about everything worthwhile requires effort. I mean we tell people that as well because Deadline Funnel and setting up an Evergreen Funnel takes time, it takes energy, but it’s the type of thing that keeps paying off day after day, week after week. So, yeah I can totally relate to that. Go ahead.
NM: No, I just said in terms of you mentioned evergreen, that’s where Deadline Funnel really comes into power. Yes, we are using it on live summits as well, like on the thank you page, but I mean you’re it on the evergreen some of you. Don’t only need it on the thank you page, but it’s also needed on the speaker pages to make it expire. So that’s something I’m really excited. We actually just starting to implement this even more.
Cody is running his summit evergreen right now. The content promotion summit, but we are doing a little bit more in terms of that Deadline Funnel. So it’s like more urgency there too, depending on when they click in the emails and stuff like that, and then we are making an entire process for my students how to implement this because it’s some technical things there, but it’s not anything you can’t do. That’s kind of the beauty. You’re doing this summit, but then you can actually have somethings that can keep generating sign-ups and sales. Let’s say you’re doing Facebook apps, well you can break on that so you can actually just get the ads for free pretty much, which is kind of the idea we have.
But also getting people who promoted my last summit, list building school, to come in again to maybe share it that list. So I can have ongoing traffic coming in, depending whenever they want to promote it they can just share because we already know that the funnel converts really well.
JB: Yeah, and you could even setup just like we talked about at the beginning, once you ‘evergreenize’ your virtual summit you can have that two week waiting period and then put them automatically into the campaign for say a promotion for your premium course. And so all of that could be automated.
NM: It could be automated, exactly. So that’s something I’m really excited about. We’ve never really explored evergreen too much in terms of my virtual summit mastery program. Right now it’s only like two times a year we open up to the general public. But that’s definitely something I’m considering to see how we can have … Because there’s all these people who want to join at other times, so I’m still feeling the struggle.
Yes, I want to have the two enrollments, a college class, but then also sometimes some … Maybe I want to let people in because they really want to do it. So they are action takers and I don’t want to hold them back from taking my course just because it’s closed right now. At least I feel that way. It’s just an online program.
JB: Absolutely. Yeah. So checkout Virtualsummitmastery.com and or Navid.me. And we’ll add those links to the page where this interview is. Navid, I want to thank you very much for your time and for sharing your expertise and your experience about virtual summits.
NM: Sure. It was a pleasure being on.
Watch the video, listen to the audio interview or read the transcript below!
CL: Thanks for having me
JB: So, I’m going to kick it over to you to talk about your business. You’re also going to share how you use Deadline Funnel in your business. I just want to mention that I was at an event recently in Orlando and it’s just so great … I forget how awesome it is to just get out from behind the computer screen and meet other people who are in the same business. It’s especially wonderful when I meet someone who’s like, “Hey, by the way I’m a client of yours and I love what you’re doing”. So that’s kinda how Cody introduced himself to me. And so I said, “Oh really, tell me how are you using Deadline Funnel?”, and when he shared the results he was getting, just a few of the details, I said, “Man, I really would like to get you on an interview and share that case study”. And, here we are.
So, Cody, thank you so much for being here. And, why don’t you tell us a little bit of background about what you do and who you serve.
CL: Yeah. So, I run a paid traffic agency managing Facebook ads and Google AdWords for both local businesses as well as businesses that are trying to sell online courses via webinars through launches. So, it’s primarily focused on local and national businesses but I do work also with online entrepreneurs as well.
The other part is I teach online entrepreneurs how to start Ad Agencies. So that’s a whole other program that I sell. But that’s only a recent development. In the past, I’d just been running my paid traffic agency and then I decided to launch a summit called The Content Promotion Summit. And, that came to be just as I saw other people taking an interest in content promotion and I noticed with myself I was publishing content on my blog and it really wasn’t taking off. So, I saw people like Derek Halpern and Brian Dean who were talking a lot about content promotion. So I figured, “Okay, there’s something here” and so I started doing content promotion for my articles and started writing about it and I started to see some awesome results in terms of subscriber gains and even … You know, those subscribers became warmer traffic so I was better able to convert them into buyers of another program that I was selling at that time.
They also turned into people that bought my coaching programs and other stuff like that. So, I had my blog at that time and I was thinking about how effective this is. No one had done a summit on content promotion and so I figured, “Well, this seems like a great one that would make a splash”, because not many people are … Really, they’re just starting to talk about it. It’s just starting to become a trend and now you even see Eric Siu at Single Grain that has a weekly webinar talking about his paid content promotion funnel. And then, everyone else afterward seemed to … There seemed to be a domino effect of everyone else right after the summit started talking about content promotion on their blogs and it really kind of proliferated the entire internet marketing for a few months after the summit.
So, I decided to go balls out on this and I did it really fast. I got somewhere around a hundred and thirty or a hundred and forty affiliates in about a month and a half. And, I prepared the summit in about a month and a half, two months. I’d only started deciding I wanted to do the summit about two to two and a half months before that. I’d been thinking about it for a while but then I just started to execute very quickly.
JB: Sounds fast.
CL: Yeah. It was really fast and it was pretty overwhelming for such a short period of time because a lot of the interviews ended up being recorded for the summit while I was also managing my Infusionsoft account and working out Deadline Funnel and dealing with the designer and all this other stuff. So, it was a lot going on at once, and also still running paid traffic as a paid traffic agency owner.
It was a lot of craziness for a short period of time… And it paid off because I built a lot of new relationships with people that I didn’t … You know, that I’d admired from afar before but that I’d never gotten to speak with. And, it also paid off because we made a fair amount of revenue from it. In total, gross revenue to-date it’s been at least $150,000 or $200,000 just from the after-effects and during the summit too.
During the summit itself … During that core period we generated at least 50 or 60 grand and then a lot came afterwards. So, we sold an all-access pass on the front end for $67 that was discounted down from a $397 offer. And I had tested a lot of different offers. I’d spoken with another online entrepreneur, Liam Austin, who said he was using Deadline Funnel and he said, “You know, I don’t know if I’m going to keep doing this using a $67 offer”, but he had seen results with it and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do it; you can do whatever you want to do man, but I’m going to do it and I’m going to test this”.
Because what I was finding in the beginning when I was running promos, promo emails to my list internally before I got affiliates on board, was that the sales page was converting so-so. It was okay but it wasn’t going to move the needle and so I ended up coming into contact with Deadline Funnel as per Liam’s recommendation, and then I started split-testing pages with it, with that, with a video on the page, without a video on the page, with and without Deadline Funnel, with Deadline Funnel at different times. All different things. Then I found the combination that worked really well.
It’s also the combination that then Neil Patel ended up using for his summit and that Navid ended up using for his summit as well, The List Building School. And the Growth Marketing Summit or Growth Summit, whatever it was, by Neil Patel last year. And then everyone else started using it. That was because I was telling Navid, “You have to use this”.
This thing works and it really did make a huge difference in at least doubling or potentially even tripling my conversion rates on just adding it to my thank you page after opt-in and then also adding it on the other pages. If they didn’t initially buy at $67 we raised the price to $97. If they didn’t buy at $97 we raised the price again to like $127 or $147. And so, we just kept going up over time. I think I had multiple Deadline Funnels at one point set up and then I scaled it back afterwards because I’ve now put my summit on evergreen. In fact, I am setting up ads now, right after this call, to continue running it on evergreen mode because I have this great lead magnet I’m just going to send people to that I ended up creating after the summit and it works really well to convert. So that the initial landing page converts at like 40% to 50% on cold traffic which is pretty great.
The initial landing page converts at like 40% to 50% on cold traffic which is pretty great.
CL: And then after opt-in the conversion rate to a sale is, I think it’s like 10-12%. Something like that. It may be … It was higher during the actual event but even when I’ve driven cold traffic afterwards using other buyer lists direct from Facebook it’s converted really well. At least 8-10% just from cold Facebook traffic. Which I know when I took off the Deadline Funnel for a little bit and tried it, it converted like 2% or less. So, it’s made a huge difference in my business.
JB: Wow. I’m just doing some quick math here. So if we … There’s a lot to unpack in what you just shared.
JB: So, one of the things I wanted to cover is that it sounds like at a 10% conversion rate, if you’re doing a $67 sale using Deadline Funnel after the opt-in then your leads are worth $6.70. Somewhere in that …
CL: Yeah. You are a smart guy. [laughs] It’s actually dead on.
JB: I can do that math. I can do 10%. So, you can pay, like before any other sort of upsells or any additional backend sales that you make, you can afford to pay money where you’re spending $6.70 to get an opt-in without even losing money. Essentially you are building your list for free. Right?
CL: Yeah. Except I’ve even lowered the offer recently. Like today I lowered it to $47 because I’m going to try to use it as a trip wire for something else to upsell into another higher-end product afterwards.
JB: I see.
CL: But yeah, at $67 it was at least … I think it was like $6.88 or something per lead because I use segmetrics to figure that out and I could have calculated too. But, yeah. You’re absolutely right. That was the lead value.
JB: Okay. So man, you took such massive action in such a short period of time. You’re running an agency business and at the same time in 2 months you decide I’m going to launch this summit. You get a hundred and I think it was thirty affiliates.
JB: And, you had a crazy number of interviews too, right? What was the number of interviews that you did?
CL: It was probably 75 to 80. I don’t know how many we posted. I think we posted 70 something.
JB: Right. And you told me at the event, that you would recommend not doing that many for someone starting out. So, it would probably be something like two dozen is enough. Do I have those numbers right?
CL: Yeah. Because what I noticed was during the event, on the first day, the first day converted really well. That was the bulk of our … The interviews that I felt were the strongest, not because of the people we were interviewing but because of my development as an interviewer up to that point. Those were some of the stronger interviews. But also because of the relative influence and popularity of some of those people we had on the first day made a big difference too. And, because of the subject matter which was I think, content strategy. We had like Jeff Bullas and a bunch of other people on there of that stature. So, it really did make a difference. That first day or two was huge.
But the biggest driver was absolutely affiliates and then retargeting. So I was running a lot of retargeting ads. But as I said, when I first started I was just doing internal list testing and it became abundantly clear, because I was heat mapping stuff, I was click tracking, I was doing everything that you can imagine. And using even Optimizely to really see how things were converting. It was a massive difference in conversion rate because of Deadline Funnel.
JB: Oh wow. That’s fantastic. And so I would imagine some of the benefits that you got from doing this type of huge event in such a short period of time … After you recovered from this and the dust settled, you had these relationships. You had a much larger tribe/list that you could then continue to communicate to. And then … But, on the downside, I would imagine when the dust settled the income from that event dropped almost to nothing which is why you went to evergreen. Correct?
CL: That’s absolutely right. In fact, that’s something I’ve advised Navid to start focusing on more for his summit and … For his existing summit so that he can then teach other people how to put their summits on evergreen effectively. Because it’s not that easy running cold traffic and trying to get people to convert well. Especially if you don’t have the understanding of what a value ladder is or certain, just, fundamental pieces of being an online marketer. But, if you’re doing a summit … A lot of times the people that run a summit the first time, they’re just starting out. So they’re not even thinking about the value ladder. They are not thinking, “Oh yeah, I should be upselling them”. That’s one of the biggest mistakes I made. I did an order bump with my friends at BestSelfCo. That’s a really successful fast growing e-commerce company and they promoted their stuff to my number one partner. But, I didn’t even have an upsell. So, there is a lot that you can do to double down on your lead value by adding upsells and downsells. One-click upsells and downsells on the backend definitely. But yeah, as you said, things died down unless you keep running traffic to it.
JB: So there’s benefits of doing both. I tell people all the time, I’m not anti-launch, but I’m a firm believer that if your entire business is 2 or 3 launches a year, you’d be doing so much better if in between the launches …
JB: You had evergreen going on. We’ve mentioned … You’ve mentioned Navid a few times. So, just give a little bit of context because I don’t think we’ve given his full name or who he is. I want to give a quick shout out to him.
CL: Yeah. Absolutely. Navid Moazz is the founder of Virtual Summit Mastery which is a program dedicated to teaching entrepreneurs and people who are starting out online how to launch successful summits from scratch. Or virtual summits. And he has a specific system that he’s created after advising people like Chandler Bolt on Self-Publishing School and advising all the people that have gone through his program that are hundreds of people that have launched successful summits at this point, on how to launch a virtual summit from scratch. Really there’s no program out there like it. I’m very happy to give him a shout out and he actually travels all over the world and he first launched a summit called The Branding Summit and then he later decided this past year to launch List Building School which made a very big splash all over the internet because he got a lot of the really big list affiliates on board.
Which is one thing I would really recommend if you’re planning to launch a summit. Or two things. Really focus on affiliates, especially ones that have sizable engaged lists. And then, really focus on just … Well, I would also focus heavily on optimizing your landing pages and making sure that they’re converting if you are going out there getting affiliates. And then retargeting them. Because, if you don’t do that you’re gonna be doing yourself a huge disservice. A lot of people don’t focus on that for whatever reason.
JB: Right. Okay. I gotta ask, in such a short period of time, how did you book so many affiliates and so many speakers that quickly?
CL: I just used Contactually to reach out to people. There were sometimes where … I just had a really strong email that I wrote that was short and to the point. I think it was … I had gotten the idea to write that type of email from Jon Morrow because in his guest blogging program he talks about reaching out to people for getting guest blog posts for writers or editors at different blogs and how to approach them. And so I thought, “Okay, there are a lot of people out there that used videos to try to woo people, there are people that use really long exhaustive emails, or they’ll ask people if they’ll promote”, and stuff like that.
I was super casual about it and acted more like a friend and more just like, on the same level and playing field as opposed to making them feel like, who’s this guy reaching out to me wasting my time. Because the reality is everyone gets … I get so many people reaching out to me for things all the time and I’m sure you do too. It just happens when you’re on the internet and so you can only get back to so many people. And so, I tried to keep it short and to the point because I figured that would catch people attention. I didn’t try to drone on in my email. That made a big difference where I was able to use that email in bulk to reach out to influencers and other people in the marketing space. Pretty much, all of them responded favorably. I didn’t get a single one, I think, on my end, that said no. Except for one maybe. One actually, but I won’t mention their name …
JB: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
CL: Because he was just busy with other stuff and whatever. But it was really easy. Then I built relationships with affiliates by not even focusing on the speakers at first but going out there and finding people who I saw on leader boards for other programs. I basically took the advice of Matt McWilliams that he talks about in his blog and executed on it as much as possible. And we even scraped Pinterest. The top influencers on Pinterest. And we went to the top Facebook groups of other programs, the JV programs, which may be borderline unethical, I don’t know. But we basically did everything we could to hustle and find people and identify them based on the leader boards, Facebook groups for JV programs, and Pinterest influencers and added them all to a list, estimated their list size and figured out what the click rates would be on their emails and everything and then made a plan to reach out to them. Even one of the people that I got on board as a partner, which was the biggest partner, I met her for the first time and we became friends afterwards. I went out to lunch with her and I actually met her in person just because I felt that they would be really strong as a partner for the program and because I wanted to meet her and I hadn’t gotten the chance to do that.
JB: Wow. Wow. Man, really, congrats to you for taking such massive action. I mean, it’s clear that you’re motivated and also a very disciplined guy. I love it.
Why don’t you go ahead. I think you said you were willing to share some of the ways that you implemented Deadline Funnel. I’d love to get a view of your screen and just take a peek behind how you actually implemented it because that would be great to see.
CL: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, just switch over. Hopefully. Can you see that screen?
JB: I sure can. Yup.
CL: Okay. Perfect. So, this is the summit landing page. Let me try to move that. Okay. And you can just claim … Originally it was just claim your free ticket but then later, after the event, I added this e-book that I had created that is just re-appropriated blog posts. So, you fill out the information and opt-in. I’m going to use a different email to make sure that it works and assuming everything’s working. Actually, I may have to reset it because I just opted in earlier today. Hold on, let’s see. In this case, you’re going to get an experience to learn how to do that. Let’s see. Yeah. I have to a …
JB: To get a Deadline Funnel. Well, at least the technology is …
CL: It works. Oh, it definitely works and so … We tested all different things. Like, trying the technology from mobile phone on one email to desktop. We tested everything so … It is a seamless technology and you can enable certain things in there to make sure that it works the way you want it to. Meaning, that someone gets an email and they click through it and it’s the same deadline that’s going on or that they get pushed out of the opt-in form – that they can’t re-opt-in. There’s a lot of things that you can do with Deadline Funnels that make a big difference. You’re just gonna reset the tracking. I’m going to do it the wrong way. So, let’s see. Thanks for bearing with me.
JB: Yeah. No sweat.
CL: So, let’s try this again. It should work. I don’t think it really matters. Infusionsoft now has these captcha’s which is really not fun.
JB: You know, Aweber started doing that as well.
CL: I don’t know why they are doing this. Okay. So, you can see that after optin … Now, originally our offer was $67 so just bear in mind that today I lowered this down to $47 because I’m going to be trying to put this on evergreen and I want to test the $47 tripwire offer because I know other companies like Digital Marketer are using the $47, $37 tripwire successfully and I know that $67 can be a bit of an ask for that initial “after optin” especially when you don’t have “know, like, and trust”. But, when you are driving affiliates, $67 works fine because that “know, like, and trust” from their partners and being on their list, people … $67 was a sweet spot. So, I tested $97 on this page. I tested one something. I tested $47. I tested all different things and then … I got it to the point where I felt that it was most profit maximized at $67. So, that offer just works really well. I believe Neil Patel used $77 on his initial optin and Navid used $67 per my advice and per the data that we got because we just found that it worked. But, if you’re driving cold traffic from ads, I would definitely test multiple price points and see what works.
This is just the sales page, or thank you page after optin. It just reiterates the value and presents the offer. Shows what you get inside. Just has a bunch of call to actions. It has, like, four different call to actions throughout the page. In fact, it was not like this above the page. I definitely borrowed ideas from … Because I figured Neil Patel tests everything, or his team does. So, I saw what he was doing with his summit on the thank you page. Originally it was a lot muddier here. It was a lot harder to digest. So, if you are setting up a summit and you are setting up the thank you page, I highly recommend using the three bullet or four bullet max, short, short, to the point benefit bullets above the fold. If you can, even getting this button above the fold. Because it’s just gonna boost your conversion rates significantly. The CTA was below the fold, a lot lower, at one point and I tested it. I already knew that above the fold CTAs convert better typically, not all the time. Like on a long form sales page they probably wouldn’t, but on this type of low end offer, it works really well having that CTA above the fold.
So, benefit bullets. A simple headline. I would still improve this headline. It’s not the most amazing headline ever, but it gets the point across. And here I reconfirm for people that opted in that they now get the e-book on the way too. So, you are giving away something as a lead magnet.
I would definitely let the people know that it’s on the way or that they’ll get it soon so that they’re not … They don’t wonder what’s going on. Like, “Where’s the lead magnet that I just opted in for?”. And then just have this simple headline. Have three or four short benefit bullets. No more than 9 words, to 10 words per line I would suggest. Including value stacking which is a Russell Brunson technique which makes a big difference too. Stating a perceived value or estimated value for each thing makes this $47 or $67 offer look really valuable.
You can see we did strike outs for the full retail price which also makes a difference. So, you click through this and it sends you to our order form page hosted in Infusionsoft. At one point I did use Deadline Funnel on the order form page but I took it off, for whatever reason, I don’t know why I did that but I was testing different things and for this one I wanted to keep it clean. In fact, for my courses, I use Deadline Funnel directly on my order form page and in fact I’ve noticed that it converts higher as a result. Even if you don’t have a sales page and you use Samcart’s one click, one page funnel, you add the Deadline Funnel to it and it makes a pretty big difference in conversion rate increases.
JB: The other nice thing that I’ll mention is that whatever time, so 4 minutes and 48 seconds, if you did have it on the order page, that would be the same time. So everything would be all nicely synced up.
CL: Yeah. And I did test that and it does sync up perfectly and it does sync up perfectly in the emails as well because we did use it in the initial email after optin, I believe, which I can show you that as well.
JB: So, while you’re bringing this up, let me ask you, what is something that you’ve learned from … What’s something else that you’ve learned? Was a big take away from doing the summit that you didn’t know when you first started out?
CL: I think, how to have a funnel that converts. Frankly, that was a huge takeaway. Figuring out what works. It really opened my eyes to the idea of funnels.
CL: Because, at that point, I hadn’t read any of Russell Brunson’s books. I hadn’t read anyone’s funnel secrets or funnel hacking books. I didn’t know much about funnels at that point. All I was doing was looking at people like Brian Harris who were running these multi-six figure launches in awe, just saying, “Wow, how do I do that?”. And, I tried to replicate that with guest blogging program at some point that didn’t … It didn’t have a lot of traction because I didn’t really have a name in that space and I didn’t … I wasn’t really a good authority to be teaching that subject, as opposed to teaching how to start an agency, which I can definitely teach well and get people results for.
But I think … That’s another thing, if I were to redo and when I launch a new summit on paid traffic later this year, I will focus intensely on getting people results. I think when I first started out online, I was just like, “Okay, this is sweet; let me make money”. Right? Because that’s where so many people, when they’re in that mode of maybe desperation or they are just starting out, they’re thinking, “Okay”. Well, at least if you are a hard core entrepreneur marketer and you’re just thinking, “How do I make money”. Right. And then my whole thinking just evolved from there. How do I get people results? That’s a big thing that I learned … And it even took some time after the summit to finally come to that realization that, oh wait, all the successful programs out there, and even just feeling better about yourself as an entrepreneur and as a person, is about getting people results. So, if you can structure your summit that gets people results and doesn’t just slap them in the face with a bunch of videos, then you’re going to be well ahead of everyone else. So that’s something I’ve really learned. Not to just slap content in peoples faces, but to interview people strategically and put things in a strategic order that will get your people that sign up results. And give them maybe cheat sheets in addition to the transcripts and whatever else that will help them and guide them on getting results. So it’s more like a course as opposed to just a podcast with a video component.
JB: Right. Because, the number of … Just the sheer volume of video content that you created. It’s pretty unrealistic that somebody would be able to go through that in a short span of time. So, helping someone discern between, “Okay, of all the videos, which ones are most appropriate to me?”. And even inside of that, having the cheat sheets and checklists and action steps so that they can … Even if they don’t have time to watch the whole video, at least they can take action on it.
CL: Yeah. I’m wondering if I actually removed the Deadline Funnel from my email.
JB: That’s fine.
CL: I think I’m still using the links. But, I originally did have the countdown timer and I’m not sure … There it is. Okay. So, I do have it. I don’t have it linked, I just have the picture, but …
JB: Gotcha. So, when you’re … How long was your follow up sequence? Let’s talk present tense. For your evergreen version of this, how long is your follow up sequence via email?
CL: So, and actually I did notice I am still using Deadline Funnel links in there. So, the sequence starts … It has this three day … Um, or emails every two days because that actually aligns with the other sequence which is the main event sequence. It’s 17 days long or something.
CL: Yeah, because I added … I added even an extra video segment with “Vlog like a boss”, Amy Schmittaur and Vincent Landino, that was an extra last 13 day … The 13 launch day here so … It’s a pretty long sequence, but it works and people are still getting the sequence today. So, people are going through this right now.
Things that I would change, if you are using Infusionsoft for drip is to use the contacts time zone because, I’m sure that the emails will convert higher. And to really get into the psychology of copywriting when you’re writing some of those emails where you’re trying to sell people. But modeling other stuff that works. Like I modeled stuff off Chandler’s summit and other successful summits because I figured … I looked at the space and I said, “What do the best people do?” because I have to do that. Because that’s how it’s going to work, because these people have already done it and now they’re doing it again and clearly they’re doing something right so … I just looked at … Okay, Chandler had a lot of affiliates. His emails had a certain structure to them. And so, let me model that and do that for myself. I even had a cart abandoned recovery sequence so if they hit the checkout page, they would get hit with these really … And because I had no idea what I was doing with Infusionsoft at the time for the most part, people were getting these endlessly throughout the summit even though they were on other lists. I would definitely use a tool like myfusion helper or something to ensure that people aren’t getting thrown into multiple sequences at the same time and that it’s more coordinated.
JB: But that underscores something that I talk about a lot which is … I mean, I didn’t come up with this but I’m a big believer in the idea of get it done rather than get it perfect. I mean, you made mistakes but still it was a successful summit.
CL: Yeah, I’m all for just getting it done. I work with a lot of … Not only with 7- 8- 9- figure business owners for them to scale to the next level, I also work with solopreneurs and what I noticed with solopreneurs, because I’ve noticed it with myself, is that it’s too easy to talk about ideas and it’s too easy to not make a call to make a sale. To not to reach out to someone to sell. But, I was just on the phone with a multi-7-figure entrepreneur, like minutes before this conversation, and they were selling me on a program, on a mastermind, and that’s what I realized … I mean, I already knew this, but they have no hesitation just going out there and just executing and selling stuff. That’s really key. If you are a solopreneur, seriously and you don’t have a team, you just need to get it out there.
There are so many people in the VSM group who get hung up on certain details that … And they’re kind of in awe of what I did with my summit and they always reference it as an example again and again. But really, they think I put a lot more thought into certain things than I did. I just executed like a madman as quickly as possible. Because I knew I didn’t have that much time and the results were there. I even set benchmarks for how much revenue, how many optins I wanted to get, and I revised them over time. I set them … Even based them down to the weeks and the days based on how many affiliates we would need to get each day leading up to the event and get them to agree to promote just so we could get a certain number of optins at the end and how many sales as a result of those optins estimated.
We were really focused on … And my strategy is to really focus on the key things that will move the needle and nothing else.
JB: How much traffic did you … I’m not asking for a specific number, but … I’m trying to get down to the question of, “Did your speakers promote as well?”.
CL: Yes they did. Pretty much, yeah. Pretty much the majority of them promoted and a lot of them we didn’t even need to ask. People like Johnathan Dane who was a speaker promoted to Client Boost list multiple times. You know, we had a lot of … We didn’t get … I didn’t ask Jeff Bloss to promote because I felt like that was going to be a big ask. It was the first time that I met him and, you know, he has a massive list and I don’t like using people for their list. I don’t like using people in general. People can be very transactional and it’s a huge turnoff. So, that’s another thing I can advise people who are trying to launch a summit is to not be transactional. If you are transactional then don’t launch a summit because it’s not a way to build relationships or friendships with people and no one wants to walk away feeling like they got used in return for promoting your stuff. Realize, an affiliate promoting your offer, unless you’re Russell Brunson and you’re giving away books for free and have an upsell into a lifetime value of $497 or higher and you have your funnel down pat, the offer is going to be $67 so for them to want to promote you, you have to really go above and beyond to be a friend and not just use them for their list. That’s another key takeaway I would recommend.
JB: Gotcha. Well, this has been incredibly insightful. I could talk to you for hours about this …
JB: But I really appreciate you sharing your results and your … Being so transparent with how you run your summit and how you use Deadline Funnel. This is fantastic. It’s a huge eye opener.
Is there … Besides the … you’ve dropped a whole bunch of, sometimes I call them knowledge bombs, on us, is there any last parting bit of advice that you would give someone? Something that has been a big a-ha for you in the past 6 months to 12 months? Maybe it has nothing to do with marketing. Maybe it’s more business-related.
CL: Yeah. Actually, I do have something and in the last, let’s say, I really came to the realization that when you start … You hear people like John Lee Dumas and other podcasters, Pat Flynn, always talk about delivering value before making the ask for anything. And, I think, when … There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who, you know, they’ve heard that but they don’t really hear it. Like it goes in one ear and it goes the other. And I get it. It’s too easy when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re in the extreme hustle mode which can last for at least two or three years when you’re starting out and just trying to figure things out and figure out how to run a business. It’s a lot to figure out. The idea of delivering value, or giving people value first before making the ask. So, in the last 5 or 4 months, I’ve built up a Facebook group that’s fast growing and I’ve been delivering knowledge bombs in there every day. Doing tutorial walkthroughs and all different things.
I’ve gone to events and met other people. I did that in another industry and I just got tired of it. Now I’m starting to do that again in the marketing industry. Not even intentionally, just people inviting me to stuff. So, like Chris Winfield had an event that he invited me to and I met a bunch of cool people there. And I went to Todd Brown‘s event. What is really key, and the key take away is delivering value first.
Like, I went up to Jack and I said, “Hey, like I love your … “. I mean, like, it was a genuine compliment. Other people were in the room with Jack too. I felt like I walked away getting … Building a new friendship with Jack that I didn’t have before and it’s someone I would love to meet. I’m sure a lot of other people in the room would love to meet Jack as well and pick his brain, whatever, but I would recommend not doing that. Not picking people’s brains but finding a way that you can deliver value to people first. Whether it’s an influencer, a business owner that you could potentially partner with down the road. Something Selena Soo told me a couple months ago is that she … because I referred her to a potential partner that would be big for her. She said, “You know” … And I was giving her advice on how to approach him, not that she needed my advice but just because I wanted to make sure that she didn’t make the ask too quickly because the people on the receiving end were a little sensitive. She completely gets it and she said she doesn’t make an ask … In many cases she’ll wait for the perfect opportunity and she’ll even sit there and wait for years before ever making an ask and only when the time is right. So, it’s really about building relationships and friendships first. As a result, a lot of people are going to start contacting you and asking you for advice and wanting to do business with you just as a result of other people seeing that and talking about you as a result of delivering value that’s real to other people.
JB: That’s really great advice and sometimes the most important things we hear are things that we’ve heard before.
CL: And you don’t listen to them, right?
CL: Like a lot of times we don’t listen. It goes in one ear and out the other.
JB: Right. But then it finally sinks in and actually …
JB: Thank you very much for sharing that and Cody I really appreciate your time. I want to make sure that for those … I know that there are going to be people watching this who are interested in contacting you about your PPC agency so how can they contact you? How can they reach out to you?
CL: Yeah. So, you can reach out to me at email@example.com. You can google me. You can reach me on Facebook via messenger. I’ve been getting intense on messenger lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed that as well that messenger’s been picking up a lot. You can reach out to me through that or you can go to my website marketdoc.com.
JB: Awesome. Well, thank you very much Cody, this has been fantastic …
CL: Yes, this was great.
JB: And I really appreciate you pulling back the kimono and showing us exactly how you set up your successful summit. Thank you.
CL: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
The Content Promotion Summit:
Cody Lister on Twitter:
Cody Lister’s website:
Virtual Summit Mastery:
Helena Lui is the founder of Exams PM an online training site for passing the Project Management Professional certification test.
Soon after joining Deadline Funnel she took us up on our offer of a free onboarding call. We helped her integrate Deadline Funnel into her marketing and she was so blown away by our support she sent a box of chocolates and a thank you card!
I immediately followed up with her and asked if we could talk about her success story.
Here’s our interview:
HL: Thank you for having me.
JB: Helena has been nice enough to reach out to me after implementing Deadline Funnel. You’re going to hear her story in a little bit, but she said, “Hey, Jack, the results have been great.” I will wait for her to share those with you in a little bit, but she said, “Hey, if you want to do a case study, let’s do it.” Of course, I said yes, I absolutely want to do a case study to talk about how you use it, what your experience was, how you found Deadline Funnel, etc. By the way, if you have heard my voice before, you might hear that I have got a little bit of a cold that I am trying to get over, but I wanted to get this information to you, so I am going to try to let Helena do most of the talking. With that, Helena, it’s so great to have you here. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your company?
HL: Yeah, sure. My company is called Exams PM, and we offer PMP training to students. For those people who don’t know, PMP stands for Project Management Professionals, so it’s the world’s leading certification for project managers right now. Our company helps certify people on that.
JB: Very cool. Take us back to before you found Deadline Funnel, maybe before you were even thinking about it. What was your main method of getting clients in? Let’s start there.
HL: It was 100% of my sales came from webinars, so what I would do is I would do one live webinar, once a month, and throughout the month I would be collecting emails either through the event or through the lead magnets that we had. With those two things, we would collect a couple of hundred emails, and then, with that, I would run one live webinar and then give people two days to basically purchase a course. The course was really only open every month for two days.
JB: I got you.
HL: Everything was done live, yeah.
JB: Right, okay. I was going to say everything was manual. Go ahead.
HL: Exactly. Yeah, everything was manual.
JB: Perfect. At what point, what was going on, in your business, when you thought I wonder if there is a better way? What sort of thoughts went through your head?
HL: My business plateaued for maybe six months because I was running the same process, over and over again, collecting emails, then actually, physically being there for the actual webinar, answering all the questions live, and then opening my cart for people to buy, sending those follow-up emails and so forth. People register and so forth. It got to a point where I maxed-out that process, and the business plateaued after some point. I was getting unhappy because it takes a lot of energy to do a live webinar. It felt like it was very redundant, as you said, very manual, and I wanted to scale the business, grow the business, and have more free time at the same time.
I know it’s possible because you see a lot of the big Internet marketers doing that, but I didn’t know how to take my business to the next level. What I did was, I looked at case studies actually. I went on websites that were course platform websites, like Teachable, Thinkific. There was a couple other ones. I can’t remember the names off the top of my head. Oh, Teachery, I think, is another one. Yeah, I went on these websites, and I also went on some of the big Internet marketers who sell courses that teach you how to make courses and looked at a case study. Then what I did was, I reached out to the people that they did case studies for, so I looked at the websites that they had, and I found their Contact Us page. I sent them an email, and if they didn’t reply, I would send them a follow-up email. I was that person.
JB: Oh, you were persistent.
HL: Yeah, I was pretty persistent. Then I think I probably messaged about a dozen people until I found someone who had a similar business that I did. His business was also in the IT niche, and it was courses as well. Then he also sold his courses through webinars except he did automated webinars. I tried to do automated webinars maybe a year ago, and it wasn’t successful. The reason it wasn’t, my sales went to zero as soon as I started automated webinars. I think one of the reasons I wasn’t successful was because there was no scarcity, so people didn’t feel like there was a deadline to it. That’s why I actually asked Webinar Jam for a refund, and I started doing them live again.
Yeah, then I met John, who I basically found him online and bothered him until he helped me with my business. Then one of the things he recommended was having automated webinars so people can watch on their terms, like when they want to go through their training. One of the things with my training is, it was once a month and it was Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, but if someone lived across the world, in the U.K., it was 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., so it would be very hard for them to join. Let’s say you had a party to go to on Thursday night, then you couldn’t join as well. It wasn’t flexible, having that one time every month that people could join and watch the lectures live. She made the process better by giving people ability to watch it three times a day, at the time and day that works for them.
JB: Correct me if I’m wrong, but at some point, when you and I were working together, you were using Webinar Jam, or actually EverWebinar, again. Correct? Did you go back down that road?
HL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I guess I should go back and tell that part. Then I found my … It took me a while, but that person, and I eventually found someone who had a similar business as I do, who was also using a similar funnel that I did except his was more advanced. When I was talking with John, he was saying that he was using Automated Webinar, and he was getting great success with it. I was like, “I tried to do it a year ago, and mine totally bombed.” I asked him how he was doing, and I went through his funnel to see what the experience was like. The experience was really good, and I saw all the points that I wasn’t doing correctly. Basically, I tried to funnel-hack him, tried to copy his funnel, for lack of a better word.
Then what he said was, one of the two softwares, three softwares, that he was using was a webinar combined with Deadline Funnel, combined with some sort of email auto responder. I use Active Campaign, but you could use Convert Kit, you could use AWeber, any major auto responder would work, say.
JB: Very cool. One of the things about integrating Deadline Funnel with EverWebinar is, like you said, there is three systems. There is the email service provider, there is EverWebinar and Deadline Funnel.
JB: There is some pieces to connect.
JB: Lead-in question here, but what was your experience when you needed help, getting that set up?
HL: My experience with Deadline Funnel was really good. Whenever I needed help, it was almost instant, being able to get my problems resolved, and I was able to … It is a pretty big set-up, connecting these three systems together, your auto-respond, Deadline Funnel and your webinar platform, probably EverWebinar or whatever you’re using. These three things have to sync together to have a smooth experience for your user so that they feel like they are going through a live event. Setting up these three things probably took me two weeks. I would say probably two weeks. Right?
JB: Yeah. You would work on it, and I would get on Skype with you. Some of my team members would chat with you, and then you would go work on it. You would take it to the next step, and then we would get back on chat, back on Skype, and figure it out. You would say, “I’ve got it this far, but I’m confused about this, whether to go left or go right.”
JB: It wasn’t two weeks of solid, solid, solid work, day after day after day, but, yeah, I would say it was back and forth, a little help here, a little help there, when you needed it. Then you said, “I’m ready to launch this, so let’s talk about that.” I’m so excited about the results you got, so drum roll, please. What were your sales? You said it okay to share this, so you go ahead. What were your sales before, and then what were your sales after?
HL: In my first month, after launching Deadline Funnel, my sales went up 3X or 300%, so I basically tripled my income after using Deadline Funnel, which is really good. I think part of the reason that that happened was because people can view the webinar at their own time. What I was doing before was, let’s say it’s January 1, for lack of a better time, but let’s say it’s January 1 when I have my webinar. Then the course would be open from January 1 to January 3, that window. That would be the window to purchase a course. Let’s say someone signed up for the next webinar on January 4. Then they have to wait until February 1 before they can see the next webinar.
Now, with competition and so many different options on the marketplace, when you have to make a customer wait a month to buy your product, a lot of them leave or they even forget my brand name. I was actually losing a lot of customers that way, because they couldn’t buy when they wanted to buy. When they’re ready to give me their credit card number, sometimes I didn’t have my talk ready in that time because I couldn’t rep myself 30 times. With this system, I was able not only to rep … Like I was saying before, I had every webinar before, a year ago, and it didn’t work. I think part of that was because I didn’t know a way to make it authentic and then have an authentic deadline for people, like this is the time you can buy, because I didn’t know a way to actually shut down the Web page and for that specific person as well, at that specific time.
If people join the webinar at different times and then I shut down the page, then the next person who is seeing it would be like, “Hey, I just got on this page yesterday. Why is this course closed?” If I kept the course, kept it open, and someone tried to go back to it, then it wouldn’t seem like an authentic deadline. It would seem like, oh, you’re saying it was 24 hours, but then I clicked the link again and it worked, so you’re probably lying or something. It didn’t seem authentic.
It was only when I found Deadline Funnel that I realized, oh, this is a way to make it an authentic deadline for people to purchase this training. The support I got was really second to none because I was on the lowest package, a $37 package. With softwares on the market, usually, for something of that price, there would be email support when you need it, but I was really impressed with Deadline Funnel, that I was able to talk to someone on the phone, with you, Jack, on Skype or on the phone, about problems I was having, pick your brain as to what’s the best way to implement this or that, get your advice.
It was almost like a consultative session beyond how does this work, and I was really impressed by that.
JB: Wow, wow. Thank you. It’s great to hear that because that’s something that we really try to do. We’re not perfect, but we really want to not just tell someone what buttons to click, which dials to turn, which toggles to flip. In the software, we want you to have a great outcome, and one of the things that we’ve been told, this might have been your experience too. I don’t want to name names, but sometimes it’s a couple of different software platforms I’ve heard this about. People will say, “Wow, you helped me figure something out in this other person’s, other company’s, software, that I asked their team about, and they didn’t even fix it for me.”
Our whole thing is we want you to have the end results. We’re going to obviously use Deadline Funnel to help you get that, but our goal is helping you get the end results. It’s really heart-warming to hear you say that that was your experience. That’s great. Thank you for saying that.
JB: I want to recap real quick some of the things you mentioned.
JB: You were describing a situation before Deadline Funnel where people would wait until the next month, and the example you gave was February 1. Then you were saying, and I’ve heard other people say this, too, that type of situation where you were turning the thing on and turning the thing off. It’s manual, but really the big issue beyond it being manual is people are interested right then, sort of the Goldilocks Principle of you don’t want to give people forever to make a decision. Otherwise, I don’t have to make a decision today, so why should I, and you talked about that.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you don’t want someone to come in, they got your lead magnet, and, yeah, we’ll send you to a webinar 29 days from now. That’s too long, right?
HL: Yeah, that’s what I was doing before because I was doing everything live, and I couldn’t run a webinar every single day for two people, live. It wasn’t feasible. It wasn’t really worth my time to do that. I couldn’t replicate myself 30 times because it takes a lot of energy to speak for an hour. You know?
JB: Oh, yeah. Another lead-in question, but let’s go ahead and throw it out there. You told me, before we started the recording, that you have a certain outlook on the investment that you made versus what you got. You’d be happy to, so take it away.
HL: Yeah. When I started, one of my mentors told me about Deadline Funnel. I thought I will give it a shot. It was recommended to me by someone who was unbiased. He didn’t have anything to gain from it. It wasn’t like he was an affiliate or anything. He said, “This is what I use,” and he got great results. I said, “If it’s working for him … ” I have forgot the exact quote, but it’s something … I can’t remember the exact quote, but it goes something like this. Imitate the people that you want to be, and he was at a level that I want to be at, so he must be doing something right that I am not. I wanted to learn his methods, which is why I hunted down all those people in the first place.
Anyway, what I was saying was, it was a no-brainer to use Deadline Funnel for me because, when I started, I was on the lowest package. It was $37 a month, and when I tripled my sales, that was a couple of thousand dollars. Even if we say $1,000, that’s still a no-brainer. If you can get a software that is $37 and it’s going to make you $1,000 more a month, that’s, I think, a no-brainer value proposition for anyone to take, really.
JB: Thank you very much for sharing that. One of the things I want to finish with is … Actually, there is two things, so I will try to make them quick. The first question is, why did you decide to set it up? It’s not right or wrong. I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Why did you decide to set it up where, instead of during the special webinar promotional period, you could get it at a discount, but it’s always available at a higher price, versus this is the only time that you can get it? Is there any reason why you chose that?
HL: That’s a great question. This hasn’t been tested or anything, but I guess the only answer I have for that is that that’s the way I’ve always done it. I have actually closed down the course, but I do open it up again, probably in a month. If someone didn’t buy, then I would open it up in a month or two, to two months, be like, “Okay, the course registration is open again,” kind of thing. That’s a good question. I haven’t [inaudible 19:13] tested closing the course versus increasing the price, but when I was running live webinars, I actually shut down the course. That’s the way that I’ve always done it, so that was the way that I stuck with. That might not actually be the best way. I don’t know if that’s a good answer, but …
JB: Again, I am not trying to sow any seeds of doubt. I was curious. I wanted to ask in case someone else was wondering, who was listening. I wanted to ask. The last question is, unrelated to Deadline Funnel, is there one tip or one idea or anything that you would love to share? It could be a simple concept like an overall strategy or philosophy, or it could be a specific tactic, but unrelated to Deadline Funnel, is there something that has been really useful for you, over this past six or 12 months?
HL: I would say two things. One is hustle. For me, when I was starting this business, it was about finding, I think, the number one thing that … There was a point in my business that really changed my outlook on business. When I look back at those times, there was always one person that helped me get to that stage. When I was starting out, it was Noah Kagen, one of the big Internet marketers, who I felt really inspired by his story, and that is what motivated me to even get into the Internet marketing space. Then, to start webinars, it was one of my good friends and mentors, Mike, who helped me get started with how to run webinars, how to get those email sequences out. Then, going into the EverWebinar phase was finding John online and getting his advice on how to run an automated webinar.
I would say the number-one advice I have for people would be to hustle and find mentors. I guess people expect mentors to fall from the sky or something. From my story, you can tell. I probably messaged maybe 12 people. I think a lot of people were eager to help me, but their business models were different, and the advice that they gave wasn’t directly applicable to what I was trying to do. It takes work to find your mentor. I think that’s one thing that people need to take away from it. It’s not just going to fall from the sky, but it is doable in that. It is, I think, at every point where I got over a plateau, I can name one person who helped me get over that plateau.
Imitate the person. Find someone who you want to be in the future and imitate what they’re doing. I think all of the business problems in the world has already been solved. You have to find that person who has solved that, to take you to that next level.
JB: That is really solid advice. If I could add one little thing, it sounds like what you were saying was also it doesn’t have to be a mentor for the entire life of your business, from now until forever.
JB: It might be a mentor for this obstacle, and then, when you get to the next obstacle, it might be a different mentor.
HL: Exactly, exactly, yeah. I want to add, a lot of people say, “Hey, I don’t know where to find mentors. I don’t have a mentor,” or, “You got so lucky.” I don’t think I got lucky. I literally went out and looked at case studies, businesses that I liked, and then I found their Contact Us page and emailed that person. Some of them didn’t have Contact Us pages, so what I did was I went on their Who Is page to see if there was an email address there. If they had privacy settings or whatever, then I would register for their email list. Until they sent me an email, then I had their email, and I could send that person an email. It was a little bit stalkerish, but I think I definitely hustled to find mentors who can take me to the next level. I think other people should as well. I think that would probably be my number-one advice.
JB: Great advice. If you ever decide to sell your business and want to go into something else, you could become a bounty hunter. You could track people down. Helena, I really appreciate you contacting me and being so willing to share this advice, share your experience and to give this case study. Thank you. Thank you, but before you go, I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to give out your URL, if you want to.
HL: Yeah. If you wanted to check out my site, it would be www.ExamsPM.com, so E-x-a-m-a, P-M.com.
JB: Perfect. Thank you so much.
HL: Thank you.
JB: That’s a wrap.
HL: That’s a wrap, yeah. I think we did good.
JB: On that, that was great. Except for my voice, that was awesome.
HL: No, I think, you’re fine. Yeah, I think, off the record, I guess, because I was plateaued around $1 to $2K for six months before, I didn’t know how to take my business to the next level. I was mentally stuck. I was like it’s not even possible. I was telling myself this is a side business. I have made bad decisions early on that basically got this business stuck at this place. I almost set up mental barriers for myself, telling myself, “You can’t grow it further,” kind of thing. Oh, I should have mentioned this on the call, but then I thought of Einstein’s quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I thought I am going to reach out to some people and see how I can take it to the next level, see how they’re running their business. Maybe I can take something away from it.
Yeah, it really did feel really stuck with what I was doing because I wanted to be a full-time entrepreneur. I do live in Toronto, which is not the cheapest city in the world, but I can’t live off of $1.5K a month in downtown Toronto, which is where I live. Yeah, I reached out to literally a whole bunch of people. I basically stalked people online until I found John, who is actually one of your clients as well. When you publish this, I will probably send him the link. Yeah, he gave me some great tips. I never met the guy before, but I think I owe a lot to him. Literally, I would, random person, basically barging in, basically asking him how he ran his business, and he was nice enough to share a couple of tips. I am really appreciative of that too.
JB: Definitely, you should let him know once we post this. Also, maybe you will have an opportunity one day to pay it forward.
HL: Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. That’s what I hope to do one day. If someone comes to me asking for help, I would definitely say yes. What I found from this experience is, most people are very willing to give advice because so little people actually ask for advice. People are actually happy because they feel like, oh, they are seen as an expert or something, but it was, I would say, I got probably 100% response rate on the emails I sent to people, asking for help. A lot of the people that wrote back, their business models were different, or they were in a different niche. Their advice was not applicable to what I was trying to do, until I met John, who was in a similar niche and he was also selling through webinars, taking it to the next level, a perfect fit for what I was trying to do. It definitely took a little bit of hustling to actually find him and get some of his advice.
JB: Hustle is a key component, and you’ve got lots of it, so congrats to you.
HL: Thank you.
JB: I am so happy that Deadline Funnel is part of the company that you’re building and the direction that you’re moving. That’s fantastic. I am really, really happy. Nothing could make me happier, businesswise. That’s great.
HL: Thank you, thank you.
JB: I actually have to run. I’ve got another call, which the person is pinging me about. I really appreciate this, once again. What I will do is, I will get this transcribed and edited-up, and we’ll probably get on the blog real soon.
HL: If you can send me the link when you’re done, that would be great.
JB: Absolutely, of course.
HL: Awesome. Nice talking with you, Jack.
JB: Thank you for your time.
HL: No problem. Bye.
Yesterday I had a great interview with Chandler Bolt about how he wrote over six best-selling books and started a 7-figure business – Self Publishing School.
Watch the video interview or read the transcript below!
JB: All right so here we go, three two one. Hey everyone, this is Jack Born, and I’m here with Chandler Bolt, and it’s great to have you here, Chandler. I’m excited to be talking with you today. So for those of you who are not aware, Chandler is the founder of Self Publishing School, and he’s also the author of over six best-selling books, and some of his background, which I’m sure he’s going to go over in just a little bit, he actually dropped out of college, and within two years, he was a best-selling author many times over and also had a seven-figure business. One of his books is called “Book Launch: How to Write, Market, and Publish Your First Best-Seller in Three Months or Less,” and he used it to start and grow a six-figure business.
So I know this conversation’s going to be extremely interesting and applicable to almost everyone who’s a Deadline Funnel client, so I’m excited to dive into this. So Chandler, great to have you here.
CB: Yeah, hey Jack, thanks for having me, I’m excited for this.
JB: So why don’t you give us a little bit more in-depth detail into Self Publishing School, who you serve, and how you help them grow their business.
CB: Totally, so Self Publishing School, it’s an online training program. We teach people to write, market, and publish their first book in 90 days. So ideal people are people who want to use a book to grow their income, their authority, or their business. So we teach both non-fiction and fiction side of things, but especially on the non-fiction side, that’s kind of out sweet spot.
CB: So that’s kind of the set up, that’s what we’ve been building out, and really just scaling, obviously with the help of Deadline Funnel a ton. That’s allowed us to take what’s … our industry is mostly launch-based, and that’s allowed us to even out revenue, which, for those of you who are business owners, you go to the highs and lows whether it’s seasonality, whether it’s launches, whether it’s promotions or whatever else, you know that it can be pretty stressful and just hard to scale a business, right? If you don’t have that leveled out revenue, so that’s kind of, that’s been our experience, is that’s really helped us to scale it, which ultimately helps make sure that we’re helping more people, we’re getting more books published, like peoples’ books are getting published every single week, because the program’s evergreen and because we can continue to drive people there.
JB: That’s awesome, so why don’t you take us through a little bit about what your annual calendar is like. You don’t have to get too far into the weeds, but do you still do some actual launches during the year, or do you kind of mix and match evergreen and launches, or do you just do full evergreen now?
CB: We mix and match evergreens and launches, we do two big launches, we’ll do one either in January or February, we’ll do that, and we’ll do like July/August usually, and it just kind of fluctuates. So two times a year, spread out about six months, we evergreen the rest of the time. We spend a decent amount of money on paid traffic and we’re also focusing on SEO content based stuff, so they just continue to drive leads that way. So that’s our overall promotional calendar, we have done summits in the past in the summer, and those have worked pretty well. You know, we’re not going to do that this year, but we have done that in the past. So that’s kind of our regular calendar, but I’m really focused on building scalable, paid customer acquisition campaigns and funnels, because I think if you’re not doing that, then you’re obviously going to hit a plateau with your revenue.
Where I’ve been frustrated in the past with my business is not growing as fast as I want it to, I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that. Even though we’re doubling revenue year over year, right? So we started in February of 2015, we went from zero to 1.32 million by the end of that year. We did a little over 2.2 last year, we’ll do at least five this year. So we still have a good trajectory and good growth, but that’s been made possible by just the evergreen side of things, because if you were to look at our P&L before that, it was like, “Wow, incredible month … negative, negative, negative. Wow, incredible month,” right? So that’s what’s been really helpful.
JB: What were some of the keys that helped you start off with such an amazing year and then grow from there? What were some of the big things that you did really well?
CB: Yeah, our biggest strength probably is strategic partnerships, so I think that’s obviously affiliates and things like that, that’s what really helped us. Making relationships with people, there are bloggers, there are podcasters, they’re influencers and they have big audiences. And also just treating that, like doing that really well, making sure that they’re treated well and always thinking about it like, “Why would they want to do this, and how can I make this a huge win for them?” I think that’s where everybody screws it up, it’s like, “How can I get as much money as possible with as little work as possible and leech onto these other guys’ audiences?”
Like that’s how people look at it, and it’s like, I don’t know, for me personally, I would rather build real friendships and real relationships with people, and it’s like cool, if this works great, if not I’m not going to bug the crap out of you for months to promote my thing, right? And I’m never leading with that, so just as a byproduct of that, we became really good at the strategic partnership. So that helped, and then that gives you enough traffic to really test and refine what you’re doing, I think. Because then, you know, the launches would cover up the negative profitability that we were experiencing on our paid traffic, long enough for us to get the hang of it, right?
They were so lucrative that we could just bankroll that and just dump that back into paid traffic and lose money, or as Perry Marshall says, “You’re paying for an education.” Right? In those beginning times. And so we were paying for an education there, and then that’s helped us to where now we’re starting to get traction, where we’ll spend, we’re slowly scaling, but we’re about 700 something bucks a day on paid, on Facebook traffic. And that’s profitable, and so we’re continuing to scale that.
JB: So when you went from losing money on paid traffic to figuring it out, were there some big wins that you figured out, or was it a lot of small improvements that added up?
CB: Lot of small improvements, and a lot of just … you don’t want to bang your head against the keyboard, right? It’s just like, “Bam, bam, this is still not working.” But then one big thing that changed for us is we started doing more evergreen webinars as opposed to, we were doing video series. So we were trying to make our launches evergreen, which Deadline Funnel’s great for that, right? Like we had the fanciest funnel ever, it was like all behavioral based and they would get to the cart in as little as five days or as much as two and a half weeks depending on if and when they watched the launch videos. So if they watched the launch videos we’d say, “Hey, thank you for doing that, here’s the next video.” Like if they didn’t we’d say, “Hey, I saw you didn’t watch the video.” And so it was all this complicated stuff, they’d drop on the sales page, there’s a dedicated Deadline Funnel for them, all those things. And then we’d close … it’s like this massive funnel and it’s just way too complicated, and we were trying to replicate the launch but on an evergreen basis.
And we were driving enough traffic to do it and to have the social proof around the launch like the comments under the videos and all that, like that wasn’t an issue, I think it was just a flawed funnel. And potentially a flawed offer to paid traffic, but what really changed is when we went singular with the offer and when we met evergreen webinar, like we just started running with that. That’s worked a lot differently. We’re also doing a free to plus shipping book funnel, that’s working decently well, but we really need to … and what our goal is to start just getting better, start getting better at that. Like rolling out different funnels because we just stuck to that one funnel and we were trying to optimize this one funnel. So that would be my biggest takeaway and piece of advice for people is like, just try a bunch of stuff. And for us, the reason we weren’t trying so much is because we built this massively complicated funnel, so now imagine building another funnel and it’s like, “Oh wow, this is going to take forever.”
As opposed to now, our philosophy is more like, “How fast can we spin up a funnel and start driving traffic, driving 1,000 bucks into it, and then get baseline metrics?” Then that will decide okay, do we need to add some sophistication or add some extra layers like text, voicemails, direct mail, or other things that we can add onto that, or do we just need to cut our losses and move on from this model?
JB: You know, it’s so interesting that you bring that up. I’ve been teaching a concept called the PPD funnel, but in teaching this funnel, I’ve really gone over many many times to keep it as minimally viable as possible. In other words, do like the lean version of it and then add complexity on, because just like you were saying, you get results a whole lot faster.
CB: Here you go.
JB: So I love hearing you say that, because it’s really easy to have these real elaborate plans and take six months to actually build it out before you even have the results.
CB: Totally agree.
JB: That’s really really interesting. And so now just to recap, you said that you want to try to spin up a new funnel concept and see if it has legs, like you might still be losing money I would imagine, but you see hey there’s life here. This could work if we just tweak a few things.
CB: Exactly, and Jack I’m so glad you reiterated on that because I think it’s really important for people. To be frank, I think it’s just because I wanted to look cool. It’s like, “Oh when I could explain to somebody like you, I can be like, ‘oh, it’s behavioral based and it tracks this and it does this,’ it’s like, none of that matters.” I think it’s just me thinking that if I made this super cool and complex funnel, like it’s got to convert better and I can brag about it to people, right? But now it’s like no, don’t reinvent the wheel, let’s just get something simple, ugly, and throw some traffic into it.
JB: So can you go one layer deeper into what your webinar funnel looks like now with the leads opting in for a download, or what are they opting in for?
CB: Yeah, this is, I mean, we’re probably not doing this the way that a lot of people are doing it and having success. I know a lot of people coach against this or teach against this, but we’re literally just dropping straight into the webinar.
JB: Oh wow.
CB: So there’s no download or anything before it, so we’re sending to the webinar. They can either do a just in time in the next 15 minutes, or they can schedule for later that day. Sometimes later like the next day or something. So that drops them into the funnel, they watch the webinar, that sort of thing. We’re running video ads, that’s worked pretty well for us. That seems to get our lead cost the lowest. You can get click costs and you can get everything lower if you’re just doing straight up regular ads we found, but there’s just … I haven’t been able to definitively prove it yet with data. I do have a hunch, though. Well I know our lead costs are lower when we do video ads, but I haven’t been able to definitively prove that even if we paid more for our leads, they would be worth more on the back end, yet.
I have a hunch that that’s the case, but if you just imagine you’re building a rapport with someone in an ad, then you go to the landing page, we find that our clicks are usually more expensive from videos, but the lead costs are almost always less. When they click, it’s an opt-in.
JB: They’re interested.
CB: They’re like, “I’m clicking here to go to this webinar,” not like, “Oh this picture looks kind of neat,” click. And then they’re on this landing page and they’re like, “What’s going on here, I’ve got to figure this out, no I’m out, I’m already distracted.” Right? So it’s less of that and it’s more of a qualified click which leads to a qualified opt-in which leads to them, I think, actually showing up to the webinar, which leads to them paying attention through the funnel and then hopefully converting on the back end.
JB: Is your offer on the webinar similar to what you were offering in your more complicated funnel?
CB: It is, it’s similar but more simple. So in our more complicated funnel, it’s what we normally do for our launches, which is we say, “Hey we have $1,000 version of the program and we have a $2,000 version of the program.” You choose which one you want and if you want payment plans in on the webinar it’s just the $1,000 price point. That’s it, so it’s just like, “Hey, we’ve got this thing for you, here’s what it is, you can buy it and if you want to buy it you can either pay full price or you can pay the payment plans, and here’s the order form.” Not like-
JB: Real straightforward.
CB: Here’s the sales page where you can click which one you want and then get confused and not buy and then worry about your decision and then all that stuff, it’s just straightforward.
JB: Got you. Then, just a little bit more detail. After they see the webinar … let’s say that someone registers, I register but I don’t show. How many days are you pursuing me before that deadline kicks in?
CB: I’m pursuing you one day before you know that there’s a deadline on the offer, so it’s more of a replay like, “Hey we missed you yesterday, here’s the replay. This is available only for a few days.” And on that replay page there’s a Deadline Funnel, so that’s the first time they see the Deadline Funnel. Then the next day and the next day and for the next I want to say three, maybe four days. I think it’s five days all told post-webinar, so I want to say it’s four more days maybe it’s three. But it’s three or four, and then we follow up via the sales page and that same Deadline Funnel timer is on those sales pages.
So that’s that, and then … so we also do some other things like we’ll send text message during that time from our support person, we’ll send a voicemail from me. So the next day we say … they get a voicemail from me that’s like, “Hey this is Chandler. I saw that you just checked out my webinar yesterday. I wanted to say thank you, I hoped you learned a lot. I wanted to let you know that if you stayed until the end you saw this. If you didn’t here’s the download, like a discounted price on this program for the next few days only. Give us a call at this number, we can answer any questions you have.” Yada yada yada, right?
So then they can call in and talk to someone on my staff that’s doing phone sales. So that helps, and then they have the Deadline Funnel kick in, then we do a one day court reopen afterwards. So we wait for a day and then do a one day reopen and say … it’s the classic Ryan Deiss “Although I can’t make it any cheaper, I can break it out for you.” So like although I can’t discount the price any further, I can break up the payments, and a lot of you said that you need some help on that, so here’s a six-pay. So this is the first time that we offer a six-pay it’s one day only Deadline Funnel timer, there we go.
JB: Boom, awesome. So let’s talk a little bit about exactly how you get people to write a book in such a short period of time. I know people would be interested about that. So how … number one, I don’t want you to give away the secret sauce, but there’s an entire course and training behind how to do this, and there’s no way we could cram that amount of information here. But give us some information about how it is that someone who wants to write a non-fiction book and use it to build their business, how can they do that in such a short period of time when so many people struggle for months and months and months and months and months?
CB: Yeah, it’s a great question. So for us I think there’s multiple things that we do, because we have a higher success rate than any online program that I’ve ever seen. In the book space especially but just that I’ve ever seen in general. On our first cohort of students, this was the first time we launched like a ghetto version of the program, and we had over a 60 percent success rate on our students within six months, meaning they wrote and published a book within six months. So that doesn’t count anyone after. The sample size was a decent size, we had 44 students. So basically that means that, what’s the math on that? I think it was over 30 of them had written and published a book within six months which is like, that’s pretty unheard of in an industry where you’re lucky if you get 10 percent of people to even open the course. They put it on their “shelf esteem,” right? And then they feel good about themselves-
CB: Yeah, the shelf-help. So there’s a few reasons for that. So we have a high level of accountability, we have coaching and support, both one-on-one coaching with our certified coaches as well as support in the community. And then we also break it down into micro commitments. So one of the biggest frustrations I had with online courses in general and especially with writing a book is like, I’m kind of like a straight and narrow guy, like if you give me what needs to be done I can put in the grunt work to make it happen. But sometimes I just need you to lay it out step by step, right? So for me, I was frustrated. It’s like, okay it’s great that you’re telling me all the things that I could do, but I want you to just tell me what I should do in what order and like step by step, right?
So that’s kind of one of the things that we do is we have a 90 days calendar, and it’s like literally day by day we tell people, “Hey you’ll be successful if you only spend 30 minutes to an hour a day.” And a lot of people say stuff like that, but it’s like, “And here’s exactly what you need to do every single day.” So if you want to get into it and you want to do it, then you just follow this, and if you want to take 9 months, 12 months to do your book, cool, work at a slower pace. But if you want to run with the 90 day pace, here’s what you got to do. So we really just break it down step by step. And a lot of things are things that I learned from … I work with a company called Student Painters in college. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Student Painters, College Pro, College Works, all similar tech companies. They teach you how to run a business by running an exterior painting company. It’s a college internship.
So they have all these levels of accountability and accountability costs and all this structure because it’s like a franchise-type model. And so I though to myself, “If they can teach 18, 19, 21 year old kids how to run very successful,” like for me I did six figures. So good size companies that are kids that are just interested in partying and whatever else. If they can train them, then this has got to work for regular people that are even slightly motivated to write a book, right?
So I took a lot of the same principles and applied them to this, so that’s kind of what we teach you and I think that’s why we’ve had a really high success rate.
JB: I see, so you break it down into really really really tiny chunks that someone can follow every single day.
CB: Totally. I just want to make this clear that sometimes it’s at the expense of people refunding. I think what I see a lot of times is as soon as someone sells the course, their number one priority is just to get the person not to refund. So they structure everything in a way that’s like, “How can I get this person not to refund?” Now that’s certainly important, right? We’re very focused on that, but for us it’s like, we value students’ success over refunds. So sometimes pressuring someone like, “Hey you need to get your assignment done,” is going to make them be slightly overwhelmed and be like, “Ah shoot, I knew I didn’t have time for this, I need a refund.”
CB: And we get that, but we would rather have more successful students because we know that in the long run they’re going to tell other people about the program, and it’s going to be way more beneficial. So we kind of prioritize our students’ success over just the short-term refund dollar amount.
JB: So someone who purchased with the hope of buying shelf-help, they may eject.
CB: Yeah, they might eject out of the aircraft.
JB: That’s funny. So how much success are your students having with using these books to build their business? I think it’s fantastic that you have a 60 percent success rate, that’s amazing. But are you students having some pretty good success using it to grown their business too?
CB: Oh absolutely. They’re having tons of success. I mean I could go all day. Whether it’s a brick-and-mortar business or something else like one of our guys, David McKay, he wrote and published two books in 89 days. He sent me an email the other day, it was a year to the date. He said, “My books have brought in over $10,000 just from the books.” He said, “But from the business from those books, it’s brought in about $45,000 in business.” So $45,000 in a year from when you enrolled in the program, that’s pretty solid.
Another guy, David Rogenmoser, he went from basically he did his book, brought in $3,364 I think within the first 60 or 90 days. But then within 18 months he leveraged that book to build his list and a seven figure business. So he had a million bucks within 18 months of publishing his book, and he started from scratch. So there’s a lot of stories like that, and that’s because really we teach … I teach using your book to drive leads, and I’m looking at our hourly report for last month, and a lot of our top channels that aren’t paid traffic, they’re all the books. It’s like, “Oh, a book that I published three or four years ago brought in 30 leads last month.” Like these books keep bringing in leads, and what I like to say, especially for people who maybe have a brick-and-mortar or a service-based business.
So this is my most recent book published, right? This is like kind of a big book for me, but what I like to say is like, a book is a silent salesman. So if this is in your hands and you’re reading this book, it’s a silent salesman. I’m spending hours with this prospect, in this case it’d be you, and now we have a relationship. So I’m not saying a word, the book’s saying it for me. So by the time we were to meet, if you’re like, “Hey I’m interested in publishing a book,” or by the time that you watch one of my videos or something it’s like, we have a relationship. A lot of selling has already happened, right? That’s where I think it’s powerful for business owners.
JB: So what about beyond, say a service or service-based or brick-and-mortar business? What about a more competitive space like, for example, marketing? So there’s a lot more … just hundreds and hundreds of marketing books. Can someone still use a book and self publish it using your methods that you teach and to get traction with that?
CB: Totally, but I would definitely recommend not to just publish a book on marketing, right? You’re going to have to go way way down deep, and that’s how you will. My very first book was in time management, just like, “Oh yeah, never heard of any books on that.” Like say getting things done, eat that frog, like you could go on and on and on, right? But we went down time management for entrepreneurs who control their own schedule. That’s why that book was kind of a big hit, right? So that would be my biggest piece of advice for people is it doesn’t matter what market that you’re in, and it can and will work for you, but you got to figure out your sliver.
JB: Cool. So how can people learn more about the Self Publishing School, what would be a good way for them to get to know more about what you offer?
CB: Yeah, so there’s a couple resources that might be helpful, all free training. So we’ve got self-publishingschool.com/free. That’s if you want to check out that webinar funnel that we were talking about, you can actually just go through it. Secondly, we’ve got blog posts, it’s kind of like the end-all, be-all. So it’s how to self-publish a book and it just goes through step by step. Then lastly, what might be helpful because this is more of a software crowd, I would imagine, maybe not.
JB: I would say it’s more … so a lot of our clients are course creators, online course creators.
CB: Got it, cool, cool. Well then maybe this won’t be applicable, but I was going to say that we’ve got how to choose which software to use to write your book. That’s a question that we get a lot from people. It’s also a blog post.
JB: Cool. Fantastic. Well listen Chandler, this was great. Thank you for sharing your backstory, the market that you serve, how you help them, and also of course being really open and honest about how you use Deadline Funnel in your business. This has been a great conversation, thank you.
CB: No problem, and hey Jack, I just want to thank you for Deadline Funnel because no joke, since we’ve used it pretty much since we started the business. There’s a lot of software that don’t scale with companies, like they’re either way out of reach when you first start and you’re like, “Wow, I can’t afford that.” Or like you grow and the next thing you know you’re like, “I’m looking for the next-level enterprise.” But that’s one thing … like Deadline Funnel’s I would almost say without a doubt the one piece of software that we’ve used in all phases of growth, and I can’t see us stopping any time soon. Since doing that, we’ve brought in, probably over five million bucks in business since we started using Deadline Funnel. So it’s just a powerful tool and something that I really believe in, I just appreciate you making it and making it so easy to use.
JB: Awesome. Well you know we really pride ourselves … nothing makes us happier than hearing stories about how entrepreneurs like you are using it, and I was sharing that with someone the other day and they said, “Just think about not just that.” So if I’m helping Chandler’s business, it’s not just that, Chandler’s now can reach more people. So in the same way, you’re not just helping an author, you’re influencing all the people beyond that. So it’s just really, really cool to be able to see something that you think of do great things in the world, and I know you have that feeling too. So thank you very much for sharing that.
CB: No problem, thank you Jack.
“How to self publish a book in 2017” blog post:
“Which Book Writing Software Is Best?” blog post:
Recently Eli Natoli and I spoke about how she built and grew her online audience. Watch the video or read the full transcript below!
EN: Hi Jack. Thank you for having me here. I’m really excited. My husband and I started this software development firm and design company. This was back almost 12 13 years ago. I found, five six years ago, I really got interested into internet marketing part of things. Not so much about our company, but in general. I was hearing about passive income. People making money online and I was actually getting bored of what I was doing. I was managing the projects on my end and I wanted to tap into something more exciting.
EN: What I did was, I started this online type of website where I was activating free and legitimate websites. That’s how I really got into this. I started reading about SCOs and how to drive traffic and, actually, I was putting a little bit of time and then shortly, not even six months we were getting passive income to this site.
JB: That’s great.
EN: Then that really made me excited and I started thinking, “Well, what can we do with this internet marketing part and how we can actually bring it into our own business?” My husband does user experience design.
EN: He’s really … He’s been doing this for 20 years. He’s really good at it. When we go into a meeting, number one thing that everybody loves about the way he approaches the business, is how passionate he is about user experience. I thought, “Well, he’s a natural teacher. This is something we can tap into.”
EN: What we decided to do was do an online training. We decided to put together a course. It was … He was doing the course. I was doing the internet marketing part of it.
That was the beginning of tapping into this internet marketing part of things.
JB: When you said that you were getting passive income before you even started the course, were you … What were you doing to generate the passive income?
EN: This was back in the day where people were just doing Google Ads.
I was just trying to do some SEO work to make sure there was traffic.
EN: The site is visible on Google and just basic stuff. Doing all that. It’s funny because I was putting little time into it. Maybe, not even, 30 minutes a day and, believe it or not, I was generating a thousand dollars a month just by Google Ads.
JB: Wow. Wow. That’s …
EN: It was pretty cool.
JB: That’s one of the better results I’ve heard with Google Adsense. That’s great. Even though it starts small, I think everyone I talk to … I had this experience as well. That first dollar is so exciting like, “Oh, my gosh.”
EN: It is.
JB: That’s great.
EN: The potential. I know. It is.
JB: From that point, you get hooked. You created this online course where your husband is taking what he knows and what he’s been doing for 20 years and you package it up into an online course. You guys chose Udemy as your platform, right?
EN: We chose Udemy because I didn’t have much experience in intermarketing and how we can sell a course. I thought, “Well, there’s a platform there, there’s a market there. Why don’t we tap into that market?”
EN: That’s where we started and the course just did really well. Right now, I haven’t checked lately, but the last time I checked two months ago, we had about 55,000 students just in one of the courses. It’s doing really well. Udemy actually approached us and asked us to create another course. We … As soon as we launched that, four months into it we launched another. We worked on launching another course together. That was launched about six eight months after that. When things actually start taking off for us, was when I started thinking, “Well, there has to be a way that we can do this actually on our own. We can put … Create a course, put it on our own platform, drive our own traffic.” All these audience that we were getting, they were all Udemy’s audience. We had no access to these visitors … To these students. We couldn’t really sell anything else to them except more Udemy courses.
EN: That’s actually when things started happening for us. Which was about two years ago.
JB: Awesome. What did you … Once you left Udemy, did you go to Teachable or … okay.
EN: Yeah. We haven’t left Udemy.
EN: We still have those two initial courses there.
EN: We researched. When we went to Teachable it seems the best of. We were still getting everything we needed, as far as having a platform that looks really user friendly like Udemy. Then we also had everything that we needed to market it ourselves.
JB: Right. You guys control it and you guys … The people who are students, they’re added to your list?
EN: Absolutely. That’s the benefit because now that we have the students added to our list, then we can actually launch more products, we can do other things. These are actually our subscribers. These are our students. That’s the best part about it.
JB: When you and I first started talking … I guess it’s been months now. You were just in the process of making the change. You were bringing over your list of Udemy people and you were kick starting this launch. Actually, you may have just done your first launch. Take me back to what was going on in your mind when you were looking for a solution that Deadline Funnel filled?
EN: Actually, when we were first … I think it was last July. Those weren’t actually our Udemy students. We don’t have access to the Udemy students.
JB: Oh, okay.
EN: Those were our own subscribers that over the two years we had little … maybe a little less than 2,000 subscribers we had to acquire ourselves by just giving away freebies. Going through … I’m sorry. What was the question again?
JB: What was going through your mind that lead you to finding Deadline Funnel? What sort of problem were you trying to solve or what were you trying to achieve?
EN: When we first … When we went through our first launch, I was really successful then. I really love to get educated. I read, read, read every day. I thought, “Well, there’s … We can do more with this launch. We can run this promotions.” After the launch was over, after the cart was closed, what I wanted to do was tap into Facebook ads, bring people into our sales funnel, and sell to them. It seemed like if we had some element of scarcity added to the whole sales funnel that would have actually motivate people…
EN: To buy. Once we walked them through the sales funnel. Then I start looking for solutions to add to that element of scarcity to our sales funnel.
JB: Cool. Can you give me some ideas about how that worked for you once you added it in? Were you able to evergreenize your funnel?
EN: Yes. We actually … We’ve changed. We tweet that over the last seven eight months to see what works and what doesn’t work. At the beginning, the way we were going about it was once people came through the funnel … At the very beginning we wouldn’t say anything about discounts or bonuses, but a couple days in we would say, “Oh, you know, we added this bonus.” Then a couple more days, “Oh, we added another bonus.” Then two three days before it was closing, we would say, “Oh. You get additional discounts.” We rounded up with that for awhile.
That was a long actually sales funnel. It was about 11 to 12 emails in that sales funnel over the [inaudible 00:08:27] of two weeks. It was good, but then I decided to try something else because I was reading all these things about, “Well, maybe motivate people and not giving him discounts, but maybe give bonuses and do it right off from the beginning.” Then we tried that and that seems actually to really work with our audience. From the very beginning, we’re very transparent with them. You get this many bonuses. The funnel was shortened up because we’ve noticed it works better when you shorten it.
We do five emails in a period of week and a half, with an additional two emails on the last day. Reminding them the offer will go away. All we’re doing is just adding bonuses.
JB: Good. That’s terrific. Some key points that I think are really important is … I’ve heard from other people as well, that shortening it from a two week cycle to something less than a week. People don’t have a tremendously long attention span. Try to get to the point. You can still take everything that you’re doing in terms of the psychology and building trust and knowledge and also the urgency at the end and just compress it down like you were talking about. Then the other thing is you mentioned one of my favorite things that I talk about in all of my trainings and webinars, is that don’t just send one email on the last day. You got to send at least two. If you’re sending two, you might want to try three. It’s incredible, isn’t it? How people just wait until the last minute. It’s that deadline that gets added to it.
EN: That’s absolutely true. We get a lot of our sellers actually come through the last two days and then the during of the last day. Especially when we do five launches. The very last days is when we get the bulk of our sale.
EN: Absolutely right.
JB: Very cool. What’s on the horizon for you? Where are you guys taking this next?
EN: I’ve actually launched my own marketing business.
EN: I launched it about two months ago. I started, actually, with a Udemy course. Which has been fantastic as well. I don’t have my own user base or my own students so I’m starting really from zero. From scratch. I want to put in all these things that I’ve been doing for our business. Putting it in a documented way so people can follow and get the same results that we’ve gotten. It’s been amazing. I, so far, in the last month, I’ve actually have been able to enroll close to 2,000 students.
JB: That’s terrific.
EN: Received really, really well.
JB: That’s great. That’s great. Do you have any tips that you can share on … For someone who wants to follow your same path if they just want to get on Udemy as a way to kickstart their audience growth? What has worked for you? Even on Udemy, I imagine that it’s not simply create the course and sit back. You’ve got to actually do stuff.
EN: Exactly. To me, the key to whether you want to do it on Udemy, on your own platform, it’s research. Research, research, research. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that, but I think that’s actually been the number one key for our success. What we do is we actually take the time to … We stop people. Nicely. Not in a creepy way. We have our own Facebook groups, we go to our competitors social sites, and we listen. We listen to what people are saying and all of our products. The product that I launched. The products that we launched through my … Our business. Everything has been as a result of us listening to what the need is, what that pain is, what that struggle is, and then creating a product based on that need. Then we tap into that every single word that we use in our sales page, in our sales funnel, in our Facebook ads. It’s exactly the words that they’re using to describe their pain.
EN: If you do that, no matter where you launch your course, which platform you use, people will actually identify themselves with that pain and that solution. I think that’s the key.
JB: Right. I’ve heard others describe it as being able to read. It’s almost like someone read a page out of your own diary. That you’re seeing these words where you have the internal thought of, “Wow. This person really gets me. How did they know this?” Type of thing.
JB: It’s really, really powerful. That’s great. Anything … Let me end with this, is there a tip that you can share? It can be something that we’ve already talked about or something new, but one major thing that you picked up over the past six to 12 months that you would give to someone that was just starting out.
EN: Subscribers. Get as many subscribers on your email list as you can because that is the key. When we started, I had no idea. People always talk about, “Grow your list. Grow your list.” I really didn’t know how important it is to grow your list, but if you work on that consistently on a daily basis, then you can grow your business authentically. Organically. It doesn’t … You don’t have to have a course to begin with. You don’t have to have a website even to begin with. Start with building your list today if you’re thinking about getting into online business.
JB: Right. The best time to start was five years ago. The second best time is today.
EN: Exactly. It’s never too late.
JB: That’s right. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you sharing this.
EN: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Last week, I chatted with Jasmine Star, a social media strategist who helps creative entrepreneurs create a brand and market it on social media. You can find her online at jasminestar.com.
Thanks Jasmine for taking the time to share part of your journey!
Watch the full video interview here or read the full transcript below:
JB: This is Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel. I’m here with Jasmine Star. Thank you so much for being here.
JS: Thanks Jack, and thanks for the heads up of not telling me this was going to be video. I thought this was just audio. So, everybody know, I’m just sitting here without any makeup. I got home from yoga, and I’m having a conversation. So, I’m just going to commit to this Jack. Because this is what I do for friends. For new friends.
JB: Well, I appreciate that.
JS: Thank you.
JB: So, you and I met at James Wedmore Mastermind and James graciously invited me to come and speak to the group and that’s where you and I met, and so part of what I was talking about was creating evergreen funnels and just the importance of doing it. Of course in the process, I mentioned Deadline Funnel. And you followed up with me a little bit later, and said that you had put your funnel together and so I want to get to that front and share how that worked for you, but let’s start back at the beginning.
Can you tell everyone about your business. What you do. Of course, mention your website URL because you’ve got great stuff. You’ve got a lot of awesome energy, and so tell everyone who you help and how you help them. So lets start there.
JS: Awesome. My name is Jasmine Star. You can find me at jasminestar.com and all social media handles at jasminestar. I’m a social media strategist and I help creative entrepreneurs create a brand and market it on social media.
JB: Okay. So, walk us through what your business model was say, 6 months or a year before, well, let’s just talk about 2016. So your business had been growing very rapidly, you don’t have to share numbers. But your business has been going very well. But how are you primarily getting people to find out about you and decide to take your course?
JS: Okay, so, let’s start exactly 12 months ago. Virtually within two days of us having this conversation 363 days ago, I was sitting in a hotel room for a mastermind. I didn’t even know what a mastermind was. I had signed up for it because I just stumbled across it on the internet. And we have these opportunities called hot seats, where you ask a question and everybody responds. I had no idea what a hot seat was. And so, I sit there in my hot seat in front of really talented and brilliant people was … what’s a Webinar and do I need to do it? And the follow up questions were, “Well, what do I use for Webinar?” and “I have to have Q and A at the end?”
I had never done one, I had never heard of one. And at the time I was nationally recognized photographer, and I knew that I wanted to take what I’d done for other photographers, which is help photographers build a brand in the market and social media, and then over the past few years other entrepreneurs, creative entrepreneurs, so soap makers, copy writers, purse makers, were coming to me saying, “Can you teach us what you’re doing for our business?” And at first I was trepidatious, like “I’m not sure if the applications I’m teaching apply across grade industries”, and over the years I noticed they did. Totally and truly, and so I decided to join a mastermind to see how I’d be able to scale my business online.
And so that happened until February 2016, I don’t know what a Webinar is, I don’t know how things are going, but I know that I want to move forward with it. So, in my mind at the time, I had this course that I was creating, and as I started going on through the mastermind, I realized that what I needed to do was reposition myself in an industry as an authoritative figure in a niche market, so our very first online product was launched in July of 2016. We called it “Insta180“, which is an Instagram for business course specifically for creative entrepreneurs. And we launched, and I’ll just speak honestly, it was an amazing success. We were blow out of the water. We had no idea that this potential resided within us. And also resided online. And when I say us, I’m lucky and fortunate enough to work with my high school sweet heart, husband and business partner. So when I see say we, that’s what I’m referring to. It’s my name on the brand, but it’s both of us behind the scenes. So, we launched it in July, and then we also launched it again in October.
And in November was when you and I met. So here I am just coming from “What’s a Webinar? Oh, I can sell stuff online? Oh, we had this great launch.” And then in November I hear about this thing called evergreen. And I’m like taking notes, no idea what the words are that you are saying. It’s like I’m writing Japanese. And I’m like “I’m gonna figure this out when I go home.” And that puts us to where we are today. So we met in November. I emailed you. It was pretty stalker-ish of me Jack, let’s be real. Like you spoke and then the next morning I’m on a flight out at 5:30 am, “Hey Jack, great meeting you. What does your business do? How can we connect?” And then in December of 2016 I started building what we now know as our evergreen is Insta180. And in January I connected with a team at System.ly to help build out the funnel, but really use Deadline Funnel as a key component to our launch, and now success.
JB: Awesome, awesome. So what I want to ask you is, so if things were going great, and they were, why was it that you decided that you wanted to invest the time, the money and the energy with not just my software but also a team to help build out an evergreen funnel? What was the thought process behind that?
JB: Well, I only make business decisions based on demand. And because we were having a hard open and close for these massive launches that we were doing, we were leaving a lot of opportunities on the table. Because there are people that want to learn Instagram for their business then, and I had decided that we were gonna launch Insta only twice a year. So if you didn’t get within that one week time, so two weeks out of the year you’re eligible to buy this, and I just felt like there were a lot of people who needed help now. And we’re really trying to use our funnel to go after cold traffic. So our audience may have given them plenty of opportunities. We did a seven day Instagram challenge, which lead into a series of Webinars during the live launches. But, you know, the vast majority of the year we also want to give an opportunity to people that are interested that may be not on my radar and didn’t have that opportunity.
JB: Awesome, awesome. So, you sent me an email and you shared some of your results. So maybe we should talk. Show whatever numbers you want, or don’t want. Give me an idea of how it worked for you, using the evergreen funnel set up by system lead.
JS: Yeah, awesome, absolutely. So I don’t mind talking about numbers because I made a promise, a promise to myself, that when I transitioned into a new industry, I want to bring whoever I can along with the journey. I want to be transparent. I want to talk about the sticky points, things that aren’t working as well as the things that are. I don’t profess to be, or have the Midas touch, or everything that I touch turns to gold. We have a lot, a lot to learn. So having said that, we built out the funnels. We knew exactly what we wanted to do, we set ads in place, and not even 24 hours after launching the evergreen of Insta180 we had, by the time we had emailed you, we had made 1,800 dollars in about 21 hours. So I woke up the next day and I was like “What the heck just happened?” Like, I felt guilty, I all of a sudden felt money shame. I was like, “How am I making money not doing anything?”
I mean, we did a lot, we did a lot to get that thing online, but in that moment there was like this weird, surreal, oh my god, the thing that I had dreamed of in college, was to make money when I sleep. And that was happening, and it was just a completely surreal, crazy moment. And so my strategy was to focus on my strengths. So my strengths was to record the Webinar, find really crunchy, tactile Q and A, to make sure that I’m answering in a very conversational manner. Making sure that I’ve gone through the Webinar enough, with enough time, to really know that it delivers.
Our Webinar, when we did it live, was converting at 13 percent, which is pretty good. I thought it was terrible. I had done a Webinar and was like “Aw this is terrible, who converts at 13 percent” and people were like “no that’s pretty average, you’re hitting a nice stride.” And our price points, when we are live, are 197 and 297 for a VIP option that’s not eligible for our evergreen. So we’re only launching that project at 197. And so we knew that it delivered, we knew that it performed, we knew the hot button things to kind of press on as we’re engaging with people who are watching online, as well as we know what bonuses work. And I think that having done all that heavy lifting in advance I don’t, you had even said in the November meeting, you had said “I don’t think that you should really create a product and then put it immediately out on evergreen. Like, you should test it. You should let the market kind of mold what it should be.” And I think that that was one of the best things that we could have done.
And so by the time we got to November. I had done all like, the creative, the ads, the videos, how are we gonna actually be launching this? I had all of the emails. So I repurposed a lot of the emails that I used during our live launches, turned that all over to System Lead, and I itemized. They gave me a list, these are the emails that we need. I plugged and chugged those, and then they set up all the emails for me. It was pretty seamless. And then we have Deadline Funnel, which really does create the call of action all on it’s own.
JB: Fantastic. So, now I know that you’re not super techy, from the stand point of funnel building. That’s why you hired System Lead to build it for you. But can you give us somewhat of an over view of how someone goes through your funnel? Because I know that people are going to be interested to know, well “what does her funnel look like that’s working so well?” Are they watching three videos? Let’s just start there. Just describe it however you want.
JS: Okay. Now I am just gonna say what people who are like funnel hackers, they’re gonna be watching this and they’re gonna be rolling their eyes, and like “how is this girl successful?” And this is the thing I get quite often, is “How can she be in a position to talk about something when she herself isn’t doing the implementation?” And I can say that we are running a highly successful business because we really focus on what we do extraordinarily well. I don’t need to do everything in my business. I need to have an understanding of what’s going on in my business, and so the understanding of my funnel is what I’m going to share and disseminate today. But I’m call it for what it is. I will probably say things wrong.
So I’m going to talk about this because I’m very creative. I’m gonna talk about it from actual functionality. So I have an ideal client. We’ve targeted her on Facebook. We know what she likes. We know what likes she wants to be engaged with. So she sees the ad and when she clicks on the ad to sign up for the Webinar which we’re calling a masterclass, when she signs up for her master class she gets one of two options. Just in time, which is “Oh, you have a Webinar that’s starting in 15 minutes”, or you could sign up for a Webinar starting the next at 10 am Pacific standard time.
So if she signs up for the “Just in Time”, she’ll get a reminder saying “Here’s your link, tune in now, we’re gonna be there.” So she goes and she watches the webinar, and then when the webinar commences, if she buys on the webinar she gets bonuses, and then a thank you, and then access. If she does not buy, she will get a link that night that says, “Hey, if you missed the webinar,” or actually we’ve tagged them. So if they didn’t watch the webinar but they missed it, they get the replay. And then we say thank … or another funnel would be “Hey if you came to the Webinar, we want to make sure that you have a replay so you can watch it and take notes.” And then from there we have an email that goes out. So we have a seven day cart, and we have an email every single day of the seven days with a mid-launch bonus on three days after. And then we have a cart closing and then on our cart closing day we send four emails.
JB: Ah, You took my advice.
JS: Jack, I told you whatever you said I was like “That guy’s smart, let me do that.” I’m not lying. Like, I literally copied everything so, I’m definitely a guinea pig.
JB: Cool, cool, cool. So let me ask you this, and you don’t know the answer it’s fine, but I’m curious. The mid-launch bonus, I know that that’s something that works extremely well in a live situation. So it’s gonna work well in an evergreen situation. But is your team, did they set it up so you’ve got funnel for that mid-launch bonus, and closing it at the end?
JS: No. Just at the end.
JB: Okay, okay. Maybe that’s something that I could contact those guys about just to let them know that it’s possible to do that. Yeah, but okay cool that’s great. So currently how does your team manage that? Do you look at the time stamp of when they ordered and send out that bonus based on that?
JS: Yes, I have, when I say a support team, it’s one amazing girl, and she will do all the logistics for that. Again, I’m a huge believer in outsourcing, I know that initially it will effect my preliminary bottom dollar, like, or the profitability for that first year. But once we have a system in place, I feel like I can grow and scale from there. So yeah, I’m not doing support.
JB: Well this has been great. Thank you so much for sharing about your business and about your origins story, where you came from. It’s obvious, your passion for what you do, and your excitement is contagious. So I want to make sure that anyone who’s interested in learning Instagram has a way to get in touch with you or get on your list to get to all the good stuff that you have, so what would be a good way for people to learn more about what it is that you guys offer?
JS: Awesome. You can visit insta180.com, because we want your Instagram accounts to do a 180 degree difference. And you can find me on social media, on Instagram at jasminestar. And hey, if you guys get there you might see a targeted ad to check out a live Webinar, so it’s good. And I just, I think more than anything Jack, I want to say thank you for having me and I really kind of wanted intentionally to come on to show people who feel like a hot mess like me, and not know what we’re doing, and actually show when you put your mind to something and you really want it done and you follow the advice of people smarter than you, it actually works.
JB: All right well thank you so much. And I appreciate the kind words and also I appreciate your time. So thanks.
JS: Thank you Jack.
JB: Thanks for making the time to talk to me.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to chat with Nagina Abdullah (founder of MasalaBody.com), about how she got started with her blog, and how she has been growing her course and online business.
Thank you, Nagina, for your time and for sharing your story with us!
Watch the full video interview here or read the full transcript below:
J: This is Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel. I’m here with Nagina Abdullah. She is a client of Deadline Funnel. I believe that we have chatted on either support or through live chat, previously. I was looking something up on one of my favorite podcasts and I said, “Hey, I recognize that person.” And I reached out to you and sent you an email.
That’s how we got into this conversation about maybe we should do an interview about how you’re using Deadline Funnel in your business. I think everyone needs to hear your inspiring story. I want to make sure that everyone hears about your story and how you got into creating a course. Maybe that’s where we should start.
N: Oh, I’m so excited to be here. It’s so nice when you’re reaching out by email and then to actually start to get to know someone, but you’ve always been so helpful with all of my questions for Deadline Funnel. Like, right at the last moment, I had so many questions and you’ll always get back to me. It’s so great to have that.
J: Well, we’re here to make sure that everyone is able to set up their funnel. Happy to help. So, take us back to your story. Share with us some of the story that others might not have heard of, if they haven’t checked out Side Hustle Nation, which is a great podcast, by the way.
N: Yeah. Well, I started my blog, which is called, and now my business, MasalaBody.com, as a result of a personal transformation. I lost 40 pounds through eating really delicious foods that I mixed with spices that I knew about, since I have grown up with them. I actually was a follower of Tim Ferriss’ ‘4-Hour Body’, so I started following what he was saying, but then adding some of the spices that I knew about. What happened is, I had actually been struggling my entire life, to be at a weight that I wanted to be at. After I had two kids, it was really hard to get to a place, it was even harder after two kids. I had a very demanding management consulting career. I was traveling all the time. That’s why I started following Tim Ferriss’ ‘4-Hour Body’, but I started mixing it with the spices. Before I knew it, I had lost 10 pounds in one month. Then I lost 40 pounds in nine months.
Everyone around me started asking me what I was doing and how I was doing it. So I started blogging about some of my healthy recipes and then I started talking more about some of the other things that get in our way, in terms of getting healthy or mind-set and social situations, and travel. I started writing all about that and I started a high-end, premium coaching service, where I coached other ambitious women on how they could lose weight and I would give them an exact plan, exact everything of what to follow. That program showed me, I actually was able to coach over 50 women and help women lose up to 40 pounds, in my one-on-one coaching.
That’s when I decided to launch a group program, where I could share my knowledge and get results from more people at once. As a result of the popularity of my spices, I created a program called ‘SpiceYourselfSkinny.com‘. It’s an eight week program where I help women lose weight through meal plans, a community support, and really step-by-step directions on how to do it. That’s where I started using Deadline Funnel, as part of that. I’ll talk to you more about that.
That’s really how I’m working on scaling my business, is through that Spicy Yourself Skinny group program now.
J: Awesome. Some of the things that are really interesting about what you just said is that you started sort of with the high-end and then you, in terms of the higher priced, more one-on-one type of stuff. Actually, you started with a blog and then as soon as you productized, you went to the high-end and then you did the group coaching and now the online training.
Is there, looking back at that, I don’t know if that was your plan all along, but what was your experience with going in that direction? Was that a positive one, to start at the higher ticket, one-on-one stuff, or how would you do it differently today?
N: It was actually my strategy to do it this way. I knew what, I had a goal of the way I wanted to do it. What happened is, when I started, I had a small email list. In order to really grow myself as an expert, as well as to make significant revenue, I had a smaller number of people that were going to buy from me, which I knew, because I was working on growing my list.
I needed to charge higher prices to make significant income right away. With one-on-one coaching, or even group coaching, whenever there’s a personalized element to it, you can charge a lot more for it, because as a customer, you’re getting a product that’s customized to your life. That takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, from someone else. So, naturally, you can charge more for it.
I had a five-figure price, for my first product, right out the door. What I had done first is I grew my audience first, for six months. I emailed, I sent emails, I blogged, I guest-hosted, I grew an audience. Then, I started sharing my one-on-one coaching and I started getting clients. It took time for me to learn how to get clients.
Like I got my first client, then I got my second client, then I changed some of my pricing and I was actually able to get consistent clients, where I was making $10,000 a month, from one-on-one coaching. This was consistently, every single month. Even more, 10-15,000 a month. At that point, I had maxed out my calendar. I knew there was only so much I could grow, with one-on-one coaching.
This whole entire time, I also had been growing my email list. I’d been guest-hosting, I’d been writing really, quality content that was being shared. Once I had maxed out my calendar, I realized, “You know what? Now it’s time for me to do my group program. I can charge less, but then I’ll have more people to buy.” So I’ve been, naturally, able to scale up and make much more revenue. I went from $10,000 months to now having $30,000 months. Not consistently, yet, but that’s the goal, to start having consistent months like that, as well.
J: That’s fantastic. Congratulations! So, a question I have is, when you were first starting out, did you focus solely on just putting out really amazing contents? Or did you try other things, like webinars? Just kind of curious, what sort of things you tried when you were first getting going?
N: When I first started, it was all about making it easy. Doing things that were comfortable to me, because if I took on too many things, it was overwhelming. I was really getting to know the online world and the online space. I started, I definitely, I started with blogging. It’s still, writing content is still the foundation of my business, because when you write really good content … When I say really good, what I mean is, it’s not like academically really good. It’s not an essay. What I do is, I really have interviewed and I have listened to my target audience, which is ambitious women. I really understand their pains. I understand their frustrations and their struggles. I understand their desires. They struggle with time. They struggle with finding clothes in their closet every morning, but then they want to be able to wear whatever they want. They want to be able to run a 5K with their family.
I write about those things and it really resonates with my audience. It’s also because I’m part of my target audience, so I actually know how they feel, but I also talk to a lot of people and I put that into my emails. That was really what I did for probably the first year. As I was looking to really get consistent with my sales, that’s where I started looking into other avenues of bringing in clients and then I started adding on. First, what I did was teleseminars, because it was really because I was nervous about the technology of a webinar. I was scared that everything would drop and everyone could see me and they wouldn’t be able to hear me.
I said, “Let me start slow.” I started with email, then I went to tele-classes. I would do like a teleseminar for an hour and I would talk on the phone. I actually made, that’s how I made my first $10,000 month, was doing a teleseminar and then offering, making an offer during the sale, for my program. Then after I felt comfortable with that, then I added on webinars. Webinars converted even, actually, tele-classes and webinars both convert really well for me. I started doing those. After awhile I had a system in place where I would do two webinars a month and I would be able to hit my revenue goals and make that consistent income.
I do a blend of all those things now. I did definitely take it step-by-step. I think that was really, really helpful. Taking it slow and looking at it like a long term gain, not trying to do everything at once, but then adding things on over time and really knowing how effective each piece is in the whole entire spectrum.
J: Awesome. So, take us back to before you, just before you decided that you wanted to look for something that Deadline Funnel solves. Can you put me back in the shoes of where you were at that time and what sort of problem or pain you were trying to solve, when you started looking for Deadline Funnel?
N: Yes. Definitely. So, when I was looking for Deadline Funnel, this is when I had done all those things. I was working on my group launch. When I say ‘group launch’, it’s an online program, but there’s an element of personalization, because we have a Facebook group. I call it, it’s a group program, but it’s all pretty much online. There’s no personalized services. I was looking at launching that for the second time. I had actually created a shorter version of my program that is an up-sell, not an up-sell, sorry. It’s a down-sell, actually. After, if you don’t buy my program, then I usually will offer that to you.
What I wanted to do, I was looking at bringing in people, into my launch, like growing my list for my launch and I wanted to see if the people were actually buyers. I had had some experience where a lot of times people sign up for your list because they get a freebie, they get something, they just get the freebie and then they’re not there afterwards. I wanted to see, are these quality people? I decided to offer my down-sell as a pre-sell. Once people joined my, got my freebie, on my thank you page, I had an offer for a three week version of my Spice Yourself Skinny program. It’s called Spice Yourself Skinny Jumpstart, 21 day jumpstart.
On the thank you page, you would get that right away, you’d get that offer. I had a video. You would click on it and then you would go to my sales page, but Deadline Funnel was connected to it, so I said, “You only have 48 hours to make this purchase.” I was really trying to test out my audience, at that time. I wanted to see how many people were buying. Is anyone buying? I actually, surprisingly, Deadline Funnel worked amazingly, because it’s from every single device that anyone signs on from, they will get the same timing. It really would close in the 48 hours, for each person. I did make significant sales that surprised me. It’s like I wasn’t doing anything and Deadline Funnel was helping me make those sales because the cart was closing, over and over.
That’s really how I started using Deadline Funnel, is to test out my audience, to see if they were buyers. Along the way, I also made significant, decent revenue, as well.
J: Are you, have you started adding it elsewhere in your funnel? Do you have plans to?
N: I have plans. Right now I’m working on one more, we’re doing another live launch of my program, right now, because I’m testing out what’s working best. So I’m really relaunching my program multiple times, so that I can see what works and what doesn’t. My plans are that after some time, I will consider making an evergreen program. Once I start doing that and once I start even testing that, because I’m going to need to test that out for some time to see how it’s working. That’s where I would definitely use Deadline Funnel, because I’ll be able to offer the course. What I’ll probably do is, I’ll probably offer the course. Some of it will be through Facebook ads, some of it will be through my list and go to a webinar, a webinar for me that’ll be automated. Then Deadline Funnel will be part of that process. I’ll say, “You have 48 hours” or whatever it might be, to make your decision and then you can join.
Urgency is so key. It’s so funny, on all of my launches, even when I’m doing it live, it’s so amazing how only when I offer something that’s going to expire, that’s when all the sales come in. I could be giving the most amazing information for weeks, but nobody does anything until I say “You have to buy now, for this free gift.” Or “You have to buy now because the cart is closing.” It even happens to me. I don’t buy until someone forces me to buy. That’s why it is so, it’s like psychology. Deadline Funnel, to me, it’s not the software that’s so incredible, which it works so well, so I love that. It’s the psychology that it’s based on. It’s based on the urgency that you have to put into place to really incentivize people to buy. Even though your product may be amazing, there has to be some reason that that person has to buy at that moment, or they might move on and forget about it. That’s absolutely, I’m going to start using Deadline Funnel more as I start automating, but right now I do live.
I replicate Deadline Funnel live, because I’m doing live launches and so I’m using that urgency during my launches, but I’m not going to be doing live launches forever. I just can’t.
J: Right. I want to say, what you’re doing is really smart. Just this morning, I was telling someone who was asking, “Should I do an automated webinar? Should I do this other thing?” I said, basically the question was, what converts better? The answer was, “Well, it really depends, because there’s some webinars that convert amazingly and you could have a webinar that doesn’t.” My advice was, “Look, if you’re going to go the webinar route, I really recommend that you do several live webinars. Keep doing them, because you’re going to find, and record all of them, because you’re going to find that eventually you’re going to do one where the sales just rain in and you just feel it in your gut.” “Man, I was on. I don’t know what it was, but I just had extra energy and it was just clicking.” That’s the one you want to record.
I’ve never been able to go into a session and script out an automated webinar that I’ve never delivered before. I do a lot of webinars. I’ve never been able to just sit down and say, “Okay, this is an automated webinar and I’m going to create it.” I think it’s been the same experience for all the best automated webinars that I’ve seen. You do them live and you see what works. Like you were saying, you test things out. You try different offers.
I just did one recently where I tried a different sequence of follow-up emails and it had a big impact on conversions. So, that’s the type of thing where doing it live helps you then take what you’ve learned and put it, automat it. Find something that works, first, then automat it. That’s really really smart, what you’re doing.
N: Oh, well, thank you and that’s so true. I have a quick story about that where, during my last launch, I had planned to do … I had four webinars that I actually created. Different content for each of them. So, my first webinar, it was called ’13 Spices to Spice off your first 10 pounds’. I did this webinar, it was Thursday, at noon, eastern standard time. What happened is, of course, a lot of people in all the different time zones, they wanted to, they wanted me to do it again. So I said, “Let me do it again.” First of all, the first webinar I did, it converted like 30 percent of my overall sales happened on that first webinar.
Then, I did it again, on the weekend. Then it converted again. Then I decided to do it on Sunday morning, so Sunday morning I did it but then something happened to my connection and it, right as I was about to pitch, it got cut off. It was the worst nightmare, it was not good. It cut off right at my pitch, then I had to say, “I’m so sorry. I’m going to do it again, tonight.” In between the time that I did it in the morning, in between the time that I cut it off, in the morning and the evening, there was a replay that was going out from the day before. People were still buying and then that night, they bought again. Okay. So four times, the same webinar, people bought over and over and over again.
Then I did a different webinar, the next week, which was called like, ‘Eight Spicy Snacks to Spice Off Your Belly’ or something like that and nobody bought. Nobody bought. Not one person bought. I did another one, it was something around smoothies, like spicy smoothies. Nobody bought. Then I did an encore presentation of my 13 spices and again, like, huge, huge amount of buyers, all again. The thing is, a lot of time it’s the content in your webinar. So, now I know, this launch, I’m only doing that 13 spices one. That’s it. I’m just going to do it over and over again and once I start to take it, if I do take it to an automated, if I start to automat it, that’s definitely the webinar that I would use.
It is so important to test it. There’s so many things that could happen. You have to try it out and you have to try it out over and over again. And see what works.
J: Yeah. I want to take a look at this from another angle, so, for anyone watching this interview, if you’re just starting out and you’re either trying a piece if content or a blog post, or especially a webinar, if it bombs, meaning that people don’t attend or people attend but they don’t buy, don’t give up. It might be that you just need to change the topic, the title of the webinar, the topic, it’s so so so important on top of all the other things that you could do right or wrong. In a webinar, even what it’s about, could make a huge difference.
N: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I talked about this before, but when I started growing my list, it didn’t happen overnight. I got, the way that I grew my list, really, in the beginning, was to guest-post and I tried to get my posts in places that were getting traffic. A lot of places, I would pitch to and they would not, hardly anyone got back to me. I just kept doing it and doing it and what I realized was, the ones that got picked up, it wasn’t, it was like a very small percentage, like probably like five percent of what I actually wrote, what I actually pitched, got picked up.
Some of those, like one of them went completely viral. One of them went, one of them got me a recurring contributor role. Then, the other ones did fine or some did nothing. I had to submit it over and over again. By submitting my guest posts and seeing which ones got published, that is what actually gave me my ideas for what’s resonating with my audience. One of my articles that went viral was around how these five spices helped me lose 40 pounds. That’s one of the ways that I got the idea for my ‘Spice Yourself Skinny’ program, is because I tried so hard and finally, this one angle hit and then I realized there was so much interest in it. That led to me creating my program.
It really is about testing things out and not giving up and just knowing that you have to try to approach it, from a different angle. That’s it.
J: So, to wrap this up real quick. I was wondering, is there maybe one big lesson that you’ve learned over the past six to 12 months that you’re willing to share? It might be something you’ve already shared, you just really want to call extra attention to, either one?
N: Yeah. I mean, I really think, for me, okay. My lesson that I’ve learned is that I now add failure in my process of success. What I mean by that is, I have failed multiple times in reaching where I’m at today and I’m still working on climbing, but every time I create a new program, the first time it’s not going to … It’s pretty rare, if it’s successful right away. There’s going to be something that I have to change. Maybe it’s the way I’m selling it. Maybe it’s the actual program. Maybe it’s the name of the program. Usually, the first time, I now look at things as a test. Like, I put something out there and I say, “You know what? I’m going to test out how this works.” Whereas in the past, what I used to do is, I would put all of my hope in this product and I would launch it and I would say, “Oh, my God, I can’t wait. I’m going to be able to do so many things. I’m going to be able to help so many people. I’m going to go so many places.” Then nobody would buy.
It made me realize that that’s just part of the process, because every time I would fail, I would actually fix something and then I would get better and better and better, to a place where it was almost unimaginable. It’s like now I look at failure and I call it ‘testing’, as part of my process and I know that I’m going to have to fail, in order to succeed. That means that people may not buy this this time, but then I’m going to change it and then they will. I’m going to keep growing from there.
J: So, let me ask you a follow-up question to that. You didn’t say this specifically, but I’m thinking back to some lessons I learned. It sounds like you used to spend more time assuming that something was going to work and building it, sort of what I call, in ‘stealth mode’. I didn’t come up with that, I forget where I picked it up from. Basically, you’re off building on your own for three months or so and then you release it and you find out it didn’t work. Why didn’t it work? Are you now figuring out a way to test a little bit smaller? Like maybe do a quick webinar on the topic, to see if there’s any pulse, whatsoever? In other words, are you trying to shorten out that testing cycle, so that rather than spending three months building something, you’re doing a quick test and then building on what works?
N: Yes. Oh my God. Absolutely. That is such a good insight into what I was saying. It’s like definitely getting feedback along the way, along the development path, is so key. That’s exactly what I used to do. I would go hide and like develop this whole launch and create all this material and then I would put it out there and then I’d be shocked why nobody wanted it. Now, what I do, this is how I did my ‘Spice Yourself Skinny’ program, when I came up with the concept, I wrote about it. I have a Facebook group, but you could do it on Facebook, you could do it by calling your friends, you could do it by sending it to your email list. I asked them, “What do you think about this program? What do you think about using spices for getting, losing weight? What would you want to know, inside of my program? What would you want to know?” I gave them three suggestions.
Then people responded, there was a lot of interest and then I realized, even the question was generating interest, so let me build on this. Even your question doesn’t generate interest, maybe you need to come at it a different way. It’s definitely asking questions, listening to the exact words that your audience is saying when they’re responding to you, exactly what they want. What are they looking for? You’ve got to talk to them in their own language, and then use that in your marketing copy.
It’s definitely about that. Right now, I’m actually testing. I’m starting to create a concept for a new product right now. It’s going to be a higher end program geared to busy, ambitious women, specifically. I’m just talking to people right now and really trying to understand what they want, to figure out how I can angle it. I’m going to do so much more testing this time, because that’s exactly what I lacked the previous times.
J: Extra tip I’ll throw in is that, if you can, this is something that scares a lot of people, in fact, it scares anyone. Getting on the phone for even 10 minutes with a lot of people. Because, unlike a survey, when you have five conversations with people who are you’re potential, ideal target market, just five conversations or 10 conversations, is going to give you so much feedback and information about what you learned. I’ll throw this out there, a great book that I don’t hear enough people talking about, is a book with a really weird title. It’s called ‘The Mom Test-M.O.M.’. the whole idea is that when you go in to ask your mom, “Hey, I’ve got this great business idea, what do you think?” She says, “Oh, that’s wonderful, honey.” Because she wants you to feel good about it. The whole concept is how can you structure your questions in a way where even your mom would give you valuable feedback. She’s not going to tilt the answers based on wanting you to feel good about yourself. It’s a really good book.
I really, really, really appreciate your time. This has been great information. You’ve been extremely generous with sharing what worked in your business and you path. Really inspirational, both the origin story about how you were able to transform your life and then also how you took that and turned it into a business. Thank you so much for sharing that.
N: Oh, thank you. Thanks for having me, it’s been so nice.
We just released a new feature for Deadline Funnel that makes it easier than ever to control the different pages in your funnel and create expiring links for those pages.
Check out the video here:
Before this update, there was a way to set up extra URL’s for Deadline Funnel but we kept hearing that it was slightly confusing how to use it.
So now, right from the Use It area, you can see exactly what will happen before and after the deadline for each funnel step in your funnel.
And what this means for you is that if you want to have countdowns that redirect to different AFTER urls… it’s super simple to do now.
If you have any feedback or questions we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
We’re excited to announce that Zapier is now available as an integration option for Deadline Funnel users!
What is Zapier?
“Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect apps you use every day to automate tasks and save time. You can connect any of our 750+ integrated apps together to make your own automations. What’s more it’s quick and easy to set up – you don’t need to be a developer, anyone can make a Zap!” — Zapier website
And Zapier has a free plan that will most likely work fine for connecting with Deadline Funnel. 🙂
How can Zapier help me?
Up until now, you’ve been able to connect Deadline Funnel to your email provider either through one of our API integrations (with ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, or Ontraport), or through an optin form integration.
And so if you weren’t using one of the email providers we offer an API integration with, your ability to trigger a deadline has been limited to triggering a deadline when someone opts in…. which also meant making sure each of your optin page URLs was added to your Deadline Funnel account.
So the good news is that now with Zapier (which supports 500+ apps… most likely including your choice of ESP/CRM), you can integrate your email provider behind the scenes – even if we don’t offer a direct API integration.
Let’s walk through an example…
AWeber is a good example, because Deadline Funnel doesn’t currently have a direct API integration with AWeber.
So typically you would need to use the optin form method to integrate, but now you can trigger a deadline when someone is added to your list through Zapier.
You’ll choose your email provider (in this case AWeber) as the Trigger app, and then connect your AWeber account to Zapier and choose the specific trigger action:
Each Zap has one Trigger (i.e. when a new subscriber is added to your AWeber list), and one Action (start the deadline for that contact in Deadline Funnel).
In this case we’ve chosen the “New Subscriber” trigger.
Now it’s time to set up the Action in your Zap, which is Deadline Funnel:
And that’s it!
Go ahead and save your Zap and publish it live, and then add a new subscriber to your AWeber list so that the Zap is triggered for that contact.
Wait 15-20 minutes for the Zap to run and then check in Deadline Funnel under Stats >> Event Tracking to confirm that the email address is listed there:
Questions, comments, or feedback? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
If you’re a ConvertKit user then I’ve got big news for you.
(And if you’re not… we have some updates on the way shortly you’re going to love)
The big news is…
You can connect ConvertKit directly to Deadline Funnel through an API connection.
Previously we’ve had other ways for you to connect Deadline Funnel to your funnel (including Zapier) but this direct connection means you don’t have to be subscribed to Zapier to get all the automation goodness I’ll describe in a bit.
Here’s a video on how it works:
This is probably the most requested feature we’ve heard from ConvertKit users.
Because when you connect Deadline Funnel to your email software you can create a truly “set it and forget it” automation with a powerful sales generating deadline.
And it’s even “plug and play”.
The way it works is that you’ll go through the simple steps outlined in the video.
And then all you need to do is set up an automation that starts with a subscriber getting a tag.
As soon as they get the tag, ConvertKit will synchronize with Deadline Funnel.
You just need to make sure that you use the Expiring Links in any of the emails where you’ve linked to your sales page.
The reason why this is Plug-n-Play is because now you can use almost any action as a trigger that leads to that subscriber getting a tag… and going into your high converting Deadline Funnel + ConvertKit sequence.
Here are some ideas:
a) Optin -> tag -> subscriber automatically put in deadline sequence
b) Subscriber clicks a link -> tag -> automatically put in deadline sequence
c) Subscriber completes a sequence -> tag -> automatically put in deadline sequence
d) Another tag is removed -> tag -> automatically put in deadline sequence
With just those options above you can mix and match your way to some pretty wicked automations.
Enjoy the new ConvertKit API connection with Deadline Funnel…
And know that we’re constantly working on make YOU the most effective marketer you can be.
PS – If we get 10 mentions of this new feature on Twitter I’ll do a follow up blog post with a downloadable funnel map.
The Deadline Funnel team is excited to announce a major improvement we think you’re going to love.
We’ve added a LOT more flexibility to the animated email countdowns in Deadline Funnel.
1- With the new color picker you can now use any color for your email countdown images
2- The labels (Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds) will match the color of the numbers
3- Want to just show the numbers in your email countdown image? Now you can with one click.
4- We’ve added several new fonts
Check out the video above and then jump in and give it a try.
We’d love to hear your feedback.
PS – Subscribe to our YouTube channel and be automatically notified whenever we add a new video.
Today we’re happy to announce that you can now put countdowns on your webpages using BOTH inline countdown timers AND floating bars at the same time.
Checkout the video below and see how simple it is:
The process is really just a simple matter of creating two Funnel Steps in the Deadline Funnel admin:
– one Funnel Step set as Inline Countdown
– one Funnel Step set as Floating Bar
And when both of those steps are for the same URL, both types of countdowns will show on your page.
We are working behind the scenes on more improvements to the admin and the functionality of Deadline Funnel.
But it’s also great to hear all the feedback that’s come in about the changes we’ve made in 2016.
We’re looking forward to sharing these new features very soon!
This is a guest post from our friends over at Brand24. They’re passionate about using social media to help find new leads and help your existing leads and customers, and that’s something that can be applied to any online business, no matter what you’re selling. Enjoy the post and let us know if you have any questions or feedback! Turning it over to Magda now…
Why does social listening help turn prospects and leads into happy customers? The answer is quite simple.
Social listening is such a flexible tool that it improves many areas of a business, ranging from brand monitoring, through research, to sales and customer service.
One tool to rule them all. 🙂
What is social listening?
Let’s dive into what social listening is.
Social listening, also known as social media monitoring, is designed to track keywords of your choice on the Internet. They can relate to your business, product, resources, competition, industry, trends, or funny cat videos. Basically, anything you want.
Social listening tools monitor all publicly available content on the Web, including social media, blogs, discussion boards, websites, news sites and so on.
It collects your keywords in real time so you immediately see them in your dashboard.
Why is it important?
Here are seven things that you can accomplish with social listening:
1. Monitor your brand reputation
Monitor your brand reputation online so that you know what your customers talk about your business. Then you can interact both with happy and unhappy customers, analyze data, draw conclusions and adjust your strategy to improve your brand reputation.
Social listening allows you to track and handle problematic issues before they escalate into something you don’t want. Also, you can easily detect brandjacking – where someone could hack into your account and start using your social media accounts to communicate their own messages!
2. Increase your brand awareness by approaching influencers
Social listening allows you to increase your brand awareness and social media reach through influencers. You track influencers possibly interested in your product or service, approach them and, if they’re interested, they spread the news about your company to their communities.
3. Monitor your competition
Follow your competition’s activities, product development, strategy, and marketing to be up to date with the industry and fit in.
4. Engage with your community
It’s easy to engage with your fans when they use the official handle, however, a lot of conversations take place without the official handle. The only way to spot them is to use a social listening tool.
5. Provide customer service
With the development of social media and the Internet, consumers expect quicker and quicker assistance. As of now, 64% of customers expect a real time assistance and social media monitoring tool allows you to provide it as soon as possible. Customers tend to post a complaint in social media and with a social listening tool you’re are able to spot it even without the official handle.
6. Seek inspiration for your content
Let’s face it. Every now and them content managers struggle with writer’s block. A social listening tool gives you the chance to conduct research on any given topic. You name it!
7. Analyze your marketing efforts
With a social listening tool, you get to analyze your marketing efforts. Let’s take a hashtag campaign you’ve been running. You can get a detailed data about its social media reach, sources of traffic, the number of interactions and more.
Combining social media and sales
Social listening makes it easy and effective to approach people in the need of a given product or service without wasting resources on the uninterested.
How is that possible?
It’s all about listening to customer needs. With social listening, encouraging and pitching has been replaced with listening and finding people directly interested. Social listening tools allow to find your potential customers in the places they hang out it. Then, it’s easy to engage in a conversation, answer questions and start building a relationship.
This one just begs for a reply!
Consumers expect quick action and answers and social listening is the best tool to take care of them.
Getting started with social listening
There are a number of apps that exist to help you with social listening – some work only with specific social networks (i.e. Twitter Mentions) and others are multi-purpose and also allow you to post to social networks as well (i.e. Hootsuite and Brand24).
Brad 24 is affordable, thorough and provides 100% real-time notifications so you can immediately engage in a conversation related to your brand.
How to find leads and turn them into happy customers
To sum it all up up, here’s a quick list of action steps to take with social listening:
- Find conversations related to your product or industry. Monitor social media, blogs, websites, discussion forums and other places where your potential customers hang out.
- Establish yourself as an industry expert, provide answers and solve problems as quickly as possible.
- Monitor your competition to learn from their mistakes, improve your product and present it to your audience.
- Reach out to unsatisfied customers ASAP and try to help them out.
- Reward the most loyal and engaged customers with discounts, gifts and make them spread the news about your awesome company!
Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Magda at Brand24! If you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂
As always, we’re working to make it as easy as possible to create campaigns in Deadline Funnel. Today, we released some updates to the Deadline Funnel admin that help make it easier to update and configure your campaign after it’s first created.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest updates:
1. Inline countdown, floating bar, and email timer styles are all in one place
To update your styles for the inline countdown, floating bar, or email timer, go to Use It >> Appearance, and then select either Inline Countdown, Floating Bar, or Email Timer.
2. All settings for your Deadline Funnel campaign are now in the Use It area
To update settings like the length of your deadline, before and after URLs, timezone, and more… just click on Use It and then Settings.
3. Additional campaign URLs can now be updated in the Use It area
To add additional URLs (for expiring links), go to Use It >> Advanced Options >> URLs.
Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or feedback! 🙂
It’s a digital marketing buzzword for how you can increase your conversion rates, and create more revenue for your business – while spending LESS time in the process.
Today we’re talking about the three most important automated campaigns that you should implement into your marketing funnel:
- Special offer for new subscribers
- Second chance for non-buyers
- Reactivation for stale leads
Here’s the crazy thing…
Big multi-million-dollar companies are spending INSANE amounts of money to implement these strategies.
I’m not kidding! Take a look at BounceX – they provide technology for companies to implement these strategies and it starts at $3999/month. $50,000 a year.
So the great news is that not only can you apply these same strategies to increase your conversion rates by setting up these three automated campaigns using Deadline Funnel (integrated with your email provider), but we’d be happy to chat with you and walk through how to set it up specifically for your funnel.
Just open the live chat in the bottom corner of the page to schedule a time to talk. 😃
Let’s dive in!
Examples in e-commerce
1. Special offer for new subscribers
This is one of the easiest campaigns to create, and can be more tangible for the customer since you’re offering a discount on a product/service they would be potentially buying, instead of offering a free download or other “lead magnet.”
In the example below, DODOcase offers new subscribers a 15% discount when they sign up for their email list:
2. Second chance for non-buyers
More commonly known as a “cart abandonment” promotion, this campaign is also very popular and targets potential customers who visit your order page / checkout process but never complete their purchase.
3. Reactivation for unengaged leads
The reactivation campaign targets “stale” leads on your email list – or in this example targeting people who have visited your website, not visited your order page, and are now leaving the site.
How to implement those campaigns in your marketing funnel
In this section we’ll walk through how to create these same campaigns using your email provider and Deadline Funnel…
…so that even if you’re not using complex shopping cart software, you can still take advantage of these marketing tactics to increase your revenue. 😃
1. Special offer for new subscribers
The special offer for new subscribers usually consists of someone opting in, and then receiving several educational emails to warm them up to your offer.
Using Deadline Funnel, you can start the deadline when someone opts in using either our optin form integration or our API integration.
With the API integration, you can add a webhook to your email automation, and wherever that webhook is added is when the deadline will be triggered for that subscriber.
The optin form integration is also really easy to use – you just add the Deadline Funnel tracking code to your optin page, enter your optin URL into Deadline Funnel, and we’ll automatically start tracking anyone who signs up for your list.
And just because the deadline starts as someone opts in doesn’t mean they need to know about it right away. In the example below the offer is introduced on Day 4 and expires at midnight three days later.
- https://deadlinefunnel.com/email-swipe (email swipe file you can use in this campaign)
- http://www.digitalmarketer.com/increase-email-click-through-rate/ (another swipe file from Digital Marketer)
2. Second chance for non-buyers
It’s awesome when people buy – money in the bank. 😃
But when they don’t, it’s really valuable to follow up with them again and give them a second chance to purchase.
There are many different factors that could have caused them to not buy the first time, even if they did want to purchase your product eventually.
The psychology behind this campaign is very similar to a cart abandonment campaign – but you can implement this even if you’re not technically using a “shopping cart.”
Most email providers allow you to tag someone when they visit your order page, and then tag them again when they reach the thank you page.
So the segment that you would target here is people who visited your order page but didn’t visit your thank you page.
Using the Deadline Funnel API integration (available for ActiveCampaign, Drip, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, and Ontraport), you could then send a webhook from your email provider to Deadline Funnel as soon as the subscriber becomes part of the “non-buyer” group:
- https://www.ometria.com/blog/the-anatomy-of-a-cart-abandonment-email-examples (how to structure your second-chance emails)
- http://rejoiner.com/resources/9-ways-to-ensure-you-dont-annoy-customers-with-abandoned-cart-email-reminders/ (things to avoid when sending these emails so you don’t annoy your customers)
- https://fitsmallbusiness.com/abandoned-cart-email-examples (25 abandoned cart email examples)
3. Reactivation for unengaged leads
And you can absolutely bet they sent out multiple campaigns to those people before they finally tagged them as “unengaged” and removed them from their list.
You can do the same thing with your list when someone on your list has been unengaged for a certain period of time (i.e. 30 days)…
When they’ve reached the criteria that you use to determine who is unengaged, apply a tag or move them to a new list.
And again, using the Deadline Funnel API integration, you can then add a webhook right after that tag is added or they’re moved to the new list so that a new deadline is started for that subscriber.
Send unengaged leads a reactivation sequence that starts with three days of educational content, and then introduce the offer on day 4, which would expire on day 7.
If they don’t engage at that point then it might be time to focus your attention elsewhere!
- http://500.co/email-reactivation-scripts (scripts for reactivating email subscribers)
- https://blog.kissmetrics.com/re-engage-dead-email-subscribers (top 10 ways to re-engage email subscribers)
- https://magemail.co/blog/win-back-email-campaigns (examples of effective win-back campaigns)
For more detailed instructions on how to create evergreen funnels using your email provider and landing page builder, visit the Deadline Funnel guide.
Questions, comments, or feedback? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below – or feel free to shoot us an email at help [at] deadlinefunnel [dot] com. 😃
Hey ConvertKit users!
Watch this new video by Deadline Funnel founder Jack Born about how to:
- Trigger an evergreen deadline in ConvertKit, AND
- Move the lead to a new list at the same time
Questions, comments, feedback? We’d love to here from you in the comments below. 🙂
Recently, we had the opportunity to join InfusionSoft, a leader in CRM (customer relationship management) software, for pizza-from across the country. We’re grateful to have participated in one of their Lunch and Learns, one way they provide extracurricular education to employees interested in giving their clients more ways to make the most of InfusionSoft.
Jack Born, founder of Deadline Funnel sat down with coaches (virtually, anyway) at InfusionSoft to show them how Deadline Funnel works and how it helps InfusionSoft users grows their sales.
If you’re interested in a similar learning opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with attention to Jack.
If you’d like to find out more about using Deadline Funnel and InfusionSoft, comment below or reach out to us at email@example.com.
This morning we launched a very significant update to our admin that changes the way you add Deadline Funnel to your marketing funnels! Huge kudos to our team for getting us to this point – lots of development, usability testing, and bug-fixes happening behind the scenes over the last few weeks. 🙂
If you already have Deadline Funnel campaign(s) created in your account, your existing campaigns will definitely continue working.
Any and all pages where you have countdown code or optin integration code or invisible tracking code… those will all continue to work.
Your emails with countdown timers, deadlinetext and couponcode custom fields, and API integrations will also continue to work.
One of the biggest changes is that instead of embedding multiple codes for each campaign, and different codes for inline countdown, floating bar, optin form, etc – we’ve introduced a new universal code for your account.
So moving forward, you’ll only need to embed one code on your pages, and then in Deadline Funnel specify what you want to happen on each of your URLs.
When you’re ready to edit your existing campaigns, that’s when you’ll need to upgrade to the new universal code.
Here’s a video overview of the changes:
Instructions below – and if you have any questions please send us an email at help[at]deadlinefunnel.com. We’re working to make Deadline Funnel as easy as possible to use and would love to hear your feedback!
How to Migrate to the Deadline Funnel Universal Code
1. Click on Tracking Code in the left navigation, and replace any existing Deadline Funnel code you have on your pages with this universal tracking code. It’s the same code across your entire account… so it’s going to be the same regardless of which campaign you’re working on.
2. Click on Use It in the left navigation (if you haven’t created a new campaign yet go to Countdowns >> Add New to create one first)
3. Under the first tab, Funnel Steps, add each URL where you want to use Deadline Funnel. Right next to the URL field is an option to select the type of deadline you want to show on the page. You can choose from Inline Countdown, Floating Bar, Optin Form, Hidden Image Trigger, Promo Code Redemption, and Sales Tracking.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, please test your funnel by going to each of the URLs you added under Funnel Steps and verify that everything’s working as you expected.
The other tabs across the top of the Use It area allow you to easily integrate Deadline Funnel with your emails, customize the webpage countdown appearance, customize the floating bar style, update general settings, and test the tracking for your Deadline Funnel campaigns.
Questions You Might Have About Your Existing Deadline Funnel Campaigns:
1) “Do I have to change anything in my existing funnel?”
Any and all pages where you have the Deadline Funnel code will still work as always.
Countdowns, Floating Bars, Optin Form integrations, Pixels, they work the same today as they did yesterday and so there’s nothing you need to change.
2) “OMG – I need something changed NOW and I am in the middle of a promotion. What can I do?”
In the short term what we can do is help you if you need changes made but you can’t change to the new code.
Just send us a support ticket from the admin and we’ll help you out.
3) “Why did you make this change?”
Simply to make Deadline Funnel easier to use.
We listened to clients like you – many of whom said they love the power of Deadline Funnel – but the process of getting it setup wasn’t as intuitive as they would have liked.
So we started working with a handful of clients to get their feedback.
And from those meetings we discovered that we could streamline the workflow, simplify the admin, and give you just ONE code that you can use in any of your pages.
Please give us your feedback: Good, bad or otherwise. We want to hear it all.
After weeks of doing usability testing with clients we’re excited to announce that we’re just a few days away from launching the new admin.
Check out this sneak peek video here:
Here are some highlights of what makes this new admin and workflow MUCH easier:
1) Just ONE embed code per account
Which means you no longer need to install different codes for your countdown code, different ones for your optin forms, etc.
Just one code that you install on any page that’s in your funnel.
And then from the Deadline Funnel admin you can control what happens on each page.
2) Streamlined workflow
We’ve worked with a handful of clients to dramatically simplify and streamline the process of getting Deadline Funnel up and running on your site.
To accomplish this we looked at every step of our existing process and asked “can we remove this?”
We also looked at where most of our support tickets came from and focused on how we can make it easier and more obvious how to integrate Deadline Funnel into your landing pages, sales pages, order pages, and emails.
3) More complete floating bar preview
Deadline Funnel lets you use the web page countdown either as an inline countdown or as a floating bar.
If you use the floating bar option you’ll see a working example of the floating bar… as you build and edit it.
Which means you won’t have to change tabs or windows to see how your floating bar actually looks.
There’s a lot more we’ve built into this new admin but those are some of the big updates.
So you might be wondering:
Question: “How will this affect my existing Deadline Funnel campaigns?”
We’ve done extensive testing to make sure that your existing campaigns will work exactly as they do now.
You don’t need to change anything or do anything when the new admin rolls out.
However, you do need to know that if you are going to edit an existing campaign, you will need to add the new Deadline Funnel code to your pages in order to see those changes go live.
Question: “When will this go live?”
We are expecting sometime around Tuesday the 12th of July.
We just launched a new and improved way for you to connect your Deadline Funnel account to your email software:
If you use either InfusionSoft, ActiveCampaign, Drip, Ontraport or AWeber+AW Pro Tools then you can integrate with Deadline Funnel using the API connection.
We’ve been working over a month on making the process MUCH smoother and easier.
And now it’s ready!
If you’re new to “API connections” or don’t really know why you would want to do this, here’s what you can do:
With the API connection you can trigger and start a Deadline Funnel campaign any time your email service provider runs a rule or automation in the background. This opens up a world of possibilities for marketing automation.
You can add subscribers to a timed follow up sequence in your email software and have it perfectly synced up with Deadline Funnel.
Even before they open an email, their campaign deadline is already set.
This is great for automated sales sequences for your existing subscribers.
Pretty cool huh?
And if you use a different email provider, rest assured we’re now going to be working on adding more email software to our API list.
We’re looking at MailChimp, GetResponse, and Ontraport. If yours isn’t on the list, then let us know by sending us a ticket through the admin and tell us what software you use.
You may already know that when it comes to creating evergreen funnels that personalize each prospect’s deadline, nothing beats Deadline Funnel.
But did you know that you can also put each prospect’s personalized deadline date and time right on the page?
And here’s the example code from the video:
A long time ago, when swing sets seemed to tower over you and he who had the fruit rollup ruled the cafeteria, psychology and scarcity were already at work in influencing your wants and needs.
When it came to playtime, no toy or station was more enticing than the one that another child was already using, or that only a few lucky kids could use-if they got to it in time.
You only realized how badly you wanted to play with the green robot when your friend already had it in hand. You had to run to the swings first because there were only three of them and recess was short.
Picture a party in which there is one box of pepperoni pizza and two boxes of the presumably popular cheese. Even if you liked both, your hands (and likely, many others) went flying toward the former, assuming it was more likely to be gone first.
While we are somewhat more sophisticated in our assessment of what we need and want as adults, in a way- we are still children on the playground. There’s something about the last “slice of pizza” that is especially mouthwatering.
In fact, in the right conditions, it’s downright irresistible. The prospect of losing the opportunity to have one of the few slices of pepperoni is more likely to win you over than getting any one piece in general. This is a concept known as “loss aversion”.
Studies show that in various situations, losses have double the power of gains; Humans would much rather avoid a loss than acquire a gain. We also have serious FOMO-the slang acronym for “fear of missing out”.
Thus, scarcity elicits emotional and psychological responses. This hard-wired tendency is the main reason why scarcity rules. When experiencing a loss in a betting game, Jefrey Berejikian, a professor of Decision Making at the University of Georgia says, “You can do nothing and walk away…absorb that certain loss, or you can gamble-and you know that the gamble is biased in the favor of the house-but there’s some chance that you might win and get back to where you were before. When you frame choices in that way, human beings exhibit real consistent risk acceptance.”
Loss aversion is adopted by more industries than you may realize. Even TV, which relies on viewership to translate into ad sales, capitalizes on this psychological button. For instance, a program you watch might show a preview for what is coming up after the break. Are we that distracted that we can’t stick to the show for a few commercials without seeing the coming attractions?
The answer is: Yes, we are. We are inundated with too many other options for there not to be a risk of losing our interest. Knowing exactly what we will miss out on after the commercial break is more motivating in preventing us from changing the channel than an abstract prospect of entertainment. Their ratings depend on showing us what we may miss out on. Anticipating loss aversion and implementing tools that maximize urgency are a powerful, sales-boosting combination.
In general, behavioral analysis yields two important truths about how we are as buyers:
- We want something more when we see that it’s wanted by others.
- We are quicker to make a decision when we know that the window of opportunity is soon to close.
Tools like evergreen deadlines allow us to ethically capitalize on both of these-and have the power to do so consistently. Scarcity mechanisms like time and product limitations generate situations in which people are forced to act-or ultimately lose out. They facilitate the idea that what you are selling is not only desirable, but that it won’t always be available-giving buyers a sense of urgency.
Think back on your own online shopping habits. Whether you love Amazon books, clothing, jewelry, or new software, chances are, you’ve saved, “hearted”, “liked”, and even shared items that you could or would buy at some unspecified “later date”.
Years go by…and while organizing your bookmarks, you realize you “got over” the hump in which these things mattered most. Other things won your attention or warranted faster purchase. Remember, there are a thousand reasons-both imagined and reasonable-why a prospective buyer won’t budge.
Had those items been on sale, of very limited quantity, or a hot-ticket trend that all of your friends seemed to be grabbing NOW, would you have made a different decision? Perhaps the item would be in your closet or going for a night out on the town instead of sitting in your bookmarks.
Online auctions, for instance, exemplify scarcity at work. Ebay expertly utilizes scarcity in the form of both item and time limits. Multiple people will bid on a single item, knowing that without getting the highest bid in a timely manner, they could miss out on the item of choice-forever.
Closer to home, media masters with smaller-scale, yet successful online businesses make the most of scarcity. Here are just a few examples:
1. Marie Forleo B-School
Marie Forleo hosts an annual, 8-week online training program focusing on small business branding and female entrepreneurs. Thanks in part to the brevity of her program’s availability, Marie has built a multi-million dollar business herself. In the interim, she offers free advice via her web show, MarieTV just to keep everyone on their toes-while building her email list with her closed registration page.
2. Digital Marketer’s Follow Up Machine
Digital Marketer takes a page out of the same book with their baby, “The Machine“. When you can’t enroll in their top-notch email marketing training, DigitalMarketer offers coveted spots on its waiting list-begging those who want the best email campaign tactics under their belt to secure an exclusive and fleeting workshop. This has lead to the immense success of its founders and a team that boasts ample research, prestigious speaking engagements, and consulting for businesses all over the world.
3. VideoFruit’s Get 10,000 Subscribers
Get 10,000 Subscribers is a course that helps people-well, get 10,000 subscribers. As great as the course is, the only thing that might one-up it is the launch strategy. Creator Bryan Harris outlines three key points of scarcity embedded into his launch process. He offers a discount, bonus, and purchase window that all do one, special thing-end. Bryan personally attributes $85,000 in sales from a recent launch to the temporary bonus element alone.
The highest revenue-generating courses that these startups offer have one thing in common: Closing. Their value is increases by their scarcity, filling spots and building their email list for the next round long before launch time.
Scarcity operates on the premise that while wants are unlimited, resources are limited. How this applies to resources like food or a set number of manufactured products is obvious, but when applying scarcity to less tangible things for sale, or things that aren’t necessary to survival, its significance and authenticity become less apparent-but it’s still there and as important as ever.
As with B-School, The Follow Up Machine, and Get 10,000 Subscribers, one of the most popular ways to sell online is through information products. How scarcity comes into play here may be difficult to wrap one’s head around. Isn’t purveying information online sort of…limitless? With one URL, you can extend ebooks, blogs, webinars, etc that were made once to anyone online. In theory, this may seem like the altruistic thing to do. After all, if you truly believe the information is helpful and important, wouldn’t it be a happier, better world if everyone knew about it?
Maybe not. If everyone knew the same information, it would no longer hold the same value-placing a disadvantage upon those who are most wanted it and are most likely to utilize it. In the case of information that experts could acquire from other experts to impart to their clients, the more people that have the information at hand, the less credible they all are.
It also hurts the seller, because the value decreases monetarily and subjectively. This can lead to creative fatigue, poor quality products, and even a neglect to contribute at all.
If enough customers are procrastinating – and research shows that they will – it is difficult to keep prices low. In order to sustain the business on less sales and ensure some kind of livelihood from the work being done, prices on individual units have to go up.
You want a lot of people to get their hands on your product, but not to make it so easy that is becomes obsolete. Luckily, scarcity can help you get to the sweet spot of optimizing revenue.
As you can see, even online information has implicit, genuine scarcity. Without it, the information market would cease to exist, and there would be less motivation to do anything about it.
-inspires prompt purchase of a helpful product or service
-keeps the product, service, or information valuable
-ensures that the seller’s investment gets a worthwhile return, keeping them working to help others and striving for quality
-keeps prices affordable
If you want to really sell your product, have it retain its value, maintain affordable price points, and re-enforce credibility, scarcity doesn’t only work-it is essential to the success of your online business. Have scarcity tactics worked for you? Have you encouraged urgency in a creative way? If so, let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share…don’t worry-the concept of scarcity is too inherent in economics to lose its value.
Nick Stephenson helps authors build their audiences and sell more books. He begins by refuting the image of the author as a noble artist, struggling to get by while living in a cave….
…and paints a different picture of an empowered entrepreneur who is a strong marketer with the right skills and tools to market himself and build a profitable writing business.
I recently had a chance to talk with Nick and learn some of his tricks of the trade.
Prefer to listen to the audio version of Jack’s interview with Nick Stephenson? Listen here!
Could you give us a little bit of your backstory, including who you serve and how you do it?
My website is yourfirst10kreaders.com and the traditional model of writing a book and spending years trying to get it published while the publisher handles all the marketing is gone. Even if you’re fortunate enough to get published, you are still expected to go out and hustle to sell your book. Now that the Kindle revolution is here, people have found that going out on their own can be kind of liberating and very fun and, often, can make more money for them as well.
I always wanted to write, but never really saw the business model in it. Now I’m kind of figuring out that writing as a business is possible and I’m trying to share this with as many people as possible.
Most authors are building up an audience completely from scratch. They have no idea where to start.
Your first 10,000 readers is all about helping authors, particularly self-published authors, get a foothold and learn the basics and the strategies of marketing and building up an audience because most people are coming to this completely from scratch. They have no idea where to start and my aim is to try and help them get started and build up towards their first 10,000 readers.
Can you give us an idea of what your funnel looks like? I know you have to include training and educate people to start thinking differently about marketing their books, their business, etc.
It took me about four month to build my course, so Your First 10 Thousand Readers is a premium training course helping authors grow their audience and exposure. I launched it in March 2015 with a live launch so there was zero automation involved. I approached this from the standpoint of someone who has never launched a course before and doesn’t really know about marketing funnels. I didn’t know about targeting or anything, I just used MailChimp and that was it.
After I launched the course, I very quickly realized that MailChimp really needed to be hooked up to my ecommerce side of things so I fiddled around with Zapier as well.
The key thing for course, for pretty much anything you sell online, is to have scarcity, a deadline, to say that this going to go away in X number of days, so if you want to buy it, you need to act now.
What types of scarcity tools did you try in the beginning?
I played around with some cheap WordPress plugins, a couple of free tools that would put a timer on my page. Initially, all I was looking for was a timer and then when it got to midnight on the last day, all that would happen is the page would forward somewhere else. That was fine for me because this was the first time I had ever launched a product. I wanted to do everything manually and really learn the ins and outs of the launch process.
I used OptimizePress, but that wouldn’t automatically shut the page down when the countdown reached zero. So I was staying up late every night and I had to remember on the closing day to get up and end the promotion. This worked but it was quite labor intensive and I wanted to figure out a way to do it more automatically for the next launch. Then I realized what I really wanted to do instead of having one great flagships course was to launch two or three times a year; what I really, really wanted to do was have an evergreen funnel.
What does evergreen funnel mean to you?
Basically, in an evergreen funnel, someone signs up for an opt-in bribe like a PDF or a video training series, and then goes through a funnel as though it’s a live launch which closes on a specific date. It doesn’t matter at what point they sign up, they will get their own personalized countdown. So you can basically leave your launch open all the time.
My dream was to have this live launch sequence happening all the time, but for people going through it, it would seem like a live launch and there would be genuine scarcity. If people missed their deadline, they genuinely wouldn’t be able to get the course.
What scarcity tool did you try next?
I played around with so many different kind of strategies on this and I think I spent several hours on the phone with someone who was doing it. They were using MailChimp and another kind of countdown timer that would swap over the page at the right time. But, it just ended up with me having to have 55 different automation sequences and I would have to switch them over every week and I would have to change the links out in the emails and I would have to do all kinds of stuff. I was just thinking to myself “Yes, this will work, but if there is any human intervention in this process, there is a chance for it go wrong.” I would have to pay an assistant to swap out links and change pages and change lists every week. I couldn’t rely on that person being able to do that correctly every single week.
It sounds like you wondered why your solutions were ‘kind of’ automated, but not all the way.
Exactly. I have this mantra that I think I stole from Bill Gates, where the more automated something is, the more scalable it is, but if there’s any sort of inefficiency, scaling up is only going to multiply that inefficiency. My plan was to have tens of thousands of people go through this funnel and if there was a point that required manual intervention in that sequence, there was a good chance for something to go wrong.
I know from experience that if something can go wrong, it will so I wanted to remove human interaction as much as possible from the funnel and then I saw you come along with Deadline Funnel, which basically answered my prayers, it said “Look, it will just do it for you automatically, it will just work,” it was very exciting.
So you took the leap and got Deadline Funnel?
Yes. I think I bought it the first time I saw it, and started playing around with it. I managed to develop the funnel I was looking for where people could sign up for their lead magnet, go through a pre-launch sequence, then go through a cart open sequence, and a cart closed sequence. And they each had their own personal countdown, which was awesome, and it didn’t matter if they were on their computer or their phone, because it was all tied to their email links and they were being tracked by ip address and cookies and all kinds of complicated stuff that I don’t know that much about.
I tested it out and it worked great. After the launch ended in May 2015, I left the Deadline Funnel running until January 2016. I turned it off for another live launch and it ran for eight months flawlessly and I was getting sales every single day and I didn’t have to touch it at all and it was absolutely perfect. It just saved me frustration and saved me the possibility of things exploding in my face.
Launches are great, but if you only do live launches you might see boom/bust, or a roller coaster ride of revenue. Was that your experience when you were doing launches?
It was, but I when I started I was always planning to do evergreen promotions. What I wanted to do was have, maybe, two or three big launches per year and then in-between the launches I would have an evergreen system set up. Otherwise, I would get the huge influx of customers a couple of times a year, which is great, but I preferred the steady stream of income from the evergreen as well.
What I didn’t want to have was big revenue at the beginning of the year and then just watch my bank account dwindle down to nothing.
What I didn’t want to have was big revenue at the beginning of the year and then just watch my bank account dwindle down to nothing. If you do that, when you get to your next launch, you have everything riding on it succeeding and it is kind of nerve wracking, so if you have got something bringing in revenue in the meantime, that is amazing.
How is Deadline Funnel working out for you?
One of the main things I got from Deadline Funnel was I actually saw sales improve. In the month before I actually signed up and got it working, I was using a very manual process to do semi-live launches, but not really live, but sort of. I was manually switching out the links, I was manually putting people through different funnels at different times and I found I was converting people, actual conversion rates were 6.5%. For a $597 course, 6.5% is great.
What would happen there is that people might have to wait a week or two to go from the pre-launch content into the cart open sequence, because I would have to wait for everyone to catch up and I would put them all through the cart open sequence so I could have an end date for them, otherwise people are just going to wonder what the hell is going on. I was very happy with a 6.5% conversion rate.
I then took the same funnel and put it through with Deadline Funnel’s system and people were then able to move smoothly from the pre-launch content straight into the cart open sequence and then have the deadline. It was all very smooth, there was no waiting around. I found that the conversion rate jumped up to 8%.
That is a pretty big increase in conversion rate.
Nearly 30%, well 25% increase in conversion rate from before, basically it meant people weren’t waiting around.
Imagine this, you go through a pre-launch sequence, you see great videos, great content and I am promising a course coming up. And then I wait two weeks to tell you the course is available. You have potentially lost interest or gone away or my emails get lost, etc. It makes a lot of sense that if you are waiting around with nothing happening, that the conversion rate is going to drop down a little bit.
Did using Deadline Funnel continue to increase your conversions?
I was very pleasantly surprised to see that conversion rate jump up. Actually, over the eight months I have been using it, a few tweaks here and there, the conversion rate is now up to a little over 9%, so that is another 15% increase on top of what it was before. So somewhere around 45% increase from 6.5 to 9% conversion rate.
That is great because I have just been able to let it run and if I need to make a change, I just kind of tinker with the emails, but I know that Deadline Funnel is still working in the background. Once it is set up, you basically don’t have to touch it.
Are the tweaks that you made to squeeze out that extra percentage specific to your funnel, or would they work with other people’s businesses?
It was really honing down my voice in the email communication. I started off using a swipe file from someone. It was very effective, exactly hit every point that needed to be hit, but it wasn’t really my voice because I had just taken it and tweaked it a bit. I really started paying attention to what people were engaging with, listening to feedback from people as to what they were looking to learn, why they didn’t buy, etc. Then I included that in my new emails to really hit those points and try to convert that 15% of people who were on the fence and didn’t join up.
I also made a few changes to pricing levels. I introduced a lower-level payment plan, stretching it out over a longer time. It is definitely worth looking at and the cool thing is that when you are tweaking this and doing your research and improving your funnel, you don’t have to turn anything off, it is still working in the background, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it, which is very cool.
There is a huge advantage in doing an evergreen funnel and mixing in launches every so often.
Exactly. I have only done two live launches, one to launch in the first place and one last month. Over the last 12 months, this course alone has done over seven figures and less than 50% of that is from live launches, so the evergreen aspect of the business is a huge component of that.
If you can imagine if someone signed up in April or May of last year and had to wait eight months for me to launch again, chances are they would have unsubscribed or they would not be opening emails, or they wouldn’t be engaged. There is a good chance I would have lost that opportunity by waiting so long. Having the ability to target and offer people the right product for them at the right time is essential. And if I can do it automatically, then all the better.
Having the ability to target and offer people the right product for them at the right time is essential. And if I can do it automatically, then all the better.
If you look at businesses out there that are doing multiple seven figures, they have lots and lots of products. They go through periods of offering engagement content, offering free stuff and then offering a product. Then the next month it will be a different product, and the next month after that it will be a different product. It is perfect because eventually one of those products is going to be perfect for me and I have ended up buying things because of that. The first three weren’t for me, but the fourth product was.
I only have one product. I have one main product and the ability for me to take that product and then offer it to new people at the right time. That gives me the benefit of having multiple products in terms of revenue, without having to have 10 different courses.
I see that your lead magnet offers educational content which also gets your subscribers in the frame of mind to understand your offer and understand the benefits of what it can do for them. Can you give us an overview of what people experience when they sign up for their free book marketing training?
I experimented with a couple different lead magnets, so there is a conventional wisdom that if you offer something short and sweet, like a cheat sheet or a case study or something small, that the conversion rate tends to be higher on the opt-in page and I tested the crap out of this.
I had about 15,000 people go through a launch sequence last month and I was offering several different opt-ins, they could either download a PDF ebook or they could get video training, or they could get a webinar.
The PDF and the video both had a conversation rate on the page within 0.1 percent. There was hardly any difference between them. I opted to stick with the video training which I love, because it gets really qualified people involved. So now I say, ‘Sign up here and I will give you some free video training. It is aimed at authors and I am going to show you how to build your audience. I am going to show you how to reach more readers, sell more books and not get overwhelmed by technology and put everything on autopilot as much as possible’.
They get 3 videos and then a sales video, so the 1st video is delivered right away and then the 2nd video arrives two days later. And then two days after that, they receive the 3rd video. In between, I am also emailing them about articles I have written or podcasts I have been on, trying to really show them where my expertise is, demonstrate credibility and other people I have worked with.
After the 3rd video, there is a catch-up session and then the sales video. After the sales video there is a 7-day sequence where I try to hit all of the objections a customer might have prior to buying. It might be, ‘Here is all of the testimonials in one email,” or an email talking about what results you might expect, or it might be about what is in the course, or just about my expertise, my qualifications. At the end of that 7-day sequence, they get two emails and then the cart closes. That is all automated.
How long are the videos?
They are pretty long, between 30 and 50 minutes each. I had people telling me they are far too long and that people won’t watch, but I have measured (I use Wistia so I can see who is watching what, when, where they turn off, which parts they re-watch, etc.) and I found out that the engagement for my ridiculously long videos was actually slightly higher than my short ones. Which is great. People watch all the way through and re-watch parts of the video. There is always going to be a drop-off at the beginning, but then it was very level all the way through.
I am very happy with them. The more free content you give, the more value people get out of it, the more likely they are to trust you and invest in you further with whatever premium training or products and services you might have later. I found it really rewarding because people who decided they didn’t want to buy, were still really happy about the fact that I gave them so much free stuff. Even those who didn’t buy, actually told me, ‘I didn’t buy this time because of X, Y and Z, but I would love to get involved next time around’. Engagement is great, conversion rate is great, and I feel good about it too. I don’t feel like I am hard selling anything.
What are you offering? Discounts with bonuses, or a limited-time opportunity?
I don’t do discounts. I don’t like them, so I stay away from discounts, but I do offer a bonus package and then a deadline as well. It seems to work very well. If I’m on a live webinar, I will offer extra for people who buy while we’re live and that is really helpful as well.
I have also experimented with evergreen webinars using Deadline Funnel, which uses the exact same process except instead of sending people three pre-launch videos, I just send them straight to a webinar and then I run the exact same follow-up sequence to the people who watch it, using Deadline Funnel and it works a treat.
Do you send them to a page that has a video and the Deadline Funnel countdown timer on it? How is that set up?
For the main funnel, the one with the multiple videos, what happen is Deadline Funnel is integrated into their opt-in form, so as soon as they sign up, Deadline Funnel tags them and their countdown starts. Then when they visit the sales page, their timer is already configured to their date, which is great.
For the webinar, what I do is offer a webinar replay. I am really upfront about it, and tell them ‘the replay is not live, it is a replay, go watch it here.” I offer this to my existing list. They have already signed up and already been tagged by Deadline Funnel at some point, but now I want to tag them if they go watch the replay. I put the Deadline Funnel code on the replay page, so when they visit the page they are tagged with a different countdown and go through a follow-up sequence afterwards. This page only tags people who actually go watch the replay, rather than sending everybody through a sequence. It’s quite targeted that way.
Thank you, Nick!
I have to thank Nick for pulling back the curtain and letting us see exactly what is going on in his funnel. I love how he is using Deadline Funnel to really make sure that people who go through the funnel, are getting great content that they want and that they need, and then he tells them, “Look, this is your opportunity. Either buy or don’t, this is your best opportunity right now.”
Deadline Funnel keeps that deadline genuine and authentic for each person, even if they are switching different devices. The proprietary Deadline Fingerprint (SM) technology tracks them from device to device, from page to page.
We’re excited to announce that you can now integrate your Deadline Funnel evergreen funnels and countdown timers with the awesome Drip email marketing tool.
Because of this powerful new integration, you can now start an automated campaign at any point in time with your current subscriber list. Yes! Your subscribers don’t have to opt-in to begin an automated campaign or enter your evergreen funnel. You can choose to add them to a campaign or funnel and sync up all the deadlines using Deadline Funnel.
You can run an Evergreen Campaign at any time in Drip and have Deadline Funnel enforce your deadline. #powerfulmarketing
How to Integrate your Deadline Funnel Account with Drip
1. Click on Triggers >> API Integration in the left navigation of your Deadline Funnel account:
2. Then scroll down until you see the Drip settings:
3. Inside your Drip account, copy the number from your account URL:
4. Paste this number into your Deadline Funnel account, in the box labeled, Drip Account ID:
5. Then, navigate to your Drip Account Settings >> User Settings:
6. Copy the API Token from the bottom box and paste it into the appropriate box in your Deadline Funnel account:
7. After you have added the API Token into your Deadline Funnel account, click ‘Save’:
How The Integration Works
Once you have your Drip account integrated with your Deadline Funnel account, you simply need to decide which of your Drip campaigns you want to use. Ideally, this will be a campaign that includes a promotion with an expiring deadline.
If you don’t already have a Deadline Funnel countdown set up, it’s really easy to create one. Click ‘Add New’ in countdowns and select the type of countdown you want to create, the number of days, etc. We have a lot of tutorials in our Knowledgebase that walk you through all the different options.
Be sure to choose the deadline text format, so that your subscriber receives your information the way you want, i.e., ‘Hey Bob, don’t forget that tomorrow, Monday, January 11 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard time is the deadline’. Deadline Funnel really shines in these small details that add an extra level of authenticity and credibility to your deadline, even though it’s an Evergreen campaign.
You’ll want to make sure the name of your countdown matches the name of the campaign. You can have a lot of countdown timers and Deadline Funnel works by syncing your countdowns with your campaigns, so naming them the same thing is a best practice.
Be sure to Test your Setup
Once you have created your countdown timer, be sure to test your setup. You can test your integration and your setup by subscribing using a ‘demo’ email address that you own. We all have at least 3 email addresses, right?
Being able to integrate your Drip campaigns with Deadline Funnel Evergreen funnels is sure to provide no stress marketing automation.
Once your integration is complete, you have full control and will be able to send automated campaigns or add a subscriber to an evergreen funnel whenever you like. This provides powerful automated marketing that multiples your efforts and increases authenticity.
Deadline Funnel provides next-level marketing control and confidence that your funnel will not ‘break’, negatively affecting your conversions.
Deadline Funnel Customers Can Use This Right Now
Current Deadline Funnel customers can get additional details in our KnowledgeBase including a full tutorial video that walks you through setting up your Drip integration. In addition, we are only an email away if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The challenge that every marketer ultimately is working to solve is:
“How do I generate new customers profitably and consistently?”
We get some of our best ideas for new features from our current clients and our latest feature is no different. Our clients have been asking for an option that redirects a site visitor to the optin page (or beginning of their sales funnel) if Deadline Funnel finds no tracking when they visit ‘any’ page in the funnel. We call this feature, the Single Point of Entry.
Why You Need a Single Point of Entry:
What if someone who is already in your funnel shares a page with someone who is not? If that happens, the 2nd prospect lands on Page 2 of your funnel without any context or follow-up. In fact, since this new person isn’t being tracked and isn’t actually going through your funnel, you don’t have them on your list and your conversions will likely suffer.
You thoughtfully created your funnel to move your prospects from the initial opt-in to the offer. You created a specific sequence and optimized the order of the steps for conversion, so ideally your prospects will follow that set path. You don’t want anyone to jump into the middle of the process, do you? That would be like entering in the middle of the latest Star Wars movie and wondering what all the hype was about.
It’s easy to see why you as a marketer don’t want people to skip around in the funnel, but it’s actually not the right thing for your prospect either. They won’t understand the context of what they are seeing on Page 2 and as a result, they may misunderstand your offer. This could have a couple of negative effects:
- They may really want what you are offering but they can’t tell from that one isolated page.
- Since they are not on your list and receiving your follow-up, they may have no idea what to do next in the process and won’t get the solution to their problem.
How Single Point of Entry Works:
Adding the new Single Point of Entry code to your page provides a number of benefits:
- No matter what page in your funnel your prospect lands on, they will be re-directed to the beginning of your funnel, i.e., your optin page. (In our movie analogy, your prospect would be sent to a different theater in which the Star Wars movie was just getting ready to begin.)
- Once the prospect has opted in, Deadline Funnel will begin tracking them, enabling you to personalize your interaction with them.
- In addition to the name and email address, Deadline Funnel will add the date that your prospect was added to your sales funnel into your email servicer provider. You can use this date in future communication with them to ensure that they don’t miss any awesome bonuses or your great offer.
Deadline Funnel Makes Single Point of Entry Easy:
Deadline Funnel provides next-level marketing control and confidence that your funnel will not ‘break’, negatively affecting your conversions.
Current Deadline Funnel clients can learn more about the Single Point of Entry feature in our knowledgebase.
It is very simple to change any existing Deadline Funnel campaign or create a new one and add the necessary code to redirect prospects to your optin page whenever Deadline Funnel doesn’t detect any tracking. This ensure that your prospects go through your sequence in the right order, being exposed to all the right information, at the right time.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to do:
- Create two custom fields in Infusionsoft: deadlinetext and couponcode
- Login to Deadline Funnel and authorize your Infusionsoft account
- Set up the HTTP post in your Infusionsoft campaign builder
- Test to make sure everything’s working the way you want it to
- Launch your funnel
The following videos explain how to get started:
2. How to Connect Infusionsoft to Deadline Funnel
3. How to Set Up the HTTP Post
4. How to Test
You want people to share your offer/sales page with their networks, right?
Yes… but. People sharing your sales page with their friends can actually hurt your conversions and sales if every time they share your page, the countdown timer resets. You could end up with a lot of potential customers with a lot of different deadlines. It’s hard to create a sense of urgency with multiple moving deadlines.
How can a countdown timer hurt conversion?
Word-of-mouth, referrals, and other forms of social proof are great ways to get your offer in front of more people than you likely could on your own. In addition, if a friend shares an offer, it carries with it a built-in recommendation or endorsement for the offer.
Countdown timers are great for giving your prospects a reason to buy right now and limiting the time your offer is available. However, if you aren’t using Deadline Funnel, a countdown timer might actually hurt your sales and conversions.
A deadline should be a real deadline. It feels dishonest and sneaky to have the 5-day limited time bonus start over and over every time the offer is shared. But you can still use an evergreen timer that doesn’t jeopardize your reputation or integrity.
The Deadline Funnel Social Deadline Feature
Deadline Funnel includes a Social Deadline feature that solves this problem. When people share your offer page, all the subsequent visitors stay on the same timer! How is that possible? Check this out:
You have worked hard to build good will, credibility and a sense of urgency about purchasing your offer. Why let something that is easy to control, affect your conversions?
You don’t have to DO anything to make this Social Deadline feature, work, it’s automatically included in all Deadline Funnel accounts. If you don’t have Deadline Funnel yet, get started with a 14-day free trial today. You will have two full weeks to kick the tires, use all the features and see if it’s right for your business.
Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. We’d love to help you out.
You likely know the importance of creating a sense of urgency when you are trying to sell your product or service. There is a great tendency for people to ‘come back’ to your offer when they get around to it. The challenge is that they sometimes forget to come back. This is not a reflection on your offering, it’s simply the way many people make buying decisions today. Without a sense of urgency, it’s easy for them to put the decision off.
There are several ways you can create a sense of urgency to get your prospects to buy right now and Deadline Funnel can help you with all of them.
To create a sense of urgency, you can:
- Offer a limited-time discount
- Create a limited-time bonus offer
- Build a deadline into your offer
Deadline Funnel can help you with all of these by enabling you to create deadlines that are evergreen and easy to manage. Once you set up your countdown timers, they automatically personalize your deadline to each site visitor in a way that protects your credibility and integrity.
It is very easy to use Deadline Funnel countdown timers with your WordPress site. This quick video shows you how:
As you saw, it is very easy to insert a countdown timer into a post or a page. Deadline Funnel is perfect for sales pages and landing pages. And your page sets up a personalized countdown timer that creates urgency for each visitor to your WordPress page so you can focus on growing your successful business.
A tutorial on using Deadline Funnel Countdown Timers with WordPress can be found in our Knowledgebase.
Now it’s your turn… Do you have other ideas for creating a sense of urgency? If you have used a Deadline Funnel countdown timer on your WordPress site, share a link with us in the comments!
Did you know LeadPages is one of the fastest growing companies over the last two years in the Internet marketing space? They’ve provided a product that thousands of digital marketers use – Kissmetrics reports that they went from 0 to 15,000 users in their first 12 months after launching.
And for a long time we’ve offered one method of adding a Deadline Funnel countdown timer to your LeadPage.
But recently we’ve been working on two major updates:
- Creating an additional method for integrating Deadline Funnel and LeadPages
- Building a video training library for LeadPages users who are embedding Deadline Funnel on their site
How does this help me?
With the new integration you’ll now be able to seamlessly integrate a Deadline Funnel timer into your page. The user experience for the countdown timer on your LeadPage will be completely consistent with your existing theme and branding, and it will look extremely “native.”
And our new video training series for LeadPages covers 99.99% of questions you might have when you’re getting started, and they feature Jack Born (founder of Deadline Funnel). You can first watch how to do something, pause the video, and then try it out for yourself. 🙂
Old vs. new integrations
Previously, you could only add a floating bar to the top or bottom of your LeadPage, as shown on the screenshot on the left.
The new method for adding a Deadline Funnel countdown to your LeadPage lets you add it as an inline timer – as you can see in the right screenshot above.
In addition the native look and feel of the new inline timer, an added bonus is that it’s really easy to set up.
Video training library
- How to create an inline timer
- How to delay showing the countdown timer
- How to boost the credibility of your sales copy
- How to set up expiring links
- Formatting emails for mobile
- Optin form integration
- How to setup custom fields
- Testing optin form integration
- Using multiple URLs and countdowns
- 3 proven upsell formulas
Tell a friend about Deadline Funnel!
We hope that you’re able to use Deadline Funnel to grow your audience and revenue!
If you tell a friend about us and they sign up, you’ll receive a 33% monthly recurring commission for as long as they remain a customer.
To sign up for our affiliate program – or if we can help with anything else – please email us at “help [AT] deadlinefunnel.com.” 🙂
Did you know that Deadline Funnel integrates seamlessly with Active Campaign to create evergreen deadline sequences?
More details in the video below. 🙂
In this video, we’ll show you how to add an inline countdown to LeadPages. 🙂
Do you use ClickFunnels?
It’s super easy to add a Deadline Funnel countdown to your ClickFunnels page.
Watch the 3-minute video below and let us know if you have any questions!