Sarah Shade, COO & Co-Owner of The Empire Method.
Sarah is co-inventor of Empire Websites with her business partner Sam Duncan. A life-long copywriter and marketer she’s passionate about empowering badass woman to build the life and business of their dreams!
The Ugly Truth About Click Funnels
I remember the day I found out about ClickFunnels, it was a cold November day, 2014… huddled in my robe and fuzzy socks I popped Facebook open and saw an ad run across my screen of an overly excited guy talking about funnel secrets, I was instantly captivated!
I watched with dismay as he pushed his free book DOTCOM Secrets, and without hesitation I grabbed his book and eagerly waited for its arrival! Less than 5 minutes later I received a few emails, once to confirm my free book order and one to introduce me to ClickFunnels! Dude had his shit together!
At the time, I had been working on a Food Coaching business and was really struggling to find a platform where I could do all the things I wanted to without the drama. I needed to collect leads and I needed to sell my programs – didn’t seem like a big thing to ask for but back then your choices were limited, in fact nothing really existed at that time, so when Russell Brunson’s face popped up in my email and said he had the answer I clicked, clicked, clickedfunneled my way into his software faster than a blink of an eye! Before I knew it, I was not only a paying customer but an affiliate…ummm woah wtf what just happened!
Despite being hooked, lined, and sunk in a matter of hours, things went pretty well for a while…
I dug into the software and when the book arrived, I was blown away by the information! I went all in, and I mean ALL in! Building my funnels, setting up my automations, learning the software – I was far beyond ready to make my business work, and based off the climes everyone seemed to have about ClickFunnels I assumed my success!
I followed the exact instructions I’d been given, I launched, and the crickets began to sing the song of their people! Ok ok, no big deal, just needs a few tweaks…again, the crickets filled my office with the numbing sound of silence and failure! I redid my funnel nearly 10 times, and with each launch my belief in myself my business began to falter.
What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t this working? Is my offer bad? Is this button in the right place? Is my call to action not strong enough? A few thousand dollars and lots of tears later, I canceled my subscription and fell into a depression. I was convinced it was me, I was seeing all this success around me using this software, but I can’t make a dollar with mine? What the fuck? It had to be me…right?
Actually, it wasn’t me, and I’m willing to bet it ain’t you either, and I’ll tell you why.
Why ClickFunnels Doesn’t Work For MOST Businesses!
For instance, these influencers not only had personal help from Russell Brunson to build their funnels but more likely than not, they’re a part of his private millionaires Inner Circle for Life Group which costs a whopping $25k a year to be in! This group shares some of the best marketing secrets in the world and it’s priced to ensure the regular business owner can’t access this circle. No shame in that game, I’m just saying Tony Robbins isn’t paying $297 a month to ClickFunnels, that you can bet your ass on!
The second reason is most of these influencers had a massive following already, which means the work it took to get people into their funnel was almost effortless. Not only that but dropping $50K-$100K+ on ad spend for new customers is as inconsequential as buying an ice cream cone. People who have a lot of money can make a lot more money, it’s just a fact! Again, not hating at all, I’m just saying if you’re not starting with a big following, a good chunk of change for ads, and in-depth knowledge of marketing, you’re probably going to have a hard time gaining the same level of success as these stories! It’s not impossible of course, but for an average business owner, it’s usually a lot harder to gain traction!
What Is A Sales Funnels Anyway?
In a nutshell, a sales funnel is an automated sales journey prospects go through on the way to purchasing.
There are multiple steps to an effective sales funnel, usually starting with a free offer, an upsell offer, and then a then an email campaign and ad retargeting campaign to urge that lead to purchase your main product or service.
Where it gets really interesting is when you’re funnel has branches.
For instance, it can start with a free download offer, and then the next page can be 1 upsell offer such a mini training course, if declined a new offer for say a low-cost book is presented, whatever that prospect chooses of the two will take them into a different campaign.
Obviously, someone who opts into a mini training course is ready and eager to learn right now and can probably be sold on a higher priced service quickly, while the book prospect is a little more diligent and will take time to make a decision.
Based on what a prospect chooses, you can then cater your email campaign to these client types. Of course, some people will just want the original free download and you’ll want to create a specific campaign for those folks too!
The reason this works so well is you can essentially vet those who come into your funnel and eventually you’ll know exactly WHO to market too and how! It takes time to make this work, but once you’ve nailed down this process, your business should start growing pretty quickly!
Do I Need Sales Funnel Software?
Yes, and no. Here’s the thing, I hate to say this but ClickFunnels is a fancy page builder with some cool tools such as the automated email feature and backpack for affiliate tracking. However, it’s expensive to have those tools, a minimal plan at ClickFunnels is $97 which basically gives you the pagebuilder, and $297 a month if you want the rest of those tools – it’s a steep price when you consider there’s no organic traffic coming in and you’ll need to invest in ads on top of that monthly fee!
The truth is, a WordPress website can do the same thing. In fact, that’s why we created our Empire Websites on WordPress. We took all the benefits of ClickFunnels and tied them into our all-in-one websites! We have built-in sales funnels for retreats, coaching packages, membership programs, free downloads, free trainings, and webinars! We kept it simple by creating full sales journeys for you so all you have to do is pull in your templates, pop in your content, and turn them on! We even have Membership area templates for those who decide to get Memberpress!
It all comes down the longevity. With a website you can benefit from SEO which means over time people are going to find your website organically, which is great for your bottom line. With ClickFunnels or any other sales funnel software you’re going to need to pay people to come which isn’t really great if you’re just starting out or just don’t want to use your profits to run ads forever.
So yes, you should have sales funnels if you’d like to capture leads and turn them into paying customers, however smart investing is probably the best asset a business owner can have, it would be a good idea to weigh the options of what’s available and financially manageable long term.
Try not to get sucked into the hype, if you can’t afford to get ClickFunnels or Kajabi or any of the other platforms out there promising quick and easy setup and sales galore, don’t waste your time! In business, our mental resilience depends on making calculated decisions that minimize risk! I don’t know about you, but in my early years I wasted more time on shiny objects than making sales and it cost me a LOT of momentum!
How do I know what sales platform is the best?
Honestly, it comes down to you and your personal preference, the way you want to do business, and what sings to you! Marketing will always be a part of your business, it’s just the way it is – BUT, you get to choose what avenue to deliver your work! We’ve got a fantastic blog that can help you ask certain questions before deciding on a platform!
If you simply offer 1:1 coaching, you probably won’t need a fierce platform, heck you could even use something like MailChimp lead pages! But if you plan on having trainings, lead magnets, events, a membership or whatever else tickles your fancy, you’ll definitely need a more robust platform!
If you want to automate as much as you can while still remaining human, you may way to consider our Empire Websites! Our all-in-one websites allow you to launch your website, programs and offers with our ready-to-go website and sales funnel templates, and the training we provide makes this a NO guesswork platform!
The Great News Is…
You Can Get An Empire Website Totally FREE!
(With $89 Monthly Empire Membership!)