10 Business Lessons I Learned Working For ClickFunnels

Jul 17, 2019

As I step out of my role as VP of Marketing for ClickFunnels, I wanted to pay tribute to just a FEW things that I learned over the last 18 months working at one of the best marketing companies in the world.

1. The Creative Process Is Messier Than You Want

I can’t tell you how many times Russell would have a great idea, we’d all start building, writing, creating… and LEGIT – between inception and launch there would be at least 3 MAJOR changes. The 30days.com summit funnel went through a COMPLETE overhaul a week before it was supposed to go live. If you are a creative type, you might be frustrated by this part of the process, but I’m here to tell you you’re normal. 🙂

2. Cycle Your Funnels

I think people think that once you have a funnel with ads that work, it just works forever. But it’s not true. We’d see our ads and funnels in one area fatigue after several weeks, and that would mean it was time to try one of our other front end funnels for a while before cycling back. We had several front ends that would all get their time in the newsfeed, then go to the back of the line once “ad blindness” set in.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

Even though Russell has always been transparent with his failures, I got to see firsthand – that it’s okay to try and fail. There were several campaigns last year that weren’t blockbuster hits – and it was okay. It didn’t stop us from trying again later, and failing again! Those failures were sprinkled in with our big winning campaigns of Funnel Scripts, 30Days, One Funnel Away, and others.

4. Invest In Business Intelligence

This looks different at every stage of business, but business intelligence is using MATH and ANALYTICS to plan your next move. We had an entire BI team and their job was to dig into the numbers, the relationships between the numbers, and help us make key marketing decisions based on facts and math, not just gut feeling. If you have a big social presence, you may think that something’s true because there are people being loud about it, but the numbers show something different. For example, we though that hundreds of people were retaking the One Funnel Away Challenge multiple times, but when we dug in, turned out it was a very small percentage of people retaking it, and most folks were new each round.

5. Relational Capital Is Real (And Necessary)

Even with the reputation and profitability of ClickFunnels, nurturing relationships was always a top priority. Whether it’s with other SaaS companies like Zapier or Stripe, or with influencers like Grant Cardone or Tony Robbins, strategic partners and Dream 100 campaigns were always front and center in our marketing and development.

6. Sometimes You Just Do Things For The B-Roll

How many of you were on the 2CCX cruise for the midnight talk Russell gave? There were two reasons for the terrible time of day – it was the only time we could get that beautiful theater for a presentation, and… side benefit… the pictures would be awesome for future marketing. I never realized how many times Russell would be thinking about the B-Roll, the graphics, the video — even when it wasn’t a specific video shoot for that!

7. Success Favors The Adaptable

Over the last six months alone, the amount of times we’ve all had to adapt to changes – whether they were compliance related, market related, or people related, I want to rejig the phrase “success favors the speedy” to say that success also favors those who adapt. Adapt in this market or die isn’t an exaggeration. Russell and the team have learned how to quickly change and pivot when necessary, and it’s this trait that has been a key factor in their success!

8. Business Goes Through Phases – Know Yours So You Give It What It Needs

I came into the company at an interesting juncture. ClickFunnels was transitioning out of a startup company where a small group of people wore 85 million hats, and transitioning to a corporate structure with departments and lines of authority, org charts, all that stuff. There were times when I could tell Russell just wanted life to be like the startup phase, because it was more comfortable. But he knew that CF was entering a new phase, where the things that used to work – were no longer going to. So he adapted. If you’re in business and think doing what you did before will be the thing you need to do to get you to the next spot, it won’t.

9. ClickFunnels Funnel Stats ARE The Same As Yours- They Just Have More Traffic

When I do audits for my Digital Insiders, I spend half my time reassuring them that their statistics are normal, even if the funnel isn’t profitable or converting yet. I remember telling one person, “You know that 10x Secrets made $1,000,000 in 9 days with a 2% buy rate?” Her funnel was at 2.5% at the time, and when she realized that Russell wasn’t some Marketing God from Neptune, she got back to work getting more TRAFFIC. A lot of people blame their funnel, when their problem is traffic.

10. Systems + Delegation WORK!

When I started, the agency wasn’t fully formed with departments of copy, design, video, etc. There were still a lot of 2am late nights with projects getting done. By the time I left, we had department leads, a flow and process working, one funnel done FOUR DAYS EARLY, and three additional funnels ahead of schedule. When you trust the people who you put in charge, systems and delegation really do work like a charm. If you think you can’t get out of your business to being a CEO, you just haven’t found the right people yet.

It’s interesting…

  • Number 1 is why I will continue to show you how things come to be as they are – it’s never as neat as you think!​
  • Number 2 is why I am working on front end funnels with my Insiders so they can alternate funnels and keep leads coming in, even if things fatigue.
  • Number 3 is why I stepped down from ClickFunnels even though I was so afraid to let people down.​
  • Number 4 is why I continually invest in training, people, and partners that use math – whether it’s bookkeeping/financial advice or analytics, the path is math!​
  • Number 5 is why I have an entire Trello board dedicated to people I want to invest in.​
  • Number 6 is why I’m making sure we have photo/video available at the fall mastermind with my Insiders!​
  • Number 7 is why I’m documenting my entire journey with a level of transparency that sometimes makes me take a deep breath before pushing send.​
  • Number 8 is why Cathy and I have decided to give TDG students a look at what happened in our critical first year of business with Funnel Gorgeous.​
  • Number 9 is why I’m going to talk about both conversion stats and traffic in the new Digital Gangsta updates on August 12th.​
  • Number 10 is why I’ve decided to bring James Friel into my Digital Insiders Mastermind​

They might seem simple or obvious at first glance, but each one of these have intrinsically changed the way I will build my business going forward, and the way I will coach my students and clients in my programs going forward.

Which one speaks to you and your business where it is right now?

Julie Chenell initials

Get in touch! I teach strategic business growth tacticss for everyday people.

1 Comment

  1. Stephen Somers

    Legitimately a phenomenal post Julie. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. I’ve learned so much from Russell and team over the years. It’s helped us build an 8 figure business which I’m grateful for. But insights like this really help me realise that we’re on the right track. I really appreciate it.

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