August 2020 Archives

Julie Chenell

The SLO Funnel Stages of Grief

If I could spare even just one more person from this rollercoaster, I would. Which is why I’m writing this post today.

Many of you know that I am a 1:1 private coach to everyone in my Digital Insiders mastermind. Inside my program they get access to my content, an incredible community, some amazing coaches, plus access to me in three ways…

  • 1:1 via Voxer daily (yes I will answer Voxers every single weekday so many of them I speak to on the daily)
  • Weekly audit (I will review one piece of your business a week – funnel, ad, email, P&L, etc.)
  • Weekly group meetings (this month we’re doing a Copy Clinic as we work along the new FG Society Phase 2 Content)
  • Periodic hotseats – Sometimes you just need 20-25 minutes to hash out one particular issue so I’ll do Zoom calls for these moments

This means I’m in the unique position of working with 75 people in a really integrated and deep way on their businesses and their funnels. And if I could give you a sneak peek into my Voxer account when someone is building, launching, starting an SLO funnel (sometimes called a low ticket funnel or a tiny offer), then you would start to see REMARKABLE patterns emerging.

They are SO obvious to me now but that’s the great honor and privilege I have as a coach who is helping others. So now I’d like to outline the typical life cycle of grief that one goes through when building this type of funnel.

I say grief because there is a lot of letting go in this process. More than you might think. And yes, even when things go SUPER well (as you’ll see).

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Before You Launch Your SLO Funnel

1. Someone joins Digital Insiders and sees all the talk about the SLO and gets REALLY excited to build one for their business. Using the Offer Cure and a few other resources, usually within a few weeks – they have a solid idea and a ton of momentum. We are SQUARELY in the honeymoon phase here. In fact, sometimes my job as a coach is to convince them that they shouldn’t build two SLO’s at once. ????

2. After going back and forth on Voxer, and me doing an audit on their idea – it’s time to build. Some people decide to do the copy and build themselves (they use Offer Cure, Phase 2 of FG Society, as well as an FG template and they get it built). It goes through a few weekly audits as Helen (one of my coaches) helps with copy, and then it comes to me for copy review and design review. It’s normal for this to come through my audit board at least 3 or 4 times before launch.

3. At this stage, there’s a bit of ???? going on. Every time they send it to me, there are revisions. And more revisions. And that doesn’t even include building the content itself. If they haven’t let go of the idea that this “tiny” offer is actually mammoth in effort, they will now. SLO’s are some of the hardest types of funnels to build! There’s a bit of grief here. It comes in the form of “How the hell with this thing get launched and I’m never doing this again!” One of my other coaches Jessie, is a huge help to most people who need tech support and automation help as the logistics of the building are taking place.

4. What happens next depends on if you’re a Tatiana type SLO builder or a Ashley type SLO builder. Tatiana (an original Insider) was so busy in her service business, it seemed her original SLO would NEVER launch. At some point, I had major bribes and warnings that if she didn’t get it out the door, I’d stop answering her Voxers. ???? Ashley was different. She was moving at lightning speed because she had an agenda. She was gonna crack six figures come hell or high water because she was ready to be done with service based work. I see all variations of Tatiana’s and Ashley’s in my group – and both really end up at the same finish line, just with slightly different timelines. *Both went on to have six figure funnels*

During The Launch Of Your SLO Funnel

5. This has the same level of excitement and nerves as a wedding day. Again, you’ll notice there are a few types of people here in this moment.

  • Those that want to know EVERY LITTLE DETAIL about ads, obsessing about everything from time of day, to day of the week, to exact budgets, creative, etc. Their desire for information helps quell the nerves about spending (and really – betting $1000) on themselves and their work.
  • Then there are those that can’t bear learning ONE MORE THING and want to just hand it off to someone else. Either way, the butterflies and “moment of truth” feeling is intense. These folks have spent all their energy just getting it built, it’s like asking someone who just finished a marathon to go ahead and run another one with Facebook Ads. Just.No.
  • I’ve gotten late night Voxers where people have decided their SLO sucks and they want to totally redo it, right before it’s done. I also have people who launch it WITHOUT doing all the things I advise, in sort of a “Well if it doesn’t do well, I’m just testing it anyway” type of self-sabotage response. All in an attempt to mitigate their expectation if it doesn’t work.
  • And then there are the people that are sure they will have $100k in their account in just a few days (none of these people are in Digital Insiders because I am working with them 1:1 and I want to be DAMN sure they have reasonable expectations before they switch on ads).

6. Approximately 4-24 hours into the test… everyone in DI knows that they need to spend $1000 in just a few days. I don’t want them to launch with less. So another layer of grief sets in if they hit one of the following scenarios…

  • They have a trickle of sales and realize as much as they mentally prepared for not quite making their money back in the first test, it’s one thing to expect it, and another thing to feel it. The urge to turn off the ads is STRONG. The voxer convo goes something like this, “Send me the stats. Let’s take a look. Don’t turn off the ads yet. We’re not at $1000.”
  • They have a CRAZY amount of sales, way more than they thought, and there is no grief in sight. It’s just “HOLY CRAP!” Screenshots of Stripe accounts, Apple Watches with Stripe dings, and all kinds of excitement. This is insane! My job now is to celebrate with them, but I’m still looking at the stats, wanting to see what about the funnel and/or ads is doing so well. The urge here is to make big decisions quickly because you’re on a high. We work on not doing that just yet. I remember Ashley was ready to close up shop in her other business about a week into her funnel and I was like…HOLY WOW. Okay hang on. LOL (turns out her funnel was a unicorn type and she went on to crack six figures in 30 days).
  • No sales. Heart crushing even if you’re ready for it. The Internet didn’t like it. After 24 hours of no sales if you’re running $300 a day in ads, we pause the ads to see what is not connecting. This is a really hard pill to swallow but it happens more than you think. The only people who really lose in this game are the ones who give up entirely. If you don’t, you’ll eventually get it working. One of our best tactics here is to see if we can find a warm/hot body of traffic to send the funnel to so we can see if it’s a rapport or trust building issue. Grief here is self-explanatory.

Post Launch SLO Funnel

7. This is the part most people don’t talk about. Up until now, you might have expected most of this. But here’s where the rubber meets the road in this funnel game, and what happens here, is everything. Before we dive in, a few things I want to share. Most people post launch with an SLO fall into one of four camps…

  1. They spent $1000 and made $500 back (ish).
  2. They spent $1000 and broke even.
  3. They spent $1000 and made $1200.
  4. They spent $1000 and made $3000+.

8. In the case of #1 + #2, the name of the game is going back to the drawing board, not to redo things, but to optimize. If they’ve got the right mindset that this is a long term game, the horizon is bright. The hardest work is done. Now it’s singular focus on optimization and experimentation. It’s important to note that I work with them to make sure they understand whether or not the funnel was broken or working. MANY working funnels are not profitable. I repeat, many working funnels are not profitable. This is another stage of grief. Recognizing you can have a working funnel that isn’t on its own profitable.

9. In the case of #3, these are the hardest waters to swim in. There’s a lot of grief and frustration when they try to scale because the profit margins are so slim, it’s like just enough candy to think they can hit these crazy goals, but as is true with scaling, scaling typically eats some profit and will push these WORKING funnels into no profit land. If they are working with a FB ads agency and that ads agency isn’t doing ads for any other funnels, the monthly management fee immediately pushes these funnels into the negative as well.

In essence, it feels like a catch 22. If you want to scale, you have to be ready to eat profit. If you want to use an agency, you have to be ready to eat profit. No one wants to do either because the funnel is “teasing” them with ROAS that looks like with enough tweaking, it’ll become a unicorn.

IMPORTANT! I’ve seen funnels (for example Jennifer) who’s funnel started like this and after 12 months of continual optimization (and her doing her own ads) she got it to $20k profitability per month (which is epic for a $27 offer). That takes dedication. And moving through your grief of what you thought this would look like. And it means not giving up when your ad account goes down (which it did for her). It was not a smooth ride and most people would have given up.

Others sort of toggle back and forth between using an ads manager, and then doing it themselves. Each time trying to eeek out a bit of profit while still optimizing. The most important thing I can do here as a coach is work with them to understand lifetime value and to continue to build out a company, not just place all the hopes and dreams on one funnel. We also work to “catch” the fall off with excellent follow up, launches, etc.

I’ve seen funnels like this grow and grow in profitability, and I’ve seen others sort of hang in this minimal ROAS space for months.

10. In the case of #4, this is one of the most fun results, but also – the higher the high, the harder the crash. With these funnels, they do amazingly well for a month or two or even three. But ALL of them, even the incredible ones, do crash and burn. Whether it’s a disabled ad account, rising CPA’s, hiring an agency that didn’t scale properly, or just fatigue, eventually the unicorn funnel stops producing at that level.

The grief is intense here. And it can be mixed with fear because as they funnels grow, so do expenses. The ads team, the customer service, and most importantly, the pressure. So when things inevitably tank, the pressure is on to figure it out and get it back to its heyday fast.

Over time, the people in this camp come to accept that this is a pretty typical lifecycle for a unicorn funnel. And just like in the other scenarios, my job as a coach is to help the person build a company and suite of products that help mitigate a few bad months on a funnel. We build out a whole value ladder. Look at lifetime value.

I remind them the importance of spending to acquire a customer, even if you’re not getting 10x out like you once were.

Many of these people will go back and forth between agencies, doing it themselves, and hiring an in person team. Most importantly, as their business grows, something cool happens…

They stop focusing so much on the metrics of JUST one funnel. They start seeing the marketing budget as a part of a system that feeds the whole. They see the interconnectivity of organic traffic, paid traffic, and multiple offers through a customer journey.

And that’s really the end goal of all of these scenarios. Because once you get here, you can truly appreciate the POWER of a funnel and what it can do, no matter which kind you happen to get.

  • Waking up to sales you didn’t have to personally close
  • Learning that the side benefit of building a customer list vs. a subscriber list is you have people ready to buy further products
  • Developing a system to continue to build funnels in your company
  • The acceptance of how paid traffic works in a company and taking a more holistic view of your business than just one funnel

Funnels are amazing and like children, also a pain in the ass.

Many of these businesses have moved through this cycle, stuck with it, and come out the other side ready to keep building, keep growing, and keep letting go.

A couple last notes…

I have about 10 spots remaining in Digital Insiders. If you’re making $100k a year and ready to scale and invest in a coach/mastermind, I invite you to apply.

If you’re not there yet, but really want to build this type of funnel, make sure you’re on the waitlist for Launch Gorgeous. We’re launching another live experience in September and it’s not to be missed!

Was this helpful for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Ep. 82 What To Do When You Get Knocked Off

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Full Transcript:

Today I want to talk to you about one of the, I guess I could say, more annoying sides of being in the info product space, and that is when you are copied, or knocked off, what do you do?

So this actually came from one of my Digital Insiders. For those of you who don’t know, who just started following me, my Digital Insiders is my high end mastermind hybrid coaching program where all my clients have one on one access to me. So she came to me because she had been running a SLO offer, it was converting and she found out that she had been ripped off.

Now I think the first part of this conversation is I want to identify what are the types of rip offs. So there’s one, which is a complete copy, where somebody rips off your funnel, they rip off your content, it’s literally a copy. So that’s one kind of rip, which obviously is entirely illegal. The second type of rip off is the more common one. This is where somebody sees your product, sees your funnel, they mimic it, so they do a lot of similar things, the sell a similar product, but it’s clear they didn’t completely copy you. It’s more like when Nike shoes come out and then Nikea shoes come out, and it’s the knock off. And in a free and fair society, that is legal even if it’s really, really annoying.

So how do you deal with this? Because if you put out a product and it’s a good product, it’s only a matter of time until this happens. So the first thing I can tell you, and the most important thing is that your unique selling proposition is critical. This is the thing that makes you different. This is the way you look at the world, the methodology that you use.

So it’s really important for every single product you put out there, you want to find that USP, you want to create an argument, in fact, in Funnel Gorgeous Society we’re currently working through Funnel Copy, the certification program that certifies you to be a master marketer. And one of the biggest arguments I make for great copy is that when you have an epic sales page, you’re actually creating an argument for why your product is the best. And inside of that argument is a unique way of viewing it or looking at it, or something that you do differently. And that is one of the biggest barriers to knock offs because no matter if they imitate your content, they can’t take your USP from you.

And honestly, a lot of times your USP you can actually trademark if you want, if you call it something. I don’t know, I don’t know what trademarks we currently have right now in our business, but you can actually trademark it. So for example in Offer Cure we have the rainbow rule. We could trademark the rainbow rule and make it so nobody could sell a product that had a rainbow rule.

Now, obviously it’s not perfect, right. So the second thing, the first thing is the USP, the second thing is brand. Brand identity is critical because this protects you, because people become loyal to brands. So even if the Nike shoe and the Nikea shoe are fundamentally the same, people are going to buy Nike. Why? Because of the status and loyalty associated with that brand.

So those are the first two things that will help protect you for when the knock offs come, because if you put out great products they will come. USP and brand. The third thing that you should always have in your marketing is you should have regular content that throws rocks at your competitors. Not specifically at their names, but at the methodology.

So for us, again, let’s use Offer Cure as an example since it’s our most popular program. Offer Cure, we can talk regularly about all the other offer products out there that miss the mark and why. We don’t have to call people out in names, but we can continue to rehash our argument over and over and over again in different ways to remind people that our product is the one that we want you to buy.

The fourth thing that you can do that’s really important, is to spend more than your competitors. So Dan Kennedy is quoted as saying, “The person who can spend the most to acquire a customer wins.” And that always has felt counter-intuitive. But the idea is that if your competitor is spending $5000 a month in advertising, and you’re able to spend $50,000 a month in advertising, what’s going to happen? Obviously your ads are going to get shown more, more people are going to buy your product, people are going to think of your product faster than they think of somebody else’s.

So what do you have to do in order to make sure you can spend more money? There’s a couple of things you need to know. Number one, you need to know funnels, which obviously if you’re following me, you know that I am, you know, I love all things funnels. So you need to understand funnels and you need to use funnels in your business, because funnels allow you to either make a profit as you spend in ads, or break even as you spend in ads, which again, if you understand this idea, you’re willing to spend money and crush your competition. So for us, in our Offer Cure funnel, sometimes it’s not. But we’re willing to spend the money because we want to be front and center, we want to be top of mind. That’s really, really important.

Now what happens if your funnel is not break even? Even good working funnels sometimes can’t break even because the cost of advertising is just too high. In which case, the other thing that you need to know to really defend against knock offs is, you need to understand lifetime value. Lifetime value is a key metric that many companies use to determine, “Okay, how much will a new customer spend over the lifetime of them being in the company?”

Obviously, it changes as your company changes. But once you know that number, if let’s say the lifetime value of your customer is $200 and you’re running a funnel and you’re not profitable, but you’re willing to spend up to, let’s say $100 to get someone to buy in your funnel, your funnel is not going to look profitable on the outside, but you’re going to continue to be profitable as a company if you understand lifetime value. So understanding lifetime value and using funnels are the two ways that you can spend more than your competitor. And that is incredibly critical if you’ve got competitors on your heels.

The next thing that’s really important is to always be innovating. Copycats are never going to be as innovative as the original creator. So you always want to be thinking about the next thing and the next thing and the next thing that you can do and the ways you can continue to delight your customers and show that you’re at the forefront of innovation. And that’s really important.

So those are all the ways that you can protect against knock offs. And I think I’m just going to end this podcast by saying, these are not the defenses for a complete rip off, where it’s literally copied word for word. Everything I just told you in the first 7 minutes of this podcast was how to deal with the legal knock offs, that you really don’t have any legal recourse for, but for ways to continue to protect your company.

When you have a direct copy rip off, plagiarism, you want to deal with that as quickly as possible. So obviously the first thing that you can do is go directly to the person, tell them to take it down immediately. The second thing you would do is get a lawyer to do a cease and desist. You can also do a DCMA takedown, which is when you submit to Google, or if you’re on a hosted platform like Clickfunnels or Kajabi, you can reach out to them and say, “This person literally copied.” And sometimes those companies will help you take that content down.

If none of that works, at that point you could sue for damages. That obviously is going to cost you some money, so you really want to weigh whether that’s worth the money and time that it involves. But I would say that it is important to deal with them as much as possible.

Now there are a few of those rip off sites that are always around. They’re usually, you know, hard to trace who the person is. It’s very weird and kind of secretive. Some of those are hard to take down. And I will just kind of give you a little bit of reassurance here as I sign off today. I’ve had some of my courses on those rip off sites for years, and I’m still a profitable and successful business owner. The people who buy from those sites will never be your customers anyway. They are not stealing customers, they are marketing to thieves and thieves are never going to be the people that keep your company in business. So stay focused on the loyal subscribers and customers that are happy to give you money for the amazing products you put out. Appreciate you all, talk soon.