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Ep. 83 Inside A Broken Funnel That Made A $25k Month Profit Comeback!

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I actually want to share a Facebook interview that I did with a woman, her name is Jennifer. She’s in my Digital Insiders, and her story is awesome.

If you have launched a funnel that has flopped or failed, you want to hang tight for this interview, because in it we talk about her journey from starting with a very broken sales funnel, and how she moved through over the next year to create a profitable funnel that was netting about 20-25 thousand dollars a month in profit.

Now lest you think she’s in a super popular niche like make money online or something that you know, has a lot of proven success, she actually is not. She is a belly dancer. She teaches belly dancing. And her product is only $27. So I highly recommend you listen to this interview because it talks so much about the importance of sticking with it, and micro optimizing a funnel. Tune in and as always I appreciate you all.

Hey, what’s up Facebook, this is Julie. You know that. I am here today with Digital Insider, fellow friend, a colleague, Jennifer Sobel. She is in Bali this evening, it’s like 9:00 for you, right? Right now?

Julie: Yep.

Julie: So if you guys are here, say hello in the chat, I’ll pull up the Facebook chat. So what I wanted to do is I wanted to bring Jennifer on today because she has just such a great story, a very realistic story of what it’s like and you have a broken funnel, and you’re on your way to fixing your broken funnel and creating a profitable funnel. So Jennifer, why don’t you just give everyone a quick little background on who you are and what your business is?

Julie: So when I joined Digital Insiders, I had my digital marketing business for about almost 4 years at that time. And I always wanted to create my own product, again, I’d had the idea to create a belly dance program for a really long time, and I had gotten discouraged along the way that that was even a viable product. And then I did Clickfunnels One Funnel Away Challenge. And I thought, let me try this again.

And I did a test and I had an idea, I remembered that one of my students had told me after belly dance class that since she’d been taking belly dance she didn’t have urinary leaking anymore. And I thought, I think I was at the gym and I saw a commercial for a drug. So I thought, you know what, let me try this. Let me do like a Facebook ads test, send people to a lead magnet, let me see how many people opt in and test the idea to see if it’s viable.

And so many people opted in I thought, okay maybe there’s something here. I created my funnel and launched it and I thought, oh my God, I’m going to have these amazing sales come in. I was like super excited. I’m not even kidding, I even bought this blessing candle, I was going to like do this whole ceremony. And then I checked on Monday, crickets. Nothing.

Julie: So this funnel you built off of the OFA challenge, you weren’t in DI yet, you had just, this was pre-Digital….Okay.

Julie: It was like heartbreaking. And I thought, okay, I know there’s still an idea here. But, so it sat for like 3 months. And I think, I don’t remember what holiday it was, I think it might have been Memorial Day. My friend invited me to his amazing barbecue and he showed me what the menu was, and I just had this intuitive sense, I’m not going to go, I need to just think and reflect. And it was that morning, on that holiday, after I had just gone for a run, done some stairs, I came home and I laid on the floor of my living room, and the idea popped into my head that I needed a coach to help me figure out why my funnel was broken and how to fix it, and that I couldn’t do it on my own. I could try, and who knows how long that would take me? And who knows if I would get discouraged before I would even get there?

And while I was laying on the floor, you popped into my head.

Julie: This is part of the story even I didn’t know.

Julie: Yeah, and I didn’t really know very much about you at that time. I had just kind of seen you in the challenge, and I thought, you know what? I went right to my computer, I went on and I applied for DI. So that’s how it all started.

Julie: How it all started.

Julie: I was just guided. You know, I didn’t even know.

Julie: Kudos to you, I see someone saying “I’m blowing out my blessing candles right now.” That is the best part of the story. But it’s so interesting because you built this funnel, it didn’t work, there was a lot of expectation let down. So then I remember our sales call and we were talking about this, that you had built this funnel and you wanted to optimize it. You know belly dancing, it’s not a make money online niche. You know what I mean? It’s definitely like a monetizable niche, but it’s not like the home run niches.

So I remember thinking, okay we have our work cut out for us a little bit. This is kind of super niche-y. So you joined and then I remember you relaunched it. How long did it take you to get it all redesigned and out the door?

Julie: So I was, I’m a speed person for the most part. I’m very impatient. And I think, the same thing with walking, if I can get there faster, I’ll walk faster, why am I gonna walk slow? So that’s how I am in my…so I was like, I’m going to get this thing going. I think it took me maybe 6 weeks or something like that. And I had to film my OTO which before was a private belly dance lesson and you’re like, “I don’t think anybody’s going to want to do that.” And I think you’re probably right.

So I created this whole fitness program, that was actually more content than my core offer, and I literally almost killed myself filming like 50 videos in 4 hours in one day, because I just wanted to get it done. And I could barely function for a week. So I think I completed the whole thing in 6 weeks because I really just wanted to get it out there as quickly as possible. Then I was scared as hell to do that $1000 Facebook ad challenge. And I was having so much anxiety, seriously, but I just let it sit there for the weekend, and then Monday I opened it up, and I had made a little bit of profit.

Julie: Yeah so, alright, your first $1000 ad test after the first failure of the funnel, you had relaunched it, I’m going to show you guys the funnel here in a minute. You used funnel retro, I believe it was retro. You made a little bit of profit, which is awesome. In the thousand dollar ad test most people don’t quite do that. But you know, you weren’t rolling in the millions, it was just like I spent a thousand and made whatever, $1200.

Julie: I didn’t lose money. I was happy I didn’t lose money.

Julie: So I remember there was, I feel like the story always end s with the thousand dollar Facebook ad test, and then it’s like, “and then they lived happily ever after.” And then nobody ever says what happens after the thousand dollar ad test. So you had a really big blow that hit your ad account, somewhere in there right? When was the ad account….

Julie: So basically, we had launched…Oh, so first of all, I was going to launch, after the really ugly funnel, I was going to relaunch the new funnel on a Monday of a week, and the week before I broke my wrist.

Julie: Oh, that’s right. You broke your wrist. I remember that.

Julie: And that just completely threw things off, but I was like, “I’m not going to let this slow me down.” It only delayed me by a week, and I launched with one hand, and I was so scared. Because I wasn’t feeling well physically, it was a really hard time. But Helen got me through it, I launched it with one hand, and then after that it was about how do I make this profitable?

And one thing that I want to say is that the best advice that you could have ever given me when I first started working with you in DI was, I had two very different funnels, business ideas that I was working on. Extremely different niches, totally different, and you said to me…first of all, I was thinking I’m just going to launch this thing and let it roll and then move onto the next thing. And you were like, “I’m just going to try this thing over here.”

{Cross talk}

Julie: “Let this get some steam, then I’ll move over to the next thing.” And you’re like, “You need to pick one. You need to pick one to start.” And that was the best thing you could’ve ever done because I am the shiny object person. When I get excited about stuff, I get passionate, but you made me stick to one thing, and that philosophy is what has carried me through. Sticking with this one baby and not just keep working it, and keep working it.

So after I launched it, it was like, “Okay it was a little bit profitable, but not hugely.” It was like, you know a 30% return on investment, 50%. Maybe some days it was 100%. But I wasn’t really making any money, but I believed in it. I believed it was possible to earn money on it. I remember you kept saying, because you were trying manage my expectations.

Julie: I was, I was like, ‘We need a whole value ladder here.”

Julie: Yeah, and you were like, “Just so you know, most people don’t make money on these funnels, this is really just to bring leads in.” You just kept managing my expectations, “Don’t expect you’re going to make a profit.” But I am stubborn. {inaudible} bless candles all over her house. How does that work? I never got those again. And not that I don’t believe that they work, but I kind of had a bad association with them after that.

Julie: But what I want to say about this, you were slow and steady, you were optimizing and I’m going to show the funnel in a minute, but then your ad account went down. Was it right around the time after mine, remember?

Julie: So that was on the Friday that the mastermind ended in Connecticut. And I looked in my Clickfunnels and I was like, “Why is there zero dollars? Why is there no money coming in?” and then my personal ad account got shut down. And for 3 months I could do nothing.

Julie: I was like, “You gotta go get a VPN, go sign a…” I was trying to give you all this advice like get around. I know. Do you know how many, and this is for any of you guys watching, how many people would’ve given up? There’s at least 6 opportunities that Jennifer could’ve been like, “Where is the exit ramp. This is hard. I’m out.” But you are stubborn, you are stubborn and fast and you kept at it. And you eventually got your ad account back.

Julie: I did. And Helen’s voice stuck in my head because it was, I think it was right around Christmas. It was either the day after Christmas or it was Christmas eve, and I remember her, “Just give it one more shot.” And I thought, it’s the holidays, maybe the Christmas spirit…and that’s when it, I contacted support and I was like, “Is there anything you could do.” And he was like, “Just keep appealing.” And I appealed one more time, and it was that time, and they were like, “Sorry, it was a mistake.” And they put it back.

Julie: Oh my gosh. Alright so that was Christmas of 2019, Christmas of 2019, and so now it’s been, we’re not quite a year later, and you hit a big milestone in May. Right, it was May?

Julie: Yes.

Julie: Almost a year to do the day of like Memorial Day and the Blessing candles.

Julie: Yeah.

Julie: What was that big goal that you hit? And then I want to show off your funnel.

Julie: So my goal from the very beginning when I first launched it, my goal is 20k is in my head. 20k, I want to hit 20k a month. And in May, I believe it was, the total sales that came in was around 50k, and my profit was around 25k.

Julie: yeah, you did it. It was almost a year later, and you had finally done it. But that was not without some serious hard work. So I’m going to pull up this funnel. I want you to talk about how many iterations this funnel has gone through, since you first launched it. And all the, I mean, I feel like you were sending this funnel to me for an audible every week and I was like, “what could I say different?” I just gave you….{inaudible}

Julie: I wanted to say something too, because I was making notes before our call of all the different iterations that I did. And I remember something important, which is that from the very beginning, that anticipating success spreadsheet that you have…

Julie: Yes, yep.

Julie: That, and I was thinking about the words, “Anticipating success”. That’s what I did. And I would just run numbers, just kind of for fun. “Okay, if I did a half a percent increase conversion rate on my sales page, what would that mean at the end if this many people hit my page?” and I just kept visualizing that. What do I need to do, what needs to happen for me to hit my goal?

And I realized that a half a percent, with enough people hitting that page, would mean thousands of dollars for me. A percent would mean even more thousands of dollars. And so I thought if I could just improve my page by those little percentages over time, then I’ll get there. And it was that spreadsheet that really helped me to visualize that.

Julie: You’re like laying so much gold right now, because so many people, when they look at their page, and they’re like, “Okay, it’s converting at 1.69.” and they’re like, “How do I get it to 5%?” And I’m like, “Do you realize that if you could just get it to 1.9 or 2%, just those small….”

Julie: That’s what I would do. I wasn’t shooting for that. I was just shooting for a half a percent more than I was right then. And when I would get there, it was just a half a percent more from there. And what do I need to get another .5%? And that was it. I wasn’t thinking any more ahead than like a .5%.

Julie: So good. It’s so good. So you have made a tremendous amount of changes to this. I feel like this page might be zoomed out because it seems kind of small. Oh yeah, I was like, why is it so small? Let’s zoom it in here.

I love what you did with this. I remember you redid that product mock up shot a whole bunch of times.

Julie: I whole bunch of times, yep.

Julie: I remember you added this awesome coupon.

Julie: Yeah, that was part of it. I added the Provely. That I think made a big difference, the little thing on the bottom with the sales, “So and so purchased.” I did that, that was one of the first things I did. That coupon. I looked at somebody’s funnel who I knew was killing it, because of their stats on similar web or something, and I just tried to replicate some items that I thought. Now this is, want to talk about this order bump.

Julie: Can we talk about the order bump and how much iteration happened.

Julie: Oh my God. That was the biggest bugaboo. I think I tried four different things and you were like, ‘That order bump would really help a lot. It really makes a difference.” And I was like, ‘What is it going to be?” and then at the mastermind, the last dinner of the last day, I was sitting with Danny and she was like, ‘What about like Belly Dance in the Bedroom?” or something like that. And I was like, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want people to associate belly dance with sexy, because that always bothered me.” But then she asked the waitress, “Do you want to be sexy?’ and she was like, “Yeah.” And I was like, “Alright, maybe I’m being too rigid about this.”

So I filmed a video in a way that I thought would respect the dance, and would just help each woman connect with herself, not trying to be an object for someone else, which I’m opposed to because I think it’s about you being the subject of your life, not the object. So I created something that I felt an integrity with, and it was the secret.

Julie: What’s it converting at?

Julie: Like 30-35%.

Julie: Yeah, you had, I remember one time the order bump was like the urinary incontinence interview series or something like that.

Julie: Yeah. {inaudible} as the bonus. You know.

Julie: I don’t think so. Good old Danny, our miss our in person masterminding so much.

Julie: That was, I am so grateful for her, because she, that is the idea that I needed.

Julie: Yeah. Interestingly, this is not a two step, you know it’s funny, after Offer Cure came out, everyone’s replicating the two step order form and lots of people like the two step. And the two step is grate but you have been really profitable on this funnel, no two step, just straight up sales page order form.

Julie: Yeah, I mean for me it was just like that promo video there at the top, at first it was just a video of me talking. And then after I got my cast off, I filmed this video and that made a huge difference in my, again, huge, I think it increased it by a percent, which is huge.

Julie: It’s huge when you’re working on a tenth of a percent.

Julie: Right. So that was a big thing that I did, adding those Facebook screenshots, with the yellow highlighter that I saw on someone’s funnel.

Julie: Yep. We talked about those, we literally just talked about those in FG Society yesterday, about the importance of highlighting your testimonials, because it’s just like this big wall of text and people can’t, they don’t know what you’re trying to communicate with it, unless you point and be like, “Read this word right here.”

Julie: Yeah, and I just would look at other people’s funnels that were performing well and borrow what worked. And then the final thing that I did, that went, I think it went, it took my page from an average 3%, I would say probably average 3% to 4.5%. Because I had a copywriter fix up that sales page, and just make it better.

Julie: Yeah, you finally had, it was a full copy audit right, or was it a full rewrite?

Julie: Yeah, it wasn’t a full rewrite, but he just took what I had and made it that much better. I mean I think it’s good to write your own and instead of them having to create it from scratch, which would be a lot more expensive, they just make it better, what I’d already done. And that made a huge difference.

Julie: Yeah, well it’s crazy because in one of our Digital Insider group calls we were tweaking headlines, and everyone was pulling their headlines up and Christine was on there, and she’s into selling again, another make money online. I said, “Take this one word out of that headline, because that could be intimidating people.” And she messaged me and said, “My conversion has gone up.” So I, you embody this unbelievable anti-shiny object syndrome. Even though it’s funny, I know you are, you said you have that, because you just continue to care about the small percentages and over time it has made a significant difference.

So you are now finally working on a new funnel after whatever it is, a year and a half. Do you want to tell people about what you’re doing next?

Julie: Yeah, so my, I sent out an email to everybody after they purchased the program and I asked them why they purchased and of course not everybody responds to me, but you start to see themes. And so many people that purchased, they purchased just because they wanted to learn belly dance, not because they wanted to strengthen their pelvic floor primarily. And I thought, God, I didn’t know so many people just wanted to learn belly dance.

So now this program is called Feminine Fire: Awaken the Belly Dancer Within. And it’s going to teach women not only how to belly dance, but how to create their own belly dance routine by putting different combinations together, like a lego modular system. And I want to empower them to become creators in their own bodies, and just create a movement of empowerment for women.

Julie: Yeah, I saw, I’m so excited you’ve been working on the logo. I can’t wait for this to come out. The world desperately needs what you have. Women, there’s something about belly dancing that’s such an empowering movement for women. Especially in a culture that hates bellies. Like we hate…

Julie: I know.

Julie: It’s ridiculous. We need to fall back in love with our amazing bellies that do incredible things like grow babies.

Julie: Yeah, it’s just all the different shapes that women have, because I’m ‘in Bali right now, and even being here, I’m having more comfort in my body. Because it’s really, America’s got to be one of the worst countries in terms of this standard for what women should look like and it’s really destructive.

Julie: Yeah. Well, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to talk all about it when it launches. Jennifer, thank you so much.

Julie: Thank you.

Julie: Guys, if you are interested in belly dancing, you should go to Belly Dance Solution and go buy her product, Jennifer is amazing. And for those of you watching because you are funnel nerds, let this be a lesson in persistence and consistency and staying the course, and caring about those little percentage points, because those make a difference.

Julie: Thanks Julie, thanks for all your help.

Julie: Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us, and guys, have a great day. Talk soon.

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!

Julie Chenell

Productivity Tips To Keep Your Head In The Game Despite 2020’s Nonsense

This is an email I sent to my list….

I keep hearing that word over and over in my head when I tell myself all these excuses as to why I haven’t written to my people in over a month.

Utter nonsense.

Here are the classic players of excuses in my head…

  • Gardening
  • Busy building FG Society content
  • Starting a new YouTube channel for Funnel Gorgeous
  • Kids
  • Quarantine

…but I’m going to be brutally honest and say this:

After writing some pretty heartfelt “non-marketing” messages over the past few months – both on email and on social media – I was a bit tired of managing the kickback. It wears on you, even when 1000% confident of your beliefs and in alignment. So I dove headfirst into all the things I listed and quietly hoped no one would notice I’d broken the #1 rule of marketing… staying quiet.

Anyway, today I want to share some “keep your head in the game when the dumpster fire that is 2020 is raging” tips.

It’s hard to stay focused in summer. In an election year. With a worldwide pandemic. With uncertainty around kids and school. With the economy in the toilet. With the unrest of the biggest and most necessary civil rights movement since the 1960’s.

But if you’re a business owner, you are wear the buck stops. Your business doesn’t move forward, people don’t get paid. So keeping your head in the game is like an Olympic sport and you need to get on that podium.

When Cathy and I soft launched the Funnel Gorgeous Society at the end of May, we both figured we’d get about 50 people signed. It would be a typical BETA launch, but with the certification piece built in, I knew the content creation would be way more complex than a simple course. So imagine our surprise when we we clocked our first $100,000 day and enrolled over 450 students into the first round of FG Society?!

It was nuts.

Even though my commitment to 50 people or 450 people would be the exact same, this unforeseen epic launch reminded me of this one truth: My life, my business, my habits, my words – they affect other people. My ability to keep my head in the game – even when it looks like “selfish” self care or rigid boundaries, is ultimately what’s best for everyone. Because if I go down, other things go down and the domino effect isn’t good.

So with quarantine months 4 and 5 dragging into summer with four kids, my full time gig of 1:1 coaching and consulting in my Digital Insiders, and the most ambitious curriculum and certification program to be written with 450 students waiting on me, I had to dial in my routine BIG TIME.

Here’s What I Learned…

#1 Your creative brain and logistics brain don’t place nice together.

If I made the mistake of leaving “creative” mode to go into “logistics” mode, I was screwed for the day. Nothing but sleep would help reset my creative brain. That meant that things like email, Slack, administrative tasks, Asana, list making, meetings, etc. all had to come AFTER I was done creating the content for the day. The FIRST most important task of my days that were dedicated to content creation – was to create.

#2 You will appear rigid and abrupt if you truly hold yourself accountable to your sacred time.

So I told my Executive Assistant back in May, that I would need up to 20 hours a week for content creation for months on end. That’s not easy to do when you run a mastermind with 75 people who have 1:1 access to you. So this is how I scheduled my week.

  • Mondays – Digital Insiders all day. This was my day to review audits from Insiders, do some hotseats, answer Voxers, plan, etc. Occasionally I would have an FG Society meeting in the afternoon but otherwise, I was DI coach on Mondays. No creation time at all.
  • Tuesdays – Tuesdays have been DI and meeting days. I start the day with my Insiders (Voxer + then a group call and some hotseats). Afternoons are all FG – including our weekly team meeting and FG Society Q&A.
  • Wednesdays – SACRED TIME from 9-3pm. This was the first 6 hour block I gave myself to create. I spend about 2-3 hours a day on Voxer with Digital Insiders early in the morning, and from 9-3, I am not doing ANY logistics. Only content creation.
  • Thursday – Same thing as Wednesday. Another six hour block after early morning with Insiders.
  • Friday – Same thing as Wednesday/Thursday. Another six hour block after early morning with Insiders.

You know what felt crappy? Sticking to that schedule when I knew people were waiting on me for other things. When I knew I was missing out on tags and dings. When it seemed like I should just throw my schedule away and just go lay on the beach.

#3 Don’t forget the “musing” time you need when in creation mode.

Now lest you think I stared at a screen for those six hours three days a week, I did not. I mean, I did – but I also spent a considerable amount of time in my garden and with the birds. I’d write for an hour, then go outside and water the plants. Come back in and write for another hour. Repeat.

What DOES play nice with creativity? Mindless tasks that get you outside and in nature. I found the flow and creative process wasn’t interrupted if I went outside to trim my Rose bush. It actually helped it. It allowed me to step away, think, muse, and then come back with a new way of looking at it.

#4 Nothing substitutes pen and paper. Nothing.

I keep thinking something will come along to replace it and so far, nothing. I use my pen and paper CONSTANTLY. At the end of every day, I review what’s on the list, and add to Asana or Trello, whatever needs to be turned into a task or a to do. But my paper whiteboard sits on my desk and helps me stay on track because I can put down on that paper anything that comes to mind (in whatever messy shape it’s in) and I know I won’t forget to deal with it later.

#5 Keep an ENDLESS supply of tea at hand at all times.

I’m joking (sorta). But when it comes to the creative process, don’t stop drinking. I have my assistant refreshing my tea, water, and fresh juices every hour so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing (except for the 8 million bathroom breaks because of hydration).

#6 Develop a system and set it up the night before so your momentum isn’t crushed when you begin.

This one is so critical. When you start your creation process, get your computer ready with all the tabs and notes you need. For FG Society, this was my setup…

Monitor #2

  • Google doc with my outline
  • Google folder with all my module presentations
  • Teachable with the lessons + sections in draft format
  • The Google form with the exam questions in progress

Monitor #1

  • The current presentation I was working on
  • Screenflow for recording

If you sit down in the morning and have to set this all up, I guarantee you’ll get distracted.

(goes without saying, if you’re going to create content, get two monitors)

#7 Creating great content means always keeping the end in mind.

This was the first program I designed with an exam at the end, and though it’s a crap ton of work, I’m now totally sold on exams. First, it helps students have a completion milestone.

Second, it also helps the students understand what the instructor is looking for in terms of comprehension and understanding.

Third? It helps the instructor keep the end in mind.

I knew rabbit holes and tangents and extra goodies that look like “over delivering” wouldn’t help in this case. I needed to keep the end in mind, which is that we want people who are certified in offer, copy, and design to be partners and listed on our site as marketers we recommend. Creating that synergy of the win/win helped keep a lot of tangents at bay.

#8 Develop a “catch all”.

Even with all this, you’re going to need a catch all. What do I mean by this? Well, I theorize that my ability to get SO MUCH DONE isn’t that I’m doing more than everyone else, as much as it is my ability to IGNORE.

I talk about this a lot. People who can’t ignore distractions, notifications, issues, requests will struggle in our noisy world. And to be honest, ignoring when you’re a CEO can also be disastrous.

So how do you avoid disasters and still stay focused? Develop a catch all system.

Here’s how it works…

I create a habit whereby I have ONE spot where I check to do lists, tasks, etc. This can be Trello, Asana, or any project management tool you want. If you’re good at using the tool to add tasks, that’s great – but most people suck at that part.

They don’t want to be bothered to load everything into Asana or Trello, so they get in the bad habit of dealing with it right on the spot so they don’t forget. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. STOP DOING THAT.

On Voxer, my catch all is my assistant. Any voxer that comes in that I can’t respond to right away, I forward to her. She knows that every forwarded message means that it must go on my Trello to review later. Nothing is lost. I just listen, hit forward, and keep moving.

On Slack, my catch all is similar. I’ll either tag my assistant or reply with “Asana” alerting them that I need that content in my PM software for when I go to check on things.

On PM/DM and places where people are asking me questions, my canned response is “email me”. That way I know it’s heading to a place where someone will be there to read it and respond, OR, read it and put it in Trello/Asana where I can take a look.

The idea is that every spot where you might get a distraction or a rabbit hole, put a little catch all habit in place (either with a response or an assistant) that will help you funnel information into the ONE spot you designate.

So there you have it. I hope some of that is helpful for you!

xx Julie

Digital Insiders Takeaways [Part I]

What a whirlwind of a week it was with my Digital Insiders over the past five days.

We are a group of 75 entrepreneurs who usually get together two weeks a year in person – once in the spring, once in the fall, but due to coronavirus, we had to do our spring mastermind virtually.

Though it made it quite a different experience than we’re all used to, we managed to pack in about 40 hours of content in one solid week! We recorded it all, the presentations, the discussions, the funnel teardowns… and this blog post is going to give you a few quick nuggets from an unforgettable week. It’ll likely be the first of several pieces of content because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to capture in just one post.

It goes without saying, it’s going to take us the next six months as a group to implement it all! I’m right now working on the next six months of group implementation to see where and what we should all tackle to make this week not just about learning, but about doing.

A Few Copy Nuggets!

Ashlyn Carter kicked off the event with her witty copy techniques presentation. One of the best pieces of advice she gave for working to be funnier? Create a copy bank of phrases you hear that you love. Things like “Umm… you must be super fun at parties.” Whenever you hear a funny phrase, jot it down, and then find times to use it in your emails, ads, sales pages, etc.

Brittany Bayley is an email copywriter and during her presentation she encouraged business owners to create a style guide for “how they talk”. This style guide makes it easier for team members to use your phrasing, your common greetings and sign off, etc.

A Few Social Media Nuggets!

Katie Wight encouraged us to create three pillars for our branded content to not just sell more, but to create a larger market of demand THROUGH content that focuses on three core pillars…

  1. Lifestyle focus – What is the aspiring lifestyle your customer wants to have?
  2. Product focus – Show the products features, benefits, and meaning…
  3. Mission focus – Help your customers join the mission of your business – what it stands for

Keyword banks. Hashtag banks. CTA banks. These are three different banks that Amber Housley suggested we build for our social media game – especially on Instagram. This way you have a never ending bucket of ideas that help your content stay branded, useful, and specifically targeted to your ideal customer.

A Few Webinar Nuggets!

Julia Taylor dove into her hack for increasing conversions on her webinar… aka personalized videos! She shared her top tips and data analysis after recording over 600 videos. Guess what? When you smile and wave right at the beginning, that encourages the most clicks. We dubbed the new way she waves… “The Julia”.

Adrienne did a presentation on webinar ads and reminded everyone that the three metrics that matter most at the top of the webinar funnel are:

  1. CTR – This is the click through rate. The higher it is, the lower your cost per click will be to get people to the page
  2. CPC – This is the cost per click. The lower this is, the more people you’ll get for your money!
  3. Registration Rate – This is the % of people that convert on your registration page to watch the webinar.

These three things need to be dialed in at the top of any webinar funnel.

A Few Time Management Nuggets!

Eryn Morgan took us into CEO Schedule Secrets where she explained that for people who find themselves wasting time, one of the most common reasons for this is simply… lack of clarity.

Sean Delaney also gave us permission to ask the 20 questions he used to ask big corporate executives trying to solve complex problems…most wasted time and resources come back to not being willing to bust out of our box to ask the questions that will lead us to the most effective solution.

A few of those 20 questions…

A Few Podcast Nuggets!

Kelsey Murphy encouraged us to create a high converting podcast show template. This template helped her create and monetize her podcast to 150k downloads in just 12 months by focusing on the kind of content that is meaningful, and turns listeners into buyers. The template starts with three simple questions…

  1. What do you want people to know?
  2. What do you want people to feel?
  3. What do you want people to do?

A Solid Piece of Advice For Those Making Deals

Aryeh Sheinbein knows a LOT about negotiations and deal making, and spends much of his days (when not on Wall Street) offering entrepreneurs advice on how to structure acquisitions, mergers, JV’s, buy outs, profit shares and more. He laid out five simple steps before you do ANY deal. He went into each step in much more depth but for anyone who’s excited about a deal and thinking of forging ahead, even just the five headlines of Aryeh’s presentation will remind you no matter how good the deal appears…

  1. Know where you want to go.
  2. Do the boring stuff first.
  3. Then do the hard stuff next.
  4. Then layer on protection.
  5. Then write the terms.

A Few Traffic Nuggets!

Matt Deseno took an interesting look at the idea of anti-fragile traffic. The kind of traffic that is robust and doesn’t break easily. The idea is that wind will snuff out a candle but explode a fire. The same element has two very different consequences on the element of fire. How can we create things that are anti-fragile? Think of this example…

  • An ebook is fragile.
  • A book is a bit less fragile.
  • Oral tradition is robust.

When it comes to traffic, most of us rely on the most fragile traffic source of all, paid Facebook. And we should be wary of putting all our eggs in one basket.

Michelle Diaz reminded us ALL why using search based traffic is such a good idea, even if it is slightly more slow growing. The only types of traffic that grow over time are SEO, YouTube, and…. PINTEREST! She showed us how she drives Pinterest to her blog posts and her funnels, and why everyone should be on Pinterest, even if they think their market isn’t there (it probably is).

This is not even 1/3 of the presentations listed here. Every single person who showed up to give a presentation, cracked open their knowledge and expertise, and gave generously. Every single person who attended provided so much value in the comments, I had to download all the chat.txt files from Zoom just to capture the ideas flowing quickly in the chat.

I’m going to need several more blog posts to even go into the presentations I gave (more on that soon…) not to mention the Finishing Touches and Funnel Teardowns that I did with two of my Funnel pro Insiders – Dave Lindenbaum and Cathy Olson.

We also did some quarantine awards, had virtual game night, had a virtual dinner party where we shared favorite recipes, as well as a virtual DI Library book club that’s begun. We’re all exhausted, inspired, and a tad bit overwhelmed. But one thing’s for sure… DI for the next six months is going to be implementation city!

Best Zoom Background: Elissa Ashwood
Best Nail Their Haircut: Chris Wyatt
Best Make A Meal Out Of The Pantry: Julie Chenell
Best Smoothy Jazz Vocals: Chris Wyatt (not fair. he won two)
Most Likely To Shave Their Head Bald: Chris Creed
Most Likely To Yell At Children While On Zoom: Julie Chenell & Yael Bendahan tied
Cutest Office Pet: Marianne Schwabb (she lobbied hard for this)
Most Resourceful Workspace: Ashley Gainer**
Most Likely To Fall Asleep at Desk: Yael Bendahan
Most Hydrated: Helen Henley by a landslide
Most Likely To Exercise Through Calls: Michelle Diaz
Most Likely To Drool? Sean (we’re not sure if it was Sean M. or Sean D. – they can duke it out for the title)
Best Julie Impersonator: Cathy Olson by a landslide

**Also gets an award for having a baby during the mastermind and showing up for lunch on zoom the next day. :O 

So here’s the final takeaway… if I were to do a free presentation on any of my five teachings this week.. which one would you like to have most? Please let me know in the comments!

  1. Strategic Planning (the one spreadsheet Funnel Gorgeous used to drive a year’s worth of content, planning, and offers)
  2. Postmortem Questions After a “Meh” Launch (how to diagnose, assess, and extrapolate the right info after your launch!)
  3. Working In The Midst of Trauma (keeping it together when shit is hitting the fan)
  4. The Systems That Help You Overcome the Most Common 7 Business Derailments (ideas for curing squirrel syndrome, decision fatigue, imposter syndrome and more)
  5. Knowing Your Most Important Numbers (Determining the Lifetime Value of Your Customer)


Julie Chenell

4 Steps To Untangling Any Problem (Big or Small)

An email I sent to my list on April 6th. Not on my email list? That’s where I send my newest trainings and info first. Click here to get on my list! 

Some straight forward business advice for you today. Given the unpredictable climate of the stock market, the banks, the economy, not to mention the health risks we’re facing as a population, it’s hard to find clarity. I get it. I so get it.

  • You could be a startup with a lot of overhead and wonder how to keep the lights on with less customers and clients
  • Or you could be a bootstrapping freelancer who fears that clients might cut out upcoming projects with you to run a lean machine
  • Perhaps you never got your business off the ground and now you’re home from work (either furloughed or still getting paid for now)
  • Maybe you’re unemployed and don’t feel like you have the money to get a new business venture off the ground

It’s a lot.

But every big messy problem is usually just a mixture of a bunch of little problems. And those little problems are ALL attached to a belief.

So with a little surgery, we can unravel a big problem by pulling out all the little problems and going after the fundamental belief that’s allowing that problem to remain.

Let’s take a very common problem I’m seeing right now with agencies.

Agencies serve business owners. And those business owners might be local businesses that have had to shut down (gyms, salons, restaurants, etc.). So as clients drop off, the agency owner starts to panic. What do you do now?

Let’s look at the little problems that combine to make this one big messy scary problem…

  • You’re losing existing clients + revenue
  • Your expenses are the same and debt will quickly follow if you don’t figure something out fast
  • Your time is less because your kids are home and you have to help them with online schooling
  • Your spouse got laid off and just put immense pressure on the family budget
  • Your own anxiety and fear is wearing you out and draining you of your creativity
  • The people you follow online are boasting about opportunity in crisis and you don’t know what’s wrong with you that you can’t pivot fast

Now it’s time to tackle EACH little problem’s fundamental belief. It’s only when you see what you’re dealing with that you can attack it with solutions, creativity, hope, and determination.

You’re losing existing clients + revenue

The fundamental belief here is that you don’t have any control over your income, and while it’s true you can’t control your existing clients behavior, you can control your behavior. Your policies. Your actions. There are businesses that are doing well. Those are the people you need to go after.

  1. Can you create a pause plan for customers who don’t want to lose you long term but need some reprieve?
  2. Can you lower prices temporarily?
  3. Can you find other clients in markets that ARE doing well (because they are there!)?
  4. Can you turn on your own funnel and/or ads and teach people how to DIY it in a course at a lower price point?

Your expenses are the same and debt will quickly follow if you don’t figure something out fast

The fundamental belief here is that you’re a victim of this (maybe so) and there’s nothing you can do to stop this cascade of terribleness. The truth is you can cut expenses (even if it’s hard) and you can go into debt AND get back out. That’s okay too.

  1. Quickly create a priority list of what you should pay for and what you can get an extension on. Mortgage? Utilities? Credit Card interest? Student loans?
  2. Are there ways you can save some on things like food, monthly subscriptions you’re not using, etc.
  3. Do you have any assets you can liquidate temporarily?
  4. Can you put some things on credit cards to buy yourself some time?

Your time is less because your kids are home and you have to help them with homeschooling

The fundamental belief here is that you’re going to screw up your kid if you don’t homeschool well. Isn’t it true that if your kids are younger than 12, EVEN if they miss an entire year of school, they could easily catch up? The answer is yes. Most kids could skip 12 months of school and still grow up to be intelligent adults. The good news is, that everyone is in the same boat. Your kid isn’t the weird one. Everyone is struggling with this! If your kids are over 12, they need to take some self-responsibility for their education. What a perfect time to teach that important lesson when you have the convenient excuse of surviving a pandemic.

  1. Can you get up at 4-5am and do your work until 9am and then just be done for the day? After all, there’s nothing to do and no place to go so you can take an afternoon nap or go to bed early. Your schedule is literally yours right now. There’s never been a better time to work odd hours.
  2. Are there free groups and opportunities for kids to get taught by others? So many teachers and business owners are offering free or low cost online meetings/trainings to supplement education.

Your spouse got laid off and just put immense pressure on the family budget

The fundamental belief here is that your situation isn’t going to change and you’re stuck. You are not stuck. This is really hard, but there is unemployment. In the meantime….

  1. What can now happen that could not before in terms of having two people at home instead of one?
  2. What skills and talents does your spouse have and how might they be used in a different arena?
  3. Are there temporary jobs available at places like grocery stories or Amazon facilities that need all the help they can get?
  4. Since it’s that proverbial hit bottom moment, what have you been dreaming about trying but seemed too risky? Now can you do it? Start that business?
  5. There’s a level of freedom when your worst case scenario hits… all of a sudden crazy options that you never would have tried, now you can.

Your own anxiety and fear is wearing you out and draining you of your creativity

The fundamental belief is that you have a set amount of creativity and energy and when it runs out, you can’t get it back. This is not true. However you do need to “hack” your brain a bit to get your fight or flight mechanism back on track.

  1. There are anti-anxiety toolkits that actually rewire the brain physiologically. Can you get a book or meditation to start practicing?
  2. Music, physical activity, conversations with an encouraging friend… these all change your state and stop the anxiety flow.
  3. Gratitude exercises work. When you get in an anxious cycle, stop what you’re doing and [OUT LOUD] start saying what you’re grateful for. Don’t stop until you feel the anxiety starting to dissolve.
  4. When you’re about to problem solve something or get creative, do it the MINUTE you wake up before you have a chance for the input from the news or social media or people start to get at you.
  5. Face your worst case scenario in your head because once you do, you’ll realize that you can still survive it (yes, even death). Once you battle it, your anxiety has lost its most terrifying power.

The people you follow online are boasting about opportunity in crisis and you don’t know what’s wrong with you that you can’t pivot fast

The fundamental belief here is that you’re not good enough. And because you believe that, these types of posts are “sticking” to you. They are triggering you because you believe that to be true, when in fact, if you just stopped believing it, these comments wouldn’t bug you anymore.

  1. Remind yourself these people are doing/saying what they are for their own reason. You don’t have the whole picture. Don’t compare their highlight reel to your behind the scenes.
  2. The unfollow button is your friend.
  3. Everyday write down the things you accomplished. Big stuff, small stuff, hell even just thoughts and beliefs you beat down into submission. Remind yourself of everything you’re doing. Stick up on the wall.

It’s this kind of deconstruction that breaks the power of fear and stops the downward spiral in its tracks.

My incredible therapist (thank heavens for professional help is all I have to say)… says that anxiety is just fear of another feeling. We will do all kinds of things to avoid feeling the unpleasant feeling we don’t want to feel. But attacking it at the level of belief will actually move you forward faster than anything else.

  1. Look at that big scary messy problem.
  2. Break it up into smaller fears and problems.
  3. Attack the fundamental belief.
  4. Find the solutions (even the ones you might not like at first – they might grow on you).

Last thing…

If you have a problem – a big messy problem that you can’t figure out – hit reply and let me know. I may attempt to untangle some of these for folks… to show you that ANY problem, no matter how big – has a way out. You may not like the way out, but it’s there and it’s available to those willing to look at it.

xx Julie

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