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The Marketing Secrets Show


Jul 17, 2019

One of my friends is a new entrepreneur and asked a really good question, so Steve Larsen and I decided to tag team it for you!!

On this episode Russell enlists the help of Stephen Larsen to talk to another friend of his about entrepreneurship and what he should be focusing on as he tries to figure out how to make and stick with a product. Here are some insightful things in today’s episode:

  • Why both Russell and Stephen believe Jaime is focusing on the wrong thing as he looks to start a business.
  • How switching his focus from himself to his customers will help him find what he should be selling.
  • And some final advice for finding fulfillment in entrepreneurship. 

So listen here as Russell and Stephen tell Jaime (and everyone else) how to best get started as an entrepreneur.

---Transcript---

What’s up, Stephen? I hope you are doing amazing. I had a question/favor for you. So at church the other day, one of my friends, Jaime, he’s a new entrepreneur was asking some questions about entrepreneurship. I asked him to vox me his main questions. And he said to me, they were really cool, he was asking basically some things about as an entrepreneur how do you pick which idea? He’s passionate about a lot of stuff. How do you pick the right idea? And then second off, how do you stick with one and see it through to the end?

Anyway, I thought it was a really good question and I was going to respond back to him through voxer and I thought you know what would be more fun, is instead what if me and you tag teamed it back and forth and that way he can hear both different perspectives. And number two, I could take all the audios from our voxer messages and I could upload them as a marketing secrets podcast. That way it doesn’t just help him, it doesn’t just help me or you, but it helps the entire funnel hacker community as a whole.

So my question for you is, do you want to tag team this answer with me, and turn this thing into a podcast? If the answer is yes, message me back and let me know yes, and then we gotta queue up the Marketing Secrets theme song, then I’ll send you the message and we’ll start tag teaming it and help Jaime out with his question and hopefully help a bunch of other funnel hackers out there as well. So let me know your thoughts and we’ll go from there.

Stephen: Hey sounds good man, sweet idea and looking forward to it. Heck yeah, I’m in. Send over the question.

Russell: Alright everybody, this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear behind the scenes in live voxer coaching where me and Stephen are going to be tag teaming Jaime, it’s going to be a ton of fun and I’m excited to take you guys behind the scenes. With that said, I’m going to forward you, and let you listen first off to Jaime’s messages to me, and then hear me and Stephen go back and forth, I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you guys all soon.

Jaime: Hey man, I guess I’ll just get right to the chase. I’m just looking for advice on entrepreneurship. My first thing that I’ve been kind of wrestling with a lot lately is that I have a ton of passion and a ton of things that intrigue me and that excite me. And the hardest thing to do has been sit down and pick one thing and stick with it, and to focus completely and solely on that. And yet, I still don’t know exactly what to do or what to pick or where to start. I feel stuck and kind of like paralyzed by all the things that do interest and when I start on one path, I feel like I get stuck and then I don’t continue onward. That in itself is probably the biggest thing that I’m dealing with right now. So I appreciate it, I look forward to hearing from you, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Russell: What’s up man? Great to hear from you. Yes, I do know that feeling very, very well. Before I tell you the answer though, explain to me two or three of the businesses you’ve worked on in the past. I just want to hear in your words, because how you explain, that will tell me a lot. Alright, let me know and we’ll go from there.

Jaime: Hey man, so the first thing I guess I’ve been working on for a while now, is I have an outdoor clothing brand called ReExplore Apparel and it’s at reexploreapparel.com. I’m super into the outdoors, super into outdoor living, cycling, running, hiking, camping, all that stuff. So I’m also a big fan of North Face, and Patagonia and REI and those kind of brands. So I always wanted to create a clothing brand that kind of catered to that lifestyle. So I started that a little over a year and a half ago. And we got a pretty, we got, our launch was actually pretty decent. We got over a hundred followers on Instagram in one day, which I know isn’t a ton. But I didn’t know how to launch anything at the time.

So I have a buddy and I that started that. And it kind of just fell flat. It’s kind of hard to explain. But that’s the first thing, an outdoor clothing brand that I did with a buddy of mine. And then I’ve had several different podcasts over the years, that I’ve created and founded and been on, and I currently have one podcast that the one funnel away challenge inspired. So I’m doing that one. I feel really confident in it, I feel really good about it. So I’m more kind of about that. But I’ve had others in the past. You know, I’ve had three or four that kind of fell through as well.

And then the last thing was, I actually had a buddy when I was living in Virginia, we were in college and we worked on a bunch of different business projects together. We had a moving company we worked on in Virginia that did fairly well for a little bit, but it didn’t really take off. And we worked on an internet café thing in Virginia in my little college town near SVU.

So just that kind of stuff. I was never really like super passionate about the moving thing, or the internet café, I just wanted to start something and do something, so that’s kind of why we worked on that. So that’s kind of three ideas, or three businesses that I’ve worked on in the past, but I have a million other business ideas, I just don’t know how to like get them off the ground and get them running. I don’t know, I guess that’s kind of the best way to put it. Those are the three things I’ve worked on the most.

Stephen: So the first thing I would say about this whole thing is that you gotta realize that the number of opportunities that you have on your plate has nothing with to do with how successful you’re going to be. And it sounds super simple to say that, but there was a time when I had, I mean, I had like a dozen people on a waiting list for funnels and I was like, “I’m so successful.” But nothing was getting done.
So the first thing I would tell Jaime on this is that you gotta get good at saying no. And it’s one of the hardest skills of any entrepreneur, it’s super rough to do it. So that’s a skill set I feel like will just always get better and better, but truly I actually think he might be starting at the wrong question.

Instead of “what do I sell? What do I sell? What do I sell?” which is kind of the question that I just beat myself up with for probably four or five years, instead of starting with the question of “What do I sell? What do I sell? What do I sell?” and being so product focused, that’s like question number three or four, I feel like.

Question number one should be like, “Who do I want to sell?” and I think if he went back and started focusing instead on what his dream customer looks like, it’s really easy to be just solving their problems and they tell you what products they want you to go build for them. And the game gets way easier.

One other thing that I’d probably tell him too is that like, the products, a product plan is never complete without your campaign on how you’re going to launch it. So if you’re like, “Hey, I got this idea, I got this idea, I got this idea.” Ideas are great, but ideas are nothing. They’re just like {inaudible}. So I would tell him like, hey you’ve got to sit back and think through not just what your idea is, now that you know what your dream customer is, now that you kind of have more of an idea of what products they want, because you’re not the one who buys the products, so who cares what you think, I think that no product plan is complete without a campaign that launches it. “I have an idea for a product.” That has to include the way you actually bring it to the market.

So all these ideas, you’re just making products not how you’re actually going to bring it to the marketplace, and that’s just as an important step as the product itself.

Russell: Yes, yes, yes, yes. If you noticed my message back to him initially, my first question I asked him was “Tell me about your businesses and I’ll tell you the answer.” And I wanted to hear how he explained. So Jaime, if you’re listening to this, what’s interesting is when you explained it you talked about yourself, you talked about your ideas, you talked about what you wanted to do and you wanted to create clothing and stuff like that. I was waiting to hear you say, “I’m obsessed with people who like to go camping.” Or “I’m obsessed with…” or “I love….whatever.” It’s the customer part that you missed, that he was talking about.

And I think that’s what most entrepreneurs when they first get started do, is they’re looking at what’s the opportunity? What’s the product? What’s the service? What’s the thing I’m going to sell? As opposed to exactly what you just nailed on the head. It’s the opposite. Initial its like “Who am I going to serve? Who gets me pumped?”

So you know, he talked about in there, obviously, camping and outdoor clothing and stuff like that. So I think it’s shifting it from selling that type of merchandise to like, “These are the type of people I want to serve, people that ‘this’ is what they do, and ‘this’ is what they do for fun.” And that’s the question, who, not what am I selling. It’s who am I selling? That’s the first thing.

Then it’s looking at okay, now that we know who they are, then it’s like where, what’s going to be the easiest way for me to get access to those people?

I remember when I was in London I was speaking at an event out in London and afterwards a guy, you know in the presentation I’d shown five or six industries that we’d built funnels in and had made a bunch of money, and he asked me afterwards, “How do you know what market to pick?” And I said, “You know what, most people don’t ever ask me that. They ask me other things but they don’t ever ask me that.”

You know what’s interesting, the reason why every funnel I’ve had in the last 8, I don’t know, the last time I had failed funnels, its been a little while right. I’ve had some that have been not as good as others, obviously, but the last one I had that bombed was 7 or 8 years ago, and it’s because that was about the point I realized, I said, “I’m not going to build a funnel until I know where the traffic is first.”

So I know that, like let’s just say I love survival stuff. I’d be like, ‘Okay, the survival market, that’s where I want to be at. So where do I get survival traffic?” That’d be the question, where are those ‘who’s’ at? Where can I find them at? I gotta find those people right. So I’d be looking at what email list can I write, what Facebook ad, what are the groups, what are the forums? Trying to find how easy is it going to be for me to get access to those people?

We built the Neurocell supplement, I didn’t know anything about Neurocell, other than I knew that people who were going to buy it were Diabetics who had Neuropathy. So my first thing was, kind I find Neuropathy email lists? Can I find Neuropathy forums? Can I find Neuropathy groups? Can I target them on Facebook? What does that all look like? So before I ever even dreamt about how to make the supplement or even name the supplement, I was trying to figure out where are those people.

And as soon as I was like, they’re right here, here, here. I was like, we’ll circle them on a map and say, ‘there they are.” Now I’m going to go create a product, and go get access to those people.

So the first question is who are they and where are they at? Finding that out first. And then just going into those worlds and becoming obsessed. What else is already being sold to them? So for Neurocell I went to every one of these email lists, all the conservative republican newsletter lists. All of the health newsletters. All the ones that my dream clients were on already, I started subscribing and looking at what were the offers being sent out to them.

Jaime, you initially said something, I’m going to forget it right now, but you talked about having a clothing line and stuff like that, and it’s tough because you know, I think a lot of us have dreamed of having a clothing line. And it’s funny now, looking at Clickfunnels, we have 90-something-thousand customers and we’ve tried to launch our swag store like ten times and I still can’t make it profitable.  Maybe that’s my one, my most recently failed funnel, was the swag stuff. We tried so many times, and it’s hard because swag is like, you gotta create it ahead of time, and it’s like, what sizes, you got small, medium, large, and do I do more than large or small? And upfront cost, any kind of physical product, is really, really high.

So for me, when I’m going into a market, I’m not going to typically do that as the first pass. My first pass is what’s going to be something that’s easy that I can cut my teeth on? So I’d be looking at okay, let’s say it’s the outdoor/recreational space. What physical products can I be an affiliate for at first? I want to find out what my people are going to buy. So I join four or five affiliate programs of potentially where I might want to sell in the future. Maybe it’s a clothing line, maybe it’s tents, maybe it’s a camper, maybe it’s RVs, maybe it’s whatever that my dream people are going to buy, and I’m going to become an affiliate for those things before I risk any money buying inventory and product. Because that’s just upfront costs you don’t want to eat ahead of time. So it’s figuring it out and saying, “How can I build a list of customers that I can then go and send over there?”

So for me, there’s a reason why I’m so obsessed with info products, because info product funnels are the best and easiest and cheapest way to get dream customers in the door. So I might do a summit of, I’m going to find top ten coolest, or I’m going to do an online summit with ten cool camping gurus. I don’t even know if they have camping gurus. They probably do right.

One’s going to be someone who’s great at Dutch oven cooking, and one’s going to be someone’s who’s awesome at RVing, and one’s going to be someone’s who’s awesome at whatever. And I’d try to find people who already have a following. Who on YouTube has got the biggest RV channel? Which podcast has got the biggest like, we talk about camping all day, following. I would try to get those people to host those shows, because in a dream world they’d promote it, and worst case scenario I want to get their face on the thing, so I can promote to their people. I would do something like that initially and launch that.

Now it’s like, now you’re interviewing these people you look up to anyway, which is going to give you energy and energy is the key that keeps you moving through a project right. You get a project with low energy, that’s what makes this fall out. Start having success, you lose energy, that’s why you move onto the next project, because the energy is not there anymore.

So now you’re interviewing people in that market that are the best in the world to light you up and you have fun doing it anyway, and you’re building a list of subscribers in the beginning and they promote it or whatever. And Stephen, I’m going to pass it back to you here in a second about the campaign related to something like that, but use something like that, it gets a big following. And then from there you say, “Okay, I’m going to sell this clothing line over here.” And you promote it to your new customer list. Your clothing line, let’s say you do that and nobody buys clothing, and you’re like, “Huh, my people don’t like clothing. I’m not going to invest in a clothing line.”

And then you’re like, “Let’s promote this RV thing over here.” So you promote the RV time share, or whatever. AirBNB RVs, that’s actually a thing. One of my friends built that company and sold it for a crap ton of money. Anyway, I digress. So that could be another one. You go out there and push that out there, and boom you sign up like 12 people and like, oh my gosh, this is the thing. And then maybe you do another one, it’s four or five different promotions as an affiliate, this is where you’re finding out what does your audience actually want?

A lot of people think it’s, they’ve got a website, therefore it must be super profitable. That’s not always the case. It’s like, ‘Let’s test things as an affiliate and find out what my audience is buying on,” and then we find out, “okay they’re buying this kind of thing and now I can go deep. I’m going to go and build an RV club.” Or “I’m going to go and build a clothing line.” Or “I’m going to go and sell Dutch ovens because holy crap everyone wants to buy a Dutch oven.” And that’s where you figure out the product you’re going to develop.

So that’s kind of some of my initial brain thoughts. I’m going to pass it back to you Stephen because my question for you, especially if someone doesn’t have a list right now, and let’s say they do want to go this route of let’s interview cool people in the market that you dream about going, how would you create the campaign to get that taken off the ground and to blow it up?

Stephen: Yeah, I’ll say that that’s one of the biggest misconceptions that I find frequently inside the one funnel away challenge or anywhere. Any new entrepreneur, they always think like, “Hey, I need to go create something that’s completely brand new, something that’s completely prolific, something that no one’s ever seen before.” And it’s just not true. 80% of the security in entrepreneurship comes from selling something that they’re already asking for and already buying something similar to.

So you’re not going in being like a me too thing, but it’s neat to see like, “Oh man, I can go in and I can still be creative, I can still have the fun innovations, but based off of what they’re already purchasing.” And then it gets way more secure.

As far as campaigns that I like the most, launching something with no list, you and I have each done that several times, and I think one of the biggest things that I like from this side of it is, if I can go in and identify who’s already publishing, this is one of the biggest hacks to the game in my opinion. Let’s say Jaime’s going to go in and let’s say he’s going to sell t-shirts or whatever and it’s going to be around camping, I would go in and do exactly what you said.

I would go, there’s two criteria that I would look for that would help me launch when I don’t have a list. And the first would be, number one, who’s big? Who’s already selling and has a giant list of customers? Who’s already actively purchasing from them? And I would make a big list from them, similar to what you just said.

The second thing though, is I actually look to see who in there is actually publishing somehow, whether it’s an actual book that they wrote, they’re actively publishing on a podcast or something like that. What I want to do is I want to find somebody who, like I said, number one is big, but also has trained their audience to consume their content. And what’s nice about that is you get all these pre-groomed potential buyers that you didn’t search out. You just go find them.

So it’s really easy, just go on iTunes or on YouTube, these other places and just start looking, “Who’s big in camping?” and you start seeing, “Whoa, look how many followers that person has, and that person and that person.” Those are the kinds of people that I go and try to grab. And I know I say it a lot, but honestly what I would do is I would start publishing. I would do the summit like you just said. I would do a seed launch. I would do, someone’s listening they don’t know what those things are, what’s neat is that it does exactly what I’m saying, you just go in and leverage the followings of other people that they spent tons of time and money to create. It takes a lot of momentum to launch something.

So what I would go do is go grab the followings of people who are already primed for the pump. You get all the cards stacked in your favor. One of my absolute favorite methods of launching a product when I have no list, I’ve done it twice now, and it’s worked well, and what I did Russell, is I took your perfect webinar script, and then I wrote a webinar, but there’s 5 parts of the webinar that you talk about, so that became 5 episodes of a podcast or a blog or YouTube or whatever channel someone chooses to do.

But I said something a little while ago, and I might ruffle some feathers up here a little bit. But it’s true, we’re no longer just in the information age. We’re in the attention age, where the loudest is likely to get paid, and not the person who is just the best. And that’s made some people mad as I’ve said that, but it’s so true. How many amazing products are out there that are sitting on shelves that will never be bought? You’ve got to be able to create some noise and that’s part of the product, it’s not separate from it.

So anyway, when I’m creating a launch when I don’t have a list, that is one of my absolute favorite ways to go do it. Hey, let’s go see all the people who are used to listening to someone publish, and who’s already following someone who’s already big and then I’ll just feature that guy on my show, and a huge portion of their audience will come follow me, and I’ll start literally my episodes out being kind of like a tripped out sideways webinar, that actually is your perfect webinar script. So that’s exactly how I like to do it.

Russell: Hey man, that’s awesome. Okay, the last thing that I’m going to add for Jaime and then if you have any final thoughts you can add them as well. The last thing I wanted to recommend because he was asking about moving from thing to thing, and what I’ve found with entrepreneur…not entrepreneurship, with anything, energy is what keeps you going.

So what normally happens with a business as we get into something, we get excited, we start it and do all this stuff, and then if we don’t start getting some wins really quickly then our energy starts lulling and it gets worse and worse til eventually a month later, or two later, or six months depending on how long your attention span is, most people lose interest and they move onto the next thing.

So the biggest thing I say is to keep the interest long and excited is really, its funny because I think entrepreneurs get into business because they want to make money for themselves. That’s the first thing they start looking towards, how to make money for myself. But really quickly, especially after it starts working, you find out almost instantly, that does almost nothing.

I remember the first time I made a thousand and then ten thousand, 100 thousand, a million… I kept like, this will be the thing. And then it happened and you’re like, that was not as cool as I thought. And it wasn’t until I shifted from that mentality of “how do I make money?” to “Let me find people that I can serve.” And the difference in making your first million dollars or making, having somebody else have success with whatever it is you’re doing, it’s like night and day. If someone launching their first funnel makes a thousand bucks, that does more for my energy and my excitement than me making an extra million dollars. It’s insane.

And I’m saying that in my space, I would say if you look at Kaelin Poulin in the weight loss space, it’s like when she has the women’s success stories of “I lost 30 pounds in the last 2 months following Kaelin’s thing.” That’s what gives you the energy to keep going.

So it’s like, the quicker you can get to that the better. So the best way to do that is to start focusing, we’re talking about the customers. Who am I serving? Getting obsessed with going and joining all the people’s email lists that are publishing, listening to the podcasts, listening to the interviewers, listening to all the different stuff, because you’re going to start hearing the pain points over and over and over again, and you start listening to that. And you’re like, “Okay, I can solve that one. I can solve that one.” And you start getting into there, and you solve someone’s problem they come back to you, that’s the fire. That’s it.

I tell you what, there is no financial reason for me to keep coming into Clickfunnels every single day. Literally everything I own is completely paid off, money keeps coming in, it’s like I don’t know what to do with this. It gets ridiculous at a point. But every time I get hit up on Facebook or tagged on a thing and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, it finally clicked for me, I’ve been trying this funnel thing for a year and Russell said something in the challenge or the book or whatever that clicked for me, and now I get it. I’m in this thing and boom, here’s my result.’ That’s what gets us to keep publishing and moving and waking up in the morning and coming in and dedicating time and energy and effort, is the stories.

So the faster you can get to that the better, because it’s lonely. Entrepreneurship is a lonely, lonely, lonely path. I know Jaime you’ve got great support from your wife, most people don’t even have that. But even with that, it’s a lonely job, especially with the ups and the downs. So the quickest way to start building your own tribe and your own community where you’re serving them, and their wins are what fuels you.

And I don’t care if you’re selling physical products, ecommerce, clothing, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Build a tribe and the tribe will give you the energy to move forward, because as soon as you shift it from it being about you to it being about them, then you’ll never leave it. I’ll never leave entrepreneurs. If I sold Clickfunnels tomorrow for a billion dollars I’d still be doing events the next day because that’s the juice, that’s what gets me moving and going.

So there’s my final thoughts, Jaime. I appreciate you voxing over the questions. Stephen, any final thoughts before we make this thing into a podcast?

Stephen: Yeah, you know I think it was actually you that said to me, “Hey, the definition of an entrepreneur is somebody who takes on a problem that they don’t need to take on.” In fact, I remember, I was actually talking with you too about this a few months ago. I was like, “Man, I’m making more than I’ve ever made or seen in my entire life. I’m all excited. This is so cool, so cool, so cool.” And then like a week later, not that long, seriously like 7 days later I was kind of getting depressed.

I remember thinking, this is really backwards, this is really weird. And I was like, I must need to throw a bigger party this time. And then you go and you start trying to do these things that you assume having more cash means and find out really quickly that it gets really unfulfilling very quickly.

So I think for me, the game entrepreneurship is really, there’s two major things it comes down to feeling a sense of fulfillment. Tony Robbins says that there’s the science of achievement and then the art of fulfillment. For me, the art of fulfillment in entrepreneurship really comes in two ways. One might sound selfish, but you know, Jaime if you’re listening to this, you’re probably seeing this in yourself, just a row of what you might consider failures. When you step back and start thinking to yourself, “How have I grown? How have I developed? How have I changed?” You know, you start realizing that the level of opportunity that your personal capacity can now match is way higher than what it was on your failure number one.

Sitting with Russell when I first started with him, you know, me and Russ sitting, the you of right now, you’re totally different than you were like 3 years ago when I first sat down next to you. And you even said several times there’s no way the me of three years ago could handle the clickfunnels of today and what you’ve built now.

So there’s a coin that I keep on my desk and when it comes down to the personal fulfillment side, it’s like I almost welcome the crap now that comes with stuff. The obstacle is the way. And every single time anything happens, you start to realize really quickly, holy crap, yesterday’s failure actually qualified me for tomorrows opportunities and success.

So from a selfish standpoint, it might seem selfish, but the fulfillment of entrepreneurship has come to me by looking forward, kind of, to some of the garbage. Not that I’m looking to make it happen, it’ll happen on its own. But I’m like, ‘Let’s go launch the next thing. I can’t wait to grow again.” So selfishly the fulfillment has come from the growth, not the money.

Second thing though, that has really helped me in the fulfillment side of this, and as you start to see exactly, and I mean Russell you’re saying it’s all about serving the people. When you start thinking, “What should I go sell next? What should I go sell next? What should I go sell next?” Then you start taking the focus from those you serve back to “How can I just make more money?” You’ll find very quickly that it’s just not, I don’t know, it actually won’t serve them as much, probably won’t sell as much, you get a little more antsy, wondering why people are so stuck up they won’t buy your thing.

It’s really interesting the way it happens. If you just focus on your cause, is their problem. And entrepreneurship is taking on their problem, which you don’t need to take. And in my mind, this is like, I’ve almost treated this as kind of a sacred path. You know, I believe that the adjustments and changes in the world is going to come from this sector. Not government, not, you know, it’s going to be from those who care who really don’t need to. So welcome to the entrepreneurship brotherhood/sisterhood, the hood I should say. I really enjoyed doing this back and forth, hopefully it’s helpful.