Marketing Secrets - Podcast (Russell Brunson - FunnelHackerTV)
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Behind the scenes at SalesForce’s DreamForce event in San Francisco.
On this episode Russell talks about being in San Francisco for the Sales Force event and what he has learned. Here are some of the insightful things on this episode:
- How going to the Sales Force event was similar to seeing the state championship when Russell was in 8th grade.
- How Sales Force showed Russell why it was necessary to build an ecosystem to solidify your place as category king.
- Why Russell believes Clickfunnels could be as successful as Sales Force only faster.
So listen here to find out what kind of things Russell is learning at Sales Force, and how those things could help you in your own business.
Good morning everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome to Marketing Secrets podcast. Today I am streaming from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hey everyone, so welcome to this episode. I am literally 100 feet away from the Golden Gate Bridge, we snuck down past the “Do not walk past this spot” signs. And we snuck down here to get some videos and some footage, and we’re waiting for the sun to rise on the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s all cloudy and foggy and it’s starting to appear, but there’s like 15 or 20 minutes until the sun pops, so I thought, I need to just bring you up on some cool things I want to share with you guys.
So a couple of things, I am out right now in San Francisco, obviously, at Sales Force’s big, huge event, it’s called Dream Force. And when we decided to come out here everyone kept asking, “Why are you going to Sales Force’s event, what’s the point of it?” So I wanted to kind of tell that story so you understand why we’re here, and the reason why I got excited, because hopefully it will help you guys as well.
So Sales Force is the biggest company in my world. I think they said that last year they did 13 billion dollars in sales, this event had 171,000 businesses that came to it. So my little Funnel Hacking Live, that I thought was so cool and so big, is tiny in comparison.
Anyway, it’s funny because as we were talking about coming out here, and thinking we should come, I remembered a story that I thought was really, really important. So when I got started wrestling, I was in 8th grade when I started wrestling. So I started a little older than most people, most people start when they’re kids. But for whatever reason I started in 8th grade and I remember in 8th grade I kind of liked wrestling, it was okay. But the end of the season there was a state tournament, my Dad took me to the state tournament. So we went there and I remember sitting in the stands and watching the people in the state of Utah, the best of the best, wrestling and competing.
And I remember in the finals, two guys from my high school ended up in the finals, and they both ended up winning. One was named Matt Wood, and our heavy weight, I can’t remember his name off the top of my head right now, but they both made it to the finals and they both won. And I remember sitting there watching it and I was like, “Oh my gosh, there’s these guys from my high school who won a state title.”
I remember going back home and I was like, “I wanna be a state champ.” Like that just, that thought went through my head and I was like, “I’m gonna be a state champ.” And I set that as my goal, I set it as a target and I started going and started running and started moving. And fast forward now a couple of years, my junior year in high school I won the state title. It was awesome and amazing and everything and it was kind of cool.
And fast forward I went to college, and some of you guys know in high school I took second place in the nation, I was an All-American and then I went to college. In college I never went to the NCAA tournament, I never went to nationals, I never saw those things. I had it as a goal, I was like “I wanna be a national champ.” But I’d never actually seen it. In fact, the first time I actually went to the NCAA wrestling championship was after I had graduated from Boise State, which means I never actually made it to the tournament. I missed my goal every year, I never actually made it.
And I remember thinking one day, I actually had a friend, BJ Wright, and he told me his dad used to always take him to National tournaments, and because of that he didn’t care about being a state champ, he just wanted to be a national champ, he kept going trying to be a national champ. That was his goal.
I remember thinking, “Gosh, I love that my dad took me to the State Championship, he gave me a goal and I was able to see it and I was able to go run and achieve that thing.” But because I’d never seen a national tournament, I didn’t know what it looked like. It’s hard to run towards something you haven’t seen. You know what I mean?
And I remember always thinking, “Man, I wish I would have went in high school to the NCAA wrestling tournament. So I could have seen it, because then I would have known what the goal was.” I would have seen, this is what I’m trying to get to.
So fast forward now until this event. Last year a bunch of guys from my team came out to this event, and they were telling me, “there are 170,000 businesses, they shut down San Francisco, there’s like 50 different place….” I think they said there’s 2600 keynote speakers that are happening this weekend. It’s massive, it’s like a whole different level.
And as they were telling me about it, I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s the next level.” I was like, I look at the market that I’m in and I was like okay when I got started and we were looking at things, who was out there? Bill Glazer had GKIC and that was the biggest event company. And then Ryan Diess had Traffic and Conversion, and Infusion Soft was there and Lead Pages….I had these known people and I was able to see who the other people we’re trying to…not compete against, I guess in some situations compete against. But I saw those things. I’d seen GKIC with 1200 people, I know what that event looks like, so I was able to go out there and build a company and get to a 1200 people event.
And then I saw Ryan Diess and those guys had done Traffic Conversion with like 3000 people, so last year we’re like, boom, we got to 3000 people. But now it’s like, we surpassed all these people, it’s like what’s the next thing? I don’t know where to go. So we found out Sales Force had 170000 businesses here, they do 13 billion dollars a year in sales. I was like, that’s the next level. I need to go and witness, go see it, just like I needed to go to the national tournament. Because as soon as I could see it, then it becomes real, then I got a goal in my mind.
In some of the podcast episodes in the past I’ve talked a little bit about this, how I’ve just, it’s been harder and harder for me to see the vision because we’ve kind of surpassed everything, all the known things, all the known levels that I was aware of that I knew I wanted to try to get. I had seen those levels, and we worked toward them and we surpassed them, and we had accomplished those goals. Now it’s like trying to figure out, okay, now we got these goals what’s the next goal?
So we came here to be able to see here’s the next target. And it’s funny because even on the way here, literally we’re coming here and I’m like, in my mind I’m like, it’s so big. 170,000 businesses, I don’t even know if I want to go that path. It just seems so hard and so big and so far away. And then yesterday we got here.
So we flew in, in the morning, and after we got here, we started and we went and got our name badges and we started experiencing it. We started walking around and I noticed some really, really cool things. So if you’ve read the Expert Secrets book, you know a lot of my beliefs on how to build your own culture. And we talked about, your tribe has to call themselves something right, they have to be something like a future based cause they’re all moving towards, all these different things.
And I started as we were going around, I started noticing and watching all these things. I looked at, Sales force is the name of the company, Dream Force is the name of the event, and then when you come inside of it, all the themeing and branding for their company is all around this camping theme. So they had this thing called Trail Head, and Trail Head is their company success platform. Someone comes to Sales Force they go to Trail Head and Trail Head walks you through the steps you need to go on to be successful. So you have Trail Head.
So then you have, they call their people Trail Blazers, so everyone is like, “I’m a trail blazer” so you look at all the success story videos that they showed, “Here’s so and so, a trail blazer.” They show all the companies that use Sales Force, “Here’s this company, they’re a trail blazer.” And associating everybody, if you look at all the signage everywhere it’s interesting. All their sponsors, instead of having a sponsorship sign, they took the sponsors and had their designers match it.
Let’s say IBM was one of their sponsors, “IBM is a trail blazer.” And then they have all the design and branding of IBM but mixed in theirs, so it’s like this co-branding opportunity. So now it’s like all these companies almost taking credit for their success. Like, “Oh IBM is a trail blazer. So and so is a trail blazer.” Similar with what we do with our Funnel Hackers, right. Lady Boss is Funnel Hackers, all the different companies we work with are Funnel Hackers.
So that was really fun to see. It’s interesting, in each of their core departments, so they have their service delivery department, they’ve got their…I can’t even think off the top of my head, it’s too early in the morning right now. But each department has an actual character. So they have these characters who are on the trail head, and they’re all trail blazers, it was just cool the way the branding all synced together. So it’s fun to see some of those things.
Alright, so that’s the first thing. The next thing is I’ve been talking more about this, I don’t know if I’ve talked about it much on the podcast, but there’s a really cool book that I had my entire team read called Play Bigger. And Play Bigger is this book about creating your own category, I could probably do a whole podcast episode on it. But the basic gist is that in every market there is a category king and the category king sucks up like 90% of the business, and then the last 10% is fought over by everybody else.
If you look at, for any of us, when we’re developing a business, a company, you don’t want to be one of the 10% that is fighting over the scraps inside of a category. You want to develop your own category. So that book, Play Bigger is all about how to design and develop your own category, it’s really, really good. A lot of similarities to the Expert Secrets and creating your new opportunity, which is interesting. But I digress, we’ll come back to that another day.
But one thing that’s interesting is that first phase of becoming a category king is you create the need to find a category, the second phase then is you build an ecosystem to support the category. So you’ll notice in Clickfunnels in the next month or so, us launching things that will be all about us building an ecosystem for the category that we own. We are the sales funnel category, so we’re building this ecosystem.
So it was cool here as well, to see the ecosystem. If you read Marc Benioff’s book called Behind the Clouds, you’ll see strategically he is like, “We’re building this thing that’s the Sales Force, but we need to build an ecosystem for the people who can build off our platform. Our product isn’t a product, our product is a platform.” And you start looking at what you’re creating as a platform instead of just a product. That’s when you can start building out your own ecosystem.
So I know for some of you guys, you’re just in a spot where you’re just building a product and you’re selling it and that’s awesome. But I want you to start thinking, I want you to open your vision of like, what’s a platform I could create?
You know for me, obviously it’s a software platform, but there’s platforms that aren’t just software platforms. There are training platforms, anything can be a platform if you just shift how you think about it, right.
So anyway, they built this platform, Sales Force, and then they built this ecosystem where people could plug into the platform and businesses could be built on top of it. In fact, it’s funny when we launched Clickfunnels, I remember thinking about Infusion Soft, where Infusion Soft has built this ecosystem of people that all these jobs have been created because of Infusion Soft. So when we were building CLickfunnels we were like, “We want to do the same thing. We want to build this really cool platform where there’s this whole ecosystem, this whole, all these companies pop out and become companies because of CLickfunnels.”
In fact, a little while ago we were doing the math on how many jobs have been created because of Clickfunnels and it’s fascinating. There’s the jobs of our employees, then there’s the jobs of our customers, all the 65000 customers, all their employees. Then there’s the external jobs, the copywriters, the designers, the programmers, all the other things. I think we were doing the math and we were trying to be conservative, and our conservative guess was 250,000 jobs were created because of Clickfunnels. We’ve created a whole ecosystem of people.
But what Sales Force has done, they’ve taken it to the next level which is like, it was blowing my mind. We’re walking through these things and we see, they had vendor booths right, and the vendor booths were like tiny. I think some of the booths people were paying, the small ones were 3 or 4 feet wide, it was like 20 grand a booth. The bigger ones were like 150-200 grand. The really big ones were like a million dollars for these booths. They were beautiful booths right. But each of the booths, they all integrate with Sales Force. It wasn’t just like, “Here’s the sponsor.” It was like, “Here’s the sponsor, a Sales Force company.”
Everything is cobranded back to it. So all these people are building products that plug into sales force and now it’s like, Sales Force is expanding its reach with all these other companies, even though they don’t own those companies. They don’t hire the employees, they don’t hire the developers, but every time a new company plugs in, Sales Force grows because they built this platform. They are the category king of CRM’s, so anybody else who builds anything that’s related to CRM has to plug into them.
So all those 10% of people who are fighting over the scraps, instead of not having part of that business, you open up the ecosystem and plug people into your platform and now when those people grow, you grow. Everybody grows together, which is how you maintain your status as the category king. Ah, so much fascinating marketing theory I could go into if I had more time.
But alas the sun is rising over the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s looking beautiful, so cool. Anyway, what was cool watching this, as all these companies who were there, they weren’t just sponsoring the booth, they were all people who were part of the ecosystem, they’re all Sales Force partners. And you know, I don’t know how many hundreds of millions of dollars they made just on the booth space alone, but it was really cool to see that.
Alright, I’m going to share one more thing and then I think I’m going to wrap it because my nose is starting to run and it’s getting cold, my fingers are cold. But Dana Derricks who is one of my favorite people, he was at Inner Circle meeting last week, and he shared something that was really, really powerful that relates back to what we’re talking about here.
So he was talking about, if you read Dotcom Secrets, you know I talk a lot about the concept of the Value Ladder, right. Someone comes in on your value ladder, if they receive value they naturally want to ascend up to the next level of the value ladder. And if they find value there, they’ll naturally ascend to the next one, and they’ll keep going up this value ladder.
So Dana drew this value ladder, he’s like, “Russell’s been preaching this for 10 years, here’s the value ladder. What’s interesting if you look at this value ladder on the left hand side, what’s happening? All the marketing, all the selling, all the things that you are currently doing, it’s increasing desire for a thing.”
So if you think about the books I’ve written, the webinars I do, the products I sell, everything I’m doing, I’m trying to sell my products, but what’s really happening is I’m creating desire in the marketplace for sales funnels and for all the things around sales funnels. I’m creating this huge desire. So that’s the left hand of this value ladder.
What Dana did, at the top of the value ladder he went down the other way and built the backside and went down, so it looked almost like a mirror image of the value ladder. So it ended up looking like this pyramid that goes up and goes back down the other side. He said, “What’s interesting, if you look at it from what Russell talked about earlier,” I had talked about this concept of category kings and building your own ecosystems, “If you look at it from that standpoint, the left hand side we’re creating desire,” and this is the whole supply and demand, “so it increases the demand for it. So the left hand of the value ladder is all about increasing demand and desire for the thing you’re selling, the category that you’re developing and designing, and then the right hand side of the value ladder…” I wish I could draw this out for you because it would be more clear, but this where because of the demand the left hand side is going up, it’s creating this whole market place.
There’s now demand, I just look at my world, because of everything we talk and teach about, now there’s demand for copywriters, for logo designers, for graphic designers, for funnel builders, for traffic generation. All these new jobs and opportunities and things have become more desirable. There’s more desire, there’s more need for it, the demand has gone up. So the second side of your business now, the backs of the value ladder is where you create the supply, you create the ecosystem.
Sales Force comes out and does 13 billion dollars in sales talking about CRM, they have this huge market place of 171,000 businesses who are here, who knows how many are actually using their platform, it’s insanely big, they’ve created this huge demand for it. So now the second side of their business is they fill up the supply. So now all these other companies are able to plug in to Sales Force’s machine and Sales Force is tied into all these things, and Sales Force is getting paid on every sing interaction.
Somebody with, every single booth that was there at this place, any of these booths, when they plug into Sales Force, they become a Sales Force company. They’re not necessarily getting purchased by Sales Force, some of them are, but they’re plugging into it, their platform is integrated with the other platform. They plug into it, now all those people when they plug in, and I think Sales Force calls their’s the app store or something, similar to apple, what apple does with their app store. But their platform it’s like, you plug into their platform and then you get access to the whole sales force universe.
So all this huge built up demand, then you are creating, the people who are plugged into the other side of the ecosystem are creating the supply to feed the demand and it’s interesting.
Man, for me to go really deep on this topic for you guys, it would take like an hour to kind of map it out on a white board. So hopefully I’m not doing it too shallowly or missing out on anything. But understand as you define your category, like “I’m going to become the category king in this business, in this market.” Then on the other side it’s all about you can now create things that fuel this demand. You can make money on both sides of the value ladder.
For us we’re launching Funnel Rolodex, which is this whole ecosystem of providers, and we’ll make a tiny transaction on it, every of the services that happens on this thing, but we’ve created a demand for it. We have 65,000 customers who are demanding sales funnel services and people are trying to find them now and it’s just not been organized. We’re building this unified marketplace where everything is together and then we’ll plug that supply into the huge demand we’ve created, and we make money on both sides of the transaction.
Then our customers become more successful because they have access to this huge supply and then more customers come in and then it just kind of keeps building itself I think. It helps building your dominance as the actual category king. So cool, so fascinating. So there you go guys.
So that’s why we’re here. We’re here because I wanted to see Sales Force. I wanted to see what the next level was. And it’s funny because coming in yesterday I was a little intimidated. But after sitting in that room with I don’t know, 5,000 other businesses and watch Marc Benioff deliver his keynote and seeing the people, and seeing the software, and seeing the innovations, seeing the ecosystems, seeing all the stuff, I don’t know about you but me personally, I look at that and I was like, “This is doable.”
In my head ahead of time it was so big, it was just like the wrestling national tournament, I’d never been there so in my head it was this huge deal, so because it was this huge deal I was freaking out, I was stressed out and I choked every single year trying to get there because in my head it was a bigger deal than it was. I remember when I actually went to the national tournament for the first time, I remember sitting there and I was watching it and I was like, “This is just another tournament. It’s on a bigger stage, but I could compete at this level. I wish I would have seen this 5 years ago because I would have shifted everything, I would have had more belief, because when you believe you can actually accomplish.”
So for me it was the same thing. I flew in here to San Francisco yesterday scared and nervous and awkward. And after seeing it, I was like “Oh my gosh, what they’ve created is amazing but it’s doable.” I see the path now. For us to create something like this, we could do it, we can do it. The path has been trail blazed for us, we use their terminology for it. It’s there, and even from a financial standpoint.
When Sales Force went public they had the same sales revenue as Clickfunnels does today. So it’s like, and I think they’re like 8 years ahead of us. So in like 8 years from now, this could be Clickfunnels. I’m going to do it a lot faster though because we got funnels and they don’t, so we’ll speed up the process. But now I see the vision, I see the direction, I see it’s possible, and now I know it’s possible we can go and we can accomplish it, because now we believe.
So that’s why I came here. So for you guys, hopefully there’s a bunch of lessons here in this for you guys. Lesson number one, first lesson for you is to go see, whatever you’re aspiring to become like, go and find that and experience it so you can see it, so it’s not this scary weird thing, but it’s tangible like, “Oh my gosh, that’s what it is. I can do that.” Once you see it, you can believe it. Then you can go and do it.
So that’s number one, number two I would read the book Play Bigger to figure out what your category is. We were talking about this as a team, we didn’t understand these principles when we launched Clickfunnels, but at the time, if you look at this, if we would have come in and said, “Clickfunnels is a CRM.” Sales Force was, is the category king. And if you look at what’s fascinating throughout history and throughout time, almost never, very rare does a category king ever get disrupted. Once you define your spot as the category king, you’re pretty much there unless the government interaction comes and shuts you down, or something like that.
But other than that, if you define the category and you become the king, you’re there, you’re not losing it. So if we would have come in and been like, “Clickfunnels, we are the best CRM in the world.” we never would have had success. Infusion Soft has been marketing automation. If we came out like, “We’re the best marketing automation platform in the world.” We wouldn’t have succeeded. If we came out, “We’re the best landing page builder in the world.” We wouldn’t have succeeded because there were defined category kings in each of those categories.
When we came out we said, “We are the best sales funnel builder in the world.” We were the only sales funnel…well, there were some crappy ones. But for the most part, we were the only sales funnel builder in the world. We define the category, then we created the category and now we are the category kings. And we’re in a spot now where unless I screw up or the government shuts us down or our servers explode, we’re not leaving. We have carved out our spot there.
So for you, it’s like you gotta figure it out. We easily could have positioned ourselves as a landing page builder, we could have positioned ourselves as a these other things. But we didn’t, we transitioned and we created our own category. So for you, if you’re in this spot where you’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s a category king in my market.” You can keep fighting over the 10% of the scraps or you can say, “How do I redesign this category where I am the only one there? Where I can become the category king?” It’s the shift from CRM to sales funnels, from Marketing Automation to sales funnels, from landing pages to sales funnels, you know what I mean.
That was the shift for me, that was the shift for Clickfunnels, what’s your shift? That’s the next thing. And the third big take away from this hopefully is, after you figure out the category and you’re creating all this demand and desire for the product and services you’re selling, then the third step in this process is how do you come back and how do you create the ecosystem to support yourself as the category king? If you build a strong ecosystem there’s no way you can crumble.
I think the strongest thing that Sales Force has, is not their software, their software is not that good. I think their movement is pretty cool, a lot of their branding is cool, but I think honestly, the most powerful thing that Marc Benioff did when they built Sales Force was they opened up their app store and they built their ecosystem.
When I look at this thing here in San Francisco, and I wish I could take you all on this journey with me and you could walk around and see this thing, it’s insane. 171,000 businesses are here, the entirety of San Francisco is shut down, literally. I can walk into any restaurant in San Francisco and if you don’t have your Sales Force badge on they will not let you in. And if they let you in, all the food is free. Sales Force paid for all the food in San Francisco this week. They shut the city down. It’s literally insane.
If I look at, what was the core thing that actually caused that, again, it’s not the software. The core thing I believe, what has maintained them as the category king and continued to level them up, is the building of the ecosystem, the focus on the ecosystem. The ecosystem is the foundation that solidifies your spot in the market.
So think about that for yourself. What is the ecosystem for what you’re building? You’re building up all this demand and desire through the products and services you’re selling through your value ladder, and the back side of that, what are the things you can create and orchestrate to create an ecosystem for people to plug into? An app store for people to plug into? Whatever that is to fulfill the demand that you’re creating.
For some of you guys it’s going to be, you’re going to certify people to do the training that you do. That’s an ecosystem. Some of you guys are going to be building, you have your software, opening your platform. That’s one of our big initiatives over the next year is open form platform, so that everyone can be building on Clickfunnels. We want 100, we want 1000, we want 10,000 app developers developing amazing apps that plug into Clickfunnels. That’s part of the vision because that’s part of the ecosystem.
I want to open up the marketplace so that there are jobs that we’re facilitating. We’re taking this pent up demand and desire we’ve been building and plugging it into all the people who want to be doing the services, and plugging those things in, as we do that those companies will grow dramatically, the software companies will grow, all these people who could be our competitors will all become our partners. And it will solidify us even stronger as the category king and keep us stable. The same thing you should be thinking as well.
So this was a long one. There’s a lot of cool things in there. I hope you guys got some value from it. Go and figure out who your Sales Force is, and go to the big stage and check it out and be inspired and see the path of where you gotta go next.
Alright guys, with that said, my fingers are frozen. I’m going to go and watch the sunrise here on the Golden Gate Bridge. We appreciate you guys. If you haven’t, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you totally should because I’ve been Instagramming all this. You would have seen me today sneaking past the “Do not trespass” sign, sneak down to where I’m filming right now, you’d see us doing all sorts of crazy stuff. We’re filming our life in the Instagram stories all the time. You get to meet my daughters, my kids, my wife, everyone.
So if you want to hang out with us in real time as we’re going on these journeys, you should go follow me on Instagram. Just go to instagram.com/Russellbrunson, if you have the app on your phone just log on 5 times a day and just check in and see what we’re doing. A lot of fun stuff is happening every day.
It’s basically my reality show. So if you want to know what in the world I’m doing day by day, you want to see while we were at Sales Force, you could be watching us behind the scenes, see me at Benioff’s keynote, all those things are happening. Tomorrow, actually tonight, tonight we’re flying to Chicago and then we’re going to be jumping in Grant Cardone’s new Gulf Stream Jet, and we’re flying and we’re going to be building a funnel for him, with him, 30,000 feet in the air, it’s going to be insane. And all that stuff will be Instagrammed.
So if you want to like follow these things in real time, come join our reality show over at Instagram.com/russellbrunson go watch our stories, because we’re living this marketing lifestyle and there you can kind of follow me on these journeys. Alright guys, appreciate you all, thanks for listening to the podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, take a screen shot of it on your phone and then go and share it on Instagram, share it on Facebook, and tag #marketingsecrets, and tag me that way I can see as well, that would be really cool. Appreciate you guys sharing, appreciate you listening, and we’ll talk to you guys soon. Bye everybody.
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