WARNING: Russell’s List Building Rant

Marketing Secrets - Podcast (Russell Brunson - FunnelHackerTV)

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Behind the scene’s access to a late night conversation with the two comma club coaching students.

On this special episode Russell rants to his Two Comma Club X members about how to build a list and why it’s so important. Here are some of the super awesome nuggets you’ll be hearing about in this episode;

  • Hear nearly a billion ways Russell has built his list over the years, and how you can use them as well.
  • Find out why email lists are still the most important lists to build.
  • And when creating a product, why listening to the market is key to giving them what they want.

So listen here to to all Russell’s creative and genius ways to build your list in the market of your choice.

Full Episode Transcript

Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. I hope you guys are doing amazing tonight. I want to welcome you back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I just finished an hour long Facebook Live with my Two Comma Club X members and it was all about list building and I kind of went off on a rant. And it was a lot of fun. And as much as they all needed to hear it, my guess is that some of you guys need to hear this stuff as well.

So with their permission, I’m going to be posting this here one the podcast so you guys can learn from it and hopefully start refocusing all your efforts on building your list. With that said, I’m gonna queue up the theme song, when we come back you guys will be jumping directly into my rant.

What’s up everybody? This is Russell. I know it’s a late night. I’m sure I’m not going to get more than one or two of you guys on Live right now. But I’m hoping in the morning that you guys are all going to listen in on this and you’re going to freak out and then you are going to be focusing on one thing and one thing only, for the next year of your life. So there we go.

So this whole conversation is starting out because, and I’m going to call him out a little bit because I love him, Nick Fitzgerald, he just did his launch this last week. And it did good, considering the percentage close rate and low in the fact that his list is really, really small. So he sold a ton of product to a really small list, which made not as much money as he wanted.

Anyway, I was going back and I was re-listening, because I’ve done two special podcast episodes for him. One- two years ago, one-last year, so this is going to be the updated version for him and for you guys and it’s going to be going deep on list building. So if you haven’t listened to any of those episodes, if you go back to the marketing secrets podcast, I found them today, the first one was episode 18, it was July 19, 2017 and the episode was called, How to Make it Rain.

So I highly, highly, highly recommend that you guys go back and watch that one. It’s me driving around Bear Lake telling Nick, this is before Nick knew anything about our world or Funnel Hackers or anything, and I was kind of just laying down the ground work of how people make money in this world, and it was really fun. So go listen to that one, number one.

And then a year later he came to Funnel Hacking Live, joined Two Comma Club X and then at the Traffic Secrets event I pulled him onstage and had him tell his story. And then I did a second round, a second round of podcasts with him live, in front of everybody, which is really, really fun. And oh great, Nick’s on here. What’s up Nick? You’re going to have so much fun.

Alright, so that one I posted, for some reason I stopped doing episode numbers, but….oh I remember why. ITunes didn’t like that for some reason. Anyway, November 21st there’s a podcast in Marketing Secrets podcast called My Conversation with the Friendly Giant part one of two. And then November 26th is part two of two. So go listen to those because Nick tells a story which is really, really cool.

And then the second half is I gave him spot consulting right there, I think it must have been five or six things or whatever. What’s interesting is one of the things I talked about is the same thing I’m talking about tonight. So I must not have said it loud enough, so tonight I’m going to say it really, really loud, because I think my wife and everyone is asleep in the house, so I’m going, we’re going ranting.

But it was talking about building a list. So that was a year ago. And now that he went through this experience of this launch and it didn’t do as well as he wanted. My heart broke for him and hurt for him, but then part of me is angry because a year ago I didn’t yell at him loud enough about this thing. So I’m yelling at everybody here inside this coaching program. I’ll probably turn this into a podcast episode as well, so I am yelling this for anyone who can hear the sound of my voice.

This is the warning, are you guys ready for this? Until you own traffic, you don’t have a business. Until you own traffic you do not have a business. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean, I think a lot of times us entrepreneurs we think that the business is the product. Like, “I created this amazing product, and business.” The product is not the business. Your customer list is the business. That’s the only thing that actually matters. If you look at companies that are purchased, the only thing that matters in a valuation of company is customer list.

Like if somebody was ever to buy Clickfunnels, they are not buying Clickfunnels. They couldn’t care less. They spend a couple million bucks on really good development, they could clone Clickfunnels. They would be buying Clickfunnels because of the customer list. That is the only tangible, valuable asset inside of my business, is my customers who are paying me for something awesome. It’s the customer list, it is the big, big secret. Does that make sense?

I remember a few years ago, in fact, I’m writing the Traffic Secrets book and I have like a two chapter rant about this as well in that book. But when EBay bought Skype for, I think it was like 4.2 billion dollars. EBay at the time was the biggest company in the world, why’d they spend that much money for Skype? They literally could have cloned Skype in a weekend. They did it because Skype had 420 million users at the time. That was the asset they bought, the customer list.

Why did Zuckerberg buy Instagram? He could have cloned Instagram in 35 seconds right. He did because he wanted the customer list, the subscribers. That is the only valuable, tangible asset in your business. So until you own traffic, until you have your own list, you do not have a business. You can have promotions, you can have some cash here and there, but until you have a list, you don’t have a business.

Okay, so knowing that, our entire focus should be building a list, that should be it, that should the focus, that should be the thing we talk about, we think about, we eat, sleep, breath, drink, that should be the number one focal point.

I know, somebody told me this a decade ago and I listened to it, and I tattooed it to my brain and I’m going to tell it to you guys all again. I want you all to get out a mental tattoo and tattoo this to your brain. Oh Nick started to repent right now. He’s saying, “I’m recording and creating freebee’s to build my list.” Good, we’re getting deep into that, but I’m going to go a couple of levels deeper than that tonight with you, if you’re okay with that.

So list building, my friend told me, he said, “On average you should make one dollar per month, per name on your email list.” That’s what he told me. I remember taking that to heart. I was like, “Okay.” I don’t know what it is, I have this really weird problem where if somebody tells me something I just believe it. So I’m like, ‘Sweet okay, a dollar per person per list. How much money do I want to make. I want to make $100 grand a year.” Because that was my big thinking back then, so I’m like, “I need a list of ten thousand people. A list of 10,000 people is $10 grand a month, $120,000 a year. Boom, I’m in.” So that was goal, and that was the game plan.

So I started running and started doing everything I could dream of, I was trying to be as creative as I could, how could I build a list? What can I do to build a list? Who has a list? How can I get that list? What do I need to do? And because that became the focal point, I started thinking about it right. And I remember in a very short period of time I got a list of 217 people, then it grew to a thousand and then to 5 thousand and then 10, and 15 to 20 then to 100 thousand and then to a million, and that became the focus.

And it was interesting, it was 2 years before Clickfunnels hit, my business was stagnating and stalling. We were stuck at 2 ½- 3 million dollars a year for 3 or 4 years in a row. I think you guys have heard me tell this story before. I remember we were trying to figure out, what’s the big thing I gotta figure out. And I remember Daegan Smith, he asked me one day, “How many people join your list every single day?” and I was like, ‘What do you mean?” I was like, “Well my list is like ( I can’t remember) 130,000 people.” He’s like, “No, no, no. I didn’t ask how big your list is. How many people per day are joining your list?” And I was like, “I don’t even know.” And he’s like, “Well if you don’t know, that’s why your business is stalling. If you don’t know how many people joined your list today, it means you’re not focusing, which means it’s not happening, which means that’s the root problem of all…like the root of all evil is the fact that you have no idea how many people per day are joining your list.”

Notice he said, “per day” wasn’t per week, per month, or per day. It was how many people per day. I remember I was in a mastermind group, this is back, this is going to date me a little bit for those SEO nerds out there. But there was a time when article writing was the secret to getting leads and all this stuff. And I remember this guy was in a mastermind group and he was talking about, he wasn’t getting traffic to his site and all these kind of things. And he was doing article marketing. And I asked him, “How many articles a day are you submitting?” and he’s like, “I can tell by the way you said that, that I’m doing it wrong.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, ‘Well, I’ve submitted two articles so far, and you asked me how many per day I was submitting.” I was like, “Yeah, you’re doing it wrong.”

So that was like ten years ago when article marketing was this thing. But fast forwarding to now, it’s like, if you’re like, “Oh my list 10,000 or 100,000 people.” That’s not the question. The question is how many people per day are joining your list?

So Daegan told me that, and I was like, “I don’t even know.” So I remember logging into my software, and the software had the stats of how many people that day joined your list. So we started writing it on the whiteboard. I think at the time it was like 23 or something. It was like 23 that day and I was like, ugh. And the next day I looked at it and it was 20, and then 19, and these little numbers.

But then I started looking at it. As soon as I started looking at that number it started making me so angry because I was like, “It’s so small, I need to make it bigger. How do I make this thing bigger?” So what’s interesting is when you track something it grows. It’s just, except for when you’re losing weight. When you track something it shrinks. But for most things, if you track it, it grows.

So a number became the driving force. That was the metric for my business, how many people each day are joining my list? That’s all that mattered. We’re looking and focusing and that became the number. And so every single day we’d come in the office and that was the number. How many people joined the list yesterday? How many people joined the list yesterday? Every single day we came in, that was the number that was on the board.

And it was crazy, we went from 20-30 a day to 50 a day, to 100 a day, to 200 a day, to 250, to 500, to a thousand. And I remember when we crossed a thousand a day and it was insane. If you would have asked me a year earlier, “Can you get a thousand a day?” I’m like, “That’s not possible.” But we got to the point where we were doing a thousand a day, new people joining our list. And guess what happened to our business? It all just kept growing.

Because it’s the new fresh blood coming into your universe, your business is all about getting that fresh blood, the new people in all the time, consistently, focusing, focusing, focusing. And so I want you guys to understand, until you own the traffic you don’t have a business. So that’s got to be the key focus.

Without me teaching the whole Traffic Secrets book right now, there’s three types of traffic. There’s traffic that you control. So Zuckerberg owns it, or Larry and Sergei over at Google, they own the traffic. So that’s why they’re so freaking rich and so powerful. I was talking to my dad today about how if you look at the entire internet, you’ve got Zuckerberg who owns Facebook and Instagram, you’ve got the Google guys who own Google and YouTube, that’s 90% of the internet owned by 3 dudes. It’s insane, they have all the power because why? They have all the customer list. They have everybody. So they own traffic.

So if you go and buy ads, you don’t own that traffic. You can control it, so it’s good. And you should do that, controlling traffic is one way to build your list. I’m going to go buy ads to build my list, but I don’t own it. I can control it. I can buy an ad and say, “Point it to this landing page, and go there and give me your email address.”

Number two is traffic that you earn. So that’s me going on a podcast, or me doing a FAcebook live on somebody else’s page, or me doing a summit, or me doing all these things trying to earn traffic and get into their mind.

And then the third traffic, the third and best and most important, the only thing you should be focusing on is traffic that you own. That’s your list. That’s the big secret. When you have a list this game becomes super, super easy.

I always tell people that internet marketing is pushing a boulder up a hill at first. Because you’re pushing and you’re pushing, and it’s hard. And at first you’re making no money. And you’re like, ‘I’m spending 80 hours a day and no money is coming in. No money’s coming.” And you’re pushing and pushing it. But as you’re pushing this boulder up a mountain, that rock is your list and it’s getting bigger…I guess the rock is not the list technically, but it’s picking up the list and the list is getting bigger and bigger.

And there comes a point, this tipping point when the boulder gets on top of the hill and starts bouncing down the other side. And as soon as it starts bouncing down the other side, this game becomes really, really easy. For me that started happening about 30,000 people on my list. I was making, I was averaging about $30,000 a month. And it became easy. I could literally wake up in the middle of night and send an email to my list and be like, ‘Hey tomorrow I’m going to do a training on how to wake up happier. If you want to come to this training, pay me $10.” And I would wake up and there’d be $3,000 in my inbox. Insane, right?

Any crazy idea I wanted to pull out my “bloop”, pull out of my whatever, I could make money with it because I had a list and it was simple right. So that’s what you gotta get. Like getting from zero to a hundred to a thousand to ten thousand, twenty thousand, thirty, that’s the hard part. As soon as you get over the edge, then it becomes so, so, so easy.

So that needs to become the focus point and the goal. How do I build a list? How do I grow this thing? And it’s going to be painful to a certain point. And as soon as I get it over the top, then it becomes easy. Because you have a list, now you have leverage. Now it’s like, you can go to somebody else and say, “Hey, promote my product and I’ll promote yours.” There’s reciprocity, right. When you have no list and you go to somebody like, ‘Hey, promote my product?” They’re like, “No. What’s in it for me?”

I guarantee, as cool of a person as I think I am, if I were to call Tony Robbins a decade ago and be like, “Hey Tony, guess what? I’m a super fan. Can I come speak at your event in Fiji? Can I hang out? Do you want to be friends? You want to be business partners in the future? Do you want to promote my book?” He’d be like, “No.’

When I went to Tony, guess what I had? I had something that was of value to him. I had this thing it was called a list. And a list is a platform. I could say, “Hey Tony, man you’re amazing. I want to promote you to my list of 500,000 entrepreneurs, would you be interested?” and he’s like, “Yes, I will listen to you because you have a platform.”

Your list opens up doors, it opens up any doors. I don’t think there’s a human being on this planet I couldn’t get to right now because of my customer list. That’s how powerful of a tool it is. It’s the key. And when you have a list, you have power. You can do swaps, you can promote other things, you can sell your products, sell somebody else’s product, you can have an idea, you can brainstorm, it becomes easier because you don’t have to, again, right now we’re creating products where we’re guessing, we’re hoping, we’re putting stuff out there and we try to sell it and it doesn’t buy. And we’re like, “oh, we spent all this money on traffic and it didn’t work.”

Whereas if you have a list, you don’t even create the product. You’re like, ‘I’m going to send an email to my list and see if they buy.” They bought, “Sweet, I’m going to go out there and create the thing.”

The other powerful thing, I think it was John Lennon, was it John Lennon or Paul McCartney, this was them writing, and I remember the story. They were sitting one day and they wanted a swimming pool. And he said, “I’m going to go write myself a swimming pool.” and he walked inside and he wrote, I think it was Yesterday. Boom, got the royalties and bought the swimming pool. He wrote himself a swimming pool.

I remember Dan Kennedy, he, I love Dan. I’m a lot more, he calls his list his herd. Like, “Build a herd of people.” And I remember he used to always say, ‘If you want to buy something in your life, figure out what it is you want to buy, a new car, a new house, whatever, then send the bill to the herd.’ That was what Kennedy used to always say to us all the time, back in his mastermind group. “Send the bill to the herd.” So it’s like, “I want to buy a new car, what’s it gonna cost? This one costs $150,000 for a new Tesla. Cool. Send the bill to the herd. Write an email, send it out, have them pay for it. Everything is free.”

That’s the power of a list. You have to make that the focal point because that is your business. Everything else is good. Having a webinar is good, but the reason why it’s good is because it builds a list profitably. Having a book funnel is good, but why is it good? Because it builds a list profitably. Having a summit funnel is good. Why is it good? Because it builds a list. All those things, the only reason why they ever even matter at all, is because they build a list. That’s it.

Every funnel I’ve ever created in the entire history of my life, is about one goal and one goal only, and it’s to build a list profitably. That’s it. If I have a list I can sell whatever I want. I can sell them software, coaching, supplements, underwater scuba lessons, I don’t even know. You can do whatever you want. That’s the magic. The list is the key.

Alright, have I drilled that into everybody’s heads enough? I hope I have. If not, I will rant even more. So now you’re all like, “Sweet, I got a list. Now I get the thing, I need a list. But how do we get a list?” So a couple things. Number one, you need to make on your whiteboard a big thing that says, “How many people have joined my list today.” And you look at that number. And if it’s zero, you need to be angry. If it’s one, you gotta be angry. Start being angry because the anger is what’s going to get your mind to be like, “What’s the next thing? What’s the ideal? What’s the thing I gotta create or do to get somebody to get on my list?”

Alright, so that’s number one, putting that number and making it front and center of your entire business. Looking at it over and over again so you see it, so you start thinking about it. That’s number one.

Number two now, it’s like, “Okay, if I’m going to build a list, I’ve got to…” List building is basically, you’re trading. Like, give me something in exchange for your email address. So it’s like, I need to create something really, really cool. It doesn’t mean it has to be big, doesn’t have to be a book, doesn’t have to be a thing, but something cool that’s unique, that’s fun, that’s interesting that you can, that’s got a really good hook. It could be as simple as, this thing I’m yelling my rant right now, this could be very simple and easy a lead magnet to put on a squeeze page. I could be like, “One night I went to my coaching members and I ranted for 45 minutes on the power of list building and I showed them 5 or 6 of my most powerful ways to build a list. If you want to watch that video right now, go opt in right now.” That could be it, this could be me ranting.

You could get on your phone and just rant for 15 minutes on the phone and that could be the lead magnet, that could be it. It doesn’t have to be something that’s huge and hard, it’s got to be something really, really cool. So you create that and then it’s like, you create that, you create a really basic landing page, squeeze page, and a thank you page where you give it away, and that’s phase one.

That’s why when we started this round of two comma club x coaching, the very first training I did was a two hour training on lead funnels, how to build a list through lead funnels. And I apparently didn’t rant loud enough in that for everybody to hear. So I’m ranting loud now. If you haven’t gone, go back to that training. I show, I think I show 110 different examples of landing pages and lead funnels and how they work and how people, different opt ins people use, and different bribes and the layout and structure of the pages. So it’s all in there, so go check that out.

So a squeeze page is good, but now it’s like, okay how do we get people to opt in. Because it’s like, traditional just Facebook ads, yeah, you can go buy Facebook ads, and you’re looking at anywhere from a buck to 5 bucks per lead. So especially when you start, that’s a heavy pill to swallow. So for me, Facebook ads are awesome and they’re great. I didn’t my very first Facebook, I didn’t buy my first paid ad for over a decade.

So for the first decade I was like, ‘I gotta figure out other ways to build a list.” And what’s fascinating, back then we did not have Facebook, we did not have Myspace, Friendster wasn’t selling ads. Google slapped everybody, so it worked for like a week, you know when I got in, it worked for like a week or two and then it stopped working for everybody. So I didn’t have an advertising platform to build a list on. It wasn’t a thing.

So I had to be creative. I gotta build a list, “How do you buy a list?” It wasn’t like go buy ads somewhere. It was like, you’ve got to be creative. How do you build a list? So pretend for a moment, I don’t have Facebook, I can’t pay for leads. How am I going to generate leads? I start looking, there’s other people that already have a list. So if they already have a list, how do I get access to…You have a list….

Do you guys remember the Wedding Singer when Adam Sandler goes to the bank with Kevin Nealon there, and he’s interviewing for a job and Kevin Nealon is like, “Why should I hire you?” and he’s like, “Well, you’ve got money. I need money. So I was hoping you could hire me and give me some of that money.” It’s the same thing. “You’ve got a list, I need a list, how do we do something together so that your list can join my list and I have a list too?” As dumb as that sounds, that literally is what went through my head all the time because I didn’t have a list and other people did, so I’m like, “How do I build the list?”

A lot of it was going out and like, “Okay, how do I create something with this person? How do we do a partnership?” I did summits like crazy. I’ve been in more summits than you guys would ever believe. If you ever go back in the internet archives you can see a lot of them. But I did a lot of summits. I put on my own summits. Why did I put on my own summits? Because I knew that all the other people I was going to interview in the summit had a list and I didn’t. I didn’t even position myself as an expert initially. I just “okay, I’m going to do a summit. It’s called the Affiliate… in fact, it was Affiliate Boot Camp.” I think I’ve launched affiliate boot camp six times.

But my very first one was Affiliate Boot Camp, and I just found six affiliates, excuse me, I think it was 12, I can’t remember it’s been a long time, a decade or so. A whole bunch of affiliates, I put them on a summit, and I was just the interviewer. I wasn’t teaching anything, I just interviewed people. And then I had everybody promote this summit, I interviewed all the people and I got a list. And it wasn’t a ton, I think I got 1500-2000 people to join my list. Now I had a list.

And I leveraged that list. I went to someone else and said, “Hey, your product is really cool. I’ve got a list, it’s not huge but I’ll promote your product if you promote mine.” Someone’s like, “cool, I promote your product.” And all the sudden we did exchanges. They promoted mine, I promoted theirs. And what would happen is I’d make a little money, they’d make a little money, but I’d get people joining my list.

Then I started thinking, okay, I know all these people that have lists, and a lot of them are affiliates, they promote other people’s products. So what if I created something really, really good and most people are paying them 50% commission on the product, what if I came back and paid them 100% commission? And at the time no one had ever heard of that before.

So I go to people, “Hey I created this amazing product. Check it out.” And they’re like, “That product is really cool.” And I was like, “What if I pay you 100% commission to promote it?” and they’re like, “Why would you do that?” “I don’t know. Because I’m a nice guy and I feel like you should get all the money because you’re the one who built the list, and you spent the hard time, energy and effort, and you’re way cooler than me. So I’ll let you sell my product and keep 100% of the money.” And so many people said, “Dude, that’s an awesome deal.” So they would promote my product and they would keep 100% of the money, and guess what I would get? The list, their list would join my list. And all the sudden those people became my people. And the next thing I sold, I kept all the money from. That was the magic.

I remember I had one friend, he did a really cool thing. He had these CDs that he used to sell for, I can’t remember, I think it was $300 for these CDs. And he was doing okay with it, but not killing it with these things. And he’s like, “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to take my $300 things…” and back then he put them on CDs or DVDs, so it doesn’t work as good nowadays because people don’t really have DVD players, but back then it was a thing. And I remember he did this big Christmas promotion and he went to all these big, huge people’s lists and said, “Hey for Christmas, how would you like to give your list my $300 product for free?” and people were like, ‘That would be awesome.” He’s like, “It’s free, so you’re not going to make any money. But they get a cool gift and it’s coming from you and it’ll be awesome.”

So he sent these pages for each person, and I didn’t do it, but it would have been like, it was called The Marketing Quickie, so it was like marketingquickies.com/Russell. So you go to Marketing Quickies and you see that the CDs are like $300, if you go to /Russell it was like, “Hey this is, (what was his name? Was it Andrew?) I did this partnership with Russell because you’re on the list, normally when you go to the homepage, you can go see it, it’s $300 for this product, but because you’re Russell’s subscriber, I’m going to ship you out a CD for free, all you gotta do is put your name and address down below and I’ll ship you a CD for free.”

So he came to me and I don’t know, like 400 other people, he asked tons of people and most of them said no. But he had 30 or so people say, “Sure that sounds awesome. It would be a great gift for my audience.” They all sent emails to their list, they went to the page, filled out the form with the shipping address everything. He went and burned CDs all Christmas long and sent them out to people. And when all was said and done, he ended up with a list of 18000 people, boom, by giving away his product for free.

“But Russell, now I’m not going to make any money.” Again, your business isn’t your product. Your business is your customer list. Now you got a customer list, now make another product, figure out the next thing they want to buy.

I remember Tellman Knudsen, Tellman I remember I had just been building my list at the time. I thought I was a hot shot. I think I had, how much was it, I probably had 40-50,000 people on my list at that time. And he messaged me one day, I didn’t know who he was, some of you guys may not know Tellman, he’s not as big in our market as he used to be back in the day, but he’s more in the personal development, hypnosis market now. But he used to be in internet marketing, in fact, he owned listbuilding.com for a long time.

But anyway, I digress. He came to me and said, “Hey Russell, I’m doing this really cool summit where everyone’s talking about how they built a list. And I want to see if you’ll promote this summit to my squeeze page, and then you can be on the summit?” And I was like, “No dude, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” And he’s like, “Why?” and I’m like, “I’m not going to email my list to your squeeze page, then half my list will go on your list, and what’s the benefit for me?” anyway, I told him no and hung up the phone.

And then like 6 weeks later I see this big launch where every single person on planet earth is emailing their list to this brand new newbie’s squeeze page, Tellman. It was like, in fact, if you go to, I wonder if it’s still there. It used to be listcrusade.com I wonder if it’s still there. Crusade is a hard word to spell. I spelled it wrong. Anyway, I’m sure if you go back to the Wayback machine you can find. But it was just a page that was like, “Hey learn list building secrets from (and it had all the people’s names). Give me your email address and I’ll give you access to all these interviews.”

And he did it, and like I said, 6 weeks later I saw all these people emailing. Boom, boom, boom. Person after person after person, all these big names. I was like, “What in the world.” And I remember, I watched his campaign and he built a list, I found out later, of over 100,000 people from this campaign. I remember messaging afterwards. I was like, “Dude, how did you pull that off? Because you asked me, I thought you were insane and I told you no.” and he’s like, “I know. Most people thought I was insane. I asked 70 people and all 70 of them told me no. Then I asked the 71st person,” and his name, I think it was the nitro guys, Matt and Kevin Wilkey, he them and they said yes. And he’s like, “Oh my gosh, I got my first yes.”

So then he went to the 72nd person and said, “Hey I’m doing this project, these two guys just said yes. Do you want in on it?” and then that guy’s like, “Yes.” And he went to the next person. “Hey I’m doing this project, that person and that person said yes. Do you want in?” “Yes.” The next 40 people said yes afterwards. But he got 70 no’s in a row before he got his yeses. Is that crazy? And then boom, at the end of the campaign 100,000 subscribers. I think year one in his business he made $760,000 and all he did was email to those lists, all the other people’s products and sold their products. He didn’t even have his own product that first year. He just built a list from everybody else’s list and then sold other people’s products.

Do you guys see this? It comes down to this creativity. How do we do this? How do we do it? It’s like how do I create cool things that I can somehow incentivize somebody else to promote?

One of the things Nick said, and I’m going to tease him a little bit about this, but he said, “I thought that I had a bunch of friends who I assumed were going to help me promote the product.” Why would they help you promote the product, there’s no reason why someone would help you promote the product. I have to make a better offer to my affiliates than I do to my customers.

People always think, “Well Russell, everyone promotes Clickfunnels.” Why do you think everyone promotes Clickfunnels? Number one, we pay 40% recurring commission for the lifetime of the customer. Higher than any other SAAS platform on this planet. Number two, I paid for a dream car for everybody. Number three, I bring them onstage and give them street cred. Number four, a lot of times we have 100% affiliate commissions on books, on offers, OFA. Number seven, book deals when we do the book launches we always do $20 to give away a free book. I work harder to get my affiliates to promote than I get my customers to buy.

So you have to understand if you want somebody to promote for you, it’s not just like, “Oh promote me. You should promote me because we’re friends or because we know each other.” No, don’t ever expect that. My best friends on the planet, I do not ever expect them to promote my stuff. I still go out of my way to sell the crap out of every one of those guys as well. I gotta make an offer for every single one. I don’t care if I’ve been friends with them for a decade and a half, for them to promote me, I still sell them on why they gotta promote me. And we make those offers insane.

So when you thinking you want affiliates to promote you it’s like, “What do I give them? Do I give them 50%? Do I give them 100%?” I can’t tell you how many messages I get from people like, “Russell, I have an idea for a product, if you promote it, I’ll give you 50%.” I’m like, “Dude, really good affiliates don’t take 50%.” Especially for info products, they don’t want 70 or 80 or 100. We’ve got deals we’ve done in the past where we’d pay 150-200% commission on things. Why? Because we want the list.

One of my very first mentors, his name was Mike Lipman. I remember seeing him onstage one time and he said, he was talking about doing these offers, they make these free DVDs. “We sell these free DVDs, somebody buys the DVD and we call them on the phone and we sell them coaching.” He said, “Guess how much money I spend to sell this free DVD?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” And he said, “$30. I pay an affiliate $30 to give away a free DVD.” I was like, “What? You’re going to be broke in like 13 DVDs. How does that work?”

And he stopped and said, “Russell, you have to understand, amateurs focus on the front end. Amateurs focus on the front end. Professionals focus on the back end.” He’s like, ‘I spend $30 to give away a CD, but I average, if every CD I give away I average $200 in sales on the phone within 6 weeks.”

So for you guys, start thinking about that. How do I create something at such a good deal for the affiliates to promote, I give them so much up front….Why do you think we pay 100% on our OFA, One Funnel Away challenge? We pay 100% because right now we got, last month 6500 people joined OFA. 6500 buyers, guess how many leads came from that? A whole lot more than that. I think, yeah, a lot. And it cost me a ton. In fact, I lost money. I think we spent $70 per box, maybe $60. I might be misquoting, 60-70 dollars per box for the One Funnel Away Challenge. Plus 100% commission, so it cost me for every box I sell, I lose $50-60.

But what happens? Amateurs focus on the front end. I focus on the backend. I get a customer, I bring them into the value ladder, I bring them to the things and they ascend and they get stuff, and all sorts of stuff like that. That’s what I want you guys to understand. It’s coming back down to how do we create something amazing? And if you’re nervous, again, it comes back to especially at the beginning when money is tighter, paying Facebook a dollar to 5 dollars per lead is scary. But it’s like, what if we come back and what if I took my $300 product and put it on CD and people pay $4…maybe not CD, maybe MP3 player, whatever, and pay $4 for me to ship it out to them.

Or maybe it’s a book. Maybe I take my best presentation, my best Facebook live, my best whatever and I get it transcribed where it’s like a book, and I get affiliates to promote it and they give it away for free, and I’ll print it and ship it and send it out to people and they pay $5 for me to print it and ship it to them. And I get the lead and they get whatever.

Or maybe it’s co-branding. I used to do this all the time, where I would find somebody who had a list, who was better than me. I’ll tell you if I can think of somebody off the top of my head. Mike Filsaime and I used to do this. We did it a couple of times, where we had both done a pre-launch, in fact, if you go back to the internet archives and you go to prelaunchsecrets.com, go to the wayback machine, you’ll see it. But basically he had done a bunch of pre-launched, I had done a bunch of pre-launches, we came together and created prelaunchsecrets.com and it was basically a telesummit where it was like, ‘hey come listen to the summit and you’ll hear Mike talk about his pre-launch, I’ll talk about my pre-launch. We’ll talk about what we both did and then you get it for free.”

So Mike promoted it to his list, I promoted to my list, when leads came in, we both got the leads, so they joined both our lists when they came. So basically, he got some of my leads, I got some of his leads, we both got better. We gave away this really good training for free. And I think we had an upsell where you could buy, I can’t remember, something we put together for an upsell, to try and make a little money off it. But that was it.

And then I did another one with Josh Anderson, and with Jeremy Burns, I’m trying to remember some of my old buddies from back in the day. It’s the same kind of thing. I would interview them, interview and we’d put together a thing, where it’s co-branded, we both create something together, we both promote it, we both split the leads, and boom, both of our lists got bigger.

So it’s like looking at people who already have lists, looking at people who have a following. Co-branding and going into each of these different markets and doing that. The first part of your business, you guys have to understand, the first part of your business is all about getting land. It’s getting people. In fact, at a recent inner circle meeting, it was interesting, Brandon Poulin was there and he was talking about how the first half of your business is all about gaining ground. And th second half of your business is about protecting it.

And hopefully none of you guys have to go through that part of the process, but we get to the spot when now it’s like, you know we have legal crap, and other stuff to protect your land. People throwing lawsuits at you all the sudden. That’s the part of the design that sucks. You guys are in the fun part of the business where you’re like gathering land. This is the great, if I could sit down in this range of how to get more land, it’d be the greatest thing in the world.

But it’s thinking about that. This is the part of my business where I gotta gather land, I gotta get people as quick as I can. So it’s doing a little bit of a lot of things consistently, every day. Your full time job, this is your job, this is an 8 hour a day job, to hustle to build an audience. Until you have an audience, you don’t have a business. Until you have a list, you don’t have a business. So it’s going out there and buying ads, doing affiliate deals, you’re doing partnerships, you’re getting people to email, you’re doing summits, you’re doing podcasts, everything you can do to capture land. It’s just not one thing, it’s a whole bunch of things.

Just trying thing after thing after thing, and if it doesn’t work, don’t freak out. Do the next thing and the next thing. It’s going to a potential dream partner who has got a list. “Okay, you’ve got a list. What can we create together?’ or coming to them with a plan. “Hey, I’ve got a really cool idea. I can, your audience is good at this, I’m good at this.”

Like Noah St. John did this back in the day. At the time he had no, he was a personal development guy and his whole pitch is like, a lot of times he’s like, “Russell, you teach people the most amazing marketing stuff in the world. They’re sitting there, they got their foot on the gas because you gave them all the information, but they’re all freaked out, so the same time their foot is on the gas, the other foot is on the brake. So they’re spinning out and nothing is happening. Your product helps people put their foot on the gas, my product helps them take their foot off the brake. Let’s do a partnership where your people can come in and buy your product, and then they get my training. My training will help them take their foot off the gas.”

And if I remember right, this was a decade ago that he first pitched me on this. He didn’t want money for it. He was like, “Just put this on your thank you pages and have people click the link, they go over and fill out a form and then boom, I’ll give them access to my course.” And when they filled out the form, guess what they did? They joined their list.

One of my buddies, Joel Marion and Josh Mazoni, they launched biotrust which is a supplement company. If you look at how they did it, they didn’t go and buy a bunch of ads initially. What they did is they went to all the people who already had traffic right, they already had funnels. They went to the thank you page of every single person’s thing, and on the thank you page they’d have a button that said, “Thanks for buying my info product about how to get 6 pack abs. Click here to find out my number one recommended supplement.” They’d click there and go over to a squeeze page and put the name and email address in and then boom, they were put on Josh and Joel’s list, and then those guys emailed the list every single day selling protein and things like that.

And as they were selling all those things, all those commissions were going, excuse me, all the commissions would go to the person who referred them over to the squeeze page and they just sold, they’d sell people like crazy and all the commissions went back to that person. Just like in Clickfunnels. When someone sells one of my books and we get them to buy Clickfunnels, that affiliate still gets them money. So he just put a squeeze page on every one’s thank you page.

So it’s looking at that kind of thing. How can I go to other people that I know in my market who maybe have a little bit bigger following than me, and how do we start partnering together and we tag team together and we create cool things together?

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