How To Master Your Marketing Funnel with Jack Born
Founder of Deadline Funnel
"One of the absolute core ingredients that you need for a successful funnel is a really great offer. I think newer online entrepreneurs often get confused with, 'Well... my offer's my product, right?' Well no, it's really not. Your product is a component of the offer, but there are so many other pieces."
How do you feel about marketing funnels?
Seriously… how do you feel?
If you're like most people, you probably fall somewhere between one of two camps when it comes to funnels. The first being what we affectionately refer to as the “funnel enthusiast” and the second being a bit more “in one ear out the other”:
But regardless of whether you're already passionate about the power of funnels or are still just trying to wrap your head around what they are exactly, we have a feeling you're going to love hearing from our guest on today's episode of the podcast.
And before we introduce him to you, we'd like to quickly take a step back and point out how fortunate we are to be able to share his knowledge and wisdom with you in the first place.
Meet Jack Born of Deadline Funnel
You see, our esteemed guest is none other than Jack Born. He's a marketing virtuoso who's been actively building online businesses since 2001. Jack is also the Founder & CEO of Deadline Funnel – a powerful marketing tool that helps online entrepreneurs, course creators, and membership site owners built true, authentically evergreen marketing funnels.
Don't worry if you're not quite sure what that means yet — Jack will clearly explain everything to you.
In fact, if you're interested in learning how to maximize the amount of money you can earn from the people who are already interested in you, your message and your content, you will want to pay very close attention to what Jack has to say in this episode.
Over the years, Jack has collaborated with some of the most successful online entrepreneurs like Perry Marshall, Ryan Levesque, Andre Chaperon, and more. At one point, he even helped tennis hall-of-famer and Olympic gold medalist Gigi Fernandez successfully launch her digital product.
To say that Jack knows his stuff about online marketing and business building would be an understatement. If there were a marketing “hall of fame,” he'd be voted in on the first ballot without question.
Anyways, we bring all of this up to say that having Jack on the podcast is truly an opportunity for you to learn from a master. After you listen to our conversation, you might feel like you just got the condensed version of a masters-level class in online marketing.
|2:00||Meet Jack Born of Deadline Funnel|
|6:20||The nail-biting story of how Jack first discovered the power of a deadline|
|8:49||Funnels 101: What's the actual definition of a marketing funnel?|
|11:29||The essential lessons Jack learned from his time with Perry Marshall|
|14:50||How, When & Why Jack built Deadline Funnel|
|20:07||A look at traditional launches vs. evergreen launches|
|30:16||Down the Rabbit Hole: A deep dive into funnels|
|43:40||Jack explains the "Dolly Parton Rule" of email marketing|
|46:05||The biggest mistakes you can make when designing your funnel|
|49:19||Building Your Business: The importance of having a team|
|58:37||Jack's parting advice for entrepreneurs|
“One of the absolute core ingredients that you need to have for a successful funnel is a really great offer. I think entrepreneurs, particularly new online entrepreneurs often get confused with, “Well… my offer’s my product.” Well no, it’s really not. Your product is a component of the offer, but there are so many other pieces of that offer. If you were going to look at one place to try to boost conversion what I would say is rather than focusing on the copy itself, I would go straight to the offer. What is your offer? What promises are you making?”
You’re listening to Jack Born – my esteemed guest on today’s episode of the Subscription Entrepreneur Podcast.
Now, before I introduce you to him, I’d like to quickly take a step back and point out how fortunate we are to have Jack on the show.
You see, Jack is a marketing virtuoso who’s been actively building online businesses since 2001.
Over the years, he’s collaborated with some of the most successful online entrepreneurs like Perry Marshall, Ryan Levesque, Andre Chaperon, and more. At one point, Jack even helped tennis hall-of-famer and Olympic gold medalist Gigi Fernandez successfully launch her digital product.
To say that Jack knows his stuff about online marketing and business building would be an understatement. If there were a marketing Hall of Fame, he’d be voted in on the first ballot without question.
Anyway, I bring all of this up to say that having Jack on the podcast is truly an opportunity for you to learn from a master. In our conversation, we dive deep into one of the most important aspects of an online business: your marketing funnels.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to improve your own funnels or are still trying to wrap your mind around what they actually are… this is the episode for you.
And after you listen, you might feel like you just got the condensed version of a masters-level class in online marketing.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
I’m your host Eric Turnnessen and this is Episode 143 of The Subscription Entrepreneur Podcast.
Eric: Welcome to the show, Jack.
Jack: Yeah, it’s great to be here. Very, very excited to be talking about marketing and business building and possibly even talking about evergreen funnels.
Eric: Yes, we will definitely talk about a lot of those things. I was thinking myself right before I got on this, I was like, “Wow, I haven’t done a podcast in a few weeks or so. I wonder if I still know how to do it.” Then I thought to myself, “That’s kind of a silly thing to think. I mean, doing a podcast is just like having a conversation.” It’s not like I would forget how to talk to another human being, but anyway, those are the kinds of things that run through my mind sometimes.
Jack: I hear you. Well, this is just a conversation where we get to geek out on whatever floats your boat right now about marketing or business building, so let’s jump in.
Eric: Perfect. First of all, can we start with just a 30,000-foot view of who you are and what you do?
Jack: I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Currently, I’m the founder of a software platform called Deadline Funnel, and so, we can get into that in a little bit. But basically, one of the things that I tell my team is that our job is to really try to solve problems for online entrepreneurs to help make their life better. They’re at version 1.0 trying to get them to 2.0 or for some people they’re at version 2.0 and they’re trying to get the 3.0 but it’s not about selling a piece of software. It’s not about selling a training. It’s about how can we improve their life. So, I’ve been an entrepreneur myself since 2001, I had a break up with corporate America. I remember real quick aside, this was shortly after 9/11 I was reading this something on a Microsoft website where it said like five ways that you would know that you should be an entrepreneur and not work for someone else.
I was going down the list. I’m like, yup, yup, yup, yup. It was just a few weeks later that my boss and I were having an argument and we both came to the same conclusion that we weren’t a good fit, and in fact I wasn’t a good fit for corporate America. I called my wife on the phone and said, “Well, I’m off on my own now.” And she’s like, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out.” So, it was a typical jump off the building and build the plane on the way down. That’s how a lot of entrepreneurs describe it as that you don’t really know what you’re leaping into, but you just have faith in yourself that you’re going to figure it out. And so, I created…
Basically, I was working for a healthcare firm, that was the last corporate job that I had. Before that I spent several years working for Merrill Lynch. And so, I was a passionate, direct response marketer who really didn’t have an opportunity to use his direct response marketing skills or to develop the skills. So, I was consuming newsletters from Perry Marshall, consuming newsletters from Dan Kennedy, Paper Ink newsletters back then, so stuff printed on actual trees. So, it was a really different world, but I was really, really passionate about this whole idea of having your own business and having people that really look to you for advice and guidance who thought, “Thank goodness for this person, he’s really improved my life.” And I really wanted that reality, but I didn’t know how to get it. And so, like a bird getting kicked out of the nest, I found myself launched into that world. I did a lot of things wrong.
I’ll try to speed this up, but one of my first introductions to the whole concept of the power of a deadline is that for a year I was doing some odd jobs to get money coming in. Good news is my wife and I didn’t have any kids at the time. Our expenses were ridiculously low. That gave us the flexibility for me to be a little bit more adventurous. What I did was I bought a script, literally a script off of a website called Hot Scripts. And I envisioned this platform, this eBayish platform, connecting healthcare companies who wanted nurses for various locations and connecting the nurses and bringing them together. So, I looked for a job board. I bought this script for 70 bucks. It had bugs in it, and rather than doing the smart thing and hiring programmers, because again, this was before four-hour-work week, like I had no idea what I was doing. I had to sort of pave the way for myself.
I went and I bought a super thick book from the bookstore called PHP 4. So, if anyone knows anything about PHP, that was a long, long time ago. So, the book was the PHP 4 Bible and I went through page by page, tried to learn programming and so, I did fix it up, created a brutally ugly website, but it worked. Spent the next year attracting people to this free website and building up momentum, but no one had paid me. And so, after a year, my wife comes into my office and says, “Babe, it’s time to, as they say in the South, I don’t know if I’m allowed to use this word or not, but it’s time to shit or get off the pot.” In other words, it’s time to find out if this thing has legs. And I’m like, “Yep, you’re right.”
Again, this was before a product launch or PLF existed, right? So, I just figured I’m going to come out with a price, I’m going to send people about seven days of emails, and at the end of it, I’m going to start cutting people’s access off. And that’s what I did. I came up with a charter membership and I did a very rough and dirty launch. Send out some emails, some people signed up, but most of it was just crickets. Like for the first six and a half, actually, seven days, I thought, “Oh my God, I’m been wasting an entire year of my life, like I’m going to have to go back to work. This is screwed.” So, then I started cutting people’s access off because there was a deadline and I certainly wasn’t going to… If this thing was not going to work, it wasn’t going to be because I waffled on the deadline.
So, I cut people’s access off and the phone started ringing and $27,000 came in, in the next 24 hours. What I learned was that the people who were actually using my website didn’t have the corporate card and it was when their access got cut off that they went to their boss and said, “Hey, we need this thing.” And so, it was actually that deadline that got people to take action. So, that was my first introduction to a deadline. Deadline Funnel came many, many, many years later, but that website that I created went on to… It was a recurring website, business and then went on to supply my income for quite some time. Anyways, I then have the opportunity to work for Perry Marshall as his marketing manager for I think six or seven years. Awesome guy, learned a lot, met a lot of great entrepreneurs at his level, and really got to spread my wings and meet some really cool and interesting people.
That was a huge, huge boost for my visibility and also my career and then I developed several pieces of software. One of the early ones was software called AW Pro Tools, which I added some automation, some… If you think about Infusionsoft, it added a lot of the things that were missing in AWeber into AWeber and so, I sold that off and several years later. Anyways, that wasn’t as high level as I wanted it to be, but anyways, hopefully there was some valuable insight.
Eric: No, that’s great because you basically just answered my next two questions without me having to expend the energy to ask them.
Eric: So, that’s great. It sounds like the way that you approach things is actually, it speaks very close to home for me because it’s a similar way that I approached starting MemberMouse, which is essentially there’s a problem and there’s something that’s challenging for people to do and I want to make it easier for them to do that using software. It’s really cool to see how you were able to do that with these early on products and then ultimately leading into when you did with Deadline Funnels, which basically is what I want to dive into a lot here. Because like you mentioned in the beginning, in your first foray into a product online, a year after you left your corporate job, you realized the power of the deadline. So, I really want to get into this. There’s a lot of people who are interested in implementing this strategy into their business and so, we want to get all the nitty gritty on this so people can apply these things to their own situation. Now before we get into that, let’s just have a level set and quickly define in your mind what a funnel is.
Jack: I would define a funnel as a predetermined mechanism to generate a client, to get a client. That might be, or to increase the value of an existing client. So, essentially at the end of it, ideally, you’re trying to make a sale. One of the most important concepts that I learned and it really twisted my brain in knots for a bit until I truly figured this out. And this came from a book by Dan Kennedy. Dan Kennedy said, “A lot of marketers will get a client to make a sale. The most successful entrepreneurs do it the opposite way.
They will make a sale to get a client.” What he meant was that there are very successful companies such as Agora Financial, but certainly others where they know their numbers and so, they’re willing to, I’m using air quotes “go negative”. In other words, that doesn’t mean negative marketing, that means that you’re willing to lose money on the front end because you know, “Okay, yes, I’m spending $500 and I’m only generating $400 in revenue in the first 90 days, but I also know that the lifetime value of this client over say the next year or two is going to be $5,000”
So, who wouldn’t take that deal? Well, the only person that wouldn’t take that deal is the person who doesn’t know their numbers or doesn’t have faith in the mathematics, but if you know your numbers and you have faith in the math, then you absolutely should be willing to lose money to bring someone in who then is going to buy additional things from you. So, that was the idea.
Eric: Yeah, and for anybody who is interested in that, diving deeper into that topic of lifetime customer value, marketing channels, et cetera, we actually did a podcast with Dan Caron all on that topic where we talk about those things and how you can leverage them in your business so people can take a listen to that one too.
Jack: I would imagine a lot of your listeners and clients who have monthly membership sites, if they’re advertising online, it’s probably not uncommon for some of them to experience where they’re getting more to Facebook to bring in someone in that first month. But if they keep them around, then that’s going to pay off. But you have to be willing to lose money on that first month or two or three for us, we’ll invest several months’ worth of upfront costs in order to eventually make that money back because we know our numbers.
Eric: Now, before we get into the deep dive on Deadline Funnels, I want to take another glance at that seven-year period where you’re working in that marketing company, were there’s some other major things that you learned while you were there, particularly that you carried into your business with Deadline Funnels? Things that shaped you in terms of how you thought about running an online business and doing marketing.
Jack: You’re talking about my time with Perry Marshall as his marketing manager?
Jack: Okay, so for anyone who hasn’t heard of Perry Marshall, I’d highly recommend that you go look them up on Amazon. A great place to start would be his 80/20 Sales and Marketing book. It’s applicable to everyone. It’s got tremendous reviews, so just go and buy it and read it. PS: one of the chapters, I think it’s Chapter Six is devoted to a concept that I came up with and he gives me credit for, rightfully so, is the tactical triangle. I don’t want to get off on a tangent, but it’s a great book, so if you haven’t heard of Perry Marshall, go look him up and buy that book. So, I worked for Perry Marshall. Perry Marshall is a thought leader. He was really the first guy to crack the code on Google AdWords and to really explain to direct response marketers, “Here’s what you can do, all the testing that you can do with Google AdWords.”
I mean, and this goes back to when you can get clicks for less than 5 cents. Prices definitely have ramped up since then, but he was one of the first to see just the power that you can get with testing different headlines and all the various things that you can do. It was a totally different world back then and it’s certainly grown up since then. What were some of the things that I learned? One of the big influences that Perry had on me was the importance of lead generation and the power of not just sending people to a sales page, mind you, this is back when you could still get clicks for five, 10, 15, 25 cents. Who would love to go back to those days? We would just kill it knowing what we know now. Even back then he was teaching his tribe. “Look, you’re throwing money away if all you’re doing is advertise on Google and just sending them straight to your sales page, God forbid your homepage.” But let’s say a well-written sales page, that’s your one shot where they’re going cold, they read an ad and boom, you’re hitting them up for something.
You might make some sales and good on you if you can make that work, but how much more money could you make if instead you gave them an opportunity to take a baby step into your world where you gave them additional information, where you gave them education, where you developed trust, you demonstrated authority, and then after you’ve done that, after you establish a relationship of sorts and proven the value of how you might be able to change your life, then you said, “You know what? If you want to go deeper, here’s my paid course, or here’s my software, or here’s my coaching program.”
Whatever it is that you have to offer, now it’s within the context of you understand who I am, you understand some of the results that I’ve gotten, you understand that I know your pain as well or better than you can because that’s really one of the key parts about marketing and that’s another key thing that I learned from Perry is the importance of, it’s not just about, thanks for getting on my list. Let me just hit you over the head with the features and benefits on my product is really understanding the pain points of your audience and being able to speak to that in a way that even they didn’t know existed. So, in other words, when they read one of your emails, are they thinking, “Oh my God, this is exactly how I feel.” Finally, someone understands exactly how I feel. I never even knew that this is how I felt until I saw an email, but now that I’m reading this or now that I’m watching this video, oh my God, this is exactly how it feels.”
When you have that type of connection with your audience, the convincing part, the persuasion of convincing someone to step forward with a credit card and pay you is so much easier. That was a really, really big thing. Let me connect the dots to where I am today and there’s so much more that I… I mean, I could talk for hours, but we don’t want to on that topic. Perry gave me a lot of support, a lot of advice. I learned a lot from watching him and learning from him and being on his team. One of the key things that influence Deadline Funnel is that the original idea, the origin story for Deadline Funnel was because, I was working with Perry, but I was always entrepreneurial.
I had my own things that I was selling and for myself and for Perry, I thought, “Okay, I’m a student of persuasion and marketing. I know that one of those powerful triggers that gets someone to take action is whether you call it urgency or scarcity or deadline, it’s forcing a decision. Like you’ve been watching, you’ve been reading, you’ve been clicking, so it’s time. You’re either in or out, make a decision. So, I wanted to be able to use that. And so, I wanted to use that in the context of having an evergreen email sequence. So, I wanted it to be automated, I wanted to integrate with the email sequence, but I didn’t want it to be BS. I didn’t want to just slap a timer on a page and go, “Yup, there we go. Please don’t show up the day after I tell you it’s a deadline because, hey, you’re going to find out that I was full of it.”
I want it to be absolutely 100% genuine but automated. And so, I went around looking for it. Just assumed like, “Someone somewhere must’ve figured this out, must have had the same idea and has already built it. So, I just need to go figure out who’s got it and I’ll sign up for it and off we go.” The more I looked, the more I realized, “Nope, no one’s done it yet. There’s timers out there, but they’re just these lying little BS things that you slap on a page and just cross your fingers and hope that no one comes back the next day.” I didn’t want to do that and so, there was about 10 or 12 other things that I wanted the software to do and so, I figured, “Okay, I guess I’ve got to build it.” And so, that was the beginning of Deadline Funnel.
Eric: Let’s talk a little bit about exactly what Deadline Funnels do and who it’s for.
Jack: It’s for anyone who wants to get the maximum number of sales from the people who are actually paying attention. So, one of the key things to understand is that there is no magic bullet out there that’s going to fix a bad message for a bad product or something that just doesn’t have a home. So, there’s a concept in lean startup or marketing one-on-one where you have to product market fit. So, in other words, you’ve got to have an audience that has a problem that you can solve. Sometimes there are products looking for a problem, a certain type of problem and so, no one is raising their hand and say, “Wow, thank God you created this thing.” But if you have a message that resonates with people, if you have a marketing funnel that is bringing in clients and turning some strangers into clients or clients into even more valuable clients, if you have that, then what Deadline Funnel does is it maximizes that so that you can do things like you can reinvest that money into building your team.
Maybe something that we’ll talk about a little bit later, reinvesting the money into additional Facebook and YouTube ads, or hiring someone to write better copy on your sales pages. So, you can reinvest the money back into your business so that the wheel begins. So, this flywheel concept of you’ve improved, the metrics of your marketing funnel. Now you can reinvest that back in your business to make it even better so you can level up and level up to level up and so, it begins to spin faster. And all of a sudden, the business really picks up momentum. You have your team who are building things for you and doing things for you that before you just didn’t have time or the expertise to do. And so, now that’s making more sales. And so, one of the key components of this is having a high converting marketing funnel.
You want to get as many people who are coming in and raising their hand a little bit. Taking that first step into your world, getting on your email list or watching your webinar, clicking on your videos. You want these people who are leaning into your message, you want as many of them as possible to take that step, take that leap of faith and some people just jump right in. They hear your message and they decide right on the spot, “This is for me.” So, when you have a sales page up, like the people who arrive, they scroll to the bottom, they click the buy button and go, those are those people. Those are the jumpers, and then there’s all the other people who look at what you have to say it’s resonating with them, but there’s just some sort of hesitation or maybe they get distracted.
There’s all sorts of reasons why someone could and should become a client of yours, but they just never crossed the line. They’re sitting on the fence or they forget. And so, that’s where Deadline Funnel comes in, is to make sure that if someone is paying attention to your message and they’re leaning forward and they just need a reminder or that extra little bit of motivation, but that will get them over the fence. I probably answered the question, what it does in a broad sense. Who we serve, like who we help. Primarily our online course creators, but it really could be anyone. We just came out with a very deep Shopify integration so that people who are on the Shopify platform and maybe have several dozen products that they sell, like an eCommerce type of store. Our software now integrates on a very, very deep level with Shopify.
I don’t want to go too deeply into that, but we’re trying to help anyone who is trying to crack the code on, “How do I maximize sales and revenue from my online presence? How do I maximize sales and revenue, particularly from any sort of lead generation that I’m doing.” That’s who we serve.
Eric: There’s a lot of people who approach launching their product and some people end up in this feast famine cycle where they’re basically approaching their launches as a onetime event or a multi-time of a year event, et cetera. But they end up in this situation where they’re doing all this work at one time and they may get a lot of sales, but then they have a period of time after that where they’ve got nothing. And so, can you talk about the difference in concept between this type of launch and an evergreen launch and how again, this Deadline Funnels plays into that?
Jack: Yeah. So, zooming back a little bit, in business you want to have systems and you want to leverage automation. So, we live in a wonderful golden era where you can automate so many things in our business. You didn’t have to go back too many decades before back to far where things that are easy to automate now that you couldn’t solve the way that we can solve them with a few clicks and a credit card. And so, you want to use automation everywhere that you can. If you create a powerful marketing asset, you don’t want to just use it once or use it two or three times a year, what if you can be using it all the time. So, I’m not against launches. Launches are very effective. The problem is that eventually someone who starts with a launch and then decides, “Okay, that worked great, I’m going to wait a few months and I’ll do a bigger launch and then wait a few months to do a bigger launch.” And it doesn’t take very long, eventually you’re going to find out that that is not a scalable process and during that downtime you don’t have revenue coming in unless you’re launching possibly to a membership site.
So, there are ways to have some revenue coming in, but for the most part, your client acquisition, the growth of your business is happening when you are launching and when you’re not launching your business is in maintenance mode. One of the challenges there, but not the only challenge is that psychologically because your business isn’t growing month after month after month, it’s very difficult for you to have the faith as the entrepreneur that you’re going to be able to invest in the A players on your team. To build a team that’s going to take you to the next level.
Let’s say that you just did a $100,000 launch and you’ve got plans to do a $250,000 launch. The question then becomes with all these extra clients that you’re going to be bringing in, do you hire several months ahead of time and then train people up to be able to handle that larger influx of new clients so that you have lower refunds and people say wonderful things about your team and your business and spread the word in a positive way? Because that requires investment upfront where you don’t have money coming in. Or do you hire them as quickly as possible after launch? There’s really no good answer to that, and so, what I recommend is a healthy business eventually becomes a combination of launches to really boost your numbers and to bring in as many new leads as possible to grow your list as some people would say, but also to have a nice influx of revenue and names on your list that you can then market to.
But when you’re not launching, you need to have evergreen automated systems. Those funnels that we’ve talked about before that are running every single day using automation to bring in as many people as possible. And so, that’s really the power of having evergreen systems. And so, one of the things that you asked in your question is along the lines of, okay, what’s the difference between a live launch and an evergreen launch? So, there’s a lot of different ways to have an evergreen funnel. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes. They’re not all designed as launches, but one of the easiest ways to bridge from. So, you’ve done a launch and now you want to leverage what you’ve done, what’s the best way to do it?
Well, you could build a completely new funnel, or you could say, “Let’s take everything that worked in the launch, the emails, the pages, the videos, all those things.” And what we could do, we could set up an evergreen launch. So, everything’s systemized, automated, pre-scheduled, so that when someone enters into that funnel, they get the emails, the prelaunch content that builds up the anticipation. There’s the open the cart email, there’s the case study emails, all those various things and then there’s the, “Hey, this is the last day it’s going away.” And for that person, when you’re using Deadline Funnel, it will be absolutely 100% true.
It will be automated, but it will also be true. So, as they’re going through the funnel, they can’t buy it until it’s open and once it’s closed, they can no longer buy it anymore. And so, there’s a window of time, just like in a live launch, but as I mentioned, everything is completely automated. Some people will do this in a way where if you show up on a Monday and sign up, you’re starting that sequence right away. So, someone else who shows up on a Tuesday is a day behind. Other people will set it up where as people come in, maybe they’re signing up because of a webinar or lead magnet or something to get them into from not on the list to on the list. Once they’re on the list, they may have it set up where every week, so everyone who came through in the prior week starts on a Monday and then ends on a Saturday, let’s say.
So, there’s lots of different ways to do it. Some people will do a monthly launch. So, there’s a lot of different ways to do this, but all of these different things can be automated. And it’s a great way to bridge the gap as efficiently as possible from, hey, you don’t have to write all new marketing assets, you don’t have to write new email copy, and those sorts of things. Just take what you’ve already done with a proven successful funnel that was live and you could run again in half a year, but take all those assets and bundle it into an automated system that runs people through in the same way that they did before. Just set it up using marketing automation and of course Deadline Funnel, and then you can have people coming in all the time. You don’t have to just turn on your Facebook ads when you’re running a launch because by the way, Facebook and YouTube and Google, yes, I know YouTube and Google are the same, but all of these platforms reward consistent advertisers.
So, that’s another reason why, it’s more of a micro reason, but it’s another important reason why you want to be running evergreen systems because Facebook is not going to give you the premium traffic at the premium prices if you’re just cranking up your ad machine two times during a year when you’re doing the launches. They’re going to give you the best rates when you are able to consistently scale your ads and your tweaking things and improving the machine. And by the way, you’re going to be able to do a lot more split testing, way more split testing with your ads, with your ad copy, with your landing pages when you’re in marketing every single day of the year as opposed to, “Hey, I only run my business based off of two launches.”
Well good for you, but you’re missing out on all those other days of the year where you could be split testing, where you could be learning, “Oh wait a second, this video works way better than this video. This ad works way better than this ad. This headline works way better than this headline.” You can’t learn that during two weeks of launching during a year. So, I’m not against launches, but I really believe that a healthy business has a good mix of the two.
Eric: Yeah, and I think that concept of scalability is so important. I mean, and again, not every business has to be scalable. It can come down to a personality choice of how you want to relate to your business. But if you’re trying to go with a traditional approach, grow your business to a point where it can maintain itself to a certain point, your role can change as the founder to one who’s managing a team as opposed to being the guy in the trenches. Scalability is a ball that you need to have your eye on from day one and automation tools that you can use for automation is such an important thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to hit this goal and like you were saying again, scalability is also if you pay attention to it and approach it in the correct way and you have an idea of what your lifetime customer value is, then you basically are building a machine for printing money.
The fundamental step of course being that you are putting the effort in to create content that is of value to your customers, content and a product that people want and are sharing with people. And the thing is when you have a scalable and automated system, you are then able to best take advantage of the fact that people are enjoying your product or service because then they can share it and your doors are always open and each one of those people is getting the personal touch of relationship building through how you’ve organized your funnel. It ends up just being a beautiful way for people to come into your doors and experience being a part of your community.
Jack: Absolutely, and even if someone isn’t looking for scalability, they’re at six figures and they’re thinking, “Well that’s great, but I’m not looking to be the next Jeff Bezos. It’s too much work. It’s not the life I want to have.” I get it, but put scalability aside. Some people want the scalability. If you don’t want the scalability then you should do it for consistency and sanity so that you know that you’re not freaking out in between. It’s not getting to you mentally in between those launches and also so that you can identify market trends that are changing, which way the winds are shifting in between those big launches. Because if you’re not interacting with people in the outside world, not just your clients but other people who could be your clients one day, then how are you going to know? And so, for all of those reasons, certainly keep doing launches because they’re exciting.
They generate buzz for all the reasons that launches work, but also have mechanisms in place that you can acquire clients every single day of the year and you can, every so often learn something about your audience and what makes them tick so that you can just make the business work better even. If you’re not looking for scalability, profitability, sanity.
Eric: And automation also, I mean that’s something that’s near and dear to my heart as well as a systems guy and something that we strive to build in MemberMouse wherever we could because the fact is automation built into software basically protects people from the unforeseen challenges that come with growth. The thing is when you’re first starting an online business, when you’re dealing with 100 people in your community, there is no real way that you can understand truly what things are going to come your way when you’re at 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 members in your community. The beautiful thing about automation is encompassed in that, encapsulated in that is your knowledge of having gone through that process, your knowledge of studying with people over years in marketing, our team’s knowledge of studying and observing trends and membership. It’s baked into the software so that you get the benefit of that baked right into the software without even having to think about it or even know that it’s happening. It just does it for you.
The next thing I want to do now, let’s do a deep dive into funnels. Let’s slow things down a little bit, break down a funnel and see what the best practices are. So, the first place to start here, I think is in your opinion, what are the absolute core ingredients that an online entrepreneur needs to have for a successful funnel?
Jack: I’m going to talk to this slightly differently. I think that before you try to evergreen something, you need to make sure that it works the first time. So, for example, rather than saying, “Okay, I’m going to create an evergreen automated webinar with this webinar that I’ve never done before, but I’ve built the slides, let’s automate it.” Well, before you automate it, run it live a few times, make sure that it converts. You want to make sure before you systematize something that you have a good system, right? Before you automate the system, you want to make sure that the system works. One of the absolute core ingredients that you need to have for a successful funnel is a really great offer. So, I think entrepreneurs, particularly new online entrepreneurs often get confused with, “Well, my offer’s my product.”
Well no… it’s really not. Your product is a component of the offer, but there are so many other pieces of that offer. If you were going to look at one place to try to boost conversion besides adding a deadline, and if we’re talking about sales copy, what I would say is rather than focusing on the copy itself, I would get straight to the offer. What is your offer? What promises are you making, including things like the guarantee. There are a lot of ways, and people get lazy with guarantees. They see someone doing a 30-day money back guarantee and they go, “Yup, sounds good.” Boom 30-day guarantee. “Okay Jack, I’ve got a guarantee.” Well, there’s a whole bunch of other ways that you can do guarantees that really reinforce the benefit that you’re offering. For example, you can have a second guarantee on top of the, even if you just stick with the 30-day unconditional money back guarantee, if we just stick with that core tried and true first guarantee, you could back it up with a conditional guarantee.
“Look, as an additional conditional guarantee, go through our training and show us that you’ve done at least three of the modules, and if you’ve done three of the modules and you haven’t made an additional $10,000 from going through those three modules, then we will give you back your money plus an extra $500 for your time because that’s how confident we are.” Now, that additional guarantee has some stipulations. Now, I wouldn’t use that as the main guarantee, right? For some legal reasons, but that second guarantee gives you an opportunity to restate the benefit of what you’re offering and someone reading that thinks, “Oh my God, it stands out.” Right? “It gets attention. It’s more than just the typical 30 day. Yeah, I get a 30-day money back guarantee. Yeah, got it.” But it really emphasizes what the offer is and what the benefit to the potential student is.
That’s just a quick example I came up with off the top of my head. But other things would be bonuses. So, don’t just throw in bonuses for the sake of having bonuses. Think about what is the purpose of this bonus. So, for example, it might solve a core objection that someone has. For example, someone might say, “Well, if I’m selling…” Here’s an example from Deadline Funnel, so someone might be on a webinar of mine and think, “Oh, Jack, this sounds amazing, but I don’t have any emails and I’m not an email copywriter. I’ve never written an email sequence.” Well, that’s okay. We have a bonus. The bonus is that I took some of the best emails that I’ve got and I’ve put them together for you and when you sign up today, you’re going to get this. Well, that sounds amazing, but I don’t know how to drive traffic to my website.
In other words, I don’t know how to advertise. I don’t know the first thing about Facebook advertising. You’re telling me that once I have this machine in place, I’m going to be able to advertise on Facebook. How do I do that? So, great. We’ve got a training course where we’ve interviewed five of the top Facebook experts and here they are, and it’s in this course that’s going to show you how to bring traffic to your funnel so that you can grow your business very, very quickly. Those are just some examples off the top of my head where the bonus was picked specifically to answer an objection and to remove that objection. Adding those in, it’s not just to say, “Look, here’s the total value here and the total value is $5,000 and you can get it for 99 bucks today.”
That’s not the reason to put bonuses in it, just to boost up the value. The reason to put bonuses in are to remove the objections that someone would say, “Yeah, but well, that sounds great, but…” So, when you have those bonuses in your offer, you’re going to get way more sales. And so, I would say look at the offer as one of the core ingredients to having a successful funnel.
Eric: So, the foundation for any funnel is that you have a good offer. Given that now the entry point into the funnel, the first thing now in a Deadline Funnel approach, is there one way that you are asking for something upfront? Is it a free trial? Are you asking for money upfront? What does it depend on? How do you determine that?
Jack: One of the benefits of Deadline Funnel, but it’s also a challenge for us as a team is that our system works with so many different types of software platforms and works with so many different types of funnel, so if someone said, “Look, I want to do an evergreen webinar.” “Great, our system will work for that and we can teach you how to do it.” “I want to just do a simple email sequence.” “Okay, our system works with that.” “I want to send Facebook traffic to a page that offers a low-price thing and then has an upsell that has also a deadline on that upsell page.” “Great. We can do that.” Whether you want to use many chat or some sort of chat bots in your marketing, whether you want to have an evergreen webinar, whether it starts with a lead magnet, whether it’s a virtual summit, all of those things and things I haven’t even mentioned, doesn’t really fundamentally matter.
I mean, if we want to have more of a theoretical discussion about what would be the best way to build a funnel, it really comes down to what your overall goal is. So, the building of the funnel, what funnel you should choose is the tactical execution of what is your strategy. So, for example, if your strategy is to get as many people who haven’t heard about you today, become buyers, even if it’s a small purchase so that then you can bring them into your world, then you would have a completely different looking funnel than if you said, “All right, we want to maximize revenue off of that first transaction. So, we want a high-ticket offer.” You’re probably going to use a webinar. You might bring them in with a lead magnet or you might go straight to bring them on the webinar, depending on how well your webinar converts. There’s no one funnel fits all. It really depends on what your overall strategy is.
Eric: Going back to the quote that you mentioned earlier from Dan Kennedy about client versus a sale, about the power of you having confidence in your offers, such that you’re willing to get somebody in and show them what you’ve got in order to then make them a client or then make a sale after you’ve demonstrated yourself to them. If you’re going after that approach and you believe in that approach, you would be probably starting your funnel off with something very low or free.
Jack: Yup. There’s a fellow named Kevin Rogers who I know is, even though I know some of the details, the metrics, I’m not going to reveal those, but he sells to copywriters. He’s got a low-price course that teaches a very simple system that helps copywriters get around writer’s block. There we go. Gets them around writer’s block where you’re staring at the page, you’ve got your own deadline of delivering this blazing hot copy to the client, but for some reason the creative juices just aren’t flowing. So, he’s got a way around that. So, that’s the type of thing that just sells like hotcakes once he explains it to people and he’s got the credibility to back it up, it takes people off of Facebook to make that purchase. There is what’s called a bump offer below there so they can tick a box to upgrade their offer. And so, it’s not technically an upsell because they haven’t put in their credit card yet.
So, before they put it in their credit card, they took the box. Some of them do, they fill out the information, then they go to the next page and there’s a very tantalizing higher price offer on the next page. It’s not crazy expensive, but if it’s an upgrade. So, that’s the whole thing. Now he actually doesn’t care very much about selling that stuff. It’s high quality information, it’s high quality courses, but what I’m trying to communicate is that the reason why he’s offering that upfront is because he wants to get qualified people, in other words, copywriters. He wants to attract copywriters into his world so that they can join his monthly membership program and forum. Basically, his monthly tribe and the best way that he’s found to do that is to offer that tantalizing starter course upfront.
He’s not lead generating off of a freebie, but he certainly could, but that’s a way that he can bring people in and whether he makes money on that first sale or loses a little bit of money or breaks even, basically he’s getting super high qualified leads who have bought something from him before as leads for what he’s really trying to get people into, which is continuity program. He’s essentially getting these people off of Facebook for essentially free or almost free, if that makes sense. Like just to be clear, for anyone listening, he’s spending a lot of money on Facebook so they’re not free, but they’re free in his mind because what he’s really selling, his continuity program, that advertising mechanism is being financed by that funnel that I just explained.
Eric: So, essentially whether the offer upfront from whatever lead gen sources are involved is free or low priced or whatever. Essentially it boils down to a no brainer for the person. They see the value in like, “Oh, this makes absolute sense. I don’t even need to think about this.” But in that case, one of the valuable aspects of it was there’s a prequalification. Making sure that the right people end up in the funnel. Because if it is free, you could get a lot more tire kickers. In regards to the strategy of a deadline, where are the places that you start to weave this in? Once somebody enters into the funnel, they opt in in some way, they make a purchase, whatever that initial thing is. When do you start throwing the deadline and how do you weave it into the process?
Jack: I’m going to try to give a succinct answer, but the real answer is that some people do it right away. Some people wait much longer. So, for example, in Kevin’s case on the Upsell page, so they’ve been in Kevin’s world for just a few minutes and there’s a deadline to take the offer. Full disclosure, I’m not sure if in that actual funnel, my friend Kevin, is using Deadline Funnel on that page. It is a one time to take it now or never get it or never use this type of offer. So, some people are using a deadline right away. But typically, what our clients our setting up are systems where when someone either becomes a new subscriber to their email system or let’s just go with that just to keep it simple. So, if someone becomes a new subscriber, a signal is sent to Deadline Funnel. In other words, Deadline Funnel integrates and talks to their email system and the email system says, “Hey Deadline Funnel, start that campaign, that six-day campaign for firstname.lastname@example.org.” “Okay fine, we’ll do that.”
So, in our system, [email protected] already has a deadline. Even if you’re not telling her, “Hey Judy, just letting you know you only got six days to buy this thing that you just found out about.” Like it’s not time to tell her that, but in the background, deadline Funnel and the email system have talked to each other. So, you send out the emails that are going to develop, know, like and trust, establish authority. How Judy move along towards developing this vision of, “Yes, you can achieve these things that you want to achieve and solve these problems you want to solve, I’ve got the well-worn path that you can follow.” And so, when she arrives at that part where you’re explaining to Judy, “Judy, if you want to follow that well-worn path, here’s what I have to offer for you. Here’s the program that’s helped so many other entrepreneurs like you.”
So, now you’re making the offer and whether it’s then or ideally the next day you’re mentioning, “By the way, this is loaded with special bonuses and at discounted price. So, here’s the amazing offer that I’m making you Judy, but it’s only good for the next 48 hours or it’s only good until Friday.” And that’s one of the powerful things about our systems. If we go back to my origin story, one of the other things that I know as a student of psychology and persuasion is that details matter. When I made an offer on our first home, rather than saying, first of all, it’s ridiculous that you can buy a home at any point in time for $175,000 but anyways, it was around $175,000 that we were offering. It was a wonderful home. It’s just, it was a while ago.
Rather than saying, “Hey, here’s our offer $175,000.” I went to the agent and I said, “I want to make an offer.” “Great. What’s your offer?” 174,232.” I’ll never forget that number. Okay, because I came up with that number in a very specific way. I was using that agent’s formula. I happened to come up with a weird number that she’d never heard before and she said, “That’s such an odd ball number.” I’m like, “Well, let me explain how I came to this number.” So, I gave her the opportunity to explain, “Here’s how I came up to that number.” That number communicated to the agent who is going to communicate the offer to the seller and there’s a reason behind this. There’s a reason behind the 174,232. In the same way when you tell someone, “Look, this program has worked legitimately for as of this day, 3,723 other online entrepreneurs.”
That’s better than saying 3000 entrepreneurs because the number is specific. So, in the same way, going back to the origin story, Deadline Funnel, I wanted not just our system to work, to integrate and talk to the email system. I wanted to be able to tell someone rather than just, “Hey guess what the deadline is tonight.” I want to say, “Look, make sure just so we’re clear the deadline is February 25th at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time. So, don’t be late because that’s the deadline. That is your deadline. And so, I wanted to be able to put that specific information inside the email. So, I’m not sure how I got on that tangent. Details matter. So, that’s another really important tip is that details matter.
Eric: Because you were basically answering the question about when is the appropriate time to bring the deadline in front of the person. Which leads to a follow-up question, is there a particular length of funnel that you’ve seen to be more or less successful in terms of how many interactions you have with somebody, number of emails, et cetera?
Jack: The guidelines that I like to give out, I call the Dolly Parton rule and the reason for that is just, and again, I’m dating myself. I think I made it pretty clear in this conversation I’m in my late 40s so I’ve been around for a while. There was a movie called 9 to 5 and one of the stars, it was Dolly Parton and so, I just call this Dolly Parton rule because we tell people as a starting point, no fewer than five days and no longer than nine days. Now, are there exceptions? Absolutely. A lot of it depends on your relationship with the market. It depends on the price of what you’re selling, so if it’s considered expensive for your audience and that’s a relative term, different audiences consider different price points expensive, but if it’s expensive for your audience, it’s going to require more time to sell.
If it’s more of a fast-twitch lizard brain type of offer, like the Kevin Rogers’ example that I gave, it can be very, very quick. The reason why five to nine is because typically in just a typical funnel, typically you need five days to develop, know, like and trust. So, you’re sending an email message every single day and so, what are you trying to accomplish in those emails? You’re trying to do a little bit teaching, but in the teaching, you’re trying to develop authority, you’re trying to develop reciprocation because I’m giving you some knowledge that you didn’t have. Now you like me more and we’re bonding a little bit. There’s other things that going on psychologically, but it takes some time to lay the groundwork that is going to make it fertile ground for someone to be ready to hear your offer and to put it in the right context.
So, typically that’s going to take about five days. Now, why no longer than nine? Again, there are examples where people go way longer than nine, but I say nine because beyond nine people just lose tension, right? We live in a microwave world, 24-hour news cycle and we’re constantly being bombarded by stuff. You don’t want to go too long because if someone is clicking on your links, watching your videos, attending your webinars, it’s time for them to make a decision in or out. So, if you’d give them two weeks or three weeks at some point, the attention that you’re getting starts to drop off very, very quickly, as a quick aside, that’s why anyone who knows anything about retargeting and remarketing, so this is where you advertise to people who have been on your site and your ads follow them around. You want to spend the most money on the people who have been to your website most recently because attention and responsiveness fall off real fast. In the same way, you don’t want to leave it much longer. So, I would say five to nine.
Eric: Okay. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making when they’re designing their funnels?
Jack: I think it comes back to underestimating the importance of an offer. So, let me give a shout out to a buddy of mine who lives in Australia. I live in Australia. He’s a true Aussie. His name is Michael Maidens, M-A-I-D-E-N-S. So, he has a course called The Offer Academy. He really has split the atom in terms of all the different things that can go into an offer and the importance of it and how to shape your offer. He shows you all the ingredients that you could use, all the ingredients in the kitchen cupboard, and then he gives you guidance on which ones you might want to use depending on what you’re trying to bake. The importance of the offer is really what it comes down to.
I think that’s a really, really key thing. And then besides that, I would say another mistake that sometimes people make is that they assume that on the last day before the deadline that they should only send one email. So, this is a huge tip. So, one of the benefits of having a deadline is that it gives you the opportunity to send two or three emails a day. I recommend three. Now, here’s the thing, when you set this up evergreen, you only have to be brave and courageous ones as opposed to something that you’re making a decision on all the time, like a live launch. Once you set this up and it’s in the automation, set it and forget it, the three emails on the last day, it’s going to make you more money. No one has ever told me, “Yeah, I tried that and it didn’t work for me.”
The reason why it’s so important to have three emails on the last day is because people forget. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve truly wanted to buy something. I’m on list, I’m clicking the emails, but I get distracted. Got to take the kids to school, go and do this, do that. This morning the dog decided to eat something and my wife had to take the dog to the vet. So, stuff happens and so, people need a reminder, and by the way, the only people getting the reminder are the people who are in the funnel who haven’t purchased, because if you’re doing your job correctly using automation, the people who bought are automatically pulled out of that funnel and now you’re sending them, “Hey, congrats and let’s get you started. Let’s get you up and running and making sure that you’re having incredible success in the software world you and I know that that’s called an onboarding sequence.”
Super, super important, but I want to make sure that everyone understands you’re not annoying people. The people who are interested, people are going to unsubscribe. That’s fine. They weren’t going to buy from you anyways. The people who are paying attention who haven’t bought yet, they’re going to appreciate the reminder because it’s that last night just saying, “Hey man, I’m off the bed. This is your last reminder, doors are closing tonight or the price goes up tonight.” That’s where somebody goes, “Yep, I need to do it. I need to pull the trigger.”
Eric: Is there anything else we haven’t covered about Deadline Funnels that you think would be important to mention?
Jack: I think we’ve covered quite a bit. I’ll say that if you’ve got an idea for a funnel but you don’t know how to pull it off or if it even can be pulled off, come talk to my team or myself and we’d be happy to steer you in the right direction. We have lots of training.
Eric: All this has been super informative talking about these things and I know we’ve been using Deadline Funnels at MemberMouse since the end of last year and we’ve already seen some major improvements in terms of our funnel, so thank you so much for building it.
Eric: It’s been great to use. Let’s move into, as we wrap up here, what’s interesting to me is that you’re someone who’s not only building a piece of marketing technology that enables other people to grow their business, but you yourself are also an entrepreneur who’s growing your own business. So, I’m interested to hear what lessons you’ve learned along the way, building your own online business.
Jack: One of the most important ones is the importance of having a team, and a lot of people talk about this. One of the biggest challenges is going from the lone Wolf who’s scratching a client and trying to figure everything out, trying to do everything, trying to learn everything in themselves, to being someone who realizes that wait a second, now that you’ve actually got some traction, your job is actually to find talent, attract talent, and then develop and keep talent. And that’s a completely different, as I we say in Australia, I learned this yesterday. That’s a completely different box of frogs. Yeah, I was getting a massage yesterday, I was like, “Oh, man, that’s a different box of frogs.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to use that one.” It’s a totally different thing. Becoming a leader and sometimes becoming a manager, sometimes dealing with HR issues, but certainly let’s just stay in a positive.
Being a leader and not holding onto things is so vital to your growth and frankly to your sanity. So, I have some unorthodox advice and I know I’ve mentioned Australia a few times, but this is in context. One of the biggest jumps for my business was when in 2015 I had hired some developers and I had brought on a fellow named Anthony who now is invaluable team member. Just couldn’t do what I do without him, but at the time he was working part time for someone else. I only had a part of his time and part of his attention. He was very, very passionate, but you came to me instead, “Hey Jack, I really need to be making more money. I see the vision of what you’re doing and I want to be more involved.” You know, I was scared. I was nervous, but I thought, “Okay, wait a second, there is an opportunity here.” I said, “Okay Anthony, here’s the story, my wife and I and our two daughters have a trip in eight months where we’re going to Australia.” We’re not just going for a little while because we go time till I get jet lag. We’re going for six weeks and I don’t want to be up at 2:00 AM doing all the things that normally I do.
So, this would be a great opportunity for me to start to hand stuff off to you so that you can start to do it. You take home more responsibility. I let’s create a runway where I will be paying you more and you will be doing more. Now this is a conversation that he and I could’ve had at any time, probably should have had six months earlier, but it was that deadline frankly that forced me to look very closely at what I’m doing. So, here’s my recommendation. Everyone listening, you now have carte blanche to set up a six-week vacation on some place that’s on a totally different time zone. It has to be in a really scurry time zone and you have to go for several weeks so that you are basically running your business on the other side of the moon to think of it that way.
So, you can still log in, you can still do things but in real time, but people who are sending in tickets, the things that need to get done in your business are in a totally different times. Go ahead and schedule it so that you know, yep, that’s where the cliff is and the car is driving towards that cliff and we better figure this thing out before the car goes off the cliff because it’s coming and every day we’re getting closer to that cliff. That was a huge thing for me. So, that’s a very tactical way to actually get things off of your plate and onto other people’s plate. But that’s really just the beginning.
I mean, one of the key things, one of the key guiding principles that I’ve used to grow my team, and I’m proud to say that most of my team members have been with us for many, many years, five, six, seven years, is that I looked at the last job that I had and that year that I was working for that healthcare company, there were so many things that I thought, “Man, I feel like I’m living Office Space, the movie Office Space. It is just crazy what these people are doing. And I promised myself, “I said one day I’m going to have my own business and I’m going to do everything opposite. I’m going to remember how screwed up this was. I’m going to do everything opposite of what they’re doing.” And that’s my guiding principle. That’s my North star, is I think about what those guys would have done and I do the opposite. And I remember saying it. I mean, it really has served me well.
So, for example, I remember being in a meeting where my manager brought out an ad and they said, “Look, there’s 12 of us around the table. Here’s the ad, what do you guys think of it?” And everyone’s like, “Oh, boss man, it’s awesome. It’s great. I love it. I love the colors. You picked the right person from the stock image, just wonderful.” Being a student of Dan Kennedy and Perry Marshall, okay, it’s great. It’s pretty, but I don’t see, like why don’t you have an individual call to action so we know how many people actually came from this ad. What if we had some social proof? Like what if we had a quote from someone that’s our client? I just brought out some basic copywriting 101 and you would’ve thought I stood up on the table, I pulled out my pants and defecated on the table. I mean the reaction was like, “What are you doing?”
That was one of those situations where I realized, “Okay, when I own my own business, I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. I don’t want to think that I’m the smartest person in the room and I don’t want to treat my team members like I’m the smartest person in the room.” You have an idea, I want to hear it and I will listen to it. I may challenge it, but I want to hear the smart ideas, and more often than not, I’m going to say, “Yeah, that’s awesome. Run with that.”
Eric: I 100% believe in that and I second your advice on the six-week thing. That’s interestingly enough. A six-week trip to Mexico was a big turning point in my business too, in terms of relinquishing control and trusting my team, taking things off of my plate. So, good piece of advice.
Jack: You’re having fun, right?
Eric: Yeah. I was like, “Oh wow.” I was able to walk away from the business and things didn’t explode. This is awesome. I’m going to continue to run with this. And basically, then you naturally move into other roles because you trust other people. For me it was a trust thing.
Jack: You have to get over your ego, don’t you? I will never forget when I hired on the first two, developers who are still with me to this day and I looked at their code I thought, so for people who don’t code, this may sound weird, but if you’re a coder, you can look at code and go, “Damn, that’s some sexy code.” And I looked at their code, I’m like, “Damn, not only is that sexy, I don’t even understand it and it’s written in the language that I write in.” And that’s when I realized, “Oh my God, I’m not nearly as good a coder as I thought I was.” And so, my ego just got punched in the face by Mike Tyson. I mean, just got flawed, but the thought that followed that was, “Holy cow, I have these A players on my team. They want to build my business with their skills. Let’s do that.” So, once you get your ego out of the way, it becomes amazing.
Eric: You know, I want to ask you a question about hiring because this is an area that I still find challenging. I’d be interested to hear what your approaches to how you run the process of hiring a new person for your team.
Jack: We just hired two new client support people. Client support is actually one of our key marketing areas. I think that would be an interesting conversation, but I’ve gone on a lot of change let me try to keep it focused. So, client success is really important to us. It’s not an afterthought. People are not asking us questions like, “Hey what’s my login?” Again, they’re asking really complex questions and so, we have to hire people who are really good at thinking outside the box and consultative listening. But first of those two came from contacts that I’ve made on Perry Marshall’s team. So, I didn’t steal someone off Perry Marshall’s team because she had moved on, but through someone who is also is on our team, kept contact with her, so networking. Another person on our team who is not one of these two, but a guy named Michael, I actually met at an event.
So, both of those I would put in the category of just making contacts and networking. So, you never know when’s the best time to start investing money 10 years ago, the second-best time today. So, the best time to start networking is 10 years ago, second best time is today. So, if you don’t have a good social network, then start going to events. You should pick events based on not just the quality of the content that’s important, but also who you’re going to meet while you’re there. I can’t tell you how important it’s been with the connections that I’ve made, the people that I’ve met. So, some of them have become mentors, some of them are friends, some of them have joined my team. And so, going to events and networking is really important. That’s one way.
Another way to do it, once you have traction. Again, remember early in the conversation I was talking about that flywheel as one part improves, another part improves and so, the things start spinning faster and faster. So, in that same way, after years of running our business, we have a large subscriber list. And so, I sent out, “Hey, we’re hiring.” A notification, we’re hiring if you’re interested, here’s the application to raise your hand. I figured we would get maybe seven responses if we’re lucky. We got something like 110 and we had to shut it down. It was just overwhelming and I’m flattered. And I honestly wish that I could have hired 25 people. Unfortunately, we were just looking for just one person.
But that would be another place that I would say is that the people who already see what you’re doing, their message resonates with them, and they love it. Maybe they’re a fan, but they used to be a client, but they’re not a client anymore. Maybe they couldn’t make it in business on their own, but they would love the opportunity to still be in that world. It’s just if they can’t do it running their own business, at least they’re connected to a business that really resonates with their integrity and what they want to do.
I would say what’s your list? For developers before Upwork, back when it was Elance, I found some of my best developers there. There’s some tricks to hiring. I wouldn’t say tricks, but some things to know about hiring developers. One of them that I would say is you usually get what you pay for. I mean there was sort of a sweet spot, so don’t just hire based on who’s the most expensive, don’t hire based on who’s the cheapest, there’s a sweet spot in there. I’ve had a lot of luck with Ukraine, with Serbia. I haven’t had much luck with India or the Philippines.
Eric: That’s great advice. Thank you for sharing that. Last question here, is there any general entrepreneurship advice that you would have to share with our listeners that we haven’t already covered?
Jack: I was answering this for a team member who was asking about marketing and business resources and back when I started, I sound like that old man back in my day, but you know back several decades, you didn’t have literally thousands of podcasts to choose from. I mean now there’s just a ton of information. The challenge now is separating the good from the bad or what’s most appropriate. So, when it comes to advice, I would say one of the big lessons that I learned was that you want to think of your education in terms of just-in-time education rather than just in case education.
Search engine optimization. I’m just going to pick a topic. So, if search engine optimization and article writing is not what you think your business needs right now to move up a level, then just because someone has an offer to you at this time and it’s the great time, even if they have an amazing deadline and an amazing offer, I would recommend that you stay away from that shiny object. There may be a great time a year from now, right? It may be more appropriate a year from now, but if what you need right now is learning how to write better copy, then go seek out the people who have that information. There’s paid sources, there’s lots of free sources. That’s very, very good, but figure out what it is… Like be very proactive in determining what your filter is. Right now, the thing that I need for my business and the next 30 to 60 days is this topic and then go find that information rather than just seeing what comes into your email inbox.
Be very deliberate and choosing what sort of information you’re going to seek out. That’s what I mean by just in time information is when you realize, “Okay, our webinar is rubbish. We need a better webinar.” “Great. Go find out an expert on how to write better webinar.” And no matter what it costs, if that’s what your business needs right now, that can be the thing that unlocks the next level. Whether that’s an extra five figures a year or six figures a year, that’s going to level you up and now maybe you can afford to hire someone who can improve that webinar even more. So, be very deliberate in what you do.
The other thing, this one is a key bit of advice would be that as entrepreneurs we’re so quick to jump on the next big idea and we really need to slow down and think about the tradeoff. You have an idea, you take time away from your current idea and you go and you try to do that thing only to find out that that idea it didn’t have legs or you should’ve thought about it more. There was something, some assumption that you made that you shouldn’t have made. What I would recommend is that if you feel stuck in your business, I would recommend, or you just want to take your business to the next level. This may sound weird, but journal every day for 30 days, write down, “Here’s the one thing that I’m going to focus on. I would read the book The ONE Thing.”
So, no matter what happens, the puppy gets sick, the kids miss school, whatever happens in your day, you know there’s one thing that you’re going to get done no matter what and that’s the one thing, even if you don’t get the other 25 things done. What is the one thing that’s going to move your business forward and hold yourself accountable and journal every single day even if you just keep it that simple from one coder to another. I think of the loops, the mental things that go on in our head that determined the decisions that we make, the habits that we built, I consider that our internal software and the UI, the User Interface, the graphical user interface to getting that code out of our head to be able to look at and be able to debug it is journaling. It gets your ideas out on paper, you look at it and you go, “Oh wait a second, I see a bug in the program.” And you try to fix that bug. Either that or you’re going to therapy.
Eric: Or you can insert a break statement to exit the loop.
Jack: Without journaling, it’s like trying to code without actually looking at the code. You’re just like sending stuff into the machine and hoping that it works or wondering why does it keep running the same like no matter what I enter into this field, it keeps generating the same thing. Well, there’s probably a bug in your code, so journaling gets that software out of your head and onto the paper so you can start to look at it.
Eric: That’s super helpful advice and it’s interesting that your first item about just in time versus just in case is kind of like the antidote to the power of the deadline, right? It’s like we talked about how powerful psychologically deadlines are and then your advice is also, “Hey, make sure you understand the power of this and you can also psychologically not fall prey to deadlines that are holding a shiny object in front of you that you don’t actually need right now.”
Jack: Yes, and it’s very similar to what I would say with regards to Facebook advertising. Your team should be advertising on Facebook, but you should not be going into Facebook because it’s a… this is a real term. It’s a tar baby that will suck you in. It’s a vortex of time-suck that will take away important hours out of your day. I hardly ever go into Facebook, but we have Facebook ads running. So, yeah, you should definitely be using Instagram and Facebook for attracting people into your world. You should not be using Facebook and Instagram to interact with the world.
Eric: That’s good advice. Well, I think that wraps it up. It’s been amazing having you on the show and getting to know you and know about the values of your company. I resonate so much with a lot of the ways that you approach the business and how you make your decisions based on what your intentions and priorities are. So, I appreciate you sharing all that with us. And to wrap up here, could you just mention where our listeners can learn more about you?
Jack: I’ve got a basic one-page website that has what I’ve done and what other people have said about me at jackborn.com, J-A-C-K-B-O-R-N.COM. There’s really nothing to do there, but just if you want to learn more about me, there it is. If you’re interested in Deadline Funnel, then we’ve got a special extended trial for listeners and for MemberMouse audience members, clients. I’m going to set up a page at deadlinefunnel.com/membermouse that will take you to that page where you can sign up for an extended trial so that you can take the tires, give it a test drive and see if it’s for you.
Eric: Yeah, and if there’s a deadline on that, know that it’s real.
Jack: Yeah, that’s right.
Eric: Well, thank you so much and in the spirit of us talking about the value of team, I want to make a shout out here to Matt Brown, he’s a member of our marketing team and he’s basically the one single handedly who made this interview possible. He researched and found your product and decided to implement it within our funnel and got it up and running. We’ve started seeing those benefits from it and then made the connection with you and got us the ability to talk, so really appreciate his efforts on that.
Jack: Matt is terrific and I’m not just saying that because he’s listening right now.
Eric: Well, thank you so much, Jack, for coming on. Really appreciate it.
Jack: Thank you. This was a really fun conversation, so I hope others enjoyed it as well.
Thank you so much for listening to this entire episode of The Subscription Entrepreneur Podcast.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Jack from coming on the show and freely sharing from his knowledge and experience.
I personally feel like I learned a lot from our conversation and I hope you did too.
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Thanks for Listening!
Thank you so much for listening to our in-depth conversation with Jack. I know we learned a lot from him and we hope you did to. Now that you’ve listened to this episode, what do you think? Did you have any brain-shattering takeaways you’re ready to implement in your business? Or maybe you have a question you’d like to run by us or Jack? Join our discussion and leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.