SFR 118: Replacing My Income – Stephen Larsen

SFR 118: Replacing My Income

Mar 8th, 2018 anchorwave


How can I “remove” my own salary from the biz expenses…


Hey, what’s going on everyone? This is Steve Larsen. You’re listening to Sales Funnel Radio. I’ve got a sweet lesson for you today.

I’ve spent the last four years learning from the most brilliant marketers today, and now I’ve left my nine to five to take the plunge and build my million-dollar business. The real question is, how will I do it without VC funding or debt, completely from scratch? This podcast is here to give you the answer. Join me and follow along as I learn, apply and share marketing strategies to grow my online business using only today’s best internet sales funnels. My name is Steve Larsen, and welcome to Sales Funnel Radio.

What’s up everyone? I am loving that new intro. Hopefully you’re loving the purpose of this show and what I’m doing and what I’m trying to help you guys understand and see. I had a guy reach out to me once and said, “Stephen, I like listening to your stuff because,” actually I’ve had a lot of people say this to me, “because you’re not like massive, massive yet.” I was like, “Yeah, I plan to be. I appreciate what you’re saying.”

He’s like, “Hopefully it’s not offensive.” I was like, “No, it’s not offensive at all. I totally get it. I know exactly where I am. I’m not lying where I am. I know where I am and I’m owning it and that’s fine.” He’s like, “You’re not massive, massive, massive, massive.” I was like, “Yeah, awesome, cool.” He’s like, “But it’s cool about that, because I can relate more.” I was like, “That’s interesting. That’s very interesting.”

Anyways, hopefully you guys are getting the same kind of value as that guy was saying. I’m trying to be very, very painfully transparent about what it is that I’m doing and why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Hey, I told you guys I’ve been traveling quite a lot lately. There’s an experience that happened as we got to one of the hotels we were staying at. I say we, I’m with my buddy Colton Woods. What’s up buddy? Colton and I built, he and I built our first successful sales funnel together.

My very first one in ClickFunnels was with Colton. We built a smartphone insurance funnel back in college and that story, if you guys ever heard the story about me hiding in the box office seats in the basketball stadium on campus, that was with him. I would sit and we’d look and we’d wait for all the security guards to look away and I’d toss my backpack through the window and then I would wait for them to turn again and then I would jump through the window. I would stay up there for literally all day and get homework done within a couple hours, but then spend literally the entire day studying marketing, building the business, building a small little agency, building the funnels for other companies while we were in the middle of college.

First of all for ourselves, and a whole bunch of other people. It was a ton of fun and frankly I did that for about a year and a half, hiding up there.

Anyway, so I was with Colton. Colton, he is taking the role, I’m super excited, the moons aligned, the suns came into align with each other and he and I are, he’s moving out here actually and he’s going to work with me full time, which I’m super stoked, guys. My little business officially has two employees now. What? We’ve got a bunch of freelancers, a lot of other people on the side, but as far as in here, with me in my office, I’m sure you guys will all get a chance to see him and meet with him. He’s the man. I’m excited to have him.

raiseAnyway, so I was with him. That’s why I’m saying we. Colton and I were out and we were walking into the next hotel, we’ve been traveling like crazy going all over the place, and I walked in and I turned around and I was like, you know, he and I were just, we were sharing a hotel room and keeping cost low as much as we can. There was this … We walk into the hotel room and I turned around and I was like, “Dude, what can we do to give ourselves a raise right now?” The webinar’s going great, we’re fixing out the final tweaks.

It’s always probably going to be in that stage regardless. It’s going well though, okay? We’re doing some massive plays on it coming up here soon, and Colton’s kind of handling the assistant/support/lots of different hats, running a lot of the business side while I go continue to build stuff and sell stuff. Which is awesome, because I can do the thing that I’m good at and he’s extremely good at the other side, which is awesome, and I’m not good at that part.

We complement each other well. I’ll tell you guys more about him as we continue to go, but he’s the man.

Anyway, so I was like, “Dude, what can we do to give ourselves a raise right now?” He’s like, “What do you mean?” I was like, “Well …” I told him, we were sitting there and I was like, I remember listening to Russell once, I was talking to Russell once and I was like, “How can we do the Inner Circle?”

One of the reasons why is just because the way it helps with the structure of his revenue of where things come in. I’m sure he’s okay if I share this. He shares this all over the place. It’s not the reason, okay, but one of the benefits for him having an Inner Circle and doing coaching was that he does not have to take … It pays for his living expenses. I was like, that’s clever.

I started looking around at all these other gurus where their coaching platform is what pays for their living expenses while whatever the product makes, they can roll that money directly back on itself, which means they can spend a butt load of money in ads. They don’t have to take profit from the product sales for quite some time. I was like, ah, that’s very fascinating.

What I’ve been doing is I was like, and I was telling Colton that story and I was like, “I want to do that. What is it that everyone wants from me right now? What is it that everyone wants from us?” He’s like, “Dude, everyone wants you to coach them. Everyone wants you to look at their funnel. Everyone wants you to build them a funnel if you can.” I was like, “Yeah. I can’t build funnels for people right now. Focus on my own stuff, but coaching.” Gosh, I love coaching. I love looking at people’s funnels.

What we decided to do, I was like, “What if we built the coaching?” I was speaking in 24 hours and I was like 90% ready. I was like, “What if we built an entire coaching program right now?” What we did, the only reason I’m trying to tell you guys this story is please observe the speed at which we did this. Okay? I went through and we decided like okay, how are we going to do it?

I was like, “You know, I love Voxer Coaching because I’m not always available to talk on the phone, and we’re not always going to match up. We might be on different sides of the world or whatever, but people are going to ask me questions over Voxer, and I love it.” That’s a sweet way to coach, and I love having a cool introductory session with people where I get to dive deep with them with the funnel.

Anyway, so what I did is I said, “I would want like 10.” He and I started crafting it together, like how many people are we going to have? I was like, “I only want like 10.” I want to keep it small, especially while we kind of figure out the first pieces with it, stuff like that. I was like, cool, this is going to be awesome. I was like, cool, so what’s the URL? We found a cool URL.

Then we started planning it all out, and I was like, “I want to gauge some interest.” Even though we’re going to launch this thing in the next 24 hours, I was like, “What if I tried to treat this,” okay, understand what I’m doing here, okay? I’m trying to pre-frame the market for what I’m about to drop on them so it doesn’t feel like a cold drop, so it doesn’t feel like this massive bludgeoning across the face like, “Oh, I was not expecting this at all.”

What I did is I put a post out there. I put the post out there and I put a post just on my major Facebook profile page, my main one, and a lot of you guys who are listening to this probably saw it. There’s 144 comments on the thing within like 12 hours. It was ridiculous.

It got shared. Anyways, a lot of likes and stuff like that, but what I asked was, I didn’t want to say, “Hey, let me get you guys in a coaching program, because I know I can help.” What I wanted to do though is I wanted to salt the oats a little. I wanted people to tell me that they wanted to get in. Does that make sense? I was trying to actively flip the sale. Right? Does that make sense?

What I did is I kept it very, very light. In fact, I’m actually going to click over here. I’m in front of my computer right now. I’m actually going to go to Facebook and grab the exact words I said, because it was amazing at how well it worked. This is what I said. I said, “Sitting thinking, what do people wish I was delivering to them? Funnel coaching, anyone?”

It was a question mark. That was it. It was all over the place. Guys, I’ve never had … I was like, huh. There’s something to be said about like, okay, you have to understand, this is me just being open about where I am in my business right now. There’s a lot of people that want me to build the funnels for them right now. A lot of people. I’m honored and I would love to, it’s super cool, but it’s not what I’m focusing on right now. Right?

My whole focus is to say no to everything else except for me making this webinar even more awesome. When it gets to a certain spot, I don’t exactly know the certain spot, but I know I’ll feel when it’s time to take on something different. It can be automated and everything … Does that make sense? I will feel it.

I’m not feeling that yet. I don’t know totally why. Probably because I feel like if I walk away, it will start to crumble. You know what I mean? It’s not at a spot where it’s completely self-sustaining yet, and so I’m not going to walk from that. Why would I bring on a different focus? Does that make sense?

I’m like okay, well I can’t do that. I was like, what do people want from me? Not need. I know what they need. What do they want from me, and is there a place where it fills the need at the same time? Colton and I, we were kind of like pacing around. I pace a lot when I think and talk a lot out loud. I swear if I was not sitting in front of my mic right now, I’d be pacing around the office over here.

We were walking around and I was walking around just kind of feverishly, that’s kind of how I work out ideas a lot of times. I was kind of feverishly just kind of walking around the hotel room and I was like, “Dude, what is it that people want? What do they want from me? What is it that everybody is asking?” Inadvertently, what are people saying as if I asked an ask campaign? I was like, it’s coaching, man. Everyone’s asking for the coaching piece. They want me to look at their funnels before they launch or right after they launch. I was like, huh.

Do the same though. That’s what I’m trying to get at. This is not me, me, me hour. I’m trying to help you. What is it that people are asking you for? You guys have heard me talk about the theory of, it’s not a theory. It’s called Duct Tape Marketing, I think it was called. I believe the phrase came from Duct Tape Marketing. I believe the phrase came from when people would buy a car off of the lot, this is before there were mirrors, you know what I mean? When people would buy a, meaning like a rear view mirror.

When people would buy a car off the lot, salespeople and car dealerships would see people drive off the lot, pull the car over, and duct tape a mirror to the middle of their windshield facing backwards. Okay? Duct tape marketing. That was the market telling the dealerships what to make next. The user was literally telling them the next evolution of their product. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense.

What I was trying to do is trying to see where the duct tape marketing was, meaning, what are people asking me to do for them right now? What it is, I was like, funnels. They want me to see their funnels obviously, which for obvious reasons, okay? They want me to see what they’ve been building. They want me to double check it. They want a second pair of eyes. They want the emotional validation that yes, run some traffic, come back and let’s talk again. What he and I decided to do is we would, like hey, let’s build it. If that’s what they’re asking, let’s build it.

I was speaking to, it was the CEO of this company, I’m not going to say the name of it. I was speaking to the CEO of this company and I didn’t know he was the CEO of this extremely successful company, and extremely wealthy individual, and I was sitting in a room with him. This was not long ago. I was sitting in a room with him and a bunch of other people and they said, and I was like, “Well yeah, I got to build it. I got to get X, Y and Z done.”

raiseI can’t remember exactly what I was talking about, but like unanimously around the room they were like, “If you build it, they will come.” I started laughing. I was like, “Oh, man.” I thought they were joking. I was like, “Yeah, that is the most false crap on the planet.” I said that to the CEO. I was making fun of it, and then later I find out that that’s actually the motto on some of their Facebook pages. I was like, are you serious?

Anyway, so I was sitting there and it was like, “If you build it, they will come.” You guys, funnel stacking is the only scenario where that’s kind of true. The opportunities stack. Not funnel stacking. The opportunities stack. Opportunity switches. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read Expert Secrets, okay? Opportunity switches, if you build it they will come, is not true at all. Okay? Opportunity stacks though is one of the only scenarios where if you build it they will come, kind of works. Not even really that much, but it kind of works. You’ll get a little bit of windfall. You know what I mean?

I was thinking through if you build it they will come. I was like, that’s so not true, but there’s enough people that are already asking, that if I build it, they might actually just come. Meaning there might actually be a little bit of people jumping into the coaching program. That was kind of the logic I was going through, and he and I were talking this through. I was like, “Okay, cool.”

What we did is first of all, I salted the oats by dropping something out on my Facebook page. I don’t really post that much on Facebook. I probably should do it more. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It’s not for any particular reason, it’s just, I don’t know. I like Facebook, guys. Sometimes I just can’t get into it, okay? Like with the frequency that I need to, which is why a lot of stuff is auto-posted and things like that.

Anyway I was like, I’m just going to go post something out there and just say like, “Hey, sitting, thinking, what do people wish I was delivering to them?” I knew, but I just wanted to see if anyone resonated with this. I was like, “Funnel coaching, anyone?” Lots of comments. Holy crap. Lots and lots and lots of comments. I had over 145 comments on this thing. All over the place. Shares and people liking it, and I was like, I guess it didn’t get shared too much, but anyway.
What was cool about it was then I had the opportunity to treat it like an ask campaign.

When people said, “Oh my gosh, yeah.” I responded to every person who commented. Literally every person. I said, “Cool, what do you have in mind?” Or, “Cool, what would be most helpful?” Or, “Hey, awesome. Is there something that you wish I was delivering/helping with?” I kind of already had an idea, but everybody else came up with the offer for me. Does that make sense? I kind of already had an idea of what I wanted, but there were some particular very good, a few ideas that a few people said I was like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. Let me toss that in.”

I basically created a stack. It was an unofficial stack. Maybe I should go create a more official stack with it, but it was basically a stack, meaning there was an offer with it. You get this main piece but what happens is you get this and you also get this and you also get this. I ended up creating somewhat of a stack, and spent the next couple hours putting the funnel together, tweaking stuff, putting a few things together, putting a few little ninja things in there. Building out the business side so that Colton could manage it while I continued to be the coach. Does that make sense?

We built a little coaching funnel…

With just that little post, we closed $15,000, which was awesome. And I know I can help them. Obviously they could too. This is like hot, hot, hot, hot, hot market. Okay? And we were at an event. I was speaking at an event. It was funny because there was a guy who ran up to me after I spoke and he’s like, “How do I get your help with X, Y, and Z?” I closed him right there on it too.

What I’m doing, there’s really two things I wanted to bring out here with us. Ask like, okay, if you’ve been selling consistently inside of your market, is there an area that people are just begging you to be in, and you’re like, “I don’t know.” Is there some kind of way that you could still kind of fulfill and deliver in there?

Like I can’t do funnel builds for people yet. I’m sure that time will come. It’s my plan to, it’s later on in the year. 2018, later on in the fall to kind of offer that kind of stuff. But for right now, I don’t want to do that stuff. I’m staying totally focused. I don’t want to do anything else but what I’m doing. Does that make sense? But I love coaching. Every Friday is already spent coaching. I’ve got no problem adding in another 10 of my own students. Anyway, so that was the thing.

Then what I did is a little tiny mini ask campaign, after salting the oats with that Facebook post. Then I got a whole bunch of people who came on in and said, “Oh, that’s awesome.” Then really, really quickly we closed out … Anyway. We closed out $15,000 with it, which was awesome. I was like, “I don’t know if we’ll take more. I don’t know.”

SalesFunnelBrokerAnyways. This is not me pitching. If you are interested, that’s awesome. I made a whole bunch of cool outros for my new podcast intros and outros. You guys will hear about it. Awesome. That’s be great, love to have you. This is not me pitching. I’m just trying to help you understand, sometimes there’s just cash that’s just in front of you and you just have to reach out and grab it.

For your expertise, the thing that feels so easy to you it feels like you’re breathing. Does that make sense? It’s massive value to others and other people will pay for that. Does that make sense?

I was talking to Jamie Smith, shout out to you, buddy. I’m like, “Hey man, how do I do X, Y, and Z?” In three seconds he’s coded out some cool thing. I’m like, “Man, that is your expertise, bro.” Good grief. Man, you’re so good at that. That is clearly your thing. I don’t even know where to start. Whatever their expertise is, is there some other aspect that people wish they could just give to you?

The reason I chose coaching is because I wanted to move up on the value ladder first before going down on the value ladder. Before doing other cool low-end things, which is in the works, by the way. There’s a really cool thing coming out, which should be done in probably like a month. Month or two, and very, very excited for that. It’s freaking awesome. Anyway, I can’t say any more.

What I’m trying to do is I want to pay for living expenses so that I don’t take cash away from the product. I want the product to be completely self-sustaining and then next I’m putting out little self-liquidating offer and I’m removing costs to the business. I’m removing costs to the product, right? The product has a margin, but the business has a margin too, obviously. I’m trying to remove my cost, my own employee status. I pay myself as an employee of my own business.

How do I remove that cost from the business? Well I offer coaching, and I’m going to go through and now I easily pay for my salary and then as well as Colton’s off of the coaching. I’m still able to deliver great ridiculous value, but keep all the cash from the product in the product and keep the ads rolling and spin faster.

In my opinion, doing what I just did will speed this product off to making its own award much, much faster because of that one move because I’m going to be able to re-dump ads, all the profits directly back into ads again and just explode the thing. When I do add an SLO, when I do add a front-end offer, when I do add something a little bit in the back-end, the whole thing is completely self-sustaining and I can just crush it with that.

Anyway, does this make sense? That’s my new coaching program, and I was super stoked about it. Anyway, yeah. If you guys want to hear about it, it’s in the outro that I’m going to toss out here. Feel free to dance a little bit. It’s sweet music. Anyways guys, thanks so much for listening. Start looking too … One of the things I’m nervous about saying all this stuff, I hope you don’t take your eye off the balls and just build one funnel at a time.

Don’t take your eye off the ball, but when you get to a certain spot and you know that your offer’s converting, you know your message is converting, you know you’re finding the right individuals that you’re actually pitching to, one of the easiest next steps is to start doing something a little more high ticket that can remove your payout from the cost of the business. That way the whole thing rolls on top of itself, and that’s exactly what was screaming through my brain. All those thoughts, like boom, boom, wait I can do this, I can do this, and because of this, this could happen.

Because of that, this can happen. Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. I was like, “Oh, let’s do it. Boom.” Within 24 hours we launched the program, and it’s freaking awesome…

Anyway. Hey guys, thanks so much for listening. Hopefully you got some stuff out of that, some value out of that, and you can go out and apply that and get more ad spend out there. You should want to spend as much money as you possibly can to acquire customer so you will crush it. Alright guys, thanks so much. Talk to you later, and woo, Funnel Hacking Live, baby. That is coming up. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. Oh, man. If you have any sway at all, you get yourself to Funnel Sales Funnel RadioHacking Live. Even if you don’t have a ticket yet, man, just find a way. Find a way. Alright guys, talk to you later. Bye.

Hey, thanks for listening. The most common question I get is, “Steve, will you look at my funnel?” Of course. Whether you want me to coach you, give some hand-holding and guidance during your funnel build, or simply review the one you have, head over to and book your session now.

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