SFR 98: Funnels! NOT Just For Sales… – Stephen Larsen

SFR 98: Funnels! NOT Just For Sales…

Dec 31st, 2017 anchorwave


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I use funnels to sell AND manage…


What’s going on, everyone? This is Steve Larsen, and you’re listening to Sales Funnel Radio.

Welcome to Sales Funnel Radio, where you’ll learn marketing strategies to grow your online business, using today’s best Internet sales funnels.

And now, here’s your host: Steve Larsen.

Hey, guys. I can’t believe that we are almost to episode 100. That’s crazy. That’s ridiculous. Seems like we just passed 80,000 downloads, and we’re almost at 85,000 already, which is kind of crazy.

Anyway, thanks to all you guys who are listeners out there. Hopefully, the holidays went well. I know that’s the political way to say it, but whatever. I’m Christian, so I’ll just say it: Merry Christmas!

Happy to have all of you guys here on the show. Really appreciate every one of you. Hopefully, whatever’s goin gon for you right now, you’re enjoying it.

It is the day after Christmas, here. I’m not going to lie: after three days of vacation, Saturday, Sunday, and then Monday, technically, I have today off. What is it? It’s [spp-timestamp time="5:00"]. I have spent almost 10 hours building funnels today.

Yes, for fun.

That’s what I do.

I had a hard time. Even yesterday, at the end of the day, I was like “I got to get back to work.” You know what I mean? I don’t know if that’s a problem or an issue or whatever.

ChristmasThere’s snow all over the place, which is very fun. We had snow Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. It’s snow all over the place.

I grew up in Littleton, Colorado. Denver area. Kind of a suburb of Denver, right up against the mountains. The elevation’s pretty high there. There’s a lot of really high mountains and snows like crazy.

There was one year that there was a five-foot snow storm. I always laugh. Here, in Boise, Idaho, where we live now, last year they called it Snowmageddon. “There’s so much snow! It’s Snowmageddon! Oh, my gosh!”

There was, like, maybe six inches on the ground. It wasn’t that much snow. I was laughing at how big of a deal everyone made it. But there’s actually a good amount on the ground here.

Anyway, growing up there was this golf course that we grew up on. We grew up on the back nine, on fairway 16. It was a public golf course. Not super fancy schmancy or anything like that.

It was kind of fun, though, because every time it snowed super, super hard, even just a foot or two, which is pretty frequent in the winter, we would jump the fence. Yes, I know. I’m confessing right here on the podcast.

We would jump the fence, though. We would go out onto the fairway of the golf course. Obviously, there’s no golfers out or anything, so it was this massive snow playground. We would build these huge snow forts. We’d build two of them. The other one would be 20 paces away from the other one.

What we’d do is we would go grab bottle rockets and roman candles, and all sorts of fireworks and paraphernalia, and we would load up two different teams and we’d shoot back and forth at each other, between the two snow forts.

We had very minimal injuries, doing this, but it was a lot of fun.

Every time I see snow, in any kind of accumulation, I always remember that experience for some reason. A whole bunch of others as well, but, specifically, that one.

Anyway, hopefully, it’s been good. Hopefully, you had time to spend time with family, and you remember the reason you got into this business in the first place.

“Steve, what have you been building today?” Funny you should ask. I’ve been building a lot of management funnels.

You’re like, “What? Oh, my gosh! Steven, what is this? Holy crap!” (laughs)

Anytime that there’s a process, internally, that I have to do over and over and over and over again, that drives me crazy. I’m not an efficiency snob, but I do love variety enough that I hate doing the same thing over and over and over again.

I will go automate it. I will go automate as much of it as I can. I’ll go automate every piece, every little nook and cranny, as much as possible, so that there is enough variety in my own business life.

It’s almost a move, for me, of self-preservation. Funny enough.

Some people are like, “You’re efficiency snob!” Not really. It’s kind of a mess, where I am right now. I’ve got parts of guns around me, as I’ve been toying around, tweaking some stuff with some guns. I’ve got packages, things I got to finish shipping.

I’m not necessarily a neat freak. I’m not necessarily an efficiency snob. It’s the other way around. I love variety so much that, if I have to do the same task over and over and over again… Whether you are an efficiency snob, or whether or not you’re like me and you crave variety constantly, whatever it is, you can use funnels not just for sales, but for the actual automation of things.

What I’ve been doing… I do this a lot. I’ve done this a lot.

Who’s that I was talking to? I think it was Miles! Miles Clifford! Shout out to you buddy!

A few days ago he was asking, “Is Zapier the tool that seems to be really underutilized? That really opens up the rest of ClickFunnels?”

I said, “Yes! Absolutely!”

If you’ve never used Zapier, especially when it comes to the management funnels and the management funnel topic. Zapier is like the ring from Lord of the Rings. It’s the ring of power. That’s how I look at it because I’m not a coder! I have no idea how to code.

Click FunnelsWhat I will do a lot of times is, automatically, anytime anyone buys, or anytime anyone becomes a lead, I will pass that data on to Google Sheets. Whether it’s a VA, and I don’t want to give them access to my ClickFunnels account, or whether it’s somebody… I will go and I will automate those different things, so that, A, no one else has access to my ClickFunnels account, then, B, everything’s automated.

Steve Larsen: I can say, “Anytime a contact hits this sheet, go ahead and follow up with them about X, Y, and Z, and do the one, two, and three. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

I’ve wanted to build this for a while. I’ve wanted to build this for quite a while. I don’t like automating stuff right off the bat, when there’s no need. You know what I mean? I like to look where the biggest pain point is.

I started looking at all these different articles of when to automate, when to do X, Y, and Z. Stuff like that. And, quite honestly, people get really intense with it, which is great. It’s not exactly my huge thing. But I love management funnels. That’s why I call them.

These are like internal processes. A lot of people don’t know that, before I worked for ClickFunnels, my job was to go around and to create internal processes so that the company could run better, rather it was shipping or automating tasks to support agents. All these internal processes. That’s what I was doing. Very heavily, very strongly.

I was very good with Infusionsoft, plus ClickFunnel’s integrations. The integration back and forth between them. That’s what I was doing.

There’s a side of me that loves setting up that structure. I don’t like to run it. It’s not my personality to run it, but I love setting it up.

So I’ve been doing that same kind of stuff to my own business. What I’ve been doing is thinking through “What are the pain points? What are the things that I’ve wanted to go fix and get done?” This is something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. That is to automate, or far better manage, the interview process that I have.

Episodes 60 and 61 of this podcast go through and talk about how I podcast. All the systems I use, all the little things that I put together. I’ve got my own systems for this. After 100 episodes I’ve got a pattern, and it’s on purpose.

A lot of the stuff is things I’m going to do when I do an episode of my own. But what if I want to go interview somebody else? What if somebody wants to interview me?

It is literally handled different every single time that happens, that scenario, and it’s driving me crazy. I have a huge list of people that I want to interview. There’s a huge list of people that are trying to get me interviewed on their show or their YouTube thing or their Facebook. Whatever it is.

I’m flattered by it. It’s awesome. I would love to do it, of course. But every single individual situation is being handled differently right now.

So I thought, “There’s got to be a better way to do this.”

What I did is I came up with… It’s a blend between an opt-in funnel meets application funnel meets Zapier. I found out some cool ways to not have to use things like Wufoo or Typeform or anything like that. I just use the generic input form straight off of ClickFunnels. I do some cool things with them, so that’s all I use now.

Oh, my gosh, you guys. This is way too technical of a podcast already. I can feel it. I can feel it.

We’re craving a story here. We need some story, here, wrapped in this. Otherwise, people are going to start drawing out, here, and I get it. I feel it. You probably are too.

What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to help you realize there’s five steps that I use to automate internal processes. They’re very simple. A lot of them are “no-duhs.” Like, “Duh. Why would I not do that?”

But, honestly, if you can do this, it saves you so much time! It is ridiculous how much it saved me.

When we launched the 2 Comma Club coaching program, the Funnel Hackathon event… It’s an event for three days. Russel and I go on stage. Him for a while, me for a while, both of us side-by-side for a while. It’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy it.

But there was tons of these little, internal processes that the ClickFunnel support team was having to handle, just off these one-offs. Someone would come in. He was, “It’s driving me nuts.”

So I came in, added these cool little, internal processes that made support talk better with the [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:10:26"], which made it talk better with me, and it’s all automated.

Obviously, if you don’t have a business yet, this is not going to matter. If you do have a brand new business, I wouldn’t worry about this stuff, either. The moment when it’s best to start thinking about internal management, funnels or internal management processes, whatever you want to call them… They’re not sales funnel. To increase efficiency, is really after you’ve been in business a while. Not a while, but enough time to see where the pain points are.

I’m a huge advocate of Tim Ferriss, in The 4-Hour Workweek, when he said that you should be the support agent for the first… He even recommends a month. So you take note of all the support that comes in, all of your answers back, because now you know exactly what to do when you go hire somebody else.

You can hand them this sheet of all the different pieces that you get asked about most frequently. All the pre-canned responses that you’ve handed out. And you are literally duplicating your position.

That’s the time when you start figuring out internal processes and management funnels and things like that. Not for a while, though.

I always kind of laugh when someone’s like, “It’s a brand new funnel. Then we’re going to automate this and automate this and automate this and automate this.”

I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. That’s so many things. That’s so many pieces that, if something was to break, you may not know what’s actually broken because there’s too much automation.” I’m not an automation fanatic, but I am definitely a practicality fanatic. I do not want to marry certain aspects of the business. Does that make sense?

I’m not a good support person, as an individual, but I’m great at setting up the processes. I’m great at training another person. I’m great at putting those kind of people to replicate me. To replicate the processes. To keep doing over and over and over again. That’s all I’m trying to say: take a step back.

For me, personally, it’s really one of two things: is there a ton of repetition, and I can automate it?

And number two, is there just a huge pain point that I hate doing anyway?

What I do is I take a step back and start looking at those things. I start saying, “Okay. How do I duplicate me? How do I free up my time?”

I step back and that’s literally what I do. That’s the question that I ask. The answer to that question, this time, was “Your interview funnels, Steven. Interview funnels, interview funnels.”

Or interview applications, or whatever you want to call them. They’re not necessarily funnels. They kind of are. They’re mostly just internal processes. I guess, the way I’m using them, they’re still kind of funnels, though. It’s leading to this specific place, so that makes sense.

In the past, someone would say, “Hey. Can I interview you, Stephen?”

I’d be like, “Sure.”

It’s literally the same questions that they’re typically asking. It’s usually the same questions that I’m typically asking. With both, I’m sure, giving the same kind of answers, and it’s driving me nuts.

So what I did is automated the whole thing. Like I was saying before, step number one is I look for wherever the repetition of the pain point is. Or, if there needs to be more automated communication in general.

Number two, I don’t care how many funnels you’ve ever built. Please know that Russel and I both draw the funnel before we build it. Every time. I don’t care how many times I build… When I have not followed that rule, I’m usually more lost, number one. Number two, it takes me way longer to build it. I don’t know why. I don’t get it.

PaperSometime about me putting it out on paper, and drawing it, helps me work out in my head all the kinks. It literally helps create the map of each page, what each page is going to look like, as I draw it.

Literally, they’re boxes. I’m drawing boxes with very high-level detail, with little squiggly lines back and forth, piece to piece, side to side. Does that make sense?

I’m just drawing a high-level, 30,000 foot view funnel. Anytime I skip that… I don’t know what it is. It really slows it down.

Anyways, step number one, find the repetition/pain point. Step number two, draw the funnel. You’ve got to draw the funnel.

I had to go buy another whiteboard. It’s a free-standing one in the middle of the room, with two sides on it, which is kind of nice. It’s chock-full of four different funnels that I built. I built three funnels today. The four was kind of inter-working with the other three.

These three funnels that I built today, I drew it out. Then I go build it. I usually will work off of the design of the main funnel that I’ve been building off of.

Step number one, like I said, repetition. Step number two, draw. Step number three is building it. Number four is test it like crazy.

Number five is really key: I release it slowly. I phase it in.

That’s not always true, but most of the time it is. Going in and automating something that… I know you’ve tested it. It’s actually more important to phase it in if you’re working with other people. If you’re still a solopreneur, it doesn’t matter as much.

At the end of this, at the end of today, when I stopped building all three of these funnels, what I did is I turned back around and I created a seven minute video, with just my phone, talking to an assistant that I have. She’s amazing. She’s going to be the one who’s managing all this. She knew it was coming up. I walked her through the entire process so she knows how it works.

Then, I showed her the two things she has to worry about. That’s it. Now she knows how to do it all.

So when someone wants to interview me, they fill out the little form so I know what it’s about. I know when they want to do it. I know the topics they want me to deliver, if there’s a value bomb they want me to drop. Does that make sense?

I know what those things are. They give me the Skype ID. Facebook ID. Stuff like that. And it’s all automated. Shoots that data over to a Google Sheet, then automatically notifies the assistant, so that they can go in and check it out. Vet the person. (laughs)

They go through and check out the person. Then, there’s Calendly link that’s totally set up so that she just drops it over once the person’s vetted. That’s the only manual part.

The rest of it takes care of itself. We get hooked up whenever the interview happens.

Does that make sense? I went through and I pre-selected the times that I want to be available for interviews or interviewing. That’s pretty much it.

SI have two podcasts. This is one of them, obviously. I have a second one. The third category, I did, is off of They’re very similar, but there are very subtle tweaks between all of three of them that I built.

The first one is for That’s if someone wants to interview me. I get that request like crazy. I know there’s some podcasting agencies out there, and they keep trying to put tons of people on their podcast. I’m very protective of you as an audience. (laughs)

I don’t want just anyone coming in. I’m fine if people want to interview me. If they want to interview me over different places, yeah. That’s great. That’s awesome. I just want a process. I want something in place that I can send people to.

So, what I did is I added… You can check it out if you want. Or, if you are asking to interview me, that’s fine too. But,, up at the top it says “Interview Me.” You click Interview Me at the top, and, basically, what I did… This is super clever. (laughs)

I created a whole bunch of show/hide elements. Show/hide rows. So it looks like you’re going from one page to the other, and you’re not.

It’s actually one page, where things are getting swapped in and out. At the very last button, the whole form, all the forms, submit at once. It’s pretty cool.

Then that data gets sent over to Google Sheet, notifies the person, sends over the confirmation email, saying “Hey. We got you.”

On the “thank you” page, I took the concept of an “offer wall.” I put it there on the thank you page. It says, “Hey, look. You want to come check out the talent directory? Do you want to put your talents in one of my podcasts?”

It pushes itself, anyway. It’s pretty cool. It pushes all over the place. Really awesome stuff. Three different places so that the loop doesn’t close in the head. That’s all I’m trying to say: the loop doesn’t close. On the last page, it is not a dead end. I push them to other places.

If a person is in momentum, I want to keep them in momentum. I give them three other places they can go that are literally the beginnings of three other funnels. That’s it.

Does that make sense? This a lot more technical babble styled stuff. I’m sorry if this is boring. I’m sorry if this is not as interesting. I usually try and tell more stories on this podcast. I just wanted you to know what I pulled off because it’s really, really awesome. (laughs)

It’s pretty cool. That was the first one.

The second one is for Sales Funnel Radio. The first one is if someone wants to interview me, but if someone goes to… I need to redo that entire thing. But if they go to, up at the top it says “Get Interviewed.” Those are for the people who are trying to get on the podcast, to get interviewed.

I am very protective. I vet those people very, very heavily. So there’s an application process. It’s kind of an application funnel, kind of. Kind of a blend of them.

But, on that first page there, they go fill out somewhat of an application process. On the second page, it says “Hey, look. Here’s the plan. The VAs”… My assistant. Not really VA. Kind of VA, kind of. “Goes through and vets it out. We talk about it. We look through the content. We look at the kinds of things you want to pull on there and talk about and stuff. I do believe heavily in interviews.

Then, we send out a specific Calendly for that, with specific times that I’d love to be able to do those kinds of interviews. That’s it!

I did the same thing for my second podcast show. Does that make sense?

I did this because I know that you guys… There’s so many rock stars out there. I am not trying to be the guy who puts his own voice, only, on here. You know what I mean? (laughs)

How should I say this?

How should I say this?

I put this episode out a while ago. It said “publishing get haters,” which is good. If you don’t, something’s wrong. (laughs)

I always laugh at the people who take the time to complain to me that I’m publishing. If that’s your thing, stop listening.

Okay. I’m going to move on. Moving on!

I want to be able to get other people on the show. I want to be able to get other people onto… I love that. And I know that you guys love that.

It’s list hacking, for me. It’s value adding, for me and you. It helps show other awesome people in the industry and what they do in their talents. I want to interview people. I love interviewing people. There’s so many who are asking to, though, that I needed a process.

I did that for both podcast shows that I have. Then, I also… (laughs)

There’s about to be a third podcast show. Oh, man.

PodcastI’m a gluttony for punishment, I guess. It takes, like, an hour per episode. Just so you guys know. To be able to put these out.

Then, I also wanted to give people a way if they want to interview me, which I also love and I’m far more lenient on getting on anyone’s.

There’s a lot that’s going to change with, coming up soon, also.

I’m kind of talking in circles now, but that’s pretty much it. Management style funnels: you can use them for tons of things. Here’s another example of one: when somebody bought Secrets Master Class. When we were selling it a little more a la carte. It’s not so much that way anymore.

When somebody bought it, as part of the offer, we were shipping out to them a physical thing. A book. A physical book.

Think about this for every one of your offers. When somebody buys one of your offers, is there something physical that’s getting shipped out?

What I did is I thought how cool would it be if, number one, let’s send that data again, over to Google Sheets. But, number two, there was a lot that happened ….I can remember… Guys, learn Zapier. It’s not hard.

There’s tons of tutorials. If not, you could probably figure it out on your own, anyway. It’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a whole bunch of “if this, than that” statements. That’s it.

What I did, though, is I automated a Trello card, being created with the customers address, all the data that a fulfillment person needed. It created a Trello card automatically for a specific individual, and pinged them and gave them a notification, so that they knew to go ship the specific thing.

It was very specific. It was super, super cool.

Calendly, you can automate stuff to slack… There’s so much stuff, and I feel like a lot of people miss the boat on it.

Yes, ClickFunnels is amazing, but we know it is not necessarily for a CRM. It’s not necessarily for management-style stuff. You can do it. You can build it like that. I do it a lot. But it pretty much always does require a small Zapier integration, which is not hard to pull off. And, if you do have to pay for it, is extremely cheap.

If anything, you can just use the free plan for a while, anyway.

This is not a Zapier promo.

I just wanted to tell you guys more about that.

Guys, the thing is that I want all my time, all my attention, all my focus, all of my brain power and mental shelf space, focused on selling. That’s it.

If there is something in my business that I am doing over and over and over again, I’m doing myself and my customers a disservice. It’s the reason I set these things up. I don’t do it immediately because I’m not sure what the pain points are yet, but they come quickly, and I am able to see pretty quickly.

They’ll start to pop out of the woodwork, and I’ll go: “Oh, my gosh. I have to automate X, Y, and Z. One, two, and three. Let’s go through and let’s create that.”

I follow the same steps. Number one, where’s the repetition/pain point? Number two, draw it in depth! Explain it to somebody else. It will make the build, which is step number three, so much faster. Then, step number four, test it like crazy. Go through and fill the form out. Put it in test mode or whatever it is. Do whatever. Fill out.

Then, run through a few test runs with your own VA or assistant or someone on your team… What it is, and start to phase it into your processes.

Pretty soon you can step back and let go and, maybe, check it again in a month. Everything should fire pretty correctly. I never had too many issues with Zapier, to be honest. They’re awesome. (laughs)

That’s pretty much it, though. It is with the intent that I can continue to sell, and focus on selling and create offers, that I made these three funnels today. That’s pretty much it, guys. Go back, figure out what it is that you need to automate. Whatever your pain points are.

If your time and your attention has not been on selling, ask yourself what it has been on. Then, ask yourself how you can get back to that. It’s the only thing that matters, especially from the zero to seven-figure range. It’s the only thing that matters.

Don’t worry about your desks. Don’t worry about renting an office. Don’t worry about your freaking logos.

Only thing that matters is selling! That’s all. That’s it.

You don’t even have to have the product done.

Sales Funnel RadioAnyway, getting ahead of myself, and getting on to another topic, so better end this one.

All right, guys. I’ll talk to you later.

Merry Christmas.

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