Why do I start fights on Facebook?
They really never go anywhere good. And even though I’m always right (right?), I don’t always sway the person I’m fighting with over to my side.
In fact… Fights on Facebook almost always end with both parties even more entrenched in their original position — which pretty much makes them 100% worthless!
That’s part of why I really haven’t done almost anything on Facebook in the last six months.
I know what a time-suck it can be…
And scientific research has actually proven: spending a bunch of time on Facebook actually DECREASES your life satisfaction!
I’ve dived back in recently… Not trying to be social (trust me, I’m happy being anti-social when it comes to social media!)… But rather, because Facebook has an advertising platform that lets me reach 2 BILLION monthly users, and I have a pressing need to get better at that!
(By the way, you can Like and Follow Breakthrough Marketing Secrets on Facebook here. It’s not much, yet, because frankly, I’ve made giving you awesome content in my daily essays a much bigger priority than getting a bunch of likes. But, I may start delivering EXTRA value to you there — such as impromptu Facebook Live jam sessions. So if you want even more proven business-building ideas from me… And you’re an active Facebook user… Ya may wanna follow me there. Or, you could just go there and click the “Like” button to give me some warm fuzzy feelings. Ya know, because you’re nice like that. Tangent over, let’s get back to the fight…)
So, as I’m spending more time on “The Face Book,” I decide to meander into the ClickFunnels user group there.
And someone asked about building a membership site…
And specifically, if they should use Thinkific for said membership site, even though they are also a ClickFunnels customer, and ClickFunnels offers member site functionality.
AND, seeing as how I specifically looked into launching my site on ClickFunnels and decided AGAINST it…
I actually had a highly-educated opinion to share, based on recent, relevant personal experience!
And so that’s what I did.
In fact, here are my exact comments…
I built and sold one online course in CF, but was not happy with the user experience when I wanted to do more. Maybe some are okay with it, but it wasn’t for me. So when I built and launched https://www.btmsinsiders.com, I used Thinkific. It’s a much better platform, from a user experience perspective, of being able to log in and access a library of training titles (which is what I wanted to build). I am all-in on Thinkific and recommend it for online courses, especially if you want to sell multiples.
That said, Thinkific’s selling tools aren’t as good as CF. Landing pages, etc. You can certainly sell in CF though, and have Thinkific be your delivery platform. You can even use Zapier to enroll people who bought through CF into Thinkific. The only challenge I’ve run into with this (and not solved yet) is that Thinkific can’t take over account management from CF in these cases. If you’re selling subscriptions/membership site with recurring billing, you have to sell direct through Thinkific if you want them to be able to manage membership through their account page there.
Straightforward, helpful, and mostly qualified as to this being my personal experience, and a decision based on my specific use case. And heck, I wasn’t even recommending users switch AWAY from ClickFunnels. Rather, I laid out a use case to use BOTH!
Then, it happened…
I’m going to leave out names, so as to not publicly disparage this guy…
But here’s how one commenter replied…
The good point: the above is a preference. However we must ask the question: “so after all this – you are rich – right?” If not – “you’ ve made $200,000, right? ” If not –
the above is mere hypothesis and preference. Look around, who – WHO WHO AND WHO are really making money?
Those who keep it very very very very – simple – use Clickfunnels.
Focus on the money. If you want great design, pay $100k and get it customed like Microsoft. Look at above posts and the post below.
Read my posts. I repeat: keep it very simple. Use only CF.
Do not use any free services – you are being taking for a ride. 15% commission Plus government tax is not a business. Its a delusion. And paying excess is merely paralysis analysis.
Get and use CF. Only CF. Nothing but CF . Or use a word document with youtube links . That works. See below
Oh no he didn’t!!!
This response was so wrong, on so many levels, that I just couldn’t let it stand. Even though I knew it was a waste of time to fight him. I’d be doing everybody else in the conversation a disservice to let that be the final word.
And so, I took him to town…
(And dropped a few knowledge bombs I’ll expand on in a moment.)
[NAME], this site is brand new (just over a month) and has not made $200k YET. My primary business since 2010 has been as a consultant and copywriter (I ran a publisher’s marketing department 2005-2010), and I’ve made well over that for myself plus millions for clients.
As someone who has sold online since 2005, I’ll tell you this: SOFTWARE is IRRELEVANT. (If we’re going to capitalize.) If your principles, strategy, and processes are wrong, your tools, techniques, and tactics don’t matter.
If your product and marketing isn’t going to make $200k on some platform other than CF, it’s not going to make it on CF either.
One of my principles is having a great user experience for an ever-growing library of training, from me and multiple instructors. CF does not deliver that. It’s made for single-product funnels, and single-product delivery. Even the bolted-on membership site is inferior in lots of ways, not the least of which is that it actually has to be hosted on their domain.
You can build a $200k business that way, but none of my clients who are doing 8- and 9-figures (yes, that $100MM-plus) are hosting their sites on someone else’s domain name. It just isn’t happening. My aspirations for this new venture don’t stop at $200k.
ClickFunnels is a great SELLING platform. But Thinkific is better than CF for hosting a membership site for a library of training.
Personally, I have BOTH. And I pay monthly fees to both, and neither takes a percentage of revenue. I don’t host my business using free services, and agree that you shouldn’t either. That’s not the point I’m trying to make.
Russell Brunson is a master salesman and is great at indoctrinating people into his cult-ure. AND, he provides impeccable value, both in content and in what this platform can do for expert-entrepreneurs. But don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s the only viable web platform for internet entrepreneurs, because it’s not.
I’m glad it’s working great for you. I’m not trying to move you (or the original poster) off CF. But I will share my perspective that it didn’t work for me, for my vision for the business I will build over the next 10 years. And, because this specific question was asking about Thinkific, I can reflect on my direct experience as a PAYING customer who is happy to host there, alongside using CF as a selling tool.
At least as of a couple days ago, I had the last word. I got a couple “attaboys,” and that was that.
Because he’d be stupid to argue with the truth!
Listen, when you’re bootstrapping, do the minimum viable tech to get started.
You don’t even need ClickFunnels. For my first site, I paid for hosting, and I paid for Aweber. I used PayPal, free WordPress software, and sold a home-duplicated VHS tape (yeah, a VHS tape!) over the internet, for $29 a pop.
When I wanted to add a download option, I uploaded the video to Amazon S3, paid pennies a month for storage, and created a publicly-accessible but hard-to-get-to web page on my site with a link to download.
That’s so jankety, I’m a little embarrassed!
But, it worked. Made thousands of dollars with that rag-tag one-product information marketing website.
Today, you don’t even have to pay for Aweber. MailChimp, for one, has a Free Forever plan, that lets you send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers, without paying them a penny.
Buy a domain name. Buy a low-priced hosting account. Set up PayPal. Get a free MailChimp account. Upload videos to YouTube, or smaller files to your web host. Set all your privacy settings so people can only get your product with the direct link.
And then, focus on selling!
The software is irrelevant. If you’re simply trying to get something like this off the ground, focus on selling first.
Get the selling process down, whatever it takes.
Then, you’re going to run into some needs. You’re going to find you’re no longer satisfied with the free path I’ve laid out above. You’re going to have a bigger vision for your business, now that you’ve experienced some success.
Don’t get too big for your britches. Ultra-professional branding and image-building may actually diminish your marketing appeal. But if you realize something in your processes for selling and delivering your product really aren’t fulfilling what you want for your customers…
Look at the process, and ask yourself: what tools do I need to make my process better?
I’ve written before about the architecture of a skill (the post is here: The Architecture of A-List Copywriting Skills).
Any skill has four levels. Tactics, techniques, strategy, and principles.
The tactics and techniques are low-level. They matter, but only when your strategy and principles are right.
Strategy and principles are high-level. They impact everything below them. When you get them right, they overpower the tactics and techniques being implemented. They have a much bigger impact.
(Example: If you speak to the wrong market or have the wrong offer, it doesn’t matter what headline formula or color you use for your copy, you won’t get response.)
Well, the TOOLS you use (including software) are on the level of techniques and tactics. They can be really useful. But they’re not magic buttons.
What you have to have in place first are PROCESSES that work. Processes are on the level of strategies and principles.
But here’s the thing…
Marketers can sell you TOOLS all day long, because you love to buy the next shiny object!
That’s what a tool is. A shiny object. A distraction.
It can be really useful, with the right process. But most marketers don’t talk about process. Because even though process is what makes all the difference, it’s not as sexy and doesn’t sell as well.
A good tool will force you to fit into an effective process. That’s what I think ClickFunnels does, in getting users to build their offers and marketing around proven funnel formulas.
But if all you focus on is tools, at some point, you’re going to barrel face-first into a brick wall, as another “get rich quick” casualty. Because even if you make $200k, there’s a line of greedy marketers lined up from here to kingdom come with the next launch of the next big thing that’s going to fulfill your insatiable appetite to have the right tools.
And even if you have conviction that you’ve got all the tools you need today, a time will come where that is brought into doubt, and your shiny object metal detector will be turned on, and you’ll be a buyer again.
The solution is in the principles, the strategy, and the processes…
Again, this isn’t sexy like selling you the next big thing, manipulating you based on your FOMO — “Fear of missing out.”
And, in fact, by choosing to sell process over tools, principles and strategies over techniques and tactics… I set myself at an extreme disadvantage.
Because I have to work harder than the
snake oil shiny object sellers to convince you this is what you really need, and that in the long run it will be best for you and your business.
But seeing as how the first of my Core Values, for my business, is “Golden Rule: We treat others the best way we want to be treated,” it’s what I do.
If THAT sounds appealing to you, you and I have a long future together, and I know the money will continue to take care of itself.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,