My employer at that time wrote roughly 6-8 substantial proposals each year to federal and state agencies. These were highly technical healthcare delivery documents by nature, but the government bureaucrats who would ultimately select the winning proposal were often not as technically experienced at healthcare delivery as our doctors, nurses and researchers.
Our proposal team struggled mightily to put our workplan into language that proposal evaluators could fully grasp. I moved into the role of translating these complex workplans into terms that others could visualize.
Copywriting is all about understanding your prospect. Knowing that all the technical proposals being sent to these bureaucrats were nearly impossible to understand, I spent my time interviewing our internal professionals.
My goal was simply to understand their deeply technical processes so thoroughly that I could write them without complex jargon. It made our plans crystal clear to those who made decisions about which proposals would win.
I also began reading direct response books at that time (early to mid 90s) and became very good at including practical explanations of the benefits gained by hiring our company. You'd be shocked how many multi-million dollar firms present features only and don't help the prospect ‘feel' how life will improve if they choose your product/service.
To sum it up, we moved from just over $1.5M in sales when I started to just over $10m as I was hired away for a bigger opportunity. There is magic in connecting your prospect's problem(s) to your solution. But it can't be wooden or obtuse. It must trigger emotion and convince the reader that this opportunity is too promising to pass up.
And finally, you ask for the business. You do that while the excitement is at its peak.
If you've ever been afraid to use words to sell a product, service… or even an idea, Copywriting Secrets is YOUR book. Jim has crammed decades of understanding how people decide to buy, and how you can profit when they do, into a book that you can probably tackle in two days.
You'll want to keep it at your desk for good, though, because it makes for an excellent reference when you're ready to write an ad, a sales letter or anything where you'll need to use words to convince. Speaking of words, you'll be spared the complex mumbo jumbo that so many copywriting books have used before. This is plain-spoken, rubber hits the road teaching from a true master of the craft.
You might wonder if Jim Edwards actually does have the industry chops to be that teacher. Well, to put your fears to rest, Jim has worked closely with ClickFunnels founder Russell Brunson for years now. He is heartily endorsed by the big earners in our business and this book will multiply your own income potential in very short order.
That's my review. The ball is in your court now. Do you want to leapfrog your competition and sell pretty much anything with ease? Copywriting Secrets is the everyman's guide to persuading prospects that your products and services are exactly what they need.
Online success is a fascinating subject. Is it brains that propels someone to crazy riches, or maybe a work ethic that simply won’t quit?
I’ve seen plenty examples of both, and the backstory for the product I want to review today is a perfect example. Imagine a college wrestler who partners up with a buddy to sell a set of instructions for how to build a potato gun.
In any given town, there’s a pretty limited market for such a thing but online? Well, it turns out to be the ideal place for Russell Brunson to launch an online career that has now grown to legendary proportions (and I’ll tell you more about that a bit later).
What makes Brunson’s success notable is that he has taken all those online lessons and built the ClickFunnels platform to enable many thousands of others to become wealthy online! It’s a thriving community of tens of thousands of entrepreneurs who are rewriting the book on how to ditch the dead-end 9-5 job and make dreams come true.
Are You Making Money Online?
Here's the truth. Most people who are trying to make money online are either lazy, disorganized or swinging for the fences. Sometimes it's a combo of all three and they're buying course after course, tool upon tool… scratching only the surface on each and failing to master ONE THING that solves the riddle.
If I could share with you the one secret to online business it is focus. Find someone who's rich (or rapidly getting there) and stalk everything they're doing relentlessly. No other distractions. Just focus in.
My obsession is on Russell Brunson and his uber-popular tool, ClickFunnels. I'm mastering every aspect of it, learning exactly how Russell presents to audiences, nearly memorizing his headlines and sales copy.
If you've failed to have success online, I encourage you to do the same. Don't even consider another option until you can't find a single new thing to learn from Russell and ClickFunnels.
So, What is ClickFunnels?
It’s an online subscription platform that allows solopreneurs with nothing more than basic tech skills to sell courses, coaching, even books or other physical products. ClickFunnels makes it super-easy to collect their payments and even stores their email addresses so you can continue marketing to them forever.
What Makes ClickFunnels Different From Other Ways to Sell Online?
Well, I’m glad you asked. To set up a proper description, let me first try to quickly tell you what a funnel is.. and why it’s so much more powerful.
What’s a Funnel?
It’s probably best to start off by explaining what a funnel isn’t, honestly. Let’s take a look at how most business is still transacted online.
Let’s say you’re shopping online for a leather iPad case. You stumble on a site with a small but attractive selection and you put one in your cart. You hit the Checkout button and it takes you to the screen where you enter your address and payment details. Bang.. order placed.
A particularly astute store owner would probably have popped up an offer to sell you leather conditioner and cleaner before your business was done. And about 30% of online stores will email you during sales to see if you want whatever they have on offer.
Not surprisingly, response rates are pretty low. I mean, you already have your case and you’ve probably picked up a leather cleaner locally (if you even use one). The store, like most, missed an opportunity to solve your full range of needs and, because of that, they left good money on the table.
Russell Brunson realized early on that there’s a lot more profit to be made by serving the full range of customer needs. This emphasis on being able to easily sell multiple things to the same buyer is called a funnel.
Sometimes the buying happens during one session. But often that requires maintaining a relationship over time so that your customer know exactly where to go when they’re ready for that next step. Either way, the lifetime value of attracting a customer goes up significantly.
What makes ClickFunnels the best in the business is that any small business owner can jump in and learn super-effective funnel strategies in no time. Building on the platform is made easy by the absolutely unmatched training provided to subscribers.
How Do I Build a Funnel?
The best way to help you visualize this is to use one of Russell’s own funnels as an example (and I’ll link you to it below so you can see exactly how it functions).
So, at this point, Russell has published two bestselling books that teach various facets of what he’s learned about funnel-building over the years. I have both of these books – Dotcom Secrets & Expert Secrets – and they are incredibly useful.
Each of them is offered for free by Brunson at the start of his funnels. On any given day, you can click that link below and pick one of them up. But the catch is that you have to pay the $7.95 shipping/handling.
That’s not bad, as catches go, because it still costs less than buying the books through Amazon. So, it’s kind of a no-brained.
You enter your address and click a button that says Special Offer Click Here and suddenly an offer pops up to add the audiobook version for $37. That’s certainly not “cheap” but, if you’re a non-reader, it might be just what you want to consume the material in your favorite form!
Here’s where it REALLY snowballs, though. Whether you add the audiobook or not, after entering your payment details and pressing the buy button, you’re presented with the first of several “upsell” offers that build on your obvious interest in creating your own online empire.
You’ll be offered additional books, courses… each at rapidly increasing cost. It’s almost intoxicating, honestly. You’re swept up in videos and images that make it hard to say no.
Welcome to the Magic of Funnels
Here’s where the math gets exciting. If someone opts in to all the immediate offers in Russell’s book funnel, the total cost will be more than $500. Pretty outstanding considering you thought you were getting a “free” book, right?
But wait… there’s more! After you finish the initial buying frenzy, there’ll be an email in your inbox. It lets you know that your book will ship soon and offers you private access to a bonus training video that you can watch right away.
That video of Russell going into detail about how funnels work so beautifully culminates in a $2,000 pitch to join ClickFunnels and get all kinds of training on top. If just one person in 20 takes him up on that offer it adds ANOTHER $100 to the average revenue of that funnel.
So, there you have the true magic of funnels. String a bunch of offers together and you will never want to market the traditional way again!
Is ClickFunnels for Advanced Users?
For this, I’ll use myself as an example. I’m a copywriter by profession. While I can login to a platform like WordPress and post things I’ve written, I’m not ever going to be able to optimize a website or install SSL certificates and a million other deep technical things it needs.
But I sure can build a funnel. Most of the effort is in either recording a video(s) for what you’re selling or, like in my case, writing a sales letter that goes on the page. Easy peasy either way.
The rest is adding buy buttons or photos, and ClickFunnels built a beautiful drag and drop interface to do all that. You just log in and start dragging things into place.
Why Do I Think ClickFunnels Is the Best?
I’ve been in this digital marketing game for many years now. And there’s one thing I’ve seen stop the majority of would-be entrepreneurs dead in their tracks – confusion.
It took a lot of time and money to build the platform, but it took even more time to create the amazing support system provided to users. There are two online sessions every single day of the week to walk you through every aspect of funnel creation.
Imagine all the step by step training you’ll ever need in one place?Now, ClickFunnels is not the cheapest funnel builder out there. There’s just two subscription levels – at about $100 or $300 per month depending on how much help and capacity you require.
But you’ll never feel confused.
Honestly, there is non-stop training in how to create funnels inside the membership. And at the $300/month level, there’s an epic selection of training called FunnelFlix that has training by the likes of Jay Abraham and Tony Robbins on how to create products and sell them successfully, too.
One Final Word… and a Suggestion
ClickFunnels is the undisputed answer if you absolutely MUST get beyond the 9-5 grind of working for yourself. There’s truly nothing left out that you need to mimic Russelll Brunson or the thousands of millionaires that he’s trained.
But let me suggest that you start the way I did. You’ll probably think I’m a pretty crappy marketer for suggesting this plan, but I think it will maximize what you get for your money.
And money does not grow on trees (just funnels!
Step 1 – go HERE and pay the $7.95 to have them ship you a copy of Dotcom Secrets. If you don’t like to read, go ahead and pay up for the audiobook version – the most crucial part of this step is making sure you learn what’s in this book! It’s golden.
Don’t buy ANY THING ELSE in this funnel. Just get the book and read it.
Step 2 – go HERE and pay the $7.95 to have them ship you a copy of Expert Secrets. If you don’t like to read, go ahead and pay up for the audiobook version – the most crucial part of this step is making sure you learn what’s in this book! It’s golden.
Don’t buy ANY THING ELSE in this funnel. Just get the book and read it.
Step 3 – Once you have the books (or audio versions), sign up for the Challenge here to learn exactly how to build your first funnel (or two) in a group setting and with world-class instruction.
NOTE: The Challenge costs about $100 but you’ll have the opportunity to pay another $20 to have them ship all the course materials to you in physical form. DO IT… it made taking the challenge so much better!
Step 4 – When the Challenge gets to the building stage, join the free ClickFunnels trial HERE. This will give you all the opportunity you need to see how powerful and easy it is without spending significant money.
I hope this review encourages you to make a better life for you and your family. It might not be less work than having a day job, but it sure is more fun and it pays wayyyyyyy more.
I think I’ve laid out the steps that will save you the most money as you get underway, without jeopardizing what you need to have to grow quickly.
The main takeaway is this: Russell Brunson is a legitimate rockstar in online marketing. Even better, he has been willing to share all the secrets that got him there AND build a platform that helps you avoid a dreadful tech learning curve (or spending tens of thousands of dollars on a developer staff).
Go out and make offers happen. Make your life infinitely richer and then help others achieve their dreams, too.
I have a true love-hate relationship with the blank page.
At least two dozen spiral notebooks and legal pads sit unused beside my desk to testify about the hate part.
My eyes pass over them at least once a day. I’m reminded that the blank page is the bad half of an unhealthy relationship; so I look away.
Over decades, I’ve made peace with the fact that blank pages are never the start of a revenue-generating project. I can’t write a beautiful sales letter from the blank page. It’s too overwhelming, honestly.
Here’s how to make money from the blank page, though. Rise EARLY. Get alone. Brew your best coffee (bulletproof for me, thank you). Put on talk radio or television and pop open a fresh Evernote.
Put your radar up as you start sipping coffee. Listen for radio or TV ads and begin dissecting them.
What was the opening (hook)? Can you write down 10 better ones.
Can you tell who they’re targeting? Are you able to tell from their product or service ONLY, or is there a real effort in their language to zero in on the prospect? Can you craft the language that makes it a 1-on-1 conversation with empathy and real connection.
Are they agitating the problem AND pitching the solution, or just one of those two? Can you use both PLUS build the bridge for them to use?
Are they stuck at features or do they handle benefits? Surface benefit or deep benefits? Can you get it into the words they are almost too protective of to share. The pain of lost dates to the young adult woman who can’t grow out of her acne. The 32 year old man who looks healthy but has been disappointing his recent partners with unexplained ED.
Look, this is unpaid doodling. I get it.
But it’s also a near endless flow of products and services that will challenge your range. It’s a workout routine for your muscles of influence.
If you did this every morning for one month you’ll leapfrog 80% of the so-called copywriters online. If you do it every morning for six months, you’ll be accepting checks of $20,000+ to write for clients.
Speaking of that type of writing – the paid kind. That is not blank page work. I’ll write about those methods next week.
I want to share something that I do a few times a week that takes very little time and keeps my copywriting laser-sharp.
I love to read in the morning while I drink coffee. One of the things that's ALWAYS on the reading list is a mind-expanding book (right now it's Play Bigger by several co-authors).
Authors of these kinds of books are constantly introducing new ideas / new concepts and when I read one that feels impressive, I stop and write enough copy to “sell” the concept to someone. No one else reads it, mind you, but it is an exercise in quickly thinking out who could be changed by this knowledge and how I would convince them to invest their time/money into learning it.
Here's an example from this morning. The authors are talking about the way category innovation and leadership develop. It's too complex to detail here but they basically lay out a data-driven argument to being first or (at worst) second in a newly-carved category.
So, I'm already thinking how I'd do an ad or craft a lander that would make them invest in that knowledge. My headline/hook might be:
Learn the One Secret that Will Help You Sidestep Bankruptcy When “the Big Fad” Flames Out
Your SaaS May Be On the Chopping Block | 3 Ways to Avoid the Blade
Learn How to Lock in 80% of a Niche's Net Profit and Leave Competitors Fighting Over the Scraps
Those are just quick examples of my practice. I like to do bullets some days, guarantees, offer stacks etc. The bottom line is you take a legitimately brilliant idea from a book and spend 10 or 15 minutes massaging the words that would make it irresistible to others.
Some days won't be inspiring, but every day that you do it you'll be closer to confidence and independence with writing your own copy – and you'll experience some amazing books along the ride.
Look, we all doubt our talent. And, at least until your copywriting actually sells something, your confidence will likely be low. That's why this method works so well. NO ONE sees your practice copy. You can use proven sweipe formats or color outside the lines with NOTHING at risk. But you're still practicing the important components – target customer analysis, how to hook someone right away, how to write bullet points so juicy that the customer feels that life can't measure up unless they have this knowledge bomb you are dangling.
Practice building offers and estimate ‘the value' of each piece. If you gave away the front-end, what would you ask for after the email address? Quick upsell? Just an autoresponder series? How can you maximize the lifetime value of those who see your offer?
Reverse engineer any funnel you can find. Be relentless with words – very few others are and it will give you the most unfair advantage imaginable.
Sorry this is so long but I promise it's life-changing.