In this episode, Alex Branning and Ellen Violette discuss the power of a free + shipping offer and how Alex made about $20,000 by automating his system and using a funnel. This is one episode no author should miss if you are serious about leveraging your book to grow your business and make it profitable!
3 Key Points
#1 A free + shipping offer turns your book into a business.
#2 Consumers love free offers so it ups your conversion rate and grows your list more quickly
#3 Most authors don’t know how to market their book and creating a funnel does it for them.
[1:47] There are a lot of free + shipping offers, what that’s about and why does everyone seem to be doing them?
[1:55] It’s taken off because people are looking for a way to use their book to as a leverage point to grow their list.
[2:12] Consumers feel like they’re getting a better deal than what they would get on Amazon and for the author it puts people into their list and gives them an opportunity to upsell, so they can sell more products to the same user.
[2:41] An example of Alex’s free + shipping offer They got the book, then they got the opportunity to add the worksheets to help implement what was in the book- on Page 1.Page 2 they got the opportunity to join my membership for free for a month then if they like it they would get billed after 30 days-recurring revenue for me Then he made another offer for a digital course with over-the-shoulder demonstrations and how to implement, with more tools and coaching call recordings. So, I took a book and turned it into a business. That’s the power of it.
[3:47] What do you say to people who say it isn’t really free. Alex says that he’s very clear what you’re getting for free and what you’re not. You’re getting this book and not paying for it because it sells for $14.95 on Amazon. You’re paying what it actually costs him to ship it to you and the time that it takes him. And he’s never had a complaint about his free+shipping offer.
[4:43] Russell said that people love FREE. People take action so much more when something is free even if they are actually paying the same amount. But getting SOMETHING for free changes their thinking on making a purchase.
[5:18] One of the things that excited Ellen when she got into funnels was that Russell covered a lot more than just funnel building or making an offer.
[5:42] The elements that go into a free + shipping offer are: The funnel with Click Funnels, setting up a buy-now funnel. Alex used a template, so anyone can do it with a two-step order form. Everything happens seamlessly and easy. On other platforms, like Shopify, they have to set up an account, which can be a deterrent. Click Funnels makes it easy. They tell you their contact information, where to ship the book and what credit card to bill.
[6:57] Click Funnels also allows you to add in the order bump. They click on that and it instantly adds that item to their cart and increases the amount that we charge. They just click on the check box, and it’s one and done.
[7:19] So, what kind of offers do people make? Some add another copy of the book, a video training that compliments the book. Alex, had it in worksheets that they could fill in while reading the book. It’s for people who say they want to take action and are asking, “What do I do?” and as Alex sends them worksheets, it does not increase Alex’s cost. It’s all profit!
[7:58] For the reader, they are getting something very tangible, and they are getting something that is a really good compliment to the book.
[8:24] After they say, “Send me the book”, and they choose if they want the worksheets, Alex offers his VIP group coaching at $30 a month, but when they buy the book they get the first month free. He says, “Do you want to jump into my coaching program at no additional cost to you? if you decide to stay… if you like it, you’ll get charged $30 a month, if you don’t like it, you don’t get charged a penny, just let me know that you aren’t interested and I’ll cancel.”
[9:01] Alex gets a lot of people who buy the book and go through that, and it gives him an opportunity to create a deeper relationship with them; it adds values for them so it’s a win-win.
[9:11] On the last page, he has his digital course for the activities that he discusses in the book where he shows them an over-the-shoulder demonstration of what he goes over in the book, so they have the opportunity to add that to their order right there on the spot.
[9:35] As the author of the book, it gives Alex the opportunity-4 different ways to make money from his book. Sending them the book, the worksheets are #2, the group coaching is #3 and the digital course is #4.
[9:51] The problem Ellen sees is people don’t know how to market their books, and this does it for them!
[9:59] It helps bring people in because they are getting a free book, and you as the author, you’re already an expert on the topic. Now, you just create a few more different pieces of content and/or resources, and you’re able to dramatically increase the average value you’re going to get from the customer.
[10:18] One of the things that really excited Ellen was that she had a fear of doing Facebook ads because she saw friends and colleagues pouring money into them and not getting a return on their money-it was an endless money pit. So, what she loves about this business model is that you don’t spend your own money. Once you get your funnel working, you just keep putting the money from your first offer into your ads, so it never comes out of your pocket.
[10:57] Alex set his daily ad spend about $6 a day. So, if he sold one book a day he broke even, if they bought a worksheet, it was instantly profitable. If they got into his VIP coaching, it was “really good”, and if they bought the digital course that was a “great day for him as the author”. That one book funnel brought in close to $20,000. And most was not from the book but from the upsells.
[11:43] Ellen loves that you can show that it makes money because people often ask Ellen what’s the ROI when they write a book? Ellen says, it depends what you do with it. A book is a piece of content.
[12:06] Ellen isn’t technical, and when Alex gave her the funnel for the book, she said, “Are you kidding me? I don’t even have to create the funnel?” Awesome! Because Ellen had Infusionsoft and she had trouble using it-she finally got it, and then they changed it! She was so done with it.
[13:13] What if you already have a book and you’re making money other ways? Alex said that it takes your book and turns it into a business. Most authors’ profits come from selling the book and/ or speaking. This adds so many more revenue streams around knowledge that you already have.
[13:45] Some people do complimentary video trainings, depending on your audience, you could do some group coaching, accountability or one-to-one sessions. You can create a digital course like Alex did (And like Ellen is doing.) by taking what’s in the book and adding step-by-step walkthroughs of exactly what they can do to implement some of these things-maybe include interview from other experts.
[14:28] Ellen said, her frustration was that she works with people one-on-one, and she had high-end clients, but she wasn’t helping as many people as she could with funnels because she wasn’t selling any of her lower-end products- they were just sitting there. This is the way to change that. Plus, that’s one of the ways you get a lot more leads. It also forced her to think about in-between products/programs that she could create, so she could reach the people who either couldn’t afford the high-end or weren’t ready for it.
[15:25] When Ellen first got into Click Funnels, she and Alex put together an offer and nobody bought it because she didn’t understand how funnels work, and she didn’t meet her audience where they were-they wanted her free reports but they weren’t ready for the upsell that they offered. They didn’t see how it would benefit them. But, once she learned how to do funnels, she understood why it didn’t work. Lesson learned.
[15:50] When Alex told her about the One Funnel Away Challenge and how great it was, she trusted him, so she took it and was blown away by it as most people are because of all the things that you learn-including knowing how to make the right offers. Ellen relayed how Russell Brunson takes a phone and asks what is this phone worth. Maybe $500? And then, he shows you how to make it worth $10,000, and you can’t wait to pay it because he gives you so much value.
[17:25] Alex added, that you need good hooks. How are you getting people’s attention? Sometimes, the copy isn’t the holdup; it’s how do you get people to read the copy?
[17:58] Coming up with a good graphic-physical representation- is important now too -social media is a visual battlefield. You need to show a picture of it. It makes it more real- even though it’s only a digital product. It helps them visualize what they are getting. Finding a good graphic designer is important. Alex said Ellen has done a great job at that.
[19:24] Ellen shared that she found a designer that she liked on Fiverr years ago. But, sometimes, he gets it right away and when he doesn’t she goes to 123rf.com and finds three or four graphics she likes and sends them to him and asks if he can work with any of them. Then, she just buys that one. They cost about $1 a piece, and you buy a bunch at one time. She tried Freelancer and ran a contest but nobody was able to capture the spirit of her product, Rapid Book Creation Secrets. So, she decided to stick with her designer. It’s really about clarity.
You can also use the Funnel Rolodex (when you are in the One Funnel Away Challenge). You can offer what you do there (to make money to help pay for your funnel, and you can find others to do the pieces you can’t or don’t have time to do. And that can work well too.
[21:57] When Ellen couldn’t come up with a way to visually express “rapid”, a client of hers suggested going to Google and searching on “rapid” to see how others did I, and it gave her some great ideas.
[22:22] Ellen was also intrigued by the One Funnel Away Challenge because she was looking for a way to automate her sales and not work as hard anymore and to free up her time. She wanted to work with fewer people one-on-one while reaching more people with an automated system.
[22:59] Alex said it’s easier to use Click Funnels (than other systems) and he can help them on the tech side, and Ellen can help on the strategy and content side. Ellen defers to Alex on the tech side. He has people on his team who will help if you get stuck. And also, the Click Funnels community is large and robust, and they are there to help. It’s an encouraging community.
[24:20] If everyone is doing this how do you stand out? Ellen shared that Russell Brunson teaches you how to “funnel hack”-where you analyze other people’s funnels in your niche. And she found that while she thought her offer was similar to others when she funnel hacked, she saw that they were quite different. So, sometimes, people aren’t clear in their description of what they do or you’re not clear about what you do, so you don’t see how you’re different. That’s one of the things Ellen helps people with-positioning themselves and their book, so they are different and will stand out.
[25:16] Ellen added that she’s like everybody else and she used to get swayed by shiny new objects and found over time that she would buy software and products, and then never use them. And it happened because there wasn’t enough support. She really wants people to get into this (Challenge) because once you understand about having a passive system, making more money, building a business, not just a book, and then making the commitment, then it became so much easier. She started going at her own pace, setting up her funnel up, not getting crazy but knowing she is in for the long run. And what helped was something Russell said- that people will spend four years in college and three more years in law school or a decade becoming a doctor but if they don’t get a funnel up and running in one or two months, they’re ready to give up.
[26:36] Ellen has been on hundreds of free calls over the years looking at what all the big influencers were doing and how they were doing it and she saw what they are not telling you; they will tell you that you can do exactly what they did, but what they don’t’ tell you is it only works if you have a huge list like they do or a huge ad budget…there are ten reasons why it’s working for them, and why it won’t work for you. And what Ellen loved about this (system) is that if you put in the effort, it will work for you. (And it works in any niche!)
[27:16] Alex loved Ellen’s confidence. He said it’s a totally different Ellen than when they started on this funnel journey together. (laugh)
[28:21] Ellen shared that the lesson she learned over time is that nothing is a failure. You just learn, but you’re not going to learn if you don’t have someone to coach you through it; then you just keep making the same mistakes over and over. So, she decided she would not take any more courses if she didn’t have access to coaching. But, she took this because Alex offered coaching with it. So, Ellen wants to encourage everyone to take the One Funnel Away Challenge, because you won’t just learn how to create a funnel. You’ll learn how to create offers, write copy, create graphics, and tell stories that sell for you. Ellen has already made more this year than all last year from learning these things, and she isn’t even finished building her first funnel (because she is creating two full courses for it). But Russell shows you several ways that you can shortcut the process if you want to.
[29:52] So, if you want to join them, the next OFA is coming up on June 17th. IF you are listening to this at a later date, it may be evergreen, but you can get details and register at http://ellenlikes.com/ofa and when you go through this link, you’ll get access to both Ellen and Alex. . You’ll get into Alex’s group coaching for all those technical questions, and you’ll also get a funnel strategy session with Ellen and, if you need help, she can help you create your products too.
[31:10] Closing thoughts: Alex wants to encourage you to check it out. If you’ve tried Internet marketing before and it didn’t work for you, the price is great. You have so much to gain from understanding digital marketing. What helped him was the concept of the predictable future. If you stay on the path you are on right now, you’ll know what your income, how much work you’re going to put in and what you’re going to get out of it. When you learn a new strategy, you have a higher trajectory for your predictable future because you can use it for the rest of your career-even as platforms change and the way we do business evolves. Same for Ellen. She now knows how to do Facebook ads, build funnels, and she can put more offers together she can use the rest of her career.
[32:34] Ellen added that human nature doesn’t change, you have to connect to people emotionally, so the concepts you’ll learn in the One Funnel Away Challenge will serve you the rest of your life! And when people sign up through her link they will get the free+shipping funnel that made Alex almost $20,000, and you can import it right into your account.
To get it quickly, send Ellen your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll get the bonuses right away.
[33:35] Ellen loves it….$20,000 with a free+ shipping funnel…. if that isn’t inspiring Ellen doesn’t know what is!
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