This is the one question I ask every quarter that always CHANGES my business…
Answering this question, ALWAYS results in me growing my business. And each time my business changes for the better… NOT my funnels, my business.
…if you’re wondering, “…but, Steve, aren’t your funnel and your business the same thing?” I totally get why you’re asking that. I used to think that they were was too… until the strangest thing happened to me…
Here’s how it went down…
HOW TO BANKRUPT A BUSINESS
I was building cool funnels for a company:
Day #1: We launched the funnel, and the sales start pouring in. I get a call from the owner: “This is awesome! This is epic! This is incredible. Are you serious! I can’t believe this…”
Day #2: I get another call: “Wow! The sales are still coming in. This is really still cool… I think…” (This time they sound a little more unsure)
Day #3: The phone rings: They’re like, Help! The sales are still coming in. Turn the funnel off. TURN IT OFF!”
The first time this happened, I was shocked that anyone would want less sales?
But the CEO was like, “You’re gonna bankrupt us.” I was like, “Oh, crap!”
Until that point, I didn’t realize that the funnel was different from the business.
It sounds silly to say that now, but I just didn’t know at the time.
A massive amount of sales sounds fantastic, right? But if your business doesn’t have the systems to cope with a massive amount of fulfillment, then you’re in trouble.
So what do you do about it? *ANSWER* You ask yourself the question:
How do I increase my speed?
ASKING A POWERFUL QUESTION
When I ask THIS question, it ALWAYS provokes the most change and the most progress in my business.
It actually happened this way…
I was coming back from a speaking gig where I’d sold a ton of stuff. It felt awesome, and I was excited.
…THEN I had to spend the entire night fulfilling on what I had sold. Which was great, but I’d only slept four hours the night before. I was exhausted!
So sitting on the plane on the way home, the thought came to me, “Stephen, how can you increase your speed?” And I wrote it down in my notebook.
I started listing out all of the ways that I could possibly increase the speed of my business.
My funnels, do great, but the business needed some work so that I could leverage all the opportunities that were coming my way…
The BEST way for me to show you how I answered the question:
How do I increase my speed?
… is to let you in on a Q&A session I did with my OfferLab Group.
These are the high-level killers who work with me directly, one-on-one.
Each week, I do training sessions with them. Look at their stuff to help them design their:
I haven’t officially launched OfferLab, so unless you came to OfferMind, this is probably the first time you’ve ever heard of it.
I’m not selling anything else. Offer Lab is not open to anybody else because we’re fulfilling. We’re putting in the processes and the systems in place.
… So this is kinda like a sneak peek behind the scenes of Steve Larsen.
HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE & INCREASE SPEED
We had a cool chat with the CEO of Pruvit (the MLM I’m in). And, like a lot of people, he asked me to build funnels for Pruvit.
I was like, “Well…”
My first thought was, “Sure, that would be honoring, but I don’t have the team in place to handle that.”
That’s why I initially went back to Tony Robbins and told him, “No.” I didn’t have the team in place to build the frontend revenue, or the support team to maintain everything.
After talking with the CEO of Pruvit, Colton and I just stared off into eternity for a little bit. Our heads were spinning.
We had a tremendous opportunity in front of us. But first, we had to answer the question, (…and here it comes again): “How can we increase our speed?”
So we’ve been asking that question in TWO areas:
- How do I increase my speed on fulfillment?
- How do I increase my speed of sales?
*NEWSFLASH* Answering those two questions, usually, does NOT involve MORE of YOU as the entrepreneur.
ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS & PLAYING BIGGER
Play Bigger teaches that for you to build a lasting business, you need to design a category, a product, and the business at the same time.
Well, I’ve gotten really freakin’ good at designing:
- I’m getting far better at the business side, as well.
It’s the reason why I’m able to create so much content …
But what do we have in place on the fulfillment side?
I’m nervous about bringing in all the money that we could because I wouldn’t be able to fulfill on it very well.
… So the questions that I’ve been asking are:
- How do I fulfill faster?
- How do I sell faster?
We asked the question, “How could we increase speed?” And that question ALWAYS leads to growth and things that are, frankly, a little bit uncomfortable.
Let’s use my content machine as an example:
There are a few people that are on both teams, but it’s a separate team. It’s fascinating, the process is different, even though they’re both content. It’s fascinating.
We mapped out a high-level process, and we found the people to fill all the positions. So I wanna walk you through this because this will change everything for YOU…
3 QUESTIONS THAT’LL SAVE YOUR LIFE
So glad you asked… 😉
The 3 questions that will save your life are:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- Who is my dream customer who has money and can spend a lot of money?
- What’s the model that I’m following?
As part of answering those questions in my own business, I draw up the value ladder and leave it somewhere visible to act as a roadmap and an anchor.
(A value ladder is for life, NOT just for Christmas)
Opportunities are so funny guys, it’s like they show up as soon as you start the down a path, another opportunity pops up.
It’s like opportunities have babies and multiply the moment you start moving and doing anything in life.
I’m sure you’ve have experienced that, right?
So to keep myself rooted and forward, I always draw a value ladder.
I have two value ladders because I have a front-end business and a back-end business.
The business that’s in the back-end is the MLM stuff, you know about. The front-end stuff is all offer creation/ funnel stuff you’ve seen me building out.
I wanna walk you guys real quick through this value ladder, and then tell you guys what’s happened because we asked the question, “How can I increase my speed?”
That question usually, (in fact, I’m not even gonna say usually), it has ALWAYS made me grow. And sometimes, in ways that are NOT all that comfortable… in fact, pretty much every time.
Just beware, every time you ask that question, if you’re truly willing to find the answer to the question, you’re gonna have to grow.
So here’s what I do…
CREATING MY VALUE LADDER
Now the stuff that I’m doing has never been done, but the model that I’m following has totally been done.
Does that make sense?
That’s where I get a combination of living on the edge and doing things that have never been done before – so I have security at the same time.
I don’t need to run a risky business. There’s no way. I’m not into risky business.
But the stuff that I’m doing though, the actual content and all those pieces; 100% is stuff that’s never been done before.
It’s how you get the combination of risk and security at the same time.
I draw out the value ladder. At the bottom, is all my free stuff:
- My radio shows
- Publishing like crazy
- A free program on each side.
- An affiliate program.
The real reason Affiliate Outrage exists, is so I can teach people how to be affiliates for me. About a third of our sales last month for the MLM side came from affiliates. It’s working – it’s awesome.
I’m not just gonna give somebody an affiliate link. I’m gonna teach them how to use it, and how to make an offer so that they’re inclined to create content around that affiliate link. Does that make sense? That’s the way I do it.
My value ladder has:
- The radio shows… and that kinda content
It’s the exact same model on each side of the business.
It’s a lot of funnels! We have a hard time getting somebody to just build one funnel… We counted; there are 12 funnels we need to hit every single step that we have planned.
So what I do is I hack the value ladder in order of importance?
- I always start in the middle; I practice what I preach.
- I go up to the top of the value ladder.
- Finally, I go down the value ladder.
But the question that we started asking is, “How can I increase my speed?” That’s the question I want you to start asking yourself:
“How can I increase my speed in…”
- Creating an offer?
- Creating a sales message?
- Creating a funnel?
- Fulfilling for what I sell, (so I can sell faster)?
- Gaining the sale?
I ask that question multiple times, in multiple areas, for multiple things. Asking this question helps tweak out a lot of the processes that support revenue.
BE UNCOMMON AMONGST UNCOMMON PEOPLE
The first time I asked the question, “How can I increase my speed?”… I was working for Russell and had no time of my own. It led me to create a schedule that I lived by for about a year, that was painful.
I went to sleep five hours a night, then I’d get up at five, be at work at six, work on my own there ’til nine.
It’s always been that question because…
Money loves speed. Money sticks by speed. Money feels the thrill of speed.
…and so I have to adhere to that lesson at some point.
I can build everything in these value ladders, but if I’m the only one building them, it’s gonna be slow. I want all that done next year. In just one single year. That’s fast, man.
That’s almost as fast as ClickFunnels builds their own funnels.
Seriously, they build one funnel and launch it, just about one every other week. That’s crazy!
So what I’ve started asking the question about… and what I want you to start thinking about is:
- What revenue model am I following?
- What business model am I following?
So the questions that we’ve have been trying to answer, and I think that we have, are
- How can I increase my speed in the business?
- How can I increase my speed in the revenue?”
…and the way that I’m doing that, is by building teams around both.
QUESTIONS INVITE REVELATION
I have two businesses:
- The Offer side – the sales funnel side
- The MLM side.
These are revenue models, but what supports these?
So Colton and I asked the question several times last week:
What do we need to have in place to pull EVERYTHING off in a year?
If questions invite revelation, which they do, you gotta be real careful of the question you’re asking in business and everything else.
So we went back and forth:
“Well, here’s all the stuff that we have and all the things that are forward-facing. Do I have that on each side?” Like, “Crap, no, I don’t.”
“Do we have a system set up where if I don’t show up for a month, would things keep running on their own? Like, “Hmm… I gotta build more of the business side there.”
It’s just about there – which is really fun.
For my content teams; I show up the first half of each Tuesday, and it keeps both machines alive.
I can keep speaking and be forward, in front of everybody, because of the systems that I’ve built. The teams that I’ve built.
We have Content Team #1 and Content Team #2.
Then our NEW funnel-build team, they’re gonna be the ones who actually go dive in and build out all the funnels.
Although I’m a funnel builder, I’m been my own bottleneck.
Which is what I realized when I was looking at this stuff. I was like, “The only way we can keep going as we are now and still make great money is to get another team.”
The parts of the business that I should be involved in are actually a lot narrower than I’m currently focused on.
A GROWING BUSINESS
I was talking to Al Hormozi this last week, and a few other of my good buddies who’ve made like 10 million in a year, and they validated exactly where I’m going with this. They said:
At this point, it’s NOT about you. It’s all about the team.
Q: How do I sell faster? “Crap, I gotta speak more. Oh, I can’t speak more…”
A: Content Team #1.” Boom! And I mapped out the content team, and then made it.
Q: How do you sell faster on the MLM side? I’m either gotta speak a lot, or I’ve gotta go drive a lot of money with ads…
A: Content Team #2. Boom! That’s the one that did it on the MLM side too.
…the next question I asked was…
Q: How do we increase the speed so we can build-out this value ladder with even more speed?
A: “I need an internal funnel-building team.” It came faster than I thought, but I realized I needed it.
I’ve built the majority of everything on the MLM side, and I’ve built a few things on this side, and lots of stuff on the bottom. And I’m good at it, but I’m just only one person.
So we’ve mapped out the process and the positions we need to build an internal funnel-building agency.
We just got the last person on board, and they’re like, “Absolutely, heck, yes.”
Next, I’ll tell you how we automate everything…
LEVERAGING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS
If you’re already selling stuff, the next process is the speed of sales – and has less to do with you, which is fun, but it can be terrifying.
When I left ClickFunnels, the position that I had ceased to exist. When I left, the position closed. So my final task was to replace me with a system.
That made me think about what I was doing in a different and advantageous way.
I had to document everything that I was doing for each funnel, find the similarities, and then start systemizing all the pieces and create a checklist.
It’s was super complex and crazy.
If you’ve done like funnel-building on your own, you know that the checklist can be freakin’ huge. Let alone:
…and all those things.
The actual act of putting a funnel up – it’s easy because of ClickFunnels, but there’s still a big checklist with it. There’s a lot of things you can put inside of there. There’s a lot of bells and whistles that you can get distracted with.
THE BAT SIGNAL
Anytime we built a funnel at ClickFunnels; they had what’s called a bat line meeting. We grabbed a cool image. You know that like the Bat-Signal that Batman shines up in the air.
When Russell sent that image out to his team, they knew there’d be a Zoom room briefing in 15-minutes.
Then Russell taught the new funnel for a straight hour. He drew it out, “First, we’re gonna have this page, then this page, these down-sells, and this automation.”
He drew all the pieces and put them together.
Then the recording would be handed to some writers who create mini task lists for each individual of everything they were assigned during Russell’s Batline meeting.
That’s precisely what I’m doing.
I’m NOT just planning out the funnel, I’m planning out podcast material and the content to time with the launch.
This year, you’ll see me use specific podcast episodes to build pressure around the launch of the whatever funnels we’re building.
Then there’s the:
- Funnel plan
- Sales message
…”We’re gonna need this package and this package,” – so we go to our fulfillment house (which is a few miles down the road), and make sure they package everything together so that every time a sale happens, things get shipped out.
That’s all the stuff that I’m really good at and what I teach…
Then I know, I’m gonna create sales videos. Right from the get-go. The videos are gonna be on the pages – because I can just hand those videos to writers… and I know who all of these people are.
If you notice, the copy underneath all the videos on any page I create – it’s pretty much the exact same thing that was said in the video.
Which means I can hand videos off to a writer and they can write the copy for the sales page.
Then the video and all the copy gets handed off to the designer, and they make it look incredible.
Design doesn’t sell, but I’m not against making things look good.
The designers make things look awesome,. You’ve seen sales copy, where certain words are bolded out. There’s a certain style of writing for sales letters.
The designer takes one of my templates to build-out the initial funnel, then adds the copy and the videos in for the initial build.
From that point, the funnel will go to to a funnel finisher… that was actually my original role at ClickFunnels.
I was the funnel finisher.
We didn’t have extra writers or designers. We had a videographer, Brandon, but we didn’t have writers, we didn’t have designers… So, for the first year, I did all three roles.
It was only during my final eight months at ClickFunnels that we started building out actual teams and processes. Before that, it was just me …
It was freakin’ insanity.
Funnel finishers are the ones that do all the stuff that’s not fun to do in funnels:
- Legal footers
- Naming all the pages
- Linking all the emails
- Adding the email copy in email sequences
- Adding SSL Certificates
- Porting over URLs if it’s bought from somewhere else
It’s all the stuff that sucks to do in a funnel, but it’s super important.
Next, I try to break the funnel. That’s my favorite part. I like to go in and try my hardest to just crush it!
Then, because we’ve gone through video stuff, we’ve had designers and all this stuff, then I start working with the traffic team and coordinate my podcast episodes with the launch of the actual funnel and the ads going out.
Then I just review and tweak it. So that’s it.
It seems really complicated, it’s actually not. This changed my life.
What I focus on, when I’m building these teams out, ’cause you guys all should all have teams, eventually. If you don’t right now, that’s okay. If you don’t have a team, (or you’re not in a position to have a team)…
What I found is that it means that you’re still building this main core product inside of your new value ladder:
- You haven’t actually built the product yet
- It’s not actually selling very well yet
- You don’t have a funnel yet.
The first time, you being the one doing all that is totally appropriate – that’s totally fine.
But building out, everything from above and down below it, after that, is really just a repackaging of that main idea in different ways that are more expensive or less expensive.
This initial build-out can take awhile. That’s fine, that’s fine. So if you’re like, “I can’t have a team yet.” That’s okay. Usually, it means you don’t have enough cash, or you’re still launching this main core product inside of your value ladder.
But from there, everything else, you should be able to do fast when you build a team.
But there’s one thing that changed my life when I’m building out these teams…
TEAM SECRET SAUCE
…So when I’m building these content teams out, the things that have really made a BIG difference is:
I no longer hire individuals. I hire agencies.
That changed everything! When I hire an agency to do video, rather than a person, the speed is better, the quality is better.
If some reason, there’s a holiday, or birthday or whatever, they got a replacement, usually.
When I hire an agency, it’s usually a little bit more money – 100% worth it. 100% worth it! They’re easier, faster, and they implement better.
They follow the processes which I’m about to show you. I don’t hire individuals anymore. I hire agencies.
I have a specific agency for each role inside my content teams. The funnel finisher is a single person job. I don’t know how you’d make an agency out of that. But I think *that person* runs an agency, which is funny.
The only person that hasn’t is the writer, but he’s had a massive writing company in the past – so he still has that background and totally gets the project management side of fulfilling.
I don’t ever hire a person anymore, I only hire agencies.
It’s the reason it costs so much, but it’s also the reason it’s so good. It’s fast and consistent.
I can pretty much set my watch to the time an episode drops.
When I hire an agency, they’ve thought about their internal process and about how to fulfill. They’ve thought about how to do all the things in the best possible way.
When I hire an individual, a lot of times, they haven’t. They know how to do the thing, but they haven’t thought through how to actually write down the process for the thing. That’s a very different mentality.
For Secret MLM Hacks Radio, we just barely spun that team-up. I knew we needed it. I could just tell. There are a few people on both teams, but there’s a lot who aren’t.
The team has either eight or nine people now – which is pretty crazy.
I even use agencies for all the one-offs stop kind of things I do now.
There’s a person that I’ve been hiring to revamp my LinkedIn profile – ’cause it sucks. I know it sucks.
But I’d rather hire a person with their own agency instead of an individual – because of what they’ve gone through to prove-out the process. They can bring revenue and keep a team going…
Man, it’s night and day difference.
I’m not saying the individual can’t be good… but holy crap, there’s a huge difference in insight. So, for me, it’s agency all the way.
Hey, wish you could geek-out with other real funnel builders, and even ask questions, while I build funnels, live?
Oh, wish granted!
Watch and learn funnel-building, as I document my process in my funnel strategy group. It’s free, just go to thescienceofselling.online and join now.