When I first started The One Year Project, I became convinced I needed a fancy marketing/sales funnel. I became convinced this after watching one of Lewis Howes webinars, "Work from Whereever" at the end of the webinar he sold a course on how to use webinars to make it big in your online business. I was hooked, not only was he an EXCELLENT presenter, but I liked the guy and had been following him for a while, and if I'm honest I wanted what he had, so I went ahead and bought the course. And of course his marketing was top notch.
"I wanted the life and success he had, so I bought what he was selling"
The course, "7 Figure Webinars" cost me $1500 and that was a lot of money for an online course. But it seemed like the answer to all my problems, how to find people (even without an audience using ads) show them how knowledgable I was and what I could help them with (what problems I could solve) and then once they know me, like me, and trust me sell them my solution (which I only had to actually create if people purchased).
In general, it's an excellent framework, and the course itself was a high quality production. But like all magic answers, things don't click overnight, and they usually aren't "that simple". So I took the course, diligently taking notes, and then taking action. I created registration pages, I created ad images, I created ads, and I put the course to use. The only problem was, I didn't get any registrants. So just like the course says, I tweaked, and I went into the facebook group for the course and started searching for answers. Well a few months and a few versions later and I still haven't figured it out yet, and I'm certainly not feeling any closer to those 7 figures webinars. I still was convinced that webinars worked, but I was having a lot of difficulties getting mine to work, like
"Months later I realized what would be one of my biggest lessons 'til date, If you aren't an expert at it, don't spend your time and money becoming the expert, instead hire the expert and focus on what you do best"
So after a few attempts to debunk my webinar setup with the expert from the free facebook group through both office hours and a one on one call, who by the way was a great resource, I still hadn't gotten where I wanted to be.
Meanwhile, I'd wasted months of time, and a few thousand dollars in money (the course, the different ads, the months and months of subscriptions). And then I realized, if I had hired an expert, I would've accomplished it faster with guaranteed results for basically the same cost.
So I started reaching out to webinar funnel experts, and the costs varied, but in general ranged from $3500-10500. Some where done for you (they do it all besides create the material/presentation) and some were done with you (they teach you how to do it, get on calls and help you when you get stuck).
It took me a while to make my decision, but when I did I was totally sold. I had spoken to a "sales guy" over the phone a few times, and throughout the course of those calls was convinced this was the magic answer and I'd be making thousands per month in no time.
Of course, this wasn't my experience, as soon as I handed them their $5,500, they immediately began acting differently. The sales guy disappeared, the face of the company was no where to be seen/heard, and I was left with a faceless guy over a project management portal.
A few months later (past the promised deadline) I finally received my "funnel". It didn't work, the ads sucked, and I got even less sign-ups than from my initial self made funnels. At this point I'd spent 6 months waiting to kick off my business and have a winning webinar. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
So I finally reached out asking for the support I was promised (60 days hands on help until the webinar starts converting/performing) and what did I get? Locked out of the project management portal with no response.
I was down over $10,000 and 9 months of time
The only thing that saved me was that I didn't depend 100% on that webinar funnel. Through those first few months I had gotten to know my audience intimately, I had interacted with them daily, I had written posts that worked and those that didn't. I had gotten them on the phone with me. I had learned what no one else could teach me and no expert could give me.
It was one of my first lessons that taught me who I want to be in business.
No one knew them the way I did, that's why no one could speak to them the way I do
It was one of my first lessons that taught me who I want to be in business. How I want to be treated and also not to oversell. The way I was sold was that there was "zero to very little" chance I wouldn't be successful. That they had the "winning formula" and once I was plugged into it magic would happen. I was more than willing to put in the time and effort, but it still didn't work for me. I learned all about investing in my business too soon, and also about marketing with integrity (being that those experts had fooled me).
INVESTING IN YOUR BUSINESS TOO SOON
Most of all what I've learned that I now teach others, is to start first invest later. I was trying to go "big" out the gate. Before I had an audience, and before I had tested my message resonated with my ideal audience, and if I'm honest, before I had even gotten to know my own audience.
"Start first and invest later, start by testing your idea and messaging while getting to know your audience before you invest a dime into your business"
Even if you think you know the answers, you'd be surprised what a few months in the trenches will do. Now if you were to ask me to create a webinar, an ad, and an audience I know I would knock it out of the park, because I've learned who I serve, what they like, and a ton of marketing mistakes along the way.
"Regardless of what the gurus convince you to invest in which is the key to your success, remember there really is a such thing as investing too soon"
Another great lesson from this is that no matter how smart, talented, or great of an idea you have, you can't just throw money at people and expect them to build your business for you, to give you the magic answers. The truth is, only you can build your business, and businesses take TIME. Before you invest a dime, invest your time. Invest it into learning and interacting with the people you want to serve.
"Only you can build your business and it takes time to get intimate with your audience"
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