Making money online through Niche Marketing

Is the One Funnel Away Challenge Worth Investing in?

After it’s relaunch in January 2019, the One Funnel Away Challenge from Russell Brunson is gaining new traction. And, digital marketers are asking if this is simply a bunch of hype or if the challenge is worth undertaking. As a three-time veteran of the course, I’d like to thoroughly answer that question for you. 

So, if you’re on the fence about the system and want to find out if it’s for you before you commit, read on. 

First, What is the One Funnel Away Challenge? 

The One Funnel Away Challenge is a 30-day challenge, created by Russell Brunson that is meant to teach digital marketers how to launch a successful online business. 

What is the one funnel away challenge?
  • First, the “challenge” (not course) focuses on mindset transformation. 
  • Next, it teaches through action on how to research competitors. 
  • Then, marketers learn how to create hooks, effective messaging, and converting calls to action (CTAs). 
  • After that, students discover how to identify and understand key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine which parts of their funnel are broken and the elements that need to be fixed. 

The challenge is led by Russell Brunson who delivers the central concepts. And, it includes powerful Q&A sessions that move learners through the strategies and concepts. Deep dives on each idea are delivered by Julie Stoian and Steve Larsen.

And, What do These “Gurus” Know About Digital Marketing?  

I noticed that one of my all-time favorite marketers, Miles Beckler, doesn’t have nice things to say about the challenge. If you’re researching whether or not this system is right for you, you’ve likely come across his opinion. 

One Funnel Away Objections

In full disclosure, I am a client of Beckler’s and I believe in 90% of what he says. But, on this topic, he and I wholeheartedly disagree.

Beckler’s core message seems to be that it will take years to build a following and online marketers should put out a video a day for six months, then continue this for over a year. He says you must be willing to make a significant time investment in your marketing. And, by following this system, he claims you will be successful. In saying this, he is 100% correct. 

However, there is another way to find success: you can build a self-liquidating offer (SLO) that covers the cost of ads (for free / break even on the front end) and any revenue generated after that is profit. Within days, new leads will break into your funnel on higher-ticket transactions. And, this is what you learn with the challenge. 

For such an intelligent and detail-oriented person, I think Beckler chose the wrong point to argue because he was literally one funnel away from success before he found success. He continually tests his sales funnels to find the one that will generate consistent revenue. And, the point he stated above doesn’t line up with what I’ve learned from him. 

If you already know and love Beckler, but you’re not familiar with Brunson, Larsen, and Stoian, it’s important for you to learn more about them before you take this particular opinion as gospel. 

Who is Russell Brunson? 

Russell Brunson, “The Strategist” is the co-founder of ClickFunnels. He has a following of over a million entrepreneurs and he popularized the concept of sales funnels. Russell’s training, teaching, and software have helped 728 people (members of the Two Comma Club) become millionaires. 

Who is Julie Stoian? 

Julie Stoian, “The Transformer” is a digital marketer, funnel builder, and business strategist. She built a six-figure freelance business and a million-dollar brand business in under three years. Now, she helps Russell Brunson teach the masses how to change the world. 

Who is Steve Larsen? 

Steve Larsen, “The Executioner” is a Funnelologist who used to be the lead funnel builder at ClickFunnels. After he joined the Two Comma Club, he left the company. He now hosts a digital marketing podcast and helps coach the One Funnel Away Challenge. 

So, What do I Know About the Challenge? 

I’ve participated in the One Funnel Away Challenge three times throughout the course of my career. Each time, I take away something new and valuable to enhance my funnels and redirect my business trajectory. 

In Winter 2019, I completed the One Funnel Away Challenge for my current business and was able to skyrocket my success almost immediately. 

Before this, I tried to sell my offer as something that I, myself would purchase. As an analytical buyer, I am obsessed with technical features. So, I was listing tons of technical offer features. Later, I realized what I should be selling instead to attract the type of customers that I want. 

I used offline networking and Facebook groups (basically old school mixers) to attract new clientele to my offer. And, while I had success with these channels, I didn’t know how much easier and scalable my company could be until I completed the challenge. 

It only took a couple of weeks for me to see measurable, positive results. After finishing the challenge, what we spent on advertising we earned in revenue on the same day. I had to work through the materials a few times to understand an SLO. But once I did, it made all the difference in the world. 

The first twelve months after completing the challenge resulted in 4,052 new opt-ins to my funnel with a 50.96% opt-in rate. Within a year, I am now making $15K per month and on-track for growth. I can attest to the fact that this system works if you work it (and the results are tremendous). 

Read More: How to Make $10K+ Online… Without Losing Money on Ad Spend

Now, What Can You Take Away From the One Funnel Away Challenge? 

If you’ve landed on the One Funnel website, you’ve seen the massive list of what you get for the $100 cost of the training. The pre-loaded MP3 player alone is worth more than the cost of the entire package. But, what will this mean for your business, exactly? 

What does the one funnel away challenge teach you?

In real terms, here are some of the key concepts you can take away from the challenge. 

1. You are NOT Your Best Customer

I mentioned this above, but want to dig a bit deeper on this point (and, if you complete the challenge you will be able to delve into it fully): your ideal audience is not you. So, something that you would buy yourself probably will not become a successful business for you. On the contrary, you need to define your best audience and learn to appeal to them. 

The best market to target is the market you want to work with. So, it is crucial to determine who this is. Who do you want your customers or clients to be? 

Furthermore, your target market likely falls into one of two categories: 

  1. A niche that is being ignored. For example, a computer keyboard is just a computer keyboard. But, someone had the idea to split it in half for ergonomic support. This offer was created for a specific demographic that was being ignored: people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. 
  2. An audience that does not love your competitors’ product (but is still paying for them). To find out who these people are and what they really want, look at your competitors’ three-star reviews. You’ll find people likely to buy from you and what they’re missing (which will factor into how you can create an irresistible offer). 

So, stop selling to yourself and learn how you can get in front of and sell to your ideal audience. 

2. Features Don’t Sell an Offer (& What to Showcase Instead)

I don’t know about you, but I am hyper-analytical. As a buyer, I want to learn about technical features. So, before the challenge, I was highlighting offer features. Then, I had a total mind shift. 

While you do need to list the features of your offer, this is not how you will sell it. Instead, the results of your offer are what will make people want to buy it. 

For example, imagine that you have a sponge to sell. And, as a bonus, you offer a free sponge as a bonus to anyone who buys it. So, in your messaging, you say, “Use it on your boat, in the bathroom, or give it to your friend.” An analytical buyer like myself doesn’t like this – I can figure out what to do with an extra sponge on my own. But, an emotional buyer (like the ones I want to sell to) respond when you spell-out results.

Another hypothetical example would be a cure for cancer. If you have a cure for cancer, you tell people your offer can cure their cancer. Your audience isn’t going to be as moved by the fact that your pill is soft-coated and easy to swallow because they want the end result, and that is what will sell the offer. 

So, tell people that you’re fixing their problem. And, you don’t necessarily need to bother with the technical aspects of how you’re going to fix it. 

3. It is Easier Than You Think to Create an Irresistible Offer

The most helpful concept I learned from the challenge is how to analyze existing offers to create my own irresistible offer. If you complete the challenge, you will learn to find gaps in the marketplace. In some cases, this will be a niche that your competitors are missing or a void that needs to be filled. 

This concept is called “offer hacking” and is a lot like funnel hacking. To hack an offer, you study competing offers and look for gaps in the market. A lot of times, your ideal market is already screaming for what they want. And, the best market consists of people that already use a product like yours, but don’t love it yet. Product reviews come in handy here. 

As a shopper, five-star and one-star reviews aren’t very helpful because these come from people who either love or hate the product. But, if you read three-star reviews, you get a true idea of what might be wrong with a product from someone who mostly likes it. As an offer achiever, the same three-star reviews will help you. 

For example, my wife and I purchased a pool vacuum on Amazon recently. While shopping, we read all of the three-star reviews and found a Dolphin pool cleaner with apparent problems we are pretty sure we can live with. And, this is the one we purchased. 

How to optimize your sales funnel

If you were an offer achiever looking to bring a new pool vacuum to the market, you would go through a similar process, highlighting the gaps in your niche. Then, you could start with an existing product design that works, add a larger bag for collecting leaves, make sure all power supplies are waterproof (not just water-resistant), and voila! You have created something irresistible that an existing market already wants to buy. 

If you’re interested, check out a deeper dive into becoming an offer achiever

4. How to Strengthen Your Offer With a Value Ladder

Once you have your offer, you will do well to strengthen it with a value ascension ladder, which gives you the potential to upsell and down-sell as you nurture your audience. For every product and service, this will look a bit different. 

But, a value ascension ladder is essentially a range of products that ascend from the lowest price to the highest price. Clients and customers ideally ascend from the bottom of the ladder to the top on their journey with your business.  

When I added a value ladder to my offer, it remarkably increased my success. And, in my case, it started out fairly simple. 

  1. Free ebook for lead generation 
  2. Paid course as a low-value offer
  3. Higher-ticket coaching as a high-value offer (where almost all profit is made)

Now, my leads enter my funnel through the free ebook and start receiving emails. Those looking to take the next step are directed to a paid course. And, when they love the paid course they eventually upgrade to coaching. 

5. How to Implement a Self-Liquidating Offer (SLO)

It took me a few passes through the challenge to absorb why this is imperative because, at first, an SLO seemed counter-intuitive to me. But, I found that this is the glue that holds the entire system together. With an SLO, I was able to create a positive return on ad spend (ROAS) with FB ads, grow my list essentially for free, and boost my monthly income. 

How a Self-Liquidating Offer Works

I learned how to spend $75 per day on ads and earn $85 per day. On the surface, it looks like I’m only earning $10 per day. But, down the funnel is where the profits happen. All of this is done with ad spend, but my list building is essentially free — it’s as if I didn’t spend it. 

And, $75 per day is not all that much. It only comes to $2,250 per month. But, you don’t have to start at $75 — you can start at $10 or $25 per day and scale-up. 

Start with an SLO to break people into your funnel, and don’t give away all the keys to the palace. Give more than anyone else, but leave your market wanting more. Then, on day two or three on their journey with your brand, ask leads to take the next step on your value ladder and give them a few more keys. If they want all the keys, offer your high-value item around day seven or ten. 

6. What it Truly Means to Niche-Down

If I could only share one thing from the challenge with people, it would be to create an offer that blows your competitors out of the water and speaks to your target audience. To make this happen, you have to niche-down.  

And, you need to like your target niche (and they need to like you) if you want to be happy in business. Otherwise, you will build animosity over time. If you want your offer to convert, you must speak to your target niche. 

And, to speak to your dream customer, you need to define who that is. 

  • If you’re already in business, who do you currently sell to that you just love? 
  • If you’re just starting out, what markets are being ignored?
    • Can you take an existing model and bring it to a new niche? 
  • What do these people have in common? 

This will tell you about your dream customers. And, the more niched-down you are, the better equipped you can be to sell to the right market. You can put messaging in front of people that they are likely to respond to. For example, if you want to sell to cat lovers, you have to share pictures of cats. 

Finally, Should You Complete the One Funnel Away Challenge? 

What’s mentioned here barely scratches the surface of what you will learn when you pencil out 30 days of your time to launch an online business with the One Funnel Away Challenge. If you liked this and you want to learn more, the challenge is probably right for you. And, if you’re still not sure, here are a few more points I would like to make: 

  • This is not a traditional course, it is a hands-on challenge that delivers more substantial results than your typical business training. 
  • $100 is extremely underpriced for what you get. Coming from someone who has purchased nearly every digital marketing course out there, I would expect to pay between $3-5K for everything you get with Clickfunnels’ One Funnel Away Challenge. 
  • This is simultaneously one of the most powerful online marketing trainings around and still one of the most inexpensive (the company banks on the fact that you’ll pay for ClickFunnels after you take the course). 
  • You will have to block off a lot of time over the month-long span it takes to complete the challenge. And, I almost guarantee it’s worth canceling anything you have going on during that time. 

Everyone thinks their product is worth clearing your schedule for. But, most of them are not. Nobody else out there will provide you with this much information and action steps for just $100. So take the leap and complete the challengeASAP — it will transform your business and your life!

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