Funnels is the future that’s going to take over for websites. This was the realization Jeff Banek, a.k.a. The Funnel Doc, had after reading DotCom Secrets and Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson, the founder of ClickFunnels. Jeff shares how he built his consulting company, The Funnel Doc, based on the teachings from those books. As he takes a deep dive into funnels, Jeff reveals his two tattoos about it and highlights the importance of finding people to look up to and investing in yourself. He also shares how he built his team and made his business bigger and more scalable.
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Funnel Secrets From The Funnel Doc with Jeff Banek
I’m here with a special guest, Jeff Banek. Jeff, how are you doing?
I’m great. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
I’m excited to talk to you. Jeff is a two-time 2 Comma Club winner and 8-Figure Award winner. His digital agency went from zero to over 500,000 funnel sales in eighteen months and his funnels have generated $16.4 million in eighteen months. I want to talk about all that, but before we do, let’s take a big step back. Growing up, were you a rebel? Were you an A+ student? Tell us what that was like and did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Back in the day when I was a little bit older, it wasn’t called an entrepreneur then. You’re just hustling. As a kid, I was selling Cutco knives or anything like that. I’ve always been trying to figure out my own path. I did terrible in school. I barely graduated then found out when I went to go to college that for some reason the paperwork didn’t go through. I actually don’t even have a high school diploma.
Did you go to college or no?
I took some college classes, but I quickly learned that was not my thing, especially once I started making any money online. Every minute I was sitting in class, I was like, “I could be online growing.”
You’re called The Funnel Doctor. What were you doing before you were The Funnel Doctor? Did you have a bunch of real jobs?
I was in fitness for eighteen years. I was running gyms. I was a personal trainer. I was on the fitness side. I was learning sales and the guy that I was learning sales and systems on the fitness side was how I was introduced to DotCom Secrets.
Don’t wait for perfection because if you do, it will never come and you will never reach your success.
Talk to me about DotCom Secrets, how did that impact your life and what was it like going through that process?
I was on the fitness side. I’m learning sales. I’m trying to learn the master of how to close people because that’s what you do in sales. When people come in, you try some membership, personal training or whatever it is. This guy Bedros, who was a mentor of mine, one day holds up his book from some random dude, Russell Brunson, whoever that is. This guy’s name is Bedros Keuilian and he said, “Do it,” and I read it. It was amazing because I’ve done websites and stuff before and I’ve been doing all this, but it wasn’t until I read DotCom Secrets, it’s all made sense. The upsells, all the systems and everything putting together in that one harmonious unit. It was literally like the clouds parted and I saw Russell’s vision. It was like, I read that and then shortly thereafter, Expert Secrets started coming up and I was like, “This is the future. Funnels are going to take over for websites.” Websites will eventually become a spot where people can come to learn info, but funnels are where the sales and acquiring new customers is what’s going to happen. That’s what led to me getting my first funnel hacker tattoo. It was April 4th that I got this tattoo as a promise to myself that I would do something in ClickFunnels and that started the whole journey.
For those that don’t know, Russell Brunson is the Cofounder of ClickFunnels. DotCom Secrets is this very popular book. Talk about maybe the biggest takeaways that resonated with you from that book.
I think a lot of people it was not only the customer journey, but the upsells, the downsells of building the attractive character. That was a really big part of it as far as leading the charge and everything like that. It was like the perfect webinar, trial close. Everything in the book literally to me was like, “This guy’s a genius.” I’d seen it or heard it somewhere before, but never had been all brought together in one place.
There are a lot of people that read that book. There are not a lot of people that run an eight-figure business. What do you contribute to your success? Can you walk us through that initial year? How did that first year go down?
It was pretty amazing because, for those who don’t know my story, leading up to when I learned about DotCom Secrets, my wife was supporting this at that time. Out of nowhere, she lost her job. We literally went from paycheck to paycheck, like no check to no check and it got worse. We had to pawn my wife’s ring at one point just to be able to pay rent. It was really bad. I was learning all this and I met this guy in the ClickFunnels group. I have been awarded the second highest contributor out of 78,000 people in the group and some random guy posts in the group. This is how I’d been learning, ClickFunnels and everything is I went all in the group. I was in there from the morning, night and everything that Russell put out, every penny we can scrape together, I bought his stuff so I can learn everything I could about funnels. This guy put out a post. His name is Kevin David and he was like, “I need help with funnels.” I was like, “I’ll help you.”
During this time too, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Ryan Deiss and DigitalMarketer and all his stuff. If you look at the top there for people on YouTube, those are all the certifications that DigitalMarketer has. I went through all of their certification courses. I got all their stuff so that I’d have all these credentials. He was like, “Let’s work together.” I went in up and Kevin already had a pretty good YouTube following. He had one video that had 200,000 views on it, but he did not have any way to monetize this. I come in and I built out his funnels, his bots, his emails, and his entire ecosystem. We launched it. That was, May 17th and then 57 days later we’d done $1.2 million in sales. At that time, it was the fastest anyone to hit a million using ClickFunnels.
You’re obviously a big fan of investing in yourself. Going through when you said you bought everything that Russell did, you bought everything on traffic and conversion. I’m sure you bought other stuff than that. Talk to the readers of how important that is to find people that you can look up to that you can learn from and to really invest in yourself.
I think there are two parts that people need to realize too because it’s super important to invest in yourself with education. This was my college to some degree. All this was my investment in the college, is investing in myself and investing in my future. You do need to study but there also needs to become a point where you realize that you need to stop studying and start implementing. I see so many people get in that studying loop or that learning loop and they’re just, “I’m going to get another course and get another something,” and they never implemented and because of that, they get stuck.
How do you balance that out? I’m assuming even now you’re learning new things. How do you break down your time between execution and learning more?
In the beginning when I was so new, literally I fell asleep a couple of times on my keyboard listening to Russell Brunson. I’ve seen every video of that guy. When we first started out, he had a show called Marketing Quickies where he was eighteen years old. It was crazy, but I’ve seen everything from that guy. When you start to see moderate success, I’m not talking hundreds of thousands or even millions, but when you go from zero or very little to $10,000, $15,000 a month, at that point, if your systems are already in place, $20,000, you need to start thinking that you don’t stop learning but to stop shutting off as much as you are taking in. It needs to be very focused learning like there’s a new something that you need, stay away from shiny objects but there might be a new technique or something that’s come out that is the way to do things. It’s a time to learn or just picking learning along the way and not everything you can get your hands on like before.
You’re a big proponent of giving back to the community. I see you posting on Facebook, I see you in the ClickFunnels group. We did a virtual summit together and you’re giving out a lot of that content for free. Talk about how important that is to continue to give back to the community around you.
The great thing about this, it’s like Akbar Sheikh. I don’t know if you know him.
He’s coming on the podcast.
Akbar is awesome. He’s holding his, “Give more, get more,” because it’s so true. I’ve found that the more I give to people, the more comes back. I give as much as I can because it’s very fulfilling. It’s very filling that when you get done with someone like I was doing a funnel review and you could see a light bulb after light bulb was going off in someone’s head. You know when they get done and they implement what you’re showing them, that it’s going to make a major impact in their life. That’s one reason I’ve transferred into coaching and not as much done-for-you. I do done-for-you still like actually doing the funnels, but it’s on a very limited basis now and it has to be someone that’s going to be like a two column already. They need some help or that type of stuff versus before I would take anybody and everybody who wanted a funnel.
You do a lot of coaching. You’ve probably come across people who their funnel is broken or it’s not working, or they’re not getting the results that they want. How do you begin to dissect that and where do you see people making the most mistakes?
With the way the internet is, college is not a necessity anymore.
The first thing actually is usually even before outside the funnel is that a lot of times, they don’t know their customer avatar as well. It’s like, “It’s very general.” It’s from 25 to 65, men and women. They’re trying to hit everybody. The problem with that is in theory, it makes so much sense. It’s like, “People have a cold, so everybody’s my client,” or “If I’m selling some water, everybody drinks water.” That’s not true. You have to have a special focus niche because the more you niche down, the more you’re able to get to their pain points. What’s driving them, what really is the problem you’re solving with this that you’re selling? It’s not hitting everyone. It’s niching down and getting very specific.
I would say, how do you figure out what your niche is? What if someone is not sure?
Solving a problem is the best of the two, but a lot of times you need to have something you have a passion in, sometimes the least minimal knowledge, somewhat like above the basis of it, it’s hard. For some people, it comes quick and for others, it doesn’t. It could be eCom. Here’s the problem. With nowadays age, there’s so much opportunity. It’s literally opportunity overload for so many people. You have any type of ability online, whether I want to drop shipping or I want to do eCom. Do I want to be a podcaster? Do I want to do YouTube? There are so many options and what’s really crazy is you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. The amount of success people have is so quick now because the internet, no matter what they’re doing. It’s hard to decide. As far as funnels, I always say, make sure you know your avatar, know your people because if you can’t relate to them, know their pain points and know what problem you’re solving, you’re never going to be able to convert.
We always like to talk about how people hire and how people build their teams. In the background, I see someone. I don’t know who that is, but talk to us about how you’ve hired, how you built your team and how you’ve made your business bigger and more scalable?
VAs had been a great way to help out and that type of thing. It’s been a lot of trial and error. I’d probably be honest with you, hiring, especially with Facebook ads, people and stuff like that, went through about $50,000 trying to find teams and stuff. For me, it’s been a little bit difficult because people nowadays will tell you on their resumes it seems like that they hung the moon and it doesn’t matter until they’re in front of you actually performing, it seems like a lot of times.
We’ll talk about FreeeUp and how we can help you solve that. How big is your team now? Is it mostly you? I know you’ve gone into that more coaching route. Do you have people around you or is it mostly you doing most of the work?
It’s really my wife and we have a couple of other VAs and small level stuff like that. Pretty much I do everything myself because it’s just coaching my course, so any customer service type, the basic type stuff so that we’re not doing that type of stuff.
I feel like digital marketing goes in cycles. It’s always what’s next. Facebook ads, chatbots and there’s always something new and then something becomes more outdated. People don’t use it. Where do you see funnels going and what do you think is next for funnels?
It will be interesting because augmented reality is becoming a big thing here in the future. Facebook’s pushing it, Google’s pushing it in their browsers and different things like that. I have a client in mind who was very heavy in augmented reality. She was showing me all the stuff that’s coming up in the future. I don’t know that funnels will be here depending or if they shift, it could move into an augmented reality funnel or something like that. The sales process in the next couple of years is going to shift dramatically from what we see now to the virtual world.
It’s definitely going to be interesting. Let’s talk a little bit more about funnels. What makes a really good funnel as opposed to a social funnel?
Some of the main things that I find that people make mistakes on right off the bat is they get too features-driven like, “It’s got these many chapters and these many videos and it’s shiny and this and that.” People don’t care about that. It’s cool, but no one’s going to be like, “It’s got twelve modules. I’m in. Give me three of them. I need one for this guy over here too.” It needs to be more pain point, “What problems are you solving?” Just the whole thing where it’s like highlight a pain point, agitate a pain point and show how you’re the solution.” The basic outline like that very rarely is followed. You’d be surprised how many funnels I see where they’re outlining everything about it. It’s so this and that. What people don’t realize is if you use those features to highlight the benefits? “We’re going to solve this problem because we have feature X, Y, and Z.” It relays that whole building back upon what you’re trying to solve.
I look at it as three parts. You’ve got the funnel but you’ve got the actual content whatever you’re going to sell and then you almost have that social media following behind it. If you get someone with a huge following, it becomes a lot easier to push people through the funnel that hopefully have good content. How important is the stuff around it? Can you build a great successful funnel with so-and-so stuff on the front and back?
A funnel is, even though it’s a big part, it’s a small part of the whole ecosystem. First of all, to answer your question, a bad funnel with a good product or offer can work, but a great funnel with a bad product or offer can’t work. What people don’t realize often is it’s so much beyond that. The funnel is just a small portion of getting them in. Realize on normal cold traffic, cold traffic meaning that they don’t know you or anything. They only know they have a problem. “I need to leave and be my job. I’m overweight, I’m sick,” or whatever. Its cold traffic comes into the funnel. Cold traffic and funnel, you’re crushing it at 5% to 8%. It’s like if you hit 10%, you were a madman. Realize that percentage, 90 people out of every 100 people go away. You’ll never see them again. That’s why to follow-up is so important beyond the funnel. Sure, you got them there but now you need to email the bot, the engagement, the content and building the know, like and trust so that when they are finally ready to buy your products is all they can think about.
That makes a ton of sense. It’s fascinating that you said that like bad content, but a great funnel doesn’t do anything. I think there’s a whole thing in the industry that there are some gurus out there that their content isn’t great, but the funnels work anyway. I agree with you. If the content wasn’t there, eventually it’s going catch up with them, at least I would hope so. I want to pick your brain on upsells because I always find it how fascinating it is. It’s almost like human psychology where the smallest change of word, the smallest mindset shift could be the difference between a huge upsell or not getting it across different people. What’s your strategy when it comes to upsells?
The first mistake everyone makes is they don’t acknowledge the purchase that happened. I bought A and you’re going to your first OTO or One-Time Offer and they don’t say, “Congratulations for getting this,” or “This is on your way.” People sometimes right off the bat for an upsell, they’re like, “What happened? Why am I on this page?” You need to acknowledge that. The second thing is you have to grab their attention. Now that you’ve acknowledged their purchase, you’ve got to grab their attention. There has to be a captivating headline that explains to them, “This is the only time you’re going to be able to see this offer. You have to pay attention to.” If you don’t grab, they’ll click out and move on and then everything below it doesn’t even matter.
On that, you want to always have a captivating video. I can’t say there is enough problem-solving. I say it all the time, people still don’t do it. If people can’t see on the video because usually, the OTOs have a video that plays on it. If they can’t see themselves in that situation and see how your product or what you’re offering them is the obvious solution, that’s a problem number one right there. That’s what’s left out so often on your upsell or anything like that. Other times, in upsells too people won’t be congruent. Here’s the thing. Realize if my main product is how to get a six-pack and I bought that product, the upsell can’t be anything related to actually getting a six-pack because, in my mind, that first product checked that box off already.
The point of being an entrepreneur is to have some freedom.
“I’ve got a six-pack. It’s on the way. It’s in the mail. It’s going to be here soon.” To offer me something else that’s like, “Here are my super XL level workouts.” No, that won’t work because I’ve already got a six-pack. Maybe you might be able to say, “Here’s my meal plan,” because I’ve got the workouts now, I need to know how to eat better and that would be perfect. They’re still in alignment, but they don’t fight each other and that’s what makes a perfect upsell. It’s something that’s the next step up or the next level of ascension. If I’ve got this problem solved, what’s an extra problem I have because I’ve got this problem solved? If I’m looking for abs and I’ve got to work out, now I need to know eating or maybe cardio. That type of thing might be the next level up.
This has been fascinating talking about funnels and I’ve got some rapid-fire questions afterward, but is there anything else about funnels that we didn’t touch on that I didn’t ask that you want to share with our readers?
Don’t be afraid to launch. Too many people wait but they don’t realize that really the funnel for the one funnel way, it’s usually like your fifth or sixth funnel in that iteration. Kevin and I launching it out of the park with version one was definitely lightning in a bottle. It’s not the norm. Realize you need to launch your funnels, launch your projects, get them out there, test and tweak as you go along. That doesn’t mean put crap out there. You want it to be good, but don’t wait for perfection because if you do, it will never come and you will never reach your success. That’s the one thing I’ve noticed with higher level influencers. I’m sure you can attest to this is that imperfect action is implementation. It’s doing it even if it’s wrong, you’re doing it and you’re fixing it along the way rather than, “I’m going to be the master. I’m going to know everything about funnels or hiring people,” or whatever it is and instead of just do it. Like Nike, Just do it.
You are getting that minimum viable product out there. People understand if you’re a startup and you need to make changes and you need to improve it along the way, as long as you have the right values and the customer service behind it. It all works itself out. Are you ready for some more rapid-fire questions?
Let’s do it.
What book besides DotCom Secrets has really made an impact on you?
Technically, you don’t have a high school degree. Do you recommend that people go to college? If you’re talking to a roomful of students, what do you tell them?
With the way college is set up, as a whole, it sets most people up for failure to go into life with debt already on the books. There are some trades like you want to be a doctor, you have to go to college. You can’t take courses and learn heart surgery. There are certain skills, trades and stuff like that college is a definite necessity. I talk to people all the time and I’m sure you do too. They’re not doing what they went to college for. Even if they did, that was like a gateway to get there. It wasn’t their end means. I think that if you know for sure that you have a definitive trade that you want to go into and it requires the levels of education, sure. Now with the way the internet is, college is not a necessity anymore.
If/when I have kids, it will be very tough to push college on them in the same way that my parents did back in the day. I don’t know if they make fun of me, but they always say that I respond fast on every social media platform and I have to say, you are right there with me. You have fast responses. How was your work-life balance and how has that evolved over the years? Do you say that you have one?
I’ve been blessed because my wife when we first got into this, she originally wanted to be side by side of me, right there in it and then quickly realized that all the skills and stuff that I learned that she hadn’t yet. One time when we were talking and she was all stressed out and she was like, “I haven’t gotten any potential clients.” I was like, “What are you even talking about? I never asked you to get.” She was so assertive and wanting to help put in, she was putting all this extra pressure on herself. It was really nice. She was able to learn to step back from it and also, she was supporting me while I was learning all this. For her to have to step back and now just chill was hard. It was nice that she was able to step back and find a better role. She helps, for instance, with the virtual summit, keeping in contact with the speakers and things like that. She helps with Facebook groups. It’s been great.
Because of that, I think we have a really good work-life balance that we’re able to cut off stuff. It’s easier that way to not having fifteen clients. When I was running my agency, we had eighteen clients at one point. Now, I have a staff of eight people working for me at that point, Facebook ads, all that type of stuff, but I felt like I had fifteen bosses. It’s literally there. It didn’t matter what day it was, you are an entrepreneur, so Sunday doesn’t matter, which I’m cool with that. When your clients are telling you, you have to work on Sunday, you’re like, “Really?” That’s a point on being an entrepreneur too is to have some of that freedom. I’ve been blessed with my wife. Through some trials and tribulations, ups and downs, we now have a good work-life balance.
Jeff, this has been great. Where can people find out more about you and what are you excited about?
You can go to FunnelDoc.com to find out anything about me. That’s my funnel hub there. All my funnels come off of that. I’m doing the Funnel Agency Secrets, which is my course. It’s where I actually teach people to basically do everything that I did to grow my agency from zero to $500,000 in eight months using funnels, emails, and bots. It teaches you how to go get your clients, how to close your clients and how you would build out everything for them. I want everyone that’s part of it to be part of my 10K Dream Team, where I believe that even though 2 Commas are nice to the average person if I can get you to where you’re making $10,000 a month in residual income, that will change your life. That’s why I call it my dream team. I’m trying to get everyone on there.
Jeff, thanks again for coming on and I’ll see you soon for the Virtual Summit.
Thanks for your time. It was a pleasure.
- Jeff Banek
- The Funnel Doctor
- DotCom Secrets
- Bedros Keuilian
- Expert Secrets
- Marketing Quickies
- Akbar Sheikh
- Play Bigger
- Funnel Agency Secrets
About Jeff Banek
2 Time Two Comma Winner and 8 Figure Award Winner. Digital Agency went from zero to over 500k in funnel (eco-systems) sales in 8 month and funnels have generated over 16.4 million in just over 18 months