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Supporting image for The Secret to Keeping Your Sales Funnel Flowing – John Lee Dumas
The Secret to Keeping Your Sales Funnel Flowing – John Lee Dumas
The Agents of Change

We’ve all thought at one time or another, if I could just come up with a great idea, it will sell itself and I’ll be rolling in money. Well, it’s not quite that simple. Sure, the idea is the impetus of the plan, but the process that you use to keep it moving forward – through a sales funnel – is what will determine your success or not.

Once you’ve got your big idea, make sure you’re being intentional with the content that you’re creating around it. An initial free guaranteed offer is a great way to earn trust and continued interest. And from there it’s creating a continuous system that funnels your customers from one step to the next with continued opportunities for them, and continued revenue for you.




Rich: My next guest needs no introduction, so he’s not going to get one. I’ve got this guy here named John Lee Dumas with me today, I’m very excited. John has been a good, real-life friend for a long time, somebody who I look up to in terms of getting things accomplished. And he’s back here in Maine visiting some friends and family. Usually I would do some big number when I bring out a guest like this, but John and I know each other. So John, welcome to the show.

JLD: Rich it’s great to be here. We actually talked briefly pre-interview about how we don’t do many of these in-person chats. It’s kind of cool to be sitting across the table from you, looking you in the eye. But at the same time it’s kind of awkward.

Rich: I was going to say the same, it’s really awkward more than anything else. It’s like, can you please not make eye contact with the host during the show. No, it is fun because we hang out and when we get together it is fun to hang out. It is strange to have this microphone out.

JLD: I think a couple Allagash Whites here would be good.

Rich: We should have done that. Although, I love Allagash the brand, and I love their Black, I’m not the biggest fan of Belgian beers, though.

JLD: Interesting.

Rich: Do you have a favorite Maine beer? Is it Allagash White?

JLD: I have to say if I had to go down a beer route, it would probably be Allagash White. But I’ve heard good things about Bissell.

Rich: Bissell is great, Foundation is amazing.

JLD: There’s a Liquid down the street, too, it used to be Infiniti.

Rich: Yeah, Liquid Riot. Actually the one that I’ve been drinking lately – I don’t drink a lot of beer these days – but Lone Pine. It’s great.

JLD: Lone Pine, yeah.

Rich: Ok, well that’s the show.

JLD: Go beer!

Rich: John and I are heading north shortly, and I said, “Would you be so kind, sir, to come on my show?” It’s been a little while since we’ve talked and I asked if you had anything that you really were passionate about. And of course you always are passionate about something. So what do you want to talk about today?

JLD: Well one thing that I’m really passionate about right now are infrared saunas. And I usually do those every single day. I actually bought an infrared sauna that you zip up to your neck, and I sit in there for 30 minutes a day and I just sweat. I didn’t know coming in to your office was going to be a sweat lodge as well, so thank you for providing no air circulation or air flow.

Rich: We can take this outside if you’d rather. There’s a nice ocean breeze coming.

JLD: We can hear the seagulls in the background, too.

Rich: You can, actually.

JLD: Give some Maine truth to this.

Rich: Sometimes I’ll be on an interview and the cruise ships, everyone within 60 miles knows they’re about to leave port. So that’s very interesting, too.

JLD: To be completely honest with you, one thing that I’ve noticed interviewing now – I’ve interviewed over 2,000 people – and I also spend a lot of my days being interviewed on other people’s shows, too. Actually today I had 17 interviews on other people’s shows, which we briefly talked about because you were like, “Am I going to get the dregs of JLD?”

Rich: I’m not even getting sloppy seconds at this point!

JLD: No, I’m like a vampire, I suck off the energy of whoever is interviewing me. So right now you may not know it, but I’m just drawing your energy and pushing it into the microphone.

Rich: If I pass out by the end of this, call for help!

JLD: One thing that shocks me is interviewing people, and then being interviewed by others, is the lack of calls to action that you actually have that release anything meaningful. And they might say “Go to my website” or “Go download this lead magnet” – which by the way I’ll do sometimes because I want to study their funnels and see what that’s going to lead to – and oftentimes it’s just a dead end.

Rich: You’re talking about guests who come on E on Fire.

JLD: My show.

Rich: And they have either no call to action, or a weak one, is what you’re saying.

JLD: Right. Or, when I’m a guest on other peoples shows and they say for show notes to, “Go to mywebsite.com and check out this and that, and this and that is there for you”. And none of these calls to action seem to lead to anything meaningful.

So I’ve kind of been on this passion crusade, because over the past 6 years I’ve been running a multi-million dollar business, and if you look at why I’m doing that it’s because I’ve opened up multiple diverse revenue streams that generate significant revenue each in their own silo or platform. And I’m always looking to open up that next one, and that’s just one area that I feel I’ve been very successful and I’ve just been scratching my head about why other people aren’t.

So I kind of want to take time today to talk about funnels and the idea behind what a funnel is, how I’ve actually been now working for really the last 3-4 years in creating what I’m calling a “super funnel”. I think if people can get behind the scenes and look at what my super funnel is, then they can maybe replicate that for their business.

And back on January 1st, I actually hired a full-time CTO – Chief Technical Officer – just to oversee this funnel, to look at the analytics, study them, to run the ads for them, to do A/B testing, to do page optimization. So I know that this is money well spent, this is time well spent. And I think it’s time we let the cat out of the bag for all those entrepreneurs out there.

Rich: So, “super funnel”?

JLD: I’m just calling it a “super funnel” because I’m looking at it as a super funnel.

Rich: Was “funnel on fire” already taken? What’s going on?

JLD: By me. Yeah, I have a course called “Funnel on Fire”, which is just a quick, 3-day course and that promotes click funnels. Which by the way is one of my huge revenue streams. I make between $30,000-$40,000 every single month on click funnel revenue. I generate over $800,000 just from that quick little funnelonfire.com. People take a quick mini course on how to create a funnel that converts, then I say I use click funnels for my funnels, you should too.

Rich: So this is an affiliate.

JLD: It’s an affiliate play, exactly. That specific one, because you brought up Funnel on Fire. But for me, I’m using “super funnel” because a) Funnel on Fire was taken by me, b) just because it’s what I’m really wanting to focus on for the foreseeable future for my business, where I am going to give a call to action to the top of this “super funnel”, and then the funnel itself is going to do the work.

So I was on 17 interviews today and people were like, “Alright John, tell us how people can find out more about you”, and this was my call to action. This was getting people into my super funnel. And I’m saying “this” – we haven’t revealed it yet – but I know we’re going to talk about the super funnel as we go forward.

Rich: No, we’re going to talk about that infrared sauna thing.

JLD: Thirty minutes a day.

Rich: So yeah, lead us through this whole process of what this looks like and how somebody might be able to kind of do this on their own.

JLD: So we’re all in the business of creating content. You create content in many ways, shapes, and forms; blog posts, podcasts, videos, social media. I do the same. Everybody listening is in some form of content creation. They’re definitely in content consumption because they’re consuming this podcast right now.

But we as entrepreneurs need to be very intentional about the content we’re creating. You can’t just throw content out there and hope that somehow by some magical way that content generates revenue for us. So when I sat down and said, ok, what is the next really big revenue generator for my business, Entrepreneur on Fire?

I said I now have been in business for over 6 years, I’ve created a lot of different products and services, a lot of different communities, I’ve been able to build a 7-figure a year business for multiple years, so I’ve become a proven influencer authority figure. I feel like I can step back from certain niches like the podcast niche, the webinar niche, the journal niche. I’ve done those different niches, they’ve done well, and they’re going to keep doing well for me. But now it’s covering a more broad spectrum that I can step into.

But I realized after interviewing 2,000 entrepreneurs that they have one thing in common over everything else. That they have identified one, single big idea and then they focused on the big idea. And they’ve crushed it. And after they’ve rushed it with that big idea, they’ve gone on to do other things. Like my big idea was Entrepreneur on Fire. I started there and then moved into other things. But that one big idea was critical and mandatory for me to get that ball rolling.

Rich: I agree. Because Lewis Howes with LinkedIn, or Amy Porterfield with Facebook, or Facebook with Ivy League Universities.

JLD: Yeah, that’s how it started.

Rich: It’s about starting really narrow, serving that community with all your passion and all your energy. And when you’ve proven and saturated that, then it’s easier to move to somewhere else. In your case right now it feels like somewhere broader, you’re kind of moving up a little bit, and we see this with Lewis Howes, too.

JLD: Yeah. Let’s talk about Gary real quick, Gary with just YouTube and Twitter, he went all into Twitter. And then Snapchat, and now it’s Instagram. And now he’s all about podcasting. He is a great example of somebody who sees the big idea and goes all in.

So my desire to go more broad – as you were alluding to – which is completely correct, is to now say to myself, “Ok, I know my audience’s biggest struggle right now is they don’t have a big idea. So how can I create the solution for them?” How can I start a super funnel that’s an absolute no-brainer, that’s an irresistible offer? Because that should be the top part of your super funnel is an absolutely irresistible offer.

So I said let me train people how to identify the big idea, how to discover their big idea. And I want to do that with a promise and a pledge, because we’re all busy and doing things like trips to Bar Harbor, and sabbaticals, and we just don’t have all the time in the world these days. So I said let me just create one free training and call it Three Hours to Your Big Idea. That’s it. That’s the promise, that’s the pledge, and it’s completely free.

So now I have the start of my super funnel. Now I can lead everybody that I talk to – I meet somebody on the street, somebody sends me a direct message on Instagram, I’m on a podcast – and they ask me for a call to action, now I can just say my call to action to you is if you’re asking me for help, direction, advice, is I know what entrepreneurs struggle with, they don’t know what their big idea is, visit yourbigidea.io and you’re going to get a free training on how to identify your big idea in just three hours. It’s irresistible, it’s free, it’s going to be concise training, and they’re going to get something incredibly valuable at the end out of it in that 3 hours, which is their big idea.

A lot of people are saying, “Well, how can I pay the rent with a free training?” Well that is just how you’re getting your audience to know, like, and trust the content you’re providing. So for me, it’s a very natural progression to drive people to that one website – yourbigideo.io – give them that free 3-hour training, and at the end of that module 7 (which is the final module), completes that training which also says, “Hey, now that you have your big idea, you should rightfully so be really excited and really fired up. Let’s take your big idea that I just helped you get, and turn that big idea into real revenue.

Because we all can have these great big ideas, but something that people struggle with that you’ve seen, that I’ve seen so many times over, is turning ideas into revenue. An idea can be an idea can be an idea, but turning that idea into revenue is a difficult thing.

Rich: There are people who have come into my office and they have an idea, but the question is, how do I make money off of this. That is definitely a challenge that I think that a lot of people suffer from. And the other thing is I know a lot of people say they don’t have the time or energy to create a free course and offer this, they need money right now.

But almost everybody who is successful in our industry – any industry, really – started by giving away stuff for free. Your podcast, you never charged any money for it, you built up an audience. And the same thing is true with almost anyone out there who’s been successful. I mean even Social Media Examiner has this huge, successful conference and they were giving away tons of content for free to build up that audience.  

It’s not true in every industry, but in a lot of industries, and I think for a lot of people who are following you and listening to you, it’s a knowledge-based world and the bottom line is you’ve got to provide free information because there’s so much out there that you’ve got to capture those people’s interest.

JLD: So up to this point I’ve given people this irresistible offer. Go get your big idea in three hours. Because after interviewing 2,000 I’ve identified that’s why successful people are successful. They go, they take the 3-hour training, I give them that success story, I give them that quick win. Now I’m saying, “Hey, let’s turn that big idea into real revenue together.” I’ve taken 4 big ideas myself and I’ve turned them into 7-figure revenue generators. Let me show you the real revenue system. The real revenue system is not free, that’s going to be an investment, and that’s where I start that funnel.

So the funnel starts with me creating content, driving them to Your Big Idea, Your Big Idea gives them that incredibly valuable huge quick win that they’re really excited about, then I’m telling them I just brought them free value and given you an amazing win with this free training, now how about you generate real revenue with that big idea on this incredibly valuable training that I’ve created called The Real Revenue System. And that’s the next step in the process. So then for $295 people will join this 13 module Real Revenue System program. It’s an irresistible offer, they’re ready, they have their big idea, they’re ready to go, so for $295 let’s do this.

Rich: Who wants a big idea if you can’t do anything with it?

JLD: It’s useless. It’s like trying to drive a car without gas. Ok, you have a great car, now let’s put some gas into it so we can actually do something with it.

So now that they’ve just made this investment, this is where a lot of people mess up, they just stop there and think, “Yes, I’ve just made $295!”  That’s there the funnel continues at that point, because now you have somebody who just invested in you.

There’s an app that both myself and Pat Flynn are obsessed with, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it yet, it’s called Bonjoro. Have you heard of it? It’s incredible, I’ll show you more details after we chat. But every single time somebody joins one of my courses – Podcaster’s Paradise, say – I get a little notification on the app that says, “Rich Brooks just joined Podcaster’s Paradise”. I can just tap your name now and say, “Rich it’s JLD, you just joined Podcaster’s Paradise and I just want to say thank you and I’m proud of you for making the investment. I’m not going to let you down, we’ve created a great podcast and program for you, you’re off to the races”, ‘send’. It was that simple.

Someone just invested $900 so I can take those 20 seconds to thank them. The churn rate has decreased incredible. Because as soon as you spend $900 you wonder if you just made a mistake. But as soon as you get a message like that, an email, your thoughts vanish. You think these people are real, they just sent you a personal message, you feel taken care of. It’s an amazing tool.

So now I get a message every time somebody joins Real Revenue System. And I say, “Rich, you just had your big idea and I’m excited or you, you’ve invested in Real Revenue and we’re going to do this together. By the way, you might not want to do this alone. You can go in and get the modules right now, but I have a 1-week Mastermind called The Revenue Crew. The Revenue Crew is $400 per month and is just for people who have invested in Real Revenue who are looking to make real revenue. Every day you can jump into a Mastermind and engage with other people in a Facebook group and once a week you’re going to get an open call with me and you can ask me any questions you want. But since you just invested in the Real Revenue System, I’m going to credit that $300 for the first month. So just for $95 today you can have a month I the The Revenue Crew. Test it out.”

Rich: John, stop! Just take my money!

JLD: That sounds insane, right? You’ll want to invest right now!  And so I’ve given them this next irresistible offer. So for just $95 more dollars now they have a month to be in this amazing Mastermind, this Facebook group, with access to me every single week answering any questions they might have on an open Q&A call. And if they want to stay in after that it’s $400 per month.

So now not only have I given somebody their idea, I’ve given them the Real Revenue System, and I’ve gotten them now into a monthly recurring $400 per month Mastermind. From that Mastermind map is where I’m like, you guys are my people, and you’re the Revenue Crew, you’re the only people that have access to my workshops in Puerto Rico, which I call “Puerto Palooza”. We do it a couple times a year, you come down, you spend a long weekend with myself and Kate, typically with 6-10 other people. And we just Mastermind about business, we go on great yacht cruises in the Caribbean islands, we have a blast, it’s a fun time.

I do these “One Day with JLD” where you fly down on a Friday night and we spend an entire day together. And then you fly home Saturday. And that’s just you and me on your business for one day. Those premium programs are only for people that are in The Revenue Crew. So I’m continuing to essentially narrow and niche down my biggest audience, my biggest fans, into this perfect place where I’m serving them at a really high level for when they’re ready to invest. Because I’m right now showing them what their big idea is, I’ve taken them to real revenue, they’re investing in myself on a $400 a month basis, now I’m looking to take them in a premium $10,000 day or $6,500 weekend workshop. They know, like, and trust that I’m going to continue to deliver that for them.

So that’s an example of something that I’ve created in my business that everybody listening right now, you can just think in your niche and your market segment what you’re doing, you can just say, I can just take what John’s done for his business – which is he has entrepreneurs that struggle with their big idea – and he’s just delivering that program to them right there step by step. But they take that idea into the revenue system, into the Mastermind, The Revenue Crew, and into this premium day or weekend Masterminds that he does. And I can take that and I can use that in my business for what my audience wants. And that is a super funnel.

And now guess what? Everything that I do, Rich, all it is to get that entire funnel working is irresistible. Go to yourbigidea.io and in three hours you’ll have your big idea. I’m not giving any other call to action. I’m giving an amazing, irresistible call to action to my audience which is to get their big idea for free in three hours. I never feel like I’m pitching anything – because I’m not – it’s just if they want to take that next step in the revenue system. They didn’t find that out until module 7 of that three hour course. So when I’m on other people’s shows it’s like I’m gifting a gift to their listeners, because I am.

Rich: There’s value in that first thing, no doubt.

JLD: They’re going to get their big idea.

Rich: One of the things I’ve always been impressed with you, John, is your ability to create systems. And this seems like you’ve really kind of honed your game down a little. Have you been doing this for very long or is this something that you just kind of launched now?

JLD: It launches July 11th.

Rich: Oh, ok. Alright, cool. So we’ll have to have you back after to tell us about it. But no, that sounds really impressive. Do you feel that anybody can take this idea and sort of put their own skin on top of it, their own design, an make it theirs?

JLD: I don’t think they can, I think they have to. I think everybody has to have an irresistible offer. So any opportunity – when they get the opportunity to speak at Agents of Change in Portland, Maine – and they get the opportunity to be on another person’s podcast, to write a guest post, to write their own post, to have somebody send them a direct message on Instagram.

If we pulled up my Instagram right now, I’d show you I get 20-30 direct messages a day on Instagram and I respond. People are mostly saying they love the podcast, you’re crushing it, I heard about you here or there. And all those things are great, and a typical response would be, “Thanks, great.” But a better response would be, “Thanks, I appreciate that. By the way, let me keep helping you by giving you your big idea in three hours. Go to bigidea.io.” And am I typing that out? No. I’m typing out “JJJ”, then the text expands and it says that whole thing. So just like you said with systems, that’s another example of a system.

Rich: I’m going to try that on my own computer, “JJJ”. It’s not working! That’s pretty cool, that’s good stuff. Alright, so anything else we need to know about the super funnel?

JLD: No.

Rich: Alright. I don’t know if you could do another podcast today, unless you have like 5 more lined up.

JLD: Well I think on the drive to Bar Harbor, because you and myself are going to pick up our virtual trainer, Jeff McMahon, at 10:30 PM at the Portland airport. Then as we’re driving to Bar Harbor…

Rich: Is that a security problem, did we just give out too much information? By the time this show launches it won’t matter.

JLD: Right. This is not live. That would be funny, though. If all of a sudden we had a picket line out front.

Rich: Exactly. “No more virtual trainers, real trainers only!”

JLD: We might have to hit the ‘record’ button and do some kind of little live session on the way up. That would just be fun.

Rich: Absolutely. So John this has been great. This is a total side question, I just thought of this right now. So you know I’m about to go on sabbatical with my kids.

JLD: Right.

Rich: If you were going to go on a sabbatical or a month – which seems crazy that John Lee Dumas would unplug for a month – what would you do, either disconnect or stay connected for a month on the road?

JLD: I wouldn’t disconnect because I’ve chosen this life because I love documenting and creating content around it. One thing that I would do is I would look at this as an opportunity to create the product – the roadmap – on how to take a sabbatical. So I would start Day 1 with what I’m doing and…

Rich: Sabbatical on Fire! I’m buying that domain right now!

JLD: That would be amazing! You can have it, by the way, because I’ll never take a sabbatical so I don’t need that domain ever.

Rich: John is on permanent sabbatical.

JLD: In Puerto Rico. Except during hurricane season, where I’m taking a 65-day trip to Europe. True story. But I would document everything. I would document the start of the trip, what I was doing, what I was thinking during it, while your daughters are on their phones and you have your own little Rich time. I would be having a little conversation about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, and then I would come back and I would turn all of this content you’ve created into a course or a program on how to successfully take a sabbatical.

Rich: In three hours! Dot io.

JLD: But you may – and you probably will – do a lot of things wrong on this sabbatical because you don’t know what you’re doing. But that’s the key because those are going to be the learnings and this is going to be a whole section on how to do a sabbatical right. But just as importantly this is all the things to avoid.

But that’s why Podcaster’s Paradise is so good, because I teach you how to podcast amazingly, but I teach you how to avoid making mistakes, because I made all the mistakes too. So that’s what you’d be doing with this sabbatical, you’d be documenting it. The wins, the losses, and you’d come back and you would just have all the knowledge that you wish you knew. But that’s the beauty, the thing that you wish you knew goes into the course so that people know that for free.

That’s exactly why I hired our mutual friend Jaime Masters before I launched my podcast, because she was already a successful podcaster and I knew she’d be able to tell me all the things she did wrong before she launched. And she did, which made my launch a huge success, because she told me all the roadblocks to avoid. That was key.

Rich: And one of the things I’ve also said about people like you and Pat Flynn and Mike Stelzner, is that you have no fear of investing money in your success. And Amy Porterfield, too.

JLD: She’s huge.

Rich: Yeah. And this is really big because in that scene in the Matrix when they’re on the rooftop and they need to escape and she’s like, “Let’s fly the helicopter”, and he’s like, “Do you know how to fly a helicopter?” And you can see her download the instructions on how to fly a helicopter and she’s like, “I do now.” And that’s not too far from real life, that’s what you do when you hire Jaime, or when one of us now or when you go to Cliff Ravenscraft’s class, or when one of us hires John Lee Dumas. It is basically like speeding up the learning curve and it’s basically downloading that knowledge direct to your head. Because you don’t have to make all the mistakes yourself, you can learn from other people’s mistakes if you’re willing to.

I think one thing that a lot of entrepreneurs and startup people are afraid of is investing too much of their money. And there is a” too much” point, there’s a point where you have to start creating. But it’s important for people to realize that you have to invest, and that’s the shortcut to success.

JLD: Especially when you live in places like California, because Amy and Pat are there. So when I see them hiring people and spending money on equipment and stuff, I think they should be because they’re either going to spend money on that stuff, or they‘re going to pay it in taxes. So it’s either going to be a write off or just investment in your business.

So for me moving to Puerto Rico, now I’m only paying 4% tax, it’s like, this is actually money coming out of my pocket. But that’s never going to stop me. I hired a CTO full-time, I invest in Facebook ads, and Google ads. In fact not right now but after the Super Funnel goes live, I’m going to be looking to kind of take over a country in South America. I know that sounds very ominous, but what I mean by that is I’m going to choose a country – it’s probably going to be Columbia – and I’m just going to flood the market with me. Trainings, tutorials, calls to action to your big idea. I’m going to get everything translated to Spanish and I’ll also have English – there’s a lot of English speakers there as well – and I’m just going to see if I can become what Gary Vaynerchuk is in the United States. Can I be that for a small South American country where the ad spend is about 1/20 to what it is up here for the exact same stuff. If I can own that, why not.

Rich: El Presidente, John Lee Dumas! Well I look forward to visiting your country.

JLD: Should I rename it?

Rich: You definitely should. JLD Land, Country on Fire!

JLD: En Fuego, that’s it.

Rich: Awesome. John, as always, pleasure to have you on the show and I wish you a lot of luck with this super funnel. Thanks for coming by.

JLD: So much fun, brother. Let’s do a high-five over the mic.


Show Notes:

As the Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas has been inspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. Now he’s helping people find their big idea and teaching them how to market it using a “super funnel” process. You will definitely want to follow JLD on Twitter, and check out his free, 3-hour training to find your own big idea.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he has added “author” to his resume with his new book!