Your Product Funnel (lessons from a California gym owner)

Last Thursday afternoon, after I had followed the Hollywood actress off the plane, I got on a crammed shuttle bus and was whisked off to a wonderful Thrifty Rent-a-Car.

And from there, in my sleek white Kia (which simply does not compare to my ’97 Maxima), I zoomed out of LA and up the coast to visit my friend who owns a gym in the area.

It was a beautiful drive, and I didn’t even have to deal with that legendary LA gridlock either.

(Although, eerily enough, I heard “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” on both the drive to Newhall and back to LA. Not exactly the song you want to hear while driving through Southern California.)

But back to my trip and your product funnel…

My friend runs the most profitable gym in America based on profit per square foot of gym space. He’s got his lead generation, customer acquisition, and even programming all down to a systematic science.

The gym runs smoothly and makes money even though he’s rarely there. Sounds ALMOST as good as an Internet business.

Not surprisingly, after word got out about the success of his gym, other gym owners started asking him for advice.

And so he started a business coaching program. I wanted to hear all  about it and he wanted to ask me a few questions to improve it, so we sat down in a breakfast restaurant across the street from his facility to dissect his coaching program.

As I devoured a breakfast burrito, he explained his funnel for getting new clients into the coaching program, AND he also passed along my new favorite business quote. We’ll get to that in a second.

First, let’s look at his product funnel, and then you can take some time today to brainstorm one for your business, or refine the one you currently use.

Level 1 – He sells a $20 business book (paperback) that introduces new readers to him, his training business, his gym, and to the idea that you need a mentor to succeed.

The low cost of the book allows him to use multiple distribution channels, including online (through his website and email list), and offline at the various seminars where he speaks.

The book also promotes the next levels of his product funnel.

Level 2 – He offers a $500 1-Day Business Seminar. This is offered in a joint venture between him and a major fitness retailer. It’s a great example of how everyone – not just Internet folks – can leverage partnerships. At the end of the 1-Day Seminar, the next levels of his funnel are offered.

Level 3 – There is a $2500 3-Day “Internship” at his facility. This is predominantly sold through the Level 2 seminar, and also through his email list (which grows from all the speaking he does).

At the end of the Internship, an offer is made for the 1-year coaching program, and a large percentage of people jump to the next level because they have already received extreme value through the Internship.

Level 4 – He runs a $10K 1-Year Coaching Program.

At this point, I told him he needs a Level 5 – a higher priced coaching program, or even some type of franchising or licensing. He appreciated that advice, and in return, he gave me this gem of wisdom:

“You should get paid the most for the things that come easiest to you.” – Adam Urbanski

At first that sounds counterintuitive, right? After all, we’ve been told over and over that we must work REALLY HARD for our money.

And that’s true, but you work hard to become the expert. Then you teach what you know best.

Think about it this way. I’m an expert at email writing, and can you teach it a million times better than ad words. So obviously, I should charge a high price to teach you excellent email copy skills, and I shouldn’t even think of trying to teach you ad words.

For my friend, the high level coaching program is where he gets paid the most, and it comes the easiest to him because of all the hard work he has done in the almost 15 years of running his gym.

Let this lesson sink in…

You should get paid the most for things that come EASIEST to you…because if they come easy to you, that means you are a true EXPERT in that field.

(Obviously, when I refer to things that come easy to you, I don’t mean playing X-Box and eating pizza. Haha.)

Now finally, let’s take a look at a sample online product funnel, using digital products instead of coaching.

Level 1 – Let’s start with a $40 e-book.

Here’s where you need to make your biggest shift in thinking. The ultimate purpose of “Level 1” is not to make all your money here, but instead to get as many people into your product funnel as possible so that you can continue to give them extreme value with higher priced products.

At this level, you have to be okay with spending $1 to make $1 – while getting a customer.

So that means paying for customers (through ads) and giving out high affiliate commissions (so that others will send you customers).

If you are cheap and refuse to adopt this mindset, you’ll struggle. Period. I’ll explain this more in a future email.

Level 2 – Upgrade clients to a higher value $200 product. This could be a membership site, or home study course, or DVDs.

Level 3 –  Add another level of value to create a package that sells for $500. This could be a live event, more videos, or perhaps a $50 per month print newsletter that gives you $600/year.

Level 4 – What could you offer for $1000? A certification? A more intensive 3-day live event? “Done for you” materials to help your clients boost their business or simplify their lives?

Write down every idea you have for each level, and we’ll refine your product funnel in the future.

And remember, the more your ideas are proprietary to you, the more value you will be able to offer, and the higher the price you will be able to command.

Ok, hope that product funnel lesson helped you out…

…but I must admit, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. You might not even have product #1 finalized.

So as I’ve mentioned before, we’re going to spend all of next week working on setting up your business with a system in place to help you create a $100K product in just 12 months.

After all, running your own business and creating your own wealth is the American Dream. And while some folks believe politicians are killing the American Dream, I’m here to tell you, as a Canadian who travels all over the United States of America, that the American Dream is still alive.

But it HAS changed.

The full story tomorrow.

Back to work,

Craig Ballantyne

“If the situation is not right in the long term, walk away from it. Maintain a long term outlook in all endeavors.” – Kekich Credo #33