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[E4C22] Sales Funnels Demystified – FusionHQ

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Today I made a momentous decision – I have decided to stay in Chiang Mai indefinitely. I’ve spent a lot of time assessing my optimal lifestyle design scenario. One scenario that I explored was spending 6 months in the SF Bay Area, 6 months elsewhere. I have to admit, I miss my tribe – and SF has a unique subculture that is a  blend of technology innovation, sustainability, social enterprise, spirituality, personal growth, music and art, that I find wonderfully expressed by the Burning Man community, that simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Not in New York, not in London, not in Ibiza.

But the housing market is really tight in the Bay Area – not a lot of people have an extra room they aren’t already renting out, and if they do, it’s mostly because they want to keep it as a spare guest room for short visits. As opposed to having a friend squat it for half a year.

So when I started looking at the cost of relocating back to the Bay Area for 6 months, the complexity of the process – having to overbid on well-priced rentals because it’s so competitive, leasing a car, “God, do I need to buy furniture?”,  etc, it started to feel like an uphill battle.

And so I took a step back and reflected on a resolution I made earlier this year, to be more in flow, to allow the Universe to carry me, rather than to engage in activities that feel like I am pushing the river.

Chiang Mai is a really easy & good place to be based as a location-independent Internet entrepreneur. And in this interview with Leon Jay, online marketer & lifestyle entrepreneur, author, and creator of fusionhq – a powerful, drag and drop online marketing platform and sales funnel in a box – we discuss why Chiang Mai rocks.

If you are a wisdompreneur, someone whose business is based on sharing your expertise, either through consulting, coaching, creating online programs, or selling digital information products, this interview will give you the framework on how to set up your online business. In this interview, Leon shares:

  • The anatomy of a sales funnel system.
  • The pitfalls of using WordPress to power your online business.
  • The 1 thing you should avoid when making follow-up offers to customers.
  • How to fine-tune your free opt-in giveaway to attract optimal signups, without hurting sales.
  • The most common mistakes inexperienced Internet marketers make when creating a sales funnel.
  • Why “free” might be the most expensive decision you make.

And much, much more.


Mentioned in this interview

  • Job North Thailand 
  • DigitalAccessPass
  • Gary Gray/Emotional Freedom Technique

Where to Find Leon

  • FusionHQ Website
  • Follow Leon on Twitter
  • Check out FusionHQ Facebook Page


Lorna: Hello, Leon. I want to take the opportunity to publicly thank you for creating such an awesome co-working space here in Chiang Mai. Your WiFi café, Coffee Monster, has just been a delightful place to work, with so much thought put in to making it a really comfortable co-working space for other digital nomads.

So, I just want to really express my appreciation to you and I’d love to also introduce you to my audience, and if you could share with us a little bit more about your background, what brought you here, and what you do?

Leon: Thanks. Well, I’ve been in the IM space now for probably just over 10 years or so. I’ve worked in a variety of capacities. I’ve been an affiliate manager for a multi-million dollar personnel development company. I was Director of Marketing for Mark Joyner, so you may know him as the godfather of internet marketing and basically the first person to ever sell an e-book online.

I’ve built a variety of my own little businesses and partnered up on a variety of projects including doing one launch, where we generated about $1.4 million in 10 days. More recently, I’ve been building my own platform for internet marketers, which is Fusion HQ. So, we setup that to enable online marketers and product owners to build and control their business from a centralized point.

As you just mentioned, most recently, we’ve been opening up the Coffee Monster café, which is more of a side project to enable other people to come together and meet each other and work together.

Lorna: Fantastic. So I’m curious to know how long you’ve been living in Thailand. Obviously, you like it here a lot, so I’d love to ask you what you love about it.

Leon: Yes. I came here five years ago, something like that – five and half years ago. It was actually after I finish working with Mark Joyner. I decided I wanted to start my own business again, and looked at places around the world that would be safe, that would have good infrastructure, particularly obviously good internet. That I could find and hire a team for a competitive price and that I could of course live myself, and basically maximize my budget so that I can invest as much of my savings back into my business as possible, while maintaining a decent lifestyle. Basically, Chiang Mai just tick all of those boxes, so that’s why I made a decision and it’s… never look back.

Lorna: I have to say that Chiang Mai is definitely a lovely place. It’s a big city. It’s the second largest city in Thailand but yet it feels like a small town. People are really laid back. The drivers are really courteous. No one’s trying to run me down on my scooter.

Leon: No. I don’t get the feeling of trying to be ripped off like a lot of tourist destinations. People are so chilled out here.

Lorna: I know. It’s so great not be a walking gringo cash machine.

Leon: Yet, we have all of the luxuries of Western living like the proper shopping malls, cinemas, high standard restaurants, and cafes and all of that but living in a fraction of the price in the West. To me, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re just trying to start a business, then Chiang Mai has to be up there as one of the best places in the world to live if you’re doing business online.

Lorna: Definitely. What I love about Chiang Mai is that it actually has a pretty good or strong thriving holistic culture as well. There’s lots of restaurants that serve organic, locally-produced food, no MSG. You can get super foods here as well.

Leon: Yes and it’s vegetarian capital of Thailand.

Lorna: Yes, lots of yoga also, meditation. It’s fantastic for those of you that really find it important to lead a conscious lifestyle.

Leon: Yes, that’s it. It’s got a real strong Buddhist culture here, and I think that you really do feel that. The people are just so considerate and as you said before, courteous. I think that just pervades all areas of life in Chiang Mai.

Lorna: Yes. So I’m also curious to know you were mentioning about hiring local talent here? Are you having good success with hiring local Thai people to do work for you and what kind of work?

Leon: I am. Now, it comes with word of caution to anybody trying to hire people in Thailand. If you’ve never done it before, it’s not as straightforward as some places. It’s certainly not perfect in terms of the talent pool here is limited. The quality in standard of education in Thailand isn’t the world’s greatest. That said, there are many people who are self-educated and hardworking, and really breaking free of their education background.

So there is talent here to be found. It does come under the fraction of the cost. It just takes a little bit longer to maybe find them in perhaps other places. So we’re using Thais for basically most of our programming. I’ve got a good team of programmers. We have my office manager. We have customer support. We’ve used them for video editing.

Essentially, there’s quite a range of different talent sets to be found here. If you’re looking for the best programmers, designers, and everything like that on average, then yes, I would suggest Philippines or Eastern Europe is generally better. But if you want to live here and you want to work with people locally, there are people to be found. They are here and when they are good, they are good.

Lorna: Is there a job portal that you recommend that has English speaking Thai talents?

Leon: I believe it’s JobNorthland.co.th, something like that. Again, my office manager deals with most of the hiring, but there a couple of online notice boards that most of the Thais look for particularly the more educated ones.

Lorna: Okay. So, can you tell us exactly what kind of business you are running these days? It seems that you had a pretty interesting career working on high profile IM launches, and now you have your own platform. Can you tell us more about it?

Leon: Yes. I started off with a lot of affiliate marketing, moved into more information marketing, and of course, they go very much hand in hand. Basically, what I found was that during the different launches, we found that there was a series of challenges that we were facing. So I wanted to come up with a solution. It was more a matter of trying to fulfill my own needs that we started developing Fusion HQ, and that has become more of a service-based business now because it’s an online platform for internet marketers to use. So now that takes up most of my time in terms of trying to ensure that we have the highest quality standards, that we have the latest features, and that more of my time goes into building and marketing that than my original background, which was more the launches, the affiliate, and information marketing side of things.

So, yes. It’s been an interesting transition from affiliate marketer to business owner but we are still very much hands-on with information in affiliate marketers, and we still do participate very much in that style of business.

Lorna: So pretty much, you’re entirely focused on building out and improving and promoting Fusion HQ as your primary business, but you also still participate in other types of affiliate marketing?

Leon: Yes. We use affiliates to help promote our product. Not only that, we have a backend revenue that we generate through promoting other people’s products, where they make sense. We still very much information and affiliate marketing, but it’s now moving more and more into a fully-fledged business with a full team of staff. We have people now working for us around the world, and focusing much more on trying to establish and grow their business.

Lorna: So tell me what Fusion HQ actually is.

Leon: It’s actually a platform that enables affiliate marketers and information marketers to build sales funnels, build membership websites, run affiliate campaigns, and build auto responder sequences. It includes its own CDN and hosting. So basically, it’s a total end-to-end solution for anyone wanting to do a business online.

Lorna: When I think about some of the other types of competitive products that are out there, for example, we have OptimizePress, there’s any number of WordPress plug-ins that you can use, DigitalAccess Pass, WishList Member™. Then, you’d also have your squeeze and sales page, types of platforms like Lead Pages, for example. How would you compare your product versus some of the more commonly-used products that are WordPress-based out there?

Leon: So, my biggest issues with WordPress are simply that basically why buy a bunch of different plug-ins that are designed to try and hack a core platform that was never meant to be what you’re trying to use it for? So what I mean by that is like with WordPress, it’s not meant to be a membership site. It’s not meant to be a sales funnel system. So the coding is never designed accurately.

That means things like WishListPro and OptimizePress are trying to force WordPress to do something that it was never designed to do. This is going to have a lot of knock on negative effects. Plus, you got to constantly try and keep the plug-ins updated, hope that the various plug-in providers will keep it updated, that there’s no conflicts with each of the plug-ins. Then, of course, there’s a multitude of security issues around WordPress and using an open-source platform.

The majority of our customers actually come from that background. Most of our customers, people who are using exactly those tools, WishList, OptimizePress, Infusion Soft, aMember, aWeber, GetResponse, and a variety of the other different tools that are out there. The main reason that they moved over to us is basically they are tired of the set-up time involved of constantly trying to patch things together, trying to fix things when they go wrong, trying to keep things updated, trying to handle the security concerns. One of the biggest issues we had, we were using aMember with, I believe, it was Get Response and WordPress and a couple of other plug-ins, to try and run the major launch that I mentioned earlier. The main issue we had with that was that customer support was a nightmare. I mean, an absolute nightmare in terms of the fact that every time we get a refund, it would take eight minutes because you would have to reverse the access inside of the membership site script. You would have to deactivate from the auto responder. You would have to reverse the affiliate commission inside the affiliate commission script, and you would have to reverse the payment, and notify that person that the refund had taken place.

Lorna: My god, it sounds like such a pain.

Leon: It’s a real pain in the ass. This is what most people don’t think about. This is the trouble: most amateur marketers, when they start online, they’re looking for the cheapest solutions, and they’re trying to patch things together. They’re looking for the most commonly-taught solutions. The truth is that they’re not always the best. In fact, they can cause you more headache, more stress, and cost you more money in the long-term than using a purpose-built solution that basically, in the case of the refund, would take 30 seconds to refund a customer and it’s done.

Everything is handled simultaneously. In the case of set-up, for that same launch, it took us about four weeks and three people to set up the entire platform, to integrate the different scripts, to get everything running, to test everything all the way through. In the case of Fusion HQ, just the tech set-up side of things now takes us about 60 seconds to do the entire thing, and that’s without anybody being professionally-trained in that set-up process.

So you can see we’ve gone from three trained staff taking four weeks to one semi trained staff taking 30 seconds to a minute. That’s a huge cost saving and a huge time saver in terms of every time we set up a new project. In the case of the project being running, we are saving ourselves eight minutes. Well, actually, I guess seven and half minutes for every time the refund is issued.

We’re minimizing a ton of different potential headaches and problems of integration and things that would go wrong during a normal set-up and testing process. In addition to that, just the simplicity of managing the system. We did one launch where we added $30,000 to a backend in revenue simply because we were using Fusion HQ, and we could add an exit pop-up at the last minute, which we’d completely forgotten about, and we saved $30,000 in revenue that would have been otherwise lost.

So when you start thinking about it, a lot of people are very short-sighted in the way that they setup their businesses. This is what we try to encourage and educate people that, if you’re not using Fusion HQ – obviously, we’re kind of biased; we love ourselves – but there are other platforms that can handle some of those solutions. The main issue is that you just simply choose one that is going to do the job properly from Day 1 because migrating is a real headache. Relearning everything is a real headache.

Lorna: So speaking about the learning curve around trying to master these systems – I already know that trying to patch together a sales funnel out of WordPress-based solutions and other third party providers is kind of significant because you have to learn how aWeber works, for example, versus how Get Response works versus how Digital Access Pass or WishList Member works. Then, it’s trying to compare the pros and cons between the two. Then, which squeeze and sales page do you use and why. So it’s like if you have five different platforms you try to cobble together, you’ve got five different pieces of software you got to learn.

Leon: And constantly update and constantly keep on top of. Most of those systems are not designed to communicate with each other. They’re simply built independently, and then people learn how to try and hack them and push them together. That causes all sorts of problems. Let’s take WishList, for example.

Not that I have anything particularly against WishList, but I have friends who’ve used it in the past, and they complain that they can lose on average about 30 to 40 percent of their sales because of using WishList. The reason for that is simply that the way WishList handles a member set up is that after the person has purchased, they are then asked to create their access account. Well, that particular page is not secure. So, what happens is that some people go and would go and now make a single purchase, copy that setup URL and then share it on various forums. So the WishList owner now has the problem that there’s loads of unauthorized people getting access to that URL, setting up accounts, and they have no idea who was a legitimate user and who wasn’t.

Lorna: I recall, when I was trying to address that issue with DigitalAccessPass, they gave me – I think for every customer that purchased, we got an expiring URL. So essentially, after a certain period of time, that URL would no longer work. Then, each person you could basically allocate a maximum number of IPs they could access the product from. So, that was a way of addressing that. Does your product use something like that?

Leon: We go to a little more extremist lengths to try to protect. So basically, only one account can ever be created per purchase. Each account is limited to two IPs but can automatically be reset but only reset by the purchasing email address. So that means that basically, they don’t need to contact support, you can reset URL direct from where they are, which reduced customer support headaches.

Also, only one person can be logged in with one set of details at any one time. So if you do have somebody sharing the login username, it automatically logs out whoever else is logged in at that particular time. So only one person can be logged in at one time. Only two IPs can be used before basically it resets and needs the original e-mail address to authorize it. It resets the IP address based on the IP of the e-mail received; whoever’s clicked on the link inside of that e-mail, it resets itself about IP address. So that basically means that only the account owner can ever get access to the area, and only one person is logged in at one time.

Lorna: So what’s the learning curve on Fusion HQ?

Leon: Very fast, relatively speaking; it all depends on basically how tech-savvy you are. There’s no real coding required. However, some people are just naturally intuitive towards operating software, and some people are naturally not. So, we found that many people are very fast, they just pick it up. Others require a little bit more of a learning curve. But if they can’t handle learning Fusion HQ, they’re certainly not going to handle learning other platforms, and try to connect different platforms together.

The other variable is, essentially, if you know what you’re trying to achieve, and you’re very clear about what you want to achieve, then most people who are in that situation get results very fast. If you’re not clear, then there’s a learning curve associated to trying to learn exactly what kind of business you’re setting up.

But to help overcome that, we’ve got a bunch of pre-made business templates inside Fusion HQ, which means you can actually have a business even without having a clue what you’re doing and setup within 60 seconds. You literally just punch in a bunch of customized variables like your name, your PayPal address, and the URL you want to use, and it will setup the entire business for you, and then you can go through a process of actually learning how to edit that business and customize that business. So, it’s really designed for the total beginner, right through to the real true professional.

Lorna: Is there any need for developers to be involved?

Leon: No, absolutely not.

Lorna: Very compelling.

Leon: Everything is drag and drop.

Lorna: Okay. Is there any way I could take a test drive?

Leon: Absolutely, we can hook something up.
Lorna: Cool. So I want to hop aback to much more other foundational question especially for those people that are really not familiar with how a sales funnel works. Can you explain what a sales funnel actually is, and then break down all the core pieces of a sales funnel?

Leon: Yes. So essentially, a sales funnel is nothing more than an online process, and it starts with either somebody opting in or somebody making a purchase. So if somebody opts in, that’s your typical squeeze page, or sometimes called landing page, something like that. Essentially, when somebody is asked for their first name and their e-mail address to get access to a free gift or something like that. That’s used for the list-building.

Quite often that the front end of a sales funnel, we have a list-building component, where we capture the name and e-mail address. Sometimes, that’s bypassed and we’re using a front end product – quite often, a low ticket item, maybe $27, maybe $47. In the case of a big launch, it could be a high ticket item maybe 497 or 997. But that’s the beginning of the process.

The sales funnel then expands to providing various other offers that are directly connect and related to the initial offer. So let’s take an example of having a squeeze page and having somebody opt in. Maybe they’re opting in for a training course on some personal development technique. It’s a free report, maybe just a small manual on how to use this technique, what it is, and how to use the basics.

Then, the next page may say, “Hey look, seeing as you’re here, perhaps, you’re interested in getting a special offer on the online DVD training course.” So we’ve got this online video course that goes in, and it teaches you, in far more, detail how to use this technique. That’s going to be $97. Normally sells at $197 but if you take advantage now, you’re going to get it for $97. So, this is what we typically call the OTO or the one-time offer.

That’s just simply giving massive value to somebody who is in that present moment. This is hugely powerful. I mean, this is really the essence of internet marketing; is to be able to take somebody, qualify them by getting them to opt in, and then presenting them a very compelling offer on the next page. Now, that’s a very short sales funnel. From there, we can then expand it out and we can have upsales and downsales.

So from there, if they say yes to that, we can take them through what’s called an upsale. So now we’re offering them perhaps to come to a live event, or have some personal one-on-one coaching, or maybe take the advanced DVD training course or the advanced membership access. So essentially, we can keep taking them up each time they say yes to an offer, we can then present them with another offer.

To do this correctly, you always want to be adding value and not devaluing what they just previously bought. I’ve seen this done wrongly so many times, where basically somebody goes in and they make an offer for something that’s completely unconnected. Or they’ll start the sentence with something like, “Now, that you’ve just bought this, if you want to know the real truth, the real secrets, or the real strategy to success in this particular technique, now you need to buy this course.”

What it just basically doing is saying, “Well, the thing that you just purchased beforehand is a waste of time because you won’t be able to get success unless you buy this upsale product.” That doesn’t really work. It’s just devaluing what people have bought previously. So, always in an upsale process, in a sales funnel process, always be looking to add value and increase the value of the previous purchase, not devalue what they’ve just bought.

Lorna: So you’re basically moving them up the value chain of progressive…

Leon: Right, through an ascension model.

Lorna: Okay. So, let me ask you about the opt in giveaway. Is there any type of best practice around what opt in giveaway you create? Is it much better for it to be a light free gift or kind of like massive download? But I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve got a pretty massive download as an opt in giveaway, and I’m wondering if it that should just be a product.

Leon: Well, this is often something that you need to split test, and this is whole another thing around sales funnels, right – that’s one of things we’re very heavy on in Fusion HQ is to be able to split test your sales funnels. So the truth is I can’t answer you accurately. I don’t know. It’s going to depend on your niche. It’s going to depend on your perception of high value. It’s going to depend on how you positioned it, and it also depends on what you’ve got to sell after that.

So, there is a danger – and there’s always a balance – the danger is that if you give away too much value on the front, you don’t have enough to then sell them on the back. If you have another product that is marginally better than the one that you just gave away, then it’s going to be difficult for somebody to part with the money because they would say, “Why should I pay $100 for that when I’ve got all of this value for free?”

You see there are a lot of websites do this, the whole freemium model on online web businesses is been boarding to question by more than one online entrepreneur. Basically, in a lot of testing that’s been done, when you have a free account for something, quite often what it does is actually devalue the paid accounts that you have. So, yes. People got a lot of signups. They build their lists, but they’re building their list with freebie-seekers.

They’re actually getting people who would have bought, not buying, simply because they don’t feel that the value that you’re asking for the upsale, to buy the premium version, is worth the difference between what you’re giving away on the front end if you give away too much value on the front end. So in the case of audio digital products or information products, the same thing applies. If you give away too much information on the front, the next level is not significantly different, then you actually reduce your conversions on the sales that follow within the sales funnel.

On the other side, if you don’t give away enough value, then people don’t opt in and you don’t build your list. Nobody maybe even sees the offers if you’re making them actually opt in before they get in to see an actual sales page.

So there is a definite very fine balance, and each different new industry is going to have different tolerances. Each individual sales funnels is going to have its own variables as to what that point is because as I say, it’s going to depend on how much value you can then offer after the free one, after that free opt in.

Lorna: Okay. So when you bring the visitor who has opted in through your sequence of value added offers, what does that look like exactly? Is it going to be succession of pages that they get hit with pretty much after they get their free gift?

Leon: Yes, absolutely. That’s the typical thing you’ve seen a hundred times, and we all hate it, and yet we all respond to it.

Lorna: I received that actually two minutes before getting you on this interview.

Leon: It’s a painful truth. Even as marketers, we understand the strategies of scarcity and limitation and offers and upsales and downsales, yet we are human and we still respond to them. So in all of the testing that we’ve seen, it’s really important to understand that even though there’s a lot of resistance by people to use this kind of techniques, if you want to increase your business, know that they work. So basically, yes. The first thing you’ll see is the opt in page. The next thing you’ll see is the one-time offer page and with the “Buy Now” button and the “No, Thank You” button. If they buy, then they’ll see the next page. It will be an upsale. Maybe if they click “No, Thanks,” maybe they’ll be given another offer.

Note, downsales are extremely powerful. They’re very, very easy because basically, you can take the same offer, and perhaps remove some of the bonuses from it and sell it for less. Or maybe offer a 7-day free trial to the same product. So it’s very easy to take exactly the same offer and just repackage it slightly or adjust the payment plan slightly, and get some people who previously said no to now say yes. That adds a very serious increase in your ROI per lead. It’s also really important to understand that one of the reasons why this is so effective is the fact that there is very few times in this world where you have somebody’s undivided attention.

So, let’s take for example, if you walk into a bookstore, and you’re looking for a book on internet marketing, for example, and you go to the business section and there’s bunch of books on internet marketing and you have no idea which one to buy. All you’ve got is basically the front cover – usually just leaving a spine as a headline to grab your attention – you’ve then got to take a physical action; now read the front cover, see if that’s gripping enough to make you turn it over and read the back cover hopefully that’s enough to then make you flick through it and make the decision to buy. At the same time, you’ve got lots of other competing titles right next to it.

Plus, also as a book on that bookstore, you’re not targeted. Everybody who walks in to that bookstore isn’t a targeted customer. But online, if you get somebody to actually opt in, now you’ve got their undivided attention. You don’t have a bunch of other links going off into different places. You actually have a single sales page with one specific focus and attention.

You have already prequalified the potential buyer because they’ve taken the time to opt in, and so they’re showing that they have an interest in your particular niche or subject. So now, they’re focusing on a sales page, now you can have an entire sales page to sell them on that same book. This is why basically e-books can often sell for more than a physical book even though they’re often less content, poorly-edited, poorly-written, have no hard cost associated to them, and yet you can still sell them for more.

This is really a very, very important concept and principle to understand online. So basically, we can take them through these stages. It’s the same way that, for example, a car salesman sells you a car, his best opportunity to get you to upgrade the tires, to get you to upgrade the mags, to upgrade the insurance, to upgrade the seats, the steering wheel – all this type of thing is easy to do at the point of purchase when somebody is already committed to that particular product than it is to do at a later date.

Lorna: So how many offers should you make in the very beginning, immediately after the opt in, before enough is enough?

Leon: Great question. Again, the truth is, that’s a very variable answer, and only split testing will really tell you how tolerant your particular niche and audience is going to be. Part of that is going to be down to how well you’ve positioned them; if you start giving them a bunch of random offers – so, one of my first ever websites was on a therapeutic technique called EFT…

Lorna: What do you think about EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique?

Leon: I’ve disproved the theories behind why it says that it works but at the same, I know that it does actually work. So, I’ve seen huge results with the EFT with a lot of customers and clients but at the same time, I’ll be the first one to tell you that whatever Gary Gray teaches as logic behind why it works, is completely wrong. That’s why it’s so easy to disprove why the so much controversy around it. Yet, at the same time, those people I know that have use it in a therapeutic setting have had incredible results.

Lorna: As long as it works, baby.

Leon: Precisely. So, controversial question; essentially, if somebody opts in to EFT, why would I go and sell them a course on hypnosis? It’s connected; there’s overlap, and it’s the same potential audience, but essentially all I’m going to do is to start annoying them because they’re there for the information about EFT.

So, basically their tolerance level is going to be connected; how many offers you can present is going to be how targeted those offers are, and obviously, the natural therapies niche, their tolerance is a little lower for getting sold to. In the IM niche, we’re a little bit more adjusted to it and get used to it, so we can get away with presenting a few more offers. But again, people’s patience still wears thin if those offers are not connected, and are not offering genuine additional value to the previous choice they made. So, in short, I would say no more than usually one to two offers after the initial opt-in or the initial purchase.

Lorna: What do you recommend for split testing?

Leon: Split test everything.

Lorna: Okay. Is there a platform that you recommend?

Leon: Fusion HQ.

Lorna: Okay.

Leon: We have in-build split testing. I never used to do split testing. I knew I should do split testing but I never did it because it was a pain in the ass – let’s be honest about it – to install scripts, to do tracking, to do checking, and everything else. In Fusion, when you create a sales funnel page, you create a squeeze page, you create sales page. All you have to do is click AB, and it copies the page that you’ve just created, and creates a duplicate of it, and allows you to basically make changes to that duplicated page, and you just click upload, and it’s basically live. Whenever you go back to that sales funnel, you actually can visually see the AB split test results happening in real time, which is really fun when you’re doing a launch and you’re getting massive traffic for it because you can literally see which page is working in front of your very eyes, and go and make the changes and updates very quickly.

Lorna: So tell me for someone who’s not necessarily an internet marketing veteran, what are some of the most common mistakes people make around setting up their sales funnel?

Leon: The first thing I see people doing is trying to make it too complicated from Day 1. Perhaps one of the most common problems is that people go in and they basically try to create this elaborate sales funnels with three upsales and five downsales, and all sorts of things going on, and really they don’t have the experience. To me, when you start a sales funnel, start with the opt-in. That’s it.

Once you got the opt-in working, now add the sales page behind it. Once you’ve got that working, then consider how you can maybe create a downsale because that’s the easiest one to do. Then, create a upsale, and slowly build out your sales funnel a piece at a time. People are always worried, “What about the sales that I’m losing?” I can tell you, you lose more sales by not having something online and operational, than you do from trying to actually get something perfect.

Lorna: Yes but there’s a bit of a lag time so I’m wondering does it make sense to have all your stuff ready first, and then go live? Let’s say it takes you sometime between the opt-in giveaway and then figuring out what you want to sell. So, in the meantime, there’s going to be a gap between when they opted in and when you have your product ready and it could be days or weeks. What do you do to fill up the time in between then?

Leon: Basically, you can always be working on your business, and I don’t see that there should be any lag time. In terms of just getting things published – once you got your opt in from working, get it published, get in online. It doesn’t mean you need to spend a huge amount of time and effort trying to generate traffic to it, but at least have it published, at least have it online. Maybe start sending a little bit of Facebook traffic to it ,or to do some Adwords so that you can just start testing your opt in rights. You want to make sure those are working before you spend too much time building out the rest of the backend.

In addition to that, the truth is, most people never go back and fix what’s broken. Once it’s up live, then it’s done. In the mind, it’s taken care of. Basically, they’re missing the opportunity to really test and optimize each section. You want to go from that to getting a product in the back of there as quickly as possible. Of course, there’s no point you really try to generate traffic until you got something that’s going to convert and make money.

Even just having the opt in, at least you’re building a list. That means that once you do have your product, you now have a small list that you can start testing that sales page to. You actually have a list that you can see how your sales page is going to convert and whether people really want the product that you’re building.

There’s no point in adding an upsale or downsale to a product that nobody actually wants. We’re always assuming that people want our product. We don’t ever really test. So by doing it step by step, we’re actually testing it; each stage of the process, we’re actually making sure that we’re building a list. Again, if nobody’s going to opt in to your list because perhaps your product and your niche is simply not that desirable, then you’re going to waste a lot of time and money building out copy and products and building out sales funnels just to find that the project is a failure. Whereas, if you can prove that people are opting in, you can prove that you’ve got a genuinely interested audience, then there’s a much higher chance that that audience is going to then buy from you.

Once you’ve got that first product in, you can prove that people are buying, you’ve got a much better chance to show that you can then add an upsale. If you add a downsale in, then once you got metrics happening, you’ve got something that’s actually going to increase the number of sales being made, simply because you’ve actually got traffic, you’ve got the product and everything else. But if you try and go straight to the end and you try to have this fully-optimized sales funnel, and you’re really worrying about… the reason you’re doing this is to avoid losing sales because “What’s the point of generating traffic if I haven’t got a product there?”, then you’re missing the whole point that – let’s say it takes you two weeks to build that product – well, it only takes you one day to just create an opt-in form. That’s it, right? It takes days to create an opt-in form, so why make it more complicated than that? Get the opt in form made, get it up online, start building a list. That means you have now two weeks while you’re building your product, a month, two months, however long it takes you to build the product to get the next page up and ready; at least you’ve got that opt-in form generating and building a list for you when you’re ready and good to go. Once that product’s in place, put it straight in. Then you can start building out the rest of the sales funnel after that because you’ve actually got something in place already.

Lorna: Let’s say, it takes you two months to build that product, are you then sending emails to your list during the two months just so that you stay top of mind. If you don’t obtain connection with them, then they might be like, “Who are you?”

Leon: Yes, you’re absolutely right. Going back to what’s the ideal way to do an opt-in form; one of the things that I see very few people do, and yet it’s the most effective thing that you can ever do, is to create a 7-part auto responder sequence as your giveaway. So, rather than having high value giveaways, or e-books, or software or anything else, one of the simplest things you can do is to have a 7-part auto responder course which is a training program. The reason I do that is simply because then people learn to expect your e-mails, and to look forward to your e-mails, and to associate them with valuable content. That increases your open rate, it increases your conversions later on.

Lorna: Okay. So it sounds like then the best things to have in place before, from the very beginning, is your opt-in squeeze page copy, your opt-in giveaway, and then the series of e-mails so that you can maintain contact.

Leon: The series of e-mails is the opt-in giveaway. So when I create the squeeze page, it’s “Sign in for your 7-part course to… whatever it may be.” That way, you can basically get the opt-in course when you’ve only got one small piece of content. Once that’s up, then it gives you the motivation to make sure Day 2 is in place before the first person reaches Day 2, and so on. The truth is that those parts actually can be very, very light. I’ve got one that’s nothing more than about three to four paragraphs for each of the days. That’s it. If you know your content, that can literally take you no more than an hour to two hours to write the entire 7-part auto responder sequence because it’s literally just giving away the kind of key highlights. You can have the whole thing literally setup in no more than two to three hours. Once you’ve got the opt-in form up an in place, that auto responder will be taking care of the relationship-building for you while you go out and start focusing more on the sales product.

Lorna: How do you then continue to maintain the sales funnel? I think there’s two areas of maintaining sales funnel. One area is the traffic. You have to keep traffic flowing into it, and the second thing is to continue to provide content and offers.

Leon: Within the sales funnel, for me, once they’re setup, they’re setup. Those products are in place once the thing is done. You want to spend a while optimizing it to make sure that it’s functioning correctly but I’m all about set and forget. So to be honest, when I create an information product, I want to be able to scale. That basically means that once a sales funnel’s in place, it needs to be able to run on its own.

I need to be able to walk away. I want automated businesses. I don’t want businesses I have to focus on and manage too much. So basically, once the squeeze page is set up and working, it’s got a product behind it, it’s got a couple of upsales, downsales, and those products are all in place, have been tested, and it’s running properly, I can walk away from it and then focus on the traffic.

My favorite form of traffic is affiliate traffic. The reason being is because the affiliates would go out and do all of the hard work of perpetually generating new traffic for that product. Why spend a heap of time on social media, for example, when you can have affiliates going and do the hard work in social media for you?

Why become an SEO expert, which requires constant updating, constant learning, and is constantly at risk of being penalized by a latest Google change, when you can have affiliates do that for you? Why become an expert in paid advertising, which really requires a lot of time and money to master to really become effective, when you can have affiliates going out doing the paid advertising for you?

Lorna: So then, it’s a matter of figuring out where the appropriate affiliate partners are and giving them a compelling reason to promote your product.

Leon: Correct.

Lorna: So then, by throwing paid traffic at your sales funnel, in the beginning, you can at least come up with the steps.

Leon: Right. This is definitely the biggest challenge. The truth is once you start in getting your own list built, you can start testing it on your own list as well. So I understand that for when you first get started online, it’s kind of a little like Catch 22; it’s chicken or the egg. It can be a little challenging for people to get momentum because they need this list so that they can get started. So this is where it is definitely worth investing and perhaps generating a little bit of paid traffic. I’m not such a big fan of social media; I find that mostly when people go into social media, they are there to socialize. I’m more a fan of the earliest form of social media which is forums. If I want to generate paid customers, then forums are outstanding because they are in that forum to really gain knowledge about my particular niche.

So, that means if I can generate leads out of a forum, even though they may not be a huge flood, they will be highly-targeted and high-converting. That can often give me my initial list-building and it can give me my initial sales test results.

Lorna: You mentioned automation. How do you automate your sales funnel?

Leon: By using somebody at Fusion HQ or setting it up correctly. Everything is taken care of. For example, once it’s up online, whenever a customer comes to that page, they see the offer. When they buy, the system takes care of the purchase. If they a buy a membership, then the membership is taken care of automatically. They will sign a membership, and it automatically sent out their details in an auto responder. Any of the training that’s relevant to that purchase is automatically handled by an auto responder.

If they decide to refund and they refund from PayPal, for example, then that is notified straight to the system; it doesn’t even need to go to customer support; it’s automatically deactivating their account. So as much as possible, it’s completely automated. And by, as I say, using affiliates to generate traffic, you’re really not even have to handle the traffic generation side of things. You’re really kind of very hands-off.

I do tend to be a big fan of team-building as well and always look at building my team. I never made money. I made bits of money, don’t get me wrong, I made some money online. I never really made any serious money until I started partnering with people, and building a team. This was my biggest mistake with trying to become a solo entrepreneur.

In the internet world, you have to remember that to become a professional copywriter takes a long time. To learn how to do graphics very well and professionally takes a long time. To learn how to set up systems and sales funnels takes time, to build a product takes time, to handle customers takes time.

So one of the first things I did was learn to start outsourcing my customer support, and that freed up huge amounts of my time. Once I learn to be able to teach customer support to simply handle the basic transactions, refunds, that kind of thing, that meant that I was fully hands-off on dealing with customers. That meant I could really start focusing on building the business more and more. Once I started partnering with programmers, with designers, with other content creators, again, it meant that I could start focusing more and more on my skillset apart from the business that I enjoy. So you asked before, what’s the biggest mistake most people make? I would stay it’s not teaming up with other people, and it’s trying to do too much of it themself.

Lorna: Absolutely. I would say you, as an entrepreneur, the value of your time is priceless. You shouldn’t be spending any of your time executing menial tasks.

Leon: No. At the same time, you shouldn’t be executing most of the tasks. If you’re really good, and want to really build a business, you identify what is your core skill. Know your core and focus on it or core passion. You need to basically make sure that your core skill and core passion overlap. Anything else in the business, find somebody else to partner with, or hire, or take care of. Otherwise, you will find that you will procrastinate over the details.

So for me, I was an affiliate manager but I didn’t really enjoy it that much, so when I got out of the affiliate management business, and I built Fusion HQ, I took on a full-time affiliate manager. I got somebody else to do that part of my business because I recognize that it was the core of our traffic generation, and I knew that it needed to be done, and I knew that it needed to be done well… and I wanted to enjoy business. I want to enjoy what I do. Even though I’m fully qualified – I have all the skills, it’s what I did before – but I choose not to do it because if I did it, it would never be done as well it needs to be done. It would be procrastinated over, and I wouldn’t have enough time to do everything else. So that meant taking on somebody else.

This is the truth. You know, if you really want to make money, then follow the wisdom of team. Together, everybody achieves more. I think that’s the biggest mistake that many entrepreneurs make is because they fear that somebody… that they can do it better than somebody else, or that they’ll want to take a total control, that they’re constantly fighting, or the biggest lie that most people have for themselves is that they can’t afford to take on somebody else.

I lived with that lie for over four to five years. I never started making more money. I didn’t suddenly make thousands of dollars where I could start hiring other people; I had to realize that what I needed to do is simply team up with other people. That way, there’s another big advantage is that you also create accountability because by having a team partner or a JV partner, you’re now being accountable. When you say you’re going to get something done by a certain date, you get it done. If you say to yourself, you can get it done by certain date, chances are, it will get delayed. This is just human nature. So later on, once you start building on your successes, then you start having the luxury of being able to hire the right team members because you’ve got the money to reinvest. You can start thinking more about how to hire the right team, how to hire the right people and maintain 100 percent ownership of your business. In the early days, I would suggest most people don’t have that luxury unless they’ve got some capital to invest.

Lorna: Okay. So we’re coming to the end of our interview. I’d like with these last three questions. What do you think is the most effective way to change the world?

Leon: Start with yourself. That’s a short answer.

Lorna: Fantastic. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Leon: Absolutely. You cannot expect anybody else to do something when you’re not prepared to do it yourself. I think too many people wait around for somebody else to do something. If you can see something that needs to be done, be the person that gets off your ass and do it. Basically, I see that there’s a lot of misinformation around global change, a lot of misinformation around health. There’s a lot of misinformation about ecology. There’s a lot of misinformation around economics.

The truth is that, if we want to really change the world, then start living how we want to see it to be. We can’t really do much more than that. We’ve got certain statistics, for example, to show us that a lot of people are wasting – I can’t remember the exact statistics now – but it’s billion of hours every year of human potential is wasted sitting in commuter traffic. The amount of pollution generated by people sitting in cars in commuter traffic. The amount of energy wasted because of inefficient offices, and the way that cities are run.

And so perhaps one of the first things we can learn to do is become a home-based business, become entrepreneurial, be able to run business online. It’s one of the first things we can do to help add definite impact on the world, by ensuring that when we create businesses, they’re there to help people that they’re there to provide value, that they’re there to help educate people and provide services to people to make the world a better place, rather than chasing money.

I think this is again for me one of the biggest mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs make – I use “rather” likely there – but people starting online is that they’re running around trying to chase the goose that lays the golden egg, rather than trying to figure out how they can create something that provides value. All they’re looking for is cash and when we do that and we operate that way, we build businesses that really give us little satisfaction; we create businesses that provide the world with very little value, and there’s a much greater chance that we can run from one opportunity to the next without ever really generating a significant income.

Lorna: So what is your life purpose and are you fulfilling your life purpose right now?

Leon: Yes. My life purpose is to help people to become essentially the best that they can be in whatever they’re doing. So we provide the information. We provide the tools for people to build their online business. To help those people then reach other people by being able to focus on disseminating useful information that can help change the world, and give them the tools to be able to do that without having to get caught down and tied up in lengthy learning processes and technical knowledge and un-useful skills that are really unnecessary to running a business when they should be focusing on delivering value.

Lorna: How can we best be in touch with you, Leon?

Leon: Basically, go to FusionHQ.com and check out the support desk – [email protected] – I get all of the mail from there, and people can contact me direct from there.

Lorna: Thank you so much for sharing with us your knowledge and experience.

Leon: My pleasure.


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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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