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Topics of Conversation:
[0:00:35.1] Company Profile
[0:08:10.1] On Charging High-ticket Prices
[0:09:33.2] How the Program Started
[0:11:44.8] How the Product/service is Sold
[0:15:29.3] Russell’s Role on his Business
[0:19:21.4] Post-Program Process
[0:24:00.1] On Mastermind Involvement
[0:28:28.1] On Russ Biggest Business Breakthrough
[0:35:35.1] How Russ Day Typically Look Like
[0:42:32.5] How to Reach Russ/Closing
Reach out to Russ Ruffino:
Facebook : Russell Ruffino
[0:00:14.7] Stephen: Hey, it’s Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move.
And today, I’ve got Russell Ruffino with me.
How are you doing?
Russ: Hey. How are you, Stephen?
Stephen: Now is it Russell or Russ? I’ve seen it’s changed online. What do you prefer to be called?
Russ: I usually go by Russ, so.
Stephen: Russ. All right. Let’s stick with Russ. So, Russ, tell our audience a little bit about what you do and who your target market is.
[0:00:35.1] Russ: So basically, we work with coaches, consultants, thought leaders, but also high-level service providers like graphic designers, attorneys, accountants, basically anybody who’s got a really amazing offer that has transformative power, either to help somebody with their life, or to help somebody with their business.
So basically, we work with people that really have like a legitimate, amazing value to deliver for people.
And when we find someone like that, basically, what we do is we help them get the right clients at the right price any time they want.
Russ: So, most of our clients go from charging, I don’t know, $200 an hour, $100 an hour, maybe they’re selling video courses or whatever for $197. We help them reposition their offer so that they can charge $5,000, $8,000, $10,000 for what they do.
Stephen: Yeah. Awesome. So it’s a lot of high-ticket selling, I guess, for these sorts of industries?
Russ: Yeah, it’s pretty much all high-ticket selling. We don’t really teach people how to do low-ticket stuff.
Stephen: Yeah. That’s awesome. And do you use it, so when you say “high-ticket,” is it just the one product for each person? So do they have one core product or do you send them to like a mastermind as well? What’s your sort of methodology behind that?
[0:01:42.0] Russ: Well, most of our clients, what they want is they want leverage and they want to make more money. So we really help them optimize like three things: their income, their lifestyle and their freedom, and then also their contribution.
So most of the people come to us, they want to create a high-ticket signature offer. So they’ve either been trading their time for money, by like seeing people in their office one-on-one.
Or if they’ve been selling information products, they’re selling them at a really low price. And so, they come to us and they say, “Listen, I’m working way too hard. I’m not charging enough money.
And we say, “Okay. Well, let’s put together one offer. That’s your high-ticket signature offer.
We’ll price it anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, whatever you’re comfortable with. Whatever you think the value is.” And most of the time, that takes the form of like a six to eight-week workshop, if they’re a coach or consultant.
Or if they’re a service provider, they’re going to deliver whatever service they were delivering. Before, we just help them deliver in a more streamlined way.
Stephen: Right. So, I guess when you say “six to eight-week workshop,” what does that look like? So give me an example of one of the previews.
Russ: Okay, so I’ll give you a perfect example. Let’s just say that you wanted to put together a workshop about how to have an amazing podcast, for example.
Russ: Not because that’s your area of expertise, so what we would do is we would work together and we would figure out,
“Okay, so what’s point A and what’s point B?”
So what’s point A where your target market is right now or they have this terrible problem, either they have no visibility maybe, or they have no authority, or they’ve got no exposure in the market place. And then, you’re going to help them create this podcast so that they have all those things, they have authority and they have exposure.
They have a place to talk about, the services they provide and a way to make contacts with other people, who they interview. And all those amazing things that a podcast gives you, right? So we would break down,
“Okay. Well, what are the steps that they need to go through to do that?”
And we would take that and arrange that into a six to eight-week workshop. And so, the format that most of our clients use is every week, they’ll deliver one piece of that training, okay? So maybe week one of your workshop would be, “Okay, we’re going to figure out what your podcast is about.”
We’re going to come up with a title. We’re going to come up with a concept. And maybe we’re going to outline our first episode. Okay, so that might be week one.
Russ: Week two might be getting the equipment together, getting all that stuff together, and recording the first episode and so on. So every week, you deliver one piece of the training that moves them a little bit further down the path. And then once a week, you get everybody who’s in the program together on a Q-and-A call all at once.
Stephen: Right. That’s awesome. So are a lot of these membership sites that people just use and then obviously they’ll sell those to their clients? Is that how most of them would work?
Russell: Yeah, so it’s up to you. So like, let’s say that you wanted to deliver a live workshop, you could do a webinar or otherwise will allow it to offer. And say, “Hey, I’ve got this workshop. It’s starting in two weeks.
I’m going to accept 20 people. It’s $5,000. And the workshop is going to go for the next six weeks.” You could just deliver it live if you wanted to do.
Or if you want to create the training ahead of time, then what you could do is you could put it in the membership area and then drip feed it, where they get one training module at a time. But the great thing about this is that you go from having to work with clients one-on-one, right, or having to sell your stuff for a low price to being able to charge somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. And really, your only time commitment is that once a week, you’re delivering the training to everybody all at once, and then once a week, you’re delivering the Q-and-A to everybody all at once.
So your total time commitment is like four-five hours a week. That’s it.
Stephen: Yeah. It’s ridiculously leveraged. I know there’s a guy in Australia, Taki Moore as well. He does something similar, I think. I mean, like I love this, the model how you can really just leverage your time and go from one-on-one to one-to-many and charge a premium price like you’ve mentioned.
It’s awesome. So obviously, there’s a big step-up. I’m sure your clients would be more familiar with selling these low-ticket items, and low-ticket numbers, because you’re selling high-ticket.
Does that mean you have to train them in selling them and getting people on the phone and selling a higher price product like that?
Russ: Well, I don’t believe it’s any more difficult to sell something for $10,000 than it is to sell something for $197. Either way, the person has to make a decision to buy. And either way, they have to see the value and so on.
The difference is this: Let’s just say that I wanted to make, I don’t know, $100,000 a month, right? If my product is $200, then I need to sell—what do I need to sell, like 500 of those, right? Or 5,000 of those.
Stephen: Yeah. It’s a lot.
Russ: Yeah. So, it’s a lot. Either way, I’m sure if 500, the easy way, there’s too many people to deliver a quality service to you, right? But if I want, if my product is $5,000, I need 20 guys, right?
Russ: So that allows me the ability, like if I’m charging $5,000 now, I have 20 people that I’m working with. I mean, I can really go the best for those people. I can get them a phenomenal result.
I can do amazing work with them. Whereas if you work with 500 people at a time, a thousand people at a time, they’re not getting any kind of attention.
And if they’re not getting any kind of attention, they’re probably not going to get any kind of result. And, I mean, that’s just the reality of the market place that we’re in.
If you’re doing this big launches and you’re selling a thousand copies of something, it’s a successful launch.
But what happens to those people afterward?
How much attention are they going to get?
Very, very little. And there’s a flipside of that coin as well. And I know you’ve probably bought a bunch of products in the past, right? And then still have.
Stephen: Yeah, of course.
Russ: How many times have you spent like, I don’t know, $47 on a product or $197 on a product and then just done nothing with that?
Stephen: It’s always with products that end with a seven as well, isn’t it? It’s always that. It’s always $47, $97, $37, $27, you know the products.
Russ: Totally. But if I invest $5,000, you can bet your ass that I’m going to show up ready your work. I’m going to do everything you tell me to and I’m really going to take action.
And I’m probably going to get the result, and then be a phenomenal testimonial or case study for you. So everybody wins when you do it this way. You make more money, you leverage your time.
But at the same time, you can go way above and beyond for your clients and really make sure they get a phenomenal result. So to me, it’s a lot more satisfying really transforming 20 or 30 people’s businesses every month as opposed to just kind of giving a little bit of information to 2,000-3,000 people a month.
Stephen: Yeah. And I think, like you said, you put your skin in the game, and you’re putting $5,000 in. You’ve got a reason to stick around and apply yourself. So I think that works really nicely. Yeah, I love that.
So obviously, let’s look on the other end. So now, you’re teaching this to all this people.
How did you come up with this in the first place?
What really alerted and woke you up to being able to charge this prices and to get people in and what woke you up about charging a high ticket?
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[0:08:10.1] Russ: Yeah. Well, I started out in the low-ticket as well just because that’s kind of what I saw everyone else doing. And that’s how most people determine their prices.
They just kind of look around and see what everyone else is doing and go, “Oh, okay. This guy’s charging $97. I’m going to charge $97 too.” So I started out doing that.
And I would do launches, and I would sell a thousand or 2,000 copies of my product, and the reviews would be phenomenal. And people would tell me how great it was.
But then, when I would follow up with those people to see who was taking action and who wasn’t, everybody loved the product. Almost nobody did anything.
And to be honest, I mean, I didn’t feel like that was my fault. So it kind of didn’t make me feel guilty. But it bothered me, because I was looking from doing,
“Why am I doing this?
Am I doing this just to, I give them some good information and they leave with a nice, warm happy feeling. And then they don’t do anything, and nothing changes.”
It just bothered me. So there’s nothing wrong with it, but just internally, it just bothered me.
So I said to myself, “Look, what if I just completely flipped this model on its head, and decided to work with fewer clients, charge more money, so that they’re more committed and I’m more committed, and I can really, now I’ve got the time to really give them the attention they need to get the result?” So I just started it as an experiment. And then the moment I did it, I was like, “Okay, this is amazing. There’s no going back.”
Stephen: So how did you start?
What were your results early on?
What did you do to onboard people into your program and what were the results for you?
[0:09:33.2] Russ: Well, so the first thing I did – and this is like years ago – the very first thing I ever tried as I booked my highest ticket product was $197. I decided to go and release it a $2,000 offer. And I did it on a webinar which is the few people that I could scrape together. But I think 14 people bought that offer.
Stephen: That’s awesome.
Russ: And I made $28,000 in that one webinar. But, it wasn’t about the money that I made, because I made good money on webinars before. But it was about what happened after ward.
Well, now, these 14 people showed up ready to work. They’re ready to rock and roll. They did some phenomenal work.
And it was just absolutely amazing. The testimonials and case studies that I got from that group are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. So as time went on, I refined my process and I got better at what I was teaching.
And my client results got better and better, and so my prices continued to go up. So now, we’re charging a really premium price. But I’m seeing results that are freaking supernatural, ridiculous.
We have clients on the main university as my A-week program.
And it’s kind of like my signature program, right?
The current record holder for clients on the MAIN University earned an additional $400,000 in his business within the first six weeks.
Stephen: That’s crazy.
Russ: The second place person, this amazing woman, Diana, who teaches marketing in the Spanish-speaking community, she was doing the same thing. She was charging a low-ticket price.
I helped her put together a $5,000 offer. And she sold 42 copies of it within the first six weeks of the program. She did $210,000 within the first six weeks.
And so those are like the kinds of results that I didn’t even know were possible for people to get until I started charging these premium prices. So I was like, “Man, I’m never going back because I love those big-time success stories.”
Stephen: Yeah, that’s incredible. I love that story, how it just shows you the value put behind the product and you started like chiseling, you’ve sort of got your product now sculptured in a way where it delivers these awesome results. That’s killer. I love that.
Russ: Yeah, it’s an amazing thing.
Stephen: Yeah, for sure. How do you draw people to your product? So what are you selling with right now? Are you using webinars predominantly or you playing it through a sales funnel? What works for you?
[0:11:44.8] Russ: So our process is very simple. We’ve completely eliminated any and all low-ticket offers. So there’s no like $7 lead magnets and tripwires and all these stuff that you hear about.
I just don’t believe in that stuff because I believe that if you want to have a high-ticket offer, that offer needs to be the solution to a very painful problem that the client has, right? So let’s just say, for example, you’re a relationship coach. If I’m coming to you, and I’m going to invest to you the $5,000 price point, I want to save my relationship.
That’s why I’m coming to see you, because I don’t want to break it up. I don’t want to get divorced.
I don’t want to have these things happen, right?
So first of all, to rescue someone’s relationship, I think is easily worth $5,000-$6,000.
That’s life changing, right?
So we should be charging a premium price. But second of all, if this guy’s really got this problem, then why the hell am I going to waste his time with a $7 tripwire or like a $27 little eBook, or some other thing that’s not going to solve his problem.
Like why bother with that?
So we eliminated all of the low-ticket stuff and we just go right to the solution to the problem. And so the process that we used to do that is very simple.
We start with an ad on social media. So we run ads on Facebook and Twitter, people click the ad and they get taken to a webinar registration page.
They sign up. They watch the webinar. And then on the webinar, we speak very, very authoritatively about the problem and about what they’re going through and about what they can do about it, and then we just make a real simple invitation, “Hey, if you want to reach out and talk to us about how we can work together, here’s how you do that.”
And then we talk to them and if we feel that they are fit, we enroll them into our program. And if we don’t think they are fit, then we say “no.”
And that’s not just marketing either. You know, a lot of people say, “Oh yeah, we’ll see if you’re fit.” But they’ll try to sell everybody.
I actually looked at the numbers the other day, we don’t make an offer to 60% of the people that we talk to.
Stephen: Just because they’re not the right client?
Russ: Yeah, just because they’re not the right client. And it’s like no judgment or whatever, but they’re just not fit. So it kind of sucks for my coaching team because they want to make the sale, they want to enroll people, but they also take a lot of pride in the work that we do.
And they know that it’s not for everybody. And so as we’re having these conversations with people, they’re really making an assessment about whether this person’s a fit or not. And then 60% of the time, they’re not.
Stephen: Yeah. It’s really funny. I mean, like we were talking early about Russell Brunson. And I was at the certification program in Boise the other day.
And we were listening to high-ticket selling, and he was talking about—I don’t think it’s Russell who was really talking about it—one of the guys who was talking about high-ticket selling, and one of the key things is attracting the right client, and really filtering out the people that are not right for you. So I think one of the things was don’t sell to broke people, and really make sure they’re the right client, so that you attract the right people, and you can coach them and you can actually get them the result they’re looking for. And it sounds like that’s something you’ve really perfected as well.
Russ: Yeah, we’re really passionate about that because my program is not a “get rich quick” program. It’s really a business-to-business offer for the most part.
We’re looking for people that are legitimate coaches, legitimate financial advisors, experts, therapists, attorneys, high-level service providers, you know, great graphic designers, great SEO guys, anybody who’s got a high-level service and needs clients. That’s who we’re looking for. So it’s definitely not right for people that are like, “Hey, I’m assistant manager at Starbucks and I’m 23.
And I want to make money online, what do I do?” I love those people, but that’s just not who we can help.
Stephen: Yeah. Okay, cool.
So what’s your role, I guess, in your business?
Are you the person that just delivers or do you do the selling on the webinar?
Like when I say selling not obviously, but like to enroll people to an application form with you on the phone, what’s your role in your business?[0:15:29.3] Russ: So I’ve basically taken myself out of almost every function in the business, except kind of running the show and actually servicing the clients. And this is what we suggest for our clients to do too.
So obviously, we’ve got our Facebook and our Twitter ads, right? I mean, I don’t run those. We have an amazing woman, Adrienne, who does our advertising for us.
Then, people come to a webinar. And our webinars are usually automated. So I’m not there doing the webinar either, but the automated webinars, we found even work better than live webinars, which is amazing.
And then, I’ve got a wonderful team of coaches that are the ones that are on the phone making the decision about whether someone is a fit or not. And so, the great thing about that is that for me, the process is completely automated.
We make sales pretty much every day. And I don’t have to do anything except focus on what I’m really passionate about, which is serving the clients.
So what that means for me in my program, remember the beginning of the call, you ask me the format of most of these workshops. Well, my workshop operates pretty much just like I told you. They get one training a week, and then you get a Q-and-A session.
But in my discretion, do two Q-and-A sessions a week. So we do one on Monday and we do one on Thursday. And we do something a little bit different.
It’s not just me, it’s me and my entire team. So like I mentioned Adrienne who does my advertising. She’s there on those Q-and-A calls. So if someone’s doing Facebook ads or if someone’s doing Twitter ads, we’re like logging into their account right there on the Q-and-A call to look inside.
Stephen: Awesome. I love that.
Russ: Yeah, look inside the account; and then there’s Dan who runs my entire sales team. He’s there. I just hired an amazing coach a few months ago named Jane.
And she’s worked with some of the top organizations in the world for like 25 years. It’s like she’s there to help people with mindset issues or breakthroughs or anything.
If you have that inner resistance or any beliefs that are bringing you down, she’ll actually clear that up in like five minutes. So you get on the call and not just with me, but with all these amazing, amazing people that are masters of what they do.
And so, I really feel like we’ve got something unique because any problem you’ve got in your business, I’m really good at solving most things, but my team can solve anything. So we’re all there for you. And you have this entire network of support which I think is really cool.
Stephen: Yeah, I love that. I mean, when you go to someone, you feel like when you’re doing this Q-and-A, I’m guessing your clients probably feel like, “Look, whenever I’ve got any questions, whatever, just shoot them over. Shoot them over.” And then they’re fulfilled because they’re getting all the answers straight away.
Russ: Yeah, and we do it via webinar too. So it’s this process where like we can screen-share we can do all this stuff. So I can screen-share from my screen.
You give me your Facebook password and we’d log right into your Facebook account, so we can all see exactly what’s going on or what we need to fix. It’s just like it’s like in this amazing process, where it’s not just like you call in and it’s a Q-and-A call. And you have to wait your turn.
And then you get to ask me one question. And then, you know, we kick you off. I’ve been on calls like that. No, it’s like while on call, we hang out until all the questions are answered and then we move on.
Stephen: This sounds a lot more action, just a little bit. So I think it does a lot more value and a lot more for the clients as well.
Russ: Well, we have to. I mean, like I didn’t want to do all this extra stuff. I didn’t want to do two Q-and-A calls a week, but when we first started the program, we weren’t doing two Q-and-A calls a week.
But I watched the progress clients were making, internally, my team and I, we put our heads together and we said, “Hey, you know what, I think these guys need an extra Q-and-A call.” So we added that.
We added a support desk where I check the support desk like every other day, if you ask a question there, you get an answer within 24 hours. So we’ve continued to upgrade the program with just a really singular focus on how do we get people the maximum results in the minimum time.
And I don’t care what we have to do to get it. And the thing that sets me free to do that is if the marketing is automated. If the marketing wasn’t automated and I was like doing live webinars every day, I’d never have time to do any of this other stuff, you know.
Stephen: Yeah, for sure.
And what happens when someone finishes you’re program?
So they’ve gone to the Q-and-A, they’ve gone through your course.
When they finish it, do you move them?
Do you sell them anything else or do you pretty much just support them on-going?
[0:19:21.4] Russ: Yes. So we have a couple of different options. Obviously, you can just bail off if you don’t want to stick around. But if you do want to stick around, then you graduate into what we call our “mastery program.”
And so the way that we look at it is that clients on the main university is our eight-week program. And what we’re doing now is we’re laying a foundation.
We’re getting you clear on exactly who your target market is, exactly what your offer is, what your price point is, who you want to work with, who you don’t want to work with. And then, we’re helping you to set up this whole marketing system for yourself, how to do Facebook ads, how to do Twitter ads.
How do you build a Facebook group, how do you build a tribe, how do you do webinars, how do you do the calls with people to enroll them or not enroll them. So we give you this entire foundation over the course of the eight weeks.
And then if you want to continue with us, we have our mastery program, where what we do there is we build on that foundation to do everything we can to create a sustainable six-figure per-month income. So we have people, sometimes in the eight-week program, that shoot their income up.
Like I told you, they made $210,000 within the space of the eight weeks. But it’s not just enough to create that big spike in income, even though it’s amazing.
We have to turn that into something sustainable, so that it’s a machine, like I have. Like so for example, in my business, I know that unless we get hit by an asteroid, I’m going to make at the bare minimum, a few hundred thousand Dollars in my business next month.
And I want all of our clients to have that exact same kind of security. Like I can go on vacation, it doesn’t matter. I can decide I’m not logging on to Internet for a week except to answer client questions, and that doesn’t matter.
So we want it to be predictable and stable. So once the eight weeks are over, if you want to keep working with us, you can keep working with us to create that.
Stephen: Right. And is that at the same price point as your original product as well? Or is that range?
Russ: It’s actually cheaper.
Stephen: It’s cheaper?
Stephen: That’s interesting. So I haven’t heard that. Usually, people talk to like a mastermind or something. So how have you found that for people to work?
Russ: Well, it is technically a mastermind, but if you break it down month-for-month, it’s cheaper than the eight-week workshop. And the reason for that is because we’ve already laid the ground work.
Stephen: Yeah, right. And I guess it’s ongoing as well. I mean, you keep working with them until they hit those goals and then take it even further. So there’s no real intuit, I’m assuming.
Russ: No, because there’s no real intuit in business.
Russ: So for example, I remember when my goal was to hit $10,000 a month, we hit that. I remember my big goal was to hit $250,000 a month. We hit that now. And we’re working on $1 million a month, not in sales, but in actual cash collected. So it’s a never-ending process.
And then from there, I know how we’re going to go from here to a million a month. I know how we’re going to go from a million a month to $10 million. But there’s all this evolution that has to happen.
So each level that you hit requires big changes, not just in your business model, but in who you are as a person. You know, new abilities that you have to unlock, new practices that you need to get in habit of doing.
And so, we’re not just working on your business, but we’re also working on you. And so, some really powerful transformative stuff happens in people’s lives too while they’re in this program, that maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with their business, but all of a sudden, their marriage gets better or all of a sudden, they’re waking up earlier.
They start exercising. Like the great things start happening because you’re just being held to a higher and higher standard of what you’re capable of.
Stephen: Yeah. And when you surround yourself as well with the people that would probably be in the program, it just changes your mentality, doesn’t it? If you surround yourself, it really pushes you to stay at the level that everyone else is staying at.
Russ: Well, let’s be honest. This is a lonely business sometimes. If you’re working online, shit, I’ve been doing this for four years now. My friends still do not understand what I do.
Stephen: I can tell you the exact same thing. I think 99% of my friends listening, what do you do? You do something online, you’re self-help? What is sales funnel? Is that something you make in the kitchen? What the hell is going on?
Russ: Literally, they have no clue. So it’s like my wife understands it now. But it’s like if you’ve been doing this for a while, you start to—no one gets it.
It’s critical to be a part of a community or part of a mastermind. We’re surrounded by people, not just who get it, but people that expect you to have continual forward momentum, so that you’re not staying still. Your business is growing.
You’re putting more money in your pocket every month, and you’re providing higher and better levels of service to your clients. And it’s just an experience and more freedom in your business and in your life.
And so, it doesn’t stop because if you stop, then you start to move backwards really quick. So you got to keep that momentum and you have to keep it moving forward.
So that’s why I think being a part of an ongoing mastermind with somebody that you deeply connect with is an amazing and necessary thing.
Stephen: Yeah. I couldn’t’ agree more. And how many masterminds are you involved in outside of your business?
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[0:24:00.1] Russ: I was involved in a couple and I just left. So right now, I’m not in any. I’ve got a couple of people that I’m kind of mentoring with privately. But that’s to create certain outcomes that I want, like real, specific outcomes that I want that they’re experts in.
Yeah, so right now, I’m actually kind of looking for one. But the weird thing is like all the masterminds I’m looking at, like everyone is at the same level that we’re at. So it’s just—
Stephen: Yeah, I guess my next question would be, yeah, what do you look for in a mastermind? So if someone out there is at that level where they’ve got that cash flow, they’re probably, just say they’re at a similar income level to yourself, what do you look for in a mastermind?
Russ: Well, to me, the guy that’s running the mastermind, right, has to be somebody that’s,
- a) is getting the results that I want, and
b), whose clients are getting the result that I want.
Now, it’s very important that it’s both of those things because I know some guys that are phenomenal marketers when it comes to their own business.
Their own business is just—they’re killing it. They’re making millions. They’re having a great life. It’s amazing.
But you look at their clients and their clients are just struggling because they don’t know how to transfer their power to other people. Either they can’t explain or it’s just something they do automatically so they don’t understand how they’re doing it.
So it’s very important that you look at somebody who’s
- a) getting their results they want,
- b) whose clients are getting the results you want.
And frankly, I don’t know anybody right now that’s at the level that I want to be at, but that also knows how to teach other people to get to where I want to be at. So—
Stephen: Yeah, it’s not an easy thing. I mean, you got to do both of those. And it’s a lot to take care of.
Russ: Yeah, it is. And you know, the thing is, plus like when you reach a certain level, you start kind of getting the inside scoop on what’s going on in different people’s programs.
So like you start to realize, obviously, there’s some amazing, legit guys, like you mentioned Taki Moore before. I love Taki.
He is one of the best human beings I think I’ve ever met in my life. And you can sense it when you talk to him for five seconds. We had lunch one time when we were in the States.
And I was just like, I instantly loved this guy. But there’s a lot of other people where there’s a huge difference between what their marketing is saying and what’s really going on.
And it sucks because some of these people, I was like, “Are we really going to work with this person?” And I’ll do a little research. And I was like, “uhm.”
Stephen: I’ve had that as well. I think it’s in each market. As you say, we get higher, you start to see the inside workings of other people’s businesses. It’s like giving you just who’s really doing what they say now, doing and then who others are sort of putting out a bit of a show as well.
So you’ve got to be pretty selective now, I guess, when you’re looking for that mastermind, to make sure that the person that you’re going with, like you said, is really capturing the results.
Russ: Well, and people get cute. So for example, let’s say, for example that I have, I don’t know, a $50,000 mastermind, right?
And let’s just say that that’s a mastermind where people pay an offer with a course of like a year, right?
If I enroll 20 people into that $50,000 mastermind, right, I could go out on Facebook and be like, “Oh, dude! I had a million dollar a month, you know. We’ve got a million dollars in sales.”
But you know god damn well you’re not going to collect all that money.
Stephen: But it’s funny because I know even a couple of people, they’ll take a payment plan and they’ll call that the “wholesale.” So if someone signs up on a payment plan, they’ll be like, “Yeah, we just did $50,000 today.” Or “We just did $200,000 today.”
And I’m like, “What do you mean you just did $200,000 today? Haven’t you even collected it in your bank account?” And then everything goes quiet.
Russ: It’s a thousand payments of $2.
Stephen: Exactly. It’s a payment plan on my tripwire, right? I know what I’m doing.
Russ: Yeah, exactly. So those are the kinds of things that you have to look out for. And it sucks because it makes people so suspicious.
And you know, what makes it harder too is that when you hit a certain level, even—I don’t care how legit you are, there’s going to be someone out there that’s hating on you. So like, even if you look at the guys that are incredible, like I mean, anybody who’s been to like a Tony Robbins event, as I can tell you, Tony Robbins is incredible.
But there’s hate out there about him, if you go and you look, just like pissed off people saying this or that. So it’s very difficult to find out who’s good and who’s not.
So it just comes down to like who you connect with and does what this person is saying makes sense to you, and are they really getting the results that you want, and are the clients really getting the results that you want? And if they can stick to that, you’re in pretty good shape.
Stephen: Yeah, I love that. So we’ll wrap it up pretty soon. But I want to hear what’s your one biggest breakthrough, you’ve had in your business and what do you attribute that to?
[0:28:28.1] Russ: The biggest breakthrough that I’ve had in my business, just from a purely tactical standpoint is that-
Stephen: Well, how about we did two? We do one financial and one tactical. That way, we can break it up.
Russ: Perfect. Yeah, so the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in my business, let’s just say from a marketing standpoint is getting my lead flow dialed in. So that process that I said to you before, where we go from Facebook ad to the signup page, to the webinars, to the phone call, that is something I literally had to spend $100,000 on social media advertising before I figured that out.
I hired the best experts, you know, people that have a fantastic reputation to do like my Facebook advertising. And they crashed and burned, every single one of them. I mean, people that you would know who they were.
And the thing is, it wasn’t their fault because I didn’t have my messaging dialed in. I didn’t have my marketing dialed in. And so, as soon as it clicked, I had my first $200,000-a-month.
It literally went from like, I think it was in November of 2013, I was really struggling. I was losing money on Facebook. It wasn’t working.
My savings were starting to dwindle. My wife was starting to get nervous. And then, boom, December of 2013 was my first $200,000-a-month.
Stephen: That’s huge. That’s awesome.
Russ: Just because all of those pieces came together. So it’s like I always tell people, “Listen, if you don’t have the lead flow that you want, and you don’t have the clients that you want, if you’re not making more money every month that goes by, you’ve got to get that process dialed in.
And don’t try to do it yourself because it’s going to cost you ten times as much. It’s going to be ten times as frustrating. Just find a mentor who can give you the process, start to finish, and just copy it.
And give that guy what he wants, and then implement that process and work with them.” So that was the biggest marketing breakthrough. It was getting that lead flow dialed in.
And then the biggest mindset breakthrough that I had is I learned to love challenges. There’s a fantastic guy named Ray Dalio. I don’t know if you ever heard of him, but he’s a billionaire.
He runs, I think it’s the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater. And he’s got this PDF out there, if you Google it, it’s called “Principles.” And it’s free, and if you just google it, you can find it.
But in there, he talks about the fact that it is the imperative of every organism on the planet to adapt. Every organism on the planet encounters adversity and is forced to adapt. And that’s how we evolve.
That’s how we get better. That’s how we improve. And so, when you encounter problems and challenges in your business, you have to look at it as just a potential improvement that’s screaming out for attention. So problems used to paralyze me.
When we would run into a problem, I would just lay me out for like four days. And then I realized, “No man, every single problem we’ve ever had has created a quantum leap forward in what we’re able to do.”
And so I just realized, “You know what, if you’re setting big goals, guess what? You’re going to run on challenges. You’re going to run into a lot of challenges.
And you have to look at that as a good thing, because every time you run into a challenge, every time you run into a problem, it’s shining a light on a way that you can improve on a way that you can get better.” And that completely changed the way that I looked at this whole thing, where I used to look at it as this like life or death struggle.
And if something went wrong, it was the end of the world, and it meant that I sucked, and it meant that I better give up. Now, I just look at it as a game, a tough game, a frustrating game. But it’s like when you’re flying some place and you’re bored and you pull out a magazine, and you see that crossword puzzle on the back, right?
That crossword puzzle could be like the hardest, most frustrating crossword puzzle on the planet.
Stephen: And you always think it is. They always give you the hard ones.
Russ: Yeah, they give you hard work. But if you sit there for long enough and you work on it for long enough, you know damn well you’re going to solve that thing.
Russ: And it’s the same thing in your business. If you work on it long enough, if you keep trying and keep trying, and keep adapting and keep adapting, you will figure it out.
Now, mentor can cut that learning time by like 75%-90% sometimes. And so that’s the value of the mentor. They are going to massively speed up that process for you, but you have to learn to love challenges because they will come up.
Stephen: Yeah. And I’ve actually ask some really interesting questions, this was something I was thinking about the other day is,
“What do you think works better?”
I mean, you mentioned working with mentors and we’ve also talked about masterminding as well. Do you find that there would be more value in working with a mentor to achieve a specific goal rather than just joining two or three different masterminds? So obviously, masterminds, they range.
I mean, you can pay them from $20,000 to $100,000, I’ve heard of. So would you rather get a big mentor, get someone that can really solve a specific problem for you for one day or for a few hours, to get on the phone with them, and work with them like that? What do you think about that?
Russ: So first of all, I prefer to work in a group program than I do one-on-one. I work with a couple of guys one-on-one right now, but it’s just because they don’t have group programs, so I have no choice.
But I prefer a group program. Now, that being said, you mentioned, “Is it better to be part of two or three masterminds?” I’m not a big believer in that at all because if you’re in three different masterminds, you’re getting hundreds and hundreds of ideas just thrown at you.
And it’s going to distract you from accomplishing and achieving the things that you want to achieve. So you should set your goals first. And then see, “Okay, well, what is the program that is going to help me get to this goal and just join that program?”
Russ: And keep it goal-oriented. Where if your goal is to hit $100,000-a-month, find someone who can get you there. Join their program and do everything they tell you to do.
Don’t join three different masterminds just to get a bunch of good ideas thrown at you, because you can’t act on it. It’s going to paralyze you. It’s a good thing, but it’s too much of a good thing.
Stephen: Yeah. I love that. No, I think that’s really great advice. I mean, you can’t really overwhelm yourself, because I mean, even without masterminds, the idea is they come up in everything that’s happening.
You still get all these ideas. I guess a mastermind just filters them and makes you think, “Okay, if the guy there who’s already making money think that’s a good idea, then there’s something I need to take action on.” I guess that’s how I would say, is that right?
Russ: Yeah, exactly. Like you set your goal and then you say,
“Okay, well, who can help me achieve it?”
And then you’re there and then you’ve got somebody who can a) hold you accountable so that you don’t get lazy, b) help you overcome every challenge that comes your way because they’ve dealt with it before, I mean, every problem my clients have, I’ve already solved that problem in my business. So it’s like, “Oh, do this, do this, do this.”
It’s so easy. And number three, give you something to show for. When I’m in a mastermind, and I see some other son of a bitch in the mastermind who’s making half a million dollars a month than I’m making, you know, $250,000 a month, I’m like, “Okay, all right.”
Stephen: Ask me how it is.
Russ: Ask him how it is, all right, let’s step up and you get that sort of friendly competition.
Stephen: Yeah, I love that. I mean, that’s probably one of my favorite things, working that friendly competition. Everyone’s sort of pushing each other up. So it’s cool.
So my last question for you before we wrap it up is,
“What does your day look like at the moment? Are you quiet?
Do you wake up early?
Do you wake up late?
Do you work with clients?
Do you work with yourselves?
What does the typical day for you look like?”
[0:35:35.1] Russ: I wake up before the sun gets up just about every day. And that’s pretty much.
Stephen: That’s pretty early.
Russ: Well, that’s as much me being a morning person and being ambitious as it is the fact that every single day, my cat stands on my head and meows until I wake up. So I have no choice, and then it keeps meowing until I feed it.
Stephen: It just happens.
Russ: Yeah, so it keeps meowing until I feed it. I have no choice. So there’s that.
But yeah, I go right to work planning my day. Sometimes I’ll plan it the night before and I ask a really interesting question when I do that.
I say, “What have I been settling for?”
Because I believe in getting exactly what you want out of life. And I don’t believe in ever settling for anything less than the absolute best. And so I ask myself,
“What’s been bothering me?
What have I been settling for?
What am I pretending not to notice?”
And I think about all those little pain points. Because like I said before, either those pain points is pointing me into the direction of a potential improvement.
So I look at all those pain points, and I say, “Okay, well, what’s the most painful thing that I have to deal with first?” And then that’s the thing that we tackle, and I just go from there. And I also do something that’s kind of interesting.
It’s most entrepreneurs will work from a to-do list, I work from a calendar, where I won’t just have a big list of tasks, but I’ll take each task and I’ll figure out, “Okay, well, this is probably going to take two hours to do and I will block it out on my calendar, so that I’ve got the time blocked out to do just that thing.” And if I’m working, it means the head is down, I put my music on. I turn off Skype, turn off instant messenger, turn off everything and just go to work.
Stephen: Yeah. I like that. I think that’s a really good way to actually plan it out rather than just going through from the top of the list to the bottom.
Russ: Yeah, to me, it’s essential because it keeps me on track. It’s too easy to put things off. But if I have it scheduled down my calendar, it’s like an appointment with myself that I have to keep.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s awesome. And how do you wrap up your day? So how does it finish off? You’ll do your to-do list and then do you just head to bed? Do you just chill out for the rest of the day? How does that work?
Russ: Yeah, it depends. I chill. Me and my wife will go see a movie. Right now, she’s seven and a half months pregnant.
Stephen: Wow. Congratulations.
Russ: Thank you. Yeah, so we’re expecting a baby boy in October.
Stephen: That’s exciting.
Russ: Yeah, we’re not going on rollercoasters or anything, so we’ll chill. We’ll go someplace. We’ll see a movie. We’ll watch TV.
We’ll grab dinner, whatever it is. Yeah, so the end of the days are pretty chill for me because I do wake up so early. And when I wake up, I really hit the ground running early in the morning.
Stephen: Yeah. Do you work five days a week, seven days a week, six days a week? What’s your work schedule like?
Russ: Well, the thing is if I just want to sustain my business and keep it where it was at, I really wouldn’t need to work hardly at all. I mean, I could literally have my team run just about everything and just show for my Q-and-A calls, and that would be that.
But I’m really trying to scale this business from $250,000-a-month up to a million dollars a month. And so, all of the time, I spend working on it is bent figuring out,
“Okay, how can we scale things up?
How can we generate more leads?
How can we get more money from the leads that we have?
How can we make our client results better?”
You know, just thinking about growing the business, but that’s just a personal choice. I really want to take this company to the next level and I really want to be the biggest company in our space, at least revenue and sales wise.
So that’s taking a lot of work. But if I wanted to just have like a chill lifestyle business, where I was making a few million dollars a year, a couple million of dollars a year, whatever, whatever, I could probably just chill and sustain that right now.
Stephen: Yeah. That’s awesome. And last question, I want to keep squeezing it always, so one little last question. What’s the next 12 months got in store for you?
Russ: Well, the next 12 months, the goal is to hit a million dollars a month. And up until this point, so I’ll just be perfectly honest with you.
Up until this point, our sales process is so powerful that I’ve been able to completely and totally fly under the radar. So here’s what I mean, somebody clicks our ad on social media.
Somebody comes to our webinar. Then they request a phone call and then we enroll them as a client. That whole process happens in less than 48 hours.
So you’re on Facebook and you’re browsing around, you’re looking at the pictures of your cats or whatever it is, right? And within 48 hours, you’re signing up to be our client. And 95% of the people who have signed up to work with us have never ever heard of me.
Stephen: Yeah. So that’s pure cold traffic, which is incredible.
Russ: It’s ice-cold. It’s pure, ice-cold traffic. And it’s pure ice-cold traffic, and you know, it’s an amazing thing. And so, because we’ve gotten that. It’s kind of been the double-edged sword.
On the one hand, we’ve never had to do any content marketing, which is amazing. Like I never read blog posts. I never do all the stuff.
So it’s like I’ve been able to just chill. But then on the other hand, it’s like we’ve never done any content marketing, like nobody knows who we are. So I think in order to scale our business to the million dollar-a-month level, I mean, sure we could just advertise some more and increase our lead flow and so forth.
But I really think that the time has come now for me to put ourselves out there and put ourselves on the map in a big way. And so, a lot of people kind of put the cart before the horse, where everyone’s teaching, “Oh, content marketing, content marketing, and content marketing.”
So you’ve never made a sale. You’ve never gotten a client. And you’ve only had a couple of clients or whatever, but you realize when you read a book, “Oh, yeah.
Seth Godin or whoever says content marketing is the way to go.” So you sit down and you create a blog and you sit there hunched over your keyboard, getting arthritis, grinding a blog post, and blog post, and blog post. And then maybe one day, at some point in the future, you’ll get a client, if you’re lucky.
We did it the opposite way. We got our sales dialed in first. We got clients flowing in. We had a couple of $100,000 a month. And now, we’re sitting there going, “Okay, now we should probably go back and maybe do some podcasts.”
Stephen: Yeah, I mean, a couple of hundred thousand dollars a month isn’t a small feat by any means. That’s a huge number, especially like I’m imagining your average client is nowhere near that number, so especially before they come on board with you.
So I guess to some people, that’s closing a lot of sales every day. And that’s huge, man. Congratulations. I mean, taking that to a whole new level now gives you that ability, like you said, to focus on content, focus on building authority in your positioning in the market.
Russ: Yeah, and since it’s just priorities, my first priority was sales, which I think was obviously a really good decision. A lot of people tell you to build that audience first and then make sales, I think that’s a bunch of bullshit.
I think figure out your sales process first and then you’ll have the money to build an audience later if that’s what you want to do. But now we’re at the point where it’s like, listen, we’ve got a really cool thing.
We’ve got client results that I think are better than just about anything else out there. You got a process that’s faster than just about any other else’s out there.
And I think more people need to know about it. So that’s kind of the growing edge for us is how can we get that message out there in a bigger way now.
And that just comes down to me, as the CEO of the company and the Founder of the company, just deciding to play a little bigger.
Stephen: Step it up. That’s awesome.
Russ: Yeah, step it up.
Stephen: That’s awesome, man. Well, look, it’s been a pleasure having you on the podcast. You’ve dropped some absolute knowledge bombs.
And I think people are going to go away with a whole lot to implement, to learn, and to put in their business. If people want to learn more about you, how can they reach out to you?
[0:42:32.5] Russ: Yeah, so there are two things you can do, right? The first thing is we have a private Facebook group that’s totally free. It’s called “The Art of High-Ticket Selling” and it’s free.
There’s about 3,500 entrepreneurs in there right now. And I swear, I’m learning stuff in there every single day. I mean you’ve got guys in there that are legends.
And this stuff that Russell Brunson is in there, Marlon Sanders is in there. He’s been around forever. I mean, just guys that are like incredible, incredible sales people and marketers and business owners.
And so that’s available. That’s totally free. So if you guys want to come hang out. I’d love to see you in there.
So we can put maybe, do you do show notes?
Put a link down the show notes so that’ll be linked to that in the show notes. And then, if you guys want to see our current webinar that we’re using to get clients so that you can actually see this process that we help our clients put together, you can go to clientsondemand.com — so “clients” with an “s” – clientsondemand.com/webinar.
Stephen: I’ll make sure that’s in the show notes as well, so people will be able to go straight there.
Stephen: That’s awesome, man. I think you’re going to get a few people joining that group and interacting, and learning a lot because I think that high-ticket idea is really—we actually had someone on recently as well, Ryan Magdziarz. I was speaking to him.
His business model is quite similar. They’ve got I think a $4,000 and then a $25,000 mastermind?
Russ: Oh, cool.
Stephen: He was talking about selling high-ticket as well, similar to you and it’s just a phenomenal idea of really positioning yourself as the leader in that sort of space.
Russ: Thanks, yeah. I mean, I think we kind of are. So it’s just a great group, man. There’s no weirdness or pressure. There’s not a bunch of people spamming and promoting stuff. It’s all just really, really, good high-level discussions.
Stephen: Yeah. Love that, man. Well, I’ll let you go. Have an awesome day and we’ll catch up soon.
Russ: Alright, Stephen. I appreciate it.
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