What does passive income have to do with list building and email marketing, you ask?
There are two fundamental ways to make money online with affiliate marketing:
- Sell individual items – you’ve got to do this lots of times and you’ve got to keep doing it to keep the money coming in
- Sell recurring items – these are products and services that require a monthly or annual fee to retain access to them. But once you’ve persuaded someone to buy, you keep earning regular monthly (or annual) commissions from them.
So which sounds better?
You have to do the same amount of work for both where promoting them is concerned.
Except one pays you month after month when the other pays you just once.
That’s the difference between Recurring Passive Income and simple Passive Income.
Building a Recurring Passive Income Business
How do you build a recurring passive income business?
You find a subscription-based product or service that you can become an affiliate for.
It helps if the affiliate program is free to join (some aren’t) and it helps if you don’t have to invest in additional tools to promote the offer.
It’s also much, much easier to scale up your income from recurring commissions than from single product sales.
I spent quite a bit of time looking around for an offer that fit this bill.
I also wanted something that would appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
Tools and services come and go pretty quickly in the Make Money Online and Internet / Affiliate Marketing niches. But I was looking for something that appealed to people outside these niches as well.
And I found it! 🙂
There’s a free-to-join affiliate program that offers these benefits:
Those aren’t shabby commissions!
I’ll spare you further suspense and tell you that this company is called Clickfunnels. I reviewed their main software-as-a-service (SaaS) in a previous post.
To give you a brief description, Clickfunnels is an online app for building a variety of web pages from sales pages to optin / landing / squeeze pages, membership sites to webinars and ordinary blogs.
Sales Funnels are sequences of pages that start with an optin form to collect email addresses and other pages that are used to put your offer in front of your subscribers again and again (so that’s where list building and email marketing come in).
It’s well-known that most people do not buy a product the first time they come across it. They have to see it a minimum of 7 times before they’ll pull the trigger and buy.
So, if you’re exposing people like your website visitors to a product or offer only once, you’re actually losing out on a lot of sales.
Using a sales funnel makes a lot more marketing sense since you’re constantly reminding your subscribers about your offer.
Any business online (or off) can use a sales funnel as a marketing channel.
What business doesn’t want to improve its bottom line and get more sales?
This is why I really like the Clickfunnels opportunity. Yes, the page builder software service was created by an internet marketer.
But it’s a tool that can appeal to any business, anywhere in the world. There are no niche or geographic limitations here at all.
Who Created Clickfunnels?
As an aside, Clickfunnels was created by Russell Brunson, initially for his own needs.
He had intentions of becoming a pro-wrestler while in college.
But a little thing called the internet and selling online sidelined him and changed the trajectory of his life-plan.
He has since become one of the top marketers in the business and many top names like Tony Robbins go to him when they want to launch a new product.
Russell set up Clickfunnels in 2014 as a brand new startup, making zip, zilch, nada.
In 2019, it’s now a $100 million a year company.
I told you Russell knows a thing or two about marketing!
Promoting Clickfunnels As An Affiliate
Russell created a free Affiliate Bootcamp course (he’s big on giving stuff away) that teaches affiliates how to promote Clickfunnels.
Unfortunately, the course is now a little out-of-date and references affiliate offers that are no longer available. Still, it gives a good insight into coming up with different approaches to promoting the service.
UPDATE: As of early June, 2019, the Affiliate Bootcamp course has been completely revamped and is now worth signing up for again.
A better option is to sign up for the One Funnel Away (OFA) Challenge. This isn’t free – it’s $100 (one-time). It’s certainly not necessary to sign up but it is the cheapest option for a paid course that’s available.
If you take on the challenge, you’ll be shipped a kit with the 550 page ’30 Days’ book, the OFA workbook, the OFA MP3 Player with pre-loaded funnel training and more…
Since the Affiliate Bootcamp course wasn’t kept up to date with changes at Clickfunnels, I looked around for another course that would fill in the blanks.
The One Funnel Away course wasn’t available late last year when I was doing this, so I had to look elsewhere for excellent training.
I looked at three people in particular and what training they were offering and ended up going with Zach Crawford.
He’s now my mentor, as he is to all his students. And what I love is that he’s a very down-to-earth guy who doesn’t want his ego massaged and who bends over backwards to help his students in every way possible.
He’s also very approachable, and answers questions every day in his private Facebook group.
You don’t often get this level of engagement from the developer of a course.
I chose Zach because he calls BS when he sees it (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of BS in the internet marketing world).
His story is very interesting and resonates with a lot of people…
Zach provides training on how to promote Clickfunnels the right way.
But, while his training is focused on promoting Clickfunnels, he’s really teaching you how to promote anything. To use a saying, he’s not giving you a fish, he’s teaching you how to fish, so you can land your own, again and again.
He provides free training here to introduce the idea of a recurring passive income and what you need to do to achieve it…
At the end of the free training, there’s an option to upgrade to Zach’s paid coaching program. Whether you do or not, is entirely up to you and if his business model appeals to you.
His program costs $497 (one-time) so is already about half the cost of competing courses (but see below for another option).
One of the big assets of Zach’s coaching program is that he includes a ready-built sales funnel you can use to promote Clickfunnels.
All the sales copy, videos and images are done for you. And the funnel contains bonuses worth about 25 grand that you get access to and can also use as enticements in your own funnel. All you need to do is paste in your affiliate links.
Now there is a caveat…
The sales funnel was built inside Clickfunnels, so you need a Clickfunnels account to use it.
If you want to continue to use Zach’s funnel, you will have to pay for Clickfunnels after the 14-day trial period.
Now the really cool thing is that if you subscribe to Clickfunnels, Zach will give you his coaching program and sales funnel for free (but you only have access to them as long as you remain a Clickfunnels subscriber).
So that’s what I did. I pay $97/mth for a basic Clickfunnels account which allows me to continue to use his funnel, import and use other shared funnels and build my own funnels.
At the time I wrote this post, I’d already signed up 3 new members so their commissions cover my monthly fee.
That said, I know that $97/mth is too much for some people to afford. For others, the idea of paying anything for a tool to promote an offer just isn’t on.
I do think that’s short-sighted. But being willing to pay business fees like this is what sets the true online business builders from the hobbyists.
If you’re not in a position to pay the monthly fee, or don’t want to, you can still promote Clickfunnels.
Being a paying member is definitely not a requirement.
In my next post I’ll look at a free way to start building your own sales funnel to promote Clickfunnels.
In the meantime, sign up for Zach’s free training. You’ve nothing to lose. It will open your eyes to why so many affiliate marketers fail and why some succeed beyond their wildest dreams…
- The Funnel Hackers Cookbook (PDF) – explains sales funnels and includes 22 of Russell’s top sales funnels.
- 99 Marketing Secrets Blackbook (PDF) – the marketing strategies Russell used to take Clickfunnels from making zero to $100 million per year.
Free Physical Books (Just Pay Shipping):
- Expert Secrets – how to market yourself as an expert and get others to pay for your advice. Highly recommended.
- DotCom Secrets – the underground playbook for growing your company online. Recommended.
- 108 Proven Split Test Winners – split testing is when you test two variations of a page against each other to see which gets better conversions. This book contains simple tweaks you can make to your website, so you can make more money now.
Free Web Classes
- What Is a Sales Funnel? – learn about sales funnels and how they can help your business.
- Secret Funnel Strategy – Russell’s Infamous affiliate marketing presentation.
- The Perfect Webinar – want to run your own webinar? This is a free webinar script with training Russell is giving away.
- Funnel Fridays – every Friday Russell and his team pick one random person and build a complete sales funnel for them for free.
- Marketing In Your Car – Russell’s frequent podcast on all things marketing.
- Become an affiliate (it’s free). Or sign up here to get my bonus package.
- Affiliate Bootcamp – free affiliate marketing course for Clickfunnels affiliates. Somewhat outdated now.
- Clickfunnels Free 14-Day Trial – use Clickfunnels 100% for free for 14 days.
- My Clickfunnels Bonus Package – become a paying Clickfunnels subscriber and get my bonus package of 50 products worth $12,000
- My Clickfunnels Review – an inside look at Clickfunnels and whether it’s a good tool or not.
- Zach Crawford’s Free Training Program – free affiliate training showing the passive income business model and why promoting Clickfunnels is a wise choice.