Learn how to get clients on demand for your high ticket coaching business without sacrificing freedom with Russ Ruffino in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.
Russ works with anybody who can solve a major life or business challenge for people, such as fitness coaches, relationship coaches, business coaches, and consultants of all types. High-ticket programs are something industry experts and coaches can struggle with. They often know they can deliver great results for clients, but don’t feel comfortable charging above the rock bottom price.
Many business growth strategies suggest building up a social media following by cranking out endless amounts of videos on YouTube and grinding out blog posts. And once your audience is big enough, the strategies say you’ll have enough organic marketing to sustain your business. At some point you’ll have to work your way around to selling to your audience.
Russ’s strategy instead looks at Facebook ads, and how you can optimize the process of getting clients from ads rather than building up an audience first. You can apply that to any social media platform. But by taking the client-focused route with the bottom line in check, it will be much easier to grow, validate, and sustain your business from day one.
With a conversion-based strategy, you can have users go from first click to being a client in 24 to 48 hours. The key to being able to have such quick conversions and charging a premium price is to connect what you do to an outcome your audience wants. Many gurus and coaches online base their businesses around themselves and their lifestyle. But if you base your brand on the outcome you can create for your clients, it makes it easy to leverage your time as your business grows, and more importantly to make your value proposition clear.
To learn more about Russ Ruffino and how you can scale your expert or coaching business by charging premium pricing and utilizing a paid social media ads strategy, check out ClientsOnDemand.com/Talk to book an appointment to get clarity on the problems you’re trying to solve, who you should be working with, and the price you should be charging.
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, another podcaster. His name is Russ Ruffino. He’s from clientsondemand.com and a podcast by that name Clients on Demand. Welcome to the show, Russ.
Russ Ruffino: Thank you. Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Chris Badgett: I’m super excited to get into it with you. For one, we have a very similar audience overlap, which means everything we talk about is going to be super relevant and on point. I’m more of a tech guy, you have your side of what you do. Who’s your perfect customer before we really get into it, or ideal audience member that can get the most value from what you offer?
Russ Ruffino: The way we say it is we say it’s anybody who can solve a major life or business challenge. We work with fitness coaches, relationship coaches, business coaches, consultants of all types, career coaches, personal development coaches, and also professional service providers, graphic designers, web designers, all that stuff. So if you’ve got the expertise to solve a major life or business challenge, we can help you get the right answer at the right price.
Chris Badgett: What major challenge do you help your people solve?
Russ Ruffino: Well, that, so we work with those people, those coaches, consultants and service providers to show them how to get clients and not only do we show them how to attract clients continuously, but we also show them how to do it at 5,000 10,000 $15,000 price points regardless of what their charging now. That’s true even if you don’t have an audience, even if you don’t have a big following, maybe even if you’re not 100% clear on exactly the problem that you solve, but you know you’ve got the expertise, that’s who we work with.
Chris Badgett: I saw in your material somewhere, and correct me if I wrote this down wrong, clicked client in less than 24 hours. Is that right?
Russ Ruffino: Yeah, that’s right.
Chris Badgett: What does that mean?
Russ Ruffino: So here’s what that means. So there’s a lot of people out there that will tell you that the way to grow your business is to be all over social media, and to just crank out endless amounts of videos on YouTube and just grind out blog posts, or whatever you’re going to do, or just crank out all this content. The idea is that you build this massive audience, and you spend months and months and months or in some cases, years, trying to build audience using organic marketing.
At some point, somehow, someway, you’re going to finally work your way around to selling them something, and that’s not what we do. What we do is we teach people how to run ads on Facebook or social media, and turn those clicks on those ads into clients. The way that we work is it’s a really simple process. It’s just an ad, and they click the ad, then they go to some kind of a presentation, usually a webinar and then we invite them to book a phone call and that’s it.
So the whole process of going from click to client, where they’re enrolling with us at a premium price is 24 to 48 hours in most cases.
Chris Badgett: What’s the key to premium pricing?
Russ Ruffino: The key to premium pricing is to, that’s a really great question, by the way. The key to premium pricing is to connect what you do to an outcome. So an outcome that your audience wants, in other words. So there’s so many people out there that are saying hire me because I was certified by so and so or hire me because I’m trained in such and such methodology or hire me because I fly around in private jets and drive a Lamborghini or whatever about yourself.
The key to premium pricing is to say, what is it that my audience wants? Then if I can really give that to them, what is that worth? So if you’re a relationship coach, and you help people, let’s say, save their marriages, what is that worth? You know what I mean? Like if I’m in a position where thank God, I have a great marriage, but if I didn’t have a great marriage and it was on the rocks and I needed to turn things around, and you can actually help me do that, then that’s priceless.
So of course, you can charge 5k or 10k or 15k for that. So the real secret to come in and premium prices is to be ultra specific about what that outcome is, and then to build all of your marketing around that. So you don’t build your marketing around, like how cool you are, or anything else, or you’re a celebrity or whatever. You build your marketing around that outcome that you deliver, and then if you actually have something that’s truly transformational, that really gets people that outcome, not only you’re going to be able to charge those premium prices, but your clients are going to be grateful that they paid you that much.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. If we’re looking at having that specific outcome with a clear ROI, if we’re in a sales conversation, how do we make it an ethical way, like help them see the priority and make it a now thing, that like there’s some urgency to them, making the decision to move forward with you so you can help them get the result? How do we help our clients take action and prioritize and commit to working with us?
Russ Ruffino: These are really good questions. Well, what we found is that most people, when you strip away the rationalizations, and the kind of lie that we tell ourselves about why our problems aren’t as bad as they really are. Once you strip that away, and people really come face to face with the reality of their situation, most of the time, they’re going to decide to do something about it.
So part of what you’re doing in your marketing, and part of what you’re doing on your enrollment calls, is just getting clear on the problem and that’s great, because most people, they have some clarity on their problem, but not enough. So you might know, hey, I’m out of shape, but you don’t necessarily know why. You might know your marriage isn’t working, but you don’t really know why.
So in the course of a very, very valuable conversation, which doesn’t feel like a sales call at all, it’s basically a coaching call, you can get clear on what those problems really are. Then once you’re clear, and once they’re clear, and everyone’s on the same page, most of the time, they’ll say, God, you know what, this is serious, I better do something about this. So you can facilitate that in your marketing, so that just the marketing itself provides massive value to the client, to the prospect before they even give you a dime.
That’s really what this thing is about is you want to get them clear on what is this problem that they have. You want to get them clear on the fact that you can fix it and you want to get them committed to doing whatever it takes to fix that problem, and everything in our whole process is designed to facilitate that moment of decision.
Chris Badgett: Why are sales follow up BS?
Russ Ruffino: So you’ve been watching our stuff. Because of the reason I just told you. If you’re doing this properly, it’s a really simple decision. My marriage isn’t working. Do you want to fix your marriage? Yeah, great. Let’s get you started. Your business isn’t working. You can’t get the clients you want. Cool. Do you want to fix that problem? Great, let’s get you started. So we barely do any sales follow up at all with our clientele.
I see people saying, hey, before someone buys you got to follow up with them 16 times, I think I saw someone say that, which was just crazy to me. Like, hey, number one, we have 40 people a day reaching out to talk to us about working together, 40 people a day. So we don’t have time to follow up over and over again. 16 times with 40 people, I can’t even, maybe you’re better at math than me, that’s almost 800 conversations. It’s crazy, and that’s just one day is worth of conversation.
So, the truth is that if you know what you’re doing and you’re doing this right, you can get people to make a decision right on that first conversation, but you have to get a lot of other things right in order to facilitate that. Once you have that, like I said, you can take it from click to client in 24 to 48 hours even at a 5, 10 $15,000 price point.
Chris Badgett: How do I qualify and get the right people on those enrollment calls, like if we’re going to do 15 or 30 or an hour long enrollment calls, whatever, like sales calls, how do we think about qualifying the leads, besides just what’s your budget or whatever. How do we qualify?
Russ Ruffino: Yeah, we don’t even do that really. So the way this process works is people actually jump through about 15 hoops before they get on the phone with you. So for me, I don’t really care as much about what someone’s budget is, what I care about is how committed are they to solve this problem? Because if they’re committed to solve this problem, they’re going to find a way to make it work. We’ve had clients who have done, maybe we have a conversation with them, and they can’t quite put the money together right away, but they’re committed at that point and then they get resourceful and then they put the pieces together and then they come back to us.
The majority of the time people sign up on that first call. So the way the system works is you got your first layer of, let’s say, like your first line of defense, which is the Facebook targeting in the first place, and Facebook if you’re advertising there lets you get really, really specific about who is even seeing your ad in the first place.
Then the ad copy is another filter, then the copy on the registration page for the webinar is another one. They sign up for the webinar, they have to show up for the webinar. They show up for the webinar, they have to stick there, they have to sit there and watch the entire webinar, then they have to go and book the call, then they have to show up for the call, then they have to fill out the application.
So there’s all these different things they have to do before they work with you. So by the time they get on the phone with you, they’re about as warmed up and qualified as leads can possibly be.
Chris Badgett: What does the application, how does that sit in the mix? Is that before or after the call? Why do you do an application? Tell us more about that part.
Russ Ruffino: The reason we do an application is because I want to make sure I can really help this person. So, it’s kind of a cliche in sales, and in marketing people go, this isn’t for everybody. This isn’t for everybody, but it’s like you know damn well that if you have a credit card and a pulse, they’re going to take your money. Clients on Demand doesn’t work that way. All of my sales guys know, and everyone in our company knows that if we are not 100% certain that we can really help this person, we don’t enroll.
So like earlier in the call when you asked me, who’s your ideal client and anybody that can solve a major life or business challenge. I’m not going to people that work at Subway or work at Pinkberry and being like, hey, man, start a coaching business and make money online. There’s people that do that, but that’s just not what we do. So for me, it’s like, I want to make sure that I can really get that person the outcome.
So the application is there to maybe tip us off ahead of time if someone has a business model that we just don’t help. If someone’s somehow made it through our marketing funnel, and they own a donut store or something and it’s like, cool, I love donuts. We don’t do that. So it’s to filter out the people that we can’t help and then on the call, we do a whole other layer of filtering just to make sure that this is someone we can really get results for.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. What’s the big, if somebody has an online course, or is getting into coaching and has a training based membership site, what’s the big roadblock between six and seven figures?
Russ Ruffino: Man, that’s a really good question. Well, they’re six and seven figure and then they’re six and seven figures. So here’s what I mean. If you’re charging a low price point, and this is critical for your audience, what’s that?
Chris Badgett: What’s low? What’s low?
Russ Ruffino: Anything less than 2 to $3,000 I got to say. I would say $5,000 is sort of the beginning of where we even get started, and again, most of our clients when they come to us, they’ve never charged those kinds of prices, but we try to get them charging those kinds of prices, but here’s the reason why. Is because I can say, let’s say for example, I’m selling, I don’t know, a $27 ebook or $100 video course or something like that.
I might be spending $200 in advertising to make a $200 sale, and I’m breaking even on the front end, and then trying to make all that money up on the back end. You know what I mean? So you’ll see these people that are putting out these huge revenue numbers. Oh man, we’re doing $20 million a year in sales with this or that, but it’s like, they spent $19 million on advertising and they made 20 million. It’s like, come on, man.
So the barrier is like, first of all, is it real six figures with an incredible profit margin and seven figures with a great profit margin, or are you doing six to seven figures and just breaking even, that’s the first thing. Let’s assume that you’re charging a premium price and that premium price is what allows you to command a good sized profit margin.
So let’s say you’re doing that, then the barrier becomes, do you have a reliable and consistent way to get new clients in the door? Because I know guys that are doing 2, $300,000 a year, $400,000 a year and it’s all referrals. It’s all word of mouth. The problem with that is A, you can’t scale it and B, it’s not reliable. So what’s going to happen you can’t get referrals, say, okay I didn’t get any referrals this month. Everyone’s worried about coronavirus.
Now what? You don’t make any money, you don’t eat, your business doesn’t grow? So you’ve got to have a real predictable way of bringing new clients in the door and then enrolling them at a premium price and then once you have that, scaling from six figures to seven figures to eight figures where we are now is, I don’t want to say it’s easy but it’s simple. It’s a simple linear process.
Chris Badgett: You mentioned earlier that kind of $5,000 offer as a coach is sort of the bottom of what you recommend as a minimum and you said sometimes people come to you and they’re not there yet, but they could be. What do you help them do in the mindset and also on the outside with let’s say their offer, their program or whatever? What inner game outer game improvements, when you see that diamond in the rough inside of a coach, what do we do to get them up to five, to an offer that’s like five plus?
Russ Ruffino: I love that you mentioned mindset, man, because so many people, myself included, think that it’s all about the strategy. For years, I just thought it’s all about the strategy. You get the ads right, you get the webinar right, and everything’s good, but the truth is that we’re human beings. Anytime a human being is operating outside of our comfort zone, we get scared, and we get overwhelmed and there’s a tendency to self sabotage.
So with our clients, we do a ton of work on strategy, we do a ton of work, getting their marketing and their offers dialed in, getting their Facebook ads dialed in, and all that stuff. So we hold their hand through that whole process, but we also do a ton of work on their mindset, because so many people come in with all kinds of toxic stuff.
Maybe no one in your family has ever really believes in you or maybe you didn’t grow up with money and you have all these negative beliefs around money, or maybe you just kind of feel like an imposter. You feel like, why would anybody pay me this much money? Who the hell am I to command these kinds of prices? So the real work that we do, the deep work that we do is introducing our clients to a better, more powerful version of themselves that can command a five or 10 or $15,000 price.
So it’s about introducing people to their real value and it’s an intense process, man. It really is. When people join our programs, we go right to work building out the marketing, we go right to work getting clear on their offer, but we also go right to work developing who they are as a person.
So many people think that that’s not the problem. So many people think, oh, man, my mindsets tied up and I went to a Tony Robbins event 10 years ago, so my mindset’s solid, man. I’m good. Then it’s like, as soon as you start pushing people outside their comfort zone, they freak out and it’s happened to me, I’m sure it’s going to happen to you.
Everybody who’s really tried to make big strides in their business, man, this stuff is scary. So we have to have a team of people there to support you through that and that’s something I think a lot of our competitors just don’t even address.
Chris Badgett: Great points. What’s the difference between coaching and teaching?
Russ Ruffino: It’s the difference between information and transformation, honestly. Most of the people that are out there in the business and there’s nothing wrong with this. I’m saying this with no judgment. Most of the time, when you sign up for something, what you’re getting is information, you’re getting a how to guide, but there’s three things that are required to get transformation. Number one, you need a kick ass strategy.
Most of the time when someone’s just selling information, the strategy isn’t that great and you’ve bought enough products and courses, you probably know that most of the time the strategies being taught out there aren’t good in the first place. Let’s say you manage to get your hands on one that is a good strategy, that’s just the information.
You also need world class support when it comes to executing that strategy and you also need world class support when it comes to, like we just talked about. Your mindset, and just managing your emotions and the entrepreneurial freak outs that all of us have. So if it’s coaching, what I see that the meaning is that it is transformational. It’s like we will do whatever we possibly can to actually get you the result. Whereas teaching is like, hey, man, I’m just going to show you how to do this and then peace out, good luck figuring this out.
Chris Badgett: That’s great. If I was looking at your program, and I’m thinking, wow, this sounds like I got to work on myself, I got to implement new strategies. I’m going to charge more for my coaching offer. How do I do that without sacrificing freedom?
Russ Ruffino: That’s a great question, too. So, when it comes to freedom, it’s all about the delivery. How are you delivering that transformation. So let’s just say for example, that you’re a therapist, and let’s just say you’re an awesome therapist, you get really great results for your clients. The model that you are using to deliver that value is that you’re seeing people in your office one on one, and then maybe you’re charging, I don’t know, 100 bucks an hour or 200 bucks an hour, 300 bucks.
That choice to see people face to face defines the limits of your business right there because there’s only so many hours in a week. There’s only so many appointments you can take and if you go on vacation, guess what, you’re not making any money that week because you’re not taking any appointments. So what we do is we teach our clients to deliver their value online.
So 100% of their value delivery and service delivery is all online, and most of the time, the way people do that is through a group workshop where you enroll 20 people or whatever, you put those 20 people through your program, and you serve all 20 and you do things like train them once a week, and then do like a group Q&A once a week. So you’re serving everybody at the same time.
What we found is that not only can you serve like all of your clients in just a few hours a week, but those clients will also get better results because there’s this whole group dynamic that happens where the clients begin to cheerlead for each other and hold each other accountable and celebrate each other’s wins and it’s a really cool thing. It just doesn’t happen when you’re working with someone one on one.
On top of this, now you’ve got the whole coronavirus thing, where even if you see people face to face, you can’t, or if you want to do these big events, it’s like you can’t right now. So you better be able to deliver your value online or you’re going to have problems but it’s so much easier than people think to deliver your value online and nine times out of 10 or actually say 100% of the time, you’re going to get better results for people too. I’ve never seen a situation where someone didn’t get better results moving their business online than they even did face to face [inaudible].
Chris Badgett: Do you have a preference on evergreen, like it’s open versus doing enrollment cohorts or is it like a, it depends answer? What are your thoughts on that?
Russ Ruffino: Well, it’s up to you. So the cool thing about this is that, you want to get clients at 5k, 10k, 15k prices, how you deliver your stuff is up to you. You might say hey, Ross, I love working with people one on one. So that’s what I want to do. Okay, fine, if that’s what you want to do, great. Or I want to do events, okay, fine. When the coronavirus thing is over, you can go back to doing events. You want to do online symposiums, however you want to deliver your stuff is up to you. So you have tremendous flexibility there in terms of how you want to deliver your stuff. Does that make sense?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah. What’s the smallest email list size a client of yours that has gotten great results or just anecdotally, what do you think is like, can somebody pull this off if they don’t already have a big email list and what do you consider a minimum audience size for a coach to really have a go at this?
Russ Ruffino: Zero. The vast majority, look, if someone comes to me, and they have a list of 10,000 20,000 30,000 people, I’ll have them send two emails to their list, and usually generate at least six figures in revenue, immediately. For us, that’s like a layup, but the vast majority of our clients don’t have any following at all. They’re brand new at this, or maybe they’re not brand new, but let’s just go back to that therapist example.
This is someone who’s seeing people in her office. She probably didn’t have a big email list, she doesn’t have a big following. She’s not on Instagram, she’s not on YouTube. People don’t need any of that stuff, because we teach our clients how to build that audience, but how to do it in the right way.
Instead of saying, look at me, look at me, look how cool I am, or instead of trying to turn yourself into a mini celebrity, you’re talking about their problem. You see so many people that are so wrapped up in telling their own story. Well, this is where I came from and this is what I’ve done and this is who I’ve worked with, and all this other stuff.
What we teach our clients to do is like, look, it’s not about you, it’s about the client, and all of your marketing is oriented towards that person. It’s not like, hey, look at me, it’s like, hey, let’s talk about you. So even if you don’t have an audience, when you begin to communicate in that, you will build an audience and you will be able to monetize that audience, which is the most important thing, because there’s so many people out there and we hear from these people all the time, that Russ, I’ve got a podcast with thousands and thousands of listeners.
I got a YouTube channel or thousands of followers on Instagram. Okay, great. How much money are you making from that? I’m making 7, 8, 9k a month. You would think these people were making, and that’s not nothing. Don’t get me wrong, but you would think these people are making 50, 60, 100, $200,000 a month, but they’re not. Because there’s a difference between having an audience and having clients, and those are two very different things. You know what I mean?
Chris Badgett: What’s the, I think you call it the mini celebrity problem? What is that?
Russ Ruffino: Well, it’s like the conventional wisdom in marketing today is that the way that you make money is by turning yourself into a mini celebrity. You make YouTube videos, you write blog posts, you create content, you’re all over Instagram, whatever. Then the idea is that if you put out enough good content, eventually people will start following you. The thing is, that process takes years And people don’t realize that.
If you ever even get those followers in the first place, it takes years to build that audience and all the while you’re sitting there on Instagram and you’re instagramming all day long, you’re blogging all day long and making videos all day long. Your husband or your wife is going, hey, baby, this hobby of yours, when is this going to pay off?
It’s great that you’re this Instagram celebrity or something, but we got to pay the fricking bills here. Then even, like I said, even when you have that audience, there’s a huge difference between building an audience and actually turning those people into clients. If you’ve conditioned those people to expect nothing but free stuff from you, guess what happens when you try to sell them something? They’re going to freak out, because they’re not accustomed to that.
The way that we do it is it’s like look, ad, webinar, phone call. I’m not going to click on your ad, unless I have this problem that you fix. I’m not going to watch the webinar unless I have the problem that you fix. I’m not going to get on the phone with you, unless I have the problem that you fix. Once we have that conversation, if I really want to fix that problem, I will gladly pay 5k, 10k, 15k to do it.
So you get to skip over all that whole process of audience building and all this other stuff. You just need the right funnel. Then if you want to become a mini celebrity, there’s people out there that are like, dude, no Russ. I want to be an Instagram star. It’s like cool, trust me. It’s much easier to become an Instagram star when you’re making $200,000 a month than when you’re making zero
Chris Badgett: What’s the difference between a millionaire coach and somebody who’s really struggling? They’re trying to coach, they’re trying to build a scalable high ticket online program, but they’re just struggling. Compare and contrast.
Russ Ruffino: Marketing, I hate to say this, but you can take two coaches and there could be one coach who absolutely sucks, but is great at marketing, and another coach who’s one of the best in the world and who’s terrible at marketing. The one who’s good at marketing will make more money all day every day. So marketing and positioning and those things, those things are like a superpower. Now, if you’re a great marketer, and a great coach, then you’re cooking, then you’ve got something going on.
All day we have people coming to work with us who are phenomenal at what they do, man. They’re great coaches. They don’t understand Facebook ads, they don’t understand marketing, they don’t understand positioning. One of our clients is like, we have clients who are acupuncturists. It’s like, cool, they’ll put needles in you all day long.
If clients are chiropractors, man, they’ll crack your back, they’ll spin your neck all the way around, or whatever but they don’t know anything about marketing. Because it’s not their job. You know I mean? Their job is to focus on their clients, their job is to focus on their patients. So that’s why they have to come to us and, hey, man, we will dial in the rest of this stuff with you so that now you can get the clients that you want at the price you want, and you’re free to focus on serving them and making a difference, which I think is what people really want.
Chris Badgett: Can you explain to a non marketer what positioning is and how to do it well as a coach?
Russ Ruffino: So positioning is essentially, the way I like to think about positioning is because it’s one of those loaded terms that’s like used so much that, and people even know what it means. So someone else might give you a different definition, but the way that I think of positioning is why, should I hire you? Why should I hire you? What is your pitch? What is your pitch? Most people, like I said, their pitch is I got certified by so and so or I spent 10 years meditating with guru blah, blah, blah or whatever or I’m super rich or I drive a private jet or fly private jet or whatever.
It’s all about you and how cool you are and the idea is, if you make people think you’re cool enough, they’re going to want to be like you and they’re going to go, oh, man, I better give that guy money because I could be like him one day. That’s the wrong way to do positioning. The right way to do positioning is you have a problem, let’s fix it.
If your marketing is based on that, what’s amazing is there’s so few people who are saying that well, that you can go into an extremely crowded market or an extremely crowded niche and you can dominate because if you’re doing that, and you’re selling transformation, when everyone else is selling information, like we talked about before, you’re going to go into that market and you’re going to dominate because people are tired of information, man.
I can on Google, I can Google anything I want. On Amazon, I can order a book, I can have it delivered there by two o’clock this afternoon. Information is not the problem. The problem is transformation. The problem is, so few people are really willing to do what it takes to get amazing results for their clients, and the ones that are willing to do what it takes don’t know anything about marketing and positioning.
So if you’re willing to do what it takes to get great results for your clients, and you come in and use a marketing process like the one that we teach, you’ll be able to go in any market, no matter how many competitors are there and you’ll be able to crush.
Chris Badgett: From a tactical perspective or just an operating principle What does it take for a subject matter expert to get amazing results for their clients? What does that look like? If we were to see it out in some people, what’s happening?
Russ Ruffino: Well, so first of all, you need a strategy that works. So there’s three pieces like I said before. There’s the strategy itself. Is the strategy good? So that’s something that I can teach people. If someone comes to me and they’re a marriage expert, I have a great marriage. I am not an expert, I just got really lucky. So, that person has to come to us with the strategy. Now we can help them refine it, we can help them clarify it, but like I said, you have to be able to solve a major life or business challenge.
Great. So you come in with that strategy for saving a marriage. Now, you have to deliver that to people in a step by step way that they can actually follow along. You have to give them support at each step and that’s why those $1,000 video courses don’t usually result because it’s like, I’m just dumping the information on you all at once and there’s no support.
As you do step one, it’s like a follow along thing. Step one, great, you do it. I’m there to coach you through any questions that you have. Then you have to have, layered on top of that is the whole mindset piece as well, where you’re implementing whatever I taught you in week one, you’re putting that into action. I’m coaching you on How to do it, but you might have a freakout, you might have a problem.
You might realize, Russ, the reason my marriage isn’t working is because I hate myself because, whatever. Because I think someone’s being unfaithful. Who knows? I don’t know, but you have to support people through the mindset piece as well. So if you have a great strategy, and you can support people with the questions that they have, and the things they get stuck on, like strategic support, and you can support people on the mindset, that’s it.
You will have an incredibly transformational program at that point. Then the last thing I would say, is that that premium pricing that we talked about, it’s not just saying well, I can charge 5k because I’m awesome, and people will pay you 5k or 10k or 15k, no. When people commit at a premium price, show up coachable and they show up and ready to work and ready to get results. So it’s like if you have someone who buys something from you for 500 bucks, they’re probably not going to do anything, especially if you’re pushing them outside their comfort zone, they’re just not going to follow you on that journey because they’ve only got 500 bucks invested in it.
If someone’s paying you 5k or 10k or 15k, they’re going to show up and they’re going to do everything you tell them to do and that’s what you want, because that’s where the results are.
Chris Badgett: Amazing. What do you see a great coach do to bring their business from seven figures to eight figures? So making a million a year, going to 10 mil plus. What is that-
Russ Ruffino: Going from seven figures to eight figures is a whole other ballgame. So you have to have the basic strategy dialed in. Like I said, click to client, what does that pipeline look like? If you don’t have that, there’s no chance, no chance. Then once you have that, then it becomes about just doing that at a higher and higher level. So let’s say when you’re first starting out, maybe you get, I don’t know five people a day applying to work with you.
You filter out some of those applications. You talk to three, enroll one, great. You enroll two, great, but when you’re talking about doing this at scale, you’re eventually you’re not going to be able to do those calls yourself. You’re going to need to build a team to do that for you. Like we have at COD, we have this fantastic team of enrollment coaches. Those people now need to be managed. So you need management in place.
You need processes in place. So at COF, we have I think 30 people on the team now. Everyone is remote. We don’t have an office, which was again, great for us with the coronavirus thing. It just was like cool. We never go outside anyway. Everyone works remotely. We got people in the US, people in Canada, Poland, UK, all over the world, and our clients are all over the world too because the whole training is delivered online, and once you can get those systems and processes dialed in, the culture begins to emerge where what does this company stand for?
What is this company really about, and that’s the thing that I think we really have dialed in at COD is every single person on our team is all about results. One of my coaches was like, “Ross, I’m reading this book and talking about company values. What do you think our values are at COD?” I was being kind of tongue in cheek, but I was like, we have three values at COD, three core values, results, results, results.
That’s it. Whatever we have to do to help our clients win, that is what we’re going to do and because everyone is committed 100% of that mission, now the company is filled with enthusiasm and joy, and love and celebration and our clients are just happy and the team is just happy. I think that’s really what getting to eight figures and nine figures is about is how can you solve the next problem and the next problem the next problem.
I talk about that movie The Martian a lot. You ever seen that movie with Matt Damon? So at the end of the movie, he’s been through hell, he’s all this other stuff. The end of the movie comes out and he says, look, man, space is not going to cooperate. What you have to do is you just fix the next problem. How am I going to get water? Great. How am I going to get food? Okay, cool. I can grow potatoes in my own poop. Awesome. Next problem.
That’s literally about building a business is like. It’s like you just solved the next problem and the next problem and the next problem, but the better you get at that, the more resourceful of a human being you become along the way. That’s really the incredible part of this is like I know, right now, maybe some people in your audience are just going like, look, man, I just want to make some extra cash. I got to make ends meet.
I just got to get my business off the ground, and that’s where I started and that’s where everybody starts. Once you get your marketing dialed in and your processes dialed in, the cash starts flowing in like it should. It stops being about the money and it starts being about the mission. It really does, and what gets you out of bed in the morning is not the prospect of making another $1.5 million this month or whatever you’re making.
What gets you out of bed in the morning is waking up and going in your Facebook group and seeing all those clients celebrations. This morning, just right before we got on, I was looking through our Facebook group and so many of our clients, at least five or six of our clients had the best month they’ve ever had in March. Even though all the coronavirus stuff is going on, even though everyone’s on lockdown, their businesses are shutting down all over the place and they’re having the best month they’ve ever had.
That is what gets you out of bed in the morning. That fulfillment and that success and watching other people succeed. It’s addictive, it really is. It’s an amazing thing.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You mentioned your team and like you practice what you preach. So you have a coaching company and you coach, you help people. Well, what is your pitch? How do you say it?
Russ Ruffino: What’s my what?
Chris Badgett: Your pitch.
Russ Ruffino: Oh, yeah. We help coaches and consultants get the right clients at the right price anytime they want and scale their business to five, six a month or however far they want to go.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. One of the things I noticed with just in my user base using our software is that the most successful coaches are not doing it alone. Even if in their early days, and they’re using a virtual assistant to help them buy back some of their time and get out of some repetitive tasks so they can unlock that creative freedom and energy, that’s a start. You have, you mentioned, I think 30 people. At a more scaled out coaching business, what types of roles do you surround yourself with? What are the team positions around you right now?
Russ Ruffino: Well, what’s cool about this particular model, is it’s so simple that it breaks into pieces really easily. So like, let’s say, for example, you were doing the content marketing, and then you were trying to scale that. It’s like who’s producing the content, who’s posting it, who’s optimizing it. There’s like 50 billion things that need to be done. With our process, it’s ad, webinar, phone call. So another way to look at it would be attracting new clients or enrolling those clients into becoming clients and then delivering your service so that it actually gets people results.
So once you look at the business that way, it becomes really simple. Cool, who is our Director of Marketing, who’s in charge of generating those leads? Who’s our Director of Sales and enrollments, who’s responsible for enrolling those people and then who’s our Director of coaching, who’s responsible for actually making sure the clients get results, and everything else flows from that.
So like with the delivery piece, let’s say, at Clients on Demand, we help our clients to, cool, we need Facebook coaches. We help our clients with copywriting, great, we need copy coaches. We help our clients with their mindset, cool, I went out there and hire the best mindset and performance coaches on the planet to come work with our people.
So, what’s cool is like, you can look at the simplicity of the model itself and everyone who works here just has some part to play in helping our clients execute whichever piece of that. Does that make sense?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, it does. I got it. I got a proven process. I’m learning from you right now it’s not that complicated. It’s Facebook ad to webinar to enrollment call to deliver the experience, and then you need a team around the component pieces.
Russ Ruffino: Yeah, and in the beginning, when it’s just you, you’re doing all of that probably. Then like you said, you bring on a VA to handle some With the administrative stuff, but then eventually you could bring on a team of people to do your sales, or you could hire someone to do the Facebook ad piece, or whatever. You’re moving up and up and up the stages of the business, where, at the base stage, you’re the operator, you’re the one that’s doing everything.
Let’s say it’s a pool cleaning company, you’re the one cleaning the pools. Then it’s like you become a manager, you hire three, four guys to clean pools for you and your job is how to manage those guys. Then those guys begin to hire teams of their own and now you’re managing the managers. Then ultimately, you’re like the president or the CEO, where you’re looking at the entire company, as an asset in and of itself that could be bought or sold or acquired or merged or whatever.
So I’m definitely at the CEO level now where I have someone who’s in charge of the sales, someone who’s in charge of the marketing, someone who’s in charge of getting people results and those people report to me directly. I’m able to look at things at a more strategic level of like, okay, great, what can we do to get better results for our clients? What can we do to get more calls booked? What can we do to enroll a great percentage of people, but it’s the same questions over and over again.
So it’s like you’re just keeping those plates spinning. The lead flow plate, the enrollment plate, the delivery plate, and just making sure all those things are doing great at the same time.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. What’s a big unlock that you do for people in regards to Facebook ads? What can you tell people about Facebook ads, and how you use them and how you recommend people use them that is maybe not obvious or it took you a long time to learn some key insight?
Russ Ruffino: This is a tough question to answer, because you know that saying like a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. It’s never been more true anywhere except Facebook. If I teach people like, hey, here’s two to three tips for doing great Facebook ads. They’re going to go on Facebook, and those ads are not going to be integrated into a bigger strategy and they’re going to get killed. Because Mark Zuckerberg will take your money happily, you know what I mean?
Facebook, obviously, they want you to succeed. So you keep coming back and spending more money, but if your ad campaign is not successful, they’re getting paid one way or the other. So it’s like, whatever. So I always hesitate to give people Facebook tips, because it really flows organically from the strategy. It’s like, who is the client we want to attract and what’s the result we want them to get and then how can we all have the marketing around that including the Facebook ads? Does that make sense?
So it’s hard for me to give a couple tips about it, because if it doesn’t fit into your overall strategy, whatever that is, any tip I give you is going to be so situational that it’s going to be destructive to you, ultimately.
Chris Badgett: Was call to action to register for a webinar?
Russ Ruffino: Yeah, usually. Yeah.
Chris Badgett: So do you basically try to help people understand themselves and get them some kind of result even in the ad and then push the webinar?
Russ Ruffino: No, to me that’s too much heavy lifting for an ad. The purpose of the ad is just to call out the problem, to say, hey, here’s this problem. Here’s how terrible it is and here’s the light at the end of the tunnel. In other words, here’s this awful problem you’re dealing with, here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t fix it, but there’s this light at the end of the tunnel. The small handful of people have figured out a solution to this and we’re going to be covering that on a webinar that starts in a few minutes. Go click here to get signed up.
Chris Badgett: That’s cool.
Russ Ruffino: But you see what I’m saying? You see how that fits into our strategy because it’s like, the ad is about the problem that we’re going to end up solving, you know I’m saying?
Chris Badgett: So the webinar, what do they walk away with from the webinar? Yes, they may schedule an enrollment call, but in terms of the content of the webinar, what do they get?
Russ Ruffino: So the big misconception is, again, actually giving people tips and if I can give you a couple quick wins in the webinar, you’re going to be so impressed with what I taught you that you’re going to be like, dude, let’s work together. The God’s honest truth is that just isn’t how it goes.
When you have a major life or business challenge, it takes a massive commitment to fix it. If your business is falling apart, it takes a massive commitment to fix it. If your marriage is falling apart, it takes a massive commitment to fix it. I can’t go in there and be like, hey, man, here’s three tips for talking to your wife or your husband, because people are going to be like, the people that are serious about saving their marriage are going to be like, this is stupid.
Then the people that aren’t serious about saving their marriage are going to go, great, I’m going to go use those tips and I’ll get back to you. So they never end up actually fixing the problem. So if you’re not just teaching a bunch of stuff on the webinar, and then crossing your fingers and hope they hire you, what are you doing? What you’re doing is shifting their understanding around the problem, because right now, there’s all these problems that they think they have.
I don’t know me and my wife don’t trust each other, the passion’s gone out of our marriage, whatever. We disagree on how to parent our children. So what we try to do on the webinar is reframe all of those problems that none of those, the real problem, those problems are just the symptoms. The real problem is a bigger problem they’re not even thinking about, and unless they deal with it on that level, they’re never going to fix this other stuff, but if they do deal with it on that level, all this other stuff fixes itself.
So you’re shifting their understanding around the problem. You’re not giving a bunch of band aids and a bunch of tips, but you’re showing them, oh my God, my whole understanding of this is 180 degrees off in there is a way to fix this problem. I haven’t even seen it. Oh my God, dude, how do I move this forward? Does that make sense?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. So you’re teaching them a new way of even seeing and understanding what’s going on?
Russ Ruffino: Exactly. Because if you can solve a major life or business challenge, most of the time, it’s because you have a new way of looking at it, you have a new perspective, and not all of our clients know what that is when they join our program. Understand, we work on that a lot to pull that out of them. What’s your unique take, or in your case, what’s special about your software versus your competitors?
Why is your software going to get them where they want to go better, faster, cheaper than anybody else? Once we have that clarity, we can integrate that understanding that principle into the webinar so that it creates this giant aha moment like, oh my God, I thought the problem was XYZ. But it’s not, it’s something totally different, and if I can fix that, all this other stuff fixes itself. Oh my God, let’s move forward.
So that’s why the webinar is so powerful because it allows you to, no matter how much competition you have, no matter how many other voices are out there, you can establish yourself as the one person who can fix the real problem, the real issue.
Chris Badgett: What’s the like, two to three to five minute version of your story and how you got into this coaching thing and what kind of influences helped you level up as a coach? I know this is a big question and that’s why I’m-
Russ Ruffino: It’s a big question.
Chris Badgett: So I’m giving you time bumpers, but for the people that are curious, that have the skills and the experience and the passion to solve a major life problem, and they’re listening to you right now, or they’re looking at you right now on our YouTube channel, where did you come from, man?
Russ Ruffino: Yeah, man. 10 years ago, actually, I’m 40 now. So I guess it would have been nine years ago because I think I was 31 when this happened. From age 21 to age 31, I was a bartender in Los Angeles. I wanted to be an actor, that was my dream and when you’re an actor in LA, guess what, you’re usually bartending, you’re waiting tables or giving massages or personal training or something.
So I was a bartender for 10 years hoping to make it as an actor and tried really hard. It didn’t work out. At 30, I just thought to myself, okay, I got to figure something else out and two interesting things happened at that time. Number one, I was on break one day and I walked into Barnes and Noble and I came across The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, and that opened my eyes to this whole idea of online marketing in general.
I didn’t even know this stuff existed until I picked up that book. Then right around the same time, a buddy of mine’s little brother came into the bar and was just bragging about all this money he was making doing like affiliate marketing, whatever the hell that was and online marketing and I’m like what? I literally had no clue what he was talking about but he was talking a lot of smack going like, oh yeah, man, I made $600 today, I made this, ad I was just like sitting going, okay, I’m smart. I don’t know what this kid’s doing, but I’m going to dive into this.
This 4-Hour Workweek thing, it’s got me curious. Let’s just see what I can do. So I just dove into online marketing. Creating information products, affiliate marketing, promoting stuff, ad campaigns and just try to read everything I could get my hands on. I got lucky man, I could just do it. I could just do it.
Chris Badgett: So you were a natural?
Russ Ruffino: I can’t put it another way, man. I would sit down to write sales copy and it would just flow and I’ve never tried to do anything like that in my whole life. Ad campaigns, conversions, funnels, I just understood it. It just made sense to me. So eventually, I started teaching people how to do these things and I started out, like we were talking about before, selling information.
Here’s how you do an ad campaign, here’s how you do a campaign on Google, here’s how you do a webinar, whatever, and doing it at a low price. I was pretty successful that way, but we would do these launches and we would sell thousands of copies of something and views would be good and people would be happy and they’d be almost no refunds, but when I followed up with these people and said, “Hey, man. You bought that video course, what’d you think?”
They’d be like, “Oh, it was awesome.” “Okay, great. What’d you do with it?” “Oh yeah, I’ll get around to putting it into practice at some,’ point and okay, nothing wrong with that, but it started to bother me. So I thought to myself, okay, well, what would happen if I flip this whole thing on its head? Instead of selling information for a couple hundred bucks or whatever to thousands of people, what if I created something that was truly transformative, and I put a premium price on it, and I worked with a few people every month but I really did everything it took to get them results.
I shut down all my low ticket stuff. I said I’m just going to do high ticket from here on out. For three months, I made zero money because I just didn’t know what I was doing, and then cracked the code on how to do that part. That was the kind of baby version of the process that we teach now, and we teach that process to our clients, and we’ve got clients crushing it in every niche you could possibly imagine.
We have a woman who creates custom diamond engagement ring, I’d say, and she’s using our process and just killing it. So it was just about like I could always do online marketing, but it really started to bother me that people didn’t take action, and then trying to figure out, well, what can I do to get them to take action, and then how can I really come through for them so that they get an incredible result? That was the genesis of this whole thing and I made that shift, in I think the end of 2012 and then since then, my business doubled almost every year for six years, it’s crazy. Just boom, boom, boom.
Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that story. Russ Ruffino, he’s at Clients on Demand. If people are listening to this, and they have a major life changing problem that they can solve, what would you have them do?
Russ Ruffino: So again, you can be a coach, consultant, professional service provider, and if you’d like to talk to us about how we can put some of these processes to work for you, then go to clientsondemand.com/talk, and you can book an appointment right there to speak, that link is going to take you to our calendar page, and you’ll see all of the available appointment times. Just grab whichever appointment time works for you. And then we’ll call you at the time that you chose.
On that call, like I said, it’s going to be incredibly valuable call. It’s not like some big sales pitch. We’re going to really get you some clarity on the problems that you solve, and who you should be working with, the price you should be charging, get you clarity on all that stuff. Then if we think it’s potentially a good fit for us to work together, we can talk about how we can make that happen, but even if we’re not a fit to work together, I promise you, you will get so much value and clarity out of just that one call. So it’s clientsondemand.com/talk.
Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s awesome. Russ, I want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom with the course creators, the people building membership sites, the coaches, and the consultants that power that industry. This episode was full of a lot of wisdom. I’m actually going to early release it today to the LifterLMS Office Hours Mastermind Group. Thank you so much, keep doing what you’re doing and thank you again for just really just adding so much value in a short amount of time with this audience.
Russ Ruffino: Thanks Chris, my man. I hope I gave them some good stuff.
Chris Badgett: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet.