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53 - Beware Of All Platforms... Except This One

53 - Beware Of All Platforms... Except This One

Listen To Today's Episode: 

Episode Recap:

A podcast from Russell and Todd in a private plane. On this special private plane episode Russell and Clickfunnels co-founder, Todd Dickerson, rant about troubles they’ve had with different platforms, most recently iTunes. Here are some of the interesting things you will hear on this episode:

-- Find out why Russell is not longer getting subscribers for his podcast, and how all efforts to fix the problem have been fruitless.

-- Hear Todd tell a story about a friend of his that basically lost his business when Amazon D-listed his product.

-- Find out why YouTuber, PewdiePie pretty much lost everything after using an offensive term.

-- And discover how we can learn from these examples to make sure we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.

So listen here to find out why it’s important to have a back up plan when it comes to social media platforms, as well as merchant accounts.

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Best Quote:

If you’re building your business on a platform, just prepare to lose it all very, very soon.


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Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today we are taking, this whole thing is happening on a private plane with Todd Dickerson.

Todd: Well, it’s a little bumpy right now.

Russell: Alright, so right now we’re on a private plane and I want to show you guys the moon out here. Now we’re in the middle of a cloud. I don’t know if you can see this.

Todd: Busting through the clouds.

Russell: So those who are watching this, if you’re listening you can’t see it, but we’re on a private plane, we’re at, I don’t know how many feet in the air. We just left Atlanta, Georgia. Not Atlanta, we left Cherokee county, at the airport, which is kind of cool. We were supposed to be…we were really excited because this flight there was supposed to be a beautiful girl right there, and a beautiful girl right there and then Todd right there. But our beautiful ladies, aka our wives are not here. Todd’s daughter got sick the last two or three days so his wife’s like, “I can’t make it.” And then my wife’s like, “Well if she’s not going, I’m not going.” So now we’re on a romantic trip together without our wives because we already booked a plane.

Todd: So we’re going anyway, it’s going to be fun.

Russell: It’s going to be so awesome. Oh, check it out, here’s the moon. There’s the moon shot. Yeah, there’s the moon. So for those who are watching this, there’s a picture of the moon. It’s so cool. For those of you guys who are listening, you have no idea what we’re seeing, you are totally missing out. Go to and you can watch the video version as well.

Anyway, man this plane is really bumpy. Bumpier than I thought. We’re above the clouds now, so we’re legit. Alright for those of you guys who don’t know Todd yet, you need to know him. He is the brains behind Clickfunnels. He’s the one who built it all initially and he lives in Atlanta, Georgia. We’ve been trying to get him to move to Boise now for like 6 years. But he told me no. So finally, I feel bad, he comes to Boise like every quarter.

Todd: Every few months.

Russell: This is the first time I’ve come to Atlanta to hang out with him and see his house. I had a chance to hang out with him in his home and his family is amazing. Tell them all about how cool you are.

Todd: Okay.

Russell: Anyway, right now we’re actually heading down to a conference, St Petersburg airport.

Todd: Clear water beach.

Russell: An email marketing conference, a mastermind thing.

Todd: It’s top secret. We’re not allowed to say where it was.

Russell: We can’t talk about it. Well, by the time this comes out, you can’t yell at me anyway. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re putting this along so we can show you guys what’s happening. But it’s kind of fun. And check it out, oh it looks so cool.

Anyway, I don’t exactly what we’re going to talk about. There’s so many things we can talk about when we’re like, “We’re on the plane, let’s do a podcast.” I have one thing I want to rant about and while I’m ranting I’m going to let Todd rant about whatever he wants. Because I want you guys to get to know him better.

So my rant today, right now I’m recording my podcast. Some of you guys know I’ve been a podcast, Marketing In Your Car first, and…… I just popped my ears, that’s why I’m doing weird stuff….So we launched that podcast and ran it for almost 6 years, every single day in my car podcasting, podcasting. Putting in the time, the effort, the work. We built a big following, and then about a year ago we rebranded it as Marketing Secrets. And since we’ve rebranded we have 3.5 million downloads, we’ve been in the top ten business podcasts for the entire year, our video podcast is the number one, not only in the business category, our video podcast is the number one video podcast in all of iTunes. So you’d think that iTunes should like us.

Todd: Yeah, you’d think so.

Russell: But apparently, ten days ago they decided they didn’t like us. What they did is they shut down, basically, if you’re subscribed to our podcast you continue to get our stuff, but nobody new can subscribe. We’ve been appealing to them, writing to them and they’re like, “Sorry.” And we’re like, “Why are we kicked out?” they’re like, “You’re just kicked out.” Well, why? They won’t tell us why, they just said, “You’re out.” And it reminded me about something I wanted to talk to you guys about because it’s very, very important. And it’s never, never, never trust a platform. If you’re building your business on a platform, just prepare to lose it all very, very soon.

I’ve done this multiple times and now it’s happening with iTunes. I’ve lost, how many since we’ve known, how many email auto-responders?

Todd: Oh my gosh…

Russell: I’ve been kicked out of Aweber, almost a dozen times. iContact, at least 8 or 9. ActiveCampaign, Bellcheck multiple times, SendGrid multiple times and again just recently, they did it again. Facebook I’ve been kicked off at least 2 or 3 dozen times, we’ve been really good and consistent recently. Instagram kicked me off, I got back in luckily. Google kicked us off like a decade ago. We never really got back. YouTube I launched, I had one video that the headline was, “The Internet Marketing Illuminati” and they cancelled our account. It’s just crazy.

So all of us, we put all of our eggs in this basket, like Many Chat or Facebook Messenger, every time we put the eggs in, we gotta put all the eggs in this basket. The problem is if somebody doesn’t like you for whatever reason, or no reason at all, they don’t even have to tell you a reason, they can just turn you off. It is insane. You were telling me about the Amazon one today…

Todd: Oh yeah, the Amazon guy, so there was guy locally that was selling stuff online on Amazon, and he was killing it and doing great. He ordered a huge new pallet of stuff from China, had it all shipped over and got here. While it was on the way over, Amazon decided to D-List his product. They didn’t like the name of one of the products, they thought it was too close to another name of something else, D-Listed the product completely. His entire revenue stream disappeared overnight. Luckily, he had been talking to one of our other guys, support agents about funnels, so he started his funnels up, but he was completely dependent on Amazon. Lost a business, he had 5 employees, all of his employees are looking for what they’ll be doing next. He’s struggling to get things going and it’s all because he was 100% reliant on Amazon.

It doesn’t mean that it can’t be a side channel that’s awesome for sales, but you cannot have it be a primary thing. Not Amazon, not Google, not Facebook, nothing.

Russell: It’s crazy. So I just wanted to re-emphasize this to all of you guys. If you’re building your business 100% on Facebook, I got bad news for you, Zuckerberg doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t. “But Russell, I’m paying $1000 a day in Facebook ads.” He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care even a little bit. We’re spending insane amounts of money and they don’t care. They don’t care about you, about me, about any of us. All they care about is their customers, making sure the platform’s happy. And guess who their shareholders and platform doesn’t like? People like us. So guys, you just have to be aware of that.

iTunes apparently, now that I know, they don’t like people like me. I don’t know why, I just kind of, added a ton of publicity to their platform, added thousands of viewers, millions of downloads, and they just one day out of the blue, “Oh, bye.” With no rhyme or…it’s crazy to me.

Todd: The top guy won’t even tell you why.

Russell: Yeah, the escalated it to the highest guy in support, he’s like, “Yep, we cancelled your account.” I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “This ticket has now been closed.” You won’t even tell me why? I don’t know what to do.

So a couple of things. Same thing with merchant accounts. I almost went bankrupt before. I had 14 merchant accounts at one bank and all of them got shut down the same day. So 1 is a very, very scary number in business and in marketing. So always think about having multiple things, having multiple ways you are collecting money or are able to collect money. Making sure you have customers from different platforms, make sure the way you message your customers, there’s multiple platforms.

In fact, can we talk about this right now, or is this top secret?

Todd: It’s a little top secret still.

Russell: It’s still top secret.

Todd: We can’t talk about this part of it, but what he’s leaning towards is, what we already do in Actionetics on some levels, is being able to communicate on multiple channels, multiple modalities and stuff. But there’s definitely nice stuff that’s going to be coming in the near future.

Russell: I don’t want everyone, again, if you relying 100% on email, you could be in trouble. It’s hurt me multiple times. I think, I would say conservatively about 20 times I’ve lost my email service provider. And I’m not an aggressive marketer, maybe I’m aggressive. I may be aggressive but I’m not unethical. I follow the rules of everything. So it’s just kind of crazy.

So a lot of things we’ll do, if you were at last year’s Funnel Hacking Live we talked about the big benefit of using Actionetics, you can plug in your other SMTP and if SendGrid shuts you down, you plug in the new one, but you still keep your accounts. We’re trying to be a platform that’s not shutting our members down, so you have access, so if something bad happens you can plug in to other things.

Todd: it’s the new thing with custom domains, I’m not sure….now with Actionetics you’re able to have your own custom domain for everything. So link tracking goes through a custom domain, your unsubscribes go through a custom domain. Everything goes through a custom domain so you don’t have any relationship to any other people on the platform or to us. So if you get in trouble or someone else on the network gets in trouble it doesn’t affect anyone else. Which is, that’s not the case, and the reason why Aweber won’t let you import people into their platform, it’s because if you import people and spam them, then it hurts everyone on Aweber. That’s no longer going to be the case on the whole Actionetics platform. You are super isolated, so it’s only going to affect you if you cause a problem. And if another person on the network causes a problem it’s only going to affect them.

Same thing with image hosting and everything, it’s all going to be on your own custom domains now, which is actually already live. So if you haven’t set that up, go set up a custom domain, we’re giving everyone free custom domains.

Russell: It’s awesome. We’re trying to figure out ways to make it so that, we care about you guys as customers, we want to protect your businesses, so we’re trying to make Clickfunnels easier to use. So you can add in multiple SMP, multiple ways to collect money, multiple ways to message us. You’re not 100% relying on email. There’s just a lot of cool things that are coming. I can’t tell them about…..

I always tell people stuff before we’re ready and Todd yells at me, so I’m going to be careful. But that’s where we’re going and I just want to re-emphasize for you guys. If you are relying on one platform, if Zuckerberg is the way your entire business runs, now is the time to diversify. Don’t diversify in 6 months from now, or a year from now. My guess is that windows not going to be that long.

About a year and a half ago when Facebook started shutting our accounts down, I was like, “Lose Facebook, Facebooks over.” For some reason they loosened back up. They had a tight grip on people, but they loosened back up. But you know it’s going to come back again, you saw what Google did. I have friends who are making millions and millions of dollars a month, who when Google put the chokehold out, they never recovered. They’re doing, working at McDonalds, I don’t know where. But they’re not doing their business anymore.

So if you want to be around in the long term it’s very important to understand that. I still think you should start with a platform, start with Facebook or whatever that is and go there, but be very aware, as soon as that’s working, it’s like now you need to add a second source, so as soon as one disappears….or I need two merchant accounts, in two separate banks. I need to be able to collect money just in case one dries up or goes away. Make sure multiple auto-responders, SMTP, all those things are very, very important, just don’t rely on a platform. The platform will screw you over. They do not care about you or me, they only care about themselves and their customers. They think for any reason, because of something we produce it effects the experience of the customer, gone.

Todd: Or the shareholder.

Russell: Or the shareholder.

Todd: That’s the reason why we’re not VC by the way. Same type of thing.

Russell: The reason why we love you guys, we’re not taking VC money because we want to be able to protect you guys. But it’s crazy, I have no idea. I talked about God in my last podcast, maybe that was why. I don’t know. It’s crazy.

In YouTube, we were talking about….who’s that famous dude who lost his YouTube again?

Todd: Oh, there’s PewdiePie or whatever, there was 50 million followers. I mean to be fair, there were some things that he shouldn’t have said, but instantly they shut down his business, he had dozens of employees, everyone out of work, completely shut down this entire media empire more or less, with the flip of a switch.

Russell: Cutie Pie?

Todd: PewdiePie

Russell: PewdiePie! So if you guys know PewdiePie, he got screwed by this as well, it’s crazy. And if you look at it there’s stuff on YouTube that’s so super offensive. I don’t even know what he said, but he said something.

Todd: He said something offensive, it was probably really bad.

Russell: It was probably really bad, yeah. But nevertheless they just crushed him like a grape, and they don’t care. You’re like, “But dude. I put in 5 million dollars a year in your platform.” But “We don’t care about you.” That’s what happened with Google. I remember when Google slapped everybody, everyone’s so shocked like, “I spend a hundred grand a month on Google ads.” They’re like, “You are one of our smallest clients.”

Todd: It’s a blib. They won’t even talk to you if you’re spending that.

Russell: It’s a lot of money to us, but to them, they don’t even care. They’re just angry that you interrupted the customer experience. So it’s just something to be very, very, very aware of.

Todd: Yeah, if you’re selling on Amazon, if you’re building your business on any of these platforms, that’s fine, but you need to also be expanding out. Building your customer list, building your email list, building your different chat lists, building your different communication channels with this. Building an actual business where you’re able to keep things going if Amazon decides to shut you off tomorrow. Because it will happen, it has happened to plenty of people.

Russell: So there is your warning. Ye have been warned. Thus sayeth Clickfunnels. Be careful because they will screw you over.

Okay, one last thing for this podcast. Todd’s working on tons of new stuff, we can’t talk about it, but what are you most excited about with the new stuff in Clickfunnels coming out?

Todd: I’m most excited about this thing that I can’t tell you about yet.

Russell: Sorry! It’s so awesome though. He showed me all the screenshots today.

Todd: So yeah, there’s the potential to basically 2x probably the results that you’re getting from different leads that are coming in on the front door from a communication perspective. Double open rates, double click rates, that kind of thing on what you’re currently seeing on your primary channel of communication.

Russell: That’s like being super, low balling. Double is….

Todd: Super generic low balling but it’s way more than that.

Russell: Yeah, it really is probably.

Todd: Yeah, it really is probably way more than that. And there’s also some cool things with payment processing that we’re beta testing right now that should literally instantly double mobile conversions.

Russell: That one we can talk about?

Todd: Yeah, I mean we can talk about that.

Russell: You can be in on this one.

Todd: So ApplePay, AndroidPay and Paypal all on one push to order. So the results we’re seeing preliminary at least, on the apple based stuff is literally, you go online, you click add apple pay to your thing, you press your thumb on it, and it’s instant. Everything works with upsells, with OTO’s, down sells, one click ad sales.

Russell: So imagine on your mobile, you’re on your phone and someone comes with a free plus shipping offer and they buy, does ApplePay pop up on their phone?

Todd: They only literally have to order once. They order on your primary order form, one time. Just like you, instead of typing in an order number, we have their thumbprint. Boom, it’s ordered. And then on an upsell they can just click one button, just like you would if they had to put in a credit card number. We can charge them, do the whole process, do everything we need to do. Same thing for Android. That’s the other sexy part that just recently came out. Brand new Android, they’re calling it like Google Pay or something like that, but we’ll be also supporting that as well. So you’ll be able to have Apple and Android, which for the longest time, most of the other platforms out there, they still have, if they do support it, it’s only Apple.

Russell: So that’s crazy. For those who are selling stuff mobile-y, it’s going to make your mobile experience so insanely good. People, I don’t know about you, I never buy things on my phone because I hate trying to type my credit card with my thumb. So what I do, I always email myself the link and then sometimes I buy stuff and sometimes I don’t because at that point I forget about it, whereas this is now like, oh…and they click their little thumbprint and it dings their card and then upsell, upsell, upsell, boom, fulfillment.

I’m also going to prophecy, I don’t know if I should prophecy, it’s kind of sacreligious. I don’t want to get shot down in this plane. I’m going to forecast, is that a better word? I’m going to forecast the future of where things are going. I was telling Steven this the other day. You know how we always design websites for desktops, usually wide, using multiple columns and stuff like that, mark my word, the future of where website design is going, is in single column, narrow width pages. If you look at Dollar Shave Club’s order form, this is the best example. You go to the page and the order form is like this wide going down the middle, and the fields are all centered and very, very clear, and it works really good mobile-y.

But I think that’s going to be the future of where even desktop is all designed. That’s my forecast, I’m guessing. So you’ll start seeing, you’ll notice Clickfunnels, one of our order pages right now is a lot more simple. That, I think that’s where future things are going to be.

Todd: It needs to be sized down properly, to do that. And you can easily, in the Clickfunnels editor, you can easily do that. Just jump into mobile mode, build it first in mobile mode, click desktop and you’ll see it in both modes. That’s the great thing about it. You literally only have to design it once. You might change some font sizes or show some images on desktop that you don’t show on mobile, stuff like that, that you can customize. But in reality you can do it first on mobile very easily.

Russell: I think people read more on mobile than videos, don’t you?

Todd: Yeah.

Russell: When I’m looking, I never push play on a video on mobile, like a sales video, I’d rather always read. Which is why I also think like a blend of video plus text is going to be more and more important. I look at a lot of our stuff now and it’s like here’s the video of me pitching it and then below there’s the copy of me pitching it. Because a lot of video I’ll see the play button, but I’ll, typically you’re in the bathroom or something and it’s awkward. This is my phone hand….Just kidding.

Anyway, there’s some forecasts and some ideas. But that’s what we got for you guys. So I hope you guys have enjoyed the flight. We’re probably half way to our destination. All you need to remember is, first off, don’t rely on one platform for anything. Your advertizing, your messaging to your customers, your merchanting, the only one platform you should be relying on 100% is Clickfunnels because we love you guys.

Todd: We’re flexible with everything too. We allow you plug in other platforms. We allow you to plug in every other platform out there. That’s why we built a way for you to….

Russell: We’re the only ones that love you enough that you should just focus on us. But then like I said, our focus, one big thing that we’re moving forward, is building in all the back ends, so you can plug in backups for stuff, you have multiple ways to message people outside of just email, in case email gets shutdown. Multiple merchant accounts in case your merchant accounts get shut down. All those kind of things. But don’t forget on your ad side, on your podcast side, all those things. My podcast downloads have dropped because I’m no longer listed, which drives me nuts. And nobody can subscribe to my podcast now. So now I gotta do work, anyway it’s just a new annoyance happening.

And there’s always a work-around. If you get your Facebook account shut down, don’t just walk away and be like, “Apparently I broke their terms…” This is the other thing that drives me crazy. I remember, you’ve probably heard us talk about SEO days, people were like, who were anti-SEO were like, “Well, we don’t want to do this because it’s against Google’s terms of service.” And it’s like, “Their terms of service…they’re coming to your website and spidering you. You can do whatever you want on your website.” It’s this weird thing.

So same thing, people getting their Facebook account shutdown are like, “It’s over. I’m done. This is not fair.” No, you don’t understand. This is your business, this is war. If they’re coming in and shutting you down, you need to fight back and get back in and keep coming back and coming back. Don’t just get knocked down and be like, “Ugh, I’m dead.” If that had happened to us, we would have lost our business decades ago. But we’re fighters so we get back up and keep going.

So you’ll see my podcast back, very, very soon. It’s annoying because I will lose all of my pre….anyway, we’ll leave it at that. It’s all fun games. When all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter. We’re trying to change the world and these guys get in our way. The platform will get in your way, and try to keep you from that. So just ignore them and keep moving forward. They shut you down, come back, make some tweaks, changes and keep going on and keep serving your people because they’re there, it matters, it’s worth it. Anything else? Any final words?

Todd: See you on the ground.

Russell: See you guys. Bye everybody.


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