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Episode Recap:

I'm checking in from the high seas on a cruise ship with my family. But I've just had a realization. See, for years I've been all about paid ads, but they're getting pricier by the day. That's why I've had a change of heart. Inspired by folks like Rachel Hollis and Cathy Yoder, I'm shifting my focus to content. And my plan is a game-changer! So expect some big shifts on the Marketing Secrets Podcast and everywhere else!

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I think this is the biggest, for me personally, biggest insight on traffic I've had in the last 10 years. It's just crazy. Traffic secrets, I should write a bonus chapter part two or something. It's like how to get paid to get traffic. Just going back in time thinking about that, what an important thing that I missed all these years.


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What's up everybody? This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today I am messaging you from inside of a cruise ship. My family and I just went on a, we're still on the cruise actually, so I don't forget. We've had three days on shore and today's a boat day and we're all just kind of sunburned and tired and hanging out. So I thought I would jump on and say, what's up to you guys. Also, it's kind of fun when you're on vacation and you're not constantly in the middle of the day-to-day grind. Your mind starts wondering about other things and I feel like your subconscious mind's able to give you more ideas and more insights and so it's been a fun trip. A lot of cool things in my head.

I also had a chance to read both of Jesse Itzler's books. One is called Living with the Seals, for 30 days he lived with David Goggins. That book is amazing. It's one of my new favorite books of all time. And then part two is Living with a Monk. The monk one was good, but the one with live with David Goggins was insane. It was such a good book. If you're looking for a fun one, yeah, check out that book.

Anyway, I actually want to talk to you today about something that I have fought for 20 years and I'm finally repenting in my ways and changing my mind, mostly because I think we're in a situation where we kind of have to now. Let me explain. So obviously you guys know that I am a big fan of paid ads. We spend multiple millions dollars a month on paid ads and forever that was great. We spend a million dollars and make 5 million or whatever. It was awesome. But over the last few years, ads have gotten more and more expensive at a point where it's like even our business and I have a deep funnel, I've got a lot of back ends, got continuity, got high ticket, we got all these things, it's going be harder and harder and harder to make the numbers all work and something fascinating is the people I know that are winning right now are people who are really good at the content game.

In fact, in April I'm flying out to go see two of them. Both of these guys are killing it. One of them was doing eight figures a year, doesn't pay any ads, one's doing nine figures a year through the pay for single ad, all through just organic content. And I fought it for a long time. Not that I've been fighting organic content, I'm all for that, but to really focus on it, I didn't understand it.

In fact, it all started with a conversation I had with Rachel Hollis. And Rachel, when she wrote her book Girl Wash Your Face, she blew up and she was the biggest celebrity on the internet for a couple years and it's crazy. She was doing the Russell Brunson stuff. She was doing events and speaking and on world tour and writing more, but just crazy busy and she, even if you listen to her podcast or talked to her, it was a lot. It was a lot to handle. And anyway, a couple years ago things had slowed down for her and she was changing things around and she told me, she's like, "I've looked at all the stuff I was doing." And she's like, "The thing I spent the least amount of time on was my podcast, but things make me the most money was also my podcast." And so she's like, "I decided just to double down on that."

And I'm not going to lie, I didn't really understand that. Okay, how are you making money off your podcast or how much? Anyway, I didn't really click in my head. Because for me, a podcast is a way to generate traffic to my funnels. In fact, everything from me, all content I put out there, the goal of it is to generate traffic to funnels. So she's focusing on that. I'm like, okay, it doesn't make sense. She doesn't have a ton of offers out there. She wasn't doing events anymore. I'm like, this doesn't make sense. But that's kind of all it was.

Then fast forward to a couple months later, we had Mastermind of Paradise in Mexico with all the TCCXers and Inner Circle members and that was awesome. And I had Cathy Yoder speak and Cathy, she's someone who had the YouTube channel focusing on air fryers, how to cook with air fryers. And initially I saw her doing that and I knew she had some air fryer recipe books and I was like, oh, she's driving travel from YouTube channel to Facebook. And I was like, "Do you want to come speak in Mastermind Paradise showing how you're doing that?" She's like, "Sure, I'd love to." She came to Paradise and she showed the thing. What I wasn't expecting is not only was she showing how much traffic she was getting her funnels from these YouTube videos, she started showing the revenue that YouTube was paying her.

Now at the time, you have to understand I had turned off revenue on all my YouTube videos, because I'm like no. And in fact, I'd always tell people this, this is Russell now humbling himself. I'm like, "If they could make more money off my audience than I can, then I don't deserve to be a marketer." In fact, I remember people trying to buy ads on my podcast back in the day. I'd say the same thing, "If they can make more money off of my listeners than I can, then I don't deserve to be a marketer." So I would never let people buy ads, which is anyway, probably dumb, definitely dumb. But at the time it seemed right.

So I'm watching Cathy Yoder, she's showing the thing, she's just making these videos in her kitchen that she's use an air fryer and she showed month one I made 50 bucks, month two I made 300 bucks, month four I made a thousand. It got up and then got to the point where every video she was posting, she's making 30 to 50 grand for every video she was posting and all sudden it was like, holy cow. She posts a video, instead of buying ads to get people to watch, she posts the video for free, it gets a million views or 200,000 views, whatever it is. And I'm like, she got paid 20, 30 grand for that video, plus the video still drove traffic to her funnel.

And I was like, that's so fascinating. Right now everything I'm do is I spend money and I get people to my funnels. She's producing free content, she gets paid for that content and then it sends people to her funnel. It seems like a better way to do business. Again, I hear her say that and I'm like, that's cool, but I don't know, I don't really do much.

So back at Funnel Hacking Live, she comes back and she speaks and does the same presentation and once again I'm like, gosh, I need to start my YouTube channel. So I decided to go all in on YouTube, actually hired Daryl Eves, he flew out for a day and trained me on some YouTube stuff, which was awesome, and worked this team and we started doing our YouTube channel. And if you follow me on YouTube, in fact, if you don't go to and search Russell Brunson and go watch a bunch of my videos. But we started consistently producing videos and so we went and spent a whole bunch of time filming them and we got, I don't know, 15, 20 videos in the queue and then we launched the channel.

And so we launched it in January. We launched four videos February. Anyway, it's funny because January I only made, I think gave me a thousand dollars like ooh. But we got a bunch of traffic to our funnels, which is good. So I got paid, got traffic to my funnels. February it doubled to $2,000. $2,000 by ad revenue, bunch of funnels. Like okay, this is working. Then now we're in March right now and it's gone up even more. And this is similar to Cathy if you watched hers, it was little bits and all of a sudden within five or six months it was crazy money, right? Got to a point where you should post some more videos, you should post two videos a day or two videos a week, then three videos a week, anyway. And so we go onto YouTube and I'm still not quite getting it all, but I'm like, this is cool. I'm making money to get traffic as close to paying money to get traffic.
So anyway, so we're doing the YouTube strategy, I'm focusing on it and then I talk to one of my friends, I can't mention their name because I talk to other stats, but they have a really good podcast and one of their sponsors alone was paying them $80,000 a month for this person. I'm going to be careful, I don't want to get in trouble disclosing them or their income, but $80,000 a to mention them on their podcasts once a week. And I was like, how is that even possible? So I asked this person and they said, "Oh, well here's an agency.There's a lot of them out there, but you hire this agency and they'll sell ads for you." Okay, so I hired this or I talked to the agency and I'm still fighting it a little bit. I got my podcast, which is most of these episodes about 20 minutes long and there's no ads ever. And they made this proposal for me and I looked at it and I didn't really get it.

And then the owner of the company very wisely made a video, was like, "Russell, let me explain to you how this works. You obviously have a thick head." She explained this whole process and so showed me, said, look right now, and they basically will be the person whose podcast that I'm not going to mention the name of, they were getting I think 800,000 downloads a month, which is awesome. And I was looking at mine and mine gets, I don't even know, a hundred and something thousand downloads a month. So one eighth of this other person.

They said, "Well, a couple problems. Number one is your podcast is only 20 minutes long and so we can't sell many ads in there, so you have to increase it to least 30 minutes because then we could have a pre-roll ad, a mid-roll ad and a post-roll ad if you're at 30 minutes." And they said, "Based on your numbers right now, if you increase anything you'd make," I can't remember what it was, I don't even know, 15, 20, 30 grand, something like that. 20, 30 grand a month or something. I'm like, "Oh yeah, that's not horrible, but's nothing to get y'all excited about."

But then she said, "No, look, right now you're doing once a week. Now if you went to go and do it twice a week, all of a sudden you go from a 100,000 downloads a month, 200,000 downloads a month and you just doubled your income by doing two podcasts." And said, "Now each of your podcasts is 30 minutes. It means we can only have those three ad spots, but if you were to increase it to 60 minutes pre episode, if you increase 60 minutes pre episode, now all of a sudden we can sell whatever, it's six ad spots or five ad spots and now your income doubles again." So I'm going from one 20 minute show to two 60 minute shows, I go from whatever, 30 grand, again, I don't remember the number had but $120,000 a month from the podcasts.

And that's like if I don't grow it. And it's like now let's say you use focus on actually growing the podcast and buying ads and do all these different things. Then you go from, because if we go a 100,000 a month, then go twice a month, now it's 200,000 or twice a week, sorry, post now it's 200,000 downloads. You start buying ads, you get to like 400,000 downloads and then all sudden the revenue starts going crazy. And I'm like, oh my gosh. And all of sudden the things started clicking my head.

I was like, that's what Rachel Hollis is doing. She went from having a podcast once a week, that was 30 minutes to now it's an hour, but she does hers five days a week now. I was like five days a week. That means she's able to get five times the impressions and the people who are buying ads are buying based on impression. And then Rachel also launched a morning show. She has a 30 minute morning show and an hour long afternoon show. She has two shows a day happening and all that's happening. She's getting paid on the CPM for all these ads and I have no idea how many downloads she gets, but I'm doing the math and she's probably making, who knows, I have no idea. But my guess is seven figures month or more just on ad revenue from the podcasts that she records probably one day a week and just records all of them. And that's like, oh my gosh, I missed it. That makes so much sense.

And then I started just thinking about that. That's my podcast. Now if I start focusing on that, if I'm getting four or 500,000 downloads a month, that's all traffic now they can be pushing back in my funnels and I'm getting paid for that. No longer am I paying for these ads, I'm getting paid to create stuff. How's that change if all of a sudden, instead of me going out and spending 30 grand this month on podcast ads, instead I get paid 30 grand to promote and then to do my podcast. How's that changed the metrics for business? It changed them dramatically.

Look at Hormozi. He spent two years building up his organic traffic and then when he did his first virtual event or whatever, he has 500,000 people register for free. That's crazy. If I was to pay to get 500,000 people to register for an event, I mean I'm looking at three to five bucks per opt-in, probably more than that, times 500,000. It's just a four or $5 million ad spent to do what he did for free because he'd spent two years doing this organic free content and focusing on it.

I started getting it. I'm like, oh my gosh, that's the key. And so I'm looking at now where it's like YouTube. I want to produce instead one video week, what if I do two videos a week, what if I did five videos a week? Looking at one of my friends, Andy Elliott. He posts a video every single day, consistently day after day after day. And you look at that with the CPM that's happening, it's crazy.
For explain sparks, think I didn't understand this part, but advertisers pay for CPM, right? So if you have a thousand listeners, that's an M, right? So cost per million or cost per thousand, CPM. And so that was always the thing that I struggled with was like, well, who would pay to be on Marketing Secrets Podcast, who would pay to be on whatever? It's like the brands that are on here, if you listen to them, it's Geico, it's Apple Pay, it's Lexus, it's Tesla. It's these big brands who aren't direct response advertisers, they're just looking for CPM. And so if you've got the right demographic and the right numbers, they'll pay you for it.

So to hear how this works, go and listen to Rachel Hollis' podcast, go listen to Tom Bilyeu's, go and listen to, just listen to these podcasts and then notice Tom Bilyeu's, he'll start with two minutes of ad roll at the beginning of the podcast, in the middle of the podcast, there's ad roll and the very end. And listen to the companies who are buying it. They're all big companies who are buying on CPM. And if you get the CPM, they pay for the ads and it fills it all up.

You look at on YouTube, you get more targeting where people are buying based on different offers and funnels a lot of times, but still at the same time there's big brands that your ads are showing up on. And so that's kind of the key with it. So anyway, it's really fascinating.

So for me, my whole focus now is like, how do I get paid? So even our email newsletter, these companies now are finding that you can put a block inside your email newsletter and then they'll literally just place the ads in your newsletter for you and same thing with CPM. So it's based on how many impressions you get. That's how much you get paid for the ads in the newsletter. It's crazy. So I'm looking at flipping everything around. From me buying ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, you need all this stuff we're doing, to how do I flip around, how do I get paid on the podcast, how I get paid on YouTube, how do I get paid in an email? How do I get paid and everything so that I'm getting paid to produce these things versus me paying to place them out there? Does that make sense?

Anyway, so it's kind of a fascinating thing I want you guys to think through. It's a big mindset shift that I've had on my side and obviously it takes more time like Facebook ads, you flip a switch and all of a sudden you get it, YouTube be like you've got to build an audience, you has spend some time, you got to putting things out there. But if you're consistent for six months, a year, two years, imagine what can be possible, right?

Again, Hormozi spent two years, he went from owning gyms, very small following of just gym owners to two years of really hardcore content. And now you look at his followers and all these things and it's crazy, right?

So anyway, that's just something to think about. Getting paid to get to run ads versus paying to run ads. When I was in college, I bought a domain name, I don't know if I still have it not, but it's called And I remember I was sitting in college thinking about I'm in this classroom and I had to pay to be in class, I had to pay for my books, I had to pay for everything. And I remember looking around the walls, all the walls, my classrooms were empty, there's white walls. It was like you could pay, advertisers would pay, Taco Bell would pay to put a banner ad in here because all the kids are hungry and lunch want to go to Taco Bell, you could sell space. And I start thinking like you sell space anywhere. On your website, you have a blog and there's this side spot where sell that space. And so I was going to do a course way back 10 years ago called Selling Space, but I never actually created that.

But same concept, you create eyeballs and then you sell space inside that eyeball. That's the big takeaway. So anyway, you're going to notice the Marketing Secrets Podcast in the very near future will shift from a 20 minute show to probably a 30 or 60 minute show. You'll notice I'll be going from once a week to at least twice a week and maybe eventually more, depending how well it goes. And these are the reasons why, because Geico wants to pay me to share stuff with you. So I'm going to share some stuff with you.

And so go focus more time and energy. Like Rachel Hollis said, now the podcast becomes the main focus because of that. It's just fascinating. YouTube videos become the main focus. All these things become the core focus. And so I'm going to spend more time and energy and effort creating this content and really producing it so that I can get more CPMs and get more eyeballs shown and I get free traffic and get paid for that traffic. I think its better than free traffic. You can paid to drive traffic to your funnels, which is insane.

Anyway, I think this is the biggest, for me personally, biggest insight on traffic I've had in the last 10 years. It's just crazy. Traffic secrets, I should write a bonus chapter part two or something. It's like how to get paid to get traffic. Just going back in time thinking about that, what an important thing that I missed all these years.
So anyway, thank you for all the people who are smarter than me, who've been doing this for a long time. Thank you Russell, for finally paying attention to it. And I'm really excited, especially for me. I don't know about you, but I've got a big company, tons of staff, so when I do stuff, I don't get paid that money directly. It goes into my company and then I get paid at the end of the day. But with these things I shift around where it's like I'm the content producer, I should get paid up front. So the revenue coming from the podcast, revenue coming from YouTube videos should come to me directly after paying the costs of the people who are producing all this stuff, but it comes to me and that gives me incentive for me to focus on creating really good content.

Wherever you get paid is where you're going to focus your time. So I'm getting paid the money from creating courses, I'm going to create courses, I get paid through webinars, I'm going to do webinars, I'm getting paid to create content, it's no longer going to be an afterthought. It's going to be the thought, it's going to be the core thing of like, man, if I get paid 20 grand to make this video today, I'm going to go make a really good video. I'm going to make two videos. You know what I mean? So that's the thing to start focusing on and thinking about.

So anyway, there's a big insight. Hopefully it helps you guys. It's where my mind's at right now and I'm so excited I can't even sleep. I'm so excited about this whole concept. And I realize for me it's going to be probably a year period to really build it up to the spot where it's significant revenue. But in a year from now, that'll be coming to me because I'm creating content, because I'm driving traffic to my funnels. It's crazy. And so yes, maybe it's going to take you two years, but man think about two years ago where you at? But if you would've started this two years ago, right now, imagine getting paid all this money for producing the content that's driving traffic into your funnels anyway, it's insane. It's exciting.

Anyway, so selling space. I think we'll call it that. I don't even know. I hope this helps you guys out and yeah, I'm excited to do our podcast episodes. I'm also launching a second podcast because I might as well. I recorded the first two episodes before we left on the cruise and they are awesome. I'm really excited for them. Anyway, so much fun stuff coming up. So, all right, appreciate you guys all. Thanks for listening in and I'll talk to you guys all soon. Bye everybody.


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