My book, “Traffic Secrets” warned of the coming storm for entrepreneurs, and with the uncertainty in 2024, especially since this is an election cycle year, ad costs are set to soar above the roof. We just had a scare internally as well, and so I’m firing off a final warning. If you aren’t prepared yet, this is the time to double-down on alternative traffic methods. How do you do it? Listen to how we’re doing it and watch what we do next.
We're always tinkering here at the ClickFunnels Marketing Secrets lab, and hopefully I can keep sharing these things with you guys. But it's interesting because there's different variations of what we're doing, but the core principles are all found in the Traffic Secrets book. So this January, if I can give you one thing to do, knowing that the storm is coming again and it's going to be bigger than last time, and this year is happening, there's no like ifs, ands, or buts, know that moving towards November, ad costs are going to be skyrocketing. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to start getting your organic game on play. Now is the time to start building relationship with influencers. Now is the time to start building your email list so you'll survive the storm and thrive through it.
What's up everybody? This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I'm a little bit sick, so my voice might sound funny, so I apologize in advance for that. But what I'm going to bring you is fire, so hopefully that helps.
So anyway, it's a new year. We've a lot of new projects coming up. I'm still working on launching the new podcasts and new other things. We're launching a new YouTube channel. We have so many fun things happening right now. But also there's a lot of weird stuff happening right now in the market. I think this year, it's going to be a crazy year. It's an election year which messes up everything. It makes ads go crazy because a whole bunch of corrupt politicians, on both sides, are dumping insane amounts of money into add. So ads are going to get weird this year. Controversy, there's going to be... Anyway, it's going to be a year.
And so now that it's January, we're getting started. I just want to talk about some things to think through, some things to, I don't know, hopefully prepare you and get you ready for the year from a marketing standpoint. If you've read the Traffic Secrets book, the introduction, it says there's a storm coming, right? And that was crazy. I published that right before COVID. In fact, we did the launch during COVID. We hit the New York Times bestseller list during COVID, which is awesome.
But I was talking about how the advertising platforms and things are changing. They're getting harder, all these things and the storm's coming. You have to start learning traffic differently. And some people took that to heart. It's interesting, some people, most people are still focusing on one traffic source, one thing. They're writing Facebook ads or Instagram or YouTube or one thing. And that's the thing I want to talk about today because it's the thing I'm, I think, most nervous for you guys about.
And as you know, for the last two years, I've been talking a lot about this new framework called the Linchpin, and it's interesting. Had we have not doubled down on the concept of Linchpin, we would actually have no ads that are ROI positive right now. It's crazy. We have more funnels than any company on the planet, 'cause I'm mildly obsessed with creative funnels. We're really good at them. We've got great copywriters and split testing people, conversion rate optimization people. We had the best of the best. And even that said, if it wasn't for the Linchpin, I would not be able to physically pay for ads right now, which is crazy. The only funnels that are actively profitable are the Linchpin funnels. So hopefully that tells you guys something, that like, hey, not only Russell is saying this, he's practicing what he preaches, right? But it's understanding we have to get better and better at marketing if you want to run profitable ads. So that's the first thing.
Second thing is we had a scare this week where... Obviously the majority of traffic comes from the two big sites. There's Facebook, Instagram, which is the Zuckerberg stuff, and there's Google, YouTube, which is like... Was it Larry and Sergey? Whatever. The Google guys. And then there's all the rest of traffic. And we had a scare where our core Linchpin funnel that's driving the majority of leads for click funnels literally got shut down on Google. So 50% of our traffic, gone. And they banned the account or whatever. Which happens. We repealed it. Repealed it, repealed it? Whatever that phrase is. And then within six to eight hours, we got back on, which was great, but it's really startled me of just like, "Holy crap, that fast we could lose everything, right?" Paid ads is such an unsure foundation.
So moving into this year, I've been seeing the writing on the wall probably for the last, I mean for a while, but I've been really focusing on it for the last six months. That's why, as you'll see, I'm launching a new podcast. It's why we're launching a new YouTube channel. I think I filmed 17 videos from the YouTube channel, and we're filming every single week. We're doubling down on social. There's a couple of things. It's been interesting. It's funny for me how it goes through waves. There's times when paid ads are the thing that crushes it and then paid ads get too expensive. Then the organic stuff crushes it, and it goes back and forth and back and forth. And I look at the friends I have right now, that are making the most amount of money and the most profitable, are all people who are crushing it organically. They're not paying for ads, they're literally running... They've just got the content game figured out, and that's what they're doubling down on.
And so number one thing I would say for everybody is if you haven't done it yet, it's time to get into the organic content side of things. And I don't think you need to do what I'm doing, other people are doing, and try to be everywhere, omnipresent, every single platform. I don't think that's the case. I think it's more what I talked about in Traffic Secrets, which is pick one and become really good at it. If you want to be really good at podcasting, become a podcaster. If you want to be really good at YouTube, be good at YouTube, Instagram, whatever it is. But pick one and really double down and then create amazing stuff there. Because if you do it correctly, and if you do it consistently, that's when you start getting traffic.
In fact, I have a call with another guy, started his business two and a half, three years ago, I think. This year, did over a hundred million dollars. And he told me, he's like, "I've never had a paid ad yet." But his content game is one of the best I've ever seen, which is crazy, crazy to me. And it's all profit. You take the same business that's running a hundred percent on ads, you could probably scale it from a hundred million to 250 million or so. But the reality is 70, 80% of that's going to be going back into ads. In fact, it's interesting. I was reading a study about all the big venture, VC backed companies and they're looking at, let's say someone raises a hundred million dollars. I think it's like 80 cents of every dollar goes back to either Zuckerberg or Google in all these VCs. Someone raises a hundred million dollars, they paid 20% into rebuilding the team and 80% back into ads. It's crazy. It's just crazy.
And so understanding that, we can build businesses, we have deep funnels, we can have linchpins, we can have all these things, which are great and paid ads are amazing, but understanding the organic sides what we should be doubling down on because ad costs are just getting crazy. And during the election year, it'll get insane. If you haven't been on an election cycle yet, just realize that you got the Republicans, the Democrats, and everyone in between who are dumping insane amounts of money into ads with no ROI expected or needed just to blast the airwaves. So because of that, because there's dumb money being spent, everyone who is intelligently spending money, it makes all of us suffer. You'll see sometimes your ad costs double, triple, quadruple. So if you're struggling now, you're going to be in a lot of trouble then. So it's like now is the time to start running, to start preparing for that storm. So that's number one, the organic game.
Number two is how do you bypass Zuckerberg and Google? And this is, again, a big focus in Traffic Secrets. It's like understanding that I can go buy ads on Facebook instead of going out to this entire platform, but if I can undercut Zuckerberg, if I can cut him out and go directly to the influencers, there's way more profit there. So I started looking instead of how do I buy ads on Facebook? I started looking at the Facebook platform, who are the influencers who have influence, who have email lists, who have blogs, who have podcasts, who have whatever, and going directly to them. I'm cutting out the middleman. And by doing that, you can save a ton of money.
Ideally for me, my dream is to go after e-mailers. Email is the best traffic still. So I like going on social and say, "Who on my social platforms have a big email list?" And those are the deals I'm trying to do. If you think about it, if someone's got a million followers on Instagram, they push people with the newsletter, from the million followers on Instagram, they get a hundred thousand people on the email list. From the hundred thousand email list, if we send an email out to it, they get 30,000 opens, they get whatever, 15% click-through rate. That's the cream of the crop, right? It's like siphoning off the best customers from Facebook and you can actually get to them cheaper than going high level to cover all of Facebook.
Does that make sense? It's just going deeper down the funnel, right? So imagine you're going to target... Let's say you target me, so you're going to get 5 million people who know who Russell Brunson is. And so you're paying Facebook to target 5 million people. But then you come down, it's like, well, if the 5 million people target Russell, Russell's got an email list of whatever, 2 million people. So I have a two million person email list. And then if I send an email to my list, we get a hundred thousand opens. From there, we get 30,000 clickthroughs. And we're not selling ads to our lists. But if I was, you'd be paying just for the 30,000 people who are the most likely to buy, the cream of the crop, the best possible people, and it's going to be cheaper than going and targeting 5 million people at the top of the funnel, top of Facebook.
And so now is the time to really start building those relationships. Which again, if you haven't read the Traffic Secrets book, go back and read it. It's all in there. But it's building out and JV partners, influencers, cutting out the middle man and going directly to those people. It's more work, so it's not just me logging into a dashboard and buying ads and clicking buttons and looking at the algorithms and stats and stuff. It's a little more step, a little more work, but it protects you, right, when ad costs quadruple because Zuckerberg can get an insane amount, can get $80 a click right now from the Republicans, the Democrats. We can't compete with that. But what's cool is I can go directly to the influencers that've got an email list and Trump's not paying them for ads. That person still needs to be bought in. So there's that.
Number three is like how do you do partnerships with people? Instead of just buying an ad in their email list, how do you do something more intelligent? I'm an example of this. It's not finished yet, so I won't say exactly who the person's name is, but there's a person who is a big influencer, they're awesome, and they sell ads to their list. So I was going to go buy just ads to the list, which is great, but I was like, what if instead I did something more strategic? And so what I'm doing is I'm interviewing this person for my podcast and then what I'm doing is I'm going back and I'm buying ads to their list. But the ads isn't like, "Hey, go look at Russell's new product." It's like, "Hey, this guy Russell Brunson interviewed me on this topic. If you want to go get a free copy of it, go to blah blah blah.com." And so we're taking his list, his or her, whoever it is, and promoting that person's interview.
It's interesting, if I promote something in my list that's like a Russell Brunson product, I get three times the opens and click-throughs. Versus someone else's product, I get one third. So same thing here. It's like if I'm buying ads in someone's newsletter, I want to get the most amount of clicks possible. So let me buy an ad pushing the interview I just did with the person. Does that make sense? And so that's what we're doing.
Anyway. We're finalizing the first one this month here in January. But the goal is to go and do that on everybody. Everyone who's got a big podcast that they've got a big list, they got a big whatever, and they're selling ads on it is go interview the person and then buy the ads promoting the interview. And that way, people opt in for the interview, and then from there, push people to my products and services through email. It's moving people from traffic that I'm controlling, again, this is Traffic Secrets 101, traffic I'm controlling into traffic that I own, getting them on my own email list. So it's just being strategic, it's thinking a little bit differently.
Yeah. So I don't know, there's a ton of other things. And we're working other processes, new funnel types. I'm always testing in the laboratory. I've got a new funnel type that I'm really excited for. I'm not going to spoil it yet, but I think it's going to be the biggest game changer for me. It's not necessarily applicable to everybody's business, but for mine it's going to be insane.
Anyway, so that's what's happening. We're always tinkering here at the ClickFunnels Marketing Secrets lab, and hopefully I can keep sharing these things with you guys. But it's interesting because there's different variations of what we're doing, but the core principles are all found in the Traffic Secrets book. So this January, if I can give you one thing to do, knowing that the storm is coming again and it's going to be bigger than last time, and this year is happening, there's no like ifs, ands, or buts, know that moving towards November, ad costs are going to be skyrocketing. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to start getting your organic game on play. Now is the time to start building relationship with influencers. Now is the time to start building your email list so you'll survive the storm and thrive through it.
So anyway, hope that helps. If you haven't read Traffic Secrets yet, go get your free copy of the book at trafficsecrets.com. And with that said, I appreciate you guys for listening. Hopefully this was helpful for you guys. And again, watch what I'm doing, just model it. We're putting a lot of time and effort and energy and money into discovering these things and the best way is just to model it and look at what we're doing. So I appreciate y'all for listening. Have a great day and I'll talk to you y'all soon. Bye everybody.