The #1 pain point for all course creators, coaches, service providers, and most other businesses is lead generation. You can be the absolute best at what you do, but if you can’t get in front of new clients, it’s over.
That’s why Russ Ruffino’s coaching program, Clients on Demand, is all about generating new leads.
Specifically, Clients on Demand teaches you how to raise your prices, then set up a high-ticket sales funnel that uses Facebook ads to drive cold traffic to your funnel.
It’s a solid approach … but there’s a catch. Facebook is only a good funnel when:
- You know exactly who your target audience is and what makes them want to throw money at you to solve their problems.
- You’ve tested your product price points and funnel and know you’ll get the sales.
- You’re prepared to spend thousands on ads before seeing ROI.
When business owners ask me if they should run Facebook ads, I ask them:
Are you willing to light $10,000 on fire and flush it down the toilet?
Because that’s what happens when you set up a Facebook ad funnel. It takes up-front money to perfect your messaging, targeting, and everything else that goes into making money with Facebook ads.
And let’s be clear—not everyone who invests in Facebook ads gets positive ROI, even after spending thousands.
Here’s where things get interesting.
What if you hire a coach to fast-track your progress? Can you 10x, 60x, or 100x your business under their guidance?
That does happen. I won’t lie to you and say it doesn’t. A program like Clients on Demand can easily cut a twenty-week exercise in learning Facebook ads down to ten.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone, or that it’s even the best way to grow your business. I can’t emphasize enough that Facebook should never be your primary online marketing channel. Ever.
There are a few reasons for that:
- It’s high-risk, high-reward.
- It’s difficult to maintain and easy to screw up.
- It places your business success in the hands of a platform that could cut you off at any time.
Personally, I like methods that are nearly impossible to screw up and that don’t depend on a tech giant for their success or failure.
I have one in particular that consistently works for coaches and course creators (and I’m happy to share all the details later in this post—I’ve got nothing to hide 🙂).
It skips the frantic flurry of marketing activity and doesn’t require any money to execute, but my clients and I have used it to grow 6- and 7-figure businesses.
Not bad for one channel.
Before I get into that, let’s talk about:
- What Clients on Demand teaches you.
- Whether your business is in position to get the most out of Clients on Demand.
- My hands-down favorite method for getting new leads.
- Coaching to help grow your business (if that’s what you want).
Looking for proven, step-by-step methods to grow your coaching business? Book a complimentary strategy session, where we’ll audit your business strategy and talk through a 90-day plan to skyrocket revenue.
What Do You Get from Clients on Demand?
Russ Ruffino describes his methods for Clients on Demand as “proprietary.”
That’s another word for “I don’t want to tell you until you pay for my program.”
So out of respect for that decision, I’m not getting into the nitty gritty details of what he and his coaches will and won’t do for you.
But the basic framework he uses is no secret. Here’s how it works:
- First, you get help clarifying your offer.
- Next, you ramp up your product price to a high-ticket number (typically $3,000 – $8,000).
- Then, you set up and run a Facebook ad funnel that looks like this:
- Ad for webinar hits cold audience.
- Lead watches your webinar.
- Lead books a phone call or Zoom meeting with you.
- You convince them to buy your $$$ stuff.
- Rinse and repeat.
- It’s a tried-and-true formula, and it’s how Russ himself built Clients on Demand to an 8-figure business.
The upside is that when this works, it works wildly. We even use Facebook ads for our business at times.
The downside is that it only works if you meet certain criteria. Solid business idea, great sales pitch, willing and able to spend hours each week tinkering with your funnel … oh, and flush with 💰 💸 to spend, spend, spend until your funnel works.
That’s true even if you have good business coaching backing you up.
If you’re thinking of trying this approach, you need to answer two questions:
- Should you raise your prices?
- Should you use Facebook ads to scale your business?
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you answer those questions.
Should You Raise Your Prices? (Yes. Yes, You Should.)
OK, I admit—this was a trick question. 99% of the time, the answer is yes, you should raise your prices. Russ is absolutely right on this point. Most coaches and course creators are significantly undercharging.
But I’ll be honest, you didn’t need to spend $10k on a coaching program to learn that. In fact, you can follow a step-by-step process to raise your prices right here:
- A Simple Pricing Strategy for Online Courses
- How to Price Coaching Packages & Consulting Services (to $1000+/hr)
It will help you set your initial price, then raise it to a premium price over time. And if you’re wondering if anyone actually gets results from a free blog post, the answer is yes:
If you want help applying those ideas to your business specifically, we can help. But setting the right price is just one part of good marketing.
The key question you need to ask is about the next part of Clients on Demand: the Facebook Ad funnel.
Should You Scale with Facebook Ads?
This is a big question, so I broke it down into four more questions:
- How dialed in is your offer?
- How much time do you have?
- How much money do you have?
- Are you cool with betting your business on one platform?
Q1: How Dialed in Is Your Offer?
For a Facebook ad funnel to really take off, your positioning has to be spot on. In a perfect world, you should sell ~$1M of your product before working seriously on ads as a marketing channel. As a twist-my-arm-and-make-me-do-it minimum, you should have $10k in sales to validate your offer.
The better your offer, the better your ads will perform. But when Facebook is your first channel, that means you have to spend money to test your offer. It’s better to hone your offer first on a less expensive group of leads before you blow through money running ads to test it.
Q2: How Much Time Do You Have?
Lots of people think that Facebook ads are set-it-and-forget-it. All these Facebook ad experts telling stories about clients who rake in tens of thousands every month like to gloss over this bit. They make it sound like all you do is put $5 into Facebook and it just spits out $500 in return.
That’s not how it actually goes.
The reality is that setting up your funnel takes as much time as a full-time job. Maintaining it takes a few hours every week, maybe more.
Campaigns require constant tweaking. What you set up a month ago will be tired and underperforming a month or two later.
If you want to make Facebook ads one of your primary channels, you either have to be OK spending a lot of time on it or on spending even more money by hiring an agency to handle the ads.
And that will still take some time, because you’ll have to communicate with them and double-check their work.
Q3: How Much Money Do You Have?
I wasn’t kidding when I said you’d have to be OK lighting $10k on fire and flushing it down the toilet.
Whenever you run tests on Facebook to tweak your audience targeting, copy, and other funnel elements, that costs money. And while those tests will result in some conversions, you’re usually losing money overall.
It takes $5-10k just to get your funnel to a place where it starts making money. It might never make money for you, and you have to be comfortable taking that risk.
Keep in mind, that doesn’t include the cost of coaching. If you want a digital marketing or business coach, whatever you pay them is in addition to whatever you spend on the ads themselves.
So if you try Clients on Demand and it doesn’t work, that’s a good $15-20k+ you’re never getting back once you pay program fees and that huge credit card bill from Mark Zuckerberg.
Q4: Are You Cool with Betting Your Whole Business on One Platform?
This is one of the main reasons I tell people never to start with Facebook as their first platform.
What if you run afoul of their rules and they freeze your account?
Years ago, I had a modestly successful business on eBay. I somehow tripped their algorithm (I went from selling yard sale goods to high-dollar appliances from restaurants that closed down), and PayPal froze $30,000 in my account … for SIX MONTHS.
Could your business survive if you were deplatformed?
Could you weather a $30k overnight hit to your income?
If not, don’t make Facebook—or any other social media platform—your primary channel.
If You Hesitated on Q1-Q4, Clients on Demand Isn’t for You
Most people reading this post are not ready to bet everything on Facebook ads—even with a coach helping them out. (Though if you have a Facebook marketing expert on your team, use that advantage! But if you did, you wouldn’t be reading this post.)
If Clients on Demand really is a world-class program with enough hand-holding to make a Facebook funnel work for anyone, you’ll make a lot more than your money back after enrollment.
But that’s a big IF.
Will his team review your presentation after every webinar, give critical feedback on the slide deck, then rinse and repeat when you run it next week? Do they hold your hand through ad setting questions?
Or do you get a few group coaching calls, some help docs, and the occasional one-on-one overall strategy session?
If you’re serious about trying their program, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting, because it is so easy to lose your money and time on Facebook ads.
And make sure that a Facebook funnel really is how you want to spend your marketing time.
Wait, But What About Their Client Success Stories?!
Good for them. Really! Like I said, when Facebook ads do work, they can produce wild success.
But a few hand-picked client case studiesisn’t proof that this method works for everyone. The people they feature in testimonials had a solid business model that they were utterly failing to market before they joined Clients on Demand.
In contrast, our clients report weekly wins that we publish unedited on our website. Some successes are huge $$ wins, and some are steps on the road:
Business growth takes a ton of work. I love hearing from clients about the small wins they get along the way … along with the blockbuster wins and “Aha” moments.
An Alternative to Facebook Ads and Clients on Demand
So if you decide not to move forward with Clients on Demand and facebook ad funnels … where should you actually invest your elbow grease to attract clients?
I’m a big fan of whatever is hardest to screw up.
Give me something I can make dumb mistakes doing and not hurt my business, and I’m 100% there for it.
That’s why this is my hands-down favorite lead gen method for course creators and coaches.
I tested dozens of marketing strategies while building my business, and this was far and away the biggest driver of new leads. It’s easy to do and most of the time, it just works.
Instead of Facebook Ads, Teach One New Audience per Week
The problem with most marketing methods is that you have to go out and find new customers individually.
What if you didn’t have to go after your customers directly?
What if, instead, you could have someone they trust recommend you to them?
Sounds like a dream, right?
It’s actually way easier to get those recommendations than you’d think. I call this method OPA:
Here’s how it works:
- You find someone whose audience overlaps with yours (but who doesn’t compete with you).
- You offer to teach their audience for free.
- You teach their audience something useful and invite them to learn more on your site or on a 1:1 call with you.
- They take you up on it and become customers.
The reason I love this method so much is because it’s perfect for coaches and course creators. All you have to do is teach what you know, which is what you love doing anyway!
It doesn’t require a specialized skill set or tons of money up front. If you test something and it doesn’t work, you test something else next time. But when it works, it gets you dozens of the right clients for your business.
For example, Chaitra made a list of 100 partners (we call it the Dream 100) with our help. She sells her design services to Shopify store owners. She’s only reached out to 10 of them, but just from those partnerships, she’s made $100k.
Or, take Diana Wu David. She sold thousands of copies of her book and $8k in online course sales from a podcast tour.
Are there ways you can mess this up? Sure. You need to find the right audience owners to target, craft a decent pitch, and make sure your site is ready for visitors. But the cost of failure is low, and it’s not hard once you’ve done it a few times.
You can learn exactly what my clients and I do to make this work from this blog post (I also call it partnership marketing).
I don’t hold anything back in my free content. You can absolutely try this and get quick wins just from following these blog posts.
But if you want help clarifying your offer, making your list of partners, perfecting your pitch, and so much more, you can hit up my team and get your wins much faster than doing it by yourself.
What You Get at Growth University
Growth University is my marketing coaching program. When you join, we start by making sure you’re 100% clear on who you serve, what their pain points are, and how you’ll craft your messaging for them.
When you start the program, we put together a personalized marketing plan for your business. We do a deep dive into where you are now, what your income goals are, and the best roadmap for you to hit them.
Walking you through OPA is a key part of the program, but we also help you fix any holes in your marketing, like updating your landing pages or your pricing package.
We’ll help you find your very first audiences and partners. We can review every pitch you send, make sure you’re targeting the right partners, and keep you accountable to your goals every day.
This isn’t just a few course modules and Q&A sessions; we’re interacting with you daily.
We track your progress and offer unlimited coaching during the program (to do this, we use email and Loom a lot so we can answer everyone’s questions quickly).
We guarantee that your business will grow from other people promoting it (OPA!) and give you the skills to rinse and repeat your successes.
What Are You Waiting For?
There are many ways to grow a new business. Referrals, content marketing, facebook ads …The trick to success isn’t “Which of these should I do?”
It’s, “Which of these should I focus on first?”
My vote is for OPA.
Want in on the fun? Hop on a complimentary strategy call with my team. We’ll audit your business strategy and talk through a 90-day plan to use OPA to skyrocket your revenue.