Automate your customer's journey

My Comparison of Clickfunnels VS Simplero

I’m often asked which marketing automation software I prefer. And that’s a hard question to answer. Because there are several that I love almost equally! Two of my favorites are for sure ClickFunnels and Simplero. They do similar things, some things one does better and some things the other does better. And some things only one will accomplish. Here are my thoughts on these two platforms, in no particular order, as a freelancer who builds and manages sales funnels and email marketing for my clients.

What I love about ClickFunnels

  • The people who run ClickFunnels KNOW digital marketing. Like, they are the expert of experts. And that’s evidenced by how well their brand is marketed. And thus all of their funnel “recipes” are designed to create “perfect sales funnels”.
  • They teach you what they know! If you are brand new to sales, digital marketing, and other aspects of the online business world, you NEED to check out their free and low-cost training opportunities. Start with the books by Russell Brunson. Grab Expert Secrets here through the ClickFunnels website. (Pay attention to how the funnel flows! That’s where your education begins!) Another great resource to really dive in and start learning funnels is the One Funnel Away challenge.
  • Amazing sales funnel and landing page builder. Whether you choose to use a free or premium template or create your own from a blank page (or have your team’s funnel builder or techy VA do it for you), you can rest assured that the basic elements of quality web design and sales funnel design will be in place when you are done. It’s a relatively simple drag and drop platform with an uncomplicated way to embellish your design with CSS code.
  • Payment processing is smooth. You do have to choose one payment processor, but using Stripe (for example) through ClickFunnels has always been a very smooth experience.
  • Set up of multiple products is straight forward.
  • Upsells are done nearly perfectly as well. This software was absolutely designed to perfect the art of the upsell. (You know, “Do you want fries with that? Or a dozen of whatever you just bought? Or an upgrade to the VIP package?”)
  • You can place your ClickFunnels pages on your WordPress website using their plugin. (Not free from glitches, unfortunately, but overall it usually works quite well.) This means that you don’t necessarily need a secondary URL or subdomain to present your ClickFunnels pages to the world, and you certainly don’t want to put out your landing pages with the default ClickFunnels url on them.
  • They have a fantastic affiliate program. Want to be in the affiliate business or simply refer your clients to them and cash in on their account month after month? Make sure you sign up for an affiliate account! (That’s why I’m using my affiliate links in this blog post, by the way. Because why would you want to talk about and send someone to a platform and NOT use an affiliate link?)
  • They also allow you to have your own affiliate program for your products and it works pretty well, also. Affiliate links use cookies that embed themselves on the user’s browser memory and tell the seller who provided them with the link so that they can compensate the referrer appropriately.

Cons of ClickFunnels

  • Their funnels aren’t always pretty. They actually like to say that ugly funnels sell better than pretty funnels. I’d have to see the stats on that one and understand their definition of “ugly”. Because I wouldn’t describe their funnel templates as ugly at all! They are neat and aesthetically pleasing and well designed. But they do tend toward feeling quite masculine. So maybe that’s why they aren’t “pretty”? And maybe what matters in how well an “ugly” vs “pretty” funnel sells has to do with your product and target market? I know I’m biased because of my profession, but I always find myself more inclined to purchase from a beautifully done funnel.
  • The tech issues. Things break…alot. Cache doesn’t purge when you’ve made changes…alot. Little glitches abound.
  • Related to that, their tech support has a reputation for being terrible. They have made strides to do better in the past couple of years, but seems that it’s still lacking compared to other platforms. And while, maybe, someone is working on the tech issues on the backend quickly, they tend to not let you know about it. The best tech support for ClickFunnels that I’ve found (other than hiring your favorite funnel geek)? Head to the official Facebook group and scroll/search for the issue you are experiencing. You are likely to find the solution, or the lack of solution other than “just wait it out”. If you can’t find a solution, post your question. You will probably get a couple of helpful answers and a ton of “I can fix that for you” offers.
  • Their membership site platform leaves a lot to be desired. It’s great for a simple member offer, such as lifetime access to a virtual summit recording. But if you want a more robust interactive membership site, this is not the solution for you.

What I love about Simplero

  • Simplero will do what ClickFunnels will do, and more. The sales pages you can build (from template for from a blank page) can look just as good as any other landing page builder. Mostly this has to do with educating yourself.
  • You can put almost everything in Simpleroyour email list, your subscriptions, your website, your blog, your membership site. And it all works so well!
  • Payment processing is smooth and you can choose multiple payment processors (Stripe and PayPal, for example).
  • Their tech support is on point! Have a problem? They respond within minutes or hours (depending on complexity and time of day). Just can’t figure something out? They almost always know the answer.
  • They have extensive, searchable, free trainings available, using their own course platform.
  • They make constant improvements! Nearly every single time I log in, I get a notification of a list of things they have improved.
  • They really listen and care about their users. Many of the ongoing improvements are based on user suggestions. Want the platform to do something that you loved about another platform? Just have a vision of what would make a certain aspect of Simplero even better? Submit a suggestion and they will read it, consider it, and implement it at some point if it makes sense and is possible.
  • They also have a great affiliate program, both for you to help promote Simplero (here’s my affiliate link!) and that you can use to promote your own programs with your own affiliates.
  • One login for everything housed in Simplero. Let’s say you have purchased a course from 2 other people and you have your own Simplero account. If you use the same email for all 3, you will find it all under your profile. I love that feature!

Create offers and connect with your audience without having to juggle seven different tools - Simplero

Cons of Simplero

  • When I first started using Simplero for a client’s projects a year or so ago I was amused by the title. “Simplero” suggests its “simple”, right? It’s most certainly not simple! I screamed at my computer a great deal while learning this platform. lol But now that I’ve mostly mastered it, I find it to be simply wonderful. Maybe that’s why they use the name Simplero?
  • Some aspects are a bit limited. But again… they listen and if you want a particular new feature or upgrade to an existing feature, suggest it and it just might happen within a few months.

Let me know which platform you love, hate, or want to know more about. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 


***This post or website contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission or other compensation if you make a purchase using these links. As someone in the digital marketing industry, I strongly recommend that you also start to share affiliate links of your own! But be kind and honest when using them. Don't just randomly throw affiliate links out there. Use the product first, know the seller first, or at least do your research first. Everything you see referred to on my website is either a product I have used for myself or a client or is from someone who I know and respect in the virtual business world. Enjoy!***

 



Did you win the Powerball? If not, read on…

Did your Powerball numbers win? Did you even play?

If not, then you know the only “easy” way to your desired wealth is through planning, using the proper tools and having the right strategy. Oh, and can’t forget hard work! (It can be fun, but its not always easy, sorry.) That financial success you desire IS out there…

Woman with lots of money!

Resources to get your biz heading straight in 2016

If you did fall into the Powerball madness, don’t be ashamed. I did too. We threw our hats in the ring yesterday and bought 2 tickets, hoping to wake up this morning as billionaires. Well, reality is that not even one of our numbers matched! lol So I guess I’ll get back to planning for success the “old fashioned way”. First up on this 14th day of January is continuing to plan out my business strategy for this new year, learning new skills and strategy, and constantly improving on my current offerings.

If you are working on your business plans for this year, then you should check out this great package from CoachGlue. It’s an amazing bundle of biz + marketing planners.

This bundle includes these 7 planners:

  • Cash Calendar: Your 12 Month Marketing + Profit Plan
  • How to Discover Your Purpose So You Can Love Your Business and Your Life
  • Planning Your Best Year Ever
  • Product Creation Planner
  • Weekly Social Media Planner
  • Google Hangouts Planner
  • Weekly Newsletter Planner

Coach Glue Planners

The best part of this is that even if you don’t need it for your business plans, you can still use it for your clients! Its rebrandable and you can use these planners (or parts of them) in webinars, workshops, as free offers, and more! They would really add a nice touch to your mastermind program!

Check it out!

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**The links above are affiliate links. Which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a benefit from your purchase. I only promote products that I use and/or prefer.**


Let’s Get ANTI-social! Remove distractions so you can get in your zone.

The 15 Day Freedom Blog Challenge for today is to block distractions! Wow, that’s a hard one. Let’s see…my biggest distractions are the husband, the kid, and the dog. I don’t think there’s an app for any of those distractions! LOL

I already use noise-cancelling headphones to get in my zone with Spotify. I spend my days working hard while jamming away to Lecrae, Toby Mac or the Newsboys usually. That helps to block out most of the distractions around me that I can’t otherwise control.

The dog needing to go outside is ok, because that forces me to take a break now and then. When he gets in a “let’s bark at everything” mood the headphones again save the day.

So the one big distraction for me that CAN be controlled beyond that is Facebook. I don’t know how many times I am truly in the zone and all of a sudden I realize I have just wasted 20 minutes on Facebook. Then I’ll stop and ask myself WHY was I even there? Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don’t. Usually its because I wanted to share something cool, or often because I needed to go to Facebook for a client, either to send a message or to log in as them or post something to their business page. Instead I spot the top item on my newsfeed, and I like it or comment on it or scroll down… well you know the rest of that story!

Facebook distraction

Hmm…so I can probably find a way to prevent myself going to Facebook at all. Heck, I could do like some folks and just delete my whole account. Lol But that’s not a very good solution when you work online, network with business people ON Facebook and manage dozens of FB business pages like I do! So I guess I should just schedule it all for specific times.

In Natalie’s day 4 video today she mentioned a couple of apps that will block access to social media sites for a set period of time that you decide. I am going to check those out.

1st up is MacFreedom, which works on Windows and Android as well as a Mac. Looks like it blocks ALL of the internet. Well, that’s not going to work for me at all. So their site says Anti-Social does the same thing but only blocks out social media sites. That may just work!

What distractions keep you from being productive during the day? Even if you are like me and have managed to block out most of the distractions, there is likely still something. What is it and what are you going to do about it?


Using apps in your business and life to improve your productivity

I make pretty good use of apps already. I currently use Gmail for “everything;” even my professional email accounts pull into it. I use my Google calendar for organizing my life and it is synced to my mobile phone because otherwise I will totally forget. My phone is also synced to Facebook events, so if I have said I am going somewhere it puts it on my Google calendar and reminds me!

For my business I use TeamWork. It allows my business manager or me to add and assign tasks, track time, and get reminders when something is coming due.

And of course, my business manager is my greatest help, although she is not an app! Lol 🙂 But she is such a life saver at times.

So after watching today’s 15 Day Blog Challenge video which was all about using apps in your business, I got to thinking it would be nice if TeamWork would sync to my Google calendar, like Natalie’s project management software does. So I got to looking. Sure enough! Not only can it sync to my calendar, but it can also sync to Freshbooks which I use for billing and accounting purposes.

So today’s step is to assign to my business manager the task of helping me get this hooked up. That way the items in TeamWork are being added to my calendar AND sending me reminders on my phone! Win win!

What app are you using or what app will you start using that increases your productivity? Leave a comment below!


What are your most important actions for each day?

I am working my way through a couple of challenges. One of them is the 15 Day Blog Challenge. It’s not your usual “just write a post today” challenges. Natalie Sisson gives specific steps for each day that are not only getting me to write a blog post, but are also giving specific steps to building the whole business.

Today’s challenge was on MIA, Most Important Actions. The point was to ask yourself what is the number one most important thing you can do to for your business or your life each week and make that the first item on your list of to-do’s for your work day or any day.

Woman typing

My mind instantly bounced all over this client’s website, that client’s telesummit, and more. BUT it was for MY business…so at this point that is probably just continuing to develop this habit of writing and communicating with my clients. That doesn’t take an hour a day, so I feel like I should add a couple extra items to fill in that hour. So here goes…

My MIA for this week is to spend one hour each morning writing on my blog, working on my newsletter, and/or updating items on my website.

That means a blog post every single day. One newsletter a week. And updates to my website, whether it be contemplating my overall design changes or making changes to copy and adding services.

What is your MIA for today or this week or this month? It’s a vitally important step to getting yourself and/or your business organized. Leave a comment below.

I also challenge you to jump into this 15 day challenge, even if you are doing another challenge as well. We are just a few days into it and there is plenty of time for you to catch up! Even if you take it day by day, you will only benefit yourself and your business by taking on a few of these daily steps. Click here to learn more.


One of the hardest things to let go of in your business is one of the first things you should

I’ve been there. Actually I’m still kind of there, just trying to really find the right fit right now. “There” is that wonderful but terrible place where business is booming and you have clients starting to pour in…but you only have so many hours in the day (and night) and your kids and spouse are beginning to think your laptop is permanently attached to your body.

Falling asleep at computer

It’s a crossroads where you wake up one day and realize that you are either going to have to start telling potential clients no or you are going to have to build a team to support you and your clients.

It can be daunting, that’s for sure! But it’s a wonderful problem to have. Just don’t stay in it or you will wind up ruining your business. The first step you should take if you are finding yourself in this situation is to evaluate your goals.

I sat down and asked myself if I was content where I was at, if I wanted to build this business bigger or maintain it as-is, and you know what? Fear tried to tell me that I was ok as-is. Fear tried to say “Who do you think you are to think your business warrants a team?” “You aren’t like those other people who run big teams of virtual assistants.” “You just need to find a few clients and be happy with the status quo.” And best of all… “You know you don’t deserve to do better than this little bit of success.”

But I have known for some time that I couldn’t keep up the pace I was working at by myself. And I have this crazy drive to always build it bigger and do it better. (If you are a true entrepreneur, I’m sure you understand!)

I first tried hiring a virtual assistant about a year ago. That didn’t work out. I really couldn’t tell you why, it just didn’t. Then a few months back I decided that hiring a business manager would not only help me manage myself, but would also help me manage any assistants I hired. And that was just what I needed to do.

Not only does she keep me in check, but she has taken over the burden of finding people for my team. Now I can tell her “I need someone who can help me publish ebooks,” or “I need someone who can do the basic installation and setup for a new WordPress website.” And she runs with it. I don’t have to spend hours of stressful contemplation reading through responses from HireMyMom.com or Facebook VA groups anymore. She finds them and screens them, I interview them, I tell her I want to bring them on board or not, she sends them the contract and gets them all hooked up with our task management system. When I have a task for them, I forward her an email or message her on Skype and she gets it assigned and makes sure it gets finished.

Saves me so much time!!

Now I need to let go of some other mundane tasks since we just brought a new virtual assistant onto our team to help with newsletters and social media. I’m excited but it always scares me to just “let it go”. What do you struggle with letting go of in your business? Do you try to “do it all”? Leave a comment below!

 

 


Does your business bring you happiness or frustration? Maybe both?

It’s just about time to get back into the swing of business things. The winter break for the kids is all but over and those of us parents with a home based business are looking forward to having the quiet time that school creates for us. While we love having our kiddos at home, its can be next to impossible to get in and stay in the work zone when someone is constantly wanting to tell you about what they built on MineCraft! (Um hum, can you tell what my 7 year old enjoys?)

I’m sure you have been giving great thought and planning to your business goals for 2015, as have I. And I have no doubt that increasing your business in general is one of your long-term goals. But have you thought about implementing systems to improve the efficiency of your business, thus freeing up your time to focus on the money-making aspects and even more personal or family activities?

Over the next few days I will be exploring some areas of systematization that you should consider implementing.

The first thing to realize is that once your business gets to a certain point, where you are making a couple thousand bucks a month or so, you cannot and should not try to do it all by yourself anymore. Believe me, I understand the stomach wrenching anxiety that can come from turning over your “baby” to strangers with good resumes. But you are going to have to take that step, unless you are content with things as they currently are.

Working lateHere are some questions to ask yourself today:

  • How many hours a week are you working on your business? (Include it all, even if its cleaning the toilet of your store or clearing out the junk in your email inbox.)
  • Are you beginning to feel frustrated, even just occasionally, from time constraints or overwhelm?
  • Do you find yourself constantly telling your kids or your significant other “no, not today” when you really do want to do what they asked but you just don’t have the time?
  • Do you wonder how you will ever keep that fitness resolution when you barely have time to shower let alone get to the gym?
  • Is every meal you eat prepared by a restaurant of some kind? Or maybe you “cook”, but it always involves opening a cardboard box and pushing buttons on the microwave.
  • When you do hire someone to help you, do you find yourself spending even more time telling them the right way to do it or fixing their mistakes?
  • What do you do day in and day out that bores you to the core that you would really love to have someone else handle for you?
  • What would you do to increase your business success if you had just 5 extra hours a week?
  • How does your website look? Does it have a modern design with responsiveness for mobile phones? Does it grab your viewers attention or make them cringe? Does it capture their information in the most efficient and compelling way possible?
  • How is your social media presence? Many business owners think they don’t need to be bothered with this, but unless your target market is living in a 3rd world nation you should seriously consider it. Almost everyone is on social media these days, from young teens all the way up to senior citizens. I volunteer with a homeless shelter, and let me tell you, even many of those people have a cell phone and a social media presence!

Chances are if you are reading this then you are a business owner of one kind or another. There are steps you should take to increase your efficiency, decrease the time you spend working on your business, and increase your income. Check back tomorrow for some ideas you can start doing immediately.