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Russell Brunson Courses – 17 Things I Learned From the Clickfunnels Guru

July 11, 2022

Hey, what’s going on?

I’m stoked you’ve found this page!

Sit tight, cos there are 3 things I'm gonna show you in this article:

First up, I’m gonna do a deep dive into some of the best Russell Brunson courses on the market.

Next, I'll also give you my thoughts on how they stack up against some other online courses out there.

Lastly, I'll show you how I'm making bank with my own online business (I'm doing $50K a month now).

...Let's get started...

Russell’s an interesting character to say the least.

If you’ve spent any time watching his videos online, you’ll know that he oozes charisma, and is a master at capturing an audience's attention. 

Some may call him hypnotizing!

We’ll talk more about Russell himself later in this article as we step through some of the courses he offers.

Before we start though, I’ve gotta confess...I’m a serial entrepreneur.

Allow me to reintroduce myself... My name is Ippei...
Tree Care Service Gif

I’ve been playing the entrepreneurial game for almost a decade now, and while it wasn’t easy at first, I feel like I’ve got a pretty solid idea on what it takes to be successful online.

For me it comes down to adding value. 

Personally, I believe the world pays you for the value you add to the marketplace. 

So if you want to earn more money, find a way to add more value. 

When I realized this and actually started focusing on adding value, rather than chasing money, everything changed for me.

As I said, because of the value I’m adding, I’m now making over $50K a month online. I'm gonna step you through exactly what I’m doing later on, so keep reading...

1. Who is Russell Brunson?

Russell Brunson

If you’ve done any digging into the world of online marketing, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve come across Russell Brunson.

He’s most famous for being one of the founders of the mega successful Clickfunnels software. 

Created back in 2014, the software has skyrocketed into a $100m a year company in less than 5 years. Here’s the was entirely self funded!


That’s right, not a single penny was taken from any outside investment. 

Pretty impressive, right?

The idea behind Clickfunnels is that it aims to help entrepreneurs build professional sales funnels for their business which generate more revenue. 

Sales Funnel

While Russell might be crushing it now, it wasn’t always the case for him 

He’ll proudly tell you that he’s always been an entrepreneur at heart, collecting junk mail as a kid and analyzing the adverts in them.

He became obsessed with sales copy, and carefully studied the classified sections, to learn the art of upselling. 

This led to him trying a range of different business ideas, including selling a guide on how to make your own potato gun, which made him well over $100,000.

The big takeaway from all of this for him was learning the art of the sales funnel, specifically the upsell. 

This is exactly what Clickfunnels helps other entrepreneurs accomplish. The art of building the perfect sales funnel.

Now that he’s reached the dizzy heights of the entrepreneurial world, he’s managed to build up a pretty impressive email list of well over 1 million followers. 

Russell Brunson Emails

Do yourself a favor and sign up to his email list.

You'll get a free masterclass in email marketing.
You'll also get to experience his Soap Opera Sequence firsthand, but be may just end up buying something!

Russell also has a YouTube following of over 200,000 people, and has formed business partnerships with the likes of Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi.

Take it from me...he's the real deal!

Russell Brunson and Tony Robbins

2. Russell Brunson's Funnel Strategy

Russell has a pretty interesting philosophy, which he borrowed from legendary marketeer Dan Kennedy.

He says “Whoever can spend the most money to acquire a customer, wins.”

...Don’t worry, the first time I heard it, I didn’t get it either. 

Dan Kennedy Russell Brunson

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the person who spends the least amount of money wins, but this is not the case. 

Here’s how Russel explains it:

Let’s say you sell a $10 product, and it costs you $5 to get a potential customer to visit your site through paid traffic. 

The potential customer may either add your product to their basket and make a purchase, or they may not. 

Either way it'll cost you $5.

That means you’ve got to convert at least 1 out of 2 visitors to break even ($10 spent = $10 sale).

Paid Traffic Conversion Rates

If only 1 out of 3 customers buys your product, you’ll be losing money because it will cost you $15 to make a $10 sale.

This doesn’t leave much wiggle room in the advertising budget. 

Russel explains how a sales funnel can fix this problem…

Funnel Strategy

What if instead of offering only a $10 product, you start with a high value free one?

In exchange for the free product, the visitor drops their email address into a form to allow you to capture it. 

As you deliver the email confirmation of their free product to them, you offer them another insane deal for $10 that’s too good to turn down, because it compliments the free product perfectly.

So they go ahead and make a purchase, and as you deliver their receipt you offer them yet another insane deal for $20, that is also too good to turn down. 

A month later, you offer them another product that will add immense value to them for another $20.

They love the free product and the other two products they bought from you, so feel compelled to buy this one too. 

So now you’ve turned one visitor into a $50 customer. 

So what does this mean?

Customer Retention

Well unlike the first scenario where you had to convert 50% of visitors into customers to make sure you didn’t lose money, you now have more advertising budget to play with.

In the first scenario, a visitor could only ever make you a $5 profit. This meant that when you made a sale, you’d be able to reinvest that $5 back into your business to get another visitor ($5 each remember). 

In the second scenario, a visitor could make you a $45 profit. That means that when you make a sale, you’d be able to use the $45 you made to get another 9 visitors. 

Studies have shown that the probability of converting an existing customer is 60% - 70% vs 5% - 50% for a new prospect.


Do the math and see how quickly the company in the second scenario would be able to scale that.

This is why whoever can afford to spend the most to acquire a new customer, wins.

There's no way that the company in scenario 1 would ever be able to compete with the company in scenario 2!

Most people don't realize that McDonald's do this really well. 
They'll sell you a burger which makes them very little profit, but then they'll up sell you on fries and a drink which is where they make a large markup.

Value Added McDonalds

This means that the value of each customer is a lot more than the price they pay for the burger, meaning they can reinvest that extra money to acquire new customers.

Does that make sense?

3. Russell Brunson’s Value Ladder

As we now know, Russell’s a big believer in being able to spend the most to acquire a customer. 

Here's a deeper dive into how he does it...

As he explains in his book DotCom secrets, the most successful online marketers on the planet run funnels which apply what he calls the Value Ladder.

Russell Brunson's Value Ladder

  • You “give away” a cheap or free product or service, to get your customer on the hook, and lure them into your ecosystem.
  • From there, you continue to keep offering them high value products and services, each one a little more expensive than the last.
  • By doing this, you are ascending them through what he refers to as the Value Ladder and you are getting them to buy more and more of what you’re selling.
  • In other words you are increasing the value of that customer to your business, which means in turn you will have more money to spend to acquire more.
Value Ladder

Here’s an example of how the Value Ladder works in a typical business.

Let’s take a local dentist in your area. Let’s say he offers a free teeth cleaning which you take them up on.

He does a brilliant job, and you can’t believe that the cleaning is free. As you’re about to leave, he offers you 50% off on his teeth whitening service. You feel like you’ve already got such good value out of his free service, that you feel compelled to take him up on this offer as well. 

Once you’ve had the discounted whitening service, they then offer you a retainer to get your teeth looking straight and beautiful.

Again, you take them up on the offer, and even book in some cosmetic work a few months later. 

On top of this, you sign up for a 6 month checkup, to ensure all the work you’ve had done doesn’t go to waste. 

Now remember, this all started because you took the dentist up on their free teeth cleaning offer. 

If you hadn’t, you would have never entered their sales funnel, and they would never have been able to upsell you.

As Russell explains, this is how you increase the value of a customer, by selling them more and more of your services over time.

Now of course, not every customer will ascend all the way up your Value Ladder, but the ones that do will drastically increase the revenue of your business, which again means you’ll have more money to spend when acquiring new customers. 

This is the exact funnel strategy Russell uses over and over again with his own courses...let’s dig into them and see how he does it.

4. Russell Brunson’s "Secrets" Trilogy

We already learnt how Russell teaches his students to “bait” customers with a free or heavily discounted product or service that is simply too irresistible to ignore.

Russell is a master of this strategy. 

Funnel Strategy Russell Brunson

He goes all in by offering a series of “free” series of books. I use the word “free” in inverted commas for two reasons 

First up he asks you to pay the shipping for the book, which comes in at $7. I’m no Postal Worker, but I’m pretty sure he’s making a small profit on that shipping cost.

Secondly, the book may appear free, but what Russell is really doing, is masterfully luring you into his funnel. 

One of the most popular lead bait products Russell offers is his DotCom Secrets playbook, which he offers up for next to nothing (you just have to pay $7 for shipping).

I gotta say, the book is actually pretty good, and covers in-depth strategies for building and optimizing sales funnels.

DotCom Secrets

He also shares his story of building the Clickfunnels business into a multi-million dollar monster.

This book is literally packed full of value, and even if you do pay $7 for it, it’s still a bargain. 

But here’s the thing...Russell intentionally over delivers on value here, because he knows that by doing so he’ll have a pretty good chance of ascending you up through his Value Ladder, to his other products and services.

He does this again with his 3 other “free” books, which are Expert Secrets, Traffic Secrets, and Unlock the Secrets.

Collectively they make up a powerful group of “free” products that lure thousands of new wannabe entrepreneurs into his funnel on a daily basis.

Once you’re in the funnel and you start diving into his trilogy of books, you’ll quickly find yourself building a strong liking for Russell and his business philosophy. 

If you’re even remotely interested in building your own online business, there’s a good chance that once you’re done reading any of his free books you’ll naturally sign up for a free 14 day trial of Clickfunnels.

You see, while the books are packed full of tons of useful information, they are basically one long advert for Russell and the rest of his business.

Once again, Russell knows that just by getting people to opt in for his free book offer, he'll be able to make money on them on the upsells he's built into his funnel. 

He even pays affiliate commissions on these!

In my opinion this is brilliant marketing, and it is a perfect example of the Value Ladder in action.

5. All Funnels Lead to Clickfunnels

Russell’s flagship product is no doubt the Clickfunnels software.

Everything he does is built around pulling new subscribers into this platform, as he aims to teach them how to build effective sales funnels. 

Not only does he offer training, but Clickfunnels is actually a platform that allows almost anyone to build a complex sales funnel for their business, by clicking a few buttons.


It takes care of pretty much anything, from capturing email addresses, to displaying upsell pages.

It also allows for split testing, allowing users to perform in-depth analysis on their landing pages to work out which ones convert best.

Clickfunnels is now used by some of the best selling online products and services on the planet. 

These products have been painfully tested and tweaked until they are now part of a cash printing funnel that spits out new customers on demand.


Here’s the cool thing with a sales funnel...

Once you have it dialed in and converting, it then just becomes a case of driving high quality traffic to it. 

If you have a sales funnel that converts at 50%, that means that if you drive 10 visitors a day to the funnel, it will produce 5 customers.

If you drive 100 visitors a day to the same funnel, it will produce 50 customers.

From there, it’s just a case of finding a way to drive more and more targeted traffic to that funnel. 

Clickfunnels landing page

This concept is one of the foundations that Russell uses in his marketing strategy, as he has coined the catchphrase “You're just one funnel away!”

This reminds Clickfunnel subscribers that even while they might not be winning yet, they are only one successful funnel away from hitting the jackpot and creating their own cash producing machine. 

He's even created a 30 day challenge around this concept, which we'll cover a little more later.

One Funnel Away

Of course, it’s not always that simple...but we'll dig into that too shortly.

6. How Much Does Clickfunnels Cost?

Clickfunnels offers a few different pricing options, to cater for entrepreneurs of all levels. 

Following on from Russell’s free book series, you’ll more than likely be tempted to sign up for a free 14 day Clickfunnels trial.

Once again, this is Russell executing at his finest. He believes in his own product, and his ability to sell you on the benefits and features of this product.

He knows that if you use his software suite for 14 days for free, there’s a decent chance you’ll upgrade to a paid subscription. 

Once you do that, you’ll have the option of either paying $97 a month or signing up for the $297 a month subscription. 

Clickfunnels Cost

The difference between the two comes down to the number of users that are able to login as well as the number of funnels and landing pages you’re allowed to setup (the $297 has unlimited).

But the price options don’t end there. 

Cast your mind back to Russell’s Value Ladder...remember how the dentist ascended his customers up the ladder all the way to his most expensive treatment (the cosmetic surgery)?

Russell is a big believer that you need to have a high ticket item to offer your customers.

Sure, the majority of them may not take it, but some always will, especially if they believe in you and your products already.

In this case, Clickfunnels also offer users the Platinum option where they can pay upfront and get access to all sorts of other training programs as well.

Clickfunnel Costs

Clickfunnel Training Courses and Webinars 

In addition to his free book series, Russell also feeds the Clickfunnels monster by serving up a range of high quality training courses and webinars, for students to dive into.

The more popular ones include:

7. The 30Days Video Training

In this training, Russell has put together a video course where he has asked 30 of his 2 comma club members one simple question.

(Just so you know, the 2 comma club is for Clickfunnel members who have done more than $1m in sales through using the funnel software.)

30Day Challenge

The question he poses is simple…

“If you had to start over without your name or brand behind you, how would you build a successful funnel within 30 days?”

Of course each one of them is a huge advocate of the Clickfunnels software, as they’ve literally built their entire business on the platform. 

They drop some serious knowledge bombs in this free training which anyone can implement into their own funnels and businesses.

8. One Funnel Away Challenge:

So with this training you’ll need to dig into your pocket, but the good news is that it’s only $100.

This gets you access to the 30 day training and live coaching that comes with the challenge.

This includes daily training videos featuring Russell, as well as live coaching sessions over the 30 day period.

One Funnel Away

All in all this is a great training course for anyone that’s eager to roll their sleeves up and get dirty with Clickfunnels, but may not know where to start. 

You’ll also get a few pretty cool bonuses, including a workbook, MP3 recordings of previous challenges, unlimited access to the 30Days interview videos, and a few other bits and pieces.

9. Funnel Scripts Webinar:

The idea with this training course is to provide you with some high quality copywriting hacks, that you can use on your own sales and funnel pages.

You’ll learn some killer strategies for writing effective sales copy that converts visitors into buyers. 

The training covers 3 “secrets” and then dives deeper into each one.

The aim is that once you’ve done the training, you’ll be able to implement exactly the same strategy and format into your own copy.

We’re not talking about copying and pasting the actual words here...we’re talking about learning a framework, and then applying it to your own sales page so that it is tailored to your own service or product. 

All in all, very powerful.

10. Funnel Builder Secrets Webinar:

In this training webinar, Russell and his team went through some of the strategies used by his most successful students, and then put together a training webinar showcasing them.

In this case, it’s all about making minor tweaks to strategies, sales copy and even layout and images. He shows a few examples where doing so has increased conversion rates by over 400% - once again highlighting the importance of split testing!

Funnel Builder

Of course, as we’ve already outlined, Russell is a marketing genius, and all of these training courses and webinars are carefully designed to educate the user on how to better use Clickfunnels.

Think of it this way...what does Russell really want?

He wants millions of Clickfunnel subscribers, right?...and the best way he can do that is make sure that whoever uses Clickfunnels has the best chance of succeeding by giving them extra training. 

Personally, I like this method. I feel like everyone is winning.

11. It’s Cool to Be a Funnel Hacker

After spending some time in Russell Brunson’s world, it became clear that he’s created a cult-like following among his fans (in a good way).

Here's why I think he's done that...

You see, building a successful funnel may look easy when Russell is taking you through one of his super engaging videos, but as someone that’s tried it, I can tell you this ain’t the case. 

So to counter this, Russell and his team have gone out of their way to build a mantra among Clickfunnel enthusiasts which goes: “You’re just one funnel away!”

Poster anyone?

Funnel Hacker

This serves as a powerful reminder to those contemplating quitting the funnel game, that they could be 3 feet from Gold. 

Of course the last thing the Clickfunnels team want is users to quit their funnel business, because it means they’ll lose another subscription. 

So to counter this, they have created a term for themselves called “Funnel Hackers”, and even gone as far as to create a mantra and merchandise to match!

I build funnels

It’s all very inspiring, and super motivational to keep chugging along...but motivation doesn’t last forever.

Even for the most enthusiastic “Funnel Hacker”, the cracks soon start to show as they realize this business model has a few serious flaws...

Problems With the Funnel Business Model

While I applaud Russell for the platform he’s built, there are a few fundamental issues with the “funnels” business model. 

12. Paid Traffic is a Tricky Beast to Master

First up, you’re gonna find that the majority of your traffic will need to be paid traffic, in order to get a decent amount of volume to your landing page. 

The first rule of online marketing is that not all traffic is equal. What you’re gonna be looking for is highly targeted traffic. 

Paid Traffic Sources

In other words, traffic that is actually looking for what you’re offering them.

Problem is, that kind of traffic usually comes at a price, and running paid advertising to a landing page can start getting expensive fast (especially when you’re first starting out).

I’ve had funnels setup where I was paying $5 a click in advertising to send traffic to a free offer (as Russell teaches)...only problem is people either didn’t take me up on my free offer, or they did, but then didn’t opt in to my next offer (a paid one).

As a result, I ended up hemorrhaging money, all because I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Flushing money down the toilet

Paid traffic also requires constant babysitting. It's definitely not the set and forget model that I now prefer!

13. It’s Not as Easy as it Looks

Building funnels and being a “funnel hacker”, is all good and well in theory. The reality is that it’s not as easy as Russell and his team make it seem.

If it was, everyone would be making millions with Clickfunnels, but instead only the elite few achieve this. 

Clickfunnels Comma Club

There’s a lot that goes into creating a winning funnel, and in my experience it’s not always clear cut as to what that winning combination is.

You can copy or “hack” another funnel exactly, only to find that it doesn’t convert at all.

This could be because the traffic you're getting is slightly different, or the product and service don’t stack up...who knows!

Once again I suspect this may be why the Clickfunnels team have come up with the slogan of “You’re just one funnel away”, in an attempt to persuade users not to quit (and stop using the software).

14. Funnels Don’t Last Forever

The other thing the boys and girls over at Clickfunnels keep on the lowdown is that even if you do manage to create a winning funnel, it won’t last forever. 

Facebook conversions

What many people don’t realize is that a good funnel starts with an appealing advert, which leads to an appealing landing page. 

In the world of paid traffic, adverts just don’t convert long-term. Even the most successful ads have a shelf life and eventually stop converting traffic. 

This means that even if you do manage to land a few winners, you’ll always be wondering when they are going to run out of steam and stop converting.

15. Are You Adding Value or Chasing Money?

One of the biggest realizations I’ve had since I started my entrepreneurial journey is that the only way to be truly successful in life, is to add value. 

Whether we like it or not, the world pays us in proportion to the value we are adding to the marketplace. 

Chasing Money

If we add a small amount of value, we’ll earn a small amount of money. In contrast, if we find a way to add a ton of value, we’ll earn a ton of money.

When I realized this, everything changed for me.

Before, I had been chasing money, with little to no regard for what I was serving up to my customers. I wasn’t focused on whether they were actually getting any value from the products or services I was selling or promoting. 

Instead I was only focused on how much money I was making. 


For me, this is another problem with the funnel model. It tends to produce a mindset of “luring” the visitor into your ecosystem, so that you can sell them something. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all funnels are chasing quick and easy money, but it’s not uncommon for that to be the case.

In my opinion, there are more reliable online business models, which I have chosen to use myself (more info about to be dropped below).

Russell Brunson's courses are cool if you have money to blow on testing new funnels, and if you already understand paid traffic.

If you don't have either of the above though, I'd highly recommend that you avoid getting sucked into the "Funnelhacker" trap, and pay attention to my #1 online business model pick instead...


16. I Gave Up Funnel Hacking and Focused on This Instead...

So as much as I like Russell Brunson, and appreciate his enthusiasm, I'm just not convinced that building funnels is a long-term business model I want to be a part of.

Fortunately, I have other options and I now focus on my local lead generation business which helps local business owners get more leads. 

Here's the kicker...I'm now making $50K+ a month with this business, but I honestly believe I'm nothing special.

I'm gonna lay out how lead gen works for you below and hopefully show you how anyone can make a decent living doing this themselves.

17. Local Lead Generation Always Wins!

With local lead generation you are sending leads to local business owners like plumbers, carpet cleaners, tree services etc. who need help getting more customers. 

In return they pay you for the leads, and they are happy to do so because they are getting more potential customers from them. 

Here's a quick example of how it works:

Let's say you build a little website about a local tree service in your area. You then stick a call tracking number on the site, and find a local tree service company that wants more customers. 

Next, you redirect the call tracking number to this company. 

When your site ranks in Google and starts getting people calling the number, they are redirected to the tree service company who takes the calls. 

When this happens, they pay you!

This could be a flat fee per month (say $750), or it could be pay per lead (say $30), or it could be a commission deal (say 10% on any closed deals).

Tree Care Lead Gen Site

I've now got over 60 business owners that I'm working with who are all paying me month in, month out.

Here's how local lead generation stacks up against the funnel business model:

Funnel Building

  • Usually needs paid traffic.
  • Highly competitive.
  • Expensive to start.
  • Even the best adverts stop converting eventually.
  • Lots of hand holding required.
  • It's not as easy as it looks.Only the select few make real money. 

Local Lead Generation

  • Majority free SEO.
  • Almost no competition.
  • Costs very little to start.
  • Lead gen sites always convert.
  • Very hands-off and low maintenance (passive income).
  • It's a skill that can be taught. Anyone with ambition can be successful.

Local lead generation is hands down my #1 online business model recommendation. 

It's given me a lifestyle I couldn't have even imagined 6 years ago, and I kinda feel like I'm only just getting started.

Of course it's up to you whether you get into the world of building sales funnels, but if you want to learn more about how I do local lead gen, click here.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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