Think that Clickfunnels is just any fancy page and sales funnel builder? Think again. It has one function that hardly anyone talks about. It’s the one I think can be easily used to make this software a profit centre and not an expense.
Marmite in the UK (or Vegemite in the US) certainly divides opinion.
People either LOVE it or HATE it… there is no in between
I think ClickFunnels has the same effect with business owners and marketers. Even my good friend and partner in crime over at Serious Marketers Only, Mark Thompson, cannot agree when it comes to ClickFunnels. Mark would rather peel his own eye balls with a splintered wooden spoon than use this contentious software.
Me, I love it… and have loved using it for the last 3+ years
Most folk see ClickFunnels as a tool for creating landing pages, or sales funnels with upsells and downsells. It’s intuitive drag and drop page builder is a god send for non tech savvy folk. Whilst being a source of extreme frustration for experienced marketers who feel they need more granular control.
However there is one feature of ClickFunnels that I believe is it’s killer function.
I’ve not seen ANY of the usual internet marketing guru’s talking about it. Even Russell Brunson, the driving force and marketing powerhouse behind ClickFunnels, rarely talks about this.
This capability takes ClickFunnels from being a simple to use, admittedly pricey, page builder to a major profit centre that it should be.
What is it?
ClickFunnels Membership Site Builder
Yep, that’s right ClickFunnels has a membership site builder functionality. And it’s where I believe the easier path to ClickFunnels income is found.
Personally I’ve built dozens of mini membership sites over the years. I’ve used some of the most technically challenging member site software, through to some of the most basic.
Wishlist Member was the first really well developed WordPress Plugin for building sites with restricted access for paying members. And it’s a piece of software that is still extremely popular today, with one of my membership sites still operating with that tool.
The downside is it’s very complicated and extensive set of settings… Not for the faint hearted.
MemberMouse is another WordPress plugin for creating membership sites. MemberMouse is a lightweight but very robust subscription tool, but does require some tech knowhow to get it to work properly. However it was entrusted to handle the subscription billing side of our nutritional supplement business for a number of years, and it never missed a beat.
However, the biggest challenge with most of the WordPress based member site builders is they still require a level of tech skill that most small business owners do not possess. And when it comes to making the members area look good too, you’ll need to invest in a theme to make it work.
The Negatives To WordPress Membership Plugins
If you’re building a complex membership site with lots of different access controls, functions and want a unique layout then one of the WordPress solutions above will probably be the better choice. You will more than likely need to hire a developer too… which is the first of the negatives I’ll discuss
I have a nickname for ‘most’ website developers… L.A.D’s
or “Lazy Ass Developers“. Now I know my way around code, I went to University seeking a degree in all things nerd, but I do still hire developers to do some technical tasks for me. Problem is, finding good developers that are affordable is an impossible challenge.
When you want to build a membership site, a developers eye’s will light up with dollar signs at the prospect of a 100+ hour build contracts… where they’ll sit around for 90% of the time and then throw some rubbish together at the end
and if you want to use one of the WordPress Plugins… more than likely you’ll need to hire one of these developers.
WordPress is not the fastest of platforms for a website in the first place… Add to that a membership plugin and a nice looking theme and your site will start running slower than a slow thing. Your LAD will then tell you you need better hosting. And decent hosting does not come cheap.
Before you know it you’re signed up for crazy expensive RackSpace enterprise level hosting with a 12 month contract, even before you’ve got a single member signed up.
WordPress does have some nice drag and drop theme builders these days, which does make building a nice looking site easier… But like anything WordPress it’ll need to be upgraded regularly, and this means more LAD development time.
We used to run our E-commerce business through WordPress. Which in theory makes it cheap to run (WooCommerce is a free plugin). But when you start factoring in all the other plugins needed to make it function like you want it, the plugin count increases along with the cost… and more pressingly the risk of your site breaking and getting the dreaded “WordPress White Screen Of Death. (which happened often)
Even a simple WordPress site like the Fast Implementation BLOG has 12 plugins that all need regular upgrade. Every time you upgrade a plugin you have the risk it’ll break your site.
When you’re running your primary business that needs to be working all the time, otherwise you’re losing money, you can’t afford any downtime.
When you build a subscription site through ClickFunnels all the challenges above disappear.
In the three years I’ve been a ClickFunnels user, I’ve known of only one occurrence where the platform has been unavailable.
This level of uptime means my customers and membership subscribers are never without access to the site. I can continually make sales to get new subscribers and never encounter technical fails because there is no plugins to fail or break the entire site.
Reduced LAD Involvement
I’d be lying to you if I said that ClickFunnels is completely accessible to anyone regardless of their tech ability. There are a couple of very minor tasks where you might be better served finding someone to help you. Tasks such as hooking up your domain name to work on ClickFunnels may require a nerd.
The support team and documentation for ClickFunnels covers pretty much everything you need to know. You’ll be able to solve most technical challenges yourself.
Layout and Templates
ClickFunnels is a drag and drop page builder, so designing membership sites to look exactly like you want is pretty damn easy. However, for most of your initial site builds, the standard membership site templates available on ClickFunnels will serve you just fine.
They’ll work nicely on desktop and mobile too.
Selling Your Subscription Products
Once you’ve got your membership area built and ready to launch, the next step is to have some way to sell access.
Which is where ClickFunnels excels. It’s primary function is to build sales pages and funnels, so setting this up is super simple.
Everything from integration with your email software to taking subscription payments through a variety of payment integrations. It couldn’t be any easier. And to cap it all off your site already has SSL certification through ClickFunnels. No need to buy a certificate to process payments securely.
Why So Expensive?
The biggest barrier to entry to ClickFunnels, especially for Small Business’s, is the monthly fee. $97/month gets you access to all the features you need to build a your subscription site. And 10 bucks needed for a domain name to build the site on to, there are no other costs.
Yes, you can build a members site for less using WordPress and one of the plugins. However, you end up paying more in the long run for developer and maintenance time.
Pricing Your Membership Site
Despite the monthly fee for ClickFunnels, if you create a membership site and charge the right money for access, then the cost of ClickFunnels gets eaten up really easily.
My recommendation is regardless what the subject matter and content of your subscription is, you should be charging an absolute minimum of $10/month.
Some niches enable you to ask a much higher price point, such as business coaching, masterminds or financial training. All of which justify a much higher price point.
Not Just One Membership Site
Yes, the membership site functionality of ClickFunnels is, in my opinion, the killer feature of this platform. The ace in the hole is the ability to create as many membership sites as you wish under the one ClickFunnels account.
At last count I have 7 membership areas set up under my single ClickFunnels account. Each with the ability to create regular income streams to my business.
You might need to upgrade to the higher priced monthly account on ClickFunnels to set up this many sites. But by that point the income generated will render the increased costs negligible.
Are You Ready To Build Your ClickFunnels Membership Sites?
If so, I have some bonus content for you. Our 8 Day Member Site Builder Course, that walks you through the steps to creating your first members area with ClickFunnels.
Unsurprisingly I’ve created this mini-course (which you can complete in an afternoon if you work through it), entirely on ClickFunnels.
Want FREE access? Click Here to register and get started right away.