Josef Rakich and Ken Brickley generated over $1.6 million in less than 10 months in a hyper competitive niche. They sell meal plans and fitness training programs in what most would consider to be a ‘red ocean’ environment. They reveal the secret to being able to bounce back from a declining business to now being able to sell worldwide. Their tips and secrets can help you no matter what you are selling.
“That’s why we created some software that allows us to take everything into consideration to still produce the perfect workout plan, the perfect meal plan for all of my clients as if I was to personally write them out each one.”
“Something like that story format, it gets that message to them simply and clearly and they can understand. It’s not too long, not too detailed but it gets them exactly the message we want to give them.”
Josef left the Personal Training circle because it wasn’t scalable.
Recording: Welcome to Funnelhacker Radio Podcast where we go behind the scenes and uncover the tactics and strategies top entrepreneurs are using to make more sales, dominate their markets and how you can get those same results. Here is your host, Dave Woodward.
Dave Woodward: Everybody welcome back to Funnelhacker Radio. You guys are in for a massive treat today. I’ve got the opportunity to have two just amazing guys from New Zealand here with us and I’m so excited. So, let me introduce to you Josef Rakich and Ken Brickley. Welcome to the show guys.
Josef Rakich: Thank you for having us.
Dave Woodward: Hey, guys, today …
Josef Rakich: Pleasure to be here.
Dave Woodward: I am so excited. You guys have … I just love bringing people on who have had the rollercoasters of business, have actually experienced real life in business. It’s not one of these one-hit wonder type stuff. You have to understand, for those guys who are listening here, I’ll let them catch you up on their story but again, we’re super excited to have them here at Funnelhacker Live, part of … we have two comic club award winners, 1.6 million in just under ten months, just crushing it out there. Josef is basically an online personal trainer, basically helping people build muscle, lose body fat. Ken basically is his business partner in another business, which we’ll talk about as far as macro active dot IO software company.
I’m just so excited to have you guys here because you guys are actually the real deal and it’s so exciting for me to have people who are really out there making things happen. So with that, give the people a little background as far as kind of the quick story as far as what you were telling Miles about and how it came together.
Josef Rakich: So I’ll start off with myself first. So, my name’s Josef Rakich and I originally use to be a personal trainer in the gym training clients one-on-one. And then, I transitioned over to online personal training, which is where I sell meal plans and workout programs to people all around the world, male, female, all ages, no matter what their goals are, whether that be building muscle or losing body fat.
Now, I stopped my in-gym training and just focus 100 percent online. The reason being is because it is so much more scalable. Instead of just helping one person in person, I can literally help hundreds of thousands of people all around the world from any country.
Now, obviously to do this on a scale, it is very hard to do unless you’ve got a team of like a thousand people creating meal plans and workout programs for you. So, that is when me and my business partner Ken came together and we sat down and we tried to think of a way how we can still personalize meal plans and workout programs to all of my clients around the world but make this scalable. So, that’s when we created some software that allows us to create personalized meal plans and workout programs.
Ken Brickley: Basically automate the whole backend of it. I mean Dave, I’ve heard you talk about this notion of nobody wants to be the pioneer because they’re all face down with arrows in their back. You know, I could truly say that this is a business that is a pioneer in the space, been going around … we’ve been around for like at least six or seven years.
Josef Rakich: Five, six years.
Ken Brickley: It’s been that many years, yeah; 2012, ’13, and you know, we’ve seen huge success and we’ve also been through periods where the arrows were flying at our back. We just sort of came out the other end of that. We discovered this book, first the dot.com secrets was this was pretty cool and just implemented that and transformationaly turned the business around significantly. Hats off, we’re pretty stoked about that. But, lots of stuff that we’ve learned along the way, but yeah.
Dave Woodward: Well, I think the part that’s really cool, Josef, you made mention of it and that is most of the time when people think of fitness, especially as a personal trainer, it is you’re usually in a local gym environment. You’ve got about a five mile, maybe ten mile radius at best, and you’re trying to bring people in, so you’re kind of … to build the scale is super hard.
Josef Rakich: Super.
Dave Woodward: And so I love some of the things you were talking about is you’ve not only just scaled outside of your city and your country, but you’ve actually scaled international. So, I’d like to kind of talk to you about as far as how do you scale a business as quickly as you have that fast.
Josef Rakich: So that’s where we automated the process. Now, because personal training requires everyone to receive something different, for example, everyone’s got different goals, everyone’s got different needs, everyone’s got different food likes and dislikes. People have injuries. So, everyone requires something different.
Now, to scale this, it almost becomes impossible to do it manually. That’s why we created some software that allows us to take everything in to consideration to still produce a perfect meal plan and the perfect workout program for my clients exactly as I would if I was to manually write it for them.
So, what this allows us to do, it allows us to scale on an infinite level and literally help a hundred times, a thousand times, a million times more people than what we could if I was to manually do each and every single one of them.
Dave Woodward: Very cool.
Ken Brickley: I think just adding to that, Dave, I think the other thing that Joe does that’s unique is he really doubles down on giving away tons of free content across all social media platforms. I would say probably half … more than half of our revenue has come from Snapchat alone, and that’s just giving away free content in spree and then driving all traffic everywhere in to the story format. Nothing closes better than a story format. And so, you know, the stack that you build on your close, that stack inside of a story format, nothing better. And so, it’s sort of all roads lead to the story format, wouldn’t you say?
Josef Rakich: Yeah, yeah, I agree 100 percent.
Dave Woodward: I want to … I’m going to catch up there just real quick because I want to really focus in on this. This is one of the things I think a lot of people struggle with because Josef, you are in a very, very red ocean. I mean there are personal trainers everywhere. There’s everyone trying to go online. There’s a ton of people who are throwing up tons of free content on YouTube and everything else.
So, I want to first of all identify how have you established yourself in a blue ocean environment in that area, and then once we talk about that, the next thing I want to talk about is how are you actually using stories on Snapchat or other things. And so, let’s go first of all in the blue ocean and then I’ll come back to you regarding the story.
Josef Rakich: Yep. So, I think I’ve established myself pretty well and got pretty well known in the fitness industry against so many other competitors is because I really provide value. I give away a little value for free, like I put up free workouts on my social media pages, whether it be my Snapchat, my Instagram, my Facebook, my YouTube, and I constantly give away free content.
I also give away a lot of knowledge and I teach people a lot of things for free, whether it be about training or nutrition. From them watching all of this content that I’ve put out there, they understand that me, myself, Josef Rakich, has some knowledge and I know what I’m talking about.
Therefore, it gives them more of a reason for them to feel comfortable in signing up to my programs because they know what I provide is backed up with knowledge and with science and I’m not just some cookie cutter meal plan that they receive. They know that what they’re getting from me has been worked out for them and their specific goals. I think that’s why they feel comfortable signing up with me. I think that’s why I have skirted out so much in the personal training scene as well because what I offer is completely different than anyone else in depth.
Ken Brickley: I guess [crosstalk 00:08:27]
Dave Woodward: Go ahead. Were you saying something Ken?
Ken Brickley: What I could probably add to that is the more free, really truly valuable content that he gives away, trust goes up. When trust goes up, our cost of sale goes down. And probably, the speed of transaction also goes up. It’s a direct correlation.
Dave Woodward: So guys, when you’re looking … again, Snapchat is one of those things that got real big for a while there and then when Instagram came in, I don’t see as much … as many people on Snapchat, but I know there’s a lot of people who are still dominating in Snapchat, probably like yourself, who are crushing it, so help me understand the story aspect and why Snapchat is still working so well for you.
Josef Rakich: I think it’s both.
Ken Brickley: It’s both.
Josef Rakich: Yeah. On the end, first off, I believe every social media has its pros and cons. The reason I like Snapchat or even Instagram story is because you can tell a story. If you make a Facebook post or Instagram post, it’s basically just a picture or a video and it doesn’t have that much power.
So, a lot of the time, if I’m doing like an Instagram post or a Facebook post, what I’ll actually do is I’ll put up maybe like a gym workout and then I’ll say, “Go add my Snapchat for more daily workouts.” So, they go and add me on Snapchat and then they watch my Snap story daily. And then, every day, I’ve got different Snap stories up. It could be workouts. It could be tips on nutrition. But, it’s so much easier to give them valuable information via Snapchat and then tell them and explain to them what my services include, show them results of my clients and what they can achieve on my plans and programs. And, they can understand what I do a whole lot better.
They also get an insight in to my personal life, whether it’s something completely outside of the gym, if it’s just playing with my dog, and that builds a relationship with the person that is watching me. You build that connection. Even though they don’t know you personally, they feel connected to you in a way. That connection makes them so much more warmer to eventually close ’em on a sale and have them as a client.
Dave Woodward: So when Russ and I were out at Ty’s house, [inaudible 00:10:51] house, he literally had like six different phones going. One was Instagram, one was Facebook, one was Snapchat. So, I’m curious because I get asked this question all the time, and that is how do you guys get so much content out there? Are you filming on multiple cameras? What are you guys doing?
Josef Rakich: Yeah, we’ve got … so we’ve built this like tripod. I wish I had it. I just took it home yesterday for some filming, but it’s a tripod that you hold and it’s got four or five different places where you can put cameras and phones. If I’m going to be doing a livestream, I’ve always thought what do I do? Do I do a Facebook live, an Instagram live, a Periscope or a YouTube live or do I film it for YouTube, what do I do, so I thought why not just do it all at once.
Dave Woodward: I love it.
Josef Rakich: Now, if I go live on Facebook, I’ve also got Instagram Live, Periscope, and I’m filming for YouTube. So, we do it all at the same time and that way, it creates, you know, the same content but for all different platforms. Even though some people who follow me on Facebook also follow me on YouTube and Instagram, I do understand that there is some people who only follow me on a certain platform. So, it’s going to be reaching more eyeballs regardless, and the more eyeballs you reach, the more exposure you get and the more exposure leads to eventually more conversions.
Ken Brickley: It’s the classic funnel. You’re putting people in the top of the funnel absolutely and that’s … yeah.
Dave Woodward: So, guys, let’s talk about the actual funnel. So you’re out there throwing a ton of content out. Eventually, you have to have a call to action. So, are you doing your call to action in your story? Is your call to action in the bio? How are you driving … where’s the call to action and where are you driving people to?
Josef Rakich: So, I’ve got many different calls to action. Sometimes on social media I try to sell them right directly on to the product. However, I’ll say probably 90 percent of the time I don’t try and sell them right on to the product because email marketing has always worked best for us.
So, 90 percent of the time, instead of selling them directly, I try opt them in to my email funnel and I do that by giving away free e-books, whether it be a free fat loss guide, a free muscle building guide, a free high protein recipe book. Whatever it is, I try to catch on the emails someway.
So, if I’m doing a livestream, I might be in the gym training chests, and the title of the video will be, “Come ask me anything while I train chests”. Then, in that same caption, I’ll also have “Download my free muscle building guide” with a link. And, I’ll also pin a comment to that livestream, “Download my free muscle building book.”
So, all those people on the livestream, instead of selling them right there and then on the livestream, we’re just trying to catch the email. Now, same thing with Snapchat. If I’m doing a Snapchat story …
Dave Woodward: I’m going to slow you down there because I know people are listening to this in their car while they’re driving and everything else and they’re gonna want to try to get … so the steps here basically is so right now we just talked about Facebook live.
Josef Rakich: Yeah.
Dave Woodward: So you’ve got a Facebook Live where you’re going. You’re doing the Facebook Live and then you’re pinning the comment for the call to action in the comments on Facebook Live, is that correct?
Josef Rakich: Correct.
Ken Brickley: Which is just a free giveaway. I mean it’s some sort of content hook, that email sequence that follows afterwards is building trust and then getting them over to the story format, and then the final call to action where we ask for the sale and stack it, 90 percent of the time comes in the story format. We don’t care if it’s in Instagram or Snapchat or soon to be Facebook, it’s the story format that you really can pack a punch in a close.
Dave Woodward: Awesome.
Ken Brickley: So probably one thing I’d add to this is a lot of people … and we have other clients that in yoga and all different types of genres of health and fitness, but the one sort of breakthrough mindset change that Joe has gone through and transformed the business is sort of recognizing that his sole job is to produce content. I mean once we sort of clicked that, it’s like … it’s not just building that or, you know …
Josef Rakich: Creating content, creating content.
Ken Brickley: Yeah.
Josef Rakich: Valuable content.
Ken Brickley: Valuable content and then everything else, we hire other people to do everything else.
Dave Woodward: I think it’s really cool. You guys were both saying it, and Josef, you made mention as far as you’re actually creating the content while you’re doing the actual work. So, you’re in the gym. You’re filming live what you’re actually doing. I saw Kaelin Poulin did a lot of the same type of stuff and I was talking to her about it.
But, I think that a lot of times people think that they’ve got to go in to a studio to create content. I think …
Ken Brickley: [crosstalk 00:15:45]
Dave Woodward: … what we’re seeing these days, at least for us, I mean we’re doing a ton of behind the scenes, Funnelhacker TV type of stuff, where literally we just film in our day. We film what’s going on. You’ve done a great job at that kind of stuff.
Josef Rakich: Okay, so if I’m in the gym, I’m filming that workout either for YouTube or Instagram or even if I’m in the kitchen making a meal for myself, which I would be doing anyway to eat, my girlfriend might be Snapchatting me make it. It’s kind of like that. And then …
Dave Woodward: It builds trust.
Josef Rakich: … and then after I’ve made that meal in the kitchen, I then sell … upsale them, or not upsale them, opt them in to my free recipe book. I say, “If you want more high protein recipes like this, download my free recipe book” and that’s an opt in to my email list.
Dave Woodward: Perfect. So let’s now talk about your [inaudible 00:16:36]. So now you’re sending … you’re going Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope, as many different platforms that you can, giving them different calls to action, to go then to a funnel. So, they land on your funnel and they’re opted in, I’ve heard you now talk about whether it’s a workout, whether it’s a recipe book, or something like that, they’ve now get that. What’s the next step in the funnel for ’em?
Ken Brickley: Yeah. It’s a series of … and we could probably improve on this tremendously, but our approach is the Facebook mantra “Done is better than perfect” and we just start shipping content that we know is valuable to those people. It’s segmented. If they’re trying to lose weight or trying to build muscle, obviously there’s two different paths of content that drip out, but it’s all designed to first hook ’em, second, build more trust, third, anchor some sort of value, what is this worth, and then finally, get them across in to that story format. That story format is absolutely the best places. And then, that’s where they’ve seen the full price somewhere in an email or on a thank you page; we use the thank you page as well to establish our full price, and then in story format, they see the sale price and suddenly they can’t remember exactly what it was but they thought this was worth a lot more. And that’s … and you know, that’s been our secret. It’s turned around the business radically.
Dave Woodward: So, let’s talk kind of numbers if you’re okay with that. Tell me, when you’re looking as far as the price point you have on your thank you page, how much are you … what are you basically putting out there as far as the value?
Ken Brickley: It’s north of $500.
Dave Woodward: And what do they get for that?
Ken Brickley: You want to walk them through everything?
Josef Rakich: So, if someone joins my transformation program, every single month, for every four weeks, they get new updated meal plans and workout programs. So, this includes meal plans, workout programs, extreme ab workouts, extreme fat burning cardio routines with like the best and most effective cardio that my clients can do to burn the most amount of body fat. They get a supplement guide as like a free bonus.
They get 24/7 customer support from my support team. So, any questions they have on training, nutrition, or if they want to substitute something in their meal plan, for example, if they don’t like salmon, my support team will substitute it for another food. They get access to my private members only Facebook group. So, everyone who is a Joe Raf client gets accepted in to a private Facebook group where everyone posts their transformations and it’s just a good community that we’ve built up there.
And, not to mention, we also have 100 percent money-back guarantee if they’re not happy or satisfied with the results that they get from my programs.
Ken Brickley: And, that price …
Josef Rakich: Everyone loves the results.
Ken Brickley: And that price would be probably over a 12 … that $500 would be like a three-month subscription kind of thing. So, not a monthly $500. But yeah.
Josef Rakich: And that is actually … the $500 price is actually extremely cheap considering if someone gets a normal personal trainer at the gym, they only get a one-hour workout. They don’t receive a meal plan or a workout program, it’s just a one-hour workout, and that is usually around $60 for a cheap workout. That is nothing on the scheme of things that we actually offer to our clients. So, ours is extremely valuable.
Dave Woodward: So, tell me more about when you’re taking a look at the … so you basically say it’s about 500 bucks. You now are going through your story selling, you’ve alluded to that, what exactly … how does the email story selling come up? Are you selling on webinar at the end? What’s the next step in the funnel?
Josef Rakich: Yeah, I [crosstalk 00:20:43]
Ken Brickley: We experimented with that and the story format works much better for the price point. When the sale price point is sub … usually for the same amount, some $100 type of sale price. And then … yeah, that works way better in the story format. We’ve, again, split tested this and it just … I mean probably ten x in the story format.
Dave Woodward: So when you’re saying the story format, what exactly is it? Is it a series of emails that is getting the story, that they’re getting broken out over a series of six or seven emails? What’s the actual story format?
Ken Brickley: It’s a series of probably eight to 15, either screenshots with typing over top of them in your Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook story, and/or pictures with some typing on it. In between that might be a video, selfie video explaining something, overcoming objections, those sorts of things. Yeah. All the same sort of components in the ark of storytelling but sort of crammed in to, I don’t know, 10 to 20 slides, and all the same sort of brunson stack that he walks through in his webinars. Yeah.
Josef Rakich: And the reason why I think that is so effective is because I think now, like this day and age, especially recently, us humans have a lot shorter attention span and something like that story format, it gets the message to them quickly and clearly, and they can understand. It’s not too long and it’s not too detailed, but they get exactly the message that we’re trying to give to them.
Dave Woodward: So, how much time does it take to get that story across?
Josef Rakich: It can vary. I might put a workout up there first, so that workout could be five different snaps, you know, five different exercises and then I could go in to a sales pitch, which could be a few videos saying, “If you need help building muscle or losing body fat, I can help you. You need a personalized meal plan with all protein, carbs, fats worked out perfectly.”
I then maybe might put up a few transformation pictures of some of my clients and the results that they’ve achieved. I’ll then say what they’ll receive if they join my program and I’ll then let them swipe up, which lands them on the sales page or either an email opt in where we cache the email and then market to them through email.
Ken Brickley: Should we tell them the secret that we … one little secret?
Josef Rakich: What’s that?
Ken Brickley: So …
Dave Woodward: Absolutely, of course you have to.
Ken Brickley: One of the things that, again, we’ve split tested this so many times and the story format works really well when you pause and wait about 20 to 23 hours and let all of your other stories clear out, and then the last story in that previous sequence is a really meaty, detailed story post that probably is a video that goes in to so much detail that that’s the first thing that they’re gonna see when they … when we drive all this traffic to the story. And, they see that and they go, “Wow, this guy really knows what he’s talking about”, and you establish trust, and then there’s a pattern break where we next slide a serious question, pay attention, and then the stack begins.
That format, waiting for all of your other stuff to clear out and then starting, it’s like … it’s huge. Yeah.
Josef Rakich: The reason being is again because of attention span. If you put a mess of story on your Snapchat where you’ve got, you know …
Ken Brickley: Ten, 20 different …
Josef Rakich: … 10, 20 different Snapchats of this relevant stuff, which is still good, a lot of the people don’t get to the end of that. So, they never actually get to the sales pitch because their attention span is so short they might just go do something else on their phone or swipe to the next person they follow on Snapchat.
But, if we can leave it for a long timeframe, for a lot of that story to clear out, because on Snapchat and Instagram, I’m sorry, it’s only available for 24 hours. Then, if we put the sales pitch in first, everyone who pretty much watches that, you get a lot more volume of people watching the sales pitch, which leads to more conversions for us.
Dave Woodward: Guys, you could have just started with that and saved us 20 minutes.
Ken Brickley: THere’s a lot more things, but yeah.
Josef Rakich: Other valuable content. All that sales pitch has become irrelevant because the other content is “Oh wow! Josef knows what he’s talking about. He’s got some knowledge”, and they build that trust.
Ken Brickley: Big time. Big time. Probably the other thing to do is just a rule of thumb for your audience is you might do posts across social media daily or a couple of times a day or let’s say five to ten times daily, but you’d look at stories; maybe you sort of look across stories, posts, and live broadcasts. What would be the sort of mix up between those three? Joe, can you?
Josef Rakich: Honestly, I say you should do them all. However, stories, it can be more frequent, so you can honestly do stories hourly, add something to your story every hour. It doesn’t have to be every hour, but every hour is all right because it’s not too spammy. However, like a post on an Instagram page or a Facebook page, if you’re doing a post hourly, it’ll probably get quite spammy and the person would unfollow you because you’d get annoying.
And lives, again, you don’t want to be doing lives every single hour. People’d be like, “All right, this guy is live again? Unfollow.” So, a weekly live or even maybe twice a week for a livestream, that is valuable and it’ll get more audience engaged and watching that. So, every thing has its own I guess frequency that they can use it at but the good thing about story, you can do it more frequent because it’s quick and easy to get through the story and you can provide more value that way.
Ken Brickley: Build more trust.
Josef Rakich: Build more trust, yeah.
Dave Woodward: I love it. Well guys, I really appreciate the time. You guys have been so open and transparent. I’m super excited. I always get people asking, “So how do I get a hold of you guys”, so tell people how they can reach you. I know as far as most people first of all who want to either check out your funnel and build muscle or lose fat, where do they go for that?
Josef Rakich: Yeah, so if anyone needs help with personalized meal plans and workout programs to transform their physic, whether it be building muscle or losing body fat, you can visit my website, which is josefrakichfitness.com, or you can check me out on social media, just Josef Rakich on Instagram or Josef Rakich Fitness on Facebook. And yeah …
Dave Woodward: So just spell that out here. So, it’s J-O-S-E-F and then Rakich is R-A-K-I-C-H?
Josef Rakich: Yep, correct.
Ken Brickley: Correct.
Dave Woodward: Cool.
Ken Brickley: And also, if anyone is into yoga or fitness, personal training, wrestling, boxing, MMA, any of these types of training businesses that also have a meal plan component, the software underneath is macroactive.io is absolutely the fastest way to scale your business and transform your growth. You’ll never be able to write these meal plans, etc. manually, and if you do, you’re probably just giving out static PDFs that never change or grow. This is dynamic and all of these sort of marketing secrets, tips, etc., come with the software service, macroactive.io is … if you’re interested, you want to scale it, you want to take what Joe’s done, apply it to your business, we’d love to talk to you.
Dave Woodward: Super cool, guys. Well any parting words before we wrap things up?
Ken Brickley: That’s it. Thank you so much. You guys have been sent from heaven. Thanks for writing the book, Russell, appreciate it. Thank you very much for having us.
Dave Woodward: I appreciate you guys. Again, thank you so much. For those of you guys who are listening, go ahead and go to Funnelhackinglive.com. Get your tickets to go to funnelhackinglive because you will have the opportunity of seeing these guys, actually even doing … they’ll be one of the round table hosts and having some fun time there as well. So, thanks guys so much. We appreciate it and we’ll talk to you guys soon.
Josef Rakich: Awesome. Thanks for having us.
Dave Woodward: Thanks guys. See you.
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