Stephen Prior and The Millionaire Mastermind: See How It’s Built With Thrive Themes and Memberium
Micah: Hey, everybody. It’s Mica with Memberium. Today, we get the pleasure of talking to Stephen Prior who runs Prior Marketing Solutions. He’s agreed to give us a peek behind the scenes of a membership site that he’s built, and share some insights and some things that he learned along the way. So, Stephen, thanks for joining us.
Stephen: Well, thanks for having me. I’m excited to show you guys what we have been working on for the last few months.
Micah: Cool. So before we dive into it, can you give us just a little background about yourself and your business, how you got started in what you’re doing?
Stephen: Well, I got started doing web development and web design back when I was 12. So, I’ve been doing this now for over 12-13 years. I started getting into more of the marketing side of things through college. And then right after college, I got a job with Loral Langemeier, who’s a popular info marketer. I’ve since left then, started my own business, and I do a lot stuff with bigger name speakers like David Sharpe, Giancarlo Barraza, and a few other people in the industry. But we do stuff within the financial industry – again, like the speaking industry – and we have some real estate clients as well. So, we offer funnel development services and marketing services. We also do the membership site, development stuff obviously. That’s my background.
Micah: Just to on clarify on that, I’m looking at the site here for example. Did you do everything? Do you do graphic design and stuff like that?
Stephen: Yeah. We’re a full-service marketing agency. We do all the development, the design, the work, the marketing strategy. As I’ll point out when we walk through the site, that marketing strategy is embedded throughout the membership site because this is mainly for front-end products. So, yeah, we basically cover everything.
Micah: Cool. Obviously, you’re working with this company. A lot of the times, we’ll talk to the company themselves. We’ll dive into the details, but tell us real briefly about this company and what they’re doing so we get the context.
Stephen: So, The Millionaire Mastermind was founded by Giancarlo Barazza. He’s a fairly successful super affiliate. So, he does stuff like load and click Bing offers. I think he actually does a lot of stuff with other affiliate networks that are more profitable. Basically, The Millionaire Mastermind has a bunch of coaching programs teaching people how to start from nothing and then become an affiliate marketer.
Now, we have the front-end products teaching people how to just get set-up with affiliate marketing, and then we have three or four different packages that provides one-on-one coaching to get your campaigns up and running. Some of our students are making upwards $2000-$3000 a week just off their first CPA campaigns.
Micah: Cool. So, walk me through, if you don’t mind, the process one of those customers is going to go through. So, maybe it’s from here that they end up on your site. If you can take us through how they buy and get into the membership area. and then what’s that like to get started – that would be great.
Stephen: So, this is one of the variations of the sales page for the 24-Hour Commission Code, and 24-Hour Commission Code is the entry point to this funnel. We might play around with adding a free offer or a lead magnet at the beginning of this. So, we’re still split-testing all of the sales pages. For the shopping cart, we actually utilize Spiffy which is a popular order form service that [you can integrate] with Infusionsoft. It’s really a clean design. You basically put all the template scripts inside of Infusionsoft. As you can see, it’s hosted by infusionsoft.com, and that just makes it a lot easier in terms of passing information on to up-sell pages.
And so, for the up-sell page, after they purchased, they’re taken to this page. The 24-hour Commission Code is a video course. We’ve created three or four different template sets. These are templates for PPC marketing like Bing ads or landing page templates. We have some suggested offers that people should start off when they start their first clickbait campaign.
So for $97 extra, you can add these templates to your order. To do this, we’re using Memberium’s 1-Click Upsell. So, these are all technically hosted on the membership site. It’s an unlocked page. And so, when they click this button, the action set trips and fires off inside of Infusionsoft, then it adds your…
Micah: Just to clarify, when they’re coming off that Infusionsoft order form that you styled with Spiffy, you are auto-logging into the site, right? And that’s how you’re able to do this 1-Click Upsell page afterward?
Micah: Cool. We get a lot of questions about that. Just for those of you listening, once you’re auto-logged in, this is easy because you know who they are, you have their card on file, and you can go with it. So once they do, let’s say they buy with the upsell, what is the next step? If they click that there, what happens?
Stephen: As of now, we just send them to the membership checkout site. This testing account that we are using doesn’t have that actual templates. If they haven’t purchased the templates, we give them the opportunity on the membership site home page to do a 1-Click Upsell for the $97 product. And then, obviously, advanced CPA marketing system, that’s something that we’re currently working on. It’s actually going to be like a physical boxed set. So, we’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to incorporate an online element with that. So, that should be coming in a month or two. But the main online course piece of this is the 24-Hour Commission Code. So, if we open up the module, it goes to just an intro page and they can start the lesson right here.
Micah: Man, I really like how it’s got a custom look and fee. At least I haven’t seen it, but it’s so simple – big, blocky buttons, not too many options. It looks nice.
Stephen: Yeah, definitely. We use Thrive content builder and Thrive themes to build this out. I’m a huge proponent of that. I think their interface is really easy and somewhat fun to work with. I’ve used OptimizePress before and that’s great, but Thrive – it’s just the elements that they provide are just really clean and it’s completely customizable. The Millionaire Mastermind’s marketing and all of their assets – graphics, videos – they really have this sleek feel to them. So, we really want to incorporate that when we were building out this membership site.
Micah: Got you. If you don’t mind jumping back to that home page, what I think is cool here and really smart is while you can log in and send them right to the content, but you’re doing a couple of things – offering that upsell, teasing them about the advanced system, and send them their content. I think it’s pretty clever. Out of curiosity, the upsell, if you do click that button, does it go to a confirmation page? What happens?
Stephen: Yeah. With this test account, I don’t have credit card attached to it.
Micah: That’s okay. I was just curious. For those of you listening, I’m guessing you send them to the confirmation page just because they’re going to need more info for being sure they want to spend that 97 bucks, right?
Stephen: Well, yeah. We’ll send them to a confirmation page, and then they click a button, and then they can purchase.
Micah: Cool. Just like a side note for customers looking at this – if you just have that as the action set button and you clicked it and got billed $97, some people may have thought they were going to a confirmation page and might be upset by that. They might have not meant to order it. I only mentioned it because it’s happened a few times, and you’d rather not give people refunds for accidental upsells as part of their new member experience, right? So very cool. I just want to point that out because it seems fairly simple, but I like how you’re getting a lot done on this page pretty effortlessly.
Stephen: Yeah. These are all of our beginner clients or they’re not even really clients at this point. They’ve purchased a $47 product. So we’ve incorporated some sales elements. This is something we’re going to be testing out and looking at some of the Hotjar analytics and stuff to see how people are interacting with this page. But for now, the general idea is that this membership site not only provides the content, but it indoctrinates people into The Millionaire Mastermind and what we represent, and it gives them other opportunities to get more involved with us.
And the other cool thing – just to point out – you can see right here the affiliate or Fast Start Training. This is actually an auto webinar funnel that we have. This is our main funnel. This generates the most of our sales at the moment. This is our back-end sales and it’s an application funnel.
What we did was, we created a variation of the stealth seminar event just for My Millionaire Mastermind lead so we can track that. But also, if people have access to My Millionaire Mastermind and they’ve already registered for this auto webinar, we don’t want to send them back to this page address. So, what we’ve used Memberium for is to actually change the menu, and we have some native ads throughout the membership site for this Fast Start Training.
After people have registered, this link will change to the actual application. So, whether or not they’ve gone through the training, the next step in the funnel is to get them to apply. That basically just gives them 30-60 minutes of free time with one of our strategists. The entire purpose of this site is to get people to stay engaged with all of our funnels.
Micah: Yeah, I love it. So real quick – and I might have you jump into the back-end here and there. We don’t have to now, but without getting too nerdy, I’m guessing for the menu, you’re using the Menu Items Visibility plug-in as well, or is it something different?
Stephen: Yeah, exactly. We’re using that, and then you guys have provided some documentation on – we’re basically controlling the visibility of tags because we’re pulling the “Registered for Webinar” tag to control the visibility on that.
Micah: Got you. Very cool. Anyone who has any questions about any of these, we’ll just mention them, so you don’t have to dive into it, but you can always reach out to supporter. Look it up on the site. So, this is cool. I’m sorry to you bring back here. So if you do go back into a lesson, we go in and open that, just out of curiosity, is it something where they have to go one at a time, or can they skip ahead, or how did you structure that?
Stephen: We let them skip ahead. We don’t have any quizzes or any criteria for you guys to move on. We were thinking about creating another product that’s more like a certification that uses something like LearnDash. But at this time, we want people to be able to go through this at their own pace. But we are thinking about some higher level courses that will control the actual flow of the material that they’re consuming.
Micah: Got you. Cool. So, could you show me maybe in Infusionsoft? I would be curious to see some of the supporting campaigns for this. What are you doing from that side?
Stephen: We’re still testing a lot of the marketing for this, but I can show you how we deliver everything. It’s a pretty simple campaign at this point. We have a triggered tag just for customer’s support and we also have the purchase goal right here for the 24-hour Commission Code. With this, we send it through Memberium. We apply the membership tag, and then we send them a delivery e-mail. It’s pretty short and sweet
And then we have an auto log-in when people click the button. So, we use campaign merged fields just for the support e-mail. Then, we apply just to purchase tag and we have just – these are just certain lists that we are using just a segment all of our customers. So, it’s pretty basic at this point for now. And then we use billing automation. Let’s just say the rapid results template upsell doesn’t go through. We remove access and we send them an e-mail that says, “Hey, your order didn’t go through. Please update your credit card information.”
Micah: Yeah. I got you. So keeping it fairly simple on that side, what was one of the more challenging parts of building this site would you say?
Stephen: It wasn’t super challenging. We just needed to make sure that all of the short codes and especially the menu visibility – this is the ad that I was telling you about before. We wanted to make sure that it was dynamically updating based on where people were at within our overall company funnel. But overall, it was pretty smooth. It took a lot to create all of the assets and stuff as well. We created the product using a recording from a high-level event that we did, and we just modified that so it looked really well as an online course. And then, we created the transcripts, the audios. So we created a really cool PDF template for all of the different modules. But overall, it wasn’t super difficult – smooth project.
Micah: I bet it was a lot of work though. What I think you’ve done an especially good job of is leveraging stuff. So, if you’re saying that this came from an event, to display it, not just as a membership site, but to take the time to do the transcript which looks really great. And I’m sure the audio is great and has a little intro and all of that. So just like the consistency in the branding.
And then what I want to point out to a lot of people is, you’re taking full advantage of the content you do have by providing it in these different ways and making the pages looks so nice. The same content could just be a block of videos on a page or one page full of videos. And so, this really just adds a ton of perceived value, and I guess, it becomes a real value.
I also was just really mulling over the Fast Start Training strategy, and it’s settling in more and more with me how cool that is that you’re using an Evergreen webinar not as part of a front-end sales funnel, but for existing members where it really does look like it’s training and live training that happening now. As I understood what you said, that’s really more of an upsell plating, right? Like the webinar, I’m sure there’s training, but it ends in them applying for higher end program?
Stephen: Yeah. It leads them to an application page and then from there, our strategist will try to get them into one of our more advanced programs, and we have three or four different options based on the income situation, their interest level, and affiliate marketing.
Micah: It’s great. It’s what most people should be doing. So most people probably have about this much content. I haven’t been through the site, but I’m guessing about as much content as I’m seeing here. They’ve got a little body of content, and then leveraging it this way, I think, is just really smart. It’s a perfect example. So, what do you feel is maybe unique on the site that you did?
Stephen: In terms of uniqueness, as we talked about like the different upsell opportunities, how we integrated that with the content. But overall, we really just wanted them to create a really good-looking website that is going to give people a really good first impression about our company. So, I think we did a fairly good job of doing that.
Micah: Very cool. How do you guys handle support? I see the item up there, but what do you use for that and how much do you offer your members?
Stephen: So we use Rhino Support. In terms of the level of support that we give to people, it depends on what products they have. Obviously, if they have a coaching program, the whole point of it is to give one-on-one support. But if they have any technical issues and stuff, we have a ticketing system that people use. This company is really unique in the sense that we really utilize Skype chats. It sounds primitive, but when people purchase a $6000-$7000 program, or a $15,000 program, we want to be accessible to them as much as possible. So, some of our students even have access to Giani, who is the main speaker. So they can just hit him up anytime they want over Skype, and he dedicates a block of time each day to answer those questions. But yeah, so those are the two, I guess, support methods that we have. It’s just the ticketing system. And then for our coaching program, we utilize a lot of one-on-one contact.
Micah: Got you. That to me is really interesting because a lot of people are trying to still provide value to their audience but also limit their exposure. Does he have any issues with that – being too available to his clients at that level? Or is it just whatever they want?
Stephen: Again, not everybody has full access to him. But we also have a team of – I think we’re at like six coaches right now. So, it all gets distributed pretty evenly, and we’ll continue to grow as the amount of students that we have grows. But as of now, it hasn’t created any program. We just feel that people are going to invest at that level of money with us that we should be readily available.
I’ve worked with some companies that you’ll spend $20,000 with them, and you’ll have to wait a day or two just to get a basic e-mail back. Or if you have a coaching call, you have to wait until that coaching call. So, I really like that about The Millionaire Mastermind. They do a really good job interacting with their students and making sure that all of them reach some sort of level of success based on whatever their goals are.
Micah: Yeah, that makes sense. That’s great. In Memberium, we try to provide the high-end support as well. But I know it’s always how you position that to make sure that expectations are managed. You know it’s usually an issue that comes up. So, I want to bounce around a little bit. We’ll get nerdy for a second, and then I’ll come back to sales. Can you maybe show me on the back-end of the site? Can we go look at the list of plug-ins that you use?
Micah: So you mentioned you’re using Thrive with Apprentice – it looks like – and I love Thrive as well. I didn’t realize that’s what you’re using there. It looks great. So, maybe walk us through some of the plug-ins you’re using and why just in case people want to do the same stuff.
Stephen: So, we got to update some of these plug-ins for security reasons. So, anybody watching this, please don’t hack our website. Obviously, we use Memberium and i2SDK. And then, we use Menu Items Visibility Control. We’re a huge proponent of Thrive. One of the reasons we like using Thrive is there’s so many features with Thrive. It minimizes the amount of plug-ins that we need to use, which is really important for website’s feed, and overall, the security of the website.
And then, we use WPMU DEV. We’re using their Snapshot plug-in right now, but we plan on using some of the other stuff for branding or page load time. That’s really important with this particular project because we want to have a really smooth customer experience. So, we’re trying to minimize the amount of plug-ins that we are using. Obviously, we talked about it before. The Menu Items Visibility Control – that’s what’s controlling our menu. I can show you that.
Micah: For those of you listening, so it doesn’t go over in anyone’s head – the less plug-ins you have, the more secure your site is. So, when he’s talking about how Thrive does the job multiple plug-ins, he’s just saying any plug-in you have is a potential risk and it depends where it comes from and what it does. But, yeah, less plug-ins means less security risk and better performance as far as speed, which affects all sorts of things.
Stephen: Yeah. You never know what you’re going to get. Obviously, you guys – like Memberium – you guys are an established company. WPMU DEV – they’re an established company. You guys have teams that take security seriously, and there’s a lot of plug-in developers that they only care about the functionality of it. They don’t think three steps ahead when you have WordPress updates. Their platform how that’s going to – whether or not it’s going to create security vulnerabilities with those plug-ins. So, we try to do our best to stay with companies that provide plug-ins that are just well established and well supported.
Micah: Got you. So, you’re going into the menu item visibility stuff, right?
Stephen: Yeah. So, the Fast Start Training, if they have not registered for our affiliate Fast Start webinar, it’s controlled based off tags. So, this is shown to everybody who does not – that’s what the exclamation point is – that does not have tag ID 2068. Then, right here, we have two different levels of conditional statements. One is, if they’ve already registered for the affiliate Fast Start, and then two, if they’ve not applied already. So, this is the tag that, when people apply for a strategy call, we will apply this tag to them and that helps control the visibility of the CPA strategy call.
Micah: Got you. And for those of you watching, what he did there by them pass any tags twice, is similar to an infusion where you say, “Must have this tag and this tag versus either of these tags.”
Stephen: Correct. We wanted to make sure that the right people are seeing that offer.
Micah: Very cool. Was there any other custom coding that you had to do to make all this work?
Stephen: No. It was actually a pretty straightforward project. We obviously did some custom CSS stuff, but nothing too crazy. But we rely heavily on Thrive and some of their supporting plug-ins.
Micah: Got you. On your plug-in list, I thought that was interesting because it’s already shorter than most people’s plug-in list. But when I was looking at it, it’s like, “A couple of those are Thrive and a couple of those are Memberium.” So really, you don’t have too much there.
Stephen: Yeah. We did a really good job trying to minimize the footprint of the plug-ins.
Micah: Yeah. And what would you say – and maybe there isn’t one – but is there any mistake that you made as you made the site that you do differently?
Stephen: I think we definitely are still experimenting with the sales page. Basically, the sales process, that’s going to be something that we need to tweak a lot. That’s definitely not a finished product. Over time, we will revamp everything, but we’re pretty happy with what we’ve produced so far. This is a good starting point for us to keep building this out. We plan on releasing a bunch of other new products using this membership platform. So, we’re pretty excited about that.
Micah: It sounds like your road map is to keep working on the funnel, and then add more products into the same site. Is that right?
Stephen: Yeah. At the end of the day, we need to make sure that the flow is in sync with everything else. One of the things, I guess, this membership site is missing is a lot of the e-mail marketing sequences that could be attached to the behaviors of the website. So for example, somebody completes a course or completes a page, or if they view a page, we can apply a tag and that sends them into a drip C to try to get them to keep digesting the content. So, that’s definitely something that we plan on implementing in the near future. So, I guess, if there’s a chink in the chain, that would probably be what it is – just the automation on the back-end in terms of e-mail marketing. But overall, we’re really happy with how it came out.
Micah: I know. It looks actually pretty awesome. Knowing what’s behind some of that, I know it’s not necessarily hard, but some of it is tedious. It’s a lot of work. So, I think it’s really cool. I know you do services yourself. But do you have any advice for somebody who is just starting out and who’s not going to hire a consultant and is going to build it themselves? What general advice might you give them?
Stephen: Well, I think the best place to start – I know we’re talking about membership sites, but it goes with that is figuring out the position of whatever product you’re trying to build, within your company’s ecosystem or within your company’s funnel. So, is this going to be a front-end product? Is this going to be a membership site for your $2,000 product, or your $10,000 coaching program? It’s really important to identify where your product that you’re building is going to be positioned within your funnel, so you can develop a strategy on how you want to set up the site. That goes back into creating the webinar offers and the upsell opportunities. We knew that this website was going to be for front-end products, so we tailored it that way. So, it’s important just to have a game plan in terms of what you want to use this product for.
I have a few clients – not too many – that they want to build a membership site, but they don’t know where’s that going to fit in with everything else that they want to do. Is it going to be a front-end offer? Is it going to be the back-end offer? That’s also important in terms of pricing. You can’t figure out pricing unless you know where it’s going to fit in to your product. So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but I definitely think, knowing where your product fits in is one of the important things that people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.
Micah: Yeah. I think that answers perfectly. Very on point because you’re right. A lot of the people aren’t quite thinking as strategically as they could. They know they want one, but yeah, figuring how it fits into the grand scheme of things is going to go a long way. I think people get the idea that, “It works for so and so, so I’m going to make one and it’s going to work. I’m going to make this money.” But they don’t realize that so and so got quite a few systems built around that.
If you’re in liberty to talk about it, you mentioned this Millionaire Mastermind company. How does this membership site fit into the grand scheme of things when you guys approached developing it? What were some of the thoughts and discussion? Why did you do it versus something else?
Stephen: They’re really an interesting company. They’ve done several million just basically with this affiliate Fast Start funnel, and then we have a couple of other very similar funnels talking about different subjects. But the premise of it is, it’s just an auto webinar. It got us to an application. We have an amazing strategy team that helps support the sales. But we didn’t even have merchant processing up until recently. Everything was done through wire transfers and occasional PayPal transactions. So we really wanted to automate or systematize everything so that the whole sales process or the whole funnel wasn’t super hands on like it was.
We also wanted to qualify our leads more. Somebody who registers for a webinar isn’t the most qualified lead. Obviously, if they follow the application and they expressed interest in what we’re teaching, that’s a more qualified lead. But having those low-level products that people can make those micro commitments with, at the end of the day, it creates a really qualified lead because it’s the whole Digital Marketer spiel. Once people invest a little bit of money with you, they’re more inclined to invest more of you. So, does that answer your question?
Micah: Yeah. I think it does. It definitely does. So just to try to summarize a little bit – and correct me here if I’m wrong – but it sounds like you had a high-dollar high-touch model that was taking a lot of your time. So, you’re trying to build a qualifier on the front-end to save time, and then systematize as much as possible to also save time, and just scale and increase profit, right?
Stephen: Yeah. Just having that direct sale revenue that wasn’t tied to any sales rep and stuff. We were able to get a few merchant accounts and just being able to sell a product online. We have tried Facebook ads or a lead magnet. After the lead magnet, people will see this offer. There’s a lot of things we can do just to get that easy direct sale revenue.
Micah: Yeah, that makes sense. And just something since it’s been on my mind a little bit, but just to point out for those watching – what’s kind of interesting about this is where they have a back-end product that they can sell – this fun and membership site stuff – when you talked earlier about it being part of an overall strategy, this to them, I’m guessing, they could almost lose money on it if it generated leads and qualify them, but I’m imagining they’ll make money on it.
So just saying, no matter which way you go – if you’re going from a high-dollar down-building a membership site on the front-end for all the reasons Stephen is talking about, that’s great. And then if you start at the bottom, as soon as you got something that’s higher to offer, it makes you a lot more competitive marketing-wise because I’m guessing, if you wanted to, Stephen, you guys could spend more than most other companies in a snitch just because you’ve got this back-end offer if 1 in a 100 front-end people converts to and pays for it.
Stephen: Yeah, for sure. It gives us the flexibility. Those back-ends give us the flexibility to experiment with different Facebook ads, different landing pages. We have a little bit more of an allowance in terms of that. We use SamCart and Network Market Resources to deal with all of our Facebook ads. He does a tremendous job, but just having that security that the front-end is not going to make or break the business, that’s key. It’s really important.
Micah: Yeah, and it allows you to approach it with quality, which is what I’m seeing throughout this good-quality stuff. Speaking of which, because you are the one doing all of the work, if someone is interested in having something similar done for them or working with you – first of all, since I’ve had this opportunity, you say you’re full service with all of that, is there anything specific or special that you do? Aside from what they’ve seen here, is there other stuff that they should know about you as opposed to someone else maybe building sites?
Stephen: Well, in everything we do, it’s marketing-focused. We don’t build any front-facing websites. We’re not going to go out to a local flower store and try to get them on as clients just to build their front-facing website. So, we specifically focus on marketing funnels, and then membership sites that can support those particular funnels. I view membership sites as tools in the grand scheme of things in terms of a marketing strategy.
So, I think that’s what makes our membership sites unique. I’m sure there’s other people out there that have that same mindset, but that’s all we specialize in it. If the project isn’t going to be marketing-oriented, then we’re probably not the best people to do that. We have carved up that niche and we’ve been pretty successful at that.
Micah: Got you. Very cool. I like that a lot because there’s a lot of people who are academic or maybe purist or something with their ideas. I mean there’s a range – everyone knows that they need some marketing, but I’m just saying, having that marketing focus, what I usually have to convince people like that of is, the more you market and the more you make, the more you can get your message out there. It’s not just, “Hey, let’s make more money.” A lot of people say, “Well, I just want to spread the message. I want to teach people. I want to help people,” which I totally get because so do I. But take it out there. You’re going to have to make some money along the way. You’re going to have to market.
And so, having the “marketing first” approach, I think it’s the only way to go. Obviously, the product has to be there or it’s not going to be sustainable, but so many people overthink the content and the delivery, which is valuable. We talk a lot about that. You want to make it cool, but if you don’t market it well enough, it just doesn’t really matter. So, I love that.
If someone is interested in working with you, how do they contact you? Do you have anything special going on? Anything you want to offer and talk about?
Stephen: Well, if anybody is interested in working in us, you can visit our website at priormarketing.com, or you can just e-mail directly. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. And yeah, if you guys are already Memberium users, we can offer discounts on our project-based pricing. We’ve done that in the past for previous Memberium customers that we’ve worked with. So, we’re always happy to support the Memberium community. We’re happy that you guys chose to feature our website on one of these walk-throughs. We like what you guys are doing.
Micah: Well, ditto. I really appreciate you coming on. We’re happy to have you talk about whatever here, and we’ll put links under the video because you’ve been really gracious with your time and shown us through that and sharing what you guys are doing. So, I really appreciate it, Stephen. Thank you.
Stephen: Well, thank you.