marketing funnel academy review

Marketing Funnel Academy Review – Worth It?

Marketing Funnel Academy review and Steve Hofstetter – is it worth your money?

When you’re passionate about your business and desperate for it to grow, you start researching ALL-THE-THINGS. You watch webinars, subscribe to YouTube channels, read blogs, download guides.

Then…

You see more and more of this type of content, because businesses start targeting and retargeting you in ads. Then…you get sucked into all of them. You subscribe to all the email lists. The ads make it seem SO easy.

So, finally… You take the plunge…

You invest a crap-ton of your money for a program with big promises.

What happens next?

Well, I don’t know what happens next for you.

But I know what happened to me when I hired Steve and his team, and I’m ready to spill the tea.

WARNING: if you’re going to start reading this post, you have to finish. Commit to reading this.

Here’s the spoiler / TL;DR…

I struggled when I signed up. I also bought from them a second time 2 years later. And I’ll tell you why.

What Is Marketing Funnel Academy

Before I get into my Marketing Funnel Academy review, I want to share who they are. They started out, from what I recall, to be more like what its name sounds like: an online educational space for training people on how to create and use funnels.

A funnel is an automated lead creation and nurturing system.

Many people use the term to describe a marketing sequence that goes from an ad, to a tripwire offer, to an up sell, to an automated email sequence, etc.

Think of the shape of a funnel: large at the top, narrow at the bottom. A funnel simply describes the process by which you get the attention from a sea of potential clients, get some of their contact information, and eventually sell to them.

But when people use the word “funnel” in the online space, they’re usually referring to some kind of automation.

steve-hofstetter-marketing-funnel-academy

Who Is Steve Hofstetter

Steve knows his stuff. Their business runs like a well-oiled machine and they’ve been around a long time.

From the start of my research in 2017, I couldn’t find examples of a ton of active social besides paid ads.

That’s the gig. That you don’t have to show up in all the places and in all the ways in order to build a business.

The whole pitch behind Marketing Funnel Academy’s current core offer is automating the success and client-getting strategy that keeps you from having to do all-the-things, so you can do just one thing:

Take sales calls and fulfill your offer with clients.

They practice what they preach.

The Process For MFA: Done For You Funnels

These days, I see a TON of marketers dumping all over the strategies they’re using to get their own clients. You’ll see an ad that says “Stop Blogging! Stop ads! Stop free training!”…

Then…you click on their ad, read their blog and watch their free training only to be told how to get clients without doing all those things…even though that’s what the guru did to get you in their funnel…

Smh.

Not Marketing Funnel Academy.

They practice what they preach. One ad. One video. One offer. One email every day.

The only variable is that they create slightly different ads and offers for different audiences.

They use the same funnel for their business that they build for you. Which I love.

  • So, you see an ad
  • Click to a video
  • See a call to action to book a sales call
  • If you exit the page, you get a bunch of really witty sale emails, all leading to book a call
  • You book a call
  • Get on the phone with a sales guy, and
  • Then you get the pitch and a fast action bonus.

It’s a high ticket investment.

They’ve added more value since 2017, which I’m going to talk about below.

My Personal Marketing Funnel Academy Review

So, in 2017, my husband got laid off. I was working at a company full time where I was helping a lot of gurus, while I worked my tail off and was underpaid. (But stayed for “the great opportunity.”)

I was tired of struggling and stressing.

Out of desperation, I decided I was going to make a big investment in myself to get a business off the ground.

(First clue to my struggle: the word “desperation”.)

I was in real estate investing at the time, so I thought the easiest thing to do would be to coach real estate agents – because it was in my industry and knowledge but wouldn’t compete with my company or its clients.

Long story short, I found Steve and MFA, and they sold me on a “done for you” funnel.

Getting Started

When I was getting started with MFA, I was a TOTAL newbie to coaching and having my own business – despite having been in online marketing since 2012.

I didn’t even know what my product was.

But I knew I wanted help creating an automated funnel to get sales calls, because I KNEW my knowledge could benefit people and would be worth paying for.

However…

As someone who didn’t have money to invest…paying someone I didn’t know the investment felt huge.

So I hesitated when I couldn’t find much info.

Another thing that made me hesitate is how few reviews there are online, and that they own or create most of the websites in the search results when you look for Marketing Funnel Academy Review or Steve Hofstetter. (Except for this one and this one. Which I can’t say are very thorough. Don’t pay too much attention to BBB. It’s a “pay to play” site for companies, so take that with a grain of salt.)

They had no hesitation in helping me even though I didn’t have a business or product yet.

MFA believed that with my experience and skill set, I could help people and charge high ticket. They said they’d help with market research and give me advice on deliverables, etc. I think they were okay with helping me – even though I didn’t have a product – because I had so many years of online marketing experience.

Getting help with my offer sounded amazing and was something I really needed help with.

I’d never charged high ticket before, though. And I struggled from the beginning with over-delivering and being able to close. (More on that in a sec.)

Facebook Ads

One of the deliverables is the copy and the Facebook ads. In 2017, I watched a video and did this myself. Nowadays, it’s a part of the offer for them to implement.

One thing I struggled with in my first experience with MFA in 2017 was that they said once I had the ads live, they would help monitor them. I spent $400 before finally asking someone to look at the account. Turns out I hadn’t installed the conversion correctly. $400 was really significant to me back then to feel that I’d wasted.

With a few years of hindsight, I see something now that I didn’t see then: mindset was always my biggest problem.

If I KNEW I would succeed, why would I care about my investment with MFA? $400 wouldn’t matter if I believed I was headed for 5-figure months.

I did eventually start getting potential clients on the phone though!

Heck yes!

…And then ran into another problem.

Sales Calls

I had no idea how to do a sales call.

On my first sales call ever, the guy who sold MFA to me hopped on the call to silently listen and text me live advice.  It was both hysterical and super helpful.

But I was so desperate for a sale at this point that it totally messed up my mindset.

I could NOT get out of my head – I was so new.

I had a really hard time closing and kept offering people multiple offers, discounts, etc.

A huge reason I decided to work with MFA was getting support around structuring a program people would buy. And they did look my outline over, but at the end of the day, I was scared.

I just wasn’t confident in my offer or pricing.

Later, I sent a second sales call recording to the team and got some advice.

When I sent a recording to MFA to listen to a call they said… STOP offering multiple offers. I was literally doing the exact thing they say not to do.

My calls were a mess.

I just had so little faith in my offer that I was trying to just get SOME traction. But I was turning people off.

Misunderstood

One of the biggest causes of frustration for me was my own misunderstanding. I wanted hand holding. I GOT a funnel for generating leads. Which is to be fair… Is the exact thing they did.

Their service is super streamlined and specific and works. But I was using it for a product I didn’t feel confident about.

The bottom line of my experience in 2017:

They believed in me or wouldn’t have sold me this program.

And I wasn’t ready and couldn’t get out of my way.

Quitting

I did eventually get a sale. A pay in full guy for $4400. After I fulfilled 3 months of coaching with that buyer, and 2 people I coached for free (never ever ever ever do that), I quit.

I think I intuitively knew that I wasn’t ready / didn’t know what my offer was / needed a different level of support.

In hindsight: while at the time I felt bummed…

It’s pretty cool that I sold a $4400 program and helped someone build their real estate business across the country.

Fast Forward: I Hired MFA Again?

After I honed in on my offer in 2019, I started seeing ads for MFA again.

Their ad copy is so heckin’ good.

I thought: I’d love to have an automated funnel to bring in coaching clients now that I know what I’m doing…

And I had cash to pay for the program, instead of going into debt.

I’m also pretty good at Facebook ads and better at sales calls. So I knew I wouldn’t struggle with that.

Lastly, I got a discount as a repeat customer which was cool.

Marketing Funnel Academy Review: Take 2

So, what is my Marketing Funnel Academy review the second time around?

They still built a cool funnel for me with amazing ad copy, and helped me hone in on the main CTA and value proposition.

They have added a few things to their program that would have addressed what I struggled with in 2017:

  • More sales call script and training
  • Moe Facebook ads training
  • Live weekly calls

Marketing Funnel Academy also manages the ads for you in the beginning now until they’re optimized, in addition to writing all the sales copy.

And lastly, they have a detailed questionnaire that they pass on to their copywriters in the beginning.

This streamlines the process SO much that my whole funnel was live in less than 3 weeks.

So, the ad copy, email copy and sales pages are highly customized to your offer and your personality.

Facebook Ads

When they started running the ads, they told me I shouldn’t spend more than $8 per lead. That expectation meant that when it went much higher than that, I’d get uptight and we’d pause them and try a new audience. Every new ad set cost $75 per day to test. Sometimes running multiple ad sets per day.

I think my offer and audience was too generic, and if I let the ads run longer, we would have figured it out.

They stepped in to change some copy and try some new audiences and played around with the ads for a while. MFA was committed to helping get the ads honed in, but I eventually paused them.

(P.S. – Turns out, my offer was still watered down. Which they mentioned might be a problem.)

I knew I could get the cost down on my own with time (instead of money) on my own. They would have kept testing if I didn’t micro-manage it, but I didn’t want to keep spending on ads then.

I paused the ads, drove free traffic with Pinterest, created a lookalike audience, and when I turned the ads back on? I got 2 sales calls booked in 24 hours.

The difference the second time around:

They’ve been doing these automated funnels successfully for a long time. The testimonials speak for themselves.

The reason I quit the first time, and the reason it worked the second time, is because I finally started getting my mindset act together.

I also understand the process and the purpose.

It’s not a coaching program, it’s a done for you funnel. (Literally what they call it, who knew.)

That said, there are definitely more coaching components today. I love that they added more value to address some of the stresses I had in 2017. Coaching calls, ads management, sales training.

Would I Recommend Marketing Funnel Academy?

Yup.

It was totally worth the cost JUST for the ad copy and the tech stuff to be done for me. And that’s just part of their offer.

But if you don’t have a product, don’t know who your audience is, and are desperate?

You might do some work first to hone in on what you’re selling.

If you’re like I was in 2017, you might struggle with the mindset component of charging high ticket if you’ve never done it before. Also, I recommend testing your offer with free traffic and social media first. If it doesn’t convert with free traffic – it won’t convert with paid.

If you have a high ticket offer that is somewhat proven and you’re done playing small:

Do MFA. It’ll be cool.

And if even if you’re new and your offer isn’t tested: if you want to use their funnel to test free traffic, it might be worth it.

Generally, I personally think paid traffic is a better option once your offer is determined and tested.

I can’t believe I wrote over 2000 words on this in one sitting.

Geezus.

23 thoughts on “Marketing Funnel Academy Review – Worth It?”

  1. Such an insightful post!! And I love your honesty in your experience with MFA.

    And I do believe that everyone needs a coach. You won’t get the great results you want without one (and in a shorter timeframe). For example, if you want to get in the best shape of your life, you’ll probably want a personal trainer to help get you there.

    Here’s my thought…coaches are not all created equal. And it would take a lot of research and trust to find one that’s right for your business just like any course.

    What’s your advice on how to find the right coach for you business?

  2. Wow! What a page turner. I’m so thankful that you present this information while keeping in mind all the levels of businesses out there. I most appreciate pointing out the irony in marketing, as it typically bypasses the thinking part of my brain. “even though that’s what the guru did to get you in their funnel…”

  3. I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  4. I paid MFA, $7,500 budget. GIANT GOOSEGG. $4k in ad expenses and all I got was 2 fake calendar invite. Nothing! Not a single follow up either, they launched it and said BYE!

    1. Hey Mike.

      I work with MFA and would love to offer some assistance.

      If I was in your shoes I would be upset as well.

      I would love to connect and see if we can take a deep dive into the funnel.

      Can you give some insight into what industry you serve?

      When your funnel was launched?

    2. Hey Mike.

      I work with MFA and would love to offer some assistance.

      If I was in your shoes I would be upset as well.

      I would love to connect and see if we can take a deep dive into the funnel.

      Can you give some insight into what industry you serve?

      When your funnel was launched?

    3. Me TOO. I paid an unbelievable price and flew two of us across the country to the group work session. Yes, we built a funnel, with inappropriate glib copy-write. Then while trying to use the funnel (and just before my assigned coach left them) they went totally dark behind an obvious barrier, they told me to move on and find an $8 VA in the Philippines to manage my Facebook ads.

  5. DO NOT WORK WITH THIS COMPANY!

    We had the same experience as Mike above. Paid $5k and got nothing but 2 fake leads. I contacted one of the leads and they were pissed. They asked me how I got their info.

    When I reached out to MFA to give them feedback I was told they don’t get involved after they make the sale and build the funnel out.

    In the 15 years we have been in business and successfully driven tons of leads this was by far the worst experience I have ever had with a marketing agency.

    Please email me and contact me. I will gladly line up a phone call and tell you more about our experience and tell you how to avoid it.

    1. Alison Reeves

      Did you see Matt’s comment above? Looks to me like they are trying to make things right, and if I were you I’d contact them.

      (I mean this kindly but I expect a reply that you reached out to them and tried to make it right.)

  6. I think you have the wrong thread.

    Anyway if you want to sign up for this go ahead and this is the response you will get when you reach out for help:

    “Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail once daily at 11 A.M. Pacific time.

    If you’re already a client and require support of any kind, please contact us via our support portal here”

    The kicker is nobody will ever respond.

    So yeah its a great investment.

    Google has this email and can verify it.

  7. Be careful about buying anything from “funnel steve”. I wasted $7,500 on a below average funnel that didnt yield a single sale. I then hired a cheap guy from India on Upwork to build me a funnel for literally 1/10th the cost and my funnel is, and has been, rocking with sales. This guy is a poser.

  8. I would not recommend working with MFA. Steve Hofstetter goes to great lengths to appear personable, transparent, and to gain the trust of the consumer. He even sends a selfie style video of the sales guy that will call you talking him up so it doesn’t seem odd that Steve isn’t on the call. Once I paid, I went through a conveyor belt style system. No one gets to know you or your project. The only info they base everything on is a Google Form thats filled out at the very beginning. Once it’s launched you’re nudged into a ticketing system thats an absolute disaster. I reached out multiple times asking for help with my campaign – it was not targeting the right people – but no one ever addressed it. I was just passed along to another person. The biggest red flag is that Steve Hofstetter takes your money and RUNS! This dude doesn’t even try to keep a finger on what’s happening – is this even his business? I asked multiple times – to multiple different people within MFA – to connect me to Steve & it was like the Wizard of Oz every time.

    1. No where in any of the marketing does Steve Hofstetter say he doesn’t even check in with you at any point. I have no problem working with his teammates, but for the money I paid, the person should at least be reachable. Here are the details of all of the times I attempted to be connected with Steve Hofstetter, and the variety of responses (or ignored) I got each time:

      Attempt 1: 7/2/21 I asked MFA person #1
      Me: “Is there a way to contact the guy who created this course, Steve?”

      MFA: I’d be happy to pass along any info

      Me: “Can I set up a call with him?”

      MFA: “We’ll get you covered…I’ll be sure to keep my eyes on things to help get you taken care of” (Never heard from this person again)

      Attempt 2: 7/16/21 I asked MFA person #2

      Me: “I’d like Steve Hofstetter to call me today”

      MFA: Doesn’t answer that question, changes the subject to something about my project

      Attempt 3: 7/17/21 I asked MFA person #2
      Me: “I still want to talk to Steve – why is he not reachable?”

      MFA: “I know launching a new funnel can be very stressful and there are a lot of moving parts for sure. So Steve usually has (names MFA members) handle all client facing things. I did give him the run down on everything on your funnel though and walked him through the current situation and he did have some thoughts. Would you like to hear?”

      Me: “If he wanted to give me feedback, why wouldn’t he be able to just contact me?”(Never hear feedback)

      Attempt 4 MFA person #2 7/20/21:

      “I know you really want to contact Steve. I’m in contact with him trying to sort this all out. I should have a better update for you tomorrow while I’m trying to get it so you can hear from him. Hang tight for one more day while I get this all sorted out.

      (Note the day before I was told there was a video)

      MFA: “In reality, Steve will tell you the same things we say anyway….I should also point out that once people get in touch with Steve, they then just want to talk with him only going forward, and so if we were to do this with every client, then Steve wouldn’t be able to focus on his To Do’s, which is why he hired us in the first place”

      Me: In a nutshell – I reiterated that I just wanted to speak to the person I paid a lot of money to for this project and asking if this was his business.

      MFA: “Steve is the face of the company, but he relies on us to carry out his work so we can serve more clients at a higher level. This is very common for companies to do. This isn’t a perfect example, but for example if you saw a commercial with the owner of a landscaping company, you probably would be receiving the actual service from one of his employees, not the owner himself. Same thing here”

      Attempt 5 7/21/21 – MFA person #2. (I never asked for a Loom video – I asked to be connected to him)

      MFA: “Steve was going to make you a Loom video yesterday on what he saw, but we got locked out of all your accounts, so he couldn’t do it”

      Attempt 6 7/17/21 I asked MFA person #3

      Me: “I’ve asked to be connected with Steve multiple times, but the subject is quickly changed each time and I’m ignored…are you able to connect me to Steve?” (Never got an answer to this email)

      #wheressteve

    2. Complete BS

      Their copy is flashy, but as far as converting, its a load of crap.

      Ashley, I had a very similar experience with the ticket system.

      Their own “project manager” did not even know how to create a funnel.

      On top of paying them $10k, I lost over 2-3k on Facebook ads with very very very bad leads.

      This is a scam.

      1. Dave, report them to the Arizona AG Consumer Complaint (and your state AG), FTC Consumer Complaint, BBB.

        Look up and learn from Frank Kern. This dude is the OG online marketer and the real deal. I’ve been following his advice for about a month and not only am I making sales, but I’m super confident in my course which is a far cry from MFA!

  9. The absolute most disgusting organisation to work with. Late on delivery. Terrible copy that is turnkey at best. Ads don’t reach targets or even get close. Fake leads that are abusive when calling them. Ticketing system that is beyond slow and terrible customer service. After more than a dozen attempts to contact them I will be contacting my solicitor and making sure I let as many people know as possible how bad they are. Over $12,000 down the drain and I get better metrics on my own landing pages and ads. I had Trevor who has now deleted all ads and copy from my page and that’s including the rights I had given my VA who was able to pick holes in the entire thing. I also contacted the original sales guy Matt who has apparently tried to make it better above and he too is ignoring me. I’m sure Russell Brunson will be interested in the dishonest behavior of someone not only using his system but also claiming the awards as a badge of honour. If you wish to contact me to organise a class action please feel free.

  10. As business owners, it’s not really our thing to leave negative reviews of other businesses but given what we went through and the money we lost in hiring MFA, we felt it was important to post publicly to help prevent others from going through the same.

    We worked with MFA from late Sept 2021 – Jan 2022. We paid $12k CAD for their work and spent another $8k-$9K in ad spend and didn’t make a cent of it back through the funnel they made us.

    We’ve been in business for 3 years and have worked with funnel/page developers, business coaches, copy writers and ad managers and we’ve never had such a poorly performing funnel like we did through MFA.

    The leads were a joke – we had 100 calls booked of which only 14 showed up but either were from countries we don’t normally advertise to and didn’t speak English or had no idea what they were signing up for. It was like a bot had filled our calendar with fake leads.

    Seeing the direction and suggestions of our project manager, which at times made no sense, or were not at all what we were promised as part of the process, we began losing trust that they knew what they were doing.

    After a lot of frustration, time, energy and money wasted we sent our project manager a message in late Jan 2022 to terminate any further testing (respectfully), and he didn’t even have the courtesy to respond.

    For anyone thinking of hiring marketing/lead gen funnel developers, our advice is this … thoroughly research the companies you are considering and look for some sort of guarantee. If they can’t stand behind their work and expertise to provide one, then they aren’t invested enough in the success of their clients.

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