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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.)
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!
…And then ran into another problem.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.