The story of the done-for-you ‘Portal’
In today’s digital age, the allure of ‘done-for-you’ portals or funnels or online selling systems is hard to resist. Often they are promoted by a web-celeb who seems to have their own business buttoned up and now are offering their incites to you. They promise an easy and efficient solution for your online business needs. But as a web consultant, I recently had a client’s experience that exposed the limitations of such prebuilt solutions and the mistakes to avoid when choosing one. Let’s delve into the story of “The Portal” and why it left us with more questions than answers. Ultimately, I will go over 6 tips for choosing a done-for-you solution in your wellness business.
A Costly Wellness Business Investment
My client was enthusiastic about her new venture and had invested a considerable sum, approximately $2000, in a prebuilt portal. This portal was marketed towards women, particularly aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to build profitable businesses. The sales pitch was alluring, focusing on the idea of working less, earning more, and ultimately quitting the hustle. Ideas like: you can ‘profit from your passion’, have more leisure time, and work less earn more. None of these ideas are wrong but they are an emotionally selling the dream of many already overworked women. In addition to this, even with included instructions, my client found tailoring the portal to her needs difficult and that is where I came in.
A Course Portal with Limitations
This system was sold as a course portal, and it came with certain restrictions. While you could change colours and images, the structure was quite rigid. The system was set up as a course portal but was more structured as a membership portal. This lack of flexibility led to confusion and frustration, as there was no guidance on how to adapt the platform to different business models. You sold ‘memberships’ for a monthly fee and then students could access 1 or more courses ongoing for that monthly fee. My client ultimately decided to sell single complete courses one at a time or in bundles. When she purchased the portal it was not clear she could not do that.
The Unveiling of Upsells:
As we delved deeper into the system, we discovered a web of upsells. From funnel building to email marketing, the portal consistently urged users to buy into additional services. They also introduced virtual assistants (VA’s), pre-vetted by the company. This didn’t seem to align with my client’s initial vision, and it made us question the portal’s true purpose. Read my overview of Virtual Assitant’s and how they can build your online business here.
Hidden Profits and Missing Information:
Upon further investigation, we uncovered the portal, which claimed to help users “profit from their passion,” was profiting in its own way. It was discreetly directing users towards a funnel-building platform, where it potentially received a substantial kickback. This funnel building platform is well known for kickbacks of approximately 40%. The portal seller boasted 50 000+ students so based on the funnel platform pricing, the kickback percentage and estimating 3% of the students went on to subscribe to this portal it would be approximately $75 000 to $120 000 a year in kickbacks to the portal seller.
Moreover, the portal offered no substantial guidance on critical aspects of running a successful online business, such as marketing strategies, effective course creation, or pricing strategies. It was like buying a puzzle with missing pieces.
The Vanishing Act:
Another baffling aspect was the apparent absence of the founder. Users within the Facebook group raised concerns about the founder’s absence for 3+ years when I looked into it in 2023. The last YouTube video was uploaded two years ago, and the last LinkedIn activity dated back four years. This left users feeling abandoned and unsupported. This vanishing act had just begun when I started working with this client so was not apparent to either of us at that time.
Selecting the right business model for your business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your success. It’s essential to recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, while a webinar funnel leading to a sales call may be a lucrative business model for certain industries, it doesn’t necessarily suit all wellness service providers. Each business, especially in the natural wellness sector, has its unique needs, target audience, and service offerings. The choice of a business model should be a deliberate and well-informed decision, taking into account factors such as the nature of services, customer preferences and the business owners needs, energy levels and skill. By selecting the appropriate business model, wellness service providers can ensure they offer the right solutions to their clients while maximizing their business’s sustainability and growth potential.
In conclusion, while ‘The Portal’ may not be entirely bad, it serves as a cautionary tale about the hidden complexities and limitations of prebuilt solutions. It’s crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs to understand the full scope of what they are investing in and to explore alternative business models. A successful online venture requires more than a cookie-cutter approach; it demands personalized guidance and support throughout the journey. So, before you invest in a ‘done-for-you’ system, remember to look beyond the shiny promises and ask the right questions. Your online business deserves better.
6 tips for choosing a done-for-you solution
- Due Diligence: It’s essential to research the solution before committing to it. Ask others in online forums, networking groups, your professional association etc
- Misaligned Business Model: The prebuilt portal did not align with the client’s intended business model, leading to confusion and frustration. It’s crucial to select a business model that aligns with your goals and target audience.
- Hidden Costs: The system promoted various upsells, potentially driving up the overall cost for users. Ask about hidden costs before purchasing.
- Lack of Support and Guidance: The prebuilt system provided minimal guidance on essential aspects of running an online business, leaving users with critical knowledge gaps. FInd out what kind of support is offered: recorded training videos, chat support, 1:1 support, forums…
- Cookie-Cutter Approach: Beware of a one-size-fits-all approach in online business. Businesses should tailor their strategies to their unique needs and target audience.
- Marketing Tactics: The portal used emotionally charged marketing tactics, which might be considered manipulative, especially when targeting already overworked individuals. Also beware of the marketing you will need to do for your self. Is it a webinar to sales call? Do you want to rely on sales calls to get more clients?
How do you compare to other wellness businesses like Holistic Nutritionists? Find out here