I’ve been told by the experts in the field that the only way to grow my outreach within the community is to tap into the power of funnel systems. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a funnel system is a method of giving away a small gift, which leads people to invest in a more significant product like a video series, which then pushes them to sign up (and pay for) the next step which is something like an in-depth course, which persuades customers to reach the final level—one-on-one coaching or consulting.
The system itself is fine, but the way it’s generally implemented makes me sick. It begins with a promise that the gift will answer all your questions and solve all your problems. What they don’t tell you is that will only happen if you follow all the way through the funnel. The idea is, within each step, they give people just enough information to whet their appetite and then promise they can find out more by signing up for the next level, which does the same thing. Only after spending hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars and jumping through a million hoops do you achieve the results you were promised.
It’s so underhanded, but it’s prevalent these days. Why? Because people are desperate for answers to life’s toughest problems, and many deceivers prey upon those who are hurting and know they can make easy money by promising solutions. Once people are hooked, they feel they’ve already invested too much time, effort, and money to not see it through to completion, so they continue to hand over their money in hopes they will finally find the peace for which they’ve been searching. And sometimes they do find that peace, but typically, they also discover they have a new stressor in their life—financial trouble. But they need not worry. There’s someone else out there who has a funnel system to help with that.
When I was approached about setting up a funnel system in connection with some of my books, I was told I would have to rewrite the books because they gave away too much information. I didn’t hold back the good stuff. I was too honest and forthcoming, so people wouldn’t see a need to go any further or purchase any additional products from me. The ironic thing about this conversation is that they intended the comments as a criticism, not praise. I was being criticized for being too honest and giving people the information I had promised them. Talk about a messed-up world!
I told the individual I would not be rewriting my books, and if I developed videos, a course, or coaching based off the books, it would be done to help people who desired further help and information. I would not willfully withhold the “good stuff” from them simply so I could have more money in my pocket or have a greater outreach across the web. That’s not the way I roll because it’s not the way Jesus rolled. He didn’t hold back the truth. He said what needed to be said, even when it wasn’t what the crowd wanted to hear. To do anything less would have been outside His Father’s will.
Suppose Jesus was content to speak with the people for five minutes but charged a fee for every moment after that. Oh, and if you wanted healing, that was an even bigger fee. Time alone with Jesus? Better hope you have your checkbook. No, Jesus didn’t act like that. He didn’t use people’s pain and trouble as a means to fatten His money purse or spread His fame. He met them where they were and did what He could to help them.
Before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear. I am not saying that a Christian worker or minister shouldn’t be paid for his or her services. God uses His people to further His work here on earth, and that includes in the financial area. It takes money to run a ministry, and that money has to come from somewhere, and I thank each of you who faithfully support this ministry each month. I couldn’t do what I do without you. The difference lies in giving money to help a cause or to purchase merchandise (like Christian books, wink, wink) and being taken advantage of by those who only offer empty promises and are continually trying to sell you the next, best thing because they know full well you’ll want it since they didn’t deliver on their promise, to begin with.
My challenge to you today is don’t hold back. Don't hold back from doing all you can do and being all you can be. Don’t hold back that smile from the coworker who is having a rough day. Don’t hold back from sending that card to the shut-in. Don’t hold back from taking time to call your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Don’t hold back from being a witness to anyone and everyone you see. Don’t hold back from giving God your all. Whatever you do, give it your best. Hold nothing back!