This morning I listened to Dana Malstaff's latest Boss Mom podcast on a new way to think about funnels. She discussed flipping the lid on the way we think about funnels, opt-ins, and list building. Her mini-training got my mind buzzing and resonated big time with me from a business planning perspective.
The main point she made was that we need to think about the end product before we give a piece of free content away simply to build our list. Building our list is a great goal, don't get me wrong. However, the critical move is to take a step back and identify the paid products your readers will eventually buy. Dana gives the analogy of a slide (a water slide, which is even better).
Create a Product Strategy that Grows with Your Audience
Ask yourself: what are you going to offer your potential customer that will feed the funnel. She goes on to point out that no one like a bumpy ride down the slide. So we have to make the ride smooth. We have to be thoughtful about every twist and every turn, and we have to think beyond the FREE content.
Dana also pointed out to think of your product, programs, and service offerings on a spectrum from least to most expensive. That customer that purchases your $27 product multiple times is worth quite a bit to your business. Think of your customers/avatars/personas on a spectrum of what they're willing to purchase and at what price point.
What is Your Customer's Lifetime Value
To further push and to build on Dana's point, consider your customer's lifetime value. The CLV is a prediction of the net value attributed to the entire future relationship with your customer. Many of us are in the business of blogging for the long haul. As blogging grows up, so do we as bloggers. Furthermore, our kids grow up and we grow older. I have already seen evidence of this evolution with many parenting bloggers. As life moves forward, we must constantly re-evaluate our readers and our potential customers. They are not static.The CLV is a prediction of the net value attributed to the future relationship with your reader. Click To Tweet
Some of you might be thinking, yeah, well, I am going to offer early parenting courses for new parents. So, the new parents will eventually grow to not so new parents and you will get new “new” parents. What if, though, you can move your business with the needs and wants of your original, loyal, trusting readers? Bloggers' #1 jam is the influence we have on our audience. We build community. We build trust and our readers listen to what we have to say (well, if we do it right.).
Acquiring new customers takes a lot more energy, time, and money than nurturing your existing ones. So, grow “with” your audience by developing products that will fit their lives as they grow older as parents, teachers, business owners, and so on. Don't forget about acquiring new customers but don't leave behind the customers who love, trust, and listen to you. Grow your basket and your offerings.
Eventually, you will have a whole suite of products that cater to the spectrum of readers in your audience.
Let me know if you have any questions over in our Private Facebook Group!