So you created an awesome product or service but sales have been drying up? This happens to all of us at some point. It’s okay, though; there are steps you can take to combat the dry spell! We’re going to focus on one of those steps today: diversifying your business income. This goes beyond just the typical service vs. info product vs. physical product philosophy, though. How so? Well, let’s dive in.
1 | Not everyone in your audience has the same budget or needs
That may seem obvious, but it’s super easy for us to forget this when we’re creating new offerings. Think about it: your audience may include people who are just getting started in your area of expertise, people who are ramping up, and people who are ready to take it to the next level. These different levels have different budgets and different needs. So, what do you do about it?
If you’re able to meet people where they’re at – and NOT push your higher-priced offerings too hard – you’ll gain their trust AND fill their needs
Get into the mindset of your audience. Are they on a tight budget? Are they just dipping their toes in the water? What do they need RIGHT NOW?
If you’re using an email service like ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign, you can start segmenting your list based on these types of criteria to make it even easier. When someone opts into your email list, as part of your welcome sequence (you do have one of those, right?), include some tagged links to sort people based on certain criteria.
Say you’re a graphic designer. For example’s sake, your target audience is entrepreneurs or professionals who need graphics for their business or career. In that audience, you may have folks who have never hired a graphic designer before and have no idea how to ‘speak’ design, folks who have a little knowledge of design terms but not enough to do it themselves, and some who know how to communicate with a designer but just want someone to do the design for them.
These audience segments will have different needs and will require different levels of ‘dumbing it down.’ Within these segments, you’ll probably also have different budgets, too. If you can speak to your audience where they’re at right now, especially in terms of their budget (aka don’t push too hard if they don’t buy immediately), they’ll start turning to you right away when they need help in your area of expertise.
Offer lower-priced options to give more people the chance to try out your product or service and spread the word
Yep, this is where it gets exciting! If all you’re offering right now is a product or service that’s $200+, you’re probably missing out on a significant segment of your audience: those folks who want to buy your $200 offering but their wallet just isn’t there yet.
It’s our job as product and service providers to help them get to the point where they’re ready for that bigger offering.
How do we help our newbie clients turn into our ideal clients?
Think of it this way: You’re that graphic designer. It’s often more enjoyable (and easier) to work with people who know what they’re talking about and can communicate their design needs coherently. However, there just aren’t as many of those folks out there as there are people who need graphic design but don’t know how to communicate very well what they need. BUT. If you can take those newbies, give them a low-priced resource that helps them learn design terms and how to get the most out of working with a graphic designer, you’ll have transformed them into your mid-level client!
Now you have someone who has at least a bit of an idea of how to talk to you and feels ready to get started. That $19 PDF they bought from you may have just turned into a $500 or $1000 project! Or maybe they want to be at that level but, again, their budget hasn’t caught up yet. Now you could offer a semi-custom project for half the price and they feel ready to jump on that. Now they’ve worked with you, know how to communicate with you, and as their business grows, you’re probably the person they’ll come back to when they’re ready for a fully customized package.
Congratulations: you just helped someone who wasn’t ready yet to work with you become a recurring client.
Nicole Walters has a great framework for creating multiple buy-in points
Nicole’s tips are actually how I started developing my own client journey funnel (yes, I just made up that term). I was listening to her talk with Pat Flynn over on the Smart Passive Income Podcast and I took her advice and ran with it. If you’re not sure what the first steps to take to create your own client journey funnel, I highly recommend listening to that episode and grabbing the PDF transcript so you can take even better notes. It’s well worth it!
2 | Give people multiple ways to connect with you
Yes, this is different than what we just talked about. This goes beyond meeting someone at their knowledge or budget level. After all, not everyone communicates the same way, right? There are visual, auditory, and kinetic learners; there are emotional vs. facts-driven folks, too. You have to give people different ways to connect with you if you want to draw them in. Speaking of which…
Draw people in with your initial opt-in freebie/content upgrade and only upsell from there once you’ve gained their trust
In other words, don’t put your product offer in your first email to someone! When they opt into your email list, you need to help them become part of your community. If they opted in, they were looking for an answer to a problem they have. If you can provide the solution to that problem, you become their hero for that moment!
Once you’re their hero, you’ve gained some of their trust. Don’t abuse that trust, but do know that you can build on it. Provide more value through your emails and sprinkle in mentions of your product when appropriate. Yes, it may be appropriate to offer it almost right away. Maybe your opt-in freebie answered the Why of their problem but not all of the How. In that case, you could offer a soft-sell of your introductory (aka low-priced) product to solve the rest of that problem for them. If their problem is costing them potentially $100’s and your product is $19 and can help them solve that problem? Booyah, sign me up!
Experiment with different offers at the same levels
Looking back at our graphic designer example, let’s dig into this idea. So you’ve created a $19 PDF to teach your low-knowledge audience how to ‘speak design.’ Thing is, not everyone is going to care about that. Some may be saying, “Well, I could do that myself if I just knew how.” These folks are the DIY crowd and are less likely to purchase your services anyways. That’s fine – you can find other ways to reach them!
An alternative $19 PDF that would connect with the DIY audience could be a resource guide. This would need to go beyond the basic checklist of programs (though that would be a great opt-in incentive for these folks!), so you might want to include basic getting started tutorials for a free program as well as a paid program (e.g. GIMP and Photoshop or something like that). You could still include a little Next Steps call-to-action at the end of this PDF and in there, let them know that if they’d rather just have someone do this for them after all, they can talk with you.
You could then have a second mid-range option for these folks as well. In addition to the service offer at the end of the introductory PDF, you could tease your full-fledged design course. You could price it close to your semi-custom design offering, but a course is more likely to appeal to the DIY crowd. This would teach them the basics of using a specific program like Photoshop or InDesign. You’re not giving away the farm – after all, one course is not going to impart all of your years of experience and unique design perspective – but you’re getting them started. This way, you’re reaching both the DIY crowd and the do-it-for-me crowd with the same price points!
Play with the sales copy for your free content AND your paid offerings
This is where the emotional vs. facts-and-figures idea comes into play. Granted, there are a lot of other hooks that you should play with in sales copy, but these are two that most of us can easily latch onto. For example, personally, I’m a facts-and-figures girl, but my best friend is more drawn in by emotions. If you were to market solely to the folks like me who want to see how graphic design will impact our business, you would miss out on a lot of people who would care more about how it would make them FEEL about their business.
Let’s grab a couple of examples. For that $19 design terms PDF, here’s a facts-and-figures approach to some basic sales copy:
Want to spend less time on design projects? Learn how to communicate with your graphic designer so they understand what you want on the first try! Get better results with less time – all for only $19.
If you were going for a more emotional approach, you could do something like this, though:
Want to feel more confident on your next design project? Boost your design terminology and make a better connection with your graphic designer! Don’t go into another project feeling overwhelmed and underprepared. Get the know-how you need – for only $19!
Okay, I’m not a copywriter, so you probably wouldn’t want to use this copy. But hopefully you can at least see the difference in how you’re presenting the same product. This simple tweak could help you reach a whole segment of your target audience that would otherwise be completely missed.
3 | Test different customer acquisition methods
If you really want to grow your audience and acquire more clients or customers, you’ll need to find new ways to reach them. I’m not talking about the sales copy tweaks that we just covered; I’m talking about actually finding these people. There are a few ways that you can get started with this:
Promote your offerings via joint ventures and collaborations
Out of the three methods we’re going to cover, this is one of the more fun ones. You essentially get to give someone else a win-win!
Try reaching out to friends or influencers who you admire and who have similar audiences but not a direct overlap of the services or products you both offer. Tell them why you love what they’re doing in their business and ask if they’d be open to collaborating with you. Explain why it would be mutually beneficial for the two of you and your audiences (expand your existing audiences, share awesome resources with them, etc.).
These collaborations could be a joint webinar, guest posting, appearing as a podcast guest, or whatever else you can think of. Get creative with it and make sure it’s mutually beneficial so you both get the most out of it!
Create affiliate offers to spread your offerings via word of mouth
This can also be fun, honestly. If you want to test the waters before you start seriously promoting your new offering, share it with your current audience. Give them promo pricing (maybe $5 off a $19 product or something like that) in exchange for honest feedback and affiliate opportunities. They would get the updated offering once you fix it up based on their feedback AND they can earn back their initial investment by sharing it with their friends when it’s released to the public!
It’s a win-win for everyone. Your audience gets to help shape a product that could help them reach their goals and they can earn a bit of money by promoting something they already like. YOU get great feedback, some initial buy-in so that you know the offering is worth creating, AND you get built-in word of mouth marketing. Who can beat that?
When you’re able to afford it, start playing with paid acquisition methods
This one may take a bit of time to ramp up to, but once you’re there, it can be a fantastic avenue to reach new audiences if done right. A great way to do this is to start off with lookalike audiences (most platforms offer this by now) of the people who have bought your product already and/or who are on your email list. I’m not a paid marketing expert, so I won’t get into too many details, but you can check out folks like Amy Porterfield and the Perpetual Traffic podcast, just to name a couple, if you want to learn more about paid traffic.
So, if you’re struggling to grow your business, it may be time for multiple buy-in points. Remember to meet your audience where they’re at, give them some different ways to connect with you, and don’t be afraid to experiment with your offerings and acquisition methods! It may take some tweaking to get it right, but once you do, future you will say thank you.
Leave a comment with your thoughts about creating multiple buy-in points! Here are some ideas:
What’s an introductory offering (<$25) that you could create to give your audience a low-risk buy-in?
What are some ways that you can genuinely gain your audience’s trust?
What client acquisition methods do you want to want to test out?