This week we’re going to talk about ladders… for your products and services.
Let’s face it: The days where you could post an offer in a Facebook group and get people to buy it are pretty much dead. Sure, if you had a really popular Facebook group or if you can establish one now, you’re fine, but nobody wants to buy an offer from someone that they barely know.
That’s where the value ladder comes in.
The whole “pay $10,000 for my services for three months” paradigm is great but… how many people have 10k to drop straight out of the gate in their business? Very few people.
That’s where a value ladder comes in. It establishes trust, gets your customers buying from you asap so you can help them at lower price points and work them up to the higher cost 1:1 coaching, masterminds, and live events.
Let’s break down the steps, shall we?
STEP ONE: FREE OFFER
Having a freebie is essential to the start of your value ladder. It establishes trust with a cold audience, who don’t know you yet and need some help to turn from a browser into a paying customer.
The focus of your free offer should solve a customer’s pain point. You get them a bite of a larger win they can get later on. Solve one specific problem for them so if they implement what you’ve given them, they’ll see results and will be more likely to buy.
STEP TWO: LOWER END OFFERS
Lower end offers are generally 50$ or less for a cold audience, but can go up to 100$ for a warm audience who know, like and trust you. You want it to be a real no-brainer. The idea is to take as many of your subscribers from the free offer and turn them into paying customers.
Again, you want to focus on high value here. If your product sucks, they’re not only going to never buy from you, they’re going to unsubscribe and they might even want a refund from you. Your 47$ or lower product should be better than what most people pay hundreds of dollars for.
This offer should build on the problem solved in the freebie. You generally DON’T include 1:1 time in these offers as the price point is too low.
STEP THREE: MID TIER OFFERS
These offers can range anywhere from 100$ all the way up to $1497.
They’re more of a financial commitment on the part of the customer, but they get a greater reward because it helps them with the next solution on their list.
For example, if your freebie teaches someone how to design an opt-in, the low end offer might be to help them build their first funnel, while the low-mid end offer might be a course all about Facebook ads.
You can include 1:1 or group program time in this offer. The idea for this phase is that it should prepare the client to work with you in a more intimate format by giving them some exposure to you, more direct access to answering their questions, etc. So whereas the mini course might not have a Facebook group, if you’re doing a hands-off course, it probably should have a private members’ group, and obviously a one-time 1:1 or a group program offer will include a call/limited calls.
At this point, you’re really building trust and loyalty with these customers, and your focus is on solving multiple problems for them and really helping them to master a particular skillset or aspect of what you help people with.
STEP FOUR: HIGH END OFFER #1
This offer is usually (but not exclusively) one of three things: a 1:1 package, a mastermind, or a live event. The price here can go up to about 5k.
Only a very small percentage of your customers will ever get to this part of your value ladder, but that’s by design.
The majority of your revenue is coming from steps 1-3, which is what most people will be comfortable investing on their business.
Thus, the exclusivity that this offer provides allows you to charge a higher price point. The key here is on providing a large, expansive transformation for your client that usually involves a higher level of engagement with you, either in person, with regular contact on the phone, or a mix of both.
Especially as you’re building your business and you don’t have a ton of students in the lower parts of your funnel, as someone qualifies for this part of the funnel, you should get to know more about them and their business. You’ll have less mass e-mails and more personal outreach and communication as only a small percentage of people who go opt-in to your freebie will ever end up here. These are truly devoted fans.
STEP FIVE: HIGH END OFFER #2
This is usually the ultimate offer in your value ladder. Only people who have worked with you in the level below are invited. Usually, these offers are longer masterminds or 1:1 packages which carry a much higher price point, as your client should have seen tremendous results by now.
These clients will be your most committed and yield your best testimonials, but they also require the most time and attention, hence the higher price tag. It’s possible that people don’t even know that these offers exist until they actually go through high end offer #1.
Although you can clearly automate any part of your funnel, having personal outreach to these people, your best and most loyal customers, is usually a nice gesture and will yield the highest results.
STEP SIX: RECURRING REVENUE/CONTINUITY PROGRAM
This is where you get predictable, repeatable income into your business every month. The most common example of this is a membership site or subscription site.
For example, a business membership site or a stock photo subscription site.
The idea is to help people lock into a longer-term offer that is valuable and they’ll want to repeat. They can either pay an upfront flat fee that’s rebilled every year for a small discount or a lower monthly investment that over the course of the year ends up costing them a bit of extra money.
Of course, you can add as many steps to the ladder as you feel is necessary to offer your clients a complete transformation, but these are the six minimum steps in the ladder.
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Inés Ruiz is a former Cambridge University Lecturer, military spouse turned entrepreneur. She created a multiple 6-figure online educational business in less than 16 months. After her success, she wanted to help other women create their online business – no matter their circumstances- and founded the Women Entrepreneur Community. She is the host of the show/Podcast “We Talk” in which she features other women entrepreneurs journeys.