Recently, I had an engaging conversation with Alice (not her real name), who was referred to me by a long-time client. Alice was looking for guidance on how to launch her new program. She had done a test launch for the program to her “list” (mostly friends and family) and shared it on her social channels, but she’d only sold one program. She realized from her results that something was missing, but she didn’t know what.
Alice may be a lot like you.
Alice is a bright and motivated entrepreneur seeking to help a lot of people and make a lot of money by doing so. Her business is still early stage, but she has been thinking big and taking bold action – just like the coach she followed preached.
So, why wasn’t it working?
Alice explained that she felt her program should have sold better, and she had invested a lot of time and money to create it. Compounding the situation, she was at a financial make-it-or-break-it point in her business.
This launch HAD to work. This program HAD to be a success.
Have You Ever Felt That Way?
“This HAS to work – or else.” It’s not a good feeling, and it comes when you are too far out on the risk limb, and you are barely hanging on financially, and that means STRESS! It could also mean failure or having to dig deep into other reserves to keep going. Not fun.
Timing Is Everything
The key to avoiding this type of stressful and precarious situation is by knowing both what to do AND when to do it. A child can’t run before she learns to crawl – or walk! – and neither can your business. Yet every day, business owners try to get their early-stage businesses running before they have proven the business can walk. It doesn’t work with babies, and it won’t work with your business either.
Do the right thing at the right time.
What you should be focused on is different depending upon the type of company* you are building and which stage of growth your company is in. The graphic above shows the 4 key conversions that move your business, any business, forward. Notice that the gear representing conversion 3, Convert Leads into Buyers, is the largest. This is because it is the most critical to the success of your business, has the most acute effect on your cash flow, and is essentially the only conversion you should focus on until you’ve got solid proof of concept, aka you know you can sell what you offer.
Three Stages of Growth for Information & How-to Businesses:
Experts, Consultants, Coaches, Authors, Teachers
- Stage 1 – Startup/Proof of Concept – your #1 focus is gear 3, Converting Leads into Buyers and specifically buyers of your 1-on-1 consulting, training, or coaching.
There ARE exceptions to this, but in most cases, if you are building a business around your expertise or skill, you’ll begin with a 1-on-1 model as it brings the highest $ and allows you to build your reputation for creating success for your clients.
- Stage 2 – leverage your proof of concept by developing one-to-many offers (courses, workshops, group coaching, done-with-you programs, pay-for-access subscriptions, etc.) – your #1 focus in this stage is building your list, which is gear 2, Converting Lookers into Leads.
This is the stage when you begin to develop funnels for your offers and begin to develop an actual brand. This is also when you begin to develop basic strategies for gear 1, Converting Your Target Audience into Lookers.
- Stage 3 – Multilateral leveraged growth during which you build upon the success of your core offer to a specific target market and expand/or to serve multiple sub-niches. At this stage, your focus is on gear 4, Converting Buyers into Repeat Buyers, by developing an offer strategy that includes options for up-selling, down-selling, and cross-selling, as well as ascension and subscriptions.
This stage will also see an expansion of your focus and investment in gear 1, using advanced traffic strategies for Converting your growing Target Audience into Lookers.
Less Stress. More Success.
The mistake our friend Alice made was doing the right thing for a Stage 2 business when her business was still very much in Stage 1. She tried to run before she could stand.
At ConvertMORE, our mission is to help you build a thriving business and to build a business that supports your life, your goals, and your legacy. We believe in business as a process and that success leaves a trail – follow it!