Value Ladders – Why You Need One For Your Business

Guess what guys?

I was accepted to speak at WordCamp Kansas City next month! I’m so excited!! It’s been on my bucket list since I went to WordCamp Omaha last year and I can’t wait to attend, learn, mingle, and grow my business. Woohoo! (Anybody else going? Let’s meet up!)

I’ll be speaking on Value Ladders. To a bunch of website peeps. I think it’s a topic that will probably be brand new to alot of session attendees.

Is it a new phrase to you to? That’s OK! I find there’s a lot of lingo I use that others have never heard of (ask my husband).

A value ladder is an easy and effective way to:

1. Structure YOUR BUSINESS to appeal to the different phases of YOUR CLIENT’S business growth.

2. Scale your revenue through an easily consumable and naturally progressive process.

3. Ensure that you have products and/or services that fit all of your current client’s needs (since acquiring a customer is more costly that keeping the ones you have). Examples of this are freebies, workshops, courses, memberships, books, done-for-you services at various pricing levels, etc.

Here’s an example of a value ladder I used in a past business venture:

Lightbulb moment: ahhh…. That’s why it’s called a “ladder”?
Right, now you see it.

#1 – So let’s start with the entry point – your freebie.

Everyone loves a good freebie. But it needs to have enough value in exchange for a person’s email address, because their personal information is important to them. Think about your client’s pain points and figure out a way to help solve them, while also thinking of issues SURROUNDING their paint point. For example, if you are a realtor looking to sell more homes, your freebie could be something on adding value to your existing home through landscaping tips, kitchen remodel tips, design trends that make the most money, etc. This week I heard the example of a freebie for a funeral home – a guide on how to write an beautiful obituary.

One of my own personal freebies is my Web Copy Workbook, which helps my website design clients with a pain point, but not one from a design perspective. And a freebie doesn’t have to be downloadable; a great option is also a webinar (which you can put on autopilot and run continuously whenever people want to view it).
Grab my FREE Website Copy Workbook to help you fill in all your copy “blanks.”

#2 – Next up on the value ladder is generally a low priced offer, under $200

I’d even love to see something under $50 here. This is an easy spot to pop in a downloadable asset, one that requires no work from you but keeps your client engaged. Examples could be templated design files, a small workshop or course, or helpful files that accompany the training they received on your webinar (like prewritten emails or shared project management workflows).

#3 – As we keep heading up the value ladder, our next stop is a higher price point.

This is where you can put a signature offering, such as a lower priced website design (perhaps a one-page, templated site) for beginning entrepreneurs, a branding overhaul, or perhaps a done-for-you set of complete social media images covering all platforms. This level includes an aspect of hands-on client work and personalization of care. Your client has grown to trust you and your work and is ready to make a larger investment in you and their own business.

At this point in your value ladder, the sky’s the limit. In my own business, I now begin offering custom website design packages with add-on services depending on their needs, such as custom branding elements, e-commerce capability, membership sites, sales funnels, etc. You may offer coaching at various levels of commitment and interaction, culminating in one-on-one training. Along the way there are opportunities for additional income through affiliate relationships and monthly fees such as maintenance plans, group memberships, and subscription services.

Can you see your own business value ladder coming together in your head? Great! I would encourage you to sit down and spend some time today thinking about your current offerings and your client journey. What gaps do you have in your current business model and what can you add to help your client along their path?

How do value ladders and sales funnels go together?

(I know, we haven’t talked about sales funnels today but I’d be remiss not mention it.)

Here’s how I like to look at it – think of Legos.  Your value ladder is the Lego pieces and your funnel is how you put the Lego piece together.  There are alot of different ways that you can put the Lego pieces together to build something – there is no “one” right way.  Most times you have a freebie first (like I mentioned above).  Sometimes you may have a paid product up front, then give them a freebie in the middle.  Maybe you have different freebies and build out different funnels using the same value ladder elements.

How can understanding value ladders help make you AND your clients more money?

Three ways:

1. Understanding and using value ladders when building quotes for projects will help YOU generate more revenue. How? Because you can see a big picture, perhaps bigger than your client. You will be able to offer additional suggestions and upgrades in your services based on their current offerings and how you can see their business growing.

2. By offering business intensives for potential clients, you can help map out their strategy and implementation WHILE getting paid to write your proposal. (Want to learn more about this method? You MUST watch Julie Stoian’s FREE webinar Three Secrets to Closing Your Leads… With a Proposal They Pay For – seriously mind blowing!)

3. Because you will now be their guru to building a value ladder in THEIR business. As you are working with your clients on new projects, help guide the user experience on their website (Where is the optin? How do their clients get to the next step in their value ladder? What should your call to action be on this page?).

So what questions do you have about value ladders?  If you were sitting in my presentation at WordCamp, what else would you like me to cover?  I’d love to get your feedback! 

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