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In the podcast:
01:22 – An old but effective technique
02:27 – Not just content
04:24 – The essential tech stack
06:11 – Using the law of contrast
08:37 – Some successful examples
10:42 – The method in a nutshell
11:46 – All about the shortcuts
13:57 – Have less, not more
16:35 – It isn’t simple, but it can be
Build and sell your paid membership effectively with help from James
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 647. We’re going to be talking about a special technique that you can use to sell memberships. And for that, I’ve brought back my Membership Series guest, John Lint. Welcome.
John: Hey, everybody. Hi, how are you?
James: So we’ve been talking about all sorts of topics, which is very exciting. Last time, we talked about browser notifications, of all things. And in this Membership Series, we’re just covering every possible angle of memberships to excite our listener about the idea of a membership. I’ve got 10 years in the trenches, running my own membership, and certainly have coached many, many, many, many, many, many, many other membership site owners. I’ve been through lots of other courses, I’ve read all sorts of books on subscriptions, I’m interested in the topic. And you, of course, built potentially the world’s greatest software for memberships and courses, KLEQ.com. So we’ve got lots of data that we can look through and find interesting topics.
An old but effective technique
Today, you were telling me about a campaign that you had run in the past that was particularly effective, and I thought it’d be great to share that. So why don’t you tell us a bit about the campaign that you were running when you ran this campaign, and let’s discuss how it worked, and what things could be emulated for someone trying to achieve a similar result.
John: Yeah, I think, you know, one of the main ingredients was just stacking on the value. Like, if we are going to summarize, the whole thing is just that. It’s really stacking on a ton of value during the traditional close. You know, people talk about the close or the sale sequence or the deadline sequence. Well, it was really just about highlighting all the new stuff that they get. You know, you get this, and then the next day, you get that. It was really on the stacking up.
And that’s an old technique, right? A copywriting technique. But it’s so effective, especially for membership. And reminding people that they’re going to get all that value, all of those bonuses, and really things that are going to help them get results faster, right? You don’t want to throw in bonuses just to add bonuses. You want things that are going to help them maximize their success, and things that are going to help them.
Not just content
And, you know, especially when you’re doing membership, we kind of talked about this before. Yes, it’s going to be about content. Yes, it’s going to be about training. But most of the time, and you know, all the time, I would say, actually, people are not going to just stay for content. They’re going to stay for other things. And that’s something that you do a lot, James, that a lot of my members using KLEQ.com are doing as well, adding that value, adding that extra layer and really being different from other people. You know, adding things like private coaching for a specific amount of time, or like you do, basically, as long as we remain a member. Adding that community part, adding those group coaching sessions, all of those things that we can maybe talk about today, are really powerful things to help you convert, to help you maximize your profits, and to make sure that people stay for a long time.
“People are not going to just stay for content.”
James: Right. So they’re some of the tactics that you can use. And there are other things too, like loyalty pricing, loyalty lock-in, where you have people grandfathered on a lower rate than the market rate, as you increase prices for your membership, as it becomes more popular, as you get more experienced, as the value proposition increases. Over time, if you’re adding more content, then the membership can actually become more and more valuable. In the case of my membership, which in the current version, I think it’s got about seven years’ worth of event recordings, and I’ve been doing a new monthly training every month for many, many years. So there’s some extremely valuable content in there.
And of course, the coaching aspect. So people do, they are drawn to the content, especially when they’re buying. They most definitely value coaching, if you’re prepared to and able to offer it. It could be you or some other expert. If you’re not the expert, you could be more the Oprah where you facilitate the experts.
And also, I think they value community, in some cases. Now, not all courses have a community aspect. Mine certainly is very strong in the community aspect. That’s why we have an annual event. That’s why we have local meetups. And they’re all great.
The essential tech stack
But underlying all of that, you still need a tech stack. And that’s just a fancy way of saying you need a tool set. And I wanted to bring you back on topic specifically for your campaign that was effective, because you were giving away a tools guide. You were appealing to someone interested in a membership with the very thing that they absolutely have to have – whatever tactics they want to have, whether they want to do private coaching, or not, whatever they’re doing for their course, one-time, or recurring, however much they want to charge, they still need a tech stack. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about this tools guide and what you were giving away in your campaign and why you think it was successful?
John: Yeah. Because, like, our thing with KLEQ.com is that we have a lot of tools built in, right? So my challenge is really to try to communicate the value of KLEQ, and to really tell people, well, you know, this is everything. When you get access, you’re going to get access to all of these things. And you will not have to struggle to try to integrate things, you’re not going to have to get stressed out and frustrated whenever you want to do one thing. Well, now, you need to try to go and figure out how this tool works. And then you need to try to make it work with the other things and then, you know, one doesn’t work and then everything else is not working. So it’s just kind of like a nightmare, right?
So my goal with KLEQ is to really try to communicate that. You know, everything is built in. A lot of the tools that you need to run your business, to run your membership site, is built in. So one of the things that is working really well is a campaign that we did. We obviously drove traffic from Facebook – cold traffic, by the way. The conversions were great. And it was basically offering that tools guide, right? Imagine a resource guide in your market. Whatever market you’re in, you can use that strategy. So it’s basically a resource guide, where you’re going to say, well, you want to do this, you want to get that result? Well, this is everything that you need to do.
Using the law of contrast
So in my case, with KLEQ, it’s like, well, you want to have a successful membership site, you want to do all these things? Well, this is everything that you need. And I’m even going to list the names of some competitors. So well, okay, you need a new segmentation software, you need a deadline software, you need a landing page software, you need a funnel software, you need a shopping cart, you need to be able to do order bumps, promo codes. And what I did is, basically, I created that resource guide, listing all the things that people need. And as you can imagine, it’s a long list. And then next to it, what I did is I had actually the price.
So now actually, you can see an element of that strategy in our homepage, when you go to KLEQ.com, and you can sign up for the free trial there. But basically, you will see that there is actually a section where I compare before and after, how is your business now, and how it could be after, with KLEQ.com. So the strategy was exactly that, a resource guide listing everything that you need to be successful, everything that you need to get the result – price on the right, and then at the end was, well, here’s everything you need. This is the total price – if you wanted to have all of that, this will be the total price, if you go with all these tools that we listed. But you know, if you want to take the shortcut to your success, if you want to simplify your business, if you want to stop struggling with tech, stop struggling with all this integration stuff, then you can take KLEQ.com.
And then basically, at the end of the cheat sheet, there was a simple link to a sales page. That sales page is actually on auto pilot, it’s using one of our boosters. And basically, when someone lands there, they have a certain amount of time to get access to. And we were offering a free trial. So that was a great campaign, great strategy. We were driving traffic from Facebook to that opt-in page, they’re updating for the cheat sheet, they got all that resource guide. And then they realize, geez, I need to do all of that. If I want to get that result, I need to do all of this. But hold on. There’s actually a shortcut, there’s actually a way to not have to struggle with this? Okay, cool. I’m going to check it out. And then you can add them obviously, to a campaign. They opted in, so you can add them to a campaign, and the campaign’s basically reminding them that, hey, the special offer that you got, because you opted in, is going to be available for X amount of time, these are all the bonuses you have. And then you basically stack on the value and whatever offer you have, then you make the offer, right there. But yeah, that was quite successful.
James: It’s using the law of contrast really well. Certainly you’re offering something that people want, or they think they want. They think they want a complete and comprehensive list of everything they need to be successful. I’ve seen this applied several other times. I’ll give you three other examples, actually.
Some successful examples
Example one is for coaching. If you’re a coach, you could say, hey, if you want to be successful, you could read 3000 business books, you could travel the world and make contacts and build networks over the next 10 years. And you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on information products and courses, and then you’ll know everything that I know. Or, you could just start coaching with me, and from today, I can just tell you the answers. Right? So that’s building up the big list of all the things you need to be successful, and then creating a really shortcut path. That’s one example.
Another one is, this time I had a fantastic course called TrafficGrab. Then, it was a really comprehensive information product. It was over a dozen modules, there was hours and hours’ worth of training, and there was PDFs and audios. It was a really, really good course. It was a course that people would have charged $2,000 for. And I sold it for $79. And the thing that this course did that blew me away, apart from selling nearly 3000 copies, was it drove a lot of our SEO services. People would get the course, look at it, start going through it, and think, you know, I’d really rather just pay someone to do this. Clearly, you know how this all works, because you’ve made the course, so you’re an established authority. In the same way with KLEQ, if you’ve listed all the tools they need and how they all need to work together, I mean, obviously, you know about this, to be able to put the stuff together in the first place.
The third example that was really effective was LeadPages. They would create these high-converting templates for landing pages, and they would break it down and go through it. I had, for many years, the number one highest-converting landing page for webinar registrations. Like, it was unbeatable. They even offered a bounty if anyone could beat it. It was such a ridiculously high-converting page. And they would show people what’s involved with the landing page and all the elements you need. And they would even give you the source files to go and HTML it and load it up to your server and have your web developer turn it into a landing page. Or you just order Leadpages, and then you can just deploy that landing page within your account fully-hosted within seconds. So it was a really clever campaign.
The method in a nutshell
So the technique here is, show people all the nitty gritty and establish tremendous value and authority in the process of your knowledge of what needs to be done. And then provide a simple solution. Build up the tension and the pressure, and then relieve it with your solution.
“Build up the tension and the pressure, and then relieve it with your solution.”
So to do this, you might want to make a list of all the things that people in your market will need to know or have or do to be successful with the thing that you help people with. All the problems, all the challenges, list them all down, then create a guide, a checklist of the things they would need to collect or have to solve those challenges. And then provide them the shortcut to your solution, which will help them get a result much faster for a much lower amount than they would have to invest in time or money. And that is building up a fantastic value stack, and then using the law of contrast to make your offer very appealing in comparison to what the other option is. So it’s like, hey, do you want option A or option B? And it’s their choice.
All about the shortcuts
John: Yeah, exactly. And that’s super powerful. And it’s all about the shortcuts, right? I mean, that’s what we’re here for. And that’s what people need to remember, is that we are selling the shortcut to whatever result. And people are struggling with a problem, our job is to highlight that problem, to remind them of the problem, and to tell them that, hey, if you want a fast solution, then that’s our job. So that’s why, you know, when I teach our members how to create awesome online courses, I remind them of that. Like, our job is to create the shortest path to getting a result. So don’t overload your course. That’s the opposite, right? That’s what we’re going to be doing the opposite. When we create an online course, you want to make sure that you teach the necessary, the bare bare minimum, to get the results, right?
James: This is the counterintuitive thing. It’s, show them all the stuff that they could do, and then show them this shorter, super possible path that they could have instead. And it’s really easy. We could brainstorm this. I mean, for example, the thing that comes to mind would be the hard way, or the easy way to have a coffee. You know, you could buy a block of land in Nicaragua, you could plant coffee beans, you could hire villagers to water it and grow it and keep the pests off it. And then you could harvest them and roll them out onto the road and get them sun-baked, and then put them in a sack and ship them off to Australia, or America, or wherever you are. And then you could roast the beans, after you’ve carefully sort of picked out the best ones and thrown away the bad ones. And then you can get a nice grinding machine and grind them up. And then you can put them into the machine and pour yourself a nice coffee. Or, you could just walk across the road to the local cafe and get a pretty good coffee made for you on the spot for just a few dollars. Right? So one way is very difficult and complicated, and the other way is very simple and easy.
If you tell the story and you build the value in the process as well, I mean, this is sort of bordering on the Schlitz beer commercial where they talk about the water trickling down from the mountains, and they go through the whole process of making beer, to make the beer sound more valuable. But basically, if you can outline the difficult way and then just show them your thing actually solves all of that, and it’s simple, that’s great.
Have less, not more
And it is counterintuitive to have less in your product, but the one thing I learned from TrafficGrab was that shorter, simpler products are easier for my customers to consume. That’s why my trainings each month are no more than an hour long. And I try and pack in a $2,000 product every single month in a one-hour training that has a profound impact. For example, the one I did last week, which took around about one hour, it showed how I was able to double conversions for membership sales, by just changing up the way that I communicate with my customers and the time frame that I communicate with my customers, and what I was putting in front of that communication, how I was warming up my customers and how I was following them up at the end. And I just broke it down, and I used the specific example of what I’ve actually tested and proven and validated, and I shared that. So anyone who wasn’t being effective with that technique could now go and install that very quickly, because it’s such a short, simple punchy training, instead of having to go through 16 hours or send it off for someone to interpret. It’s like, just laid out in a PDF with screenshots, and a transcription and an audio and a video. So they can even pick their modality, which I think is another huge tip. If you’re going to offer a tool sheet, then, you know, put pictures, put links, turn it into an audio, have a video, put multiple modalities, give your customer a chance at being able to actually consume it as well.
John: Yeah, you know, absolutely. And, you know, that reminds me, like, when you think about the ads that Apple were running, you know, like, that’s what they did. They talked about this processor and that thing and carefully handcrafted and all that. And then obviously, the easy solution is just, you know, get the computer because we know that it’s going to work. Same thing, you know, you go to your doctor, you have something, you have a problem, right? Well, you don’t care that he has spent five years at university and he knows everything about your disease and he can explain everything about it. Imagine he starts telling you about this for an hour, you’ll be like, Hey, man, I just want the pill. Just do that prescription, give me the pill, and I’m out of here, right? That’s what it is. We don’t think about that. But if you imagine that, if you have that picture in mind as you’re creating your course, then you’ll think, Hey, yeah, maybe I’m talking too much here. Maybe I’m talking about stuff, yeah, it’s great. I am knowledgeable, but do people really care about that? No, they just want to know, okay, how can I lose that 20 pounds? How can I have more energy? How can I do this or do that?
“If you have a complex solution, make it sound simple.”
James: Joe Sugarman had a great copywriting tip. And it was if you have a simple product or solution, then make it sound complex. And if you have a complex solution, make it sound simple. I think that’s great advice.
It isn’t simple, but it can be
John: That’s awesome.
James: And you know, in essence, to run a membership effectively, certainly a seven-figure membership, there are a few moving parts. It isn’t a simple business. But it can certainly be simple for the customer. It’s as simple as they pay the money and then they can be coached from the app on their phone. That’s that simple for them. Not as simple for me to set up and provide that service, however, it’s doable. And that’s where your tool comes along and just smashes it, because it takes all the complicated stuff, rolls it into one tool. So your campaign, that’s very effective, because it shows people that look, you can make this hard or you can make it easy, and I’m here to make it easy.
So the homework is, if you’re listening to this episode, and you have any kind of product or service, have a think about how your customer could be doing it the hard way, and how your product or solution is the easy way, and create a campaign around educating people on the hard way and then show them the shortcuts to give them that contrast, to give them the relief and motivate them to move forward into your product or service.
I think we’ve done well with this episode, John.
John: Cool. Yeah, that was great.
James: Hey, if you’ve got ideas for future episodes, you want to hear from John or I around about The Membership Series, please send us an email. Just reply to any email that we send when we’re announcing new episodes.
The whole series is available at SuperFastBusiness.com. There’s actually a page for the series that I do, and this episode is Episode 647. You can look out for that at SuperFastBusiness.com and also on iTunes and YouTube and Facebook and wherever else we put it. SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify. Yes. We’re in Spotify as well, loving the feedback we get. Thank you so much for being a listener at SuperFastBusiness.com, and we’ll catch you on a future episode.
Thanks, John, as well.
John: Thank you.
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