Transcript: How to Practically Build a Value Ladder in Your Business


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer and Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Hey, y’all, welcome back to talking Small Business cat here. And today, we are gonna dive a little bit deeper into kind of a part two of one of our most popular episodes. I don’t even know when it went live, that’s probably bad. I probably should have looked at that before we started. Some time ago, Megan and I released an episode called the magic of a value ladder in your business. And we’ll definitely be sure to link it here. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch that one. Or excuse me to listen to that one. We love talking about a value ladder. We think having a value ladder in your business is one of the most strategic things you can do as a business owner, and you guys really loved listening to that episode. So we thought, well, let’s do kind of a part two, and dig into how can you practically create a value ladder? Like what is it like on the back end of your business to have this value ladder set up. So we’re excited to talk about it. Let’s do a quick recap, Megan, definition of a value ladder,

Megan Martin 1:22
go. A value ladder is essentially just a, a way to connect offers and your business. So it’s creating from a low cost or free starting point of an offer and your business and then it ascends in value. And in an I’m sorry, it ascends in price and value for what your customer gets, right. So you start off with something low cost or free and you move up in price. And that gives your customer more and more and more depending on what your zone of genius is, right?

Kat Schmoyer 1:59
Absolutely. And yeah, go ahead, I was just gonna say and whether you have a service based business or a digital based business or a mixture of both, like you should have a value ladder like, it’s great because you can continue to serve one customer over and over and over again, obviously, you want to keep filling that ladder, you want to get more people in there. But you can also just provide more for your warmest audience.

Megan Martin 2:26
I think it’d be cool to talk through this from the different types of businesses that we run. So for, you know, like you said, you this can work as a digital business owner, but it can also work as a service based business owner and you’re the service base person, and I’m not. So I feel like it’d be interesting for people to hear from your perspective, like how did you build a value ladder as a service based business owner, and then I can share a little bit from like how I built a value letter from a digital product business owner?

Kat Schmoyer 2:52
Yeah, mine is a little bit of a mixture. So my digital products fit into like getting people into my services, at least as far as I can tell, just based on current, like customer acquisition and what people are purchasing and how they’re kind of again, moving up the ladder, so to speak. My lower cost offers are my shop products. So my $9 calendar is a huge sell. It’s our number one seller in the shop who would have thought like a printable calendar would be so popular. And people kind of come in the door through purchasing a calendar, purchasing one of my Trello templates or my quarterly chair, masterclass, something like that, like they get a taste of this is what education can look like. And then from there, I get increased for coaching, they can move on to my mastermind, like they just sort of move up that rung. But it’s a mixture of digital and service that sort of get them in the door.

Megan Martin 3:56
How do you link so someone purchases a digital product, which we can talk about how we do that. But how do you link your services together in a value ladder perspective, because it’s different for me, mine is very automated, like I can automate the whole situation. So how for you? Have you been able to connect the dots between those higher priced services that you have?

Kat Schmoyer 4:16
Yeah, that’s a great question. So for my services, I have to be really conscientious about when and how I talk about them so that people are reminded like, oh, yeah, cat has a mastermind. Oh, yeah, a cat offers six week coaching. So whether that’s like subtly talking about it in a YouTube video, or mentioning it in just my weekly nurture email sequence, like I just kind of dropped like last week when I was working with a coaching client level blah, blah, blah. And then it just, again reminds people like oh yes, cat does have these extra ways that I can work with her. Now for some of those things, I will do a quote unquote launch around to like with the mastermind. I’ll open up applications and do a lot can very clearly remind people what I offer and try to get, you know, eyes on that specific application. But most of the time with my services, it’s just reminding people that, hey, I do in fact offer this, whether that’s again, reminding them via email, reminding them on Instagram, I get a lot of coaching inquiries from Instagram, and from people just seeing from an Insta story that I offer coaching and then coming into my inbox to talk more about it.

Megan Martin 5:29
That’s awesome that it’s so casual in that way. Yeah, yeah. Do you do you do personal outreach as well, in terms of getting people to move up the service based ladder?

Kat Schmoyer 5:39
I have before specifically between coaching in the mastermind or coaching an integration and like the agency side, if I think like, hey, this brand really is like a great fit like they are an ideal client. For me, I would love to work with him more high touch in one of those two areas, I’ll absolutely just send an email to start the conversation.

Megan Martin 6:02
Do you see? Do you see customers who are started? So you said you talked about your digital products? Like are you seeing people move up this service ladder in the like, on the back end of your funnel? Your value

Kat Schmoyer 6:14
ladder? Yes, yes. Like, I’ll see somebody come in, who will have just purchased a handful of products and like a shop sale, for example, I did a short sale in April, she purchased a handful of products. And then within two weeks is reaching out to me about coaching. And I’m like, Okay, this is awesome, like that she’s getting something and now she wants more.

Megan Martin 6:34
And that’s literally what the magic of the value ladder is like when you have those visible opportunities for somebody to see like there is a next step, right, so much easier to get a repeat buyer than it it is continue to try to convince new people to buy.

Kat Schmoyer 6:51
And I think a lot of the time, so I want to hear it on the digital side, of course, and again, but just to know if this rings true for you, too. But for me, again, I feel like a lot of the time, it’s just reminding somebody that I do, in fact, offer something like everybody doesn’t know your business offerings like you do. And so sometimes we can feel like, oh, I don’t want to keep talking about it. I don’t want to keep talking about it. But you should keep talking about it. You should talk about it all the time. Like every single week, you should be reminding your audience how they can pay you for lack of a better way to say that, like, you have offerings that are built to help them they just might not know when or how they exist.

Megan Martin 7:28
Yeah, they’re I know we both follow her Kay Hillman. I love like, I love how she does her monthly like this is how you can pay me money she calls it but like I like I want

Kat Schmoyer 7:39
to do it. I’m like man am I like brave enough to do it? I love when she does it like I love.

Megan Martin 7:43
It’s just like it’s like cut and dry like this is she puts this post out every month like this is how you can pay me this month. And I’m like, Yes girl, like, tell me how I can hire you or Hi, you know, further benefit from your wisdom. And I feel like most people would shy away like you said, Are you brave enough like most people would shy away not even just like on a monthly basis, but just that all like I don’t want to quote unquote feel salesy, therefore I can’t, you know, be bold enough to like talk about it. But when you don’t talk about it, we don’t know what to offer. Right. And so I think that’s like, the number one thing, whether or not you have a value ladder is that if you are in business, you have got to get visible about what you offer.

Kat Schmoyer 8:25
Mm hmm. Absolutely. You have to let people know how they can work with you. Right, and not just on the work with me page on your website. Again, like not everybody knows how to navigate that or like exactly what you have on there. You need to be telling them so whether that’s like subtly like dropping things in your consistent content, you know, in your email newsletter, or in your YouTube videos or on Insta story, but you need to let people know what you have available.

Megan Martin 8:52
Yeah. And I think for me, like you can do this, whether you’re in a service or a digital product business, like for you cat, if you’re on a like a one on one level with someone and you know that they’re like the perfect fit for the next service, you can just personally tell them, right? Absolutely. For me, it’s like I do this concept of dropping like planting seeds in my products. So I’m not one on one with them. But if it makes sense in a certain module or a certain part of one of my digital products, I’ll refer one of my other digital products in that and that just creates this connection point of okay, there is something else out there that she offers and it’s not an a way to like, again be salesy, but it’s like, hey, like this product that you purchased or in your case, this service that you’re in, it’s solving the problem or it’s fulfilling the need for whatever you paid for. But there is there is going to be next needs for you. There are going to be next problems for you and it’s natural to go ahead and plant those seeds and let somebody know like Hey, I’m preparing you for what’s next here. And there’s already a solution for you. And that’s the beauty of the value ladder is that absolutely solutions are pre built and ready to go?

Kat Schmoyer 10:10
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I know you do this with your digital products, so I want you to talk about it. But I have a similar method of like, even though yes, ultimately, right now my top tier, quote unquote, in the value ladder is service, I still want them to consume as much of the digital as I’ve created, because it is it’s done for them, it’s ready for them. And I know that it’s helpful. So I want to connect the dots between all of those products, whether that’s through sequences after they’ve purchased to help them get to other products, or in the actual product, like when I am teaching on something, talking about one of my other products, if I feel like it’s an organic and natural piggyback.

Megan Martin 10:48
Yeah. So I think from a practical perspective, I think we need to talk about consumption funnels here because that is, and I know, you know, I do think it’s different. But depending on if you’re a service or a digital product business owner, I, my assumption is that there’s a lot more personal connection that needs to happen. From a service based perspective. From a digital product based perspective, there’s a lot of automation that can happen, right? That you can, you know, I’m not personally reaching out to my customers to say, hey, this product is for you, you know, um, but the consumption funnel is the way that I have been able to build this value ladder on the back end. And Kat tell us what a consumption funnel is.

Kat Schmoyer 11:35
I love consumption funnels, because I feel like people don’t do them. And then like, I’m like, Come on y’all, these are like the so so strategic, if you just put it in place. So basically a consumption funnel is let’s, let’s break it down to even just like the email sequence. So after somebody purchases a product from you, you need to have a consumption sequence that helps that person consume that product, the reason being, they’ve just paid for this product, you want them to get value out of that product, so that they continue to want more from you, you don’t want it to go and just sit on their Google Drive or go sit in their Kajabi account, and they never open it up or whatever you want to help them actually consume and look at you as the expert on this topic. So I always, always, whenever I’m creating a new product, make sure that there’s a consumption sequence after the product is done. Now what Megan is referring to, and I’ll let her get into, like some of the nitty gritties of how she’s done this with all of her products, is almost like consumption to pitch of helping them consume said product, initial product, and then leading them naturally to pitch the next offer. That’s the next step on the value ladder for them.

Megan Martin 12:53
Yeah, this is how I practically connect all of the dots automatically. Can you tell me a little bit for people who don’t know what a consumption sequence is? I know, you explained the definition like, quickly what? Because you say you do this for every single product. What does that look like? I don’t think there’s a, by the way, I don’t think there’s a perfect formula for everybody. A consumption sequence is going to look different depending on what type of service or product you’re talking about. But like if you were creating a product right now, what would the consumption sequence look like in general?

Kat Schmoyer 13:25
So my products are low cost product. So in, in my opinion, if it’s a low cost product, you don’t need to have this crazy long consumption sequence. Okay. So again, these are the differences. Megan is saying, if you’re selling a $1,000 course, that consumption sequence is naturally going to look different than a $59 bundle, okay? It’s just different. But mine, if I’m going consumption to pitch, I’m going to send three emails in the beginning. And the first three emails, the first one is like, Yay, like you’ve purchased this product, like, I’m so glad that you’re diving into whatever this topic is almost reminding them straight up language from the sales page of like, why this product is so helpful, because again, the purpose is to get them to consume. So then I’ve gotta like, log in now start watching or download now, whatever it is, like you want to get them to start consuming right away, and I send that email immediately upon purchase, then within a day or two, I don’t wait longer than two days, they’re getting a not the next email for me, that’s again, helping them consume. So I typically pull out something like, Hey, did you see in module two when I talk about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, so that they’re like, oh, no, I haven’t. Gosh, I haven’t gotten to module two yet. Like, I need to go back. So I want to be super specific on what it is I’m teaching, then email three. It’s a similar thing. It’s right in a row. And I’m typically pointing them back to something else in the course or the the template, whatever it is, that I feel like will help them get that quick win so that they want to continue to consume. So those first three emails are all about the product that they’ve just purchased. And then if I’m pitching, I’ll start to transition to a pitch, because my products are lower cost. So I don’t need my consumption sequences to be weeks on end, I can immediately go to another $40 product or another $99 product. While I’m, you know, go into that pitch,

Megan Martin 15:23
right. But you could also pitch like transition to one of your services to

Kat Schmoyer 15:28
correct I could transition to like a waitlist if up for the mastermind, or let them know I offer coaching. Absolutely you can you have a lot of flexibility with what you can do there.

Megan Martin 15:37
Yeah, so the consumption funnel, I think is one of the most underutilized funnels and all of the funnel world. I think most people when we talk about email marketing, and sales funnels, and all of that they’re constantly thinking about generating new leads. And I know we’ve talked about, you know, I feel like we keep beating a dead horse, like it costs less money to get a repeat buyer than a new buyer. But, you know, it’s just like social media followers, when it comes to our email lists. Like we’re constantly trying to get a bigger list more people, we naturally think that’s the answer to grow our business. But we know, literally, like time has told us that it is cheaper to get a repeat buyer. And so by what I actually suggest my students to do is to build out this consumption funnel, before you build out an opt in funnel like you need to connect these dots. Why would you get any? Like, why would you spend the time and effort to get a new lead, and then leave money on the table on the back end of your business like, this is such an underutilized way to continue making money and quote, unquote, scale without much effort as if you can’t get somebody in the door. It’s just like in the physical product world, like, if you can get somebody to wear a pair of jeans, and then they get hooked on that pair of jeans, they’re more likely to go buy five more of the same pair of jeans in different colors, right? That is the concept of the consumption funnel. It’s trying to get people to like actually use and see the benefit and realize the transformation that you’re promising. So that way, they are more likely to trust you to realize the next transformation that they need in their life. So for me, I automate all of this process, I essentially do what you just said to where it’s like, you have to first do that exercise that we talked about in the previous episode, you have to see how you have to like map out how these offers connect, right? And so I think the easy thing to do is just lay out all the offers that you have in your business and put them in order of like price, right? And then, you know, hopefully somebody wants to buy all those things. But the way to make this work is each offer needs to build on the last one logically, like it’s not just a matter of how many things do I offer my business? Let me line it up and try to connect the dots like it really does have to build on its build on each other? Hmm. I agree. How do you can build on your products from a product to service based perspective.

Kat Schmoyer 18:11
So I think mine, it might be a little bit unique. I don’t know if anybody out there is listening. And you also offer coaching, I’d love to, like have this conversation with you and DMS, because I feel like I don’t, I don’t have a lot of friends that also business coaches, I don’t know how to say that, that sounds so pathetic, but I’d love to, like hear how you’ve done it. I feel like because my I have been able over the last a year and a half to figure out like my niche and what my shot products are. So I’m heavily focused on goal setting, getting things done organizing your business. So people come into the digital product before something like that, like it falls under that wheelhouse. And then they want to work with me on coaching to help them either restructure some of the back end of their business in terms of let’s you know, get Trello up and running, or they’re working on their first launch. And so they want me to help with the launch planning and like organizing of what that looks like. So I think it’s just become a natural transition, because they like that digital offer and the content that’s in there. But now they want extra hand holding, so to speak. So because that’s what one on one does for them.

Megan Martin 19:20
Yeah, I think to like being strategic about a consumption funnel, just it doesn’t have to just be consumed product pitch next product like you can get strategic and think through what it takes for a customer to commit to the next level. So in your case, coaching is a very personal experience and somebody needs to like you as a person and resonate with you and the way that you approach business and your case because you’re coaching on business, right? So for you it can be strategic for your consumption funnel to be like consume product. Now connect with me personally before I’m about to pick To the next thing, right? So like, maybe your pitch quote unquote, is like to go follow you on Instagram, right? Right. And go like, comment on this post or whatever, like you could literally make your call to action not not buy a product, but I need you to come over here on Instagram, like you said, your coaching inquiries are coming from Instagram. So your pitch could be get them to insert them there, get them to connect with you on Instagram that way when they see you coaching this other person that’s naturally leading to you booking another client, right? So like, it doesn’t have to be this like perfectly logical situation. But you have to know what is going to get that person to the next step of saying yes,

Kat Schmoyer 20:42
absolutely. Absolutely. And then in the digital product space. And I want to hear how this works for you, Megan, but like with mine, not all of my digital products are connected. I have some where again, I logically think like, Okay, if somebody purchases the content planning masterclass bundle, I want them to get the monthly best tracker. So like that, like is a natural fit. Or if they go with the calendar, I want them to get the quarterly chair masterclass, like I have some that are natural transitions, but I do not have all of them connected. So I’m just for those of you out there that maybe you have a handful of products. And you’re like, Well, how do I connect like, oh, like what is this, they don’t all have to be connected, it can be like a spiderweb, almost where they’re all acting as entry points. And some of them connect, and some of them don’t. But ultimately, they’re leading people up the latter,

Megan Martin 21:31
I think that you could build a like, the concept of a nurture sequence, right. So like, I actually really don’t like that term nurture sequence. I feel like it’s confusing. In my mind, a nurture sequence is nurturing is literally just connecting with, right. So nurture sequence, quote, unquote, is like your weekly newsletter that’s like, you know, or however many times you send a newsletter, it’s not really a sequence, because it’s doesn’t have to be logically connected. Right? Right. So I but I think you could actually build an automated nurture sequence in this case, so say, somebody purchases a product from you, and you send, you know, however many emails is necessary to get that person to consume and realize the transformation that you promised. And then you can shift instead of moving straight to a pitch, maybe you move to a nurture sequence, where it’s like a pre built sequence that goes out almost like it looks like a weekly newsletter, or a bi weekly newsletter, or however you you know, like to connect with people. But that content within that sequence starts to shift and get somebody to think through content that is necessary to get them to prepare to be pitched a next product if it’s not logical, right? So it’s like, it’s the same concept as launching, right? So we talked about launching on the podcast, and how part of launching is that content build up phase that gets somebody ready to be primed for the pitch? Right? Right. So you consume product one, then you start almost like it looks like a weekly newsletter, and you start talking about a different topic that you can solve within somebody’s life or their business. And then it leads to a pitch at some point, and you can automate that entire process. I think that’s what I would do if my products didn’t like, logically connect step by step.

Kat Schmoyer 23:23
Yeah, no, I think that makes a lot of sense. And it’s so interesting, your brain goes to like, let’s still try to automate it, just because that’s your, your whole business is having these funnels, automated, but that’s I mean, that’s quote, unquote, passive income, like, that’s what you do, right next to the products, get them from one to the other, really naturally,

Megan Martin 23:44
right. But you could do the same thing. Even if you had a service based business, like for your kid, in your case, like a digital product leads to a service booking. You could even if it doesn’t logically connect with coaching, you could essentially like shift and have this nurture sequence that starts to talk about your coaching and how you’ve served clients in different ways. You know, and it leads to hopefully, somebody reaching out to book you, you know, I’m such a, like, automation person, for sure. And it’s just, that’s just the way that I am because I’m not a naturally consistent person, like, I’m not going to be the person who’s going to show up week in and week out, like, on time when I’m supposed to be there. Like, I can’t predict, I can’t predict when I’m going to be motivated and when I’m not going to be motivated. So to have these automated, you know, quote unquote, consumption funnels set up in my business takes a lot of pressure off of me, to where I can still make sales, even when I’m in a, like a low space like creative or motivation wise, and I just know that about myself. So it’s been really freeing from a content marketing perspective for me, that I can still show up and still make sales, but I’m not actually showing up in the conventional way.

Kat Schmoyer 25:00
Yeah, right, right. No, absolutely, absolutely. And again, going back to just build it in the way that fits your personality and your brand and like what you want. So I mean, I hope that feels freeing for everybody listening that like you, you have options within your value ladder even to decide like, Okay, how automated is this process based on what you’re actually providing for your customers and who you want to serve in that and how you want your business to run on the back end. So then to I guess, like, kind of wrap up all of this. And again, like, what would you say would be like a good first step for someone who like, is thinking through building out their value ladder, and now is looking at practically with a consumption funnel? How to kind of connect those dots, like, what’s a good first step for them?

Megan Martin 25:51
I think, if you are, say you have like a product or a service, and you want to create the next step, I think I would really encourage you to think through how can this next step truly connect with what you already have. And this is really hard for our multi passionate friends. And I get it, like, we want to do lots of different fun, creative things. But I found that like, I don’t actually feel FOMO anymore. Even though I’m like in the same niche, I’m doing the same thing. There’s so much like flexibility and freedom of what I can create, even in my little niche, you know, I really encourage you to think through like, how can this new idea or new product, serve the same exact person, but just in a different way, whether that’s like, logically the next step, or whatever that looks like for you like with you and your coaching, you know, and then I would think through like, make it a part of your product creation process or service creation process, pre build it into the plan, like when you go to create the goal setting list, or whatever you call it, like, pre put it into your plan that you need to spend the time to connect the dots before you launch the thing. You know, this is something that people put on the backburner. They are like, Oh, I’ll get to that later. Let me like get this up and running and do all of that. But it’s so it’s in your best, it’s in your benefit to spend the energy before you launch to connect the dots to the thing that you already have, right? And maybe that that might be retroactively depending on what rung of the value ladder you’re on, maybe you need to go back to the product or service you’ve already created. And tweak that consumption funnel so that it leads to this next thing, or, you know, maybe it’s vice versa? I don’t know. But I would just, like encourage you in the product creation process to have this be a part of your plan. Absolutely. Yes. I mean, you know,

Kat Schmoyer 27:47
I’m like planning it out, do it. But also, you’re right, it is the it’s the most forgotten thing. And if you’re whether you’re starting with only one product right now, and you’re pushing them to a waitlist for something or again, like going to a service, or as Megan was saying that the end of the consumption can point them to Instagram to like send you a voice DM or you can still have the consumption there and build off of that as your products

Megan Martin 28:14
increase. Right, right. And then I think it’s so much natural, like, the next step, I think would be just like thinking, if you’ve already thought through how these things connect, it’s so much more natural to sell in that perspective, like at the end of your consumption sequence. It doesn’t feel like you’re being salesy, because you’re like, hey, you just accomplished XYZ, or you just, you know, solve this problem in your life like, I can, let’s, let’s talk about what’s next for you. And I think people love that. Like, people don’t want to have to like, walk around aimlessly waiting for a problem to hit them in the face. And now I’ve gotta go search for it. Right, like people like having a what’s next, right? Like, we all wish that we could know what’s in us. Yeah, right. Yeah. And so it’s like, it’s so natural to just give it to them, like, let them know, here is what’s next for you. And I already have a way to help you and what’s next. And I think it’s not a salesy thing. I think that customers actually really appreciate that insight. And it just continues to further that like, no trust factor. So I’m a huge fan of building it out. I love it.

Kat Schmoyer 29:24
Well, you guys, as you are thinking about your value ladder, send us over any messages that y’all have about it. Again, this was the first episode we did was really popular. So that’s why we wanted to jump back in and talk about it even more. Hey, we’ll do we’ll do another one on it. And you guys love it so much like we love this. So send us over like any specific questions you guys might have about it or just thought processes as y’all are thinking about your own value letter and hopefully finding some time to prioritize getting that consumption funnel up and running.

Megan Martin 29:59
Alright y’all, we We will catch you in the next conversation and we cannot wait to hear about your value ladder

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