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Map Your Customer Journey

Lesson 23 from: Create a Product Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

23. Map Your Customer Journey

Lesson Info

Map Your Customer Journey

We're gonna start off by mapping your customer journey because our customers aren't sort of static profiles of customer avatars that just stay the same all the time. Our customers change, they grow, when they come into contact with our marketing, when they come into contact with our products. Products change you. We'll talk more about that in just a moment. But the better we understand how helping our customers solve problems, reach new goals, scratch new itches, actually changes their experience, the better we can understand what else they might need from us, so that instead of having a junk drawer of "what else" business offers, we have very clear accessories for our ax, like a cool leather ax holder and some gloves. If I had an artisan ax company, which Greg and I have already decided is my next move, I would also have artisan leather ax holders for, is that the back of a truck? I don't know. I don't actually know anything about axes, but it's a great metaphor. I think we can all ad...

mit that. (laughs) Tweet me and tell me how much you're enjoying the ax metaphor. Jay Abraham has said there are only three ways to grow a business. You've probably heard this before. The first one is to increase the number of customers. The second one is to increase the average transaction value per customer. In other words, how much money they spend with you every time they buy. And third, to increase the number of transactions per customer. In other words how many times they buy. The good news is that mapping our customer journey is the key to doing all three. Not just one, not two, but all three. We can increase the number of customers we have, the amount of money they spend with us every time we buy, and the number of times they buy from us simply by understanding how they grow and change over time and creating a business that maximizes that value and optimizes our profit. We've been kinda coming back to the promise of that idea for a while. We are finally ready to dive right into it. Imagine this is your customer journey. Now I understand that your customers don't kind of move all in straight, linear line of forward motion. Our journeys all, as human beings, twist and turn, so this is a little bit simplified, but it's just an idea to get your head around how our customers grow and change over time. As they solve problems, as they scratch itches, and as they achieve goals. At the beginning of your customer journey your customer has an itch. This is not necessarily where they come into contact with your business. This is not necessarily the first time you hear from them, the first time they buy. It's definitely not when they first find out about your business. Instead, it's a question in their mind, it's a curiosity that they have, or sometimes literally it's an itch. Oh gosh, I'm really itchy, I better google or WebMD this and figure out what this itch really is. Another way to think about the beginning of your customer journey is when your eventual customer starts googling or looking for more information about whatever it is that they're curious about. For me my customer journey starts when people start thinking about the possibility of starting a business. How do I go about starting a business? Can I start a business online, do I need a business license for that? Do I really need to rent some place or can I just work from home? A lot of times that happens when they're still working in a day job, and they're bored out of their minds, and they're sitting their typing these questions into the googles and they're looking for their answers. My business doesn't generally support customers at that stage, but that's where their journey starts, that's where that journey to business ownership and entrepreneurship starts, it starts with those little nagging questions. For you it also might start-- It might not start at a day job. It might start instead in those moments that we wake up in the middle of the night and we're worried about money, or we're worried about our health, or we're worried about screwing up our kids. And those itches, those questions, those curiosities go through our head and we pick up the cell phone that we should not have next to our bed but we do, because it's been charging next to our head, and we start googling, and you go down a rabbit hole late at night. That's the beginning of the journey. That's the beginning of your customer journey. I want everyone to think, whether you're here with me right now or whether you're at home, I want you to start thinking about what are those itches that people initially have. How soon, how early, does that initial question, that initial curiosity, pop into their head? What do some of those Google searches look like, those late night Google searches, or those day job killing-some-time Google searches look like. That's the beginning of the journey. The end of the journey, on the other hand, is sort of the ideal outcome. It's the person your customer wants to become. It's the goal, the dream that they have in their mind. And for the vast majority of businesses, not every business but for the vast majority of businesses that ideal is not happening tomorrow, it's not happening a year from now, it's probably not happening five years from now. This is a long journey. The further you can look out, the more you can speak to who your customer ultimately wants to become. I've been running this year, as some of your know. That's been a journey in and of itself. There is some serious customer journey there because I also really like gear. (laughs) I like purchasing running clothes and shoes and all of the accessories, it's part of the fun. Anyhow, last weekend I ran my first 5K. I emailed some of you about that. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I don't want you to think of that ideal as me running the 5K. That's not where I want to end up as a runner. I don't know that I necessarily want to run a marathon, but I think what ultimately, where I'd like to go in my customer journey as a runner, is maybe I'd like to run a 10K, or a half marathon, and I'd like to enjoy it. I'd like to look forward to it. I want to become a runner, not a couch potato that started running. That might be where here, maybe I'm somewhere on here because I do actually enjoy getting up in the morning and going for a run. Like even before a class this morning I set my alarm, got up early, went down to the gym to run, just for 15 minutes, because I knew that was gonna make me feel better. So I'm somewhere in the middle now I guess. But my ideal is this idea that yeah, I can cross the finish line on that half marathon. I'm gonna be exhausted, I'm gonna be a sweaty mess, but I'm gonna feel great and I'm gonna be so proud of myself, and I will be a runner. That's the ideal I want you to look for in your business. It's not just the next step, or the step that they take with you, it's that ultimate goal of who they want to become out into the future. Even as a business owner I have another ideal in my head. I have accomplished so much. I have become so successful by so many people's standards and still I know my journey has so far yet to go. That's what I want you to look for as well with your customer journey. What is that point far out into the future where your customer, when they close their eyes and they think, "This is what I want out of my life, "in this aspect, in this arena, "this is how I imagine myself." All along this journey, other things happen. We set goals, like running our first 5K, maybe running our first 10K, maybe running our first 5K in less than 30 minutes, (laughs) things like that. We have these goals and we check them off the list because we know those goals are actually milestones on the path to achieving that ideal. I've gotta be able to do this so I can do the next thing. We also have questions. Every time we learn something new, a new question pops up. You see it here with our studio audience. Every time they learn something new, they have a new question, and often that question becomes the perfect segue into what I wanna talk about next, because things are planned in that way. Your business can be the same thing. You can answer subsequent questions for your customers in the form of complimentary offers to your core offer. And then of course we get new frustrations too. Every time we ease one frustration, every time we overcome one obstacle, a new one appears, that's life. That's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. It shows us we're making progress towards what we're working toward. Somewhere on this customer journey, right now, you can find your core offer. I have put it here next to goal. It does not mean that your core offer has to be associated with a particular goal. Maybe it's a particular question that you answer, maybe it's a particular frustration that you ease. Maybe it's sort of a combination of all three of those things. I don't want you to get hung up on my very simple drawing here, my very simple diagram, but what I do want you to do is locate your core offer somewhere on your customer journey. What are some of those other questions that come up, what are some of those other goals that come up along the way, the frustrations that come up along the way, and where does your core offer fit on that journey. Is it at the halfway point, is it further in the future, is it really close to the beginning? It could be anywhere on that journey, and be "right", be appropriate, be strategic. But I want you to think about where it falls, because where it falls on that journey tells you something not only about how you can market and sell it, but it also tells you about what other offers are going to work best with your core offer. I'd love to hear from you guys here just to get some additional examples. What is that initial itch that you think people have on their customer journey, what are they ultimately working toward, and where does your core offer fit on the journey? Ailet let's start with you. I think one of the the main questions that people might be googling for, or at least I hope that they're googling for-- You know you can use a survey to find out. I know, I know. I'm getting there. How to play with my baby, how to help my baby learn, those kinds of things. Or songs to sing with my baby, those kinds of things. So, I guess, I'm a little bit trying to figure out how this would work because I have this core offer membership site thing, which is like the larger-- I'm almost now looking at it like here's the framework that you need, instead of the library you can come to. It's more of a hub, actually. I like where this is going. Yeah, it's exciting. But I also have, because lots of experts like to say, you know, start with a tripwire or alarm. I know, all these blah blah blah. I didn't create it in thinking that, but I created it because I have this podcast where we sing a lot and people were like, "I wanna be able to download your songs," so I have the album of a bunch of the songs that we sing on the podcast. So I don't think that should go away, and I could throw it into the main membership site thing as an extra, or I could use it as an initial answer to your question or initial itch-scratching device. We are going to get to this very specific kind of offer, so great segue, but keep going. But really, I think that if I look at it that way then the goal that my audience is trying to achieve, what their perceived pain is, is they wanna know how to play productively. And I believe that their real pain is that they don't have a framework and they need actually a curriculum and a network of support. That's my core offer to help them achieve that goal. Yeah. And ultimately, where do they wanna end up? That's my other question because I think, I mean, if you ask any parent of an infant or toddler they ultimately wanna end up with a productive member of society that they've raised but they might say something more like, I want to be able to know that I've maximized all the time that I have, and I want to find that sense of peace as a parent, and confidence, and I'm here to tell you that you'll never find that all the time. Sorry, that's not what I'm selling. I'm selling moments of that. I'm selling an understanding of how you can achieve those moments. So, yeah. This is another place where a survey would be really helpful. One of the things that I said you can learn with a survey or that you can at least ask is what is the most important outcome? Ultimately where do they want to end up? So I would actually ask, when you think of success for your kid how do you define success. When your kid is 25 years old how will you know you've done a good job? And I'm gonna go ahead and guess, make some assumptions, that your customers, your audience, is gonna say something like my kid is happy, they have achieved at least some of their educational goals, they're on a career path that they want to be on, whether that's now or for the rest of their lives, and that they are independent, but that they still call me on a regular basis. So you're gonna get some descriptions like that, and I don't think you're probably gonna get a lot of people saying I want to know that I've maximized my time with my kid. You might, maybe. There's always outliers. Those are the outliers. And I could be completely wrong, because I am always open to my assumptions being wrong, as I am asking you to be as well. But that's my guess, so that's what I would say the ideal is. So then the question sort of becomes where does that core offer fit on your journey because you need to know what the opportunity is for something else, either before or after, which is what we're going to get to, but you also need to know then how to position this to actually sell it. Because the challenge with having some sort of library, having something that can help people at all different stages, is that it's hard to speak to a particular pain point that's gonna get them to jump and take the leap, especially with a membership, trust me. This is a real opportunity for you to say my sweet spot is gonna be here on the journey. They're going to have tried these things, they're going to have taken these classes, they're going to have accomplished this particular milestone so far. I'm gonna situate my core offer here. Doesn't mean other people aren't gonna join at other times. Or, it also doesn't mean that you can't run other campaigns that show the opportunity to join at other times, but everything about my offer is going to be developed to fit here on the journey. Here along their journey, okay. I guess because of where I'm coming from a place where it's all based around the child's age, so I can't get my head out of that. What you need to do for your offer specifically is you can actually create multiple entry points. If you've got resources that are for ages zero to three, you make an entry point that's designed for parents with a kid ages zero to three. That's a sales page, that's a marketing funnel if you wanna go that direction, it's a particular webinar, or whatever the sales process is for it. And then product development wise you think what am I going to do to support all of the parents who come in through this entry point. And then you can keep developing from there. But you wanna stick to what we call, in business world, one vertical first. You develop one vertical at a time. Once you've got that system down then you can move into another vertical. Take what you've learned, and develop that vertical. That might be ages three to six. And then you can move that and develop another vertical from there. This is gonna be hard. This is the difficulty, the resistance of this whole class. I'm gonna ask you to streamline it right now so that when you're thinking about developing a product and selling the product, and positioning it in the market and on the customer journey you are focused on just this one kind of parent, so you can speak directly to their needs. Or I guess in this case, that one kind of child, who happens to have a parent that's buying the thing. Aleia. It kind of seemed to me, the way you were describing it, like I don't know what your product is, and how much is behind the membership paywall as it were, but it seemed to me you're in that question place on the customer journey. Because if people are googling what songs to sings and you're telling them what songs to sing, you're hitting them right there, at least initially. That's where it came to me. I'm like, oh you're that great place for the questioning, the questioning parents. It's a dependable, trustworthy, personal plus professional place to get your questions answered, and specifically for kids ages zero to three, or whatever vertical you end up choosing, and then you can build that out further. Make sense? Great, great example. Thank you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Product Plan -- Implementation Month

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Product Plan -- Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Lindsey Warriner

Every time I thought the class had reached a point that I knew "enough" about, Tara dropped yet another game-changer that I'd never even considered. Great experience, great speaker, great class.

Alaia Williams

Once again, Tara has been extremely helpful in getting me to think through where I'm taking my business next. I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!

Ate Myt

Although the course targets people who have already started a business, I found it very helpful for me as I start my own business. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step guide to developing a 3-pillar business model. Very practical. i highly recommend it.

Student Work