I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and one that manages to hold my attention so well and make an hour fly by is Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast. Yesterday I listened to the same segment three times because I wanted to make sure I had it clear in my head.
It was a serious lightbulb “Aha” moment.
Basically, I realized I had been approaching my blog wrong, I'd been approaching my content creation wrong, and I'd been treating my audience wrong.
That's a lot of wrong!
Today I'm going to explain what I learned, and how to implement it. By the end of this article, you'll have a much better idea of how to get better conversions from your site, better engagement, more return visitors, and an audience that is growing all round.
Stop Selling To Your Whole Audience
The way Pat explained it, you have a kind of “Pyramid” model of your audience. Your goal should not be to sell to the audience as a whole, but instead to move people up the tiers to the top tier. That's where the selling takes place, and from there, it's not really even selling. It happens naturally.
Let's take a closer look at the Pyramid now. I've made an infographic below for you to visualize, and explained in further details underneath.
Embed this infographic in your own site. Copy the code below:
The Casual Audience
These are your first time, or infrequent visitors. You don't really want to be selling to them. They'll be reading your blog with a specific question in mind, so while you might be able to promote, or recommend a solution to them, it's not likely that they'll be buying one of your main services.
In my case, since I sell ready-made websites, I don't imagine any first timers are going to take me up on my offer.
Instead, I need to demonstrate my knowledge and authority with my blog posts, so that people will come back, and develop more “affinity” with me.
Tip to moving them up a tier: Really all you want first-time visitors to be doing is liking your stuff, and coming back for more. Give them a reason to subscribe to your latest posts, follow you on Twitter or Facebook etc, and generally keep in touch. I'd recommend focusing on delivering compelling content, giving away free eBooks or training (in exchange for subscribing), and anything else appropriate to your niche.
Remember, this is the largest group in your audience, so it's the easiest one to speak to.
The Active Audience
These are people who are familiar with your site and have visited quite often. They may even comment and ask questions from time to time. Chances are, you're well on your way to developing a connection with them, and all you have to do is keep pumping out the quality content for them to consume.
Moving them up to the next tier should be easy if you can encourage engagement and offer them some excellent content to consume.
This is still a pretty large base of your audience and is the one most likely to move up. After all, they've come back to your site numerous times, so they are starting to like your work.
Tip to moving them up a tier: Try to keep engaging them and giving them opportunities to get to know you more. Comments are a great way of encouraging this. If your content is truly engaging, comments will come naturally.
At this tier, people will start to look around your site and see what else you have on offer, so make it clear. Have some sidebar banners showcasing your offerings and if you have email subscribers, put links to your most popular pages in your emails.
Get creative, you have their attention, but don't abuse it.
The Engaged Community
This is an audience filled mostly with like-minded individuals. They're probably members of your niche, and live and breathe similar things to you, or at least want to learn a lot more.
If they've reached this tier, they're pretty familiar with you and your work, and like what you offer. They're not necessarily customers and maybe never will be, but these are the types of people that you could offer something to in the future.
An example for me would be people working in the make-money-online niche. Whether they're fellow IMers who enjoy discussing the niche, or newcomers who are looking to get involved, we're a pretty like-minded bunch and can give each other tips and suggestions.
Tips to moving them up a tier: These guys are well on their way to becoming your fans. You are probably well on the way to becoming their fans as well, that's how the relationship works. Keep demonstrating that you are putting out worthy content and offering excellent solutions, and they'll slowly fall in love with you.
The Raving Fans
The clues in the name, this group love you and your work. They're subscribed to your newsletter, have read your core pages, and love what you do. At this level, selling to them doesn't even need to happen, because they already “get” what it is that you do, and naturally want in on the action.
You have a good relationship. If you say “I want you to go to this page and buy this thing”, they'll like do it, simply because they like you, respect you, and trust you.
If you can get as many of your site visitors as possible to this group, you're already winning.
Why Should You Stop Trying To Sell To Everybody?
Now you might be wondering what's so important about focusing only on selling to the raving fans. Afterall, you might have a solution that is great for everybody and they'll buy it even if it's their first time visit to your site.
If that's true, then fantastic!
I bet you can't get more than 10% conversion rate to that product though, can you?
What if you could instead convert most of those people to ravings fans and erase all their doubts about you and your products? What if you people are coming to your page, seeing a promotion, rolling their eyes, and never coming back? Wouldn't it be better to just focus on getting them to come back?
Your product is still going to be there later, right?
If your content is not strong enough that you fear people having to return or subscribe before receiving your promo, then you'll want to think about how you create your content.
If you want to get more free content like this, check out my free eBooks, and maybe one day you'll join my raving fans too.
Thanks to Pat Flynn and his podcast for giving me the inspiration.