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The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

How does someone go from not knowing your business exists in order to buy your offer?
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.



Five Key Takeaways for The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

1. Diagnose what stage in your marketing you need to focus on

Online business can be extremely nebulous because there are a million things that you can do. You could focus on sales, you could focus on marketing, and you could focus on social media. What holds a lot of people back in their business is analysis paralysis. One of the frameworks that you can come back to again and again to help you diagnose what to focus on in your business is what we call the Simplest Four-part Marketing Plan.

Here is the most simplified, modified marketing plan in 4 steps:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Purchase

Everything we do as a business is servicing one of these 4 objectives on the customer journey.

2. In the Awareness Stage, the magic word is EXPOSURE

There are so many different ways that you can expose your brand to new groups of people that do not know you exist. Some ideas could be:

  1. Search. Anything that has a search engine is a really good place to start because people are searching for solutions to their problems and if your website somehow pops up on search engines, now they know that you exist. And if they know you exist in context to a problem they have, that’s even better because that will make it easier to move to that Interest phase.
  2. Social Media. Having a presence on Instagram or TikTok is one of the ways that you can get exposure to new audiences. It could also be marketing yourself on Pinterest. People come across your pins and they click through to your articles.
  3. YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine.
  4. Paid Ads. Some people do Paid Ads just for exposure, just to get awareness out there.
  5. Business Partnerships. You could also partner with other businesses through:
    • Free summits
    • Live workshop or webinar
    • Email list feature
    • Guest posting/contributor articles

You can also continue to brainstorm other ways that you can get exposure to new audiences. One of the most common issues in online business is people get stuck because their Instagram marketing isn’t working and they think that’s it. Instagram marketing may not have worked for a while, but if it’s not delivering the results you want it’s time to move on to something else.

Diversify your marketing bridges. Some of the work in marketing is really pounding the pavement and doing things that can sometimes be uncomfortable.

3. In the Interest Stage, the magic word is MINI-PROBLEM

When you have enough of your Awareness channels established, another key part of this stage is how you are going to bridge the gap between Awareness to Interest. To walk through the Interest gate, your customer needs to be intrigued with how you can help them. The magic word here is Mini-problem.

The goal to get people to the Interest phase is two-fold:

  1. You want to identify a small problem that your target audience has; and
  2. Deliver a quick solution in exchange for starting a relationship.

This is really all of your email list-building points of contact.

Ways to build your email list:

  1. A quiz. This has worked tremendously well for us. To give you an example, the quiz that’s on our website is Your Business Bottleneck and the small problem that we’re trying to solve for them is, “What’s the one thing that is holding someone back in their business?”
    We know that business owners feel stuck AND overwhelmed about how to get unstuck. How do I diagnose the problem here? So our quiz is a solution to that problem. It helps someone diagnose the thing that’s really holding them back. And then we don’t gate-keep the quiz results. We’ll tell our quiz-taker exactly what they want to know without having to submit their email address. However, we’ll THEN offer a (free) email series that allows them to opt-in to get an in-depth 3-part solution to their problem. So we’ll deliver the answer of what their bottleneck is and then we’ll say, hey, it’s your time management, here’s a three-email series on time management.
  2. Lead magnets. Some ideas for lead magnets are:
    • PDF downloads
    • A free email course, workshop, or webinar
    • Free templates
    • For physical products, product samples
    • For service-based businesses, a free evaluation or a price quote

In exchange for creating that relationship, you are solving a small problem for them and providing value. That is really what the key is at this stage because you want to take someone from awareness where they just know you exist, to now you’ve intrigued them.

4. In the Consideration Stage, the magic word is TRUST

In order for your customer to walk through this gate, your customer needs to be able to say, “I trust that you could actually solve my problem.” The magic word here is trust.

For someone to start considering your offer, they need to trust you. The question really becomes, what are you doing to build trust with your customer? So many tactics that we recommend at this stage are usually some type of nurturing tactic over time because trust builds with time.

Some examples of trust building:

  1. A weekly newsletter or podcast
  2. A consistent YouTube channel

To really start to build trust, make sure that all of your content is about whatever the core bigger problem is that your offer solves.

You don’t always have to have a podcast or a newsletter. If you’re just getting started and you want to launch a product in eight weeks, you can use your pre-marketing lead-up, your emails, or your content. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ongoing content. We want you to think about pre-marketing as a way to nurture the Consideration stage.

Ask yourself what the core problem is that your offer solves and what type of content are you going to lead within four to six weeks leading up to your big launch that is going to build trust for someone to believe that you can help them with their problem.

For client-based business owners, if you’re doing consultation calls or anything like that, building trust is AFTER that initial call.

For client-based businesses, you could:

  1. Do follow-ups
  2. Have something planned that you can show to your potential client, such as work that you’ve done on things you’ve talked about during your call
  3. Wireframe out your potential client’s new home page to show how you can help them reach their goals

Trust goes beyond just the first call or the first email. It’s on you to follow up and show that you’re trustworthy by communicating to your clients the reasons why you’re going to be a good fit for them.

5. In the Purchase Stage, the magic word is VALUE

In order for someone to walk through the purchase gate, you want your customers to be able to say, “I believe my life would be better with your solution.” The magic word here is value. How are you communicating the value your offer would bring to your customer’s life?

If you really feel like your marketing bridge has been strong up to this point but you just aren’t getting the sales, it’s really probably a breakdown of communication at that point.

We think a lot of times it ends up being you’re focused too much on the features of the thing that you’re selling and not on the benefit again, which is just another word for value. You need to make sure that you’re being super clear about how that’s solving a problem for someone. You’re being clear about painting the picture of the outcome your customer is going to get and how their life will be different if they buy.

It’s about you putting your best foot forward to show that there are outcomes in buying this thing. Sometimes, it can be hard to differentiate between benefits and outcomes. We think of a benefit, for example, with Wandering Aimfully, you’ll learn how to grow your revenue. That’s a benefit but the outcome is to imagine a future where you have more choices, you have more time freedom, and you have more flexibility. That’s painting the picture of the outcome versus the benefit.

Another thing is pricing. Are you being clear about how the price of your offer matches the value that your offer provides? If you do have a higher-priced product, you really need to hit home what that return on investment is going to be and that really does feed into the benefits and the outcomes and all of that.

Again, value is just all about how is it making their life better. And if you do that, if you are able to clearly communicate that on your sales page, what’s going to happen is the trust that you built in the consideration stage, the mini problem/solution that you intrigued them with at the interest stage, and the exposure that you focused on at the awareness stage, all of that is going to add up to a sale.


Show Notes for Episode 145: The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

We came up with this marketing bridge concept back in 2018 and it’s really just another way of explaining the customer’s journey. Lately, we’ve been trying to simplify that marketing bridge concept even further so that anyone who feels stuck or like their product isn’t selling or their business isn’t thriving can just look at this simple 4-part marketing structure and diagnose where the journey is breaking down for their customers.

We’ve used this framework time and time again to sell our various products and services during our entrepreneurial journey. Early on, we had no idea we were consciously doing it! But these days, especially with our Wandering Aimfully Unlimited program, it’s been super helpful to think through this 4-part process and see the areas we can improve and experiment with.

These are the 4 parts of this plan we cover in this episode:

Give this episode a listen and let us know if you have some ah-ha moments about YOUR customer marketing journey and what “gates” you might need to start working on today!

🔮 Check out our interview/feature with the quiz software Interact to learn more about our quiz!


Full Transcript of Episode 145: The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What Is It All for? A podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We’re your host, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an unboring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here too.

Caroline: Who’s ready?

Jason: Uh.

Caroline: To jump in.

Jason: That would be me.

Caroline: Oh, me too.

Jason: And you.

Caroline: Together.

Jason: How’s it going?

Caroline: It’s going really well at this current moment. I’m healing from a cold, a flu.

Jason: Something.

Caroline: We’re not sure.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: All we know for sure that it’s not COVID. I wish that they would make tests now just for like everything so that you could be like, oh, I have this. I even looked up a little chart that was like the difference in symptoms from cold and flu and it’s a real schmort.

Jason: It’s a real… Fine line of.

Caroline: Yeah, it’s tricky. I think I did land on flu, but.

Jason: Anyway so you’re feeling better?

Caroline: A lot better than last week, which is still not over, as you can hear from my voice. But yeah, the way that I look at it is every time you get sick, it just gives you a newfound gratitude for being well.

Jason: Not sick. And also are we allowed to just quickly mention the special guest that we had?

Caroline: You can mention the special guest. We’re not going to get into it.

Jason: We’re not going to say where we are because we’ll talk about that, we’ll share more of it. But your mom, we flew your mom over. It’s a little dream come true trip for her, which we’re so excited to be a part of.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And she was in this place 50 years ago.

Caroline: Where we are right now. She came here when she was 16 years old.

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: You can do the math. She won’t mind.

Jason: Yeah, that’s an amazing thing.

Caroline: I know. And so she’s back after all these years, and we’ve just been having a blast reminiscing, her telling us her memories.

Jason: Looked over some photos, some original Instagram photos that she brought with her.

Caroline: Yeah. These photos that she brought from 1967 look like what Instagram modeled their first version after, because they’re square and they have this date on the side.

Jason: She didn’t bring, like, little vertical videos with her. That’s not what she brought.

Caroline: But we’re having a blast. She makes a really fantastic third musketeer to our schtick.

Jason: To our two musketeers?

Caroline: I got to give her credit. She really, like, she tries to hang with the.

Jason: Oh, like the jokes and the banter.

Caroline: Yeah. If you listen to this podcast, you know, Jason and I tend to just.

Jason: Really go off the rails.

Caroline: Go off the rails.

Jason: Even sometimes we’ll just be, like, doing stuff in the car that’s just really wacky, and she just chimes in. She just chimes in.

Jason: That’s great. I love it.

Caroline: She plays along, and we love her for that.

Jason: Yeah. So we’ll share more about that when we bring the pramvel back, which should be next week. We will start to get you caught back up on our travels. As of recording this right now, we’re not going to do a full pramvel. We are in our final new country of the year.

Caroline: That’s correct.

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: And you might be thinking to yourself, you all said you were going to be gone for an entire year.

Jason: We will be.

Caroline: And we will be.

Jason: Well, kind of.

Caroline: A little bit.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: You’ll see, we’re heading into a transition stage, and we’ll take you along with us for the ride. But you know what? That’s the travel stuff. This particular episode is a doozy. It’s a media episode, because some episodes we like to ponder, we like to pontificate, we like to ask ourselves questions, have curious conversations about the state of online business. Other episodes, we like to just deliver the hard hitting value.

Jason: I think this is one of those episodes that it’s kind of the first time we’ve shared this idea, this concept in its form that it has now. And I’m very interested to hear the feedback from the listeners.

Caroline: Okay, so let’s just introduce it. Again, this is not groundbreaking stuff. It’s not like we’re the first person to ever think of this. But at WAIM, we’re constantly, Jason and I are constantly talking about business concepts and how we can distill them down further and further and further into the most simple form because one problem that we’ve experienced over ten years of doing this is, when it comes to online business, it can be extremely nebulous. It can be extremely overwhelming, because there’s just a million things that you can do with online business. You could focus on sales, you could focus on marketing, you could focus on social media. You could focus on your product, you could focus on yourself. There’s just a million variables, right? We all know this. And so anytime, I think this is actually what holds a lot of people back in their business is they just, they have analysis paralysis. They go, I know my business needs to improve in all these different aspects. I don’t know how to diagnose what to tackle first. And so we’re always looking for ways that we can give you frameworks that will allow you to diagnose your own business and move forward with clarity, right? So we’re hoping that this podcast episode is one of those frameworks that you can come back to again and again to help you diagnose what to focus on in your business and to kind of describe this framework. What we’re calling it is just like the simplest four part marketing plan, and it comes from this concept that we came up with very early on.

Jason: First coaching session.

Caroline: Our first coaching session.

Jason: 36 coaching sessions ago.

Caroline: It was all about this concept of a marketing bridge. And the idea here was to provide a visual and illustration so that you could visualize, really, the customer journey. How does someone go from not knowing your business exists in order to buy your offer? Like, what is that journey? And if you envision that journey across a bridge, there are steps that need to take place in order for someone to take that one step forward to get all the way to what we call your castle or your offering to walk through that door. So we have an entire coaching session on that concept. I think we’ve even done a.

Jason: Yeah, we did a couple of episodes.

Caroline: A podcast episode about it, but recently, we had a coaching session that was all an depth Q and A, and someone asked about this marketing bridge, and I just tried to keep distilling it down further and further and further into its most simple parts. And what I realized is, if you really get down to the nitty gritty, this marketing bridge concept really is about moving through four phases. There are sort of, like, four parts of this marketing plan. And if you can understand each part of this marketing plan and basically each level of where your customer is in relationship with your offer, you can diagnose where the bridge is breaking down. You can say, oh, okay, I’m not building enough trust because I’m not building up this part of the process. Or, oh, not enough people know that I even exist. I need to really focus on the beginning of the bridge or this part of the process. That’s what we hope to go through in this episode. We’re going to tell you those four parts. We’re going to tell you what your customer needs to think and feel at each part of that journey. I almost think of it like, imagine again a bridge where there’s, like, four gates, basically. And in order to step through each gate, your customer needs to be thinking a certain thing or needs to be paying attention, paying attention to a certain aspect of your business. And so as you listen to this episode, I want you to think of, we’re going to describe each of the four steps. We’re going to describe what your customer needs to be thinking in order to move to the next step. And I want you, listener, to think of your own business and start to diagnose and identify which of these four parts am I really?

Jason: Which one of these gates is rusty?

Caroline: Which one of these gates is the rustiest?

Jason: Not opening at all.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: So I can introduce the four simplified marketing bridge gates here, these four steps that we’re going to talk about. So again, just to kind of reiterate, imagine you’re walking across a bridge, the mainland, where the bridge starts, is where everyone on the internet is hanging out. And at the end of the bridge is where your product or service lives. That’s the marketing bridge. So there’s four steps for gates that you’re going to walk your customer through across the bridge. First is awareness. So this is just letting people know that you exist.

Caroline: Correct.

Jason: This is the very first thing in the sea of the Internet they have to get onto the bridge, the first gate. From awareness, they have to move to interest. So this is your customer, or potential customer, saying, I’m intrigued with how you can help me. And it’s a very important part of this, how you can help me. So obviously, we’re going to go into more detail. The third gate that they’re going to try and bust through is consideration. So they’re going to think to themselves, I trust that you can actually solve my problem. So in the previous gate, as they’ve gone through it, you’ve helped them with something. You’ve started to build some trust. Consistency also helps. We’ll talk more about consideration. And then finally, they get through the last gate and they think, I believe my life would be better with your solution. And they purchase from you. So purchase is the last step. So we have awareness, interest, consideration and purchase.

Caroline: And if you’ve done any sort of like business reading or things like that, this is, yes, a very simple concept to just a marketing funnel, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But I think this bridge concept takes it from this funnel idea of just a mathematical formula where you have many more people at the top and you kind of are distilling it down. Sure, if your brain works in a mathematic way, my brain works in very much a relationship building way, in a trust building way. And that’s why I like this visual of the bridge. And really there’s a lot more steps, of course, that you can take someone through. But if we’re just distilling it down to, how do I get more sales of my offer? How do I, you know, grow my revenue? These are the four that we’re going to talk about. So we’re going to take you through each one and really everything that we do as a business is kind of servicing one of these four objectives. And again, later on, as your business matures, you can worry about retention, you can worry about creating affiliates, you can do all those things. But in the beginning stages, if you can just worry about these four things and you can make sure that everything you’re doing in your business is directly correlated to one of these four steps, you can feel a lot more purposeful in where you’re putting your time.

Jason: Totally. And I think one thing just to get out of the way that might bear repeating multiple times throughout this is we have seen through the thousands of people that we have interacted with over the years just in our email list alone. People don’t spend enough time on marketing. They spend the majority of the time building their offer, building their website, creating graphics and things for social media. And all of that is great and some of it serves marketing purposes, but the majority of that is focused on building the product and not building the audience to buy the product.

Caroline: Correct.

Jason: And it’s not just about amassing a bunch of followers on Instagram, TikTok, etc., and then going, okay, now I have 2,000 followers, everyone will buy from me. That’s not how it works.

Caroline: Because you have not been intentional about laying the bridge.

Jason: Exactly.

Caroline: For them to come over. All right, so let’s go ahead and get into the four different steps and let’s start with awareness. So in order to walk through this particular gate, your customer needs to be able to say, I know you exist. And just replace you for your brand. Right? So we need our customers to say, I know Wandering Aimfully exists. They did not know Wandering Aimfully existed before and now we want them to know that we exist. This is all awareness is. They’ve heard of you, they know your brand. And so the magic word here, I’m going to give like a magic word for each of these four.

Jason: Very exciting.

Caroline: Gates? I don’t know, I don’t really know exactly how the metaphor with the key, maybe it’s the key to the gate?

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: Okay, sure, let’s roll with that.

Jason: Okay.

Caroline: The key to this gate is just exposure, right? So if you’re trying to, if you feel like your rustiest gate is awareness, you need to focus on exposure. And there are so many different ways that you can expose your brand to new groups of people that do not know you exist. So anything that has a search engine is obviously a really good place to start because people are searching for solutions to their problems and if you somehow pop up they didn’t know you existed before, but now they kind of know that you do exist. And if they know you exist in context to a problem they have, that’s even better because that will make it easier to move to that interest phase, which we’ll talk about in a second. But when I say anything with a search engine, I mean writing articles that come up in Google Search. I mean.

Jason: What about Bing search?

Caroline: Maybe Bing as well.

Jason: OK, great.

Caroline: I mean, yes, having a presence on Instagram or TikTok, people are stitching your TikToks or people are sharing your Instagram stories, all those things. Yes, that’s a way that you can get exposure to new audiences. It could be marketing yourself on Pinterest. People come across your pins, they go, I’ve never heard of this. They click through to your articles. It could be YouTube videos because that’s another search engine, right? Yes, you could even do paid ads. Some people do paid ads just for the exposure, just to get awareness out there. Side note, you’re not going to do an ad campaign, but this is a lot of times where you see like a Super Bowl ad from a company you’ve never heard of before.

Jason: Trying to get exposure.

Caroline: What is Rakuten? Or whatever. And it’s because they want to get that exposure, that first step in the four part bridge. They need people to know that their brand exists.

Jason: Are we going to get the Super Bowl cheque from Rakuten for the…?

Caroline: We better.

Jason: Okay, all right, let’s see that show up.

Caroline: You could do a lot of small businesses do these free summits, right? This is a way people get exposure or anything in that sort of collaboration bucket where you’re partnering with another business owner to do a live workshop or you’re doing an email list feature like, hey, I can do a guest post on your email list. You can do a guest post on my email list. Same thing with contributor articles on websites. You could be a guest, a guest writer for another. Like one of, this is such a random example, but Tiffany Han, who is a friend now, but the way that I was exposed to her business was she did a guest series on my other friend Brittany’s Paper and Stitch blog. And I was like, her writing is so captivating and that’s how I got exposed to her business. And so that’s just a small example there. But these are all just ideas, right? So the only thing I want you to think about is if you really feel like awareness, you’re just not getting enough people to even step foot on your bridge and that’s your rusty gate, as we’re going to use the term here. I want you to think about what are, just brainstorm ways that you can get exposure to new audiences.

Jason: Yeah, and I think one of the most prolific issues in online business is people get stuck and they go, I use Instagram for marketing and that’s it. And then that’s all they do. And then they’re like, marketing doesn’t work for me. It’s like, no, Instagram marketing doesn’t work for you. You need to move on to something else.

Caroline: If you don’t see that you’re getting the results, you have to change something, right?

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: So diversify and really some of this is just like putting your, pounding the pavement and just going like, okay, I’m going to do things that make me uncomfortable. I think the reason why so many people defer to Instagram is it’s such a passive way to try and get marketing, right? Because you create the content, you push it out. There’s not a lot of risk involved there. Like, yes, don’t get me wrong, it does feel incredibly vulnerable, especially the first time you do a reel or you put something up there. It does feel vulnerable, but you just can convince yourself very easily that the algorithm just doesn’t like my content and so this isn’t working for me. Whereas sending out an email pitch to a fellow business owner and saying, hey, can we collaborate? That feels even more vulnerable. Right? But if you’re not seeing the results.

Jason: You got to do something else.

Caroline: You’ve got to do something else.

Jason: And the other thing that we always come back to is try and think of yourself as a little business scientist and you’re just running all these experiments. So you’re experimenting with writing articles, you’re experimenting with being on Instagram, you’re experimenting with Pinterest, you’re experimenting with YouTube videos. And all of those things are just little experiments you’re running. And some will fail, some will succeed. But the sum of all of them is that your marketing starts to help you build awareness and exposure. And that’s what you’re trying to do. Now for us, just to share kind of what we focus on these days. Early on in the Wandering Aimfully journey in 2018, it was almost all of the things that we just listed out. I mean, we were doing everything because we were little business scientists, we had this brand new business and we were just trying to get exposure and awareness to it. But the way that we focus now, just to give you an idea, is we have organic search for our articles, which is really the main one that helps build awareness for us. We have our affiliates who share Wandering Aimfully with their audiences, especially during our enrollment period.

Caroline: So they are exposing, to use that word, exposure, exposing our brand to their audiences, which have people who have never heard of us before.

Jason: Yep. And then the third thing is YouTube. And so that’s another second largest search engine on the web. Sorry, Bing, you’re not even up there. But that is another one where we get traffic and things from videos that we posted years ago.

Caroline: Yes, it’s taken years, but we’ve planted those seeds before. And then when I was just starting out and it was just Made Vibrant. It was definitely blog posts and I would just share those blog posts way back when I had Facebook, I would share those on Facebook, I would share on Pinterest, I would do podcast interviews a lot more. That was the way that I got exposed to new audiences and I would do daily posts on Instagram. And all of that was exposing me to new audiences. And before I knew it, I had enough of those channels, established that then people were coming to me and my brand because another key part of this awareness stage is you do want to think about how am I going to bridge the gap between awareness to our next step, which is interest. OK, so let’s get into interest. So, interest, to walk through the interest gate, your customer needs to be able to say, I’m intrigued with how you can help me. And so the magic word, the key here that I’m going to use is I want you to think about a mini problem. So the magic key is mini problem. And so the goal here to get people to this interest phase is really two-fold. You want to identify a small problem that your target audience has and deliver a quick solution in exchange for starting a relationship. Right? So this is really all of your email list building points of contact. We use a quiz that has worked tremendously well for us. And just to give you an example, the quiz that’s on our website is Your Business Bottleneck. And so the small problem that we’re trying to solve for them is what’s the one thing that is holding someone back in their business? We know that a lot of times the business owner will feel stuck and going back to what we said at the very beginning of this episode, they’ll feel overwhelmed about how do I get unstuck? How do I diagnose the problem here? So this quiz is a solution to that. It helps you diagnose what is the thing that’s really holding you back. And then we don’t like gatekeep the quiz results. We’ll tell you exactly what the quiz shows you at the end. However, we’ll then have an email series that allows them to opt in to get the full solution to that problem. So we’ll deliver to them the answer of what their bottleneck is and then we’ll say, hey, it’s your time management. So here is a three email series on time management.

Jason: Yeah, also just a quick little shout out. The folks who we use for our quiz, which is Interact, did an interview with us because they found our quiz and they’re like, hey, your conversion rate from your quiz is really good compared to a lot of the other ones that we see and we’re like, thank you very much. But I’ll leave a link in the show notes if you want to read that because it’s got some fun numbers and stats to like how that quiz converts. So just if you’re someone who’s interested, we really like a quiz. We really think it’s a fun way and we’ve tried all the other interest categories here that we’re about to get into of other things you can do. But I think the quiz is something that we really landed on for a while that’s worked well.

Caroline: These are all so you could do a quiz, you could do a lead magnet, right? You see that download my PDF. You could do a free email course, a free workshop or a webinar, free template. You could do even if you’re somehow in the physical product world, a product sample is a good example of this. A free evaluation or a price quote if you have a service based business. You’re moving someone to interest by saying, hey, let me evaluate your sales page for you and in exchange for being on this phone call, I’ll walk you through the results, right?

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: So in exchange for kind of creating that relationship, you are solving a small problem for them and you’re providing value. And that’s really what the key is at this stage because you want to take someone from awareness where they just know you exist, to now you’ve intrigued them. You’ve said, oh, you have a couple of problems and this is kind of what I do, I can solve a couple of these problems. And by just sharing one mini solution, that intrigue is now going to translate into creating a relationship. And if that relationship builds enough trust, which will get you in the next step, that’s going to lead eventually to a sale.

Jason: Yup. So let’s go back through the first two gates, just so we’re keeping everybody on our bridge and not getting stuck in any rusty gates. So we have awareness. So just getting exposure, getting people to find you, to hear about you, to know about you, once they unlock that gate with the key of?

Caroline: Exposure.

Jason: Exposure. Good quiz there, you passed. They land on the interest gate and to get through the interest rate, they need the two-pronged key. I like to think that every key just starts to get a little bit longer and have features. Yeah, they have the mini problem key they’re going to use.

Caroline: Mini problem key. So if you’re listening to this for this step, if you think that your bridge is breaking down at this interest category, I want you to just think of what is it that I’m going to use to intrigue someone? Like, what small problem can I solve? And then what’s the solution and how do I want to deliver that?

Jason: And again, another shout out to being a little business scientist and oh, I’ve had a lead magnet on my side for a while. OK, well, is anybody downloading it? Is anybody using it? If not, it’s time to change it. Try a workshop, it’s time to try any of these other things we talked about, maybe look into doing a quiz. But if you are getting some awareness but you’re not getting some interest. This is where you need to focus.

Caroline: Exactly. I’m really glad you brought that up because that’s kind of another layer to add on this is it’s not enough to know the framework. The framework is going to help you diagnose the problem. But on top of that, you have to add the experimentation. And you all know that we’re so big on this because there’s just, there’s an infinite, I’ve given you twelve different exposure ideas, I’ve given you twelve different interest ideas. But you really have to experiment within that kind of category in order to figure out what works for you. That’s how we landed on Quiz. We had PDFs before that. We had free workshops. We still continue to experiment, but Quiz was really what worked well for us in our offer. So again, embrace that experimentation. So that was interesting. Moving on now to step four.

Jason: Three. Nice.

Caroline: I put up three fingers and I said four.

Jason: Don’t you jump ahead to that fourth gate.

Caroline: To step three. Gate three. We’re now moving into the consideration phase. So in order for your customer to walk through this gate, your customer needs to be able to say, I trust that you could actually solve my problem. And hopefully you’ve built up a little bit of that with your mini problem and solution. But really that’s just about intrigue. That’s just about someone going like, oh, this is interesting.

Jason: I’m feeling like I could probably get some good stuff from these people here.

Caroline: But now this is really about deepening that and building that trust. So that’s the magic word here, trust.

Jason: For your key, it’s labeled with trust.

Caroline: For someone to start considering your offer, they need to trust you. So the question really becomes, what are you doing to build trust with your customer? And so many tactics that we recommend at this stage are usually some type of nurturing tactic over time because trust builds with time, right? So if you show up for a consistent weekly newsletter. If you show up for a weekly podcast. If you have a consistent YouTube channel and you’re delivering value week after week or installment after installment. That’s one way to really nurture that relationship that you started in the interest phase and to really start to build that trust and making sure that all that content is really around whatever that core bigger problem is that your offer solves.

Jason: Yeah. And that’s one of those things that I think some online business owners can get lost in the weeds with. They’re building awareness around a topic like, let’s just say you have a course around Squarespace 7.1, and then they’re building interest and they’re giving a free guide on the seven tricks you need to use to get moving from 7.0 to 7.1 in Squarespace. Then into consideration, they start just talking about how to use Squarespace to design fake plant websites. Like, okay, that’s kind of there but also it’s not helping me with my problem, which is I don’t know how to use Squarespace 7.1, and that’s what I signed up under. So I think as you’re in this consideration phase of your marketing, you really need to think about, am I sending out information that’s helping reiterate and solve that problem over and over again that someone showed interest in?

Caroline: Definitely. And the way to do this in the most pointed way. I also want to point out, you don’t always have to have a podcast or a newsletter, any of these things. Like, if you’re sort of like, I’m just getting started and I want to launch a product in eight weeks, you can really use your pre marketing lead up, your emails or your content. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ongoing content, but really, I want you to think about pre marketing as a way to nurture this consideration stage. And so it takes you asking yourself, what type of content am I going to lead with in the four to six weeks leading up to my big launch? That’s going to build trust that someone really believes that I can help them with my problem. So ask yourself, what’s the core problem that your offer solves? And then reverse engineer. What’s a series or a four week content series that I can really kind of prod at that pain point a little bit and show people my stuff, show them that I have a bit of a solution of what they’re looking for.

Jason: Yeah. And I think as it relates to our client-based business owners, if you’re doing consultation calls or anything like that, for you, building trust is after that call, do some follow ups. Have some planned things that you’re showing up, showing that potential client, hey, you can trust me. Like, here’s some work that I’ve done on things that we’ve talked about. Or I went ahead and just wireframed out your new home page after we got off the call because I just am really excited about this and I really can help you reach your goals that you want to reach. I think things with especially client based business owners, they forget that trust is also really important and it goes beyond just the first call or the first email. It’s on you to follow up and show, hey, I’m trustworthy, here are some reasons why I’m going to be here for you and I want to work with you.

Caroline: Totally. And some of our business owners, especially in WAIM sometimes, if you don’t have an info product business, let’s say you have a more creative business, it’s something like stickers, you have an Etsy shop and things like that. It might be hard for you to apply all of this to that type of business, but you can still think of it in a similar way. You can still say, okay, I’m going to do a big back to school launch around the back to school time for my sticker shop. And I’m going to do specifically this whole drop of back to school themed stickers and everything. Well, still, it holds true four to six weeks leading up to that big launch. I want you to think about what’s the type of content that will build trust that you can, quote, unquote, solve someone’s problem, even if their problem is just they feel lackluster about their school supplies when it comes to back to school and so they’re not excited. That’s you solving a problem. Right? Like your stickers bring energy and creative novelty to someone’s back to school set up and it gets them motivated to go back to school. So do a series. Do a four-week series. It’s like showing photos of your stickers in a desk environment or someone decorating their new binder for school and feeling excited, right? So just think of it in a more creative way. It doesn’t always have to be such an info, product, hardcore problem solution. But still, if you want to think about it in that way, because again, that’s going to take us to our next phase of purchase. In order for someone to walk through the purchase gate, you want your customers to be able to say, I believe my life would be better with your solution. So even if that solution is a sticker pack, someone needs to be able to believe that they’re going to be more energized, they’re going to be more motivated, they’re going to feel more creative, they’re going to feel more inspired, whatever those benefits are that your offer instills in someone in order to really walk through that purchase gate. That’s what they need to believe. And so the magic word here is value.

Jason: The key.

Caroline: The key.

Jason: The word that’s on the key with four prongs now is value.

Caroline: The upgraded key. We’re thinking about value. So the question is, how are you communicating the value your offer would bring to your customer’s life? Like, if you really feel like the bridge has been strong up to this point but you just aren’t getting the sales, it’s really probably a breakdown of communication at that point.

Jason: Yeah, and I think a lot of times it ends up being you’re focused too much on the features of the thing that you’re selling and not on the benefit again, which is just another word for value. So you need to make sure that you’re being super clear about how that’s solving a problem for someone. You’re being clear about painting the picture of the outcome your customer is going to get and how their life will be different if they buy. And listen, in the example of a sticker pack, life is not going to be so different, but someone can still be really excited, like you just said. And so I think it’s about you putting your best foot forward to show that there are outcomes in buying this thing. Don’t just give up at the first drop of the hat when you try and sell something that people don’t buy and you’re like, oh, well, what happened? It’s like, well, because you just said that they’re just like back to school stickers, like you didn’t say anything more about that or it’s just a course about Squarespace 7.1. You didn’t say that their life would be easier because they would understand Squarespace 7.1, they would build websites faster, they would be able to get people to purchase their things quicker through their website.

Caroline: Yeah. And just to illustrate with an example, because sometimes I think it can be hard to differentiate between benefits and outcomes. I think of a benefit, for example, with Wandering Aimfully, you’ll learn how to grow your revenue. That’s a benefit, like your business will grow, but the outcome is imagine a future where you have more choices, you have more time freedom, you have more flexibility. That’s painting the picture of the outcome versus the benefit. And are you being clear about how the price of your offer matches the value that your offer provides? That’s another thing that I feel like sometimes can fall through the cracks of, if you do have a higher priced product, you really need to hit home what that return on investment is going to be and that really does feed into the benefits and the outcomes and all of that.

Jason: Yeah, I think having a long sales page for a higher price product, it makes sense because you’re just trying to explain the outcomes in as many different ways as possible to show someone the value of the thing. Does it mean you have to have a long sales page for selling something small? No, but it does help in being able to explain it. And I know we’ve run into some of our Wandering Aimfully members sales pages as they’ve submitted for us, looking through them or what have you, and it’s a couple of $100 product and the sales page is like two sections long and you’re like, I mean, I don’t really know why I should be excited about this. I think there’s a little bit of a stigma on like, oh, I don’t want to make a long sales page. But you do have to convey the value. And I think that’s really important is you just put yourself in your customers shoes. You know your product so well, so it’s going to be really easy for you to be like, here’s what it is. But they don’t know that and they haven’t heard about it. So you need to make sure you’re investing in.

Caroline: And again, value is just all about how is it making their life better. And if you do that, if you are able to clearly communicate that on your sales page, what’s going to happen is the trust that you built in the consideration stage, the mini problem that you intrigued them, let’s say mini problem solution that you intrigued them with at the interest stage, and the exposure that you focused on at the awareness stage, all of that is going to add up to a sale. And that’s the way that I want you to think about this in those four parts because, again, marketing is nebulous. It’s very confusing, it’s very overwhelming. But if you can really break it down into these four parts, you can more clearly move forward and go, okay, you know what? This quarter, I’m just going to focus on that interest piece. I’m going to get my lead magnet really solid. I’m going to pay attention to the conversions. I’m going to just focus on that. And as soon as that piece of the bridge is really strong, I’m going to move on to the next one.

Jason: Yeah. And I think the other really important part at the end here of this episode is to go, what gate is my marketing falling short at? Am I not getting enough people aware that I even exist? Am I not getting enough people who are aware that I exist, interested in getting on my email list or learning more from me? People are on my email list, but I feel like they’re not even considering buying from me. And I don’t know why.

Caroline: Am I not talking about my offer enough?

Jason: Exactly. And then if people aren’t purchasing, but you do have a bunch of people who seem to be in the consideration phase, it might just be a little bit of messaging that’s off or positioning that’s often. And so I think if you know where you are right now in your journey of marketing, maybe you haven’t even started this journey, so you just now know, okay, now I have a good idea of where to start. That’s helpful, but it might also be, okay, I’ve done a little bit of all of these, but I’m seeing a breakdown at this phase. Okay. Now I need to be an experimenter, and I need to really put some time in on the awareness phase, the interest phase.

Caroline: Yeah. And if you want a good experiment for this, go back to your last sales launch. If you weren’t happy with the results and kind of do the math a little bit. So think of again, these are going to be loosely tied, but if you just want it for the thought experiment, think of the awareness stage as just how many people came to your website? How many people and sure, if you can look at your social analytics and you want to have a separate category for that, go right ahead. How many people did you get exposed to your brand in that time period that do you think three months before your launch? Then interest, how many people did you get on your email list? Or how many people did you get on a consultation call or download your PDF, whatever you feel like that stage is for you, write down that number three months before?

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: Okay, consideration. How many people opened the sales emails during your launch or were actively engaged with maybe your lead up content, your premarketing content? What’s that number look like? And then finally, how many people bought, right? So just give yourself some type of benchmark. It doesn’t have to be exact. It doesn’t have to be a perfect science, but maybe seeing it in hard data will help you see where the breakdown is.

Jason: Like, oh, I just need a lot more awareness. That is usually, if you’re getting started, one of the biggest things that it takes time.

Caroline: Right. Like, maybe you see, like, oh, people are actually moving from interest to consideration. Those numbers are pretty linear.

Jason: But I only have a few.

Caroline: But I only am starting with 100 people coming to my website. Great, well, then everything else feels okay. I’m going to just focus on magnifying that number, multiplying the number.

Jason: And I think for those of you who’ve been in business a little bit longer, you’ve been at this a little bit longer, you might tend to see, oh, I’m getting a little bit more of a breakdown in the consideration phase. And then when you take a hard look, you might go, oh, well, I haven’t email my list in six months to a year. And then I just dropped a product on them and hoped they would buy because they’ve been around for a while. And in the time that we live in, it just doesn’t work like that anymore. People’s attention spans are gone, and thanks a lot to all the social media apps that are doing this to us all, but you have to be doing the premarketing. You have to be investing in building that trust back up with people and getting them excited about whatever it is that you’re working on. And I think that’s a big part of this too, is marketing can be so drab and boring and overwhelming and not fun because you just want to make a product that you want to have help somebody’s life, but you also need to invest in making someone feel good through this entire marketing journey and get excited. So try and be excited about that. Try and think that through on, okay, how can I get into this and not go, oh, I just have to do marketing. It’s like, no, I want to have fun with this. I want to solve problems for people. I want to deliver value to them. I want to show up with them consistently, and then I want to offer them a sales page that feels fun and my personality so they’ll buy for me.

Caroline: Definitely. So those are the four parts. And just to wrap up, if you want to take what you learned in this episode and kind of apply it to your own business, I would recommend just literally opening up a piece of paper, adding four columns.

Jason: How do you open a piece of paper, real quick?

Caroline: Honestly, in my head, it was like an iPad piece of paper.

Jason: Oh, nice.

Caroline: Open the app.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like lately I’ve been using Procreate just as like a whiteboard.

Jason: Nice.

Caroline: Do whatever you want. A paper, a digital paper, anything to write on and have four columns. So just write at the top. Awareness/ exposure, interest/ mini problem, consideration/ trust, and purchase/ value. And I want you to just write down in each column what you’re currently doing in your business that you feel like applies to each of those stages. And that way you can kind of see the bridge from afar and ask yourself where you feel like the rustiest gate is.

Jason: What rusty gate you got. And if you end up drawing this with all kinds of keys and gates and bridges, please send us a photo. We’d love to see it, [email protected] Also, if this episode was just helpful in breaking down kind of a big business topic in marketing into something that we hope is a simple four part plan for you to start assessing, let us know as well, [email protected] We appreciate you. Anything else?

Caroline: That’s it. I love episodes like this.

Jason: Oh, wonderful.

Caroline: I love concepts.

Jason: Will you give us five stars on Apple Podcasts then?

Caroline: I’m going to write a five star review for myself.

Jason: I think that’s really going to help us.

Caroline: You got to believe in yourself first, you know?

Jason: Alright, thanks everybody.

Caroline: Bye.

The Simplest 4-Part Marketing Plan

(Big Fat Takeaway)

If you can understand where your customer is in relationship with your offer, you can diagnose what stage in your marketing you can focus on.

IT IT

This article written by

Jason Zook

(he/him) Co-head-hancho of this WAIM thing. I used to wear t-shirts for a living, now I just wear them because I'm not a nudist. You can usually find me baking things, watching JCVD movies, and dreaming of living on an island.

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