You’ve likely heard of client journey before. But do you know what it is and why it’s so important to your content and the overall health of your business? Do you know how to gain more awareness of your brand? This is the baseline of your content and content strategy. Depending on social media to gain brand awareness does not work.
Client journey is about getting your audience’s attention, educating them, showing that you’re an expert, nurturing them to purchase, growing their place on your client roster, and even retaining the relationship after you’ve gone your separate ways. And the way you do all of this is through your content.
But it’s not all about blogging and putting out videos. Content is so much more than that. Follow along to learn more about what your content should look like at all stages of the journey so that you can start nurturing your audience and growing the business you love.
What is Client Journey?
Client journey is the path that all your audience members, or potential clients, go through with your brand. It’s about getting their attention, educating them, showing that you’re an expert, nurturing them to purchase, growing their place on your client roster, and even retaining the relationship after you’ve gone your separate ways.
Each person who starts on their path with you and your brand has their own journey and their own timeline. Some will learn about you and buy from you all in the same day. Others will take weeks, months, or even years to go through the journey with you.
What’s important to know is that it’s your content that moves them along their journey.
What you’re putting out there, what you’re sharing, how you’re communicating with them or responding to them. This all matters. Which is why it’s so important to be aware of your client journey as you’re deciding what content you need to create.
6 Phases of The Client Journey
The client journey consists of six different steps or phases. And again, some audience members will go through these steps really quickly while others will take their time. It all depends on where their own needs are.
Those steps are
- Brand awareness – where they’re just learning about who you are
- Educate & inform – where you have the opportunity to give them a win
- Demonstration of expertise – where you get to show off more of what you know
- Convert to customer – where you “woo” them into buying–and validate their decision
- Expand offerings – where you find other ways you can help your clients and customers
- Retain relationship – where you maintain a relationship with your customers, even after they’re no longer buying from you
(I go into these steps much more in-depth in my ebook. Go grab it!)
Why is it Important?
Okay, so why is this so important to pay attention to? I was actually asked this in my group program last week and I wanted to address it again here because client journey is so important. I said before that every audience member has their own journey with you and your brand. Every person is different and will have different needs and resources to work with you or buy from you. That’s why we have six different stages of the client journey.
Each one of those stages offers different content to meet your audience where they are.
Brand awareness is where you provide big-picture information because your audience is just becoming aware of you. The content you want to create here includes YouTube videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, interviews on other people’s podcasts, guest blogs, and challenges. This is where you need to start building your content and your content strategy.
You need a foundational place for people to go and to find you.
It’s where you get your initial visibility. If you’re not at least producing this content right now, it’s time to start. If you’re not creating content here, how do you expect your audience of prospective buyers to find you? How will they know what your expertise is? They won’t.
The content you create is meant to walk your audience members through a journey with you. They need to grow to know, like, and trust you.
Educate and Inform
This is where the second step of the journey comes into play. They want you to educate and inform them. Here your content educates your audience; it teaches them something and provides value. They get a quick win through an email opt-in or they take a free course. The content in this stage includes ebooks and white papers, opt-ins, nurturing emails, free courses, and webinars. They’re not ready to invest yet, so this content is all free.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Now you have your prospects hooked. They like your stuff and they’re consuming more of it. You’re still nurturing them with emails, but now you’re ready to demonstrate your expertise, which is step 3 of the client journey.
They’re getting prepped to buy, but they’re not quite there yet. First, they need to know that you get results for people. They want to know about your successes and what your other customers have thought about what you do.
This is where they’re really looking at what you offer and maybe they’ll finally make 1:1 contact with you. Having content at this stage helps to shorten your discovery calls and/or sales cycle. Content like case studies, testimonials, client interviews, how-to videos, samples, masterclasses, and FAQ pages help to put your prospects’ objections aside so they buy.
Convert Them to a Customer
Okay, you’re ready to convert them to a customer. This is a two-part step. Not only are you finalizing that sale, but you’re also bringing a new customer into your world.
Onboarding and nurturing your new customers is important to help validate their purchasing decision. This looks like sales pages, free trials, fact sheets, and a formal proposal, as well as an onboarding process, information, tutorials, and support around whatever they purchased. This is all important in not only making the sale, but also in keeping that new customer or client around for the long-term.
Extend Your Relationships
Speaking of keeping the client or customer around, this next step may vary a bit depending on what your business is. Some of you might have one-off services or products that people buy once and then go on their merry way. Others may work with a client for a period of time and then discover other needs the client has.
You can extend the relationship you have with current clients.
You know that it’s much easier to keep the clients you have, versus trying to find new clients all the time. What content do you need here? You’ll be nurturing your clients with emails and videos, offering them special webinars, added bonus material and free offers, how-to content, and even limited-time offers. All of this is designed to provide more value and create a more stable relationship with the people you serve. You can offer this content in a 1:1 setting or in a group setting–whatever makes sense for your audience.
Retain Your Relationships
Eventually, you may exhaust options for your customers if what you offer isn’t something that continues on (like selling socks, which we may always need, or offering podcast editing services, which customers will need for the life of their podcasts). If you’re not offering something like this, they may discontinue working with you. That’s okay! We don’t have to always work with the same clients.
But this is an opportunity to retain a relationship beyond the customer/provider relationship. Your audience here is likely looking for other options and opportunities, maybe opportunities for them to expand and grow.
The content you provide here could be more nurturing in the form of emails, but it could also be personalized content–face to face and real-time interactions, introductions to others in your industry and beyond, webinars and workshops with complementary business partners, and more. The important piece in this last step of the client journey is to look for ways to continue the relationship. Because you never know when they might need you again or vice versa!
So What’s Next?
So have you discovered why client journey matters when creating content?
You have to know where your audience is in their journey with you so you can offer the content they need to move to the next stage. And yes, your audience members will be at all different stages of their journeys all the time. So it’s important to have content available at each of the stages and automations set up where appropriate to help them access and consume the content before moving forward.
It’s a process. One that takes time to create and get right. Shoot, I know there are places in my client journey where I still need to make tweaks and adjustments. And that’s okay! It’s an ongoing process to get it right and to keep your content relevant to today and to where your business is right now.
For additional help, I actually have a masterclass that walks you even deeper through the workbook. It takes you through each section, step by step, giving you even more insight and information, so you can meet your audience where they are.