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)?
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.
Learn more about what your content should look like at all stages of the journey so you can start nurturing your audience and growing the business you love.
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there, and welcome to Episode 51 of the stories in small business podcast, a podcast experience that puts to rest the idea that we all need to do business the same way and celebrates the unique stories and paths that we’re all on. I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and coach for online business owners who are ready to make a bigger impact online.
Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you left a review for a podcast? As I was making a note to ask you that I started thinking about the last time I left a review. It’s been a while mostly because Apple podcast doesn’t like me. And it seems like my reviews never see the light of day, but I went and did it anyway, reviewing one of my favorite business podcasts, I would love for you to do the same. podcasts are a labor of love. And while it’s my main form of marketing and connecting with you, it definitely takes time and money to produce. So if you’re getting value out of my regular episodes, I would love it if you would head to wherever you listen and give a rating and review. Heck, if you don’t do it for my podcast, do it for someone else’s, I know that they’ll appreciate it.
Now, today, we’re talking about the client journey, what it is and why it’s so important to keep in mind when creating content for your audience. You’re going to hear me reference a client journey ebook that I have, and you can access that for free at Abbymherman.com/journey. And as you take a look at the 32-page fillable workbook, you might feel a little overwhelmed. I actually have a masterclass that walks you even deeper through the workbook. It’s $24 and it takes you through each section, step by step, giving you even more insight and information. For the masterclass go to Abbymherman.com/journey-masterclass, I’ll include links to both in the show notes. Alright, let’s dive into client journey.
First, what is client journey? client journey is the path that all your audience members 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 on the same day. Others will take weeks, months, and 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. And in case you are new to the podcast, content is not just blogging, there are so many different types of content out there, as you will find later here in the podcast and also in the client journey ebook. The client journey consists of six steps or phases.
And again, some audience members will go through these steps really quickly, while others will take their sweet time. It all depends on where their needs are and what services or products they are interested in. So here are the steps. there are six of them.
First is brand awareness where they’re just learning about who you are.
Second is educating and informing. This is where you have the opportunity to give them some more information and let them have a win.
Third demonstration of expertise, this is where you get to show off more of what you know.
Fourth is convert to customer where you woo them into buying and validate their decision to buy.
Fifth is expanding offerings, where you find other ways that you can help your clients and customers.
And finally, six is retain the relationship where you maintain a relationship with your customers, even after they’re no longer buying from you.
Now again, I go into these steps much more in-depth in the ebook, which again you can grab at Abbymherman.com/journey so go get it now.
Alright, 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 here because client journey is so important. I’m going to talk about that journey in terms of the content you’ll have in each step. And that will help to illustrate the importance of the content.
Basically, you’re meeting your clients, and your audience’s needs, where they’re at at each stage in the journey with your content. I said before that every audience member has their own journey with you and your brand, every person is different, and everyone has different needs and resources to work with you or buy from you. That’s why we have six different stages in the client journey. Each of those stages meets your audience where they are, and each stage offers different content to meet your audience’s needs.
Alright, in the brand awareness stage, this is where you provide big picture information because your audience is just becoming aware of you. The content you want to include here includes YouTube videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, interviews on other people’s podcasts, guests, blogs, challenges, and content like that. This is where you need to start building your content and your content strategy. You need to have a foundational place for people to go and to find you. This is 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? do not rely on social media to build your brand awareness.
Another reason you want to be aware of the client journey is that the content you create is meant to walk your prospects or your audience members through a journey with you. They need to grow to know like and trust you. This is where the second step of the journey comes into play. So first, they become aware of your brand and the brand awareness stage. And next, they’re looking for more from you. They want you to educate and inform them, hear your content, educate your audience, teach them something and provides value, they get a quick win through maybe an email opt-in or they take a webinar or a free course. The content in this stage includes ebooks and white papers, opt-ins, nurturing emails that provide value, free courses, and webinars. They’re not ready to invest financially yet, so this content is all free.
Now you have your prospects, and now email subscribers 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 three of the client journey. They’re getting prepped to buy, but they’re not quite there yet. So even in Step three, they’re not buying 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 one-on-one contact with you. So having content at this stage helps to shorten your discovery calls and or sales cycle. content in this stage. Stage Three is things like case studies, testimonials, client interviews, how-to videos, maybe samples of your product or service, masterclasses, and FAQ pages Frequently Asked Questions pages to help put your prospect’s objections aside so that they will buy.
Alright, so we are up to step four. And still, we don’t have a customer yet. We’re still working on nurturing. But now you’re ready to convert them into a customer step four in the journey, 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 so important to help validate their purchasing decision and so they feel really good about it from the get-go. So content at this stage looks like sales pages, free trials, factsheets maybe a formal proposal, and it also looks like an onboarding process and information about what they purchased a thank you page as well as tutorials and support around whatever it was they purchased. And this includes nurturing emails, especially if they bought a digital product, you want to nurture them and make sure that they know exactly how to use whatever it is they bought. This is all-important in not only making the sale but keeping that new customer or client around for the long term, making them feel good about their decision and getting out when after buying because you have nurtured them into using their product or the product or service that they purchased.
Now, speaking of keeping the client or customer around the next step, step five might vary a bit depending on your business, what you do, and how you serve your clients. Some of you might have one-off services or products that people buy once, and then they go on their merry way. Others may work with a client for a period of time and then discover other needs the client has. Or they may discover this themselves because of the nurturing that you do with your current clients and customers. You can extend the relationship you have with current clients. Step five in the journey, you know that it’s much easier to keep the clients you have versus trying to find new clients all the time. So what content Do you need here? Well, 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. Now you can offer this content in a one-on-one setting, or in a group setting like a Facebook group or a membership, whatever it makes sense for your audience.
Now, I bet that you never sat down and really thought about your Facebook group or your membership or some of the one-on-one work that you’re doing with clients. I bet you never really thought of that in terms of putting it into your content strategy. But it is part of your content strategy because it’s part of what you’re delivering the information that you’re delivering to your audience.
Now, eventually, you may exhaust options for your customers and clients. 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, then your clients and customers might just continue working with you. And that’s totally okay. We don’t always have to work with the same clients. Is it nice to do that? Sure, absolutely. I have some clients who I’ve been working with on a retainer basis for years. But eventually, sometimes businesses change my business changes, their business changes, and our needs change. So it’s okay if we go our separate ways.
But this is an opportunity to retain a relationship beyond the customer-provider relationship, your audience here is likely to go looking for other options and opportunities, maybe opportunities for them to expand and grow in a different way that you don’t offer as a service. The content you provide here could be more nurturing in the form of emails, but it could also be really personalized content, face to face, and real-time interactions, introductions to others in your industry and beyond webinars and workshops with complimentary business partners, and so much more. The important piece here in this last final six-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 have you discovered why client journey matters when creating content? you have to know where your audience is in their journey with you so that you can offer the content they need to move on to the next stage. And yes, again, your audience members will be at all different stages of their journeys all the time. How do you deal with that? It’s important to have content available at all of the stages and automations set up where appropriate to help them access and consume the content and then move forward. It’s a process creating this content, having it available is a process. It’s one that takes time to create and time to get right and shoot.
I know that there are places in my client journey where I still need to make tweaks and adjustments. I know that there are probably a few things and behind the scenes in the backend that are broken that aren’t working exactly the way that they should. That’s okay. It’s an ongoing process to get it right and to keep your content relevant Today and to where your business is right now. Just make sure that you schedule in time for you to work on this and continually work on this throughout the life of your business.
For help again you can go to AbbymHerman.com/journey to get your free client journey ebook, and if you’re ready for the masterclass go on over to AbbymHerman.com/journey-masterclass to take that. thank you so much for listening in this week.
And if you found this information valuable, I would love it if you would share it on social media and tag me. I’m @AbbyMHerman on most platforms. And you’ll notice that today’s episode was delivered on a Thursday, not a Monday. So moving forward, I will be publishing Monday interview episodes. every Monday there will be an interview with a new guest and every other Thursday, I will be here with a solo episode just for you. If you are not subscribed, make sure that you get subscribed so you get a notification that a new episode is waiting for you. And of course, giving this podcast a rating and review helps it to get in the hands of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone. Until next time, take care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai