Overcoming Natural Resistance
"If you build it, they will come." - Field of Dreams
There are some people in the world who seem to hit it big without even trying.
All of a sudden, they pop on 'the scene' and seem to produce hit after hit. Whether it's a new product they launch, a book they write, or a social media image they post- everyone seems to love it, want more, and can't help but share.
Is that your experience?
It's not mine, that's for sure. Maybe I've missed the moment. Perhaps what I was offering wasn't all that relevant. Or, could it be a possibility that I don't quite understand human nature well enough to design strategies to work with it, not against it?
Let me ask you- why do you buy something? What is it about that product or service or piece of media that makes you give your time and money for it?
There are some items we buy that are a necessity- Tylenol or deodorant, for example. There are other things, though, that eventually become purchasing habits- like our Netflix subscriptions and Keurig coffee pods.
When it comes to creating content and selling digital goods and services, how do we cultivate a relationship and inform potential customers about how what we offer is a necessity? What can we do to inform, inspire, and convince people to think of what we do as essential and become a purchasing and consumption habit?
We have to understand the natural barriers everyone has. We have to thoughtfully design for their resistance thresholds.
The fact is, no one really lives in a fantasy world. Even the people who seem to have just sprung up overnight will tell you how many years they've spent with hardly anyone noticing. They simply stuck with it, learning through the hard knocks of real life to adjust their offerings and marketing to be clearer and more compelling. If something didn't work; they fixed it. If something worked; they double-downed.
Understanding the Real Barriers
So, perhaps your content and offerings are not an essential item to your audience (yet). Or, you have a following, but every time you offer a bigger ticket offering, hardly anyone signs up. If you've been tracking with us so far, you know the first two things you must do:
1. Define success. (Re)Clarify the impact you're looking for, in HD clarity. Make sure that where you're taking folks is something you've experienced and continue to live out, and is defined in practical, relevant, real-life examples.
2. Define the problem. Remember what your audience is struggling with and going through. Recall what it was like to want what you're offering, but with no capacity to figure it out on your own.
Think of those two activities as essential drumbeats. You never, ever stop the beat. Always soak in what your outcomes are. Keep returning to the problem.
Now that you're playing that beat, it's time to add some texture and vibe. That's where overcoming natural resistance comes in.
Every human is resistant to change. Our biological and brain chemistry makeup is wired to keep things in a constant and steady state. Nobody likes crisis, which is what change is. Changing your life requires well-preserved energy to be spent, and puts us into a vulnerable position hardly anyone wants to be in.
We don't want to waste our time or our money. We don't like to admit when a part of our life isn't working. We don't want to confess to others how much help we need. We spend considerable energy numbing our true desires, whether through mindless social media, work, or activity.
So, if you have a life-changing message, you know these real barriers. You feel them, too. That's why you are more than just mindful about them, you intentionally design with them in mind. There are two key things you have to do, every time, to help your audience move through their own natural barriers to change and engagement with your offerings.
Making it Concrete
The first thing you need to do is design a customer roadmap that suits your audience and your offerings. A customer roadmap is a visual representation of the ideal path your customer will walk as they track with your message and offerings. Maybe you've called it a pipeline or a funnel- we mean the same thing. Most people have this conceptually in their brains, but we recommend you physically write it down. For each phase of the roadmap, there are critical questions your customer is asking that you must answer if you want them to move through their resistance.
When someone is just being introduced to you, they wonder if you really get what they're going through. They want to see if you have anything relevant to offer to them. If they start following you, they will subconsciously ask themselves, "What else do they have for me?" If you don't answer that question, they'll never get out of the 'friend zone'. Don't wait for them to ask- offer them what they need.
At every phase of engagement, you want them to experience and say certain things. You hope they'll think to themselves, "She's speaking my language!" You want them to say to their friends, "This guy really gets it!" You pray they'll come to the insight, "Everyone I know needs to sign up for this."
The second, and equally important thing you need to do is constantly address the tension of your customer's current reality compared to their future possibilities. Every single piece of content you produce and put out into the world MUST include these two elements. That means every social media post, email newsletter, podcast intro, sales landing page, even your email signature has to address what their life is like now, and what their life could be like if they engage.
If you take a step back and reflect on what we've just covered, hopefully, you'll see how intentional and deliberate you need to be. There are no overnight or accidental successes. You'll also notice the posture of servant leadership as an undertone to all of this strategic thinking. Driven by love and care, the work you do to share your own transformation, design a path for others and then humbly invite them to follow you towards their own change, is a beautiful gift.
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