I’m reading Dotcom Secrets right now by Russel Brunson having already read his other book ‘Expert Secrets’ about storytelling and how to create funnels.
These books are part of a trilogy, with the third being Traffic Secrets.
If you check out the reviews these books have been given online it’s impressive.
Russel Brunson is the founder of Clickfunnels – probably the most famous SaaS company in the world when it comes to launching funnels.
And it wouldn’t surprise me if Russel has contributed to the creation of more millionaires than any other SaaS company owner such is the value of his software and (really I expect) the teaching he gives away (90%) of it for free.
Expert Secrets was one of the best modern-day business books I’ve read – and I had no idea that its part of a trilogy – and if you read the Audible book reviews – you’ll see that all three of these books are extremely highly rated.
I’m 1 hour 10 minutes into this audiobook and am listening to the section on ‘How to create irresistible offers’ – and it’s got me inspired to write this blog.
So, the biggest way to potentially go broke is that you charge too little.
At the bottom of the market, or in the middle of the market – mostly you’re going to be seen as a commodity – as offering the same value (broadly) as anyone else in your market offers.
So competing on price will only send you one way – backwards. Furthermore, the value that you deliver – when you break it down – may well be exactly the same value that anyone else in your industry provides.
So what can you do about this?
What can you do to heavily increase the perceived value of your product/service, versus your actual value?
Unless you have a clear USP that others can’t offer – we’re commonly competing by using brand identity and perceived expertise.
An example of this is that Pearl Lemon ostensibly beats a decent crop of agencies when it comes to the company brand.
The 2nd element of this is that my personal brand (I suppose) also allows us to compete as compared to other agency owners. It’s probable that I put out a much higher volume of content than the average agency owner.
Finally, we have (typically) a higher number of reviews (i.e social proof) than many other agencies, when you google ‘Pearl Lemon reviews’ and the like.
In terms of practising what we preach, we also do well, with over 200 blogs online, and a range of page 1 rankings – making our agency almost totally inbound.
So so far- here are the differentiators:
- Corporate brand identity
- Personal brand identity
- Market Expertise
Now – if we were to TAKE-AWAY all of those things – or rather – if we just focussed upon other agencies that have all of those things – what else could Pearl Lemon/I do to increase the perceived value of our services:
Ultimately – what we want to do is stack value.
By stacking value – I mean adding other ‘things’ (in whatever fashion they may be) to our service offering that would make us stand head and shoulders above our competition.
Furthermore, what would be IDEAL is if it didn’t eat into company margins or profits – but still added true value to our end prospects.
Russel recommends that we brainstorm in the beginning and not to discount any idea – we discount that element afterwards.
Let’s focus on the Pearl Lemon SEO services, to begin with
Potential Value Adds
- We can give them access to some of our internal training (we have 42+ courses)
- I can offer clients an hour of free training 1-2-1
- I can make a dedicated document around ‘how to successfully work with Pearl Lemon’
- We can run a press release for our client every 2nd month as long as they request it from us
- We can interview their founder for the Pearl Lemon interview series (this will contain a do-follow backlink
- We can run ads to the pages we’re trying to rank to increase social signals
- We can set up retargeting for free as part of the service
- We could interview their founder to put onto our YouTube channel
- We can write 10 Quora answers about their company to drive referral traffic
- We can review the company on relevant profiles (e.g Glassdoor) as a vendor of the company
So, all of the above is just on the basis of a brainstorm I’ve had myself with you – just on this blog.
And I’ve come up with 10 things that I believe would help customers without necessarily causing us too much trouble.
Let’s go ahead and get even more ruthless with this to identify those that they’re most likely to value (or rather we’ll comment on each one)
We can give them access to some of our internal training (we have 42+ courses)
This is definitely a good one to bundle in. However, the problem is – is that all of these courses are currently all free anyway – so the value perception might not be that high.
However – what we could do is add an additional document walking through the course, and how they’re built and what they’re worthwhile taking and who should watch them and HOW they’ll support working with Pearl Lemon – this may well increase their perceived value if we add this supporting document.
And of course, it costs us nothing to do this – and the value of the content (we’re adding courses weekly) will only keep going up.
I can offer clients an hour of free training 1-2-1
This can be something perhaps offered when clients pick the highest tier packages – which only 10-20% of clients will pick. And given we typically don’t tend to have more than 30 SEO clients at a time, 10%-20% of those would be 3-6 clients.
It’s not something I wish to particularly do a lot of – but in those circumstances, I can definitely offer this.
Also, these sessions can be recorded and repackaged for future content.
Not sure how much busy clients will care about this – but again with the right presentation it could potentially work well
I can make a dedicated document around ‘how to successfully work with Pearl Lemon’
This is probably something we should do anyway as a company – have a short video presentation as well as a written format.
This could be something that’s added as part of every package, as it’ll help us drive returns if our clients work in harmony with us – and I’m relatively confident that other agencies may NOT produce such a document so again it could work well.
The Press Release Every 8-Weeks
So this does carry a cost, and is something that’s already part of some of our packages – so it is one probably for the chopping block as we already offer this.
My thinking was, was that we could do it for ‘free’ but in hindsight, it wouldn’t then drive the perception of value.
We can interview their founder(s) for our interview series
This is a nice little add on that I think will grow in value as clients are able to see the number of interviews we have (5 live, another 15 pending, eventually there will be 100+).
This gives them a do-follow backlink, reflects upon them extremely well, and we ask the kind of questions that most interview series don’t do. It will drive a lot of value if anyone actually lands upon it.
Also, we build 2-3 links to every interview that goes live.
This is definitely something that should be written up and added into our packages.
We can run ads to the pages we’re trying to rank to increase social signals
This is something that is easy enough for us to set up – we can run a Facebook ad per client (where it makes sense) directly to the relevant page OR we can pay a third-party provider to drive social signals to that page.
We’re experimenting with using a third-party provider currently and they’ve made their way into our packages but we might leave this one as an ‘addition’ until I’ve discussed it further with the team
We can set up retargeting for free as part of the service
Providing the client has enough traffic (which we can amplify anyway) – this is a pretty powerful add on, which can help increase conversions and we can manage for them.
We’re doing it for ourselves internally and already seeing some good results from the process so I’ve kicked this one up to our SEO team to get some feedback from them on this.
It may well be an additional paid service that we do or something that’s only available on the premium packages
We can interview their founder to put onto our YouTube channel
I do like this idea – it’s just a question of who would be the person doing the interviews on our team – and then ensuring that the video gets some traction (we’d probably put a little bit of ad spend behind it).
So this is something that I’ll park for now because it’s about discerning who would do the interview – but then also we’ll inadvertently reveal our clients to our competition which is never ideal 😛
We can write 10 Quora answers about their company to drive referral traffic
In principle, this is a solid idea, but in practice, there are some problems with this which are as follows –
Quora doesn’t allow you to outbound link in every answer and you’d soon get hit with a penalty of some kind.
However, you can link out every 3-5 answers (for the longevity of an account).
This will only work if you have an account that’s on a range of subjects (so it’s random) and that is being constantly written on.
I like this idea, but it works much better if we introduce potentially a ‘Quora answer service’
This is doable but involves us often educating our customer on the perceived benefits of Quora.
We will scrap this one because in practice I see there being too many problems with this.
We can review their company on relevant profiles (e.g Glassdoor) as a vendor
This one is easy to do and does add value. So this can perhaps be bundled as a one-time ‘bonus pack’ that clients receive maybe on one of our higher packages.
Again it’s about writing up the value and ensuring it’s captured in our documentation
Ultimately – what I’ve discussed above is looking through the lens of the service-based industry and is specific to my situation as an SEO agency owner.
But hopefully, taking you through this exercise is powerful in awakening your mind to all of the things you can potentially do to add value to your products/services and then add it to your sales flow.
What’s so powerful about this thinking – is that (as you can see) – all in one blog post in the space of:
Just under an hour – (53 minutes) – I’ve come up with 10 potential ideas to add value to our services, increase pricing, without significantly increasing the cost to implement these ideas.
If you bundle this in with:
Using odd pricing numbers
E.g selling for £3,197 instead of £3,200 – because of the studies that show using odd numbers and very specific numbers leads people to feel the price is somehow less and that these numbers have been arrived at very specifically
Using the “Valued At” technique
This is where I could add “value at $997” – in reference to all of the free courses I have, or “formerly sold at $1597” – now I give them away at zero cost or by playing around with such phrasing for all of the value adds could work well
The Cost Of Not Using US
We could definite the cost of using an inferior competitor – this could be a maths calculation that focuses upon the biggest cost – your actual time, and emotional stress that comes from not picking the right vendor
Donating Some Of The Proceeds To Charity
We could introduce a model that means we donate £250 per package directly to charity – as a way of making our prospective customers feel good.
I actually really like this idea and may add this into our packages – have just sent this off to our sales guy.
Increasing The Prices Increases The Perceived Value By Itself Sometimes
This is a bit of a strange thing – that solely by increasing the actual price – you can actually increase the perceived value of your product/service (up to a certain point).
I think this comes from the reality that in any market there is a level of price elasticity – and that if you work within that then you can play with pricing.
Also, it comes from seeing where you’re strong and where you’re weak.
It may well be the case that you’re undervaluing yourself to start with.
Reducing Risk With Money Back Guarantees
This is a matter of personal choice of course – but it’s no surprise to anyone that you can close more deals by offering money-back guarantees.
But depending upon the space you’re in (I’m in SEO) – it’d be very risky to offer something such as this if you don’t deliver – because a Google algorithmic update can change everything.
I’ve now finished this blog up several hours later:
Since then the team has already responded saying yes to all ideas minus the Facebook ad side of it which we’re further clarifying.
So the exercise (at least for me haha) was useful.
Value stacking to add ACTUAL as well as perceived value is sometimes just a matter of well…writing a blog post about it haha 😛
Until next time 😛