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A Book Builds a Ladder of Trust with Your Reader

Providing a lower-priced offering like a book allows you to build a ladder of trust between you and your reader. It’s an opportunity for someone to get to know you that is low risk and inexpensive. And it displays social proof you know what you’re doing, you’ve done it before, and you can do it again.

Imagine walking into a car dealership and a salesman saying, “We’ve got this new car called a Gekko for $40,000. You can buy it today, but you can’t see it, drive it, or read any reviews on it. The guys behind the company are really great and just started building cars on their own.”

And then as you stand there, stunned and wondering if you're being Punked, the salesman asks, "So, do you want me to start the paperwork for your new car?”

Sounds a bit crazy, right?

But if you think about it … businesses do this all of the time. We ask people to invest in our high-ticket services and products without any proof we can deliver on our promise or solve our client’s problems. We go right in for the high dollar pitch and are shocked when we hear crickets on the other end of the line or are ghosted after we send out proposals.

This is where building a ladder of trust into your business fits in.

 First Rung: The lowest point of entry

 This is your freebie. They are called lead magnets for a reason. Things like a short ebook, checklist, assessment,  or workbook convert well for a free download. Make the information extremely valuable and worthwhile. Make a great impression. Display it prominently on your website and deliver it by email. Follow up with a sequence of emails welcoming people to your business and site.

Second Rung: Low-Ticket Item

 This is your book. There's little risk for your buyer when purchasing your book, but high rewards for you if you help them solve a problem. With a price tag of $7 - $15, it’s a great way to share your ideas and expertise, while establishing yourself as a thought leader in your space.

 Third Rung: Mid-Tier Item

 This is still a relatively inexpensive and minimal financial risk. This can be a do-it-yourself program, workbook, or short course. You are providing the information, but they are putting in the time to do the work. Courses in this category tend to range between $47 - $397 depending on the complexity of the program.

Fourth Rung: High-Value Item

 This is a collaborative product or service that is more expensive, but not your top-tier offering. If they purchase this item from you, then you have proven your expertise and value, and they want more of your influence. This may be a coaching or consulting relationship where you work together. Prices vary for this service, but this tends to be a relationship-type agreement with monthly or quarterly contracts.

 Fifth Rung: Top of the Ladder

 This is your highest-priced item and is a done-for-you solution for your client. They are paying you to complete 100% of the project or service. You may only sell a handful of these items due to time restraints, or the high ticket price.

The most optimal relationship between you and your reader is if you can get them on the lowest rung of your ladder and work them up to the top. This way, you have a relationship in place when you start working together in a larger capacity. Building trust and loyalty create a collaborative environment where your client knows you have their best interest at heart, have the level of expertise they need and will deliver on your promise. This is HUGE when they are spending a large amount of money with you.

When evaluating what type of ladder you want to create, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is my perfect reader and client?
  2. What is a problem they have that I can solve quickly? And what problem can I address in a larger capacity?
  3. What core offerings do I want to create to serve my readers? (Example: public speaking, consulting, training, etc.)
  4. What is my dream outcome from this book?

 Just remember … this is only one ladder. You will create many ladders in your career. Your first ladder could look like this:

 1st Rung: Lead Magnet: How to Outline a TEDx Talk Over a Weekend

2nd Rung: Book: How to Write a TEDx Talk For People Who Hate Public Speaking

3rd Rung: Online Course: Write Your TEDx Talk in 90 Days

4th Rung: Group Coaching: Weekly calls to discuss writing, delivering, and the presentation of your talk.

5th Rung: Private Coaching: All-inclusive package with speechwriting, public-speaking coaching, and preparation for the big event.

 Your next ladder may be for keynote speakers, people who host workshops, or YouTubers. Or, you might add more rungs to your current ladder is more demand for your books and programs increases. The important takeaway is that you start thinking about where your book fits into your bigger plans within your business, and how you can best serve your audience.