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I Just Turned 55

I turned 55 this weekend.  It's a milestone you reach and say, "OK.  I'm getting old."  You could deny that 40 is old.  You can deny 50 is old.  55 is half way to 60.

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying is a bad thing...especially given the alternative.  It does brings with it some wisdom (I think) the previous version of me did NOT have.

Along this line I want to share a membership phone app I use that helps me with my meditation.  It's something my years have taught me I need.  I can't run this business of mine and keep my sanity without caring for myself and my spiritual and emotional health.

I use Dan Harris' 10% Happier phone app.  It's a membership app that teaches you meditation and works to keep your meditation practice going.  This is something I recommend (something you figure out as you get those grey hairs) and the app is a good tool for doing that.

To learn about Dan and his crusade, visit this link and learn about Dan's panic attack on live TV while delivering the news on Good Morning, America.  That started him on a journey that led him become an author and then membership program builder promoting meditation for overcoming emotional conditions like he has.

Let me use that to illustrate how a good sales funnel is built.  Let's ignore that Dan has access to TV time.  That's a plus, but with less expensive traffic generation methods (i.e., Facebook ads, email promotion, JV relationships, etc.) any business owner can do the same thing.

Funnel Step 1 - What Is the Offer?

Dan does NOT promote the app initially.  He promotes his book, Meditation or Fidgety Skeptics."   He promotes it as an interest piece going over freaking out on TV.  It includes a video of him cutting a newscast short because on a panic attack.  Notice that he's talking about the big issues he is working to address and not meditation which is his solution.

When I saw him on TV and ran a YouTube search looking for the video of him freaking out.  That, of course, gets me to videos of him explaining how this episode on live TV got him started down this meditation expedition of his.

Please notice he doesn't hide the ugly.  He exposes a major weakness that obviously affected his professional life.  He goes over how PTSD from coverage of war and dangerous conflicts let to him using hard drugs that started him down the path that led to this TV freak out.  I'm a big fan of his and I never knew about this side of him.

Showing a very real side of yourself builds credibility.  That isn't at all obvious.  It gets someone watching and learning about this to think, "He's not almighty news anchor.  He's a regular person."  It humanizes him.

So I recommend to all my clients, share you background and issues.  Explain why you are the credible expert that I can help with an issue.

Funnel Step 2 - What Is the Lead Magnet

Dan's offer is to get a copy of his book.  Because I'm a Kindle users on my phone, I head on over to Amazon to get my free chapter on Amazon.  Amazon downloads it immediately and I'm quickly  scanning the table of contents.  The book is OK repeating a lot of what I learned from his piece on TV.

The book offers a 7 day free trial for his meditation phone app.  It's free followed by a $9.99 a month or $70 for the year offer.   The free offer gives you full access to all his material for 7 days.  I visit the app and see that it contains a ton of content all aimed at assisting you with your meditation practice.

It keeps me from getting overwhelmed, and this is super important, by promoting the first mini-course.  It's Meditation for Skeptics and it does all the right stuff.  All the videos are 3 to 5 minutes long and they address all the objections people have for failing at meditation.  It addresses objections like,

  • I'm too busy.
  • I'm too ADD.  I can't do this.
  • The lesson Giving a Shit About Yourself  promotes self-care to people who spend a lot of time caring for others and burning out because they don't take care of themselves.

The videos are entertaining that start a timed meditation session where a speaker talks you through short meditations.  It starts with short 5 minute  meditations.  It's very nicely done.

Funnel Step 3 - What Is It He Is Selling?

On day 7,  I purposely change the credit card I used to originally sign up to a test card I have that will get declined.  Now I'm playing the marketer experimenting with their system to see how it work.  The app seems to keep working the next day, but now when I try to access courses past the initial one I get a popup, "Upgrade to Premium."

The $9.99 and $70 a year is now $11.99 a month or $6.67 monthly if commit to the year.  It now $10 a year more expensive.  I'm a captive prospect now.  I like the app.  The price is VERY reasonable even for another extra $10.  The price isn't going to keep me from buying.

The free started series will take me a few days to complete.  They have me exactly where they want me.  I'll be a paying customer in a few days.

What Can We Learn From This?

When you have an online course or membership program, you have to first establish yourself as the expert.  Dan was smart by writing a book first.  We tend to see authors as credible expert since they did, "Write the book on the subject."   Blogging or vblogging does the same thing.  You're not selling which some people find threatening and are wary of it.  You're showing yourself as the expert you are.

Next to make them an offer.  You let people sample your content using the same membership platform (in Dan's case a phone app).  For his meditation application, the platform is ideal.  He could have built a website based membership platform which could also be used on tablets and phones.  That would have been a less expensive alternative.

Using a similar approach, you have the opportunity to attract potential buyers and start them down a sales funnel that leads to a purchase and then additional transactions as you work to make them a permanent longer term customer.