6 Steps To Creating The Perfect Value Ladder

Now that we understand that the value ladder is on the rise, how it works and why it’s important for your business… it’s time to dive into our proven 6-step formula to crafting your PERFECT value ladder!

If you are going to build a list of raving fans, you need loyal customers. If you want a list of loyal customers, you need a strong following. And to have a strong following, you need to give that following and your business your ALL. What does your all look like? Consistent blogging, value-packed tripwires, problem-solving core offers, intimate coaching sessions, packed masterminds and an environment where your customers come first… THIS is you giving your all. 

Fortunately for you, we are giving away our proven 6-step formula so you can streamline how you provide your all and create the perfect value ladder. We have been using this strategy in-house for a few years now with dozens of our clients, generating millions in revenue and impacting countless lives with remarkable products and services.

With that said, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Step 1: Research your market

While there may be a multitude of ways to go about creating a value ladder, at D4Y we believe there is ONLY one way to begin it: market research! This is non-negotiable. If you want to create a successful online business or any business for that matter, it is imperative that you understand what is currently going on in your industry. This step alone could be broken down into three actions:

Action 1: You must know your competition! In today’s fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world, it’s extremely important to understand who the other players are that are vying for your dream customer’s attention.

Action 2: Once you have figured out who those players are, you will want to understand their strategies and tactics. This is what we call “reverse engineering.” Filtering through their content, advertisements, email campaigns and offers to gain more clarity on where your message, brand, and offers fit into the marketplace. 

Action 3: The third action to take, is to understand where and how to best connect with your customer. What websites are they visiting? What books are they reading? How much income are they achieving? What are some of their goals? Challenges? Where do they live? Do they own or rent their home? You get the point… but essentially, the internet (especially Facebook) allows for us to narrow down our client to any degree we like!

Unfortunately, we have seen many business owners and entrepreneurs who have decided to forego this step and their market research. There is a saying that goes something like: “you can pay the price with your time or your money, but you must pay the price.” These individuals end up wasting so much of both their time and money in what doesn’t work because they neglected to invest some time to see what is working. 

If you haven’t received the point already, let me make it clear for you… do the work, because there are NO shortcuts!

Step 2: Establish your core offer

Once you have, and NOT until you have completed your market research, it’s time to define what your core offer is. Your core offer is the main product or service you are selling. This is the time to get super clear on what products or services you are offering. 

For a life or health coach this service may be one-on-one coaching; for a real estate broker this might be buying/selling a home, and for an online personal trainer, this could be a 12-week digital training program with workout and nutritional guides.

Many times, businesses (and individual entrepreneurs) attempt to be all things to everyone. Often times this leads to selling nothing to anyone. Why? Because you become a master at nothing and provider of everything. The key here is to clearly define your target customer and proceed, making sure your offer delivers great value to your specific audience and solve a specific problem or fill a specific need.

A confused consumer buys nothing. So, before moving forward, be sure your core offer is clear and valuable to the chosen audience.

Step 3: Splinter down to create a tripwire

Now that your core offer is established, and you can deliver some of your highest value to the masses, it’s time to create a tripwire. A tripwire? Yep! A tripwire is a small, irresistible offer that converts a prospect into a customer. Tripwires typically are priced between $3 and $20. There are many possibilities for how to structure your tripwire offer but essentially, you want to splinter off a small piece of your core offer and design it to be a stand-alone product. Splintering off allows you to easily lead to your core offer because you are establishing yourself as having relevant, useable value to offer someone.

The goal of a tripwire is to loosen the wallet of a prospect and entice them into joining your following even closer with a low barrier to entry. This sounds shady, but it’s just psychology. Once someone has invested a little bit with you, they’re more likely to invest more. This small investment (tripwire) can be in the form of a book, (usually a Free + Shipping offer where the book is free but the customer pays for the shipping), or access to a small piece of content from their core offer (a chapter of the book or a module from your course), or a “first time” discount offer ($15 first-time massage) to get your client “in the door.”

No matter what way you slice it, this is a pivotal point in your value ladder because it’s like your potential customer has just agreed to go on a date with you; the relationship between you and them has now changed forever. 

One last piece of advice… make this tripwire offer HIGHLY valuable! It is really the first taste that your customers have of what they receive when they invest their hard-earned money with you. 

Do it right; tell some great stories, don’t skimp on dessert… that date (I mean tripwire!) is your one and only chance at a first impression. 

Step 4: Splinter down, again, to create a lead magnet

So, you’ve done your homework with your market research, established your core offer, splintered down to your tripwire and now it’s time to reel in the prospects with your lead magnet! A lead magnet is a FREE offer to use as bait to draw the prospect in and experience your value ladder. In digital marketing, the goal is to give away something free to your potential audience in exchange for their email address. It’s a bit like getting that phone number from the person you really would love to go out on a date with. They give you their digits and boom. You’ve instantly established mutual interest in one and other. This lead magnet sets the stage for everything else. And you never know, they might just want your core offer.

A few examples of lead magnets could be a free report, an ebook, an infographic, a free 15-minute consultation or anything else that may suit your niche. See, the point here is NOT to sell them immediately, but to intrigue them to come closer and see what you are all about. Let the reader learn that YOU are the expert; let them hear (or rather, read in most cases) first hand what it is that you know and establish that you know what you’re doing and simultaneously develop some rapport.

Once they have consumed your free content, you can begin to communicate with them in a different way. This next level of communication is the beginning the engagement part of the relationship where you can lead them from the lead magnet, into purchasing a tripwire offer or upsell them to a higher value product or service rather quickly.

In other words, you had that awkward conversation where you get their phone number (lead magnet opt-in page). Then you started texting back and forth (the email series and communication that follows from that lead magnet download page). From here the next step is to just ask them out on a date (show them the tripwire offer). How much more likely are they to say yes now that you’ve been chatting it up? TONS. This is exactly what the lead magnet sets the stage for; a smooth and natural transition into a someone purchasing the tripwire.

Pro tip: Don’t let the importance of the sale ever come before the value you are offering. A lead magnet is used to captivate a reader’s (or watcher’s or listener’) attention, give them some free content. But just because it’s free, does not mean you skimp on the good stuff. In addition to capturing their attention, it should also begin to alleviate the pain or offer solutions to whatever problem they are experiencing. And this has to be valuable to help! So, make it count.

Whatever format you decide is best to package your lead magnet in, be sure it delivers immediate value or you will quickly turn that prospect away from ever growing into a follower!

Did I make my point? I definitely found a few different ways to say it but to sum it up: lead magnets are always free AND valuable!

Step 5: Add a profit maximizer

The core offer is where many business owners stop and it’s also where they leave a ton of money on the table. A true professional will focus on the backend=, while the amateurs focus on the front. What’s the difference? The front end of your business is what people can readily see: your lead magnet, trip-wire and core offer. The backend is what happens after someone has gotten this far; you didn’t really think you would just sell them something one time and the process would be over, did you? No! This person, who has bought your core offer, is now vested in you and your business. They don’t even know it, but they’re interested in more. So why wouldn’t you offer more? That’s the backend part of the funnel, at least in this metaphor. 😉 

You can certainly make a comfortable living if you create the front end properly, but the real winnings come when you deliver the highest value product or service on the back end, increasing your LTV: lifetime value of a customer.

A profit maximizer usually is designed as a mastermind, intimate group workshop, more personalized time or even a bundled offer of your core products. As you can see, it often involves more of YOUR personal time (or more of your products), meaning people are willing to pay a premium for it!

Living in an instant gratification world, it is easy to be enticed by the quick cash from selling tripwires and core offers. However, that will only take you so far… and are you really in business for a few bucks or to positively impact the lives of everyone who comes in contact with your brand?

Your profit maximizer goes that next level. It offers you the chance to sell to your core offer purchasers again… and again. You begin to develop loyal followers here, capable of organically referring you more business, spreading the word about what you’re doing and more. 

Step 6: Build value – did I mention that?

As you may have noticed, the value ladder can be both intimidating and inspiring. At D4Y, we like to think of it as empowering. There are so many business owners out there who have NO IDEA how to sell online, where to begin or even the importance of the value ladder.

The value ladder gives you, the business owner, a chance to scale your products and services, reach a greater audience and impact more people, all the while allowing for less time IN your business and more time ON it.

On the other hand, it creates a safe place for the customer to find your content, connect with you and create a form of trust, and gradually invest more and more depending on how committed they are to achieving the outcome they seek.

The biggest key in a value ladder, no matter what yours looks like, is that each step of the ladder builds 10 times more value for the next step. This is how it is relatively easy and automated to turn a “cold prospect” into a high value, a raving customer in 30 days or less! Isn’t that exciting? 

But let me repeat once more: ADD VALUE. Of course, the sale is exciting! But the whole thing falls apart without this element; value.

You can’t skimp on value. Period. It’s most likely the main reason you are in business in the first place; to provide a service or product that can aid or improve SOMETHING. Getting people to understand the capacity your business has in changing their life (whether it’s with dog food, business knowledge or something else entirely), all starts with your ability to communicate value.

I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you! Comment below and tell us about your experience building a value ladder. Did this get you excited to map it out? Do you want to re-create your current one entirely? We want to know!

Grab the infographic that outlines all six of these steps, just click here.



Elan Amir is the Senior Sales Manager and a Marketing Strategist at D4Y Brand Builder. Fancy, eh? Real talk: he’ll take your hand and help you discover your unique entrepreneurial path. He’s got a knack for working through the exact, unique action steps required for your personal, digital marketing success. His passion is in conversationally extracting your vision and helping you unlock your creative mind, so that you can have fun AND clarity while running a business. When not grinding at the D4Y office, Elan is practicing yoga, reading on the beach, playing golf, tennis, basketball or soccer, and if all else fails, he is most likely in the kitchen cooking up a storm! Connect with Elan on Facebook.
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