In today’s episode of The Blogger Genius Podcast, I’m excited to share with you Part 4 in my series on selling on the importance of mapping out your customer journey as bloggers and online entrepreneurs. If you missed Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, you can hear them here.
- Part 1 – Why Selling is So Uncomfortable?
- Part 2 – Insider Tips on 6 Best Ways to Sell
- Part 3 – Unlocking the Psychology of Selling
Your customer journey is the way you build your know, like, and trust factor so people will come back to your blog, click on your posts, and ultimately buy your products and services.
I provide recommendations for improving the customer journey, such as talking to customers, analyzing analytics, and practicing empathy. I talk about how every post on your blog needs to be a sales page with a clear call to action.
I also highlight the importance of understanding how our content and products are perceived by those unfamiliar with our brand, emphasizing the need for clear communication. I conclude by emphasizing the long-term nature of building a customer journey and why this will set you up for success as you continue to compete with AI.
I also emphasize the need for bloggers to sell products and services and introduce MiloTreeCart as a tool for non-techies to sell digital products easily.
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The Importance of Selling Products and Services
As bloggers, we often focus on creating content. However, it’s equally important to sell products and services. This not only diversifies our income streams but also adds value to our readers. Every page on our blog should be a sales page with a call to action, guiding visitors and providing value to them throughout their journey.
Understanding the Customer Journey
The customer journey is the sum of experiences a visitor goes through when interacting with our brand, blog, or product. It typically involves four stages: awareness, consideration, decision-making, and retention.
- Awareness: This is when potential customers first come across your blog or brand.
- Consideration: At this stage, they are evaluating your offerings and deciding whether they align with their needs.
- Decision-making: This is the point where they decide to purchase your product or service.
- Retention: This final stage involves keeping your customers engaged and loyal to your brand.
Improving the Customer Journey
Improving the customer journey involves understanding how our content and products are perceived by those who are unfamiliar with our brand. For instance, I once came across a food blogger who failed to communicate clearly to potential readers with autoimmune diseases by using unfamiliar terminology. This highlights the need for putting ourselves in the shoes of our audience to ensure that our message is clear and relatable.
To improve the customer journey, I recommend:
- Talking to customers: Direct conversations can provide valuable insights into their experiences and needs.
- Analyzing analytics: This can help identify areas that need improvement.
- Practicing empathy: This involves understanding the customer’s perspective and addressing their needs effectively.
Tools for Selling Digital Products
For those of us who are not tech-savvy, tools like MiloTreeCart can be a lifesaver. It allows us to sell digital products easily, making it a valuable asset in our blogging journey.
The Long-Term Nature of Building a Customer Journey
Building a customer journey is not a one-time task. It’s a long-term process that requires continuous effort and optimization. Start small and focus on areas that will have the biggest impact. Remember, small changes can make a big difference.
Mapping out a customer journey is crucial for bloggers and online entrepreneurs. It helps us understand our audience better, improve their experience, and ultimately, increase our sales. So, let’s start putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes and make their journey with us a memorable one.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- Part 1 – Why Selling is So Uncomfortable?
- Part 2 – Insider Tips on 6 Best Ways to Sell
- Part 3 – Unlocking the Psychology of Selling
MiloTreeCart, the Best Tool for Non-Techies to Sell Digital Products
I also want to introduce you to the MiloTreeCart, a tool designed for non-techies to sell digital products easily. It comes with features like fill-in-the-blank sales pages, check-out pages, a sales dashboard, upsells, and customer support. MiloTreeCart is currently available for a lifetime deal of $349 or three easy installments of $116.33. Plus, there’s a limited-time offer of a one-hour free coaching call for those who purchase before the end of September.
Transcript: “Secret Truths About Selling – Part 4 (Why Your Customer Journey Is SO Important)”
Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – My name is Jillian and I’m hosting The Blogger Genius Podcast. Before we get into today’s interview, let me ask you a question. Are you wishing you could sell digital products like digital downloads or workshops, memberships, coaching mini courses, but you don’t know where to start? And are you tired of complicated tech and spending way too much money on monthly subscriptions? Well, you need a tool that makes all of this simple, and the answer is MiloTreeCart.
So this is the tool we built for non techies who want to tap into a new income stream with iloTreeCart. You get fill in the blank sales pages, check out pages. A sales dashboard upsells over 100 done for you, marketing materials and support from people who seriously care. And right now, for a limited time, we are selling Milo tree cart for a lifetime deal of $349 pay once or in three easy installments and enjoy it forever. Hit pause right now head to iloTreeCart. We offer a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee so there is no risk.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:08) – And if you purchase before the end of October as a bonus, I will send you my special. I promise to help you come up with your first digital product in minutes. So head to military.com to sign up.
Announcer (00:01:29) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast brought to you by Milo Tree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:36) – Hello and welcome back to the show. I am Jillian, and today I am sharing part four in my secrets on selling series. So part one is all about how awkward and weird it is to sell. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but with a little practice, you can get good at it. Part two is all about the best places to sell. Part three is all about psychological strategies for selling.
And in today’s episode, I am talking about something that is crucial for all bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and this is mapping out your customer journey. Now you’re a blogger and you’re hearing this and you’re probably thinking, Well, okay, that doesn’t pertain to me. Like I don’t sell anything, so I don’t have a customer journey.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:30) – Okay, But yes, you do. And before I even address that, first I want to say, if you are a blogger and you are not selling anything, let’s get on a call because all bloggers should be selling, especially in light of I like assume everything is going to be disrupted. I can’t tell you how, but I can say that people need to get to know you as a real human and connect with you as a real human because that’s your competitive advantage.
And again, you need to have multiple income streams, including an income stream where you are selling your expertise to your audience. So back five years ago when we all weren’t that sophisticated, somebody, let’s say, would come to your blog and they’re looking for, I don’t know, a recipe or craft. Maybe they came from Pinterest and you got that click, which was what your goal was because this is how you were making money and and then what happened was they would read a blog post and then you’d assume, well, they’ve got all of this other stuff they can explore.
Jillian Leslie (00:03:38) – I’ve got a nav bar, maybe I’ve got some drop down menus. And in a way we are saying to our visitors, okay, you just choose your own adventure. Well, guess what? Chances are they would come read that content and leave. So I remember a while ago this really rang a bell for me. Somebody made something like some dessert, and I was really impressed. And I said, Where’d you get that recipe? And she said, “On Pinterest.”
Well, no, she actually got that recipe off of someone’s blog. But to her it was just Pinterest. So that blog and the person who created that content spent a ton of time on it. Like it didn’t register for my friend. So I’m saying in this new world, you’ve got to get that to register. Somebody comes to your blog and you’ve got to interrupt them to say, Hey, this is a blog you should pay attention to. This is a blog you should come back to. And it’s not because of me, the creator of the blog.
Jillian Leslie (00:04:37) – It’s because I understand you and your problems, and I can solve them better than anybody else. Back to my story about all of us OG bloggers when we didn’t really understand what we were doing, but we just wanted to get people to our blogs and we didn’t really care if they left. We learned something, which was, Hey, if I’m doing a blog post and I add some related links to other content that makes sense for my visitor, and I can get them to click on two blog posts. I make more money, and this is the beginning of a customer journey. I’ve said this in the past. Every page on your blog, every blog post needs to be a sales page. And what I mean by that is a blog post should be awesome content, but it doesn’t stop there because again, that person has no reason to stay on your blog. So now it’s all about telling your visitor what to do and making that experience good for them. It’s about directing somebody to buy your product.
Jillian Leslie (00:05:49) – Click on your affiliate link, join your email list, click on your sponsors link or click on another page on your site. You are now the guide. But all of these actions that you’re asking your visitor to take are not. Ultimately, you are rewarded for those actions, but there has to be a reward for your visitor or customer, which is you’re providing them value. So the word here is intentionality. It’s seeing that first click is the beginning of a relationship that you are actively cultivating. It’s guiding your customer from being a complete stranger to becoming a true fan and hopefully a customer who will buy from you again and again and come back to your site.
And for those of you who love simplicity as much as me, you’re going to love how straightforward this can be. It’s not complicated. So let’s first define exactly what I mean by a customer journey. In essence, it’s the complete sum of experiences that your visitor goes through when interacting with you, your brand, your blog, your products.
Jillian Leslie (00:07:02) – Now, it’s not just a marketing funnel that can be part of it, but it’s literally everything from the moment someone first hears about you to when they make a purchase and beyond. It is about optimizing each of these touchpoints. And the reason you want to do this is because you not only improve sales, you also boost customer satisfaction.
So let’s discuss the typical stages of a customer journey. And while these can vary by industry and niche, we generally see four key stages. So the first one is called awareness. So your visitor, your customer has a problem and they realize you might be part of their solution. Let’s say I want to use Instagram reels to grow my business. You teach people how to do reels, you blog about it, you post about it on social media, you offer products and services. And so I find you and I think, Oh, you exist. That’s interesting. And your job here is to focus on what differentiates you or your product to get me to take notice.
Jillian Leslie (00:08:12) – This could even be the food blogger on Pinterest who has the most beautiful photo of apple pie. And I go, Ooh, I want to make that apple pie. And then I click over to her blog. Okay, Stage two of your customer journey is typically consideration, which is here Your visitor or your customer is actively researching and comparing options. So they’re considering if you’re the right fit. So are you the right person to teach me reels?
Maybe you go, Hey, I can help you create three reels in under an hour. Ooh, that’s interesting. Or you can. You can make this beautiful apple pie. And it’s for beginning bakers. The next stage in your customer journey is the decision making stage. So this is where the customer, the visitor, is ready to take action. Maybe they’ve enjoyed your content, so they’re actually going to make that apple pie. And because you recognize that every page on your blog is a sales page, they also join your list to get your free E cookbook that you’re offering as an opt in or you’re selling your course on making reels and they decide to buy.
Jillian Leslie (00:09:31) – Now, that isn’t the end of the journey because now there is something called retention, which is the last piece, and now you deliver. Hopefully you deliver on your promise and ideally you turn this customer or visitor into somebody who comes back to your blog, somebody who looks to you for recipes or for reels. They may be buy again and hopefully they become a raving fan. So all right. Now for the nitty gritty, like how do you actually map this journey?
Well, I recommend you take out a piece of paper and you think about how somebody finds you, what they typically do on your blog or site, what happens when they buy your product and you’re going to think about where you are continually touching them. But to find out, let’s say, where you can improve the journey, here are some of my recommendations. And the first one, and I feel like I say this now in every episode, which is talk to your customers, talk to your visitors, get them on a call, send out super simple surveys, ask for reviews, listen to their concerns.
Jillian Leslie (00:10:44) – It’s so funny. I’ve been on a bunch of calls with a with a lot of you this week and you guys have great ideas and you’ll say, Well, what do you think? And I say, Go ask your people or at least just pull three people to find out.
The next thing to do is look at your analytics, like, what are your most trafficked pages? What are the products that people are buying the most of and how how do they find those? And then what can you build off of those where you can continue to surprise and delight your visitor, your customer? But I want to move on to this aspect of mapping out your customer journey that’s absolutely crucial but often overlooked. And this is empathy and the ability.
To see your business from your customer’s perspective. You see, when we’re deeply involved, of course, in our blogs and our businesses, as most of us are, it’s easy to become myopic. We know our product features or the content like the back of our hand and we’re passionate about what we’re creating.
Jillian Leslie (00:11:47) – That’s all fantastic, but it can sometimes make us forget how our content and products are perceived by those who know nothing about us. I talk about this in my last podcast episode on selling, where we understand the inner terminology, but somebody visiting our site doesn’t.
So for example, I was talking to a food blogger and she has an autoimmune disease and she creates food to help people with their autoimmune diseases. And by the way, I have an autoimmune disease and in the header it says paleo, gluten free, and IP. And I said, what is IP? And she said, autoimmune protocol. And I’m like, wait a minute, you’re supposed to be creating content for somebody just like me.
And I have no idea what IP means. I said, Please spell this out for people. You want to attract me to your site? And I would read this and be like, Well, this isn’t for me. So the truth is, no matter how simple and user friendly, you think what you create is, chances are you’re missing something.
Jillian Leslie (00:12:57) – You are blind to something. Assume as somebody is on your site reading about what you’re offering, there’s a learning curve. They don’t know what you know. They might find things confusing that you think are straightforward. So how do we get around this bias? Okay, ready? Empathy. Empathy is the key. You need to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s encountering your blog or your business for the first time and ask yourself if this were fresh and new to you, would this make sense?
And is there a way to explain it even simpler so direct conversations can provide you with invaluable insights? And it was so funny because when I was on this call with the food blogger and I said, I don’t know what IP is, she looked at me like, Really? You could see the light bulb go off in her head of like, Oh, and here’s one, two, she is making her photos are beautiful. She is making delicious, healthy food for people who are struggling. And nowhere does it say this is food that is that is healthy, that will potentially heal you and taste great.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:13) – Now she knows this, but I don’t know this. So when I said to her, you’ve got to communicate that this food is for me, that this would be delicious and healthful. She was like, Oh my God, you’re right. So weirdly, as soon as somebody points it out to us, we can totally tell If you want to get more sophisticated.
There are platforms you could use for user testing. You can hire people to go through your site, you can watch them how they’re interacting. But in truth, I would do things just like look at what comments people have shared with you, if they’ve emailed you with questions or if they bought your products but have had difficulty. This is gold. Also, go buy your own product or solve the problem of your visitor and be that person.
Go through the entire process as if you know nothing and just take notes on where things aren’t as clear, where things are tricky. Also, get on your own email list. Go join it and see what that welcome series feels like as this person who is naive, who doesn’t know anything about you, anything about what you offer, and see where you can fill in the blanks.
Jillian Leslie (00:15:32) – I recommend you get into, say, Facebook groups or read stuff on Instagram or even get into Reddit. All you have to do is listen. It’s not like where I say go be an expert. Just go listen to the problems people are having. Implementing these strategies can give you a much clearer picture of what your customer is experiences like. One of my pet peeves is when I go to a website like a tool and they’ll use the word conversions and I think how many people know what that means?
Conversions are sales. Like, why don’t they just use the word sales, increase your sales. So let’s say now you’ve done what I recommend and you’ve gone to your site, you’ve purchased your products, you signed up for your email list and you’re taking lots of notes and you step back and you go, Oh my God, there is so much to fix. I am completely over. Her whelmed. So overwhelm, yes, is a real issue, especially for a solo entrepreneur or somebody who’s got a small team.
Jillian Leslie (00:16:36) – So when you’re wearing multiple hats because you create the content and the sales and the marketing and social media and you develop products, it’s easy to look at the customer journey and think, Oh God, where do I start? So the key here is to start small.
The key here is to do B minus work. You do not have to perfect things. All you’re going to do is slightly optimize them. So a couple of places I might start again. Look at your welcome series two, look at products you sell and are you selling them on your relevant blog posts? I can’t tell you how many people I’ve said, Well, do you sell these products on posts that are related to them? And they go, Oh, I had never thought of that. Ask yourself if you’re using any language that wouldn’t make sense to people where you can simplify stuff. I’ve been now reading that everything that you touch should be written for fourth graders. And finally, just look at customer feedback and see if there are any themes you could pull out because those would be things I would fix.
Jillian Leslie (00:17:38) – My recommendation is to start with the low hanging fruit. What can you easily change that will positively impact the customer journey? For example, one thing we just optimized on our site is when somebody downloads one of our most popular opt ins. It used to just pop up a little window that said, Hey, thanks for signing up. Be on the lookout for your download.
Now you end up on a real thank you page where there’s a little video from me where I welcome them in. I give them a couple tips, and then I talk about MiloTreeCart. This was such a simple thing to optimize. It took about an hour and because this is one of the first ways people enter our universe, it just makes that experience so much tighter.
One other strategy I recommend is make the changes where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. Are there any pages that are broken? Are there places where you’re missing out on sales? These are these are big things. I would prioritize fixing them. Plus, I would think about ways to serve up, if possible, the right content to the right person.
Jillian Leslie (00:18:57) – Yesterday for the podcast, I was interviewing a guy named Adam Sobel, who is a plant based food blogger. The way he monetizes is by selling video classes where he teaches you to cook certain dishes. He is now figuring out a way so that if somebody who is vegan buys one of his classes, he is not offering another cooking class where he’s using dairy. He wants to serve the right customer, the right next product.
He’s been selling these cooking classes for a couple years and only now is he beginning to optimize this. Please remember this is a long game now with military cart for you. Our customers. We have two customer journeys to optimize. One is to attract you, our customers, and two is to help you attract your customers. This is why we always try to make things as streamlined and simple as we can.
For example, we offer upsells, which means that when somebody is purchasing one of your products, you can add an additional product on the checkout page. This was one of the most requested features from our customers because it increases their average order value plus it makes it a good experience for your customers because maybe they wouldn’t know that there’s a related product that they should be purchasing.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:26) – So I hope you see the value of why taking your customer journey seriously can really move the needle for your business. The whole process is about guiding your visitor from being a complete stranger to becoming a true fan and ultimately a loyal customer. And for me, many of our military customers have actually become my friends.
So if you’ve never taken the time to map out your customer journey, do it messy. Do it B-. But there’s no better time than now to start because you will be setting yourself up for future success. If you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, Whoa, I’m not selling to my audience, I should be, or you’re thinking, I don’t even have an audience, could I even start selling? The answer is yes. You’ll just have to hustle a little more. But get on a call with me. Go to MiloTreeCart/meet. And I say this all the time because I would love to meet you. I would love. To set you up for success to help grow your income, grow your business, especially in these uncertain times.
Jillian Leslie (00:21:36) – Again, MiloTreeCart/meet and I will see you here again next week.