003: High Ticket Branding With Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark is the author of several books, including “Stand Out,” which was named The #1 Leadership Book Of The Year by Inc. magazine. Besides speaking and coaching, she also teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School.

I’m opening up my private vault of unreleased interviews to kick off this podcast while I’m recording new episodes. This interview with Dorie was recorded in 2016.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Sterling Valentine: Today, we have one of my favorite people, a branding guru extraordinaire – and I say that without any hesitation – Dorie Clark is with us. Dorie, good to see you.

Dorie Clark: Hey, Sterling, thanks for having me.

Sterling Valentine: Hey, you know if you’re going to do something about high ticket, the very first thing you have to think about is your perception. What is your brand? What do people think of you, what are the associations they have with you when your name or your picture comes up? And I can’t think of anybody better to go to than Dorie. So Dorie, give us maybe a quick 30 to 60 seconds about your branding work, and kind of frame the area that we’re going to focus on today.

Dorie Clark: Yeah, thank you sterling. So the work that I do really focuses around the question of how individual professionals can make sure that their true worth, their true value, is recognized in the marketplace. And so my first book was called, “Reinventing You.” It was a book about personal branding and professional reinvention. And my most recent book is called “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It.” Basically, it’s about how to become a recognized expert in your field.

So when I’m not writing books, I blog regularly for the Harvard Business Review. I give a lot of speeches, and I do some adjunct teaching for the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, as well as consulting and coaching. So I think there’s a lot of places we can touch on today as we’re talking about monetization strategies.

Sterling Valentine: So ladies and gentlemen, sit down, class is in session, okay? So if you want some value, how about getting some Dorie Clark for free? This is very, very valuable information. I believe fortune 500 level stuff. This is top of the line, so let’s start right off with the keyword that you mentioned. You mentioned value, and this is I think where we should start when we talk about high ticket stuff because, ultimately, value is perception; perception is reality. How do we approach the idea that if we’re going to move into the high ticket world, how should we be viewing the branding? Some of us may be thinking about it a lot, some of us maybe haven’t given it enough thought, but how do we start to frame this conversation when brand is so important to high ticket work?

Dorie Clark: I think one of the most important concepts that we can keep in mind when it comes to how to convey your level of value to your customers and your prospective customers is the question of social proof. I think that’s a really important starting point. And for folks that are not familiar with it, that’s a term that’s commonly used in psychology, and it essentially refers to the phenomenon that humans essentially like to take shortcuts when it comes to evaluating new people, new ideas, new things, and so they look around to see how other people are reacting to that thing.

Now the way that this plays out in the business world is that there are cues. There are signifiers that show to other people that you are qualified. And so for instance, an affiliation with a person or brand that they already know and trust is a very powerful way to get yourself recognized. And so if you think about people who are big in the marketplace that you may have heard of or sort of come to mind, they oftentimes have affiliations that you might know about. There’ll be someone who’s a Harvard trained researcher or this or that, and those are obvious academic credentials that people might have, but you don’t have to have gone to an Ivy League school to have some form of social proof. But it’s important for everyone to begin to think about what your forms are. Maybe your form of social proof is that you have 20 or 30 years of experience in an industry. Maybe your form of social proof is that you have become a blogger for a publication that people in your industry are familiar with. Maybe your form of social proof is that you are the head of a local professional association. But it’s something so that you’re giving people a cue and a signal to say oh, this person is credible, I should listen to them. And that already imputes a certain value to whatever product or service you’re selling at that point.

Sterling Valentine: That’s big. Social proof, of course, and maybe let’s look at the other side of it for a second, now that we’ve covered the positive, beneficial angle. What about undervaluing? What about the psychological challenge of not feeling worth that, or sort of saying, man… charge five or ten times as much? I don’t know if it’s that valuable. How do we battle the interior demons in order to then be able to make these associations and kind of bring ourselves out at that level?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, yeah, it’s really important. So I would say there are two pieces to it. The first is actually getting clear on what market norms are, in order to make an informed decision. So I think an important point to clarify, because I know this is certainly not what you’re suggesting, but you know, some people who might choose to misinterpret it would just say, oh well, you know, I should just come out with whatever, but if I charge $10,000 for it, everyone will think it’s amazing. Well, clearly, that’s not true. That’s not how it works. In order to make smart pricing decisions, first of all, you have to know what the marketplace is. 

You need to know what your competitors are offering in terms of their products and their pricing and their values, and you need to be able to position yourself within it. In some markets, $10,000 might be really premium. In some markets, $10,000 might actually be the bottom of the line. And so you need to know about that and ideally, to be intimately familiar with your competitor’s offerings, so that you know if somebody is asking you, well, how are you different? Why should I choose you? You want to be able to have a really good answer for that. You need to be able to justify your pricing, not in the sense of like, oh please, you know, take me justification, but you need to understand why you’re worth that value. So I think that’s the first piece.

The second one, which you alluded to, is the kind of self-esteem overlay on it. So if you have done your research, if you’ve done your homework and you have been able to figure out, okay, this is actually a good price to charge. I am really legitimately giving people value for what I’m offering. Many people would still have some internal hesitations because they might say oh gosh, you know, that’s a lot of money for me to charge. Or why would somebody turn to me as an expert for that amount of money? And so that’s the place where it is really important to make sure that you make the smart move because if you do underprice yourself dramatically, it sends cues to other people that, oh well, maybe this isn’t as good.

So for a situation like that, I think it’s especially important, and this is a theme that I talk about in my book, “Stand Out,” to have a trusted group of friends and advisors around you who are not just familiar with you, but also familiar with your industry so that they can be a sounding board for you. Those are the people that you might not necessarily feel that you have the expertise, but if people that you implicitly trust say, no, no, no, Dorie, you are actually offering something that’s really valuable. Even if you don’t trust yourself, hopefully, you’ll trust them, and that can give you the confidence that you need in order to make the bold pricing step.

Sterling Valentine: I love that. I love this mastermind advisory board to kind of give you the mirror to hold up to. How do I look and what do I seem like and how do I occur to you? What do you think of these ideas? If I may add to that, I would highly suggest you pepper that group with some of your clients, right? Some of the more friendlier people that know you a little bit better from your clientele because very often I’ve gotten the best feedback from people who’ve already paid me money.

Dorie Clark: Yes.

Sterling Valentine: Would you address that as well?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, that’s such a great point. You want to stay close to your customer, and one of the best ways of staying close to your customer is intimately understanding what made them buy, what they’re responding to, what they like, what they don’t like, what would make them buy again. And so if you’re able to build strong enough, long-lasting enough relationship with these folks, they can essentially be an ongoing sort of focus group for you, then that is invaluable.

Sterling Valentine: And I don’t think you should do anything more complicated than just straight up saying, what were some of the most valuable things about my service or my product? What did you find of the most valuable out of working with me or out of the time we spent together, or whatever it is? Just walk right through the front door, because this is ultimately what we want to find out. And of course, the thing that happens with my students, the thing that happens with myself a lot, is that we have our mental picture, our interior landscape of you know, the things that I offer, these are the values that people have of them. This is the thing that they really like, and this is the thing that they kind of like. We’ve got our little arrangement, but of course, then there’s reality, and when we talk to our customers and our trusted advisors and friends, sometimes we get a radically different picture, so we have to adjust our map to the territory. And you know, you brought up a great point, like the real estate business uses comps. How do you actually price what a home is worth? Well, you can’t cut it open and look inside of it, so you have to look around it to see what some of the other similar houses in the area are charging.

So I love your idea of checking in on the comps, and I love you know, having a focus group of advisors. So when it comes to building a brand that’s really worth high ticket, if you haven’t already and you’re considering marching yourself out on a much more higher ticket level, adding a first-class cabin to your plane metaphorically speaking, what about that, how does branding affect that? What are some ways that we need to approach our brand when we’re talking about high ticket work? Because there are brands that are trying to be price value-conscious. You know, there are the generic brands, then there are medium position brands, you know, there’s Hyundai, and then there’s Mercedes. So when we’re talking about high ticket brands, what are some of the things we want to focus on to build that brand and that connotation with our clientele and our prospects?

Dorie Clark: I think Sterling that one of the most important things that you can be doing is to really be thoughtful about what tiers you’re creating. And what I mean by that is that you as an individual don’t have to only do high ticket items. I mean it’s fine, I’m an author, I have $20 books. You know you can get a piece of “Dorie Clark,” for 20 bucks. But that’s not the only thing that I offer, and what makes your offering high ticket is if you are deliberate about the level of time and the level of access that people have to you. And so I always try to make a point, I literally have this on my website that I have individual coaching offerings and things like that, and those are legitimately pricey. 

As of the time that we’re speaking, I do a half-day strategy session with people for $6,000, and it’s either in New York or, we could possibly arrange it around my travel schedule, but most often I’ve had people fly in from California, from Florida, and they come to New York and do these strategy sessions. Not everybody can afford to do that. And so as I am describing this on my website, I make a point of saying look. I fully recognize this is a premium offering. Not everybody can do it, that’s okay.

I still want to be providing information and helping people regardless of whether they can pay thousands of dollars for private coaching. And so here is the link which I provide for them, to more than 400 articles that I’ve written for free, so that even if somebody is whatever, a college student in Pakistan, and they don’t have the money to be spending on that, they can still immerse themselves and hopefully get hundreds of hours’ worth of free interesting content that they can learn from and benefit from.

So it’s important to me to make sure, just philosophically speaking, that there are multiple ways to engage with my content, and that serves a couple of purposes. One, of course, is that there is a marketing funnel. You want to be providing a lot of access points so that people can discover you, and a certain percentage of those people will want the higher ticket items. But also, it’s a way that even for people who never in a million years are going to have the money or maybe the inclination to be able to pay you for whatever, the $15,000 speech or the $6,000 half-day session, that they have a way of benefiting, so that it’s exclusive, but it’s not elitist.

Sterling Valentine: Makes sense. Well, let’s grab on to that car metaphor and drill a little deeper into the branding connotations. So if you take let’s say a Mercedes or a Bentley and you take a low end, Toyota Camry, they basically weigh the same, it’s metal, it’s plastic, it’s an engine, it’s wheels, but there’s something inherently larger than the sum of the parts, right? The brand itself comes with a certain set of intangibles, like Harry Beckwith’s book, “Selling the Invisible,” which I’m sure you’re familiar with, adds that extra something to it that makes the Mercedes more valuable than physically, above a similar counterpart. Maybe there’s walnut trim on one and not on the other, but is that worth five or ten times the price? So what are some of the specific things that we can work into our brand that can signal to our audience that we’re actually worth high ticket prices?

Dorie Clark: Well, I think if we return to the concept of social proof, one of the most valuable things that you can do in terms of essentially at a really high ticket price, you need to reassure people that this is a good investment, right? I mean, any sane person is going to feel a little weird if they’re signing a multi-thousand or multi tens of thousands of dollar contract with you. They’re like oh, am I making a big mistake? And so you want to do everything possible upfront to let them know, you know what, this is a good decision, you do not need to worry about this. And so how do you do that? Well, one of the best ways to do it is to have the social proof of having worked with people before that they either recognize or can empathize with.

And so, at a very basic level, if you’ve worked with name brand corporations, that’s very reassuring to people. Oh wow, well, if she’s good enough for Yale University and Google and Microsoft, then she’s good enough for me, that’s great. Even if you haven’t done that, even if you’re starting out and you’re local, and you’ve just worked with companies around your town, something like having testimonials on your website is very valuable because it shows that people can look to their peers, they can look to other trusted sources and say, oh wow, you know, she did a good job for Joe over there, well, you know, that might be the right thing for me.

So you want overall to just make it an easy buying decision for people so that you never have to be in the defensive position. I mean, sometime clients will try to say well, what makes you worth this amount of money? And if they get like that, unfortunately, you’ve kind of already lost. Like that’s the point where I’d just walk away and be like, you know what? If you don’t think it’s worth it, that’s fine, that’s cool, it’s not for everybody. Boom. Peace out. What you want is in your marketing, in the communications that you have with customers, leading up to any kind of a purchasing decision, you want to provide them with such an abundance of credibility, of social proof, et cetera, that they already feel very good and in fact eager to work with you, so that the dynamic has shifted. So that it’s much more like, oh, wow, I really want to work with you. Can I please work with you?

Sterling Valentine: What are some of the ways that you are personally being able to charge high ticket prices, what ways are you putting yourself out there, at what kind of price point and what kind offering levels? So we can start to be able to pick some pieces from your work and say I might be able to offer that, that’s a good idea, I can try that too.

Dorie Clark: Sure, yeah, so as we were talking about a little bit before we started recording, when I started my business, which was now about ten years ago, my original premise for it was that I was just going to be a consultant. I was going to do marketing strategy work. And I would say that for about the first five to seven years of my business, that’s really what I did. All of my money came from marketing strategy consulting engagements. So I was working with companies, with nonprofits and businesses and government agencies, and I would typically early on, of course, I would take anything like the little scraps of money. 

But as I sort of advanced in my career, typically there were larger chunks of money, let’s say in the $20,000 to $50,000 range, most typically for an engagement. And you know that was great because it doesn’t take too many of those in order to have a pretty lucrative six-figure practice. But it also meant that it was only a very small number of people that could hire me. Most individuals aren’t necessarily in a position to say, oh yeah, let’s give you a $40,000 consulting contract. And so one of the goals that I had for myself, for my business was to try to diversify my revenue streams, and I was finally able to do that in 2013 when my first book, “Reinventing You,” came out.

I had for years before that, spoken pretty frequently but always for free. Nobody wanted to pay me, and I decided that it was valuable enough to do that as a form of marketing lead generation. But once the book came out, it became a little bit more legitimate to get money. People were willing to pay me money because I was now sort of an expert by dint of the book. And so I began to build up a speaking practice, which now is bringing in six figures on its own. It also opened up some other avenues because both of my books, “Reinventing You” and “Stand Out,” are aimed at individual executives rather than just corporations, which I had been consulting for before.

I started to get a lot of requests for coaching work, and so at first, I actually said no for a long time because it just wasn’t my mindset of what I did. But I also had this idea in my head that coaching would be a kind of low dollar sort of thing. And so I resisted, but I actually realized at a certain point, I started getting just enough people asking me about it that I thought, you know what, I shouldn’t be closing the door to this, and so I priced it as a premium offering, and I just kind of put it out there. And so whenever people would ask me, it was nothing that I ever proactively marketed. I would just literally, when people emailed me, I’d say, okay, here’s some info on my website, let me know if you want to discuss it further. I was charging premium rates for it. But if people were interested in doing that, then it was very much worth my while to do that.

So through some of those activities, I’ve been able to expand out. Recently I have been exploring doing an online course. I just wrapped up the pilot session for that this summer. I’ll be launching later on in a number of months the full roll-out of that. But even from just the online pilot, I was able to leverage the participants in that group. They came to me and said that they would like to continue the conversation, so I was able to leverage that into creating a mastermind day. I’ve been thinking of it as a pilot, if it goes well, then that’s something that perhaps will become part of my stable of offerings as well. So I’m a big fan of diversifying your activities and diversifying your revenue streams because you never know what’s going to happen. I mean, certainly, for speaking especially, upswings or downswings in the economy have a huge impact on that, and so you really want to make sure that you are hedged if there are macroeconomic changes.

Sterling Valentine: So we were talking about something at the $6,000 level, if I may ask, what is the price range for the one-day mastermind group?

Dorie Clark: So for the pilot session of the one day mastermind, it’s $1,000 a person, and I’ve got ten people coming to my house, so it’s kind of a ten grand day that we’re doing it. I’m planning for future offerings if in fact it goes well and I decide that I like it, to up it from there. But I wanted to give a special introductory rate to early group participants who are essentially helping co-create with me, the format of it.

Sterling Valentine: Sure, and what kind of price ranges have you seen for VIP days in-home or in office, I’ve seen them done before. What kind of price ranges have you seen this model sustain?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, it’s interesting, I remembered a few years ago, this is Seth Godin, you know Seth Godin can charge very premium prices, but I remember this is probably now, gosh, I don’t know, four, five years ago, he did one thing where he just sent one email, literally just one little email about, hey, I’m having a thing at my home/office and, it’ll be a mastermind day, and it was $3,000 per head, and he was able to sell it out, I mean, you know, in minutes. That was also for a pretty intimate group of people, so that’s pretty easy. I’ve certainly seen numerous gatherings that are relatively small ones that are maybe five-ish thousand dollars, for maybe two and a half days, so it kind of varies. I think that what is sometimes more common is that for high-end year-long Masterminds, those are, let’s say $20,000 to $50,000, but they will involve both an ongoing coaching component and a kind of hybrid model where a few times a year they’ll have an in-person gathering in different locations.

So there’s a lot of different ways to slice it. So for this one, I’m actually planning on adopting some cats soon, and so I want to be traveling less so I can spend time with my new kitties, and so I decided I want to try something that’s like really easy plug and play that I can do from home and not travel for. So I figured all right, I’ll try this stripped down mastermind day. But there’s a lot of different possibilities that you can do if you want to bundle it as part of a larger mastermind program or have it be part of a sort of traveling itinerary.

Sterling Valentine: So great point about lifestyle design, right? Don’t let the work design your lifestyle, design your lifestyle first, figure out that you want cats, then make sure that the revenue models match that, so it’s a great little side point, I hope everybody picked that up. And I wanted to just add to the conversation about VIP days and what people are charging. I remember, I think it was Terry Levine, we were in New York, she’s in the Philly area, about 10 or 12 years ago that I first ever saw an in-home VIP day, and I thought that is amazing. And the sales copy said something about, you know, come see my home office, see how I run things. I thought to myself, what a valuable thing. You can stare directly over her shoulder. What kind of software does she use to run things and wait a minute, slow down, do that again, rewind that, you know, you can look around and actually see like right there, a virtual tour, a Willy Wonka factory tour behind the scenes. How valuable is that when it’s somebody who’s trying to grow up to that level?

So that’s a huge plus, and I think the most recent one I saw was Jack Canfield. I think it was either $15,000 or $25,000 for a retreat. He has a Santa Barbara retreat or something. And again, you know when you’ve reached a certain level that you have enough scale, it doesn’t take a lot of yes’s to make this kind of thing worthwhile, right? So if you have a very, even small buyers group, you only have to hit one or two or three of these things to add six figures to your year.

The thing I think that I’d love to talk about for a second is that sometimes people think to themselves if I were only to get three or four buyers of something that seems like a fail. At the $20 price point, that sounds like a fail. But if you’re looking at a $10,000 or $25,000 mastermind group, if you only got three or four, that’s a six-figure day, right? In a very short period of time, you could make $100,000 in a day if you just got four people to say yes to $25,000 or 10 people to say yes to $10,000.

So let’s talk about the scale a little bit. Let’s talk about the mindset that we’re all trying to graduate from this, I don’t want to say low dollar, a medium dollar mindset, but usually, when we build a funnel, we start at the bottom, we start our introductory as they say front end right? So we kind of have front end pricing syndrome, I guess you might call it, you know, where we have to kind of look at everything in relationship to the front end, so it’s kind of the front-end limitations, unintendedly limit the back-end, right? Because we’re kind of chaining what we could charge to what we already are charging. But if we had approached it from the other side and say well, do I want to make a hundred grand in a day or how many yeses do I have to get? I could charge $25,000 or $10,000. Can we kind of reverse the process and try to replace our front end pricing syndrome mindset with, starting from the beginning with the end in mind as Stephen Covey says, and working our way backward from back-end?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, I think that’s a really excellent point. And I think that one of the variables that is really important to consider as you’re doing this is your level of ease with which you’re able to make the sale. Because if you’re running a business where let’s say you’re making six figures, but you have to kill yourself beating the bushes to fill the slots, maybe you have to recruit JV partners or something and so you’re slicing your profits dramatically in the process, that may not be such a great move. But if you are able to find an audience that is receptive enough for the offering that you have and the price point that you want, and you’re able to sell that very quickly, that is more money, and that is a better return for you.

And so one of the things that I’m a really big fan of is making sure that when you’re launching things, that you do pilots to just test the demand and see how it’s going to be. And so for me, ease of sale is very important because I do not want to be the kind of person that is you know, I mean everybody can sort of point to their own personal version of the internet online marketer, flim-flam person that sends 50 emails in a three day period, you know, that’s not enjoyable for anybody. And so for me, the way that I can mitigate against that is to be very certain that when I’m going to be putting a product on the market, people want it. And so, when I launched my online pilot course, for instance, very intentionally, it was priced as a pilot. I put it out at $500 a head, with 40 openings and let people know the ultimate course is going to be at least $1,500, maybe $2,000 a head.

So I explained everything about what the pilot was going to be and put it out there, and I was able to sell out the pilot. More than sell it out actually. Too many of them had sold, and I had to log in really fast and turn off the register in 45 minutes. And so, I was able to bring in $23,500 in 45 minutes just by sending out that email. That was the only marketing that was required.

Sterling Valentine: What was the list size that we went out to for that?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, my list was 30,000, and so yeah, it went fast. And then of the mastermind day that I subsequently did from this group, 46 people ultimately took the pilot course, I did a preliminary doodle poll basically to just say, hey, if I offered this, would you guys be interested in it? And I got enough people to raise their hands, then I announced the date and was able to get ten people to agree at $1,000 a head, out of a pool of less than 50 people. It took two emails for that, you know, are you interested? And then, okay, here’s the date, sign up and send your funds if you want to register.

So given that ratio, given the trade-off, the fact that it really did not require marketing, that’s the kind of sales that I like to make. And ultimately, of course, you know for all of these things, you can if you are legitimately doing something as a pilot, so that you can learn about it and test it and refine it, which I do think is a good idea, you can initially offer it at a lower price point and increase demand, I think, for both that and the ultimate product by letting people know this is only available for a short time, and people jump on that. But then you’re able to have testimonials and happy customers that are in place to create that level of social proof that would encourage people down the road to purchase things once the full course or the fully developed mastermind day concept is ready at the premium price point.

Sterling Valentine: Man, you guys are getting the secret magic stuff here, this is the magic stuff. The float, the trial balloon, this is key, key stuff folks. The way Dorie is doing it is the perfect, perfect model, put it out there, float it out there in a trial email, if you get crickets, if nothing happens, no harm, no foul, because you didn’t do anything, you just floated it out there. If she didn’t get enough people to sustain it or make it worth her time, she could politely cancel it. Either, you know, never take the payments or refund the money that she took in, but this is the key, this is the secret sauce to be able to say, hey what do you guys want?

You know we talked about this earlier, polling your list or having a focus group of trusted advisors that include your customers and say, what would be most valuable to you? You know, let’s not give them our idea of what they want. Let’s give them their idea of what they want. Let’s take their order, right? And then on top of that, you might say to yourself, come on, I can’t get $10,000 for a day, don’t be ridiculous. Well, I’ll tell you what, let’s have a bet, I’ll dare you. Try it, ask. See if you get a yes. If you get one yes, there’s your proof of concept, right?

Dorie Clark: Absolutely. 

Sterling Valentine: This is awesome, awesome advice. So let’s briefly take a look at, are there any models that you’ve seen or anybody that’s particularly doing high ticket stuff well, either a person or actual revenue model that you admire, that you think is a good high ticket model for us to look at?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of really interesting stuff. I mean, I’m actually working right now on a book that’ll be coming out in 2017. We were talking about it a little bit earlier before the cameras were rolling. I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft now, and it is about how to monetize your ideas. And so some of the folks that I spoke to for that and you know, it’s possible that you may have already been talking to some of them, I think are really doing great stuff. You know, Ryan Levesque is very worth looking at. He has written a book called, “Ask,” about survey methodology that’s very helpful, and he also runs a very high-end mastermind group that I think embodies some of these principles in terms of how he organized and structured it, so I think that that’s been done very well.

There’s another great woman who I think you also know in New York, Sterling, Selena Soo, who I think has done a terrific job at creating a sort of premium positioning for herself right out of the gate.

Sterling Valentine: So great, so let’s take a look at maybe some step-by-step final action and plan advice. So if we were inspired as I was, and I’m sure everybody else was, by the stuff that you’ve told us and we’re saying to ourselves, okay, I think I could do this. What would be maybe a step-by-step, 1-2-3 kind of action plan that we can leave with so we can move right into action, and implement this stuff right away?

Dorie Clark: Yeah, well, I think one of the things that I would recommend that people do is to really just literally take a sheet of paper and write down all of your offerings. Think of it like you’re making a chart or a grid or something. What do you have that costs 20 bucks like a book, and what do you have that costs $20,000 or $50,000 or whatever it is? Just map it out on there and see where there are holes. Ideally, if you want to be capturing the consumer, it’s useful to have multiple price points so that people at different levels can buy things, and also recognizing that if someone can afford to pay $10,000 or $20,000 for something with you, they can certainly afford all the other things. 

And so, just thinking through what is the spectrum of offerings that you have, and how might they fit together? Because there’s the more typical funnel of cheaper to more expensive. There’s also the funnel that we shouldn’t forget about, which is more expensive to less expensive, where you can be adding on other programs or other values, things that people might want. So those things can really cross-pollinate.

I think the second step is to begin to really prioritize. So you know, you can’t do it all. And I think that a lot of people sometimes, when they get into this, they start to freak out and say, oh, I need to create everything all at once. And of course, you can’t do that well. And so for me, for instance, this year for all of 2016, I, unfortunately, I’d love to do everything all at the same time, that’s where I’m happiest, but I know that if I really want to do a good job, I have to focus. And so I’m forcing myself to be very disciplined, that the two projects that I can work on this year are my online course and writing my next book. That’s pretty much it. I’ve now run the pilot, and I’m doing the mastermind day based on the course, and will be launching the course in September, and then delivering the course throughout the fall. So that’s 2016 for that. I’m going to be turning in the first draft of my book in a couple of weeks, and then we’ll probably have one or two rounds of revisions with my editor before we get to early 2017. That’s my year.

But if you can find the highest value activities of where you need to be adding things on your spectrum of offerings, then you’re far ahead of the crowd.

Sterling Valentine: Find your highest dollar return, highest value activities, and then focus on those exclusively. I don’t think there could be any better advice to wrap up with that, right? Just follow one course until successful – F.O.C.U.S. – Follow One Course Until Successful, and make sure it’s your highest return on investment, so you are not hustling for nothing, you’re hustling for your highest possible return. So Dorie thank you very much, we really appreciate and love having you on board.

Dorie Clark: Sterling, it’s great to be here.

Sterling Valentine: Thanks so much, looking forward to seeing you again real soon.

Dorie Clark: Thanks, Sterling.

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