Transactions create liabilities, transformations create massive, impactful, profitable scaling companies
Being a Leader
If you want to be successful as a marketer, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, you have to know your customer’s journey before they do. That’s the definition of leadership. I see this mistake all the time. People will literally launch products, offers, content, lead magnets, etc. And they literally launch it out into the world without having the next step or knowing the escalation or evolution of their potential customers or their paying customers.
Content without accountability or direction is just noise.
The most important thing that you can do as a marketer, as a CEO, as a business owner and entrepreneur, is to take a moment to understand the journey that’s going to be taken by your customers or potential customers before they take it.
Today I’m going to teach you the conscious and the subconscious customer journey.
At any given moment, there’s a simultaneous journey happening for your customers or potential customers. No matter where they see you… Whether they see you on social media, whether they see your emails, whether they see you in person, whether they see when you’re retail brick and mortar business in the store. This is happening all the time.
I just want you to remember this. Your job isn’t necessarily to always put somebody into a bucket or make sure they go through every single part of your journey. It’s just to be aware of the journey that is happening so you can start to identify where your customers or potential customers are in their cycle so you can support them and lead them to the next destination.
So I call this the conscious and subconscious customer journey. So when you think about the conscious customer journey, this is the journey that people know they’re in.
There are five stages that I teach in the conscious customer journey and they go in order...
The first stage is to identify,
The second stage is to discover,
The third stage is courting,
The fourth stage is to enroll,
And the fifth stage is nurture.
That is the conscious customer journey. And why I call it a conscious customer journey is because when we’re on a journey like that (as a consumer), we’re very aware that we’re in that journey.
Let me give you an example. I am driving and my car breaks down. And I’m like, you know what? I need a new car. Now I’m in the identification phase. I’ve self-identified very important distinction. I have self-identified that something isn’t working and I want a new car. The moment I’ve self-identified that where I currently am in my life, where I currently am in my journey is not ideal. So now I’ve identified that my car is not what I want. I want a new one. I want a different one. I move into the discovery phase. Now in the discovery phase is where I start to narrow down my options. I’m like, Oh, do I want to Honda? Do I want a Mercedes or do I want to BMW?
And so in the discovery phase is basically where I’m picking the paths or noticing the options that I can take as a customer to go from my before state or where we are to my after state or my new selected destination. And so I literally am like, okay, I’ve identified, my car’s not working. I know I need a new one. What am I interested in? That’s the discovery phase. So maybe I’ve seen commercials, I’ve had friends tell me about it, and I narrow it down to three examples, Honda, BMW, and Mercedes. The moment I kind of know that that’s where I want to go. I move into the courting phase. Now, this is like the speed dating phase.
This phase is where I’m going to go start collecting evidence. I’m going to consume content. I’m going to read reviews. I’m going to look at options. I’m going to see what I want. I’m going to check to finance. And I’m going to compare and contrast my three suitors. I’m going to compare a Honda to a Mercedes to a BMW.
Now, I’m a BMW guy, so obviously you know where I skew on that one, but really what I’m doing is I’m looking at all the options and I’m basically speed dating. I’m not yet in a monogamous relationship. I’m literally playing the field and I’m figuring out which one’s going to make me feel good. Be the best option for me based on a couple of levels of beliefs, my external beliefs. And this happens like, do I want that car? Do I want to say I own that car? Am I going to drive that car right? Like is that car cool? Do I like that color? That’s external. I call those rocks.
Then we have internal, I call those reefs. And I’m like, Oh yeah, I’m going to have confidence that this car will last forever. I’m really excited that I have that name. I know that I’m going to have an increased social status by driving a BMW. There’s a whole lot of internal beliefs that are happening for me as well.
And then the third one is what I call the Shoals. And those are like paradigm beliefs and these are the deep ones that we still have to be aware of. Me buying that car proves that I’m good enough, proves that I’ve made it, that I have the money to do it, that I’ve broken my story, that I didn’t end up like my family and, and why I’m courting is I’m in that entire process literally collecting touchpoints, conversations, and comparing what’s out there so that I make the best-informed decision.
As soon as I move through the courting phase and I make a decision and like BMW, now I’m in the enrollment phase. I go through the process of buying… or a “funnel” if there’s a customer in your journey. I submit for the loan, I get the car, they approve me, I make the payments, I drive home, and the moment I own that vehicle the “transaction” has finished. I move into the nurture phase.
The nurture phase is where I learn how to drive the BMW, where I have accountability for it. I get to look at it every day, remind myself of what it is. And I just went through the five-step customer journey knowing that I’m in it, I’m aware that I’m in that process and I’m very conscious of it.
And so really quickly, just to recap it on the conscious side. Identify the phase. Something’s not working. My new before state or my current before the state isn’t ideal. I want to shift it. I’m aware. I move into this phase, the discovery phase. Well, what are my options? Well, BMW, Mercedes, Honda. Those are the three paths I want to choose and try. Let me move into the courting phase. Test drive them, collect evidence, check to finance. You know what? I’ve decided BMW’s the path. Now I’m in the enrollment phase until I get that BMW, the moment I own it, I’m in the nurture phase.
Now what’s happening subconsciously is what I call permission, safety, and accountability.
The Subconscious Journey
Permission, safety, and accountability
Underneath the identify & discover phase is what I call permission. Now, there’s a very big distinction and a lesson for all marketers and business owners here. Customer journeys are about enrollment and not convincing, and this is what I’ve drilled down into this word specifically. When you use words like “you should” or “you have to,” or “you must,” or “you should” or “shouldn’t,” or “you can’t” or “you’re wrong,” what you’re doing is you’re creating reactance and you’re creating a defensive customer.
You’re literally putting up their guard and making their critical lens very, very large. You don’t want to be doing that. Your job as a business owner / marketer is not to convince people, it’s to enroll people.
And so in the car example, I enrolled myself because my car was broken. But let’s say you have a supplement and you’re using an influencer. You could be like, “you’re fat, you’re not worth it. You need this.” Or you could be like, “Oh man, when I didn’t do this, this is how I felt and now this is how I want to feel.” And somebody is like, “Oh my God, me too.” So they’ve self-identified. That’s the permission phase. The permission phase is you being out into the world with consistent, congruent content and value that allows your ideal customer to self identify that they want to take this journey with you, and that’s what’s happening subconsciously in the permission phase.
When we move into the courting phase, what’s underneath the courting phase is what I talked about earlier. This is where you hear me talk about touchpoints. When I’m test driving cars, when I’m checking to finance when I’m looking at colors and I’m reading reviews, what I’m really doing is I’m collecting enough evidential touchpoints as required so that I subconsciously feel safe, don’t regret my decision, and I’m confident moving forward.
So the entire courting phase of a customer journey is people collecting evidence that they feel safe, that they feel seen, that they feel heard, that they feel respected and that the choice that they’re about to make is the best choice for them without feeling bad, wrong, fault, blame, guilt, or shame.
And so if customers are forced into a journey, if they’re convinced into a journey, we remove their capacity to feel safe, which also removes their ability to complete the journey that we’ve designed, which then creates an anti-marketing machine against our company, because now we have people that committed and paid, but we force them out of their results because they weren’t ready. And then yet we blame the customers. So you have to be very intentional on this and understanding that this is a part of a journey.
On average right now, it takes somewhere between 25 and a hundred touchpoints for a customer to even commit to having your credit card at a wide array of prices, and you need to be aware of it and you need to be patient. This isn’t a one-night-stand game. This is a longterm courting process for a monogamous relationship game. This is the infinite game, and you have to play it as such, not try to get the transaction. You want to get the transformation, and so that’s the safety phase.
Then underneath the enroll and nurture is the accountability phase. Now, people don’t pay for products. They buy products to pay for access and accountability.
So I buy a BMW. And then BMW teaches me how to drive it, how to use it, the performance that’s there. Every time I get in it, I’m reminded of the car, the German engineering in it. I buy a supplement, every time I see that supplement in my cabinet, I see the brand’s content, I see their workouts, I see their accountability, I follow them on social. My God, I bought it. I have to use it. I need to go to the gym. And so people don’t buy the best product they buy the best relationship with the brand.
And so underneath enroll & nurture is accountability. When we pay for something with our dollars, what we’re expecting is that the people that we paid will guarantee or hold us accountable until we achieve our desired result.
Our Obligation As Business Owners
If we say you’re going to give us your email and we’re going to take you on this journey for seven days. The follow up journey better be seven days and we better do everything in our power to make sure you achieve whatever we promised.
If you sell somebody a 30-day program, you better make sure that you’ve designed a 30-day customer journey to hold them accountable and to nurture them so they have every chance required to succeed.
So what’s happening on the conscious level is the identify discover, court, enroll and nurture.
What’s happening on the subconscious level underneath identify & discover is permission.
Underneath courting is safety.
And underneath enrolling and nurture is accountability.
And so it’s important for us as business owners, as marketers, as entrepreneurs, as CEOs, to understand that this journey is taking place and that a customer journey is not linear.
The Most Flawed Thinking In Digital Marketing…
I see this flawed thinking all the time: “Somebody sees an ad, they go to a landing page, they give us their email, they opt-in, they get this upsell.”
Human beings don’t take linear journeys. They take very node-based journeys. They jump all around, like their starting point is clear and their ending point is clear, but it looks like a tornado and a hurricane mixed together happened in the middle, which is why it’s so important that you understand these customer journeys and that your brand and your business is consistent and congruent in your messaging in your social, in your content, in your ads, in your customer journeys, in your influencers, in your affiliates, and every single one of your employees knowing as well.
So every time somebody sees a touchpoint of your brand, a social media post, a, billboard, a radio ad or anything. They’re collecting a safety touchpoint, knowing that there’s one journey and one destination for them to come into your brand.
Not that there’s just noise and distractions because we’re posting about this and not having it be a part of a succinct congruent customer journey. And so I wanted to take a minute just to talk about customer journey because if you can wrap your head around this and take a moment to look at your business to look at your product, to look at your offering, and to then start placing things in, in place and realizing that people have been through these buckets and that there are people currently in them and act in them, you start to become aware of the small leaks in your boat that you need to plug so that you can sail the seas and not sink.
And that’s what this game is. The game is about being very conscious and aware of the journey or potential journey that our customers are taking on the receiving end of every single thing that we do in our business. And I can tell you with certainty. That if you understand this and you have the compassion and the empathy to really get enrolled into what it’s like to be on the other side of your business, that you will have an unlimited runway for ethically scaling your company. Ethically scaling your impact and acquiring as many customers as you could ever dream of acquiring by simply taking the time to understand this, to get connected to this, and to serve from this place.
And so that is the definition of a conscious and subconscious customer journey. And so if you come into our email or our transformational marketing mini-course, whether we still name it that or not, or into our Facebook group, everything that we do is at mindofgeorge.com.
Every time you write an email sequence, every time you create a piece of content, every time you design a lead magnet or a journey, you have to understand that you are creating a journey and your job is to know where your customers are in their before state. And then to also know the actual desired destination they’re trying to achieve… and think through and map out the entire plan just in your brain or on sticky notes or on a notepad of what it would take, how much time it would take, how long it would take, how many touchpoints it would take, what is required, what mediums, what modalities, what emails, what PDFs, what audios, and you have to be meticulous and intentional about everything you do.
If you want to have a chance to scale your company and do it the right way without chasing your butt down the hole because you start losing customers cause you can’t acquire anymore. And all the ones on the back end, their bridges were burnt and they’ll not give you any more money. And now all of a sudden your bottom line chases your top line because there was no journey designed and there were a whole lot of transactions on the front end.
I’m going to tell you right now, transactions create liabilities, transformations create massive, impactful, profitable scaling companies.
And so you need to be intentional and focused as you think through your customer journey.