ascension models

How ascension models are keeping you exhausted and out of profit

As a business strategist and coach for people who want high performing businesses with over 20 years of real-world experience, I’ve learned a few really important things about the people I work with.

We all need to consider WHO it is we are here to help/support/serve before we blindly follow a business model.

My people aren’t newbies.

They aren’t sitting around on social media all day long.

Some of my clients don’t even have social media for themselves or their businesses.

My people have a full schedule of navigating running businesses, managing employees, and being present for their families.

Meaning, they don’t have time for bullshit and fluff.
And I quite like it that way.

They are also sophisticated and mature leaders, even if they don’t see themselves that way.

When I first started out, much of what was preached in the online space by internet marketers didn’t work for me. 

It wasn’t until much later that I realized it doesn’t work for a lot of people who are looking to build businesses in a way that honors themselves, their lifestyle, and their financial goals.

I also don’t want to work with the masses. 

I think understanding the impact you want to have is an important part of the business model conversation. 

I’m not looking for celebrity status, even though I want to be well known and the go to coach for serious business owners running legitimate businesses.

Today we’re going to talk about why the ascension model may not work for you. And if you’re trying to make it work, that’s cool, this isn’t passing judgment. We have to try things and experiment even if it doesn’t feel right or good to you.

I’ll never forget the time I followed a very popular sales coach’s tactic of offering a fast action bonus for someone to say yes on the call. 

My prospect said — I’m a yes to working with you, and you can keep the bonus because I think you should get paid full price for your skills and expertise. (By the way, this was a male client).

This was one of the first times I realized following someone else’s formula wasn’t going to work for me.
While I’ve learned a lot about my clients, I’ve learned a lot about myself that informs my business model.

How we work best, what lights us up, and what energizes us are all critical factors in not only designing our business model but also how we think about our BOLDEST offers:

  • I’m direct and to the point. A straight shooter as some would say.
  • I’m high touch, and believe in experiential learning
  • I have enough  background in adult learning to know courses have a very low rate of efficacy — the skill transfer gap is a real bitch to bridge — which is the exact reason experiential learning works
  • The traditional internet marketing models mostly cater to very entry level entrepreneurs or do really well in non-business markets and that’s not what excites me about my work
  • I started my business when I was burned out (I still have chronic health issues).
    I have a business value around simplicity and minimalism

Taking the above into account, here’s what didn’t work for me, and often doesn’t work for my clients because while we’re all individuals,  my clients are here to run businesses that don’t lead to burnout, and are built for transformation, not transaction or transaction disguised as transformation.:

  • Low barrier to entry offers — my audience didn’t want that. 
  • Checklists and other fluffy things.
    I do have a 5 day training on Journaling for vision, clarity and abundance that people LOVE, and someone even said I should charge a million dollars for it because it created such a huge transformation and they are able to repeat that training as needed.
    Insight — if you’re going to give value, give value. I have a client who creates really thoughtful and valuable videos and he easily sells people into $7K-$15K offers that way.
  • Games and gimmicks like the newest thing of “come to my masterclass but join my FB to get the downloads.”
    Ummm, fuck no. And the more I research my ideal clients, the more I learn they are a heck no for this as well. Which is why I’m looking to do things differently. Because I crave it and my clients crave it.

When I first started my business, one suggested business model was an ascension model.

You might not know it as an ascension model but it’s basically what’s taught by many online business peeps — free offer to tripwire to something less expensive to something moderately expensive to something with premiere access and little support but is extraordinarily expensive.

I even tried this ascension model and have applied it in my business and other people’s businesses.

It works sometimes, but it’s not particularly efficient. 

And sometimes it flat out doesn’t work – like in my case where I’m speaking to a different type of leader and business owner, and don’t have a big list.

And I don’t know about you but, I’m exhausted thinking about that. 

All the tech, all the ways the tech can fail. 

That immediately sends me into a place of fearing burnout. And #allthethings.

Who benefits from me being exhausted, confused and overwhelmed by the thought of an ascension model?

Your exhaustion, confusion, and overwhelm make you a prime candidate for the next offer — the one that sells you on simplifying what the marketer has made complicated, saving you from the overwhelm THEY created and rescuing from the exhaustion that is keeping you from truly succeeding.

The reality is the ascension model can be a death trap, especially for women who are biologically hardwired to nurture.

Free, trip-wire, low priced/entry offer is a long nurture path to someone buying the thing you actually want to sell.

It’s a recipe for overdelivering or overworking for little to no profit.

You’re putting a lot of effort into the least effective, lowest cost way of working with you.

This is like when you’re dating and playing hard to get.

To me, this feels like dead-ending a customer — to continually block their path to buying the thing that will actually help them with the problem they have.

Your ideal client most likely doesn’t want all the fluff you’re putting in their way. 

They want to know you understand their problem and have a solution that can help them.

By giving them things free or low priced but not completely solving their problem could be working against you. It might be giving them the feeling that you don’t know what their problem is or how to fix it

And you know what…the people who you want to work with and serve:

  • Are wise and sophisticated and see through this
  • They truly want to do the work and engage in the solution
  • Are willing to forgo the games and get right to business

Now, do people still need to build some know, like and trust with you, YES. 

But this doesn’t mean they need or want your freebie, tripwire, or your entry level offer.

What they need is a solid customer journey that allows them to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have found someone who:

  • Is a reputable credible expert
  • Understands the specific challenges they face
  • Has experience in solving these problems for others
  • Is a human being
  • Can clearly communicate they understand where they are, where they want to be and has a track record for bridging that gap

Most of all, you don’t need to nurture, nurture, nurture someone into low priced offers. 

You need to invite people into your boldest offer — the one that actually will get them the results. The one you can’t wait to deliver because you know it is world class and quality.

Now, I am a big believer in taking your boldest offer and innovating other services from that. One might be a smaller bite offer but it isn’t meant to be cheap. It’s meant to be a strategic part of your customer journey that solves a problem and introduces you to them.

This smaller bite offer gives someone a taste of what it’s like to work with you and gives them the skills to progress to the next place in your customer’s journey. 

No complicated funnel. 

No overwhelm. 

No burnout. 

Just pure service and mutually beneficial relationships.

This is why you always want to keep your BOLDEST offer at the forefront of your business. 

If you’re tired of building a business like everyone else. If you’re ready to be innovative and think through how you want to show up and serve, you will want to join us inside The Bold Profit Academy.