Episode 42 – Segment your audience 3 ways for more sales
Callie is one half of The Membership Guys which teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners just like you to create successful membership sites which earn 5 – 7 figures a year in recurring revenue.
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- Segment your audience 3 ways for more sales
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This is how, in Callie’s own words, she recommends you segment your audience, breaking it down into different groups that you can talk to them on a more personal basis based on their needs.
There are three ways you can segment your audience. By result, by topic; or by competency.
Because most of us have an audience of people who are at multiple different stages, everybody needs different things. If you want to talk to all those people, you can’t throw everything in one and ask people to help themselves to what works for them.
Being able to actually funnel people to the content that’s relevant to the stage they’re at or relates to the result that they want to get helps them to get better results. It also converts them better to customers for you because people feel like you understand where they are, and the content you’re providing them is the best content for what they need right now.
Segment by outcome
This is segmenting your audience based on the particular result they want. Whilst you can segment your audience on the front end, you can also do it within a membership, for example.
A great example of outcome segmenting would be inside a paid product where you have a roadmap or a pathway that takes people through different stages to a particular outcome. And you can do that on your front-end topic as well; but usually with a front-end topic you don’t want to give the end outcome straightaway, because you want to convert them to a customer. So you’ll often see the outcome segmenting used inside of paid products.
It works great when helping people to get results from what you’re teaching them.
Segmenting by topic
This is probably the one that gets used the most. For example if you’re a social media expert and you talk about lots of different things, but actually a lot of your audience are just be interested in Facebook or Instagram , you can segment your content, your audience, by the particular topics that they’re interested in.
So those people who want to learn about Facebook, are not being bombarded with LinkedIn content which they don’t want or need and will just overwhelm them.
Segmenting by competency
For example, if you’ve got people in your audience who are at the beginner stage, intermediate and advanced stage, you can actually segment your audience down into those different stages so that you’re providing content specifically for where they are.
With your outcome, you’re going to need to think about it a little bit more. For example, our audience is segmented by outcome and that’s planning a membership, building a membership, growing a membership.
Segmenting by outcome can take a little bit more working, deciding where your audience fits. Whereas with competency, it’s usually very clear-cut.
Music’s a great example. You have your beginner musicians and with them you need to start right at the beginning; you have the intermediate players; and then you have the advanced players, where you’re going to provide the more advanced content. Typically, you’d just pick one of these three methods of segmentation although there might be instances where you’ve got quite a complex subject or you’re teaching multiple subjects where you might use topic and competency.
Organising your segmentation
Start off with brainstorming. Once you know how you want to segment people, think about the different ways you want to segment them, and then write down all the different things that would apply to all those different segments.
You might have some crossover between them and that’s fine. But essentially you want to know what content will be suitable for each segment and where there’s any crossover or in-between areas.
Also think about what’s the best freebie you could offer for each segment. Because ideally any content that you create for each segment, will have a lead magnet related to it, an opt-in that is tailored to it.
This way you’re getting people onto your email list. If you’ve got content on how to set up your Facebook pixel, but then your opt-in is about Messenger chat advanced strategies, it’s not necessarily going to resonate and it’s going to be too much for that person. Instead, some content on how to get your first Facebook ad up and running might be more suitable for that segment.
To organise your ideas, use Google Sheets, or a tool such Airtable; anything where you can keep track of things. You can use this for your content creation planning as well.
Typically you’ll want to create something for each of your segments each month. If you’re putting out a weekly blog post, try and have one blog post aimed at each of your segments, for example, so that your catering to each area of your audience each month. So knowing the kind of topics you want to cover makes it much easier plan your content and ensures you’re not doing too much or too little of any particular type.
It’s good to have some crossover topics, because it helps people move between the segments, especially if people stay on your list for a long time. So if somebody comes to your site and they’re a beginner, then over time ideally they’ll move to being intermediate. So having content that bridges those two areas helps them to move into that next segment.
It’s also fine to have material that covers all segments or perhaps two or three segments as well.
Segmenting within your paid products
It’s also a great idea to look at your paid products. For example, if you’re creating courses, they are naturally segmented usually, because they’re usually quite finite and on a particular topic.
But if you’re running a membership or even a coaching program, then if you’re going to have different segments of your audience in it, it’s a good idea to carry that segmentation through to your paid product.
So that when somebody joins your membership, for example, so say it’s a guitar membership, if they come in and in their onboarding it says they’re a beginner, you’re showing them beginner content; you’re sending them an email sequence that helps them to get started with your beginner content.
Whereas if somebody comes in and they’ve been playing for years and they’re an advanced player, you’re not showing them that beginner content; you’re showing them the advanced content, your emails going out are more advanced, you know that they know certain terminology and things like that. So it’s really tailoring the whole customer journey from landing on your blog to email sign-up to becoming a customer, and then to how you treat them as a customer as well and the information you provide them.
Moving your audience between stages and segments
Sometimes your audience will move between different segments, particularly, and with competency segments, people will move from beginner into intermediate and to advanced.
The main way to move your audience through the segments/stages is through things that you can offer – not necessarilypaid products, but by workshops, etc.
Using the beginner example, if you’re in a workshop which is for people in the beginner segment and it’s to help them bridge that gap between beginner and intermediate. But ideally, for most people, the bridging of the stages is when they come into your paid products or services.
Often the first touch point is when someone’s reading one of your blogs. Presumably your blogs are in segments, so depending on which of the three segmentation methods you’re using, that will dictate what call to action is at the end of your blog and which lead magnet you send them to.
People will still jump around your site and read other things, but having that call to action initially where they come in at just allows you to tailor things, such as your emails . And it gives you a good idea of what stage your audience are at.
Use segmentation to increase business results
For example, if you’re creating a lot of advanced content but a lot of people coming in are beginners, then that shows you that the people you’re attracting aren’t necessarily the people you’re creating content for. So you either need to change your content strategy to adjust it, or see how you can better attract the people that you’re actually creating content for.
So this is one of ways you can also use it to improve your actual business results.
If you use us for an example, you come to our website and right at the top it’s, are you planning a membership site, creating a membership site, growing a membership site? You select which one and then you see content specific to that. You’ll see a lead magnet specific to that and then you’ll start getting content for whichever section you’re in.
And then because there’s a natural progression there because it’s outcome focused, after a while if somebody’s been in the planning stages for a while, we’ll maybe say to them, “Hey, have you actually planned your membership yet? Are you ready to start building? Here’s some articles you might want to check out about that.”
We recommend having a general opt-in too. So you will have people who don’t necessarily self-identify into a particular segment, or who just want everything that you offer. So having something that’s an overriding opt-in too enables you to capture those other people. You can then segment them as part of your email list.
This is where you’ll often see when you join some of these email lists that maybe a couple of weeks later you get an email saying, “What can I actually help you with? Click one of these links to tell me what you’re interested in.” That’s just another way of segmenting a bit further down the line when somebody’s already in your email list.
Is segmenting always applicable?
The only times where segmenting maybe wouldn’t be applicable is if you’re really specific on who you’re serving anyway.
So if you have a really, really niched down topic and audience, for example, say you only work with German Shepherd owners, then you maybe don’t need to segment people any further.
Although if you wanted to, you probably still could by behaviour issues or something different. If you have a really niched down audience already, segmenting is possibly not going to be as valuable for you, apart from perhaps telling you what your audience want and need.
But for most people who have business sites, especially, they cover a range of different topics or outcomes and results. So for most people one of the segmenting options should be applicable.