The Customer Journey- Prison to Paradise
What does prison to paradise have to do with buying behavior and the customer journey?
The customer journey begins like many things in life. In life, there exists a spectrum. A set of polar opposites. We have life and we have death. We have a new year and the end of the year. There is summer and winter. The poor and the rich. Love and hate.
This spectrum is not only literal, rather, it can be emotional like the need we all feel to be secure and safe. The polar opposite of safe is insecure or some such antonym.
The Yin and Yang exist everywhere. The decision that your clients make in the customer journey is no different.
If we boil it down your client’s journey needs to reach a place where they see you as the one and only person to solve their problem. You are the only choice for the client and there are no other options.
This is the customer path you want to put prospects on when you reach them.
The Birth of Great Marketing
Further, in this awareness of the polar opposites, you will find truly great marketing grows and becomes something more than an idea.
What is great life-changing marketing?
Marketing that gives life will describe more than a mere product or service. Rather, it follows how the ideal audience grows and becomes from peril and heartache to triumph and victory.
It is the prison to paradise narrative as I was trained to call it.
“The goal of the customer journey is to move that prospect from there pain points to the desired outcome that makes them feel relief from that pain point.“Jeff Green
If you have yet to work through that aspect of your business it’s imperative you solidify and clarify who your ideal audience is and what you provide them with.
Who are your customers? What change do you provide to them through your product or service? You can read more about finding your why and getting true clarity here.
Great marketing is about more than just identifying a problem and then selling it.
At its core, it’s about how the problem makes our potential clients feel, sound, and look.
Why? If you were to delve into the psychology of feeling and therapeutic listening you would find that people feel understood when you listen to them. This is common sense really people love to be heard. Don’t you?
“The best way to let people know you get them is to describe emotively and quite literally what they see, feel, and sound like when they are in prison, or sitting with an unsolved problem.“Jeff Green
In the prison to paradise model of the client journey these concepts come together.
The Customer Journey: Prison to Paradise
Let me break down the customer journey model as a outline to be followed.
There are two states of being in this model, prison and paradise. Prison represents the state of existing in a problem. The problem is unsolved. The desire to solve it may or may not be known. There is a particular difference in how one feels, looks, and sounds in this state when compared to its polar opposite.
The second state of the customer path is paradise wherein the world is right. Your life is in balance. You experience relief both physically and emotionally in how you feel, look, and sound. You are in a word happy or relieved that the problem was solved.
The client journey is just this. A pilgrimage you lead from prison to paradise, problem to solution, frustration to relief. But to get there one must build a bridge. This bridge is in essence your offer and the experience one derives from that offer. This bridge has pillars to hold it up and you would be wise to think of these pillars as stepping stones in the customer journey. This is essentially the product or service itself.
The above three areas are the core of the prison to paradise model. Get to know them well they will be the core of your business and the customer path. Let’s look at each more closely.
Prison and Paradise
The customer journey from prison
When you’re describing your ideal client, you want to understand how they look, feel, and sound.
- How do things look to them?
- How do things sound to them?
- What words do they use to express themselves?
- How do they say they feel?
- What bothers them?
- Where do they hang out?
- What concepts and ideas move them?
- What worries and excites them?
These answers will be on a spectrum like all human behavior, but what needs your attention is the polar opposites. You must identify the problem state and a state of relief. Prison to Paradise.
You must begin categorizing the look, feel, and sound ideology of our client into two buckets. The “I have a problem” bucket and the “Wow! My problem is now solved” bucket.
The customer journey across the chasm to paradise
In order to create real movement across this chasm from prison to paradise, you must make the customer feel understood throughout the journey.
How do you do this? Go where they go and do what they do.
For example, if your clients appear to hang out on Twitter, you should probably start spending time on Twitter. If they are always on the gram, then it’s time to build a presence on Instagram.
Go native and live among your ideal customer.
At the end of the day, you have to be where your clients are, or you’ll never connect or understand them. Not to mention you will be guessing how they feel, look, and sound.
Don’t get stuck thinking your only avenue is social media. You may find your ideal clients on forums, Facebook private groups, Reddit, Quora, or other niche blogs. Join these groups and live among them.
The great news about this step is that you already know the “who” part regarding your audience from our post on finding your niche. Finding your niche and getting clarity on that is the first step.
Now that the target is known you just need to find out where they are online. Once you find him, you need to begin listening and taking note of how they feel, look, and sound.
“It’s a good idea to go so far as to create a word bank of usage you see or behavior you experience in your niche audience. Later in the process using this language reflectively will make the customer journey feel like a place where they are understood and known.”Jeff Green
An Example of the Customer Journey
For example, let’s say you’re interested in providing stone pottery to people that are collectors of stone pottery, like cups and/or a dinner dish. You need to figure out where these people are and what they’re talking about and who they’re with. How do they look, sound, feel?
This is an ongoing process but I encourage you to start working on it now. Once you have a word bank and you have begun to understand how your client feels, sounds, and looks, the next step is to infuse those words and terminology into messaging.
Those worries, those frustrations, those negative emotions will be placed into your sales page, your social media messaging, your email outreach, it should be everywhere.
But how do you move them from prison to paradise?
You build a bridge and the bridge is nothing more than the pillar concepts that the client needs to step upon to get from the place of the problem (prison) to the place of relief from that problem (paradise).
The customer journey in action
John has found his niche by working the 2 Circles exercise. John knows he is looking to work with creative entrepreneurs that feel stuck and lack clarity in their marketing. The value he adds is his past experience of being a digital marketing agency owner.
What does prison then look like for these creative entrepreneurs or solopreneurs? I’ve tipped my hat a bit. It’s frustrating. Confusing. There is an overall deficit of clarity. These entrepreneurs run around in circles from one new hot idea in marketing to another tactic. The customer journey for these creatives has been a story of tail chasing.
The pain points are made worse by the fact that they can see people in the state they want to be in… paradise. Making money, endless leads, easy subscribes, and high Return on Ad Spend. At least this is the story these marketers sell to our creative entrepreneurs.
Simply put John needs to figure out through living among and listening to creative entrepreneurs how they express their prison and what paradise looks like. Once this is accomplished all that is left is to tie that language into sales copy and messaging.
John’s expertise in marketing helps him build pillar ideas that each customer must touch to get to paradise. The method is tried and true. It works.
So he walks them through 4-6 steps that help them get to paradise or at the very least reframe there concept of what that paradise really is or is not.
Another Client Journey
Tim is a financial professional that is desperate to move out of his current position and into a work from home business. He is saving money for the transition, plans to transition slowly over a 6 to 12-month period.
He realizes that there will be very busy times during this transition. Tim has set goals in regard to his income that must be met before he can leave the dreaded day job (it is actually a night job at the end of a 16-hour end of month close).
Tim has completed his 2 Circles exercise and found that although he is awesome at finance and accounting, he hates it. He realizes he loves writing content for other companies. Tim has been consistently writing on the side, for fun, since he was 23. He loves to write.
He never thought of making money doing it. During his finding your why work he realized that his writing is valuable to businesses in the finance and accounting industries because he is a fantastic writer and knows far more than the average bear about finance. A skilled writer with a niche.
Tim begins taking what he knows about finance and accounting to decision-makers in an effort to understand them better. Further, he begins following a few forums and threads on the internet about marketing and content marketing for financial professions. He begins haunting a private Facebook group of private CPA firm owners that are trying to learn marketing.
Tim is growing his list of how this audience will look, feel, and sound. The nuggets of gold he finds during this process help him craft more meaningful content on his new blog. He creates a sense of connection with his visitors through his sales pages, lead magnets, email sequences, and social media posts by reflecting back the issues they are dealing with while they lie in prison wasting away.
He also paints a picture of how it will look, feel, and sound when they are free and in paradise.
His pillars in the client journey are simple and only involve 3 steps. He delivers the desired outcome all the while helping the niche he serves to feel understood and involved in the process.
Next Steps to Build your Customer Journey
These are examples. The big take away is once you know what your niche is and what your reason for being is, you know, your target audience. Once you have your niche and your target, it’s time to begin doing the work of learning how it looks, feels, and sounds for your tribe. Understanding their natural customer journey and building a model to understand it like prison to paradise will supercharge your marketing and help you grow.
Next up read why you must have a value ladder.