The second podcast I am going to feature I came across by accident. It is called “Always Free” by Jason Graystone. It is a podcast focused on financial empowerment and wealth creation. Within this blog I will discuss “Episode 19: The Most Profitable Business Model on Earth”. The podcast can be found here.
Jason talks about the building blocks of an online business that result in exponential growth. It is a topic of particular interest to me and I think that all businesses, regardless of size, should think about including an online offering.
The structure of the blog will be similar to the first in the series. I will break up the podcast into sections, discuss briefly what it meant to me and then ask you what your thoughts are.
Solving the problem of space and time
“If we are talking about building an efficient and profitable business model we need to think about what efficiency actually is and when it boils down to it, it is the evolution of solving the problem of space and time.” – Jason Graystone.
Jason suggests that doing business in the physical world takes a lot of time and effort. He uses the analogy of shopping that involves going to the location, finding the products you are interested in, asking people for help and perhaps finding that things aren’t available.
Solving the problem of space and time is to provide a service that comes to the customer and that can be used, or bought, in the most efficient manner.
For this reason, online businesses are much more profitable than brick-and-mortar businesses.
My thoughts: The biggest companies in the world today all have digital solutions that can be bought online and then the product either accessed immediately or delivered in the shortest time possible. This ranges from companies like Google and Facebook with their completely digital products to Amazon who focuses on speed of delivery.
Your thoughts? If you have a business, is it online or brick-and-mortar? If it is a brick-and-mortar business are there aspects of your business that you could convert to online?
The four-product ascension model
“The reason I think that this is so important is that it gets your message out. If you have a valuable service, and a valuable product, it is going to get it out much quicker, to more people; and the more people you reach, the more people are likely to share it because it is easy for them to share. Whoever they share it with gets instant access and that has a compound effect.” – Jason Graystone
Jason shares his four-product ascension model that is designed to work with online businesses. It is widely used and has delivered great results.
The four products are: Free stuff ==> Core product ==> Cross-sell or advanced product ==> Paid community.
My thoughts: This model seems to underpin the business models used by some of the largest companies in the world. Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, has an extensive free tier that companies can access and use. Once they have used the free tier, then they start buying AWS services and become part of the community.
Your thoughts? If you work in an online business, or an online division for your company, do you have a model that will enable your business to grow exponentially? What has worked best for you?
Now I’m going to look at each of the components…
1) The free stuff
“The first product that you need to think about having is the free stuff. Maximum value free stuff.” - Jason Graystone
The first thing to deliver to prospects is free stuff. There is a range of free stuff that companies can produce including newsletters, podcasts, videos, blogs, interviews, eBooks, articles, featuring on other people’s blogs, whitepapers, social media content and anything that is free.
This needs to be your best thinking that you give away for free.
Why? Free stuff starts to build a connection with people and it starts to build trust in you, and your company. If you give away valuable content, then prospects will not only appreciate it themselves but will also share it.
My thoughts: I have seen free stuff used as a core component of a company’s marketing. When I was trying to establish my company, I started to write blogs as my free content in the hope that it would be appreciated, shared and that perhaps people would be attracted to my website.
Companies today need to invest a huge amount of their time and energy into delivering a massive amount of high-quality free material. This seems to be the most efficient away of attracting interest in your core product.
Your thoughts? Do you, or your company, have a free stuff model? What free stuff do you give away? What do you find delivers the best results?
2) The core product
“The second product I call the core product. It is the one that you push out the most – that solves a problem for people.” – Jason Graystone
Once you have gained the trust of a prospect then your core product addresses the problems addressed in your free stuff.
Jason suggests that the core product be between $200 to $600 – as an example.
My thoughts: Do I have a core product and service that is of high value that can be sold profitably?
Your thoughts? What percentage of throughput do you get from your free material to your core product and services? Have you been able to measure it?
3) Advanced product
“This is the ultimate next step. This could be a coaching program, an advanced version of the core product or a full version of the core product.” – Jason Graystone
This would be a higher priced product and service than your core product.
My thoughts: Would an upsell program work for me? Would I feel that I need to provide all the content within the core product without getting customers to pay more for an advanced product?
Your thoughts? Do you have a model where you have an entry and an advanced product or service model? How does it work for you?
4) Paid community (the subscription model)
“This is the highly profitable lifeblood of your business” – Jason Graystone
This is the recurring revenue aspect of the business. This will hopefully grow and the profits from here can be used to pay for additional free material and pay for leads into the funnel.
My thoughts: What aspect of a business that I could create would people pay to be part of a community? Would I be able to offer enough value to keep people paying a membership fee?
Your thoughts? Do you have a subscription model as part of your business? Does your company offer a software product or something else that people subscribe to?
How does the model work?
Jason says that in his industry – financial education, that 10% of the people that engage with his free material will buy his core product. Then 20% of people convert from the core product to the upsell/advanced product. This is due to an increase in trust from being introduced to the free stuff through to the advanced product. In his experience, 20% of people who do the advanced course will then buy the subscription, or membership service. He also says that 20% of people will go straight from the free stuff to the membership model.
The model looks something like this:
The four-product Ascension Model
My thoughts: I have seen even the largest companies in the world use this model. The beauty of this model is that with marketing there will be a through-flow of customers that hopefully find your product/service worth the subscription. This will result in more money being available for marketing. This will cause a Flywheel to come into effect that will hopefully escalate this process and grow it exponentially.
Your thoughts? Once again – do you use this model, or a version of this model, in your business? How is it working for you?
This model might sound simple and fanciful but it, and varieties of it, actually work. I have listened to podcasts of people who are making millions of dollars by building an audience with free stuff, selling a course or a program and then offering a subscription service afterwards.
When I told my wife about this her first question was the obvious one. When are we starting a business based on this model? 😊
As always, your comments are vital. What do you think of this model? Do you use this model in your business? How is it working for you?
The views expressed within this blog post are my own and don’t represent the views of the company I work for.