Your program will never be perfect.
You will always be tempted to tear it down and rebuild.
You’re drawn to the “product side” because you see the flaws–and also, it’s easier to build product than to do your marketing.
But constant revision burns out your team; creates gaps in knowledge; sends the wrong message to your clients AND increases churn.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the value of an audit process to upgrade your material. As I set myself up for my own annual audit, I need to remind myself not to burn it to the ground and start from scratch. And my company is AMAZING!
Why do we do it?
Because we think our product is our art
Because we see flaws no one else does (and maybe where they don’t even exist)
Because we’re thinking a year or two ahead of our clients
Because we don’t make decisions on data.
Because we want to include stuff “the other guy” has (feature creep).
Because we learned something new and want to share it with everyone.
Some of this is good, and some is bad. But your total content alterations should be less than 20% year over year, and decrease over time.
How do we stop ourselves?
1. We look at the data. If your retention rate and conversion rates are on target, resist the urge to change much.
2. Look at your clients’ success rate. If you’re producing the desired outcome of the program–and you’re very clear on that desired outcome–resist the urge to change much.
3. Look at your testimonials and referrals. If people say they love the program, and love the element you want to change–without prompting–don’t change it.
4. Talk with your SEED clients. Don’t do a survey, because surveys prompt “gap” thinking. In short, you train people to look for problems instead of finding satisfaction. But taking your 3-4 best clients aside and asking why they love the program will tell you what should remain, and what you can tinker with.
Managing change is always a balancing act.
While there’s always some excitement around the new iPhone or basketball shoe, you don’t want to break a working product.
Here are my rules:
1. Every change should get the client to the desired outcome faster. It must pass the “Will it make the boat go faster?” test. If it’s a distraction–or decreases speed to outcome–remove it, or put it in a different spot in your ascension model.
For example, we don’t tell people how to buy a commercial investment property in our Growth phase, because it will stop them from growing their business for 3 months while they work on it. Instead, it’s in our Tinker phase, where they’ll have the income necessary to consider investment.
2. Total alterations to your program should be less than 20% per year – including staff turnover, program content, and delivery.
Use a ‘bubble list’ or decision-making bracket to choose only the top 20% of your priorities to change.
For example, if you change from a group coaching program to 1:1, that’s a massive change. That’s enough for one year.
3. Put your ideas on a whiteboard and leave them there for three months. If they’re still urgent and exciting after three months, build them in. Time solves a lot of the decisions for you.
4. Measure everything. If adding a Facebook marketing section to your program improves client metrics, leave it in. If, after a year, it hasn’t improved client metrics, pull it.
You’re a builder. I get it. But clients aren’t buying your art project – they’re buying results. Build a system that gets them better results, faster–and you’ll find yourself making fewer, more surgical changes.
Then take an art class. 🙂