In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you seven different models of business leverage that you might like to consider when moving from a one-to-one model into a one-to-many model.
If you’ve been considering adding another leverage product to your business, or you want to be prepared and start thinking about what models you might move towards, this is going to be a super helpful episode for you.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
7 Sexy Models of Leverage: tashcorbin.com/models
Episode 277: Course or membership? How to decide which is right for your business: tashcorbin.com/277
Let’s dive in!
What do I mean when I say business leverage?
Leveraging is where you are able to serve more clients in less time because you’re working in a one-to-many model.
Generally, what we’re looking for when we move into a leveraged model or we add a leveraged product into our business, is that we want to be making more money, serve more people or have more results with either the same or less time and effort going into creating those results.
Of course, creating business leverage is very sexy.
We get very excited about working in a one-to-many model. It allows a lot of significant scaling and shifts as you move forward into more leverage in your business.
It’s not just scaling up the delivery and being able to serve more clients. In a lot of cases, it also has more scalable marketing. You can start really getting your product in front of more people and having them say yes, without necessarily having to have a one-to-one conversation with them.
I still do recommend offering one-to-one conversations when you’re selling leveraged products, especially in the early launches, because it gives you so much insight into the messaging.
But we’re moving towards being able to make far more sales without having to have all of those one-to-one interactions to get them.
It can be better for you because you only have to show up to one hour a week of calls yet you’re serving 30 clients, versus having 30 calls a week to serve 30 clients.
Of course, that business leverage can mean it’s freeing up time for you.
It can mean that you’re able to take on more clients without any additional workload. There are definitely some great benefits for you and your business. But something that I think a lot of us underestimate is how valuable it is for clients to work in a group program.
In a lot of cases, moving into a leveraged model is actually a better fit for a portion of your clients.
Some people (myself included) prefer learning in a group environment. Some people need flexible learning options. They can’t show up to a live one-to-one call with you on time every week for 12 weeks, because life is too busy so they need something they can do at their own pace.
Some people like to review and redo things over and over again, in order to really cement and implement. Some people require accessibility and flexible learning options that aren’t available when you’re just working one-to-one with someone.
There can be a lot of reasons why moving into business leverage is really sexy and very effective and helpful for both you and your audience.
But there are a lot of different ways that you can leverage.
In fact, there are dozens and dozens of different business models and models of leverage that you are able to choose from.
Knowing what I know about my audience (that’s you reading along), I have selected the seven main models of leverage that we have to choose from that you would most commonly see in businesses like ours – heart-centred (often) one-to-one service-based businesses.
These models make sense as a transition from a one-to-one model into a one-to-many model.
I’ll give you a brief description of the seven models of business leverage, but I also do have a detailed training on this that I’m happy for you to access free of charge.
You can register for that free training here: tashcorbin.com/models
If you want to hear more detail about the pros and cons and how to move into each of these models, then make sure that you go and check out that training.
Model 1: VIP group
I love the VIP group model as the first model of leverage because it requires the least amount of sales, it has the softest transition from one-to-one into leverage, and there’s less risk of a significant decline in your income.
That’s something that not a lot of people talk about.
When you move into a leveraged model, often it’s a much cheaper option for people so you have to make more sales to make the same amount of money.
The marketing that’s required to get a sale of a leveraged product is generally more than selling one-to-one. You have to do more marketing and you have to get more sales to make the same amount of money in the first instance.
Whereas if you move into a VIP group, you can still charge premium pricing, you’re only requiring a small handful of people to join, and you get to practice delivering in a one-to-many way.
You can still use high-connection strategies to get the sales. But you can practice selling in a one-to-many way.
It’s the softest and gentlest transition in my experience.
That’s the first business leverage option – offering a small VIP group model of something, whether it’s evergreen, a course, mastermind, or something else.
Model 2: Course
Creating a self-study or facilitated online course with some live components that take people from one space to another through online learning of some sort.
It can be live, it can be pre-recorded, it can have live components, or it can be completely self-study. There are lots of different ways to do it within the course model.
The course model is another one that’s very helpful, particularly for service-based businesses, because a lot of what we do with our one-to-one clients ends up being very common amongst our clients.
You can see there was a step-by-step process that most people roughly followed. That’s something that can then be translated into a step-by-step process that people can follow on their own or follow in a group environment.
The course model can be very sexy for us to move into. It can be very effective, particularly in service-based businesses.
Course model is great because you don’t have to change niches. You’re delivering the same outcome to the same niche just with a different delivery model.
There’s not a lot of messaging change that needs to happen. It’s also a very simple and effective transition, in most cases into a course model.
Model 3: Membership
It’s similar to the course model, but it’s a recurring payment.
Rather than paying $1,000 to do a course, people are joining with the expectation that they’re going to remain there for an extended period of time, and they’ll pay for that privilege consistently.
It might be a membership where people pay $75 a month to be part of that membership. It’s an ongoing payment – the payment plan is never done.
A membership model generally has a monthly, quarterly or yearly payment attached to it.
It’s an ongoing model of delivery.
A membership model is similar to a course model in that it can be for the exact same niche, with the exact same process and the exact same messaging. But with a membership model, there needs to be a reason why it’s an ongoing relationship with an ongoing delivery.
A course generally teaches a process that’s more complex, but once you’ve taught it, they understand it and they’re on their way. A membership often is for something that’s less complex, it’s faster to learn, but it takes a lot more practice to implement consistently.
For example, you might have a course on how to cook healthier meals for your children. The course contains different recipes to try each week, plus some tips for shopping, meal prep, etc.
Once you’ve learned it, you’ve learned it and that’s it. But then within that niche, there might be something that’s simple to learn, such as meal planning. It’s simple to learn, but the practice of doing it over and over and building your recipe bank and your understanding of what’s a staple and what needs to be purchased might take practice and it might take putting some time aside.
A membership model might be used for teaching meal planning whilst also having that accountability, sharing different recipes, and setting aside the time to do the meal planning (ie. we all do our meal planning together on a Sunday afternoon).
You can see, the course model is more for teaching some of the more complex parts of feeding your children healthier food, whereas the membership model is for the things that are not necessarily complex but it takes practice, accountability, and setting the time aside.
The longer you stay, the better you are at practising it, and the more recipes you get access to.
There’s value in staying as a member.
That’s a basic example of the differences between courses and memberships. But a lot of people’s assumptions about what fits a course better and what fits a membership are often not true.
The things that you think you have to do a membership to get (ie. recurring income), you can actually get from a course as well. Or you may think that you can only have a high-ticket course… you can have a high-ticket membership too.
I do have a previous podcast episode on the pros and cons of courses versus memberships. If you want to explore that more in-depth, you can check out that podcast episode here: CLICK ME.
Model 4: Agency
The agency model refers to whenever you (as a service provider) hire other people to deliver your services.
You may be a one-to-one Facebook Ads Manager, and you want to leverage your time and serve more people with less of your time taken up, so you hire people in your team, you train them in your methodology of ads management, and then you send your team members to be ads managers for other people.
You’re responsible for all the sales and marketing but you’re not responsible for all of the delivery.
You use an agency model to have other people delivering the service.
Some people use the agency model for courses and memberships as well.
You might join a membership that is for X person who is an expert in something, but inside the membership, everything’s delivered by their coaches, their sub-coaches, and their team.
If you’re going to do that, please be upfront about it. I’ve joined a few memberships where there’s zero access to the person whose membership I was joining. I thought I was joining their membership, not their team’s membership.
With the agency model, you want to be very transparent about the fact that it’s an agency model.
In certain niches, that lends itself to creating a lot of credibility.
Things like website development and social media management where it’s delivering a technical service, saying that you have six experts on hand that would be able to run your ads for you actually makes your business look bigger.
That creates its own level of credibility.
Not everything feels like it has to be the business owner delivering it in order for me to get the best results.
I’ve used a Facebook ads agency a few times and I’ve also worked with individuals who are the ads manager and that’s their entire business. They’re a solo business.
There are definitely benefits to working with an agency model. For example, if my ads manager was ever off work or sick, anyone else in the team could take over managing it seamlessly.
Additionally, a business owner running ads means their time is divided between managing your ads for you, and then also marketing, getting more clients and looking after other clients as well.
It’s not always the case, but often an agency is far more responsive, and the person who’s working with you is solely focused on delivering great outcomes for you. They don’t have a role in marketing and so therefore, I got a lot more responsiveness and attention on me, because they want to do a good job and deliver for me.
They’re not thinking about where their next client is coming from. That’s the responsibility of the marketing department or the business owner.
There are definitely benefits for clients of the agency model, as well as benefits for you as a provider.
Model 5: Products
This is where you sell a physical or digital product.
It’s far more passive than a course. It might be that you sell books or you sell planners.
My planner is not a product because it comes with workshops, and it’s got live delivery.
It’s more a course model. It’s not a pure product model – it’s a hybrid.
There are other businesses that purely just sell planners, books, coffee cups, candles, etc.
For a lot of service-based businesses, moving to the product model only makes sense where you have a very high turnover, large audience, large profit margin on the products, and it’s complimentary.
A lot of people get drawn into the product model and then quickly realise that it’s more effort than it’s worth.
If you think about delivering one-to-one, you have super high-profit margins because you’re giving your time to deliver. And then you start selling sticker sheets for $2. They cost you 25 cents to get them printed but you also have to factor in postage, returns and customer service.
You could just sell one VIP package, which would be far, far easier and get you far more money, than trying to sell hundreds of thousands of sticker packs.
The product model from a one-to-one model into products can tend to be trickier. But if it’s high-ticket products, that can be really good. Or if you’ve got a very large scale audience, and it’s complementary to what you’re doing one-to-one, it can absolutely work. There are definitely pros and cons to the product model.
There are also ways to do it where you don’t have inventory.
Using things like drop shipping or print-on-demand definitely helps with making the product model far more profitable and less time intensive.
Model 6: Low-ticket
I’ve separated this out as a separate model because yes, there are low-ticket courses, low-ticket memberships and low-ticket products. But there’s also a whole industry that is built on simply creating low-ticket products (digital products in particular).
Regardless of what the thing is that’s low-ticket, it has its own strategies. Therefore I separate it out as a separate model.
The low-ticket model of leverage requires very high audience numbers and very high conversion rates, but it can be very helpful when you’ve got a technical service and you don’t want to move to the agency model.
You might be in the legal space and you don’t want to hire other lawyers, but your capacity is getting a bit maxed out, so you sell contract templates.
It’s a low-ticket product that is far lower in price than working with you as a lawyer one-to-one, but it’s a great down-sell for people who aren’t necessarily ready to invest at the one-to-one level.
It’s a way to get some of those repetitive things that you don’t necessarily want to be doing one-to-one with people off your plate.
Similarly, I know a few website developers who sell website templates.
You can work with them for $5,000 and they’ll build you a bespoke website, or you can buy a template for $250 and build it yourself.
Particularly those more technical type services, it’s a good fit because there’s a big gap between someone who wants to buy low-ticket, and someone who wants to work with you VIP. It doesn’t devalue your VIP as much.
Especially if you don’t have courses.
If you have a high-ticket course, VIP group program or membership, low-ticket can actually erode value from those other leveraged models in your business.
Be mindful: sometimes you’re better off having free and high-ticket when it comes to business leverage, than having low-ticket in between that creates a gap in perception of value.
Something that happened for me was when Take Off became a $2,000 program, I brought in a low-ticket course for the pre-Take Off stuff. What that ended up doing was it delayed people joining the Take Off program, because even though people had only spent $100 on that product, they didn’t want to buy anything else until they’d finished it. Or they didn’t want to buy anything else until they got all the value that they could and they’d implemented 100% of that program.
It created a lot of perfectionism.
Where people would normally do my free stuff and then join the Take Off program within 60 to 90 days, with the low-ticket offer, it would then take three to four times as long to come and join the Take Off program.
I know there are lots of marketers out there who sell the idea that trip wires and getting low-ticket sales in the door far quicker increases the likelihood that they’ll buy the next thing. But that’s not always the truth. It’s not always the case.
A lot of the time, the way that the strategy is taught is that you don’t deliver with the low-ticket. You underdeliver.
The people who get this to work really well often will make lofty promises of what the low-ticket thing will deliver. But then on the inside, it’s far less detailed than you would think or far less valuable to the person than they had perceived. It only gives you one tiny part of the picture.
And then because it doesn’t give the whole picture, it’s a fast upsell to the high ticket and into the next thing.
They will use a lot of scarcity and urgency tactics.
If you’ve ever purchased something low-ticket before, you get this countdown timer that says you’ve got 42 minutes to upgrade to the $1,000 thing, and you will never get it that cheap again.
They’re creating pressure and urgency to force that decision without you ever having done the low-ticket thing.
They use the low-ticket thing more as a marketing tool than actually something that’s still delivering anything.
That will generally be out fo values alignment for people that I work with and people reading my podcast. It feels like it’s not in integrity to create something that doesn’t deliver or to create something that you don’t want people to actually do.
If you don’t use those fear, urgency and scarcity tactics, it won’t convert as well as you were promised. You would be better off not having that low-ticket thing in the middle.
Low-ticket definitely has its place, but there can be some risks with it. Sometimes it can reduce the effectiveness of an existing funnel or launch, even though everyone out there would have you believe that a low-ticket thing is always going to increase conversion.
That’s definitely not the case.
Model 7: Events
Events such as running conferences, running retreats, running in-person workshops, going on a speaking tour, etc.
Again, there are pros and cons to different types of events and adding events to your business model. But it can be a very good model for those people who particularly aspire to be on the speaking circuit. People who love in-person connection, curating luxury experiences and facilitating retreats.
A lot of people that I work with have events on their list of things that they would love to offer in their business.
I think it’s a really great thing to add to your business model when you’ve nailed the foundations of the one-to-one.
I think one of the biggest mistakes I see people make with the event model is they move into events too soon. They don’t have a large enough audience, and they just end up running so many puny little events with three people there, or they don’t get the numbers that they need for the type of event that they were putting together.
I see that a lot with moving into retreats too soon. People just assume everyone’s going to want this. This is amazing. It’s sexy and it’s so luxury. Then they have no one buy or worse they have one person buy and they budgeted everything based on eight people coming on the retreat, so it’s actually making a loss if only one person comes. Then they have to cancel on the person.
Or running low-ticket events, and you need 100 people in the room for it to make sense… and you get 16.
That can be really demoralising.
We want to make sure we’ve got proof of concept for moving into the event model, and a large enough audience for the event model to make sense.
There are ways that you can waitlist and split test and get interest in events well before you actually make any commitment to running events.
That’s a really fun business leverage model – moving into the event space.
Those are the seven models of business leverage that I see most people in the heart-centred space would find the most helpful or the most aligned to the work that we do.
As I said at the start of the episode, if you would like the detailed training to help you decide which business leverage model you should move into, and make sure that you’re prepared for each of them, then you can find that free training here: tashcorbin.com/models
If you want help deciding between a course and a membership, check out episode 277 of the podcast: tashcorbin.com/277
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.