What’s your yellow brick road?

When Dorothy comes crashing down in the land of Oz, we know immediately what she wants. She wants to get back to Kansas.

Except that, she doesn’t know how to do that. She’s alone, confused and has no idea how she’s going to get back to her family.

Enter The Good Witch. She warmly informs Dorothy that what she needs to do is go and see the Wizard of Oz, because he can help her get back home.

Dorothy is willing and prepared to do whatever it takes, but she needs one more thing before she can set off. She needs a direction to go in. A route to follow. A map. Something that lays out the steps that will get her from where she is now to where she wants to be.

Luckily, The Good Witch obligingly comes up with a super simple plan for her: “Just follow the yellow brick road”.

Easy.

So easy, in fact, that Dorothy happily skips off, Toto at her heels, confident that she can reach her final destination and get the Happy Ever After she so desperately wants.

Your customers want the same.

They want a clear path to follow. They want to “see” what doing buisness with you looks like.

People don’t move towards confusion or uncertainty. They move towards clarity.

How can you help your customers clearly see the path they need to take to work with you and, ultimately, get to their final destination?

What’s your equivalent of the yellow brick road?

I review websites almost daily, but rarely see businesses doing this well. Or even at all.

You wouldn’t set off on any other kind of journey without a good idea of what direction you need to go in to make sure you arrive at the right place, so how can you expect your customers to do business with you when they have no idea what that is going to look like?

Of course I’m obviously not suggesting you lay out every step of your process in minute detail – that would be overwhelming for a prospect and probably stop them from taking action.

Instead, you want a simple, birds-eye view of the steps they need to take, that leads them to success. This is where a 3-step plan works so well.

Your 3-step plan

1. Encounter

Step one needs to be about how they get started. What does your prospect need to do to engage with your brand? It might be to buy your product, download your app, schedule a call or fill in your questionnaire to ensure you’re a good fit for each other. What’s the first step of the journey?

2. Experience

Step two should focus on what the experience will be once they’re onboard and engaging with your brand. What does doing business with you actually look like? Do you deliver their product, help them get started, create a plan or work with their team?

3. Effect

Step three is where you get to paint a picture of success. What does their life look like after they’ve engaged with your brand? Are they confidently growing their business, excitedly moving into their new home or celebrating their new-found energy and vitality?

Laying out a path like this in front of your prospects makes is super easy for them to say “yes”!

They’ll feel confident they’re in safe hands and reassured that you know where they want to go, and that you can help them get there.

As Donald Miller says in Building a StoryBrand, it’s about laying down the stepping stones that gets your customer across the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. “It’s as though you’re saying “First, step here. See, it’s easy. Then step here, then here, and then you’ll be on the other side and your problem will be resolved”.

Those ‘stepping stones’ are your 3-step plan. Your yellow brick road.

Want to see examples of plans I’ve created for my clients? Come join my FB group. It’s a place to continue the conversation about how to engage with your customers, using compelling words that speak to your ideal client about the things that matter to them.

I’ll see you in there!

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