Ever wondered how successful creators scale their businesses seamlessly? Enter the realm of value ladders — an essential marketing concept that’s crucial for the success of your creator business.
Okay, but what is a value ladder, you ask? Well, you’re in luck. In this article, we dive into how to build a value ladder, the benefits of having one, and how it can elevate your creator business game.
Ready to ascend? Read on to learn more.
What is a value ladder?
In a nutshell, a value ladder is a marketing concept that’s designed to take customers on a journey from a lower-priced entry-level offer to a higher-priced premium product.
By applying the value ladder strategy to your creator business, you simultaneously provide content with more value to your customers while also gaining the opportunity to generate more leads, sell more digital products or services, and increase sales overall.
Think of each step of the value ladder as one of your offers. Each of these offers should increase in value and cost as your customer ascends the ladder.
That means, the top of the ladder would have your highest-priced, highest-value offer — this could be anything from a mentorship program to a live webinar.
Long story short: The goal of a value ladder is to create a series of products or services that offer your customers progressively more value, each step building on the previous one.
Why you need a value ladder for your creator business
First things first, one of the biggest advantages of value ladder marketing is that it requires you to be super clear and intentional about what types of products and services you offer your audience.
So, by creating a value ladder, you automatically gain a better understanding of the journey your customer goes through on their way to purchase a product or service, aka the good ol’ sales funnel.
At this point, if you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute… sales funnel, what’s with all the corporate marketing jargon?”
Just remember that, the more you understand marketing strategies like value ladder marketing (and yes, that might include a sales funnel or two), the more you’ll treat your creator business like a business, which ultimately means more success!
Business jargon aside, read on to learn a few of our favorite benefits of value ladder marketing.
Appeal to different segments of your target audience
One of the best things about a value ladder is that it provides you with the opportunity to create a series of product offerings that appeal to different segments of your target audience.
Why is this so important? Because some people might be more interested in — or only have the means for — your low-cost offers over your higher-priced products or services.
But don’t put anyone in a corner — your entry-level customers might one day become high-value product customers.
At the end of the day, if you create a value ladder correctly, you can pretty much guarantee that you will serve both those who are willing to spend a little and those who are willing to spend a lot.
The more products and services you offer at different price points, the wider the spectrum of value you can offer to your audience, which results in more trust and loyalty among your community of customers.
Build a loyal customer base
Finally, not only does a value ladder allow you to take your time to nurture strong relationships with your audience, but it also helps you build a loyal customer base.
Since you are providing value at every step of the ladder, you create a community of customers who are invested in your brand and more likely to refer you to others.
How to build a value ladder in 5 steps
From defining your core offering to creating a seamless progression of value, each step in the value ladder strategy plays a crucial role in engaging and satisfying your audience.
By understanding customer needs, crafting entry-level and high-value offers, and optimizing communication, you can create a value ladder that guides customers toward increased interest and commitment to your product or services. That means increased revenue for you!
When implementing your value ladder, keep in mind that you can’t offer the same lessons or the same material twice, otherwise, where’s the motivation to climb?
Seriously though, we’re not trying to get existential here. If each step of your ladder brings more value to your customer, the sky is truly the limit.
Read on to learn how to build a value ladder in five simple steps.
Step 1: Know your audience
Knowing your audience is essential to constructing a value ladder strategy for your creator business. And by knowing your audience, we mean understanding their unique needs, preferences, and pain points. By doing so, it enables you to craft a value ladder that resonates with your specific target audience.
Once you have a good grip on who your target audience is, you’ll want to tailor each rung of the ladder to address specific concerns and deliver targeted solutions.
This is a crucial component of value ladder marketing. That’s because if done correctly, it’ll only enhance the relevance of your offerings.
Ultimately, having a deep understanding of your audience will allow you to communicate more effectively.
It’s also what will turn your ladder from a generic structure of a metaphor into a personalized journey that fosters customer trust and loyalty throughout each tier of offerings.
Step 2: Identify your offers
Your offers should represent different products or services at different price points. Always keep in mind that each offer should be designed to help your customers achieve a specific goal or solve a specific problem.
Let’s say your creator business is centered on helping people learn how to shoot photos with film cameras. Keeping in mind that the goal of your value ladder is to offer your customers more value at each step, a range of products and services you can offer might include:
- A free guide on film and camera types
- A mini-course on how to unlock your inner photographer
- A fully-fledged online course about photography
- A private mentorship program
The key here is to offer more value at each step of the ladder with the hopes that as your customers climb the ladder, they will only become more invested in your brand and more likely to purchase your higher-priced products.
Step 3: Create entry-level offers
Most value ladders begin with an opt-in, which is a low-barrier entry point where potential customers express their interest or commitment by willingly providing their email in exchange for something of value.
Like that friend who wants to hang out one week and stops replying to your texts the next, social algorithms can be fickle. That’s why it’s so important to build a direct relationship with your audience by giving them something valuable in return for their email address.
An opt-in can look like a sign-up form on your website or link-in-bio page. It can also be an opt-in freebie, like a free product or service offer.
Similar to an opt-in, another great value ladder marketing strategy for entry-level offers is the lead magnet.
After the opt-in stage of a value ladder, it’s time to send a follow-up email with a valuable offer. Some creators choose to first offer a free digital product, as a lower-barrier entry point over a low-cost product or service.
By offering your lead a free digital product, you’re essentially asking them to become a customer. This leads us to the next entry-level offer where your lead becomes a paying customer — the low-priced product.
Now you’re at the step in the ladder where you’ll start seeing some cash flow. At this point, maybe you’ve already attracted new customers with your lead magnet. Or, maybe your low-priced entry-level product is your first follow-up offer.
Either way, this step of the value ladder is where you focus on offering a product that’s designed to provide lifetime customer value while also offering an accessible price point.
A low-price product could be anything from a simple guide to a template or a mini-course. Remember that the products you offer at the lower end of the ladder will also contribute to a more reliable recurring income, aka passive income.
Since passive income represents any money earned with a small amount of effort, make sure you don’t spend too much time creating your low-priced products.
This is where intuitive tools that make your digital products easier and quicker to produce, like The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder, come in handy.
Whatever type of product you decide to offer, just make sure you charge a small amount of money for it. At this stage, the idea is to build trust with your audience, while also gaining a reputation for offering valuable products.
Step 4: Create mid-tier offers
Once you’re at the mid-tier level of the ladder, you’ll start to see some serious dough rolling in. This is where you’ll start selling products with even higher value and at a higher price.
A mid-tier priced product could be anything from an informative mini-course — simply offered at a higher-ticket price. Or, maybe you’re ready to offer a fully-fledged online course built on a scalable platform like Thinkific, which is designed to help creators easily create customized courses to monetize their expertise.
You should be thinking about this step of the ladder as a high-value product or service that is in between your most accessible and least accessible price points.
Step 5: Introduce high-value offers
Welcome to the top!
At this stage, you’ve already attracted new leads with an opt-in, offered a low-price product or service to give a taste of your value offering, and provided a mid-tier priced offer for the segment of your audience that wants to — and can afford to — go the extra mile.
Congratulations! Now you’ve reached the peak-priced premium offer of your creative business. The top of the value ladder should represent your most valuable and highest-priced offer available.
New to selling digital products? Get our free Digital Product Launch Checklist for tips to start on the right foot!
Value ladder examples
1. Juan Galán
Juan Galán, a seasoned marketer, transitioned from corporate roles to becoming a full-time Instagram creator and founder of IG Creator Academy. With over 10 years of marketing experience, he shares insights ranging from AI strategies for content creators to tips for crafting compelling IG captions.
Collaborating with The Leap, he created a free offer in the form of a mini-course on planning digital product, emphasizing audience research and an MVP mindset.
Juan’s shift to full-time content creation and his strategic use of creator marketing tactics, including the free mini-course as a lead magnet, showcase his expertise in building a successful value ladder strategy.
Juan favors a free offer as a lead magnet. Alongside his free mini-course on The Leap, he offers many other entry-level digital products on his website such as an Instagram Growth Guide, free ChatGPT prompts, and a free “No BS Reels Guide for ‘Reel’ Success.” All these entry-level offers lead up to his high-value course and membership offers.
2. Laura Bitoiu
Laura Bitoiu (@bsquared.social), self-proclaimed “the only Instagram Reels expert,” is a standout content creator with a unique approach to Instagram Reels.
As a social media manager and consultant, she founded B Squared Social, a social media marketing agency specializing in Instagram Reels strategies. Leveraging her expertise, Laura provides educational content to her 114K Instagram audience, addressing the challenges of Reels and offering tips on trends, ideas, and performance optimization.
Using The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder, she created a comprehensive B Roll Library Guide, a valuable resource that she offers for free as a lead magnet. This example showcases her strategic use of a value ladder marketing strategy to efficiently and effectively grow her email list.
Laura’s lead magnet guides potential customers to her higher-ticket value offers like, “The Reels Report,” her weekly subscription-based newsletter.
3. LaTisha Styles
LaTisha Styles (@latishastylestv) leveraged her expertise to make over $1M+, now she’s helping her followers do the same. As a branding and marketing consultant, writer, speaker, and founder of her own business, You’ve Got Clients, LaTisha helps online coaches increase their rates and profits by building effective marketing systems.
Her strategic use of The Leap’s AI-powered tool culminated in a free mini-course, “Go Live to Get Clients,” which helped LaTisha to enhance engagement among her audience and grow her newsletter list through a limited-time offer. This is a testimony of her effective value ladder and lead magnet implementation.
While LaTisha’s free mini-course on The Leap represents her entry-level offer, she also offers low-priced products. For example, an annual goal planner for $55, or 14-day Manifestation Challenge for $22. Her mid-tiered offers include her 25K Digital Product Profit Blueprint, for $129.
LaTisha’s 1-on-1 Latte sessions are her version of one-on-one coaching and her highest value ladder offer, priced at $333 per session.
Build your own value ladder!
So you’ve been asking yourself “what is a value ladder?” for ages, and now you know. Well, sounds like it’s time to build your very own value ladder for your creator business!
Guess what? We have a super easy way to help you do it, too.
Try The Leap free today and use our AI-powered digital product generator to start building your value ladder. Whether you’re looking to make mini-courses, guides, and more, The Leap makes it quick and easy for you to create lead magnets, low-priced digital products, or even mid-tier offers, helping you grow your email list and earn more. Sign up for free now!
What is a value ladder?
To put it simply, A value ladder is a strategic progression of products or services, with each offering increasing value and price points to guide customers from entry-level to high-value offerings.
Ultimately, a value ladder is a powerful marketing approach to engage your audience and increase customer lifetime value. A sure way of elevating your value ladder strategy is to consider using simplified tools like The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder, which makes the creation of digital product offerings super easy.
What are the benefits of having a value ladder for your online business?
A value ladder can enhance your online business as a creator by offering a structured pathway (or, ahem, ladder) for customer progression.
In short, it attracts a diverse audience with varying budgets, increases customer loyalty through a seamless customer journey of ascending value, and maximizes revenue potential.
With strategic and targeted offerings, a value ladder ensures sustained customer engagement and satisfaction, contributing to long-term business success.
How do I build a value ladder?
To build a value ladder, start with a core offering, then create progressively higher-value products or services. The key to the equation is to first understand your audience! Then, align each level with their needs, and communicate the value of each step.
If you want to simplify the process, check out The Leap’s free AI-powered digital product builder, which makes it super easy to craft digital products as lead magnets or low- to mid-priced offerings to optimize your customer lifetime value.