SFN191: Cutting edge marketing and launch strategies from the Ask man, Ryan Levesque
Today’s episode is a really unique opportunity for anyone looking to get into the world of business to learn from one of the world’s top marketers.
Ryan Levesque is leading the way in in the marketing world right now. He’s helped companies sell over $100M in products using the Ask method.
Ryan is author of the best-selling book Ask and an investor in Bucket.io, the segmentation software entrepreneurs are using to implement the Ask method in their business.
You’re going to learn why the ask method works and why it’s been so successful, then Ryan will take you through the process of how he got started in business, where the idea for Bucket came from and his strategy for launch.
In This Interview I Ask:
- 4:20 - Ryan, tell us how you went from neuroscience to business.
- 13:00 - If we are just getting started with the Ask formula, give us the high level of why it works and why it has been so successful.
- 21:25 - How does Ryan get started in a new market? Paid advertising?
- 34:10 - Let’s shift and talk about Bucket now. Why get into software?
- 42:45 - Let’s talk about how Ryan approached the launch strategy for Bucket.io.
The Ask Model – Survey, Segment, Follow Up
“It’s really about asking questions before you presume you know what one of your prospective customers wants.”
The Ask model is a marketing methodology using surveys, quizzes and assessments to generate leads and then segment those leads to better communicate with them once they’ve entered the funnel.
Surveys, quizzes and assessments help businesses better understand the thing their customers truly want to buy, the language they need to describe that thing to their customers, and the buckets for different segments that exist in their market. Then they can speak to those different segments differently.
- A deep dive survey is a survey where you are asking open-ended questions to better understand the challenges, frustration, obstacles, hurdles and pain that your market is going through.
- When it comes to deep dive surveys, depth of response is far more important than frequency of response.
- With the deep dive information, you are able to identify hyper responsives – the people who give you the longest, most detailed and most passionate answers.
- You separate hyper responsive people because they represent the segment of your market that you want to consider serving. These are the people that will pay for information or a product that will solve their unique pain.
Three Ways to Start in a New Market
“It’s rare that you’re going to hit a homerun at the first swing of the bat. But if you’re striking out in all these markets and you have one market where you’re able to foul, to tip the ball off, then you know that market shows promise.”
If you are just getting started in an industry, don’t have a list built, and are at bare bones minimum, then there are three potential ways to start.
Paid Advertising – Drive paid ads to a landing page with an offer to provide value in exchange for answering a deep dive survey. Ryan promises to customize future information based on people's responses. If you don’t get much response, that’s not a bad thing. You just saved yourself 6-12 months of pain and agony from going into a market with no demand.
- Narrow down a handful of markets that you want to get into and look at the relative differences in response in these markets.
- The benefit to cold traffic is that you get the purest data.
Partner with Someone – Find someone in your market who has a list and make them an offer so that you can send a deep dive survey to their audience, then the two of you can share the data.
- Borrowing a list will create some sort of bias in your responses.
Rent a List – There are companies that sell email lists.
- You can put an offer on the thank you page to help defray some advertising costs.
There are a lot of ways that you can survey a target audience in a new market. It just comes down to what’s more important to you: purity of data or speed.
Bucket.io – Philosophy, Methodology, Technology
“If you look at the progression of any discipline, it follows this very interesting path. It always starts with a philosophy, philosophy evolves into a methodology, and the methodology is refined into a technology. The technology represents the greatest refinement of that philosophy.”
Philosophical ideas are often partially formed. They’re mess and not complete. A methodology forces you to codify that philosophy and give people a roadmap or a framework that they can use to actually execute it. When you put it in the form of a technology, it requires a level of sophistication in your thoughts and clarity in your thinking so you have to make rules-based decisions.
Technology is the ultimate evolution of any idea, and Bucket.io is the ultimate evolution of the philosophy developed by Ryan’s mentor Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Ryan found a group of ex-Silicon Valley devs working in the mountains of Colombia on a technology they thought was revolutionary – and Ryan agreed. It was the future of segmentation technology.
Ryan spent a year convincing the developers to let him invest in the technology. He made a seven-figure investment as a commitment to making Bucket.io the single best segmentation engine in the marketplace for marketers who want to survey and segment their audience online.
Bucket.io – Launch Strategy
“Your money is less important than your feedback at this stage.”
Ryan knew that Bucket.io was expected to be released in January 2017. He wanted a way to build a founder’s circle that would allow people to get into the software early, and at an amazing price, in exchange for providing feedback on the direction of the software.
Ryan limited the size of the founder’s circle and required small financial and time investments to join, which incentivized people to get in early. It also provided Ryan with a small enough cohort for him to learn from them.
Ryan also offered to create an investment in the businesses of the people who will make the best use of the technology. He held a webinar for his students and offered to pay for half of their Bucket.io accounts for two years so that they can get their business off the ground.
He had 554 people on the webinar live and converted over 75% of the attendees into the paid founder’s circle offer. Just an hour later, after those attendees shared the offer, he already had over 600 members on the launch list.