BILLION DOLLAR BULLSEYE

5 Years, 2,153% Growth, And A $2,000,000,000 Valuation

...Here’s The 7-Step Formula That Got Us There

 

Can you get rich building and running a business? Absolutely.

But if you’re anything like me, you probably got into business because you want to get out of it.

Which is a smart move: at least half of the money you will ever make from that business will come on the day you sell it.

But the reality is, institutional investors go for big deals. If you stay small, you’ll have an incredibly difficult time cashing in on the asset you’ve created.

So whether you want to exit or systemize and collect passive income checks, no matter which way you slice it – scaling your business to its maximum potential value is in your best interests.

Take for example, my last company, Kajabi: Kenny Rueter and I took our annual revenue from $6M to over $100M in 5 short years.

Within just 5 years, that figure shot up to $100M - That’s a 2,153% increase in growth. And to top it all off, Kajabi also received a $2B valuation.

Keep reading to find out what the Bullseye Formula is, and how to implement it for yourself.

This growth resulted in Kajabi earning a valuation of over $2B.

People always ask me how we did it. And my response has always been, “I don’t know. It’s not like I have a seven-point, almost-never-fail, double-unicorn strategy.”

But now I do – it’s called the Bullseye Formula, and I’m going to walk you through it right here, right now.

Now, I can’t promise you this post will magically build you a billion-dollar valuation.

What I can promise you is that you’re about to learn a method of scaling that has an undeniable, proven track record; this post is the last thing you’re ever going to need to read about scaling your business.

I can do more than just hand over the blueprint.

If you want to implement the Bullseye Formula together, click here to reach out to me. Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve. But until then, keep reading to understand my formula for scaling companies.

The 7 P’s

All businesses can be broken down into seven foundational areas that I call the 7 P’s:

Purpose,
Profit,
Product,
Prestige,
Promotion,
Persuasion,
& People.

In that order.

The theory behind scaling a business to a 10-figure valuation is simple – you just need to get your 7 P’s firing on all cylinders. Sounds easy enough, right?

But the devil is in the detail – in this case, it’s the order of operations.

See, to reach your full potential in that area, each of the 7 P’s must be built directly off of the P that comes before; you need to be purpose-driven before you look at profit potential, profitability will let you make a product that’s fit for your purpose, and so on.

Lacking in one area puts more pressure on your performance in those around it. You end up over-emphasising, over-resourcing, and overcompensating in other areas of your business in an attempt to solidify your foundation.

This might not sound like a big deal, but you’ll feel it – this imbalance makes it incredibly difficult to sustain the revenue and growth that you need to realize your scaling goals.

It takes a focused, methodical approach to growth to hit your target.

Speaking of targets…

The Dartboard

I LIKE TO VISUALIZE THIS BUSINESS BREAKDOWN ON A DARTBOARD, WHERE EACH RING ON THE BOARD REPRESENTS ONE OF THE 7 P’S. IT ENDS UP LOOKING SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

Note that the rings are in the same order that I initially listed the 7 P’s – starting with Purpose in the center, and finishing with People in the outermost ring.

With our business foundations plotted like this, scaling said business becomes just like playing a game of darts.

Only with our game, the aim isn’t to simply hit the bullseye – it’s to expand it.

And that right there is the magic of the Bullseye Formula. When you’re aiming at a bullseye the size of the whole dartboard, how can you possibly miss?


Expand Your Bullseye

Let’s go back to the order of operations for a minute – this is exactly where my formula comes into its own.

Because the only way you’re able to expand your bullseye and make it a billion dollar one, is by mastering each successive ring, in order.

This bullseye expansion in action looks something like this:

The Bullseye Formula: Expanding Your Bullseye

AS YOU MASTER EACH RING, AND THEREFORE STRENGTHEN THE FOUNDATIONS OF YOUR BUSINESS, THE BULLSEYE EXPANDS.
THE BIGGER YOUR BULLSEYE, THE EASIER IT IS FOR YOU TO HIT YOUR TARGET, AND REACH YOUR SCALING AND GROWTH GOALS.

One key thing I need to note here is that the three inner rings, Purpose, Profit, and Product, are your core foundations; they are worth more than any of the outer rings that follow.

The outer four rings are still important, though – they act as amplifiers. Think of them like the spots on a traditional dartboard that doubles or triples your score.

When you have your three core rings interlocked, and you hit Prestige, Promotion, Persuasion, or People – that hit increases the size of your bullseye (and in turn, the value of your business) exponentially.

But remember, these amplifiers only work when you have your core three locked and loaded.

The main idea I want you to take away from my ramblings so far is this: order of operations is what will make or break your scaling efforts.

Anyone can dedicate their blood, sweat, and tears to building Prestige – but without solid Purpose, Profit, and Product supporting it, that Prestige is empty, hollow, and prone to collapse.

The Bullseye Formula is specifically designed to make sure you are always focused on the business levers that matter most, in the most effective order.

Now we’ve got the theory out of the way, we can see the Bullseye Formula in practice. Let’s go through each of the rings, discuss their importance, and find ways to strengthen them.


Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.


Putting The Concept Into Action:

How To Build Your Own Billion Dollar Bullseye

 

Ring #1: Purpose

 

The Bullseye Formula: Purpose

The Purpose Driven Center


"It was wild but relatively simple – all because our purpose was at the center of our target."

Case Study - In the Field:

Kajabi & Purpose

I joined Kajabi as its president when we were at about $6M in ARR, and around 25 employees. We were bootstrapped and profitable.

Over the next five years, we built to north of $100M in ARR, had 400 team members, and a beautiful 55,000-square foot office space next to the Irvine Spectrum in Orange County, California.

We went into Covid with 80 employees and exited it at over 400.

There are two key pieces that make up Purpose: your internal driver, and your external driver.

These two drivers work together as a set of decision-making guardrails; they keep you on the right track, and give you the momentum you need to persevere through the more difficult seasons of scaling.

INTERNAL DRIVER: Why are you doing what you do?

Your starting point for Purpose should be solely about you. Because when you’re steering the ship, nobody else will sacrifice what you will.

You must have an internal purpose that is so deeply personal that it will keep you pushing through every single barrier you face.

So, ask yourself: what is my internal driver? Why do I do what I do?

In order to discover and define the strongest possible internal driver that you can, you need to dig beyond the surface; you need to understand the why behind your why.

Say for example, your why is money – so why do you want money? What does that mean to you?

Maybe money really represents success and stability. Maybe it means being a provider for your family. Or maybe it represents freedom from being chained to a desk.

EXTERNAL DRIVER: Why do you do what you do for the people you do it for?

Your external driver is not about those in your immediate circle, like your team – it’s about your customers.

Your external purpose is the problem that you solve for them. In essence, it’s your customer’s why.


Case Study:

Kajabi & External Purpose

For Kajabi, we knew that providing users with a platform to sell their knowledge and serve their customers would not only provide life-changing education and skill acquisition for audiences, but life-changing incomes for our customers.

This end – our customer’s success – was our external purpose.

"Your external driver is not about those in your immediate circle, like your team – it’s about your customers."


I’m a very big believer that if your business does not have a purpose to guide it, all of the other rings of the dartboard will very quickly move you into simply being a commodity.

Your internal and external drivers are the building blocks for identifying your business’s overall purpose; it is absolutely vital that you nail these elements before anything else.

Push Strategy vs Pull Strategy

Most business owners typically skip over the step of defining their internal and external purpose, and jump headfirst into creating things like mission statements and value sets for their employees.

But this is a big mistake – it creates something I call a Push Strategy. You as a business leader artificially manufacture these values and visions, and push your employees to embrace them.
And how many times does that work? Not many, if at all.

Workers don’t want to be told what’s meaningful and valuable – they want to contribute what is already meaningful and valuable to them.

Your team needs to be compelled by your purpose (PULL), not commanded by your mission (PUSH).

If you constantly rely on a push strategy to get your team to buy in, you end up with a business that’s virtually impossible to exit – because you’re either;

  • The sole believer, who diluted your purpose to the point of being completely ineffective, or
  • The tyrant, who forced your purpose on people who ultimately don’t care enough to work towards your goals.

A pull strategy is the most transformative way to articulate, improve, and optimize both your internal and external purpose in business.

The most effective way of creating that elusive pull is to publicize and promote your purpose – or as I call it, ‘purposing in public’.

Purpose In Public

When you put your purpose out into the public sphere, you’re showing the world what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it for.

You give people the opportunity to see what you’re all about, and voluntarily put their hand up and say, “ Man, I really want to be a part of what they’re doing.”

Purposing in public then becomes a methodology of attraction; a pull strategy.

Promoting purpose in the public eye is the single best thing you can do to hit the Purpose target dead center.

When I talk about purposing in public, I’m talking about all of the real stuff. This goes beyond transparency – it’s a full pulling-back-of-the-curtain and exposing every aspect of your why.

It’s uncomfortable, but worth it.

Purpose is at the center of the Bullseye Formula for a reason; it provides direction and helps you make goal-aligned decisions.

It opens the door to high-growth opportunities, and shapes everything from how you use your money, to what products you develop and how you treat your customers.

Knowing what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it for are the greatest foundational shifts you can make as an entrepreneur.

DO THIS: PURPOSE
  1. Work out your internal purpose with raw and complete honesty.
  2. Understand the external purpose that drives you.
  3. Combine those two purposes to derive an ultimate, overall purpose for your company’s existence.
  4. If you’re not purposing in public, how can you start this week?
  5. Then, ask this question: Does anybody care?
  6. If not … go back to step 1.

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Ring #2: Profit

 

The Bullseye Formula: Profit

Case Study:

Kajabi & Being Bootstrapped

Being bootstrapped and profitable made all the difference in Kajabi’s long-term success – this was all Kenny.

He spent over a year coding before Kajabi ever went live. At the same time, he built a waitlist for the platform by doing free work for industry leaders with a minimum viable version of Kajabi. He called it ‘marketing to the front row’.

And that one move meant that Kajabi started with $1M in ARR at launch.

The company never took on any debt or institutional capital. Decisions were not made based on hope and gut feeling; they were made based on how well something performed, i.e. cold, hard numbers.

This approach to profit allowed us to retain control of our vision, and stay true to our purpose.

Your financial systems will naturally become more complex and sophisticated as your business grows. But in the beginning, you must stay accountable to your bottom line.

Allowing your business to freely accelerate top line results that effectively feed the bottom line is a foundational principle that ensures you’re going to have a fighting chance.

 

Which Numbers Matter?

Up until now, we’ve been talking about ‘numbers’ as a relatively vague concept, which begs the question: which numbers need to be tracked?

To ground those mystical numbers in reality for you, I’ve built a list of metrics you should be across to master the Profit ring.

I’ve split these numbers into three levels – Level 1 numbers being the most foundational, and Level 3 being more advanced.

The Bullseye Formula: Profit

The Numbers You Need to Track

Level One Numbers

Revenue: The total amount of money a business generates from sales.

Gross Profit Margin: The percentage of revenue that remains after deducting the cost of goods sold.

Net Profit Margin: The Percentage of revenue that remains after deducting all business expenses.

Cash Flow: The amount of cash that is coming into and going out of a business.

Return On Investment: The return that a business earns on its investments, such as marketing campaigns or new equipment.

Level Two Numbers

Accounts Receivable Turnover: Measures how quickly a business is collecting payment on it’s outstanding invoices.

Inventory Turnover: How quickly a business is selling its inventory.

Debt-To-Equity Ratio: Compares how much of a company’s assets are financed through debt versus equity.

Customer Acquisition Cost: Measures how much it costs a business to acquire a new customer.

Lifetime Customer Value: Measures the total value of a customer over the course of their relationship with a business.

Level Three Numbers

Customer Retention Rate: Measures the percentage of customers who continue to do business with a company over time.

Lead-To-Close Ratio: Measures the percentage of leads that result in closed deals.

Employee Turnover Rate: Measures the percentage of employees who leave a company over a given period of time.

Profit Per Customer: Measures how much profit a business generates from each customer.

The Big Question: Pricing

Pricing is one of the most important levers that a business can use to increase its valuation. A well-planned pricing strategy is critical for scaling to the exit of your dreams.

Landing a perfectly balanced pricing model takes experimentation – you won’t get it right off the bat. But with time, you will find a strategy that maximizes profitability and growth potential.

The foundation of all pricing strategies is to understand the value that a business provides to its customers.

So don’t throw your business away by joining the race to the bottom – focus on pricing your products and services based on the value they provide to your customers.

Case Study:

Kajabi & Value

Value-based pricing at Kajabi was always a huge part of our profit strategy, both from a proposition perspective and a pricing perspective.

The proposition perspective was one of simplification: rather than our customers managing tons of tools, we figured it would be easier if all of the tools they needed were already in one place, integrated, and ready to go.

And the way that we showcased the value-based pricing was through comparison. We simply listed what it would cost to buy each feature we offered separately.

All of the pieces combined were about 10 times the cost of Kajabi on a monthly basis. That positioning demonstrated a saving of 90%, (and a lot fewer headaches), to our customers – it becomes a no-brainer.

Generating profit is the ultimate goal of any business. But far too many companies boast about what their value is, while missing that profit goal completely.

All businesses need to put an emphasis on mastering their profit ring. It lets you grow, expand, and ultimately, exit well – profit equals options.

DO THIS: PROFIT
  1. Get real about your numbers. Make a plan to review all your Level One, Two, and Three numbers in the next seven days.
  2. Make sure every dollar has a job to do and automatically put your money to work the moment it comes through the door.

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Ring #3: Product

 

The Bullseye Formula: PRODUCT

Good Products Are Hard To Find ...and Even Harder To Create

Brian Chesky of Airbnb once said, “Build something 100 people love, not something a million people kind of like.”

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs avoid looking at their business through this lens. For many, your product is your baby – and no one wants to be told their baby is ugly.

Once a product is created, we tend to re-evaluate and iterate everything around it. But Product is the final of our 3 core bullseye rings for a reason – it’s the single best business lever you tinker with.

Take a minute to imagine this scenario: you wake up tomorrow morning to discover that the government has outlawed all forms of sales and marketing.

No ads, no salespeople, no funnels.

It’s a pretty unlikely scenario, but humor me for a second: what would happen to your business?
Does your company churn out in three months, leaving you with nothing? Does business stay flat because your expansion opportunities were reliant on new customers?

Or, does your business continue to grow, because every dollar you generate this year is worth $1.20 the next?

That is the power of nailing your Product ring – when all of your marketing could be turned off tomorrow, and your growth wouldn’t miss a beat.

Case Study:

Kajabi & Abandoning Advertising

There were two different instances at Kajabi where our marketing team said, “Our ads are crushing it.

Look at our ROAS (return on ad spend)!” We didn’t quite buy it.

In one of those instances, we had hired a very professional ad buyer who was spending big money in a variety of places and experimenting with different types of ads.

The decision to turn off advertising in this case was a very difficult one. But because we were serious about our profit target, it was a conversation we were willing to have.

Over a series of meetings, we used experience, knowledge, and good old-fashioned intuition to determine that the ads weren’t converting at a level that the spending would dictate.

After a big, deep breath, we turned off the advertising and watched it for a month.

Lo and behold, our growth rate remained steady. This completely changed how we were allocating dollars, time, and effort.

All said, we saved nearly $1M in ad-spend, and the product powered the growth anyway. We knew then that we had nailed the Product target.

The purpose of your marketing should be to amplify an already incredible product. It’s not there to keep your business on life-support – a solid product speaks for itself.

With that being said, though, creating a product that can stand on its own two feet is tough. This is why business owners go to every conference imaginable to find the ultimate social media ad hack, or the next big sales funnel.

You have to be willing to go through all the iterations and the process that comes with building a game-changing product.

Product Creation: What Not To Do

Relying on marketing and sales as the entire business strategy isn’t the only problem I see in working with companies trying to achieve their Billion Dollar Bullseye.

Here are some actions to avoid if you want a product that will sell:

The Bullseye Formula: PRODUCT

Top Product Creation Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Under-Research Your Market: Stop putting yourself in other people’s shoes – go and ask your market what they want, directly.

Don’t Ignore Customer Feedback: Once you’ve asked them what they want, listen. Don’t ignore it because it bruises your ego.

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Product Promise: Start big-picture, then work your way down. What is your product promising the customer? Capture that first – the details are just decorations.

Don’t Ignore Market Feedback: Keep an eye on market trends, and observe where your business fits. Pay attention and shift as needed to avoid irrelevancy.

Don’t Skimp on Product Design: Make your product as intuitive as possible for the average user. Beta test. Don’t be afraid to tweak and refine when it needs it.

Don’t Take Price for Granted: Price communicates value. It’s a strategic decision that determines where you show up in the market and what your customers expect of your product.

Don’t Sell the Same Product as the Next Company: Make your product stand out from your competitors. How? Circle back to the start – ask your audience what they really want and need.

Don’t Rely on Sales and Marketing to Sell Your Product: Doing this is a sign that your product needs work. Relying on these two to prop up a mediocre product will limit your success.

Create A Product With Inherent Virality
And Flywheel Effects

A huge part of the long-standing “Would your product sell without marketing or sales?” question is whether or not your product has inherent virality and flywheel effects; can your product be the source of its own momentum?

There are a number of ways to incorporate this flywheel effect into your business, and more specifically, your product design:

Consider user engagement: Are your customers using your product on a regular basis? If not, is there a system you could set up to encourage usage?

Design a network effect: Does your product increase in value as more people use it? Can you drive value and growth through referrals and peer recommendations?

Include a unique design or approach: What can you do to differentiate your product in the market, while still increasing your market value?

Engineer positive feedback loops: The more a user interacts with your product, the more valuable it becomes to them – gamifying your course or app is a great example of this.

Pay attention to market dynamics: Resist the urge to buckle down when your market experiences a significant change – pay attention and use these changes to your advantage.

 

Your Product And Customer Retention

Always keep in mind that there are only three ways to grow your business:

  • Acquire more customers
  • Sell higher-priced items to your existing customers
  • Sell to your existing customers more frequently

Notice that 2 out of 3 of those points hinge on existing customers – you must consistently ask yourself, “How am I going to get more out of this customer base in the future?”

This all comes down to Product.

If you have a mediocre product, then not only will people only buy once, but they’ll sure as hell make it difficult for you to sell anything to them again.

On top of that, any customer success people you hire to support that product will have an impossible task, and you’ll be left with a disengaged, unhappy team.

But when you invest hard work and determination into creating a product that is truly transformational, it pays dividends.

DO THIS: PRODUCT
  1. What would happen to your business if you shut off sales and marketing? If your answer is “immediately collapse,” then read this chapter again. Be honest and objective. Revisit your numbers.
  2. Ask what your product really is. Be completely honest, raw, and transparent about your business. It will give you the insight you need to fix it.

From Fundamental To Amplifiers

As we move into the final four rings of the Bullseye Formula, I want to take this opportunity to remind you that these last rings are your amplifiers.

They are there to boost and multiply your success in the first three rings; they are only effective if you have your Purpose, Profit, and Product on lock.

So take the time to review the sections of the first three P’s – let it all marinate, and think about how you can apply those lessons to your own business.

Then you can move into the amplifiers, and get ready to shoot for the moon.

Remember, I’m always on the lookout for business owners who need assistance building their own Billion Dollar Bullseye. If that sounds like you, click here to let me know you’d like some company on your journey to the moon.


Ring #4: Prestige

 

The Bullseye Formula: PRESTIGE

Prestige As An Amplifier


Especially in the early stages of your business, providing a prestigious customer experience is invaluable – not only to your customers, but to you.

See, Prestige and Product go hand-in-hand. Ultimately, you want to be product-led – but this is difficult (not to mention expensive) to achieve right out of the gate.

Prestige allows you to co-create, refine, and perfect your product with your user base, as they are using it.

Aiming to give a prestigious experience to your customers inherently means you have to walk in their shoes, and listen to their wants and needs; you discover the exact tweaks and refinements your product needs in order to make it truly transformational.

Case Study:

Kajabi & The Customer Experience

When live chat became the norm, Kajabi upped their live chat to be available 24/7/365 and has since added dedicated customer success, learning, and development teams and industry experts to continue to expand prestige.

Prestige was an amplifier that truly changed the game in an industry where Kajabi’s success was based on the success of our users.

When other companies offered knowledge bases, Kajabi offered support tickets.

When competitors caught on and offered support tickets, Kajabi offered live chat. 

Without a prestigious customer experience for people to enjoy along the way, Kajabi would not have been able to continue iterating on the product and rounding out those rough edges that always exist in new products.

Prestige Amplifies:

  • Your external Purpose through the facilitation of customer satisfaction and success;
  • Your Profit by increasing the number of customers who choose to stick around; and
  • Your Product by giving you the insight you need to perfect it.

 

Experience Customer Experience

I cannot understate the importance of walking a mile in your user’s shoes, and experiencing your own customer experience.

This is something many business owners neglect to do – it can be confronting, but you learn things about your company and your product that would otherwise fly right over your head.

A company that has prestigious customer experience down to a fine art is Disney. They create and audit all of their experiences often, and it shows.

Disney doesn’t start at the ride – they don’t even start at the line of a ride. They start all the way in the parking lot with the parking attendant.

And they have been known to take it even further to sit down with the city boards in Anaheim and Orlando to design the road and traffic flow that goes into the park.

Disney is able to provide this prestigious experience because they audit every single touchpoint.

At every juncture, they ask, “Does this enhance the experience? Does this add more prestige? Or, is this a prestige-detracting element that we need to work on?”

By implementing this kind of philosophy, you increase customer retention and create long-term relationships with your customers – meaning repeat business, positive reviews, referrals, and exponential growth.

You may not offer anything in-person, but the principle remains the same. Dedicate the time to auditing and optimizing every single touchpoint of your business – and do it frequently.

 


 

Be Honest:

  1. When’s the last time you actually went through your own support process?
  2. When’s the last time you went through your own sales process?
  3. When’s the last time you went through your own marketing funnel?
  4. When you did, were you proud or so disappointed you never did it again?

 


 

Routine Audits And Optimization
Of The Customer Experience

If you want to take a page out of Disney’s book, there are a few steps that you and your team can take to optimize the customer experience.

The Bullseye Formula: PRESTIGE

Audit & Optimize the Customer Experience

  1. Identify Key Touchpoints: Determine the different touchpoints that customers have with your brand, including the website, customer service, product usage, and social media interactions.
  2. Set Customer Experience Metrics: Define metrics to measure customer experience, such as customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), net promoter scores (NPS), and customer effort scores (CES).
  3. Collect Data: Gather data from various sources, such as customer feedback, surveys, social media monitoring, and customer service interactions.
  4. Analyze Data: Use data analytics tools to identify patterns and trends in customer feedback, including common complaints, areas for improvement, and opportunities for innovation.
  5. Implement Changes: Implement your findings from the data analysis to optimize customer experience, such as improving product quality, enhancing customer service, or creating personalized experiences.
  6. Monitor Results: Continuously track the impact of the changes on customer experience metrics and adjust as necessary. Regularly repeat the audit process to ensure ongoing optimization of the customer experience.
Essentially, to master your Prestige ring and experience its maximum amplification power, you need to do two things:
  1. Ask for feedback, and
  2. Listen to it.

Then, add the magic and exceed expectations. Go above and beyond. Give your customer not only what they thought they needed, but dreamed they wanted.

DO THIS: PRESTIGE
When you move into Prestige, you’re going for the Disney Effect. Use Disney as your measuring stick when you do the following:
  1. Walk through your customer experience. Right now. If you absolutely cannot right now, put a non-negotiable time on your calendar when you can.
  2. When did you last experience the full customer experience – good and bad – from the proverbial front gate to the trash cans out back?
  3. What can you adjust, remove, or add to improve the prestige of your customer experience?
  4. Now, put another date on your calendar for when you can walk through your customer experience again.

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Ring #5: Promotion

 

The Bullseye Formula: PROMOTION

Promotion As An Amplifier

Promotion refers to only the world of marketing – not sales. It’s about how you take the promise of what you offer, and promote that to the world.

Case Study:

Kajabi & Promotion

At Kajabi, we tried multiple times to perfect the paid media scaling. We tried to perfect the sales process.

But it wasn’t until we unlocked two core areas that we watched Promotion completely take off.

Those two areas? Recognition and referral.

We leveraged this with Kajabi Heroes (our rewards and recognition program), and our partner program.

Here’s how this amplified our three core rings:

Purpose: The Kajabi Hero Program positioned us as partners in our customers’ success, motivating them to achieve more, and hitting on our external purpose.

Profit: Every month, our partners get paid for anyone who has purchased Kajabi through them. This means we earn a new customer, and our users receive additional income from the 30% commission for the life of the new account.

Product: Our partner programs showcase our product, its features, and benefits better than any ads or marketing we could possibly create on our own.

For many of us, Promotion is an addiction. It’s almost like a form of escapism – we use it to avoid confronting the true sources of our business woes.

It’s always, “If I just had the right marketing guy …” or, “If I just got a better agency …” or, “If I just fixed my onboarding or acquisition strategy …”

In reality, the issues almost always lie in our three core Bullseye rings; a vague and unclear purpose, wobbly profit margins, or just a straight-up bad product.

This is why the true power of Promotion is its ability to amplify – it cannot solve your product problems, or clarify your purpose, or straighten out your financials.

But once you have those three areas locked down, your Promotion will beam that alignment into the sky like a bat signal for your target market, and draw them into your circle for a long time to come.

 

The Principles of Promotion Done Right

When companies hit their promotion target dead center, it’s no accident. Almost all successful promotions revolve around 5 core principles:

The Bullseye Formula: PROMOTION

The 5 Core Principles Of Effective Promotion

#1 Clear Value Proposition:

Clearly communicate the value of your products or services to your target audience. Focus on the benefits that customers will experience, rather than purely technical features.

#2 Personalization:

Tailor messages and offers to the specific needs of your target audience. Use data and insights to understand customer preferences and behaviors, and create personalized experiences that deeply resonate.

#3 Emotional Appeal:

People make decisions based on emotions first and foremost. Use tools like storytelling and humor to create a connection with your audience, and make your brand memorable.

#4 Omnichannel Approach:

You need to utilize a variety of channels to reach your target audience wherever they may be. Leverage social media, email marketing, content marketing, and other channels to create a cohesive integrated campaign.

#5 Incentives and Promotions:

These can be leveraged to encourage your audience to take action. Use limited-time offers, discounts, and other incentives to create a sense of urgency and motivate your audience to take that next step.

The key to an effective promotional strategy is to combine these tactics in a way that is tailored to your target audience, and still supports your overall business goals.

While that sounds easy enough, this takes a hell of a lot of time, research, and finesse to get right – it’s easier to make mistakes than it is to get it right.

 

Improve Your Promotion With One Key Move

Take a moment to think back to our section on Purpose. To directly quote myself, if I may:

“In order to discover and define the strongest possible internal driver that you can, you need to dig beyond the surface; you need to understand the why behind your why.”

Creating a hard-hitting promotion means to take that quote, and apply it to your customers; in essence, you need to target your audience’s why behind their why.

There’s typically a deeper, underlying reasoning that drives the decision-making process, so you’ll need to question further, and listen. I recommend at least three “levels” of why.

So to revise my earlier statement, you want to find the why behind their why behind their why. Not very catchy, but it’ll do.

Let’s see this in action – as an example, say you’re a personal trainer trying to sell me on a program:

Level 1 Why:

Trainer: “What are your goals?”
Me: “I want to lose weight and be healthier.”

Level 2 Why:

Trainer: “How would your life change if you lost weight and got healthier?”
Me: “I’d have more confidence and more energy.”

Level 3 Why:

Trainer: “What would more confidence and energy result in?”
Me: “I’d be a good role model for my daughter and more active as she grows older.”

Ahhh. Did you see that? The benefit of the benefit.

Now, your entire sales strategy has shifted – you’re no longer simply selling numbers on a scale.

You’re selling legacy, and better quality family time.

You need to understand that there is only one question on a customer’s mind: Can you get me from my current state to my desired state, with as little stress and friction as possible?

Promotion of your offer needs to answer that question – and for you to do that, there are two questions that you need to ask in return:

  • What is their desired state?
  • What emotions are driving that desire?

When you align your marketing strategy with those answers, every promotional campaign you touch will turn to gold.

DO THIS: PROMOTION
  1. Check out your competitors. What are they doing? Look at the Facebook Ad Library. Study their ads. See how long they’ve been running them. If they’ve been running the same ads for years, they probably work!
  2. Assess the stuff you give away and why. If you don’t give away anything, how can you start and start strategically?
  3. Take a moment to consider your team. Do they know you’ve got their back? That they’re part of a great solution? Do they care?

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Ring #6: Persuasion

 

The Bullseye Formula: PERSUASION

Persuasion As An Amplifier

If Promotion deals with marketing, then logically, Persuasion is where we talk about sales.

These two worlds commonly get confused, and spoken about interchangeably – but don’t fall into that trap. I’ve separated marketing and sales into different Bullseye Formula rings for good reason.

Persuasion is meant to pick up where Promotion needs to leave off. Persuasion is not meant to do the job of Promotion, and vice versa.

Some businesses lump these two roles into one all-encompassing department. This is all well and good (we even did it at Kajabi), but only if you clearly see that line in the sand.

Case Study:

Kajabi & The Promotion-Persuasion Fusion

At Kajabi, even with Promotion and Persuasion being integrated, it didn’t negate the importance for both roles to deliver their requirements.

We needed to have a marketing process that essentially canned and cloned the salesperson, and built that salesperson into every presentation we were giving through a marketing funnel.

The way we did that was by being very clear about where the marketing aspects started, and where the sales process started.

For us, the marketing process was getting the interest, getting the click, and getting a prospect enrolled in exploring further. The sales process then began in the showcasing of customer stories and product capabilities.

What Is Persuasion?

Let’s first begin by defining both marketing and persuasion – they are related concepts, but with their own individual meanings and goals.

Marketing: The process of identifying, promoting, and distributing a message, with the end goal of generating leads and/or sales. It’s the art of aggregating and directing attention.

Persuasion: The process of influencing someone to take a specific action, adopt a particular attitude, or change their perception of a product or service. It’s the art of driving action and commitment.

Persuasion is sales, but not in the traditional sense.

Hard selling simply does not work anymore. Customers aren’t interested in being bullied or pushed into making a purchase – they want conversations, connections, and solutions.

Persuading someone to buy requires a lot of the elements we touched on in Promotion – a deep understanding of the customer’s wants and needs, their pain points, and what drives their decision-making.

The Key Tenets Of Persuasion

There are a wide range of tactics and strategies that can be utilized for persuasion – most of which can be broken down into just a handful of key principles to apply, in this order:

The Bullseye Formula: PERSUASION

The 7 Key Tenets Of Persuasion

#1 Audience:

Listen to your market. Before anything else, you must first understand the needs, wants, motivations, and existing beliefs of who you’re trying to persuade.

#2 Pathos:

Use emotional appeal to connect. Tread carefully: if done authentically, emotions are what drive the human experience. But if manipulated, they create lasting scorn for the manipulator.

#3 Ethos:

Solidify that connection and build trust by walking the walk. Be clear in your purpose and showcase your knowledge and experience to give your company credibility.

#4 Logos:

Now they know who you are, what you stand for, and that they can trust you, you can start using logic and rationale. Lay out to them how your offer addresses their wants and needs and solves their problems.

#5 Timing:

Persuasion is more effective when it is timed correctly. Don’t rush, bully, push, or coerce. Let them make their own decisions, in their own time.

#6 Consistency:

Throughout your conversation, build your argument on a foundation of shared beliefs and values. Find common ground and ideas you can both agree on before you attempt to challenge them. 

#7 Call to Action:

End with a clear and compelling call to action. Make it easy for them to take the next step by providing clear instruction and support.

How This Translates Into Your Sales Approach

Ultimately, sales is a way to serve others; it’s a way to demonstrate a deep commitment to your goals and purpose.

This is an idea that is often misunderstood or straight up ignored by most businesses – and it’s one of the main factors that influences their lack of sales success.

There are a few core foundations of selling that, if you fail to understand and appreciate them, often result in frustration, anxiety, and an overall negative feeling about selling:

  • You must understand your customer’s needs and desires. You have to truly listen, and be willing to ask questions and dig deeper to get a full understanding of what the customer is looking for.
  • You have to provide real value. This means demonstrating a deep understanding of the customer’s needs, and providing solutions that meet those needs in a meaningful way.
  • You must work on a foundation of trust. Be transparent, honest, and reliable.
  • Whenever you sell anything, focus on the long-term. You ideally want a long relationship with your customers. This requires a deep understanding of the customer’s needs and a commitment to providing ongoing value over time.
  • You’ve got to be adaptable. The best salespeople are able to adapt to changing circumstances and customer needs. This requires being nimble and flexible, and being able to quickly pivot in response to changing market conditions or customer demands.

Persuasion is not about manipulation, deception, or hard selling – it’s about helping.

It’s about understanding the other person’s perspective. It involves aligning your message to the interests and needs of the other person rather than just pushing your own agenda.

It’s about being a human being, and helping another human being solve a problem in their lives.

DO THIS: PERSUASION
  1. Take a look at your SALES process – not your marketing and awareness process, but your sales. The things you do to get people to hand over their money. Review it. Is it too pushy? Are there a ton of refund requests? Is it easy for the sales team or are they struggling to get people over the line?
  2. Compare your own sales process to the core foundations of selling. How do you measure up? Where can you optimize?
  3. While you do that, add a little Prestige. How can you turn your sales process into a red-carpet experience?

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Ring #7: People

 

The Bullseye Formula: PEOPLE

The Ultimate Amplifier

The placement of People as this final ring of the Bullseye Formula is probably one of my more controversial perspectives.

Many will die on the hill that hiring the right people is a one-and-done strategy for success; it’s always something along the lines of, “If you hire great people, great things happen.”

But if you’re expecting to hire talented people to come in and fix your problems for you, it’s just not going to happen. A-players know how to quickly spot a dumpster fire, and get out just as fast.

Effective talent strategy can be boiled down to one simple fact: your team will only shine as bright or perform as well as the quality of the stage you put them on.

Missing any of the other rings on your bullseye will greatly damage or destroy your ability to hire great people. People comes last for a reason:

  • If your Purpose isn’t clear, the right people won’t be pulled to your mission.
  • If your Profit isn’t nailed, you won’t be able to pay them what they deserve.
  • If your Product isn’t extraordinary, or at the very least, exactly fit for Purpose, then there will be nothing to support, market, or sell.
  • If your Prestige isn’t excellent, then the people you hire will spend their days dealing with complaints and they won’t stick around.
  • If your Promotion isn’t great, then no one will know what you do, and your amazing people will be sitting around with time on their hands.
  • If your Persuasion isn’t naturally brilliant, then sales will be tough.

You only get People if all the rest is in place. Great people want to amplify an already great business.

Case Study:

Kajabi & Putting People Last

It took a lot of trial and error before we were able to nail People at Kajabi.

Repeatedly, we would over-title – if we needed a C-level hire in any department, we’d look at the most senior employee in that area, slap a new title on them, and send them on their way.

As you can imagine, this led to a myriad of problems. Not only have you over-titled and overcompensated but it’s really all your (the hiring manager’s) fault.

What saved Kajabi was that our three core rings were dialed in.

We led well with Purpose, purposing in public very effectively. We had teams that were excited and energized by the success of our user base, and they saw themselves having an opportunity to participate in something bigger than themselves

Culture And Engagement

Company culture is something that should be at the forefront of all business owners’ minds, especially in this day and age – movements like the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting show that employee engagement is in freefall.

We’re confronted with this giant question of what we’re going to do with this mess, and the answer we always seem to get in return is mission, vision, and value set – get everyone excited about rowing in the same direction!

But remember what I said in Purpose about Push Strategy vs Pull Strategy?

A Pull Strategy is the only way you’ll effectively circumvent issues with employee engagement. Stop crafting a purpose around the people you’ve got – articulate your purpose first, publicize it, and the right people will come to you.

Pulling is the single leverage point of getting amazingly talented people to fully buy in to your purpose, and inoculate them against the quiet-quitting plague.

Because it requires you to put your purpose on display in all its glory, and give people the opportunity to take part, or not. If they choose to opt in, they’re engaged in your mission by default.


Hiring

A buddy of mine applied the ‘purposing in public’ concept to his own hiring strategy, and it resulted in some of the best hires his business had ever seen.

He created a number of short, 5-minute videos that addressed their journey, and what employees could expect from working for his company. Simple, yet it was a stroke of pure brilliance.

The benefits of this type of approach go both ways:

  • The potential hire comes in with realistic expectations, straight from the horse’s mouth. They can make their own choice about whether the company is the right fit for them, and don’t have some recruiter in their ear telling them what they want to hear.
  • It also holds you, as a founder or CEO, accountable for your company culture. If the hire feels that you aren’t representing what you said in those videos, there’s an easy conversation to have.

“Hey man, I’m going to need you to go back and watch that video you sent me when I said yes and uprooted my life and family to join your gig because I don’t feel like we’re sticking to what we agreed on.” Done.

The value, camaraderie, and trust that this hiring tactic weaves into your company culture and business relationships cannot be overstated.

I know I keep saying it, but I seriously can’t stress this point enough – great people want to stand on the shoulders of giants. You must have your other bullseye rings nailed to let your company be that giant.

Your People Are Great…What About Your Leaders?

Whether you’re a one-man show or supported by a leadership team, the people at the top of any organization need to be made of a certain kind of stuff.

If you’re going to become the kind of person who can lead a business to billion-dollar valuations, I’ve got a few lessons for you to take on board:

The Bullseye Formula: PEOPLE

JCron's 10 Leadership Lessons

#1 You don’t have all the answers, so you’d better listen

And while you’re at it, don’t be the leader who takes ideas from your people – they’ll stop bringing them. So shut up and listen.

#2 Don’t threaten people

Threatening only leads to mediocrity. Be obsessed with transparency and providing meaningful feedback.

#3 If you have an issue with someone, grow a spine and deal with it fast and face-to-face
#4 Never lie

The truth will always come out.

#5 Respect people

Never talk down to them or undermine them.

#6 Never threaten people’s livelihoods

If they feel insecure, they will leave.

#7 Make a healthy work-life balance the standard

A burnt-out team isn’t going to achieve anything.

#8 Celebrate families, accept that people will sometimes be sick, and expect them to take a vacation!
#9 Tie your people’s personal goals to everything they do in the organizationTie your people’s personal goals to everything they do in the organization

When the develop themselves, they’ll grow your business.

#10 If someone in your business has a side-hustle, then let them have it!

The whole ‘you only work for me’ thing is old. Allowing people to pursue their personal goals only inspires them to do their best work.

DO THIS: PEOPLE
Look at every member of your team and ask:
  1. Are they a good fit?
  2. Are they happy?
  3. Are they contributing to our growth every day?
If not, do yourself and them a favor and give them a “good goodbye.” Not letting them go is limiting you and limiting them.

Are You Ready To Scale?

Tell me where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve.

Take This Knowledge, And Run With It

Let’s circle back for a moment, to the first ring of the Bullseye Formula, Purpose. More specifically, the idea of an internal driver, and finding your ‘why’.

Because I had one sole ‘why’ that drove me to write everything you’ve just read.

My why is simple:

The world deserves better businesses, and I want to give entrepreneurs like you the tools to build them.

See, I believe that entrepreneurship is the single greatest force of transformation the globe has ever seen. It has the ability to change people, communities, societies, and the world.

But for that transformative power to reach its full potential, entrepreneurship needs to be done right; hence, the creation of the Bullseye Formula.

I promise you that if you expand your target using the principles in this post it’s almost impossible not to hit your Billion Dollar Bullseye.

And in that process, allow your business to become the world-altering force it wants to be.

If you’d like to pursue that target together, click here to let me know.

Jonathan Cronstedt | Investor – Advisor – Author.
Former President, now Board Director, of Kajabi.
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