You did it! You are now officially an online educator!
You’ve worked hard to win over your current customers. And you’re providing an online course that meets their needs. Great job! But now what?
While it’s tempting to just focus on getting more customers, you need to focus on increasing the customer lifetime value of your existing customers. The truth is, it will cost you more money to acquire new customers than to keep them, so think of each customer acquired as a long-term investment.
What is the Customer Lifetime Value and Why It Matters
The customer lifetime value (or CLV, for you in the know) is one of the most important numbers your coaching business or online course will need to calculate and track. It represents the total amount of money your customers will spend on your business for the entire duration they are your customers. In short, the CLV represents customer satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.
For example, Starbucks’s CLV is about $14,099 (that’s about 2,819 $5.00 lattes). While Starbucks doesn’t expect you to spend all $14,099 all in one year, they know if they invest in retaining you, you could be worth that much revenue for them. Just check out the Starbucks app. They have special rewards and free drinks that are all driven by you spending a little bit more each day. It’s almost surprising their CLV isn’t much higher than that!
While Starbucks is a giant with unlimited resources to cater to its customers, it doesn’t mean you can’t do the same. Calculate your current customer lifetime value, then learn how you can increase the CLV through revenue and retention-based increases.
Here are a few good examples:
Revenue Based Increases
It is safe to assume that if your customer purchased a course from you, they are interested in the other solutions you offer. Build on that assumption by offering the following:
- One Time Offer (or OTO) upsells are a quick way to get a customer who just bought a product or course, to purchase another relevant course or product. Maybe you have a 5-day email course related to the coaching class they just purchased that you normally charge $37 for? Make a time-sensitive offer available and push them to purchase within the next 20 minutes to get the 5-day email course for $20.00 instead. You’ll see your revenue and CLV add up quickly with little additional work on your end.
- A Subscription Model is another way to increase your CLV and create predictable income by offering highly relevant gated content for your customers, available at their fingertips. Give them options for their subscription. If they’re willing to purchase a three-month subscription, they might be interested in an annual subscription or even a lifetime subscription for just a little bit more. Help them see the great value for a subscription versus buying your courses in separate pieces.
- Additional consulting or one-on-one coaching can be the logical next step for customers looking to take their education a step further. Offering just an hour one-on-one session already comes with a bigger price tag, which many clients will be more than willing to pay once they’ve seen the value you add.
- A High-level mastermind is another great concept for online coaching businesses because you are working with individuals that are highly motivated to improve something in their life or business. Gather those motivated students together and create a high-level mastermind upsell that they’ll want to invest in.
Retention/Affiliate Based Increases: Building Loyalty
Increased customer lifetime value can also come from brand loyalty. Here are five ways you can build brand loyalty as an online educator:
- Be their expert in your Facebook Group. Allow students to share their successes as well as their struggles. Be there to answer their questions and establish yourself as the expert of the group. In the process, you’ll create opportunities to share what else you can offer them.
- Be a part of your students’ journey. When they struggle and need that extra bit of encouragement, cheer them on. And when they have their breakthrough moment, be there too! Congratulate them with personalized video greetings! You might find a loyal influencer promoting your online business for you.
- Be available and schedule check-ins. You know the journey your students are on. Be there when they hit their wall or need an extra push to get past the usual “drop-off” points. Remember a customer that doesn’t complete your course is a customer that will not purchase anything new. Help get them to the finish line.
- Be gracious. Spend time genuinely acknowledging YOUR superfans. Recognize their efforts when they recommend you to others, or talk about you on their website or on social media. The simple act speaks volumes about the type of coach you are and others will take notice.
- Be trustworthy. Most people wouldn’t recommend a product or service unless they believe it in themselves. Offer incentives to those who trust the quality of your work by offering them discounts for referring others. Would your online course benefit a whole team or coworkers? Create opportunities for group discounts.
Increasing the Customer Lifetime Value for your course is crucial for the long term success of your coaching business. While you don’t have to try all of the items listed above right away, adding just a few of these techniques will set you on the right track for increasing your CLV while better serving your customers.