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Business Strategy

Simplicity Scales: Why Giving Your Customers Too Many Choices Kills Growth

I started Live Your Message in 2011 and it’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on our 10th anniversary. 

10 years is a long time to be online! You may have seen the memes: what happens in an internet second… but what happens in an internet decade? 

I always joke that we should count years as an online entrepreneur like dog years, meaning that even though I’m in my early 40s, I’ve been in business 70 years! Lol. 🙂

So we’ve decided to relaunch LiveYourMessage.com to get us ready for our next decade of serving entrepreneurs around the world… 

And that led to the exciting and excruciating process of re-evaluating everything we’re offering and sharing with the world and translating that down to a single homepage.The first thing people see when they meet us online. 

I think of your homepage as the digital “front door” to your world and it takes some soul searching to figure out what you want that front door to be.

So when I met with the team to unveil our new home page design offering website visitors several options so they can “choose their own adventure” and decide how they want to work with us, I didn’t expect them to shoot it down in flames!

The whole team wanted the homepage to be about just one thing — the Experience Product Masterclass, which is our signature offer.

This is a pretty big step away from what we’re doing now where we have multiple pathways and programs for people to choose from.

And as we continued talking, it became crystal clear…

While I’m deeply proud of the different transformational programs, mini courses, trainings and everything we have to offer at Live Your Message, it’s also creating a lot of confusion for our website visitors.

The truth is I’m giving people way too many choices and so they end up not knowing what to do, where to go and where to start.

The REAL Power Behind One Thing

You might have heard of the power of focusing on just one thing in your business — one product, one service, one core offer… 

But here’s what I’ve come to realize as we envision our future here at Live Your Message…

The power of “one thing” isn’t so much about the thing itself… it’s really about the power of one choice.

Here’s what I mean…

I recently had a conversation with Ryan Deiss about his flagship program — Digital Marketer Lab — which has a TON of trainings (I think they have thousands of trainings in there!). 

So we were talking about customer retention, which is basically about what gets new people to stick around for the long haul, after they purchased the Lab.

When Ryan gave new customers a choice as to what to do first, engagement and retention went way down but when people were given just 1 onboarding pathway, 1 choice, 1 thing to do first, engagement and retention shot WAY up!

The reason is simple…

When there’s lots of choices, most people hesitate, most people feel confused and unsure about what to choose…

And so they choose nothing.

It’s Bold and It’s Unapologetic

only one path for customerWhen there’s just one thing, one choice — one clear pathway — for someone to start their journey with you, you’ll quickly become known for that one thing.

And giving people just one choice is especially critical when you want to scale your business because it makes everything clear, focused and simple.  

And if you stop and look around, you’ll see that just about every successful entrepreneur got that way because they went with the “one thing, one choice” approach.

There’s Marie Forleo and B-School, Brooke Castillo and Life Coaching School, Stu McLaren and Tribe, Jeff Walker and The Product Launch Formula.

Every one of them gives you just one choice to start with and you either take it or leave it.

Yes, it’s bold and it’s unapologetic but it’s also what got Marie, Brooke, Ryan and Jeff all the way to 7 and 8-figures and more.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have backend offers and places for people to go after they do the one thing, it means they’ve simplified their frontend offerings so everyone starts in the same place. Because only simplicity scales.

Trying to Be Everything to Everyone

trying to everything to everyone

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t like giving people just one choice.

They’re trying to be everything to everyone and it’s a fantasy they hold on to.

They’re compelled to offer a ton of programs and trainings and services so they can help every single person that comes into their world, in exactly the right way.

But what ends up happening is they create a dilemma and their audience experiences paralysis by analysis.

And it’s because people already have way too many choices and decisions to make in life all the time. When you can simplify things and give your prospects one clear and compelling step forward, it really changes the game.

So up until this point, I’ve been known for creating LOTS of trainings and programs and giving my prospects lots of options. But with the LYM.com site rebuild (stay tuned for the big reveal in 2021!), we’re letting go of all-the-things and focusing on just one…

The Experience Product Masterclass.

EPM is about to become THE gateway into Live Your Message and it’s how we’ll help people 10x results in their business.

And as we move toward launching Live Your Message 3.0, you’ll find that everything is going to be a whole lot simpler than Live Your Message 2.0, even as the company continues to grow and expand.

I’ve Been Struggling For Years…

I’ll be totally honest… I’ve been struggling for years when it comes to doubling down on one thing, one choice.

As a creative, my tendency is to do more and create more and make things more complex.

giving your customers one choiceBut I’m learning to harness my creative energy and apply it in a different way as I focus on scaling LYM.

I’ve realized that I have to shift my creativity from designing courses, trainings and programs to creating a scalable, world-class, company.

It’s definitely outside my comfort zone, but I know it’s worth it.

My big goal is for LYM to become a $20 million a year company by 2025 and I’ve come to see that if I want to get there, I have to grow up as an entrepreneur.

I have to let go of a lot of the creations — the trainings, programs, content —  that I love and get down to one thing, one choice.

So one of my favorite quotes of all time is by William Faulkner:

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” – William Faulkner

Faulkner was basically saying that if you want to create a masterpiece you need to be brutal about cutting all unnecessary plotlines, characters and passages you may love that don’t serve the story..

And the same is true in business. You gotta kill your darlings.

Because the only kind of business that can scale and make an impact, is the business that can simplify through systematization and streamlining and lasering in on one thing…

One choice.

And if you’re ready to experience our (soon-to-be :-)) one thing and one choice at Live Your Message, I invite you to check out the LYM program that’s got everyone talking —

The Experience Product Masterclass

Experience Product Masterclass

Online courses are the best way to leverage your time, scale your business and, yes, create your one thing. But what most people don’t understand is that not all online courses are created equally. 

Traditionally online courses leave up to 97% of their students behind, leading to low sales, low engagement and high refunds. 

EPM is the ONLY program out there that shows you how to leverage the secrets of the app and game industry to get 10-30x more students to engage and complete your program, leading to more sales, more referrals and more repeat sales. 

It takes the same amount of time to launch a traditional online course that sits on the shelf collecting dust that it takes to launch an “experiencified” course that creates raving fans.

Customer success really is the new marketing. And when your students succeed, you succeed.

You don’t need to be an expert in gamification, behavioral design or even course creation, you just need what to do. And EPM will give you the complete roadmap for designing and launching a successful online course that gets serious results for your students.  

Check out EPM now and create your one thing

If you had to choose just ONE thing — one service, product or program — to offer clients and customers what would it be?

Share in the comments, I’d love to know 🙂

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Gabriely Wambura

    I am very grateful, Marisa! Marisa, she has worked hard for years and Marisa has also tried to start every small business and push the heart out of hand … Wooooohooouu-Marisa is great. Maris, lovely lady and a great smile for everyone. Maria, Marisa is very nice to us. May I remain you working with you forever? Hihihi! Then you will.

    Kind regards,

    Gabriely Wambura

    Reply ·
  2. Marisa Murgatroyd

    Wow Law! That’s a HUGE insight. You got the message. <3

    Reply ·
  3. Rachel

    Like you, I have multiple courses and offers and it doesn’t work.
    I want to be known as a clarity and confidence coach as my best skill is helping those who are stuck in a 9-5, wannabe their own boss, but so overwhelmed by everything that’s out there.
    Too many choices, too many courses, too many webinars.
    I take them by the hand and give them clear action steps so they CAN quit their job.
    Lots of mindset work, but most of it giving clarity.
    Clarity can only come with a clear plan and clear steps.
    SIMPLICITY is a word I love, because I used to overcomplicate everything and I used to be a perfectionist too.
    Your post is so true.
    1 thing
    1course
    1 choice

    But you mention apps, so your course is also adding an app?

    Congrats on your 10 years!

    I’m continuing my path of helping people quit their job so they can create a course and then they need you!

    Rachel smets

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Beautiful insights Rachel! Simplicity is SO MUCH easier for everyone.

      Re your question about apps, my course doesn’t include an app, but it teaches principles from the app and game world that you can use to drive greater consumption and engagement in your courses, which leads to way more sales. 🙂

      Reply ·
      1. Law Nnaji

        Regimentation is the extreme opposite of too many choices. Both produce high and varying levels of discomfort in humans. The first, limits choice, and loss of freedom. The latter, an overwhelm, the tyranny of choices.

        Humans desire freedom but experience decision paralysis and unhappiness when presented with too many choices.

        This was first revealed in the memorable Jam study conducted by the psychologists, Mark Lepper and Sheena Iyengar. And this has been confirmed by subsequent studies conducted by so many other researchers.

        Although giving your prospect just one choice sounds good and more sensible thing to do, you might be shooting yourself on the foot. This issue is highly nuanced no matter any attempt to oversimply it…

        How do we find that sweet spot between regimentation (the tyranny or dictatorship of one choice with accompanied feelings of loss of freedom) and tyranny of many choices with paralyzing feelings of overwhelm?

        Nonetheless, Beautiful piece Marisa!

        Reply ·
        1. Marisa Murgatroyd

          Totally agree Law. And the truth is that your customers won’t ever only have one choice because they’re not just looking at you and your business. However having a clear starting point with you and understanding what to come to you for will explode your business because they’re choosing between you and other options for that thing. Make sense?

          Reply ·
          1. Law Nnaji

            You’ve switched on the light bulb…boom, I’ve received an epiphany! Yes, makes sense, absolutely. Damn. I was too closeup and focusing on your business alone and choices you’re offering the prospect, and not seeing it -your business as a single entity in competition with many other options available to a prospect. In other words, first and foremost, you’re i.e your business is a choice as against other businesses. Damn. And by narrowing your entry point choice with unique differentiation, the prospect is more than likely to choose you from amongst the competition. Awesome Marisa! You’re a born teacher. More grace, wisdom and power to your endeavours. 🙏 Namaste

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.