Build Value Ladders. Win Sales, Profits, Customers

How do you bring an open audience all the way up to people who are purchasing products or who are VIP customers?

The answer is simple – the value ladder. Some people call it the ascension path or a funnel where they have all kinds of other words for the idea that you build an audience through free content.

In this case, we’re calling it the ascension path. 

Start with publishing ungated content.

It’s called ungated because it’s free access, and it doesn’t require you to enter an email.

Other people can see this and there’s almost no limit to the amount of ungated content because people get a sense of who you are – you’re starting with authority and proof. 

All you have to do is publish what you learned, create lots of content and focus on building relationships. That way, you can build up your own expertise.

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Interview other people so that way you start to improve your authority based on the people you’re hanging out with. You choose what to be known for and keep gaining experiences, because the more experience you have builds more community awareness that you want to influence.

Collect lead magnets.

There are people who don’t change their phone numbers as often as they throw away emails. The lead magnet is free. It leads towards some higher value offers may it be a course, service, or a package. So it’s like teasing people. And it’s lightweight, because it only asks for an email address in exchange for revealing the secret.

There are many different ways to collect an email address. You’re doing this because you’re offering something valuable that is more than something you would have in just a simple video. It’s something that’s worth downloading.

For example, we said, “5 Ways on How to Use Facebook Lead Ads to Generate Sales.”

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This is supposed to be for Facebook and the combination of Facebook Leads Ads will drive these emails you collect into your email automation system, like Infusionsoft.

With an email address, you can use this to sell all the things that you have.

Sell your appetizer at a low price.

When you sell something that’s at a low price, that’s a trip wire, like a $7 item or a $17 item then leads to something else that can be a course or a service.

So you can think of tripwire like an appetizer where you have this simple thing that they can implement that has a lot of value. Maybe they only pay $10 or $97 for it, but they get a ton of value. 

If you’re starting with a dollar a day and you’re learning how to boost posts on Facebook, then probably you want to do the same thing on Twitter, or get remarketing audiences working for you.

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You probably also want to run conversion ads which makes you actually buy the full course. 

When you offer something for a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars, they’re more likely to buy the course because that trip wire is like a chapter.

The tripwire idea leads to getting people’s value with a small commitment that then allows you to upsell them into the course or a package that you’ve had. 

If you’ve built up enough authority, then you can sell it as a tripwire. But it’s important to understand the difference between a tripwire’s revenue generated from selling a course to fund your advertising, to get as many people as possible, as opposed to, a tripwire’s revenue that I’m not sure if there’s enough value so I’m just going to drop the price.

How do I sell a house? Answer top 10 questions and turn it into a course. Charge it for $10, or you can even turn it into a lead magnet. 

Have your own course.

Some people will say, you know, you should really launch a course. 

In order to drive the audience base you need to sell a course. 

A course is nothing more than combinations of tripwires. The tripwire is the initial appetizer, but then the course could be the main dish. You go from tripwire to course because if they bite on the tripwire then you can say that they know the value of the course.

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It’s all about the perception of value. If you have high authority, then a $997 course is not going to really be seen as a high ticket. 

We have to do training. We’ve got to do mid funnel stuff. Whatever you want to call it when you’re educating people, it’s a course. And then other folks will say the whole point of making money is you got to generate emails.

And they’re making all this money through passive income because they have a course.

So this is when the value ladder fits together. 

Offer your package.

The course is do-it-yourself – you’re teaching them how to do it. But some of these lead magnets, they realize that there’s so much to do, giving them the reason to hire you. That’s when you offer your package. 

And in order for this to be done, you need to be able to work the set-up of your business.


You need virtual assistants and specialists that can take the same course and deliver the service for your customers.

When you’re able to scale a checklist that can be executed repeatedly based on the course, that stands as a recipe then other people can follow to start to do the work and manage it.

Take the risk off the table and do revshare.

When you have enough of these customers that are in the package, take for example to implement digital plumbing first and Facebook for a dollar a day and monitor based on their stats and once we see their value, we might want to take for a rev share if you see that you can drive sales using remarketing.

Let’s say you have a retail store and we offered to sell you store visits for $10. 

We’ll just sell it to you for $10. 

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Would you like to do that and then we’ll take all the risk out? That way you can focus on whatever it is you do in your business. And we’ll handle that. 

When you have the revshares, a lot of people want to jump straight to a revshare but they don’t have the authority and the experience that comes all the way through having done it many times.

It’s when you have executed a particular package for that kind of retail store. When you’ve done it enough times because you’ve interviewed the experts and documented how it’s done,  you put these into courses and checklists, you start selling packages and that’s when you can offer to do a revshare.

It doesn’t matter what system it is, it’s how you use the system.

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Everything from the trip buyer forward is all about how you’re able to make money through the value ladder. You don’t have to be a systems expert. You just have to understand what the linkages are between every step of this strategy

You could skip different components. You could just say, instead of a lead magnet, I’m going to go straight to a course or I can skip the trip wire. There’s a stacking effect in the value ladder. So some people will try to do everything in the end because it’s just too many things to try to do at once. So if you’re not sure what to do, decide, where is it that you monetize the best? 

It’s all about emails, all the money’s in the email. And you should always be trying to build your list because the more often you message your list, you know, there’s money in the list. You need to be on Tiktok and Snapchat and all the latest, different social networks that we’ve never heard of and have to be out there and make 50 pieces of content every single day and be live streaming at the same time.

if you’re not out there constantly making content and constantly replying to every single comment, then, you know, you’re missing out on opportunities if you’re not hustling enough. 

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.