Game of Cults: Use Scaffolding to Provide Readers with a Supportive Customer Journey

What is scaffolding?

Scaffolding is the roadmap you build to segment and self-segregate your audience.

It’s more than just putting people into bins.

Scaffolding is the majority of the game and the method you use to deliver the brand experience.  

What is the process that I must follow to win your game?

How do I earn your platinum status level?

The idea of scaffolding is to build out different experiences to bring a reader from A to B.

The issue is we don’t take much time to think through the experiences.

What is A?

What is B?

What do they need to know, do, and accept to make that transit willingly? 

If getting to B is a complex behavior adoption, what am I building into the scaffolding to increase their willingness and support them to make this change?

Lots of questions. Joe, explain!

Let’s take a look at how I use this “get readers from Point A to B” strategy in this series.

Point A: Authors seeking a systematic approach to creating cumulative advantage and getting better marketing results. Many of these authors will be attached to counterproductive marketing methods or lack the experience to build this approach.

See how this shows where the audience is but that most aren’t ready for this journey?

Do you also see how this aligns with my brand promise of helping authors build great businesses?

Now, there is point B, the endgame, where I would like you to be at the end of the journey.

Let’s say, for example, at the end, I’m setting you up for an offer to join a mastermind, buy a book, or a course. For you to be ready, where do I need you to be? What ideas and knowledge must you have to adopt the behavior?

pexels geojango maps 7663519

This helps me see what I need to have in place to get someone from A to B. There must be an on-ramp, a process, and an exit to this new place.

In the case of “Game of Cults,” I’m shifting your marketing paradigm. If the work resonates, you’ll abandon a way of building a publishing business and adopt my systems approach with a focus on building cumulative advantage.

I want you to have the capacity to market systematically. Hence, people feel they are choosing to become part of a community and strengthen the connection between their identity and your brand.

That’s a long journey, and some of you may think it’s not worth undertaking. Therefore, my scaffolding requires you to move through concepts and knowledge acquisition in a pleasant way. There are ideas you must abandon and new ones you must accept to have this paradigm shift.

Here’s the thing. Many of these ideas I’m asking you to evaluate and accept challenge what others teach.

One constant I face is that I’m not a seven-figure author. If I were, then you would assume sales results validate these ideas.

The irony is that I have this insight because of my brand promise.

I help authors build great businesses.

I’m not aware of anyone else who has helped as many six-figure authors become seven-figure authors or helped authors with seven figures in sales get to seven figures in profit.

Furthermore, I espouse a different viewpoint on success.

I don’t measure the top line; I measure the bottom line. I’ve seen far too many six-figure authors living below the poverty line after they get done giving all their profits back to advertisers.

Eventually, the best recognize they have exhausted their expertise and look for others to take them to the next level.

Then others come to us because they realize that they may be a good writer, but they can’t run a business.

This is all to say that, just like you, I face a lot of obstacles in getting people to understand and trust the brand.

So, what do you do?

Start simple and build out. 

As a creative, you may get a vision of the grand game with all the bells and whistles. This can be a problem because its execution can be so overwhelming.

Instead, simplify and build. There must be multiple paths to get the steps right from discovery through onboarding to the end game. To start, build the most obvious ones around your most profitable products.

The scaffolding isn’t just about selling stuff. Remember, this is about an experience that makes buying your product the obvious choice when the time is right.

We are also looking to help people integrate with the community and associate more with our brand. This is where you build systems that allow people to get status and feel belonging.

This function is core to the retention and accumulation of an audience you can activate.

pexels andrea piacquadio 3761509

Users like beta readers, street teams, and Facebook group moderators are roles you can get readers to take on to scale your business and give them ownership and responsibility.

People want to help you succeed, and your fan base becomes a source of help for building the business.

In future articles, I’ll break down some of the big motivators influencing us to play games. If you design these into your scaffolding, then people will self-select, self-indoctrinate, and go deeper into the game.

Back to simplification.

Start with one onboarding sequence and a read-through sequence, then build from there. Look at where you want 80% of customers to go and build that out first.

Allow for opt-in. 

Ask them to participate and let them raise their hand. Don’t force people down paths. This addresses autonomy and choice.

People like to feel in control, and this approach addresses core human givens revolving around competence, autonomy, and attention. The objective is that we get the subject to take ownership of the ideas and identify more with your brand and what it has to offer.

One more thing…

A good way to develop your scaffolding is to map the path through discovery (finding and trusting you) from the first product purchase and then through your catalog.

Think through community responsibilities you would like community members to take on and build systems to get them to self-select.

Read: QAnon as a Cautionary Tale of Gamification’s Harmful Potential