“You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. You wouldn’t ask a student to jump into scorpion pose without taking a few steps first. It’s the same concept with your online student journey for your website and digital presence.” - Amanda McKinney
Yes, we need to make money in business and I want you to make sales on your website and in your emails but it’s important to think about the journey and experience that your student’s have too. This is where the online student journey comes in. By thinking through the process before your student experiences it, you will help both you and your student!
What is an online yoga student journey (aka: “customer journey”)
Any type of customer journey, whether it’s online or offline is simply the journey a student (or potential student) takes from when they learn about you through how they interact with you and your services.
It’s easier to think about this in our own lives and how we interact with products and services. For example, you see a cute pair of yoga pants advertised to you on Instagram, you click the link to learn more which takes you to their website and then you may or may not buy the pants.
There’s a path, a process, a journey that you took and you can bet your bottom dollar that the company thought through that journey before you took it. This can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be, let’s talk about it!
Mapping Out the Student Journey
Mapping out this journey is thinking through all the steps that the person goes through in this process. You can think about this like you would think about a yoga sequence. You wouldn’t ask a student to jump into scorpion pose without taking a few warm-up steps before. Right? And if they did jump into that pose right away, the experience would be less than ideal.
This is the same with an online experience with your brand. You want to map it out for them so that it’s a pleasant experience that makes sense instead of choppy or even possibly damaging.
And while this might seem tedious or even ridiculous, mapping this out is critical for 2 reasons:
It ensures that you’re thinking about the customer (or student) with every step of how they will interact with you. Keeping them top of mind is key to success in business.
It allows you to save time in the long run. By mapping this out early in the process you are likely going to cut out unnecessary steps that you would likely take without this process.
And the best way to do this is to visually map out the journey. Yes friend, you can have fun with this - draw it on a big post it, use a white board, whatever gets you creative, that’s what you want to do.
There are some fancy online tools that you can use too but you don’t have to use these. The key is to keep it simple to start knowing you can always add to the process as you think of other ideas.
For me, I’ve found that drawing it out on a whiteboard or using a big piece of paper with moveable post it’s is helpful. I need to be able to change things along the way so being able to move things is important to me.
For example, let’s think about one scenario for this:
Potential student who sees you on Instagram
From there, you will then make some assumptions about what their journey could be so that you can optimize your marketing to best suit that person. Ready? Let’s do this!
How to map out your customers journey
Step 1: Know your audience (your niche!)
First and foremost, recognize that while anyone could potentially see your Instagram account and decide that you’re post is interesting but you need to stay focused on the specific student that you’re trying to reach. Knowing your niche, your specific dream student is critical because you want to know more about their behaviors and journey patterns.
Example: Your potential student who sees you on Instagram is your niche, which happens to be a golfer and you teach yoga for golfers.
Step 2: Know your goal
It’s important to know what your ultimate goal is in your business for each journey. You’re going to outline many different student journeys as your business grows but for each journey, you want to the know the goal from one milestone to the next.
Example: We’re focused on a potential student starting on Instagram. For this, you could have the goal of going from “Instagram viewer” to “email list subscriber”.
Step 3: Identify the starting point
Eventually you will likely have several starting points and several journeys outlined but to start, focus on just one.
Example: In this example, we’ve already said that this potential student found you on Instagram. So that’s the starting point.
Step 4: Anticipate the next step
Once you know where the journey begins, you then make educated guesses (remember making hypothesis’ in middle school? Just like that!) about where they will go next. And before you say “but Amanda they could do so many things”, hang with me. Remember, you will have many different journeys outlined but you want to stay focused on just one for now.
Example: Let’s assume that they see one post and then click to your profile to read/see more about who the heck you are.
Step 5: Optimize that step for the student
At this point, the student is ready to learn more about you so you want to look at that step through their eyes. This is key. THEIR eyes, not yours. You want to read through the content, whatever it is, and pretend you are them and question everything. Does it make sense? What questions might they have? Are the images appealing? Will they be intrigued to continue reading? Will they be confused?
Example: The student lands on your Instagram profile and you can assume you have about 10 seconds to make an impression and either keep them longer or they will leave. They will likely do a quick scan of: (1) your account name, (2) your profile image, (3) your bio, (4) your top 9 pictures.
Step 6: Anticipate the next step
Yep, you guessed it, you have to guess their next step.
Example: The student is intrigued so they decide to hit the “follow” button so you have them as a follower now.
Step 7: Optimize that step for the student
Once you know the step, you want to make sure that you optimize anything you can for that step to better serve the student.
Example: For Instagram, once someone follows you there’s nothing special that happens.
Repeat this process over and over again until you reach the ultimate goal for this journey.
Example: You would continue this process until you welcomed the potential student onto your email list. This could possibly look like this:
Instagram viewer to
Instagram follower to
Likes or comments on several posts to
Clicks from one post to the “linkinbio” to find the free download to
Enters email address into form and becomes an email subscriber
And then you would map out another journey for a new email subscriber. You’ve most likely outlined this journey when you created your freebie. If you’ve created a freebie and have an email nurture sequence, this is mapping out the journey by way of an email sequence.
Your next step
Map out just one of your student journeys to see what system works best for you. Do you like to draw it out on a big piece of paper first or are you good using a google doc? Or do you want to look at online options for this?
Tag me in an Instagram story if you decide to map this out visually and want to share it with me. I would love to see your visual work!!!
Until next time, give yourself permission to map out your student’s online journey and grace along the way. Talk to you soon.
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