Audience Building

You're getting disqualified.

In: Audience Building

Let's talk about why you aren't getting higher conversion rates.

When I say "conversion rate" I mean the percentage of people who take the action you wanted for them to take. That might be buying a product, it might be subscribing to your newsletter, or it might just be deciding to follow you on social media.

I'm not sure anyone gets 100% conversion on anything – so there are typically going to be people who convert and those that don't.

In most cases, conversion is relatively low. I often hear numbers like 5% conversion on a sales page to be "good."

My highest-converting landing pages achieve approximately 40% conversion for a new email  subscriber.

So what's going on with that 60% who aren't converting?

It’s  frustrating that things don't convert at a higher rate. We do all this work to get people to the point of making a decision...but then they decide against taking the action we place in front of them.

What gives

I think the answer is actually very simple – we're being disqualified.

There are more distractions and marketing messages in front of us than  ever before. So our default behavior is to NOT take action. Because taking action on everything put in front of us would put us in a bad spot – we'd have no money or time left.

As a matter of pure survival, we've entered a mindset of, "This is NOT for me unless (quickly) proven otherwise."

So when someone hits your homepage, their default belief is that they should leave.

When they see your title and thumbnail on YouTube, their default belief is that they shouldn’t watch this video.

When they see your course sales page, their default belief is that this course won't help them.

They're holding that default belief and looking to quickly see some signal that confirms belief.

As self-interested humans, we're asking ourselves, "Is this thing for ME?" And we often decide against it on basis of language.

This is the challenge and also the opportunity. The faster you make a compelling case that your thing IS something we want, the longer you'll hold our attention. The longer you hold our attention, the more likely we'll change our default belief.

If we can't disqualify you, we're very likely to take action.

This is why being niche is powerful. When you're niche, you can be very specific about who you help and how you help them. You can use specific language that makes it difficult for the right audience to disqualify you.

When we're going through our disqualification process, we're looking for keywords that will send us a signal that this thing isn't for us. We look at:

  • Identity markers
  • Desired outcomes

Identity markers are the words we use to describe ourselves. They're the words that we identify with like:

  • YouTuber
  • Influencer
  • Creator
  • Writer
  • Designer

Desired outcomes are the words we use to describe what we're trying to gain or accomplish:

  • Gain more followers
  • Sell more courses
  • Build an audience
  • Earn six figures

When you use the same language that WE use to describe ourselves and our goals, then we can't help but listen.

Saying, "I help business owners grow" is much less specific than saying, "I help YouTubers improve their Click Through Rate." Even though both sentences could mean the same thing, the second sentence has stronger identity markers and desired outcomes. It's much more likely that it will resonate with an audience and keep them reading.

Candidly, this is something that I’ve struggled with firsthand.  While you may identify as a creator, you might identify even more strongly as a writer.

When you're trying to appeal to a broad group of people, it's tempting to use broad language because it could apply to more people. But, more often than not, we're very specific in our identity markers – so your broad terminology won’t appeal to us.

So, if you're finding that people aren't engaging with your work or following your Calls To Action, you're probably being disqualified (and quickly).

If  you look at your work and find a way to QUICKLY call out to more specific identity markers and desired outcomes, that will help you find traction.

📨 Get Creator Science In Your Inbox

Join 54,000+ creators learning from firsthand experiments, expert interviews, and actionable advice every week.

Written by
Jay Clouse
I'm the founder of Creator Science. Through its newsletter, podcast, membership, and YouTube channel, Creator Science helps you become a smarter creator.
Recommended essays

Become a smarter creator in just 10 minutes per week.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Creator Science.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.