Growth Equity Interview Guide

This site has a strong visual design but could benefit from a lower-commitment, more narrowly-focused sales objective.

Michael Hinckley shared with me his new venture, Growth Equity Interview Guide. His site has pretty good visual design and also some big opportunities for improvement.

Here’s what Growth Equity Interview Guide’s site looks like above the fold:

“Land your dream job at a premier growth equity fund” seems like a pretty compelling headline to me. It’s a very clear proposition. I myself have no idea what a “growth equity fund” is but I assume the target market does.

It seems like we’re off to a good start but some issues quickly emerge, mainly one big one.

At a high level, the biggest problem to me is that this page seems to be trying to sell two things simultaneously: 1) a course, which costs from $219 to $329, and 2) an email subscription featuring “our best tips on growth equity recruiting”.

And wait a second, I thought this site was called “Growth Equity Interview Guide”? When I think of a “guide” I think of some sort of PDF that’s either free or costs less than $100. Instead of a guide, I’m being presented with a “course” and the side offer of “tips”.

If it were me, I wouldn’t try to sell the $219+ guide on the home page. When faced with any decision, I like to ask myself, what would Ramit Sethi do?

I’ve noticed that Ramit has never tried (as long as I’ve been aware) to sell products on his home page. His home page has exactly¬†one¬†goal: get you on his email list.

(If you take the quiz, it leads into a page that asks you for your email address.)

I believe the reason for this is the following: between getting someone to take out their credit card and pay you and getting someone to enter their email address, the email address is a much easier “sale”. Then, once you have that person’s email address, you can market to that person indefinitely, or at least until that person unsubscribes. If you’re selling a $500 product, you don’t have to attempt to get the person on board in one shot. You can gradually build up rapport and trust with that person over time and over the course of many email interactions.

That’s my guess as to why Ramit goes for the email address initally instead of the sale. I think my guess is probably right.

If you do navigate to Ramit’s Products section of his website and then go to the first one, How to Talk to Anybody, you’ll see that the sales page is long as fuck. It’s almost absurd how long it is. Why is this?

I think the reason Ramit’s sales page is super long is because the product costs $348 (12 payments of $29) and there’s kind of a lot of trust that’s necessary to pay someone $348 over the internet. Unlike an in-person sale, the seller doesn’t have the advantage of being able to respond to objections in real time, so the seller has to anticipate all those objections and pre-emptively respond to them in writing. That’s part of what makes the page so long. The page also features a support email, a support number, and a support chat. Those are all trust signals.

Anyway, the reason I bring all this up is that if it were me, I would try to pattern my landing pages off of Ramit’s. Instead of one single page I would have two: one that sells the email subscription and one that sells the paid product. (I realize that the current site has several different “pages” but they’re not separate; you can get to all of them just by scrolling. I wouldn’t want any sales page’s message to be muddied by the presence of another sales page’s message.)

Since what I’m suggesting is such a radical departure from what’s there right now, I won’t bother to address many of the details of the existing page. I do want to mention one thing that would carry over to a new design, though: there seems to be a mix of “I” and “we” on the page. My suggestion: just go with “I”. It seems pretty clear to me that this is a one-man operation and that’s totally fine. In fact, it’s probably better. What’s more trustworthy: a mysterious collection of anonymous people or one guy, Michael Hinckley? If I were you, I’d put my identity front and center. A big part of the value of the guide, in my view, is your personal experience and knowledge.

The next step I would recommend is to create a “free guide” PDF and create a new landing page for it. I would model this landing page off of Ramit Sethi’s home page. Your free guide will serve as a lead magnet to get prospects onto your email list. Your “tips” offer already serves that purpose but the offer is somewhat vague. It would be better to offer a guide, with an actual visual representation, like what Drip is doing here:

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t try to sell a high-ticket product on a website’s homepage. Instead, try to “sell” an email subscription.
  • High-ticket products require a lot of trust. That’s why for high-ticket products, copywriters pre-emptively write long sales pages which try to pre-emptively address all of the buyer’s potential objections.
  • Use “I” instead of “we”. People want to buy from people, not faceless organizations.

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