Building a High Ticket Program

- Part 2: Your Secret Sauce -

Ian Brodie
Hi - Ian Brodie here...

Welcome back to this mini-series of articles on Building a High Ticket Program.

Yesterday we looked at defining the "six-figure problem" that your program is going to focus on. You can read that article again here.

Today we're looking at the content of your program and in particular, your "secret sauce".

So first off, make sure you've got Frank's High Ticket Program Blueprint in front of you for reference.

Click here to get your copy if you haven't done so already (of if you've lost it!)

>> Get The High Ticket Program Blueprint <<

Next, turn to the second section: "Develop Your Secret Sauce".

Secret Sauce

​On the surface, the goal here is simply to articulate the 3-5 steps your clients will take on your program that will enable them to achieve their goals. 

But there's a deeper goal for your "secret sauce" that I'll come back to later.

Why 3-5 steps?

Well, obviously you need to be confident yourself that your program will deliver the outcomes you're promising. Codifying the steps you normally take with clients helps you to make it a more repeatable and controlled process.

That could result in any number of steps. What you then do is group or split those steps until you have a logical sequence of 3-5.

Framing it as 3-5 steps is mainly about giving your clients confidence. Partly in you, but more in themselves.

I don't know about you, but if someone gives me a "simple" plan with 27 steps on it I'm supposed to follow my eyes glaze over and I lose confidence that I'll be able to do it.

It may look simple to them, but if it's got too many steps it looks complex to me given my basic level of understanding of the situation.

There's a saying I like which goes "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". I think that applies in this case. You should be able to simplify your process so that a typical client can understand the steps and see how those steps will lead to the outcome they're looking for.

Of course,  there'll no doubt be much more depth to it than a simple list of 3-5 steps. But the fact that the process can be explained simply like this gives potential clients confidence that they'll be able to do it.

My Authority Breakthrough Program has just three steps:

  • Create a Distinctive and Disruptive Point of View as the foundation of your authority.
  • Reach directly into your target market using paid advertising.
  • Deepen your influence through follow-up email marketing.

In fact, I think you can get away with more than 3-5 steps if you can come up with a suitable simplifying model to use with the steps. So if there are 9 steps in a 3x3 grid grouping each of the steps into a theme and a phase, then that feels achievable because of the logic of the grid, whereas 9 steps on their own might look overwhelming.

What's Your Model?

​For each of your steps, it's ideal if you can have a model or framework that underlies the step.

In my Authority Breakthrough program for example, step 2 is direct reach into your target market using advertising. For that step I have a model based round an acronym I created called "TAIDAL" which lists the key drivers of effective online advertising (Targeting, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, Lead Magnet).

Your models don't have to be anything fancy. There are many different types of models and frameworks you can use, for example:

  • A Matrix (like the BCG Growth Share Matrix or the Ansoff Matrix for strategy)
  • An Acronym (AIDA, SPIN)
  • A Venn Diagram (three or more interlocking sections showing all the things that need to be in place for something to work)
  • A Hierarchy (a pyramid showing increasingly important or distinct factors - e.g. Maslow's hierarchy of needs)
  • A Process Flow (a simple diagram of sub-steps)
  • A Balance Model (two opposing force which need to be balanced - e.g. the needs for control vs empowerment in an organisation)
  • A Relationship Model (showing that as one thing increases another increases, decreases etc. - e.g. the experience curve)
  • A Competency Model (a list of all the criteria someone needs to have to be capable of doing something well)
  • A Maturity Model (tracking the different phases of maturity/growth/success of an individual or business in a certain field - e.g. the Carnegie-Mellon Capability Maturity Model for software development)
  • A Relationship Model (showing all the factors in play and how they interact, for example Porter's 5 Forces Model for Industry Analysis)
  • An Equation (for example the Trust Formula where T=(R+C+I)/SI) 

The value of a model for each stage is that, like breaking down the program into 3-5 steps, it makes each step look achievable. It provides a simple logic and guide for each step rather than getting the feeling that you'll have to figure it all out from scratch. 

It also shows that there's a bit of "science" to each step, it's not all just making it up as you go along. The model itself gives your clients guidance as to what to do in each step, again giving them confidence that they'll be able to do it, and that they can learn to do it themselves without needing outside help forever.

If you can break down your program into 3-5 steps, each with a compelling model, you have a program that not only works, it's sellable and confidence-inspiring too.

Standing Out in a Crowded Market

I said earlier that there's a deeper goal for your "secret sauce". That deeper goal is to differentiate you in the market place.

You see, mostly when we think of differentiation we think of the well-worn examples we've heard a million times before like Domino's Pizza's USP of "delivery in 30 minutes or your money back", or M&M's "chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hands".

Those are examples of differentiation based on the end results you provide to your customers. And the truth is that in a crowded market, they're rare.

At the end of the day, most of the services you and I deliver give the same end results as many other service providers. We help clients get more sales or cut their costs. Or improve their leadership or teamwork or whatever it is we do. But there are usually dozens or even hundreds of people who can at least claim to do something similar. And they're especially easy to find these days thanks to the good old internet.

With lots of capable competitors clamouring for our clients' attention and claiming they can deliver similar results, it's vital that we stand out and give clients confidence that working with us will be more successful for them. One of the very best ways to do this is to differentiate ourselves by highlighting a unique method or system or "new ingredient" we use to deliver our service that others don't have.

This is especially powerful in a sceptical market where clients may have used other suppliers in the past and failed to get the results they were looking for. Your "secret sauce" can give them hope that by doing something different, they'll be able to get results with you.

For example, consultants have been offering cost reduction and productivity improving services since time immemorial. But when Michael Hammer & James Champy branded their approach to transformation as "Re-Engineering" and showed how their cross-functional approach was different to previous improvement methodologies, it gave clients across the globe a reason to believe that this time, it just might work.

In my Authority Breakthrough program my "secret sauce" is a break with traditional methods of building authority and becoming seen as an expert. Instead of investing tons of time writing books and articles and trying to get appearances on other people's shows or websites, my approach is to get your ideas directly into the hands of target clients. You build authority through direct communication rather than relying on publishers, editors and hosts to select you and give you access to their audience. 

This is perhaps the most powerful reason for doing a good job of designing your program. Not just so that it will deliver, but so that it will differentiate you and help you sell.


Go through this article again and define the 3-5 major steps of your program.

Then for each step, identify the model or framework you'll use to support it.

Finally, loop back and take a look at your methodology as a whole. In what ways does it differ from how your competitors would attack the problem? What angle do you take that's unique to you? What do you do in your approach that often surprises your clients?

Turn that into a named "secret sauce" and you'll have a powerful way of differentiating your high ticket program. 

In the next article we'll look at the final step of the process, designing how you'll deliver the program in a way that works best for both you and your clients.