E104 – Nicki Friis | Software Growth Strategist and Podcaster at NICQI

Nicki Friis started his first company when he was only sixteen years old. Today, he’s the CEO of Nicqui, a growth advisory brand that helps companies build growth strategies. Nicqui also helps companies acquire, retain, and monetize customers, which Nicki knows a great deal about. Now he shares his one big tip for leading users through a natural journey to keep them engaged and invested.


The Ladder of Engagement

Whether you’re selling products or any service, Nicki’s one big tip is to lead your users through what he calls a “ladder of engagement.” This process aims to limit the amount of friction that comes with starting with a new product or service and then keep your users invested, engaged, and less likely to pivot to another option. The steps of this ladder include “adoption,” “habit,” and “investment.”

Adoption

The first step, adoption, is vital because it’s what will initially hook your users. Nicki says that at this point, you should begin by tapping into your user’s natural behaviors by having them do something they’re already used to doing naturally. Think about what people must do to engage with your product, and then how that process can be as natural as possible– your first steps can be as simple as providing a name and email address. For example, LinkedIn has new users complete a CV, which most people are very familiar with.

Habit

The next part is where your users will build a habit that will solve the problem they signed up to fix. Once your CV is filled out on LinkedIn, you will receive recommendations for people to connect with, which will fill your feed with more relevant content. Nicki points out that LinkedIn is great at layering steps in this way to create the most optimal journey for its users. 

Keeping Your Users Invested

The final phase of the journey you should be leading your users through is an investment in the product. Eventually, a user should have put so much time and built so much upon your product or service that they will be locked in. This is also the phase at which you should introduce new, more advanced features– for LinkedIn, these features included recommendations, endorsements, and groups. At the end of the day, you want your users to invest in your platform to switch to a different platform would be difficult. Ultimately, Nicki says, retention is an output of engagement, and users are more likely to become engaged over time if they follow a natural order of steps. That’s why Nicki’s ladder of engagement is so beneficial. 

Nicki is always open to conversations and questions about anything he talked about on the podcast. You can reach him by connecting with him on LinkedIn. He is also the host of a podcast called “Out of Growth,” where he speaks to growth leaders.