Bill Cosby said “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
That is some pretty good marketing advice as well, because your marketing message can take your business to the next level and as a solo-preneur it is foolish to try and be all things to all people. If you are trying to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of clients, you may end up being so generic that you’re not meeting the specific needs of any one target group.
Alternatively, when you focus on (and thoroughly understand) a specific smaller target audience, it enables you to develop an effective marketing message that will resonate with them and bring more high quality, ideal clients to your doorstep.
Take for example a person that sells insurance.
Who needs insurance? Individuals? Employers? Small businesses? Large corporations? Well, the answer is all of them – but their needs are not the same. So, if the insurance guy focuses on one targeted group (for example self-employed individuals), he can truly understand what makes that group “tick”….and it will be totally different from what large corporations or even small business owners need. But by understanding his target audience, he is in the best possible position to develop a strong marketing message that resonates with that specific group and enables him to attract them as clients.
So What Is A Marketing Message?
Your marketing message is what you communicate to your target audience. It is the big idea and solution you want to share with the world.
The way I look at it is like this: you want your marketing message to be compelling – a way of describing your business to your ideal client that will make them respond enthusiastically; a message that will make them say: “Wow. You are exactly what I’ve been looking for all this time. How quickly can I start working with you?”
To get this type of enthusiastic response, it is critically important to have a message that positively resonates with your audience. And because people are naturally wired according to the what-is-in-it-for-me-principle, your marketing message needs to tell them that. Thus, as a minimum, your message needs to include a description of:
- Who you work with (your ideal clients / target audience);
- What particular struggles or problems they’re experiencing right now;
- How working with you will solve those problems;
Where Can I Use My Marketing Message?
Once you’re clear on all the above points, you can use it in various formats.
You can use it in:
- A written message. For example the content on your website, a sales page, the bio in an article that you’ve written, a brochure or your business card. In other words any content or marketing materials that you write and people read.
- A verbal message. This can be your 30s introduction speech when people ask you what you do for a living or your signature talk, at networking events or any other verbal communication where you speak to people about your business and what you offer.
- A visual message. That is your website look and feel, your business name, logo, tagline, the colors you use, your videos, the total image you project to the outside world.
…and it’s important that all three work in unison to send out the same message.
Why Is It So Fundamentally Important to Get My Message Right?
People are naturally wired according to the “WIIFM” way of thinking. Before they make a decision to work with you, they immediately think: “What’s In It For Me”.
Just think about it. You are bombarded with so many marketing messages every day: via email or on TV, over the radio and on billboards when they drive around. And the truth is: if those marketing messages are not directed to you specifically, your mind automatically filters out 99% and you simply ignore it! Right? You don’t take action on any of them.
But when you see something and realize: “There’s something in it for me”. That is when you suddenly stop and take notice.
It is the same for your prospects and clients. So, your marketing message must specifically addresses your target audience, so their minds can immediately pick up the wave and know there’s something in it for them.
Remember… it is your marketing message that takes your business to the next level because it can ignite your audience into action and position you as the leader in your field. The big idea of your marketing message is to join the conversation that’s already going on in the heads of your target market so that you connect effortlessly with your audience, they feel understood on the deepest level, and you are naturally perceived as the expert you are.
So go out today and create your compelling and jaw dropping marketing message and if you’d like more support on crafting a powerful and effective message that magnetizes and gets your target audience to fall in love with you, check out my Create More Marketing Momentum Program here.
To Your Success!
The two words “marketing” and “plan” can on their own evoke strange and uncomfortable feelings in many solo-preneurs.
It’s like, you know you need to do marketing and you know you need to do some planning, but it’s a constant battle to commit to any of them. Worst, if these two words are thrown together into “Marketing Plan” – then it’s enough to run away from.
The problem is that women are often afraid to create and stick to a marketing plan. They might feel:
- Creating an effective marketing plan seems messy and hard.
- They don’t know what will happen in a month, much less six months… and thinking ahead is kind of scary and mind-boggling;
- Committing to the actions they put on their plan today, can limit them in some way. Especially if something new or more exciting comes up in a few months’ time;
- Planning has just never work out for them. Even if they’ve made a plan in the past, they could not stick to it. So they stopped planning, period.
The truth however is, marketing planning should not be hard, messy or scary at all…and it is something you should do as much as possible – especially when you are still carving out your business success. And if you’ve found that planning didn’t work in the past – it is not necessarily the fault of the planning process. It’s often the strategy that you used to execute (or not execute) your plan.
So, to make your marketing planning and execution a bit easier, think about it this way. It is simply about creating an effective, step by step road map to relieve stress and make running your business easy and fun.
Imagine the amount of stress that will go away when there is no more guessing about what marketing activities to do when. Think about the relief when you experience more and more clients entering your client pipeline or contacting you to inquire about your services. Visualize freeing up your time and starting to earn a better income so that you not only can grow your business, but also create the life you want…
All because you’ve committed yourself to creating an effective marketing plan and to implement the things you’ve planned.
So let’s look at what an effective marketing plan is supposed to be.
Well, a marketing plan is NOT this thick, dusty “whoowhoo” type of document that you prepare once and then put in the bottom drawer of your desk never to consult again.
Your marketing plan should be a living document on your PC or up on the wall where you can SEE it and access it on a daily basis. It should be this road map (or GPS) that you consult daily to show you what you need to do today (or this week / month) to promote your business and get those clients.
Thus, for marketing planning to be effective you MUST incorporate the following 6 crucial elements:
1. The EXACT GOAL you want to reach. This can be for example earning a specific amount of money this year or selling x copies of a new product or filling a tele-class with x attendees or getting x new clients this month or whatever – just any specific goal that will bring money into your business and that you need to do some marketing for.
2. WHO specifically you want to attract as clients. In other words who do want to work with (ideal clients) or who you want to sell your products to. If you do not know who you want to attract with your marketing efforts, marketing can be such a waste because then you cannot make offers or reach the right people with your marketing.
3. WHERE you will find these people. It is important to “fish where the fish are”. If you can find your target audience in large numbers, it makes your marketing much more effective. It saves time, effort and even money and will results on higher returns on all your marketing efforts.
4.WHAT to say to your prospects once you’ve find them. It is all about getting their attention and then inspiring them to take some sort of action (e.g. clicking a link; getting on your list; calling you to set up an appointment; signing up to work with you).
5. HOW you will effectively reach them to put your message in front of them. Your target audience will mostly dictate the marketing methods you should use. So it is crucial that you know who they are and then use those marketing methods that will have the best positive impact for your business. Then promote and stay in touch consistently to give your audience time to get to know, like and trust you.
6. Scheduling daily, weekly, monthly ACTION STEPS to keep you accountable for implementing all your marketing and thus reaching the goal you’ve set in step 1.
Bottom line: Doing marketing according to an effective plan will have an amazing impact on your business. It will give you peace of mind and greatly relieve the stress and anxiety of getting more clients, because it provides clarity, purpose, and direction on what to do when.
Through your marketing planning you’ve taken care of one of the crucial and fundamental aspects for creating a thriving business.
Execution of an effective marketing plan can lead to many more clients. When you have clients, you have a long-lasting business.
Could you identify which of the elements above is lacking in your marketing planning process? If so, make a commitment to yourself this week to incorporate it into your plan… and, if you do not have a marketing plan yet, then take time this week to create your plan for the next month, 6 months or even this whole year. It will be time well spend… I promise 😉
If you need help with this or someone to guide you through the whole marketing planning process, visit the information-rich page and go over all the details of my “Create More Marketing Momentum” course here.
To Your Success!
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Marketing can often feel like a pain in the neck, isn’t it?
As a services professional, you know you need to market your business consistently to get more clients and greater returns on your income, yet it’s like you just never really get to do any effective marketing. You always find something else to do instead…. and in the end, your day went by and you didn’t get to do any marketing, right?
I know… I used to feel like that too, but not anymore.
I came to realize that as a service provider it is actually your responsibility to do as much marketing as you can.
The truth is: you have unique skills, abilities and experiences that can help so many other people who are looking for exactly what you have. In other words…
You have solutions to other people’s problems!!
So if you do not market your business and tell people what you do, you deprive them from the solutions to their problems that they are searching for!
When I realized this truth, my whole outlook on marketing changed and as a result, I felt more confident and open with my marketing and also started to see many positive results in my business. Results such as more focus, more self-discipline, more clients, better quality clients a higher income…in fact, my whole business became much more fun.
Understanding what marketing really is, helped me get so many things I want … and you can too.
There is however ONE big pitfall.
You can have the right intentions with your marketing, BUT if you do not have the right marketing FOUNDATION, it will still be an uphill struggle to get more clients and help the people you want to help.
In all honesty, it took me some time to figure that one out, but eventually I did and now I want to pay it forward…
So, I’ve developed a training program to show you step-by-step how to implement the right marketing foundation in your business and how to build on that foundation with a rock-solid marketing plan to attract more and more clients to your business – consistently. With the information of this training program you can start create marketing momentum that will bring you the clients and income you want.
If you want to go over all the program details, visit the information-rich page here:
I’m looking forward to share those insights with you!
Love and success
Does your business have a winning edge?
Do you create, do or give something to your clients that lift your business up above your competition? In other words, does your business have that something that makes you get the clients while your competitors don’t?
That is called a “winning edge”.
Let me try to explain this by using an example of horses running a race.
As you know, horse racing is not only a prestigious sport; but there is also huge prize money involved and the horse that wins the race walks away with the bulk of this prize money – even if he only wins by a “nose”.
In some races, the winning horse can receive up to ten times more in prize money than the horse that comes in second. This however doesn’t mean the wining horse have to be ten times faster than the second horse. He just need to be a little bit faster or a little better trained for this race or has a skilled jockey that can make a racing decision just a little bit better than the other jockeys.
It is the same in business. People who become successful and prosperous are sometimes just a “nose” in front of those who don’t! They do things just a little bit better or do things just a little bit different than the rest which then leads to extraordinary results.
Create prosperity in your business and give yourself that winning edge, by focusing on one or more of the following:
Be noticeably different from your competition. Luckily, it’s not really that difficult to create distinction, to stand out and be different from a crowd of anonymous competitors. You only need to do 1 of 3 things. You either need to
- Deliver a unique service that not many other solo-preneurs do, or
- Deliver a common service, but do it in a unique way or even
- Deliver a common service in a common way but then specialize in a particular audience.
Strive to become excellent in what you do and be brave enough to set the standard in your industry.
Do everything to the best of your ability. When you sell a service, you need to fulfill with excellence – like dinner depend on it. Be a person of integrity and don’t manipulate the truth or cut corners to make a buck.
Excellence enables you to become trusted in you market place and not only to attract loyal clients, but also loyal partnerships and creating thriving partnerships give you the leverage to spread your message even further and helps to create quantum growth in your business.
Regardless of what you do, always put your full effort behind it and don’t do anything halfway.
3. Service Value
Always serve your clients with value in mind. Give them more value than what they’ve bargained on because satisfied clients are the foundation upon which you can create more prosperity in your business.
Businesses with satisfied, loyal clients enjoy greater customer retention, repeat business, more word of mouth advertising and consequently greater profits.
The art of giving your clients value boils down to finding out what they want or what they consider to be of value, then persuading them that what you offer will deliver that value.
Your Assignment for today:
With all 6 Success Strategies in mind, give yourself and your business the opportunity to become prosperous, Break away from the trap of only doing enough to “get by,” or being content with being “good enough”.
Focus on those things that can give you the winning edge in your business. Be distinct, be excellent in what you do and deliver exceptional service value to your clients to become prosperous and to take your business from merely surviving to thriving this year
Love & Success
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Click here for Part 5: Market & Promote Consistently
Do your potential clients know about you?
Since starting my business a couple of years ago and working with many entrepreneurs in the process, I’ve noticed that numerous solo-businesses struggle with getting more clients due to the fact that potential clients do not know about them.
It’s often the case where entrepreneurs excitedly start their online businesses. They know they have a service that will make a difference in people’s lives and because they are excellent in what they do, they often expect people to naturally know how good they are and how they can help clients.
What happens is many solo-preneurs get everything just right to perform business and then …they wait!
They wait and think “Oh, the clients will come to me”… and when the clients do not line up and are not eagerly waiting to work with them, they get discouraged and start wondering if being self-employed was the right decision to make?
The truth however is: if you want to take your business from merely surviving to thriving, you HAVE to get out there in a really big way and consistently market & promote your services.
It sounds simple enough, but people often shy away from marketing and promoting their services due to inherent false beliefs that it is ‘sleazy’; or you have to ‘sell’ yourself – much like a door-to-door salesman trying to sell you something you don’t need.
Marketing and promoting your services however doesn’t have to be sleazy at all. When it is done authentically, your marketing simply offers the solutions your clients are already searching for.
Therefore it is actually your duty to inform people how you can take away their pain and problems with the services you offer!
To effectively market and promote your services:
- Get your message and your services in front of the clients you want to work with;
- Go to the places where your clients are already gathered for you.
- Actively meet new people, speak to them and start engaging in conversations. Don’t wait and assume clients will come to you. You need to give them a reason to do so.
- Have confidence in yourself, your services and your business. If you don’t have a genuine belief in the importance and the value of your services and don’t know that it can really help your clients or even change their lives, you clients won’t have confidence in you either.
- Realize that when you promote your business, you’re not pushing people to buy what they don’t want. Instead, you’re offering them a solution to the problems and pain they experience.
- Make every marketing action count so that it helps to achieve your ultimate goals. Don’t just do marketing for the sake of marketing. Do the necessary planning and follow a structured plan that gives you a diversified outreach and maximizes your returns.
- Market and promote your services daily, consistently and persistently. It doesn’t help much to only crank out a couple of marketing activities when the appointment book looks a bit empty.
Marketing and promoting is like planting a seed. It rarely gives instant results. When you plant a seed in the ground, it needs constant attention in terms of water and pruning to help it grow into a lovely tree that will eventually bear fruit.
Thus your marketing needs daily attention to bring consistent results.
Mastering the marketing aspect of your business is the best skill you can learn to take your business from merely surviving to thriving.
To your success
P.S. Your assignment for this week: Have total conviction about what you do and from this moment forward consistently market and promote your services. I guarantee you’ll start attracting more clients than you are now. It works!
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Click here for Part 4: Package Your Services
Click here for Part 6: Create Prosperity
If you don’t package your services, you probably leave money on the table.
One of the biggest challenges in selling services is that what you offer is intangible. Thus, the most common way people charge for services is to charge by the hour. The client pays for your time, and they keep paying until the project is complete or your work with them is done. But there are 2 inherent problems with this:
First, clients are often resistant to pay for hours. You will hear them say, “I don’t want to leave it open-ended” or “That seems very high for an hourly rate“. We hear these excuses on a daily basis.
Second, there are only 24 hours in a day. Eventually your income will reach a ceiling because you won’t be able to increase your number of hours and/or increase your hourly rate indefinitely.
A strategy to overcome this time for money trap is to package your services.
This simply means that you group a number of tasks or services that you regularly perform into a service package and sell it at a fixed price. This help to make your service looks more like a product and make it more tangible because you can now better explain the benefits and results a client will get from it.
Even though you perform exactly the same services as when you do it on an hourly basis, by grouping some complementary services together into a service package and offering it at a fixed rate, you can focus the client’s attention on the outcomes and results of working with you and not on the time it takes to perform the tasks.
For example: Let’s say you are a social media specialist, and you work with clients on an hourly basis to set-up and maintain their social media profiles. When you package your services, you can for example create 3 different packages at different levels and price points.
The lowest priced packages can include some basic level tasks such as setting up a specific social media profile, but the client still have to do the bulk of his social media activities himself.
The mid-tier program can include all the tasks to set up different profiles, integrate them with his website and create a unified brand for your client across all his profiles.
The top tier packages can be a ‘done-for-you’ and include all the tasks from the other packages plus you take care of his total social media strategy and updates.
Each of these packages thus caters to a different segment of your market. It gives prospects a choice that suites their budget and individual needs better.
Packaging your services therefore:
- Makes it easier for clients to say yes and work with you.
- Removes the element of uncertainty (which is inevitably present when you charge by the hour)
- Gives you the potential to raise your rates and increase your income as you can charge more for packages than for hourly services and clients will still be happy to pay because they focus on the outcome and results they will get from it.
Service packages put the money back into your pocket. A well-structured package can elevate your income and is a great strategy to take your business from merely surviving to thriving. It is also a fun step in business because you can start discovering the untapped potential and profits in your business.
To Your Success
P.S. Your assignment for this week: Think about the services can you group together in your business. Then create a services package around it.
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Click here for Part 3: Position Your Business Correctly
Click here for Part 5: Market and Promote Consistently