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I’m going to tell you a little story about a lady called Sally.
Sally was feeling inspired and invigorated. She was finally following her passion and was enjoying running her own business. That was until she read her bank statement, and realised that she wasn’t going to meet the bills again this month.
Sally sat down and started to think about what the problem might be. ‘I’m really good at what I do. I know I get fantastic transformation with my clients. Nobody told me it would be this hard. If I’d have known I wouldn’t have signed up. I definitely didn’t sign up for THIS.’ She hissed the word, ‘this’ and felt contempt for all of the stories she’d read online about how running your own business was so amazing.
Her demeanour softened slightly as she reminded herself that actually it was amazing, it just wasn’t paying the bills right now. She’d been online and heard all about how she needed to niche. That was all well and good but how was that going to pay the bills? Each time someone mentioned they needed help she simply said ‘yes’ because she needed the money. She then resented working with them where they didn’t take action or responsibility for their lives, or they were bad payers. They weren’t the right fit.
She started questioning herself, ‘Am I really going to be any good at this or should I just go back and get a ‘proper job’? My friends all think I’m mad anyway and John isn’t that pleased he’s having to help out with my bills.’
She knew deep down that something needed to change. She was working with any client that came along and had no idea who her ideal clients were, what to offer them or where to find them. Working every hour under the sun just to keep on top of things wasn’t working. Things were slipping, she was forgetting things, the house was being taken over by washing and she had no family time. ‘Not what I’ve signed up for at all’, she muttered again.
Are you like Sally?
Maybe you’re a guy that’s finding you’re so busy being out there that you don’t have time to meet your friends down the pub any more, or even the funds, or maybe you’re working so hard that you don’t even see your family, other than on Skype.
You need to get really clear on who your ideal clients are, pull together a plan of what to offer and where to market to those people. You can still attract clients that are outside of your niche, but you will save so much time, energy and money focusing on the right people; people that want what you offer.
My husband was sharing a story with me about how years ago he did some temp work for a telesales company. He had an enormous list of people to cold-call (shuddering at the thought of that one) and he had to ask them about their multi-platformed servers and how they might want this particular service the company was offering. His list consisted of solicitors, lawyers, small business owners, who wouldn’t know what a multi-platformed server was if it fell from the sky. A complete waste of time for everyone, and not great for the company concerned in terms of reputation and credibility either. They weren’t clear on their target market, their ideal clients.
You have to get clear on this. Getting that clarity will build your business. You become the expert, the go-to person in your field. Result = clearer marketing messages – blog posts, newsletters, articles, social media posts and conversations, and most importantly more clients.
How clear is your message?
I get asked so often to review websites and check in with people about what they should be saying about what they do, and I will always go back to asking who they want to work with. It sounds simple, but if you’re like me when I started I would say I’m a coach – I can coach anyone. That’s what my skills give me.
Yes, but saying you can coach everyone isn’t going to get you in front of the people you need to be in front of.
Let’s get blunt here – why should I buy from you as opposed to any other million and one business owners offering the same service that you offer? Whether you’re a beautician, graphic designer, coach, nutritionist, spiritual healer – it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to sell it to me baby! Telling me in a fluffy way what you do isn’t going to make me understand why I should choose you over others.
The reality is if you’re not getting your message clear there will be one of your competitors out there that is, and those lovely clients that you so long for will be banging down their door instead of yours.
You have to stand out from the crowd. Now, yes, part of that can be through your personality but there needs to be more than that. If you’re saying you can be all things to all people you are never going to be seen as that go-to-expert that we all know we need to be.
In my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp we work on getting this really clear – yes it hurts your brain – no it doesn’t mean you can’t have variety in your business, it just gives you focus, and focus my dahlinks is one of the key ingredients for growing your business.
When people think of you, they should be able to say what you do quite quickly, at least have an idea of the kind of thing you do, rather than you just saying you help the world and his dog. How can people refer you if they don’t know what you do? Since getting really clear on my messages, I get loads more referrals because it’s clear what I do and who I help. I still get to have lots of variety under that umbrella, thank goodness or I’d go nuts to be honest.
When you know this stuff it really helps you – it makes it SO much easier to make decisions in your business – because you know immediately if someone is going to be a good fit for you or not, and not even just someone but projects that come your way because they fit your business model.
So, I ask you again – why should I work with you and not one of your competitors?
If you’re feeling like Sally then start to get clarity and turn that around. You can have a business that you love that also brings in money. You just need to do it differently!
Call to action: Get really clear on what you want from your business, who you want to work with, and in what capacity. If you really don’t know, write down what you don’t want, and then flip that list into the opposite. You may find some hidden gems.