In the beginning of the book, How to Say It: Marketing with New Media by Lena Claxton & Alison Woo, they pose 5 broad questions worth passing on. These questions are especially interesting to explore as you set intentions and goals and look at growing your practice. Your answers will be very helpful in determining how/what you write copy for your website and marketing material. (Comments beneath each question are mine.)
Wouldn’t it be great to know which direction you are headed as you set sail? The answers to these questions will help give you clarity about which groups/industries you want to work with. As we have heard from Janet and Chris, “When you are clear, what you want will show up and only to the point you are clear.” As we know, it’s all about being specific so we can focus our attention. “What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life.” It is wise to take the time to plot your course for the coming journey.
Who has a problem you can solve with your expertise?
You must be clear about your expertise and your market’s problem. Yes, you may offer workshops, one on ones, and/or tele-seminars but that is simply the way you deliver your expertise. I thought at first I would work with people in transition. Upon further consideration I realized we are all in transition and I needed to drill down and become more specific. That’s when I decided I wanted to work with people who have gone through divorce & are now building their new life and people who have lost loved ones and are rebuilding their lives. I have since changed my focus and message to working with emerging business owners.
With whom do I like to work?
This is so important! Choose a group of people you would like to work with. If you do not have patience with children, obviously you will not choose an audience of 3rd graders. You also want to avoid targeting a group based primarily on money. While it could provide an influx of cash, you don’t want to be part of that 80% who don’t love what they do. In the case of building websites, I have chosen to work with Passion Test Facilitators as well as women’s networking groups because your values & messages resonate with me. I am very clear that I would not like to work with wishy-washy or arrogant people, so I don’t.
In the case of my Passion Test practice, I thought about working with teens but that does not appeal to me at the moment so it is not an area I am pursuing at this time. I am very interested in working with people, primarily women who are starting new chapters in their lives and that is where I am focusing my attention.
I would recommend reading Attracting Perfect Customers by Stacey Hall & Jan Brogniez to further define your perfect customers.
Is this group easy to reach?
What hoops will you have to jump through to serve a specific group? Do you have any connections that will invite you in to meet members of a group or industry? Imagine how frustrating it is to be on the outside looking in, knowing you have a solution but having no way to deliver it. Ask yourself how you may be able to make some contacts within a group, organization, or industry. Warning! This may mean stepping outside of your comfort zone! This is something I highly recommend!!
Is this group able to pay me for my services/products?
This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes there is a struggle here. Let’s face it, we all need to generate income. Some industries can afford to pay for your services, some can’t. Sometimes we consider monetary payment, sometimes we evaluate the exposure we will receive and what that is worth to us. You know your situation and what you can and cannot accept. Greg Habstritt recommends being creative about who can write the check. Although a specific group may not be able to pay for your services, there may be an agency, benevolent community, or other sources that can fund your services.
Is this group large enough to sustain my business?
If not, you want to look at other groups to add to your list in addition to the one you have chosen. You may choose to cross this group off of your list altogether or place it on your pro bono list. Some people find this question empowering. You may discover that one of the groups you want to work with can’t afford to pay you and decide to offer a complimentary workshop or a set number of complimentary one-on-ones in addition to what you are doing in your business.
Something else you will want to become very clear about is your marketing message. Some call it an “elevator pitch” or a 30 second commercial. The simple truth is that you have to be able to succinctly tell people what you do. Please remember that this is only an introduction NOT a marriage proposal! Keep it simple. Here is an easy formula:
I am a _(title)__ who helps (market) achieve (solution).
That is just a springboard to get the ideas rolling. Here are a few examples:
I am a Success Strategist & I help emerging entrepreneurs navigate the overwhelm and confusion of announcing their presence in the marketplace.
I’m a Passion Locator & I work with people who are ready to create the next chapter in their journey.
I’m an Empowerment Specialist & I love helping people achieve an awareness that empowers them to take the next best step!