Similar to many tales as told by many an entrepreneur, Mary* did her “great escape” about 2 years ago. Well, you know? The proverbial escape from the 9-5 otherwise known as #nomoreratrace?
And just like most entrepreneurs, she envisaged a life full of endless freedom; time, financial, and of course the autonomy to do whatever she wanted with whomever and wherever.
Unfortunately for Mary though, that freedom has yet to come, 2 years down the line.
Entrepreneurship has since proven to be far from the escape she had envisioned. Instead, she has not been on any holiday for the past 2 years. Further, her social life has become inexistent and she is constantly plagued by fear and desperation especially when chasing for her next client or worried that she wont be able to pay the infusionsoft bill. Overwhelm has become Mary’s second name!
So how did this come to be? What went wrong you may ask? Didn’t she have a system? Isn’t she qualified in what she does? Doesn’t she work on her personal brand? How does Mary spend her days?
As a matter of fact, Mary is qualified in what she does. She constantly works on her personal brand and is constantly speaking at numerous events. For her business, she pursues a set system as follows:
You may wonder that with such a solid system, Mary is bound to excel in her business, right? After all, she has all the logical elements in place, right?
Well, what Mary has not considered is that her line of business, which is coaching, is the easiest business to get into. Coaching and consulting have the least barriers to entry. Which means the competition is huge.
At the moment, she runs her business like everyone else does and has not positioned herself as filling a gap. This means that to her potential customers, she is just adding to the noise.
Further, the last couple of years, systemization of business has been the number one trend in the business world.
Which means that many business owners, like Mary, have focused on creating systems rather than the only fundamental element that enables businesses to grow.
Jay Abraham, the marketing guru, states that in order to grow one’s business, you must either:
And that’s it. There is no other way to grow.
And if you look further into each of the points above, they all have one thing in common.
You see, to increase the transaction size, someone needs to buy it.
To increase the frequency, someone needs to buy it more often.
To increase the number of customers. Well, you need to find someone who then becomes the customer, right?
Over-systemization of business has however made many a business owner focus less on the humans who buy and instead place it on the systems where they buy it from. It almost seems that these business owners forget that behind the systems taking the orders, going through the funnels, are living breathing humans who OK the transactions or not.
There is little in the market on how to actually learn about the people, the someone, the customer, the REAL FUEL to all businesses. Most customer diagnostic processes are shallow at most.
Great companies like Apple, Coca Cola, Amazon, Disney have deep learning systems that monitor human behavior in order to eventually convert them into buyers. Once they gathered this data down, they converted the intelligence into systems we currently know.
A similar process needs to happen before small and medium sized entrepreneurs can get to this level of systemization that involves limited human contact.
This is however not to say that business owners, like Mary, should only resort back to one-on-one sessions with clients in order to grow. It however means that they should actively research and acquire a deeper understanding of their clients and have it down to a tee, before they attempt to systemize the acquisition process. They should go beyond the typical demographical data or amazon/forum mining that is currently pegged as the only client research necessary.
It should go deeper and include nuances such as their emotional and decision making profiles, among others.
Interested in getting your customer diagnostic profile? Apply here or Join our bootcamp here.
Dominating one’s market is arguably the most challenging thing to a coach, consultant or professional service provider today.
There are millions of coaches, consultants and professional service providers globally due to the limited barriers to entry into the business.
A quick google or instagram search will reveal to you the millions of websites and profiles belonging to coaches, consultants and professional service providers who are ready to do business with whoever raises their hands. They are all looking to attract, convert and service the same clients.
And despite the world having 7 billion people to access, getting a good client is mysteriously a little challenging. Client acquisition still feels like digging for pins in a haystack for many a professional service business owner.
In order to dominate your market, you clearly need a unique value proposition. You need to have positioning as the only viable choice in your market as well as be filling a notable gap. This means you cannot dominate if you are just adding to the noise, right?
So how do you become unique and different in today’s business world?
Well, for starters, you need to realize that nothing in the way of features or benefits is un-imitable.
A glance at the social media platforms will show you just how evident this is.
Take a look at Gary Vee for instance. He was one of the very first bloggers to come up with the idea of creating Instagram videos with subtitles and a progress bar. That is now the norm. There are now hundreds of thousands of other accounts who do the same and since video is arguably the future, this is going to get even worse. So now Gary is constantly looking for new ways to garner attention.. But even then, he is consciously aware that whatever he does wont be unique for long.
Even Facebook Ads are no longer un-imitable.
In a bid to demonstrate transparency, Facebook has enabled competitors to access the copy of your marketing ads.
All you need to do is to go to the About Page of any of your competitors profiles and voila, you will see a goldmine of all your competitors ads; running and past.
Do you remember the book funnels famously used by the likes of Tony Robbins, Russel Brunson, etc, that were all the rage just a year ago? Who uses them now?
Additionally, competitors can also access info on where you are advertising by using apps like similarwebb.
In fact, they can even find out what systems you have on your website among others.
So what does this ultimately mean? It means that your marketing and systems can be copied in a split second and so relying on them as your unique value proposition would not be ideal.
Now as you all probably know, (prayerfully too) competing on price is nothing short of a race to the bottom albeit at blinding speed. This is such a horrendous idea that I will not even pursue this further. And most specifically when in a service based business where your time; arguably the most precious resource bar none, is involved.
How about personal branding, you may ask?
Well, I once heard a business coach advice someone that their personal brand would be the only sure thing that would separate them from the masses.
This is however not entirely true.
A true personal brand is one that has been build strategically and with someone else in mind; your client.
Wait.. I will expound on this…
We build personal brands so that we can be perceived differently by others. We want to be perceived in a favorable light by others. Otherwise, we wont bother with it, right?
However, if your clients do not trust you, then your personal brand is bound to suffer significantly. No amount of website beautification, or color changes, or aspirational photography would change that, right? Which therefore means that your clients play a vital role in the kind of personal brand you ultimately have whether you like it or not.
So back to the business coach. Relying on personal brand alone will not really help you dominate the market. There needs to be something else.
And which brings me to the real and surefire way of dominating your market and becoming the choice in your market.
Your Customers. The people that you serve. The living breathing humans with a mind of their own and emotions.
So here goes:
When you have a deeper understanding of your customers and are able to paint their life’s pains and pleasures emotively better than anyone else in the market, you get their attention.
When you get their attention, you use resonating messaging to get their engagement and connect with them further.
When you engage and connect with them, you develop trust. Consequently, they will be open to you with their desires. Those deeper desires that they do not verbalize to all and sundry.
At this stage, you can channel their desires into action.
This action translates into the purchase of your service or product.
A deeper connection enables them to connect with you better than anyone else and results in them positioning you in their mind as the only viable choice.
Human Psychology reveals that when you can verbalize someone’s problems better than them, they automatically believe that you have a solution too.
To get this kind of understanding, you must be ready to go beyond the typical static data like their demographics or nuances like they played football in high school. You need to get deeper.
Want to dominate your market? Yes? Great.
Do you have a diagnostic system in place that enables you to get this kind of data?
If not, please apply here for us to get you a customer diagnostic profile or apply here for our Tribe Intel bootcamp.