So let’s clear the room of some lingering confusion... Every business uses Marketing Tactics (ie. Social Media, Local Directories, Paid Ads) to market their business online. What I'm seeing is customers notice your marketing efforts, visit your website, and leave!
Why? Because there is no clear and obvious instruction as to what they should do next... People know that with a little more searching on Google, they will find another website that will explain exactly what it is they need more clearly.
I know from working with hundreds of service business owners you're using Marketing Tactics to promote your business without a Marketing Strategy. - Marketing Tactics are the tools and techniques you use to do marketing. A Marketing Strategy is a plan in its entirety, from the start of a customer relationship to the end.
What happens is business owners blame the Marketing Tactics, however, they have completely missed the thing that comes before marketing, having a website built for conversion.
Business can be very simple, but people love to complicate it!
Find a solution to an overlooked problem that 'needs' to be solved and deliver it as informally as possible, starting with a simple version, then iterating rapidly - if required!
Typically in business people say do the work and then you can build a course. My advice is to structure the course first and start delivering it in person one to one! Identify what it is you're solving, your unique take and philosophy for what the future could be, and then package it up to be purchased 'like a product'.
The current problem with delivering 'custom' services is you’re working in a business of unpredictability. Every element of a custom project requires you to search for the resources to fulfil it. The problem with this is you can’t make any predictions for your business around time and revenue because you don’t know what it is you're selling next.
The solution is to package your services to be purchased 'like a product' and you sell 'only' that. You have the solution they need, you create systems to deliver it and apply a price tag. - They can take it or leave it!
There are major benefits to packaging your services because your business becomes dramatically simple. If you have one thing to sell you’ll get time back, deliver more meaningful work and connect with more people.
You'll find it easier to market your business because you only have one thing to talk about, which will give the people listening something tangible to remember to help spread the word.
You're a personal trainer and you're currently employed by your local gym but want to become self-employed. You find out many of your customers are attending the gym to get in shape for their wedding day.
You've found a solution to a well-known problem.
You set up a programme to get wedding couples in shape for their big day. You work out how many weeks it takes for you to see results and you build a programme around that goal.
Let’s say you're current living expenses are £2000 a month. In 12 months' time, you want to be self-employed covering your bills and paying yourself £2000 a month after bills. So the 'minimum' to make this happen is £2000, with a target of £4000 a month to live the life you dream of living.
You set up a programme for wedding couples costing £1000 per couple. Right, we now know you only need two couples a month to make this actually work! What you don't require is the 1M Instagram followers everyone seems to be aiming for. You need 'four' sets of couples per month to live the life you dream of living! If you find the fifth couple, move them to the next month... if they can't do that, say no! The first time I said ‘no’ to a client is the first time I felt in full control of my business!
If you have goals in place and you meeting your targets you don't need to say 'yes' to every opportunity. By saying yes you're taking away time that could be spent with existing customers to better their experience or using up personal time and self-care.
So the question is...
- Can you sell to four couples per month?
- Can you deliver results to four couples per month?
- Does it allow you time to include the stuff you got into business for? (Playing golf, taking the kids to school etc.)
Here’s the magic thing that happens when you package your services to be purchased 'like a product', you transition from having to find customers and servicing their needs, to finding a tribe of people it works for and becoming in demand for your solution! (Tribe = Couples who recently got engaged)
If your service product is wildly out of someone’s price range, you won’t have to waste time talking to them or writing a proposal and then chasing them down when they are too embarrassed to respond.
Clients will be happier!
The success of a project is directly dependent on managing expectations and then surpassing them. Every time you do the same process, you get better at managing expectations for the outcome and how it’s going to unfold because each previous client makes the process stronger.
Package your services to be purchased 'like a product!' If you've found a solution to a 'real' problem, you'll soon be in demand for your services and your business is going to scale fast, so you need to be ready for it!
There are three levels to delivering your service product:
- Done For You (DFY) = You doing the work
- Done With You (DWY) = Weekly Coaching
- Do It Yourself (DIY) = Consulting / Online Course
Your service product does not change!
You've spent the time validating everything in DFY, the only thing that changes as you transition to DWY and DIY is how you deliver it. Every level is there to validate the next. Once you're completely maxed out, go to the next level. Do not pass go, do not collect £2000 before you're in maximum demand!
And no, the price should not change no matter how you deliver your service product. You're in demand for your solution, why should this be devalued because of the way you deliver that information?
They're still getting the same results!
Your goal is to get to DIY, you just need to be patient and hands-on in the beginning to validate your solution.
I’ve never seen this achieved by offering a bespoke service. If you're bespoke you're an order taker, a business delivering a service that someone requested. - They're the experts and you're seen as production.
If you offer one service that's a solution to a 'real problem' you're perceived as a 'specialist' - a solution-based business. As soon as you add a second service, in theory, you’re creating an entirely new business, which puts pressure on your team to deliver and the chances are it will affect your core service product.
Yes, you can still have a very nice business as an order taker, but it’s full of stress, and uncertainty and you won’t make any real impact!
Become a solution-based business and deliver more than just a service!