This is something I decided to revisit over the weekend. As our businesses develop, sometimes the lines get blurred on what we offer so it’s always good practice to review what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for.
But it sounds daft doesn’t it? You’ve set up your business because you have a product or service to offer – so that’s what you do, right? As long as you let people know how you can help them, then that’s ok, the clients will come.
Well, not necessarily!
We all have many skills and talents that we can use to help our clients. Naturally we will have honed those skills down to a particular area. For example, you might be a social media manager who is also a qualified swimming instructor – it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be offering both of those services under one business umbrella. But the likelihood is that you will need to hone or niche down even more on what you do offer to make your business stand out to the people you really want to work with.
What I mean, is that you need to get very specific. Don’t be offering all the things to everyone – otherwise, all you stand to do is create confusion for your potential clients and they’ll just find someone else to work with who seems to understand their specific need.
And that’s the key - you need to understand your potential clients specific NEED - not their wants and desires.
Here are 3 steps to help you do just that:
Step 1 – Do your research
You need to understand what these needs actually are. You’ll only know this from having conversations with potential clients. Do your market research, ask the questions, what holds them back, what do they specifically need right now? There’s no point offering underwater basket weaving when your client can’t yet hold their breath! Extreme, but you get my drift.
Step 2 – Match their needs to your offer
You’ll need to look at the skills, services, products you have to offer. It may be a perfect fit – wonderful!
If there are gaps you now have the knowledge to know exactly what you need to do to fill them. Hopefully you won’t have to go right back to the drawing board, but sometimes this is the case – sometimes we’re so off the scale with our offer, this is the only option.
I’ll share my story with you.
When I first delved into self-employment, I set up business as a Virtual Assistant. I’d been on a career break for 4 years to raise my family. My previous employer no longer existed, and for some reason, I couldn’t work out how to do the work I’d done when employed, on a self-employed basis. I’d lost some confidence in myself and setting up as a Virtual Assistant felt comfortable and something I could do. But what I did was offer general VA services PLUS business advisory services to my target market. My target market was business coaches and consultants.
Of course, they didn’t need business advisory services!
Although they were grateful for me helping with the general tasks, I was completely frustrated because I really wanted to be delivering the other. My message was completely confused. Eventually I made the massive changes I needed in my business – I started again! Hopefully you won’t have to.
Step 3 – Get specific
Now that you know what your potential clients needs really are and you’ve developed your service or product to match, you can get very specific on who you’re targeting. Again, this is an area you’ll likely have to reign in. For me, I’ve delivered my services to companies of all shapes and sizes in the past – and in all different sectors. If I start to target this wide range of companies now, my messages will just get lost – they won’t be specific to anyone, they’ll just be watered down as a one size fits all. But one size doesn’t fit all, and I don’t want to be a Jack of all trades, master of none!
If you’re struggling with this, a great way to get specific is to work out who you DON’T want to work with. Work out what and/or who really doesn’t light your fire. Once you start to think about this, you’ll soon start to realise what and who you do want to work with and then you can target your messages and speak to your ideal clients.
I’ve had clients who, when they’ve first made contact with me, they’ve told me that they felt my website was literally speaking to them – that I completely understood their needs. I’ve just read a book where I felt the same, it could have been written just for me. And that’s purely because the messages are specific and targeted.
Your clients should feel the same.
I mentioned at the start that I’d just reviewed my offer and my target market. I haven’t changed who I want to work with – but I watched a video about this very subject that made me realise that in some cases my lines were becoming blurred. Sometimes when we speak to potential clients, they want things that we may not want to deliver but will agree to because we have the skills to do so. It doesn’t mean we should. It’s so important to remember what we DON’T want – so if you need to, print your list of non-negotiables for new clients and keep it handy. Don’t ever be afraid to turn down the work you really don’t want to do.
What are you going to do today to get specific about what you offer and to whom?
Sometimes it’s difficult to do this work yourself because it’s a very natural human instinct to want of help people. If you need help with this why not book a Power Hour with me to get it sorted? (Just £97) All you need to do is click here.