Know Thyself and Thy Business
I recently interviewed a prospective client. I asked her to briefly describe what she did. She said it was complicated, she did so many things. I asked who her clients were. She said she couldn’t define them, that she dealt with everyone. I then asked how her business was growing and she said she was losing money, clients and had no referrals.
You get the picture.
If you can’t describe yourself, your ideal client and your business in brief, simple language, how is anyone going to hire you or give you a referral? As an entrepreneur, business owner or independent professional, you need to be able to tell advocates, clients and networking participants what you do, how you do it, who you do it for and why they should choose you.
If what you do is help people build their business and how you do it is a) one-on-one, b) training and c) workshops, that presents a clear picture to prospective clients. The next section, who you help grow businesses for, is self-explanatory. The only question remaining is the size of the business. Let us choose businesses that generate up to $2,000,000 in revenue per year and independent professionals who earn $100,000.00 or more per year. Positioning yourself by concept or model removes the stress for you and your clients. Create a model that motivates, excites and attracts. Your model could be that you work with people for a specific amount of time, say ninety days, for an established fee (received up front!) and you have a predetermined number of conferences with them.
This method makes it very easy for the right person to say “Yes!”.
A model or environment that clients can connect and feel safe with is essential. If it is presented as “work”, they won’t hire you. The experience for each of you needs to be rich, fulfilling and enjoyable.
Here’s an example of positioning by concept. It’s one thing to say you’re a website designer. A more definitive statement would be to say you design websites for people who are ready for a revised website; know who they want to reach with this website; and have text ready to serve this audience as well as the resources to pay for your expertise.
It’s specific and would attract the perfect client to you as well as your method of working.
The last question is, why choose you.
A simple answer is that you have the knowledge, skills and experience critical to their success. Go for it!
Joanne Victoria, Sausalito, CA, US
Joanne Victoria, owner of New Directions, is a Northern Calfornia based writer who speaks to associations, professional organizations and small business owners on getting more control of your time and life; creating a market position that builds momentum; and taking the right action steps inside a personal plan for progress.
telephone: (415) 491-1344