Where you need to put your attention and focus depends on what stage of business you are in. I find many service providers focus on strategies that are more appropriate for people with more advanced businesses—people who have a well established email list and reputation, for example—to little success.
You are in stage one if you are building your business up to at least $5,000-$6,000 per month in revenue with 60-70% of your client base full. If you haven’t done that, then you are in stage one, even if you have a website, have been providing your service for months or years, are working many hours, or have taken many programs, etc.
The criteria are how much money is being made through your business, and how many clients you have. That is what you need to focus on 100% at this stage.
The reason for that is that businesses need to generate revenue—in order to be a business. I know that might sound obvious, but it’s interesting how many people do not realize how significant this is – particularly heart-centered, service providers who really want to help others. I often hear: “I’m not motivated by money.” And you don’t have to have money as a main motivation—but you do need to be clear-eyed that creating money is key to having a business. Otherwise you have a hobby (so says the IRS).
Now, does your clarity of message affect your ability to create this income—absolutely.
Why? Because your marketing message is your understanding of who your people are, what they need and want, what they are looking, and what they are willing to buy. It’s actually not much about you at all. Now when I teach about this, I include a whole Soul Signature Process that enables you to get in touch with who you are doing what you’re doing, why, and what you’ve got to bring to the table. That becomes the foundation for your identity as a business person, and informs “your WHY” about what you’re doing in the first place. But it’s not what you go around talking to people about when you first meet them. It’s not the frontline of your message. It’s the ground, the foundation, the place from which you work. Okay, enough on that.
Stage one focus: Revenue generating activities, and enrolling clients.
So what does this mean? It means putting yourself in a position to connect with and speak with potential clients and customers on a regular basis, preferably every business day. And asking them to work with you.
How do you do that? This is where the clarity of your message comes in. Because when you know what your marketing message is, you know who your people are, you know what they are looking for, and these are huge keys to where to find them and how to speak with them once you do find them.
For example, let’s say you are a coach who helps parents with their relationship with their teenage children. In particular you understand, because you’ve been there yourself, the challenges of supporting your kids’ growing autonomy, and setting appropriate boundaries that help keep them safe, and that give them a container in which to grow and something to push against. The pains, problems, and issues that arise for your clients show up as power struggles, fighting, not doing well in school, challenges associated with their growing sexuality, possibly experimenting with alcohol and drugs, etc. The solutions they are seeking are better communication with their kids, more cooperation and mutuality, teenagers’ development of self discipline, doing well in school, finding and engaging with activities they love, having good relationships with friends, and having safe sex if they are sexually active.
Once you have this clarity, you can focus your efforts on finding your people and talking with them about how you can help them with the solutions they are looking for. Going to a networking meeting is not the number one place for someone like this to go. Can you see that? This coach needs to find the places where parents like this hang out. She would do better to attend high school sporting events, and talk with parents on the sidelines, than she would in a networking event. Does this make sense?
I know that might seem like an odd recommendation, but I give it to make a point. You need to know who your people are, and where your people are, so that you can connect with them in their environment and help them with what’s troubling them.
If you expect them to come to you, either in a networking meeting, in your office, on your website or to your Facebook page, you could be waiting a really long time.
Your priority? Go to where your people are, listen, support, and enroll. Everything else is secondary.