Captain’s log, stardate 20161014
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How to increase the likelihood of prospects hiring you
There are two things you can do to allay your fears of the Why Conversation:
- Take steps to decrease the likelihood of a prospect not hiring you
- Take steps to decrease the impact of a prospect not hiring you
I’ll tackle the first today, but I’ll flip it around so we’re not forced to deal with a double negative:
“How to increase the likelihood of a prospect hiring you.”
The answer is pretty straightforward:
I know that specialization strikes fear in the hearts of many, but specialization - at least in your marketing - is the key to a powerful market position.
You need to become the de facto “go-to guy/gal” for your discipline in your target market. Once you do this, prospects will never be able to do an apples-to-apples comparison between you and your would be competitors. You will be the clear first choice. the only questions in the buyer’s mind will be:
- “Can we afford him/her?”
- “When is he/she available?”
Here are the components that make up a highly differentiated practice:
- Positioning - Create a laser focused positioning statement.
- Publishing - Attract prospects by sharing your passion online and in person.
- Proposals - Turn prospects into clients by giving them options, not ultimatums.
- Pricing - Increase profitability by basing prices on your results, not your labor.
- Products - Turn recognized patterns into products that solve client problems with maximum efficiency.
You don’t need to do all five of these things at once. You can pick and choose which to implement when, although I would urge you to start with positioning because it amplifies the effects of all the others.
Positioning Crash Course
Got a minute? Let’s do a positioning exercise right now...
Grab a pencil and paper and write this down:
I’m a BLANK who helps BLANK with BLANK. Unlike my competitors, BLANK.
Now, fill in the blanks to create your laser focused positioning statement.
Did you try it? Seriously... take out a piece of paper and fill in the blanks.
If you’re having trouble, don’t feel bad - almost everyone does. It’s brutal. I’ve had people actually start crying during this exercise.
If you didn’t have trouble with this exercise, you probably wrote something soggy like:
“I’m a UX professional who helps businesses with elegant solutions to complex problems. Unlike my competitors, I have 10+ years of experience adding value by building high quality software.”
This is not a laser focused positioning statement; it’s just clever wordsmithing that encompasses your vision of yourself, to yourself; it doesn’t communicate any value to anyone.
Here are a few good examples to get you started:
- “I’m a Rails developer who helps dentists with older patients who forget appointments. Unlike my competitors, I use SMS reminders which work on both smart phones and dumb phones.”
- “I’m a Web designer who helps Fortune 500 retailers with abandoned shopping carts on their e-commerce sites. Unlike my competitors, I use A/B tests to focus on the bottom line instead of wasting time with arbitrary design changes.”
- “I’m a spider wrangler who helps horror movie producers with actors who are severely arachnophobic. Unlike my competitors, I once convinced Gwyneth Paltrow to attend a red carpet event with a live tarantula on her head.”
See the pattern?
I’m a DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. Unlike my competitors, UNIQUE DIFFERENCE.
Nailing your laser focused positioning statement is the single best thing you can do to grow your business. It’s the foundation of everything. Without a laser focused positioning statement, you’re wasting your time with marketing efforts like advertising, outreach, blogging, vlogging, podcasting, social media, webinars, etc.
Do you have doubts or questions about specializing? Please hit reply and let me know!
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