Captain’s log, stardate 20161014
Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 14th, 2016
There are two things you can do to allay your fears of the Why Conversation:
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:
Here are the components that make up a highly differentiated practice:
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.
Got a minute? Let’s do a positioning exercise right now…
Grab a pencil and paper and write this down:
I’m a ____ who helps ____ with ____. Unlike my competitors, ____.
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:
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!
P.S. Only three days until Ditching Hourly launches! I’ve got five episodes ready for you, including a fabulous interview with value pricing demigod Ed Kless who explains why hourly billing is immoral, dispels the biggest myths of business, and makes predictions about future for money. I promise it’s well worth your time if you are looking to break out of the hourly trap. Please sign up here to be notified (and let your friends know, too!) -> https://jonathanstark.com/podcast