Captain’s log, stardate 20170923
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LFPS + Outreach = WOW!
Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 23rd, 2017
Early this year, I settled on a new laser-focused positioning statement (LFPS) for my mobile consulting business:
I’m a mobile consultant who helps credit unions increase member engagement. Unlike my competitors, I never assess an hourly or daily fee so you don’t have to make an investment decision every time my assistance is needed.
Six months ago
With this LFPS in hand,
- I updated all of the headlines and major copy points to speak directly to my specific target market.
- I hired a web design firm to make the site convey trust, expertise, and luxury.
- I hired a photographer to come by my office and shoot portraits for use on the new site
All told, the new site took about 15 hours of my time and cost a few thousand bucks.
If memory serves, the site went live around March of this year (i.e., 6 months ago). I didn’t do much of anything to promote the new site other than talk about it here on the list. Even with a relative lack of promotion, I got a noticeable uptick in inbound assistance. Things like:
- People offering to share their experience of working in and/or for credit unions.
- People sending me articles that would be of interest to someone targeting credit unions.
- Credit union members suggesting I contact their credit union because their mobile experience was so bad.
This was wonderful, encouraging, and helpful but it didn’t translate into much in the way of qualified leads.
Six weeks ago
About six weeks ago, I started working on an outreach campaign targeted at the credit union industry.
The first two weeks were mostly research. I spent a hour or so every couple of days searching Google, LinkedIn, and the App Store for publicly available details about credit unions.
I made a list and started to see patterns. I sent a couple test emails but nothing really came of them.
Four weeks ago
The following two weeks, I got fairly active on LinkedIn. Most every business day, I did the following:
- Published one post that would be highly relevant to credit union execs
- Sent out a few connection requests to credit union execs
- Occasionally messaged credit union execs who accepted my connection requests
This took maybe 10-15 minutes per day and cost nothing.
Two weeks ago
Almost exactly two weeks ago, I installed an app on my iPhone called Productive. It’s like a todo list app, but all the todos come back every day.
You put stuff on it that you know you should be doing every day, but usually don’t.
I added things like:
- Floss teeth
- Drink water
- Practice forms
...and most importantly for the context of this email:
- Do outreach
So every business day for the last two weeks I have made contact with one new person in the credit union industry.
- Some of the messages have been a compliment on something the CU is doing well.
- Some of the messages have been a short direct research question that could be answered in under a minute.
- Some of the messages have been a heads up on something they might have missed but could easily be improved.
- Some of the messages have been a request to jump on a call to explore whether working together might be a good fit.
This took maybe 30 minutes per day and cost nothing.
The result of this direct daily outreach - in combination with my highly targeted website and highly relevant LinkedIn profile - is that I’m having so many conversations with credit union execs that I couldn’t possibly list them all here.
Here are a couple points of interest:
- I’m now 1st level connected with maybe fifty or sixty credit union CEOs. This means that I can direct message them, and I can see and connect with all of their connections. So, when I send a connection request to one of a CEO’s connections, that person sees we have the CEO in common and usually accepts my request.
- People have started contacting me out of the blue to explore working relationships or to introduce me to execs in the credit union industry. I’ve had three phone calls this week with prospects or close connections with prospects.
- I’ve had two sales calls that will both almost certainly move to the proposal phase. One proposal will be for a three day engagement with a starting price of $20k. The other looks like it’ll be a five-figure per month advisory retainer.
This level of sales activity is unprecedented in the 10+ years of my mobile business. Until now, my marketing for the mobile biz has been limited to speaking at conferences and writing books.
I’ve done well up until now because I’ve always been able to land big contracts that last for a long time. But I’ve rarely had lots of lead activity or a pipeline of any sort, certainly nothing on this scale.
I’m not really surprised by how effective LFPS + outreach is because it’s what has worked for me on expensiveproblem.com and it has worked for many of my colleagues in their businesses.
But the drastic difference in lead flow in such a short time for the exact same business is like night and day. I’ve gone from basically lucking into work, to controlling a predictable pipeline of leads.
A parting observation for those nervous about niching down...
Here’s something super interesting for anyone who is nervous about niching down on a very specific target market:
I’ve had two prospects who were outside my target market contact me to request sales calls. Both basically apologized for contacting me by saying something like:
“We know you work with credit unions, but would you consider making an exception in our case?”
One of these is a Fortune 500 retailer.
Apologizing for bothering me.
Asking for a sales call.
Sorry for another wicked long email :/
I like to keep these short so you can read them in like 3 minutes, but there’s so much going on lately that I want to share with you.
I’ll try to boil things down more, at least for the next few days :)
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