Captain’s log, stardate 20210320

Success story from reader Murillo Zerbinatto

Fellow list member Murillo Zerbinatto wrote in with a positioning success story on Upwork, of all places (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan!

I had a design agency and although I tried to have a more focused positioning statement, my former associate was against it. I spent a year on Upwork trying to offer my services as “Brand Design with Visual Guidelines”, sending God knows how many offers, and ended up closing only two contracts.

My girlfriend decided to venture into the freelance world of Upwork and I strongly suggested she choose a niche and focus on it, as I learned from you. She joined in October 2020 with the positioning statement of “I help slow fashion brands increase engagement on Instagram”. Needless to say, in less than a month she had far better results than I did. Nowadays she expanded “Instagram” to “Social Media” and receives at least 3 new job offers per week. Important to note: not all offers are from the fashion segment, but people send it anyways.

Thanks so much for making us see the power of a focused positioning statement!

Regards, Murillo.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but...

If you’re getting only a few leads per month (or year!), the solution is almost certainly to focus on a smaller target market, not a bigger one.

Once you find a good niche and have a steady stream of leads, you can get even choosier about who you work with, raise your prices, and still continue to close deals.

Yours,

—J

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