TT#012 - One marketing mistake most solopreneurs make (and how to fix it)...

May 24, 2022

In my 35+ strategy sessions with solopreneurs these past couple months, I’ve picked up on some incredibly consistent marketing patterns.

One of these patterns is that most solopreneurs get stuck trying to figure out "how" to do things... before they clarify "what" they are actually doing in the first place.

They jump straight to asking questions like:

  • Should I post on LinkedIn, Tik Tok, YouTube, or all of the above?
  • Should I be posting every day on social, or a few times a week?
  • Is the headline on my profile good, or should I change it up?
  • Should I use a CRM? If so, which one should I use?
  • Should I have “me” or “we” on my website?
  • And loads of other "how" related questions...

These are the tactical questions that certainly need to be answered.

But they can’t be answered until the strategy is clearly defined. Because…

Tactics follow strategy.

Trying to pick the tactics you should be using without a clearly defined strategy is like asking Google Maps to give you the best route without a clear destination.

The result?

A lot of changing directions, wrong turns, back tracking, and... massive frustration from wasted time and energy.

The solution?

Getting crystal clear on your marketing strategy before you get stuck trying to figure out how to implement it.

Here are 5 strategic questions you should answer before worrying about any of the tactics:

1: Who is your ideal client?

Most solopreneurs admit they need to define this, but committing to a marketable ideal client profile (ICP) is easier said than done.

Why?

Because it means saying no to opportunities.

And that's scary.

Especially if you don't have a long list of prospects knocking at your door.

But the feeling of “security” you get from keeping all your options open is a false sense of security.

That FOMO is leading you to have generic messaging, hitting on vanilla pain points, with commoditized solutions.

Yes, committing to an ICP is uncomfortable and takes discipline.

But, it pays massive dividends when you can craft messaging that strikes an emotional chord with your ideal client.

You can't do that without knowing exactly who you are talking to.

2: What problem do they need solved?

Your ICP likely has a long list of problems they need solved.

Which problem you are going to specialize in solving?

The one you are best at solving?

The one that is most difficult to solve?

The one that produces the most value?

Or are you going to try to solve whatever problem they have at the time?

If you don’t settle in on a specific problem you are going to help your ideal client solve, your marketing is going to be all over the place.

And you can’t move your ideal client through the stages of Awareness to Interest to Intent with diluted marketing efforts.

Picking a problem to solve positions you as an authority and boosts your credibility.

3. What result do they want/expect?

Your ideal client has a problem that needs solving (see number 2).

They also have a desired outcome.

Understanding that desired outcome is essential to creating marketing that gets results.

As the legendary Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt put it:

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!"

When you haven't clarified what the desired outcomes of your ideal client are, you get stuck talking about "the mechanism" you use to help them achieve those results (read: talking about drills).

That's important to you.

What's important to them is "the transformation" you deliver (read: the quarter-inch hole).

Positioning your message around the outcomes they want will have a stronger impact than a message about the tool or process you use to help them achieve it.

4. What is the value of that result to them?

Whenever someone makes a purchase, they want something to change as a result of that investment.

This is true of every single purchase. If no change is to be had, there's no reason to make a purchase.

Sometimes that change is easy to quantify, like when we help a large coaching program increase sales from a 90-day average of $593k/mo. to a 90-day average of $1.004mm/mo.

(True story. Learn more about our 360º Sales Audit.)

You can do that with virtually every professional service though.

What's the value of the money they'll save by using your services?

What's the value of the mistakes they won't make by using your services?

What's the value of eliminating limiting beliefs and reaching new levels with your services?

What's the value of... more efficient processes, peace of mind, better sleep, a healthier relationship, etc.?

When you understand the value from their perspective, many of the questions you have around pricing and positioning become clear.

5. Why should they hire you, specifically?

No doubt you're smart, experienced, and anxious to do a great job for your ideal client.

But a lot of people are smart, experienced, and anxious to do a great job. So, why should your ideal client hire you, and not them?

If you haven't crafted a unique selling proposition, or a handful of objective, verifiable facts that differentiate you from your competitors, expect to be commoditized.

And commoditized services get differentiated by one thing: price.

When I talk to solopreneurs about my coaching program, I highlight:

  • My own experience as a solopreneur growing from $0-$40k+/mo.
  • Being hired by the world's top business coaches to improve sales.
  • Holding CEO, CMO, and CRO roles, and the unique insight that offers me.
  • Operating as an executive for private equity & a mentor for venture capital.
  • The repeatable framework and process I've created to win better clients.

And other factors that make me different than anyone else in the space.

Have you clearly articulated what makes you unique, and why your ideal client should hire you and not someone else?

Answering these strategic questions that will help you get unstuck and make all the tactical decisions you are trying to make easier.

I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Solopreneurs & Executive Freelancers discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.

For a limited time, I'm offering a free audit of your client acquisition system and will personally help you clarify what’s working, what isn’t, and what to focus on right now to start winning your best clients - on demand.

Apply for a free Strategy Audit now.
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