Social media is all the buzz. Everyone flocks to join Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Google+. All of their friends are there, so that must be where the action is at the moment. In network marketing, the trend in the 1980s indicated everyone had to be advertising on pay-per-click. The next shift was to SEO (search engine optimization). Entire businesses were launched to help new marketers learn about keyword research and the benefit of capturing your personal long tailed keyword.
All of these have value but if you follow the crowd, by the time the fad is reaching peak popularity it is already past time to jump on the bandwagon.
Compare Internet marketing to investing in stocks. The “hot stock tip” may be ice cold by the time it is released to the general public. In the 1980s, Kip, age 27, was vice-president of a major financial investment firm. Company policy permitted him to give the best stock picks to only his high net worth clients. By the time the information circulated through those wealthy circles, wove its way through the Wall Street spin doctors down to the media spin doctors and finally down to main street, the news was not only old but significantly massaged. Main street investors did not have a chance. They had old inaccurate information.
Notice that is BUT with only one T.
Instead of focusing on what “John Q Public” is doing, focus on what you do best. Stop following the crowd and start emphasizing your strengths.
Express your benefit in ten words or less. When you are able to capsulize your core benefit into ten words, you are totally clear about your message. Until you are clear, how can you possibly expect your audience to be clear about what you offer?
I hear your brains protesting that you cannot possibly condense your message into a few words. Jerry Seinfeld would spend eight hours condensing a nine word sentence into a seven word sentence.
Angela’s tagline is “I sell a house every ten days.” If you were in the market to sell your house, would those seven words attract your attention? Certainly. Angela is the top Realtor for the Berkshire group in Denver. She created a niche; she is far from a crowd follower.
Her benefit is clear. Work with me and I’ll market and sell your house quickly.
Just as Raj said in his post about Guest Blog Etiquette: How To Successfully Pitch A Guest Post, give your marketing a personal touch and reveal your identity.
If you were raised as I was, you were told not to say anything about your accomplishments because it would sound like bragging. Get over it. Unless prospects know at least some of your accomplishments, why would they want to work with you? Give them some reason to work with you. Would it be preferable to have the endorsement from a third party? Yes.
If you are making a live sales presentation, you can carry testimonial letters with you. Post testimonials on your website. Giving a fifteen minute dissertation on your life history is overkill. Presenting one or two brief statements or offering reference sources should suffice for openers.
Just as you narrowed your benefit down into a few descriptive words, you need to do the same for your target client. The scattergun approach of “everyone is my market” really says that you do not have a clue about your ideal client.
In an executive speech coaching business, the ideal client is a “C” level or above executive who has aspirations of advancing in his (or her) career to the coveted corner office or the prestigious position of CEO. Take the refinement further by narrowing the criteria to an executive who either currently gives presentations to groups or will need to do so as he advances. He must be ready and willing to invest in improving his speaking skills.
In the particular case of executive speech coaching, there could also be the target client who desires to become a professional speaker.
These target clients would receive different marketing campaigns. The location to reach each one would be different as would the benefit given to each specific target client.
When you know precisely who your target client is, you can determine exactly what problem that client has which they are willing to pay to have solved. The more in-depth knowledge you possess about that target client and the problem they have, the clearer you are about how much that problem is costing them. The more urgent and intense the financial and emotional pain, the more motivated the client will be to seek a solution.
In the case of the client who is seeking to sell their house, if time is of the essence to sell or face foreclosure, they will be highly motivated. The problem is obvious, the pain is intense and an immediate solution is essential.
In another scenario where a couple is considering downsizing but there is no mortgage, the urgency does not exist. They have time to wait for more optimum market conditions. This is a “nice to fix” problem rather than a “need to fix” problem.
It flows in a complete circle.
When you are clear about the core benefit you offer, it is much easier to locate which specific target market would be most likely to be willing to pay to receive that benefit.
Once the target market is located, the process is to drill down within that market to find the specific individuals whose pain is intense enough that they are ready, willing and able to pay to receive the solution.
The more knowledge is gained about the prospect, their problem and the degree of urgency for a solution, the more you know exactly which benefit to offer them.
This circle tells you exactly why you are the best one to offer that precise solution to that target client.
Creating your own Benefit, why You and Target client circle avoids following the crowd and sets you on a clear path to success.
Byline: Elaine Love’s expertise is in small business, marketing, branding and publishing. Her credentials include Masters Degrees in Communication, 30 years of entrepreneurial awards including “International Innovator of the Year,” World Class Speaking Coach, and author of 3 books. Read her blog Elaine4Success, Tiger in High Heels.
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