Like many small business owners, Ted feels like he is banging his head against the wall.
He has a local professional services company where he constantly needs to be finding new clients. Many people call it “prospecting”, which brings to mind both the image of knocking on doors of completely cold prospects, and the image from the wild west movies, of grizzled miners sifting through the dust, looking for gold.
There are some connections between the two mental images, wouldn’t you say?
Ted’s problem is finding qualified leads; that is, people who are not completely unaware of the value he can offer to them, and who are at least open to the idea that he might be able to solve a problem they have.
But like many other small business owners, Ted is reluctant to invest in the very thing that will help him get past the cold calls, and the frustration and uncertainty of not knowing if he’ll have enough clients by the end of the month.
So if you sometimes feel a bit like Ted, let’s help you A.M.P up your business! Here are the three big steps that will set you on a more profitable, more enjoyable path!
A = Audience
Identify exactly who your Audience is. You can’t speak to everyone! This means you need to know not only what specific market you choose to serve (or niche, as it is also called), but also the specific type of person with whom you want to work (your perfect client, or avatar).
Identify their #1 problem. You must know this in their exact words. As the old cliche asks, “What keeps them up at night with worry?”
How does that problem make them feel? What thoughts go through their minds, both consciously and unconsciously? What do they think about themselves? About others in their life? About their circumstances?
Until you know the answers to these questions, you simply won’t be successful. So interview and survey your current clients, in order to get the answers you need.
Once you get great clarity on the market and the individual, and you are serving them well, you will also have an Army of referrers to help you grow! This comes later in the steps, but it’s useful to keep it in mind as you begin (and it also fits under “A”!)
M = Message
Armed with deep knowledge of your audience, both individually and as a group, you are ready to help them solve their problem with your services and products.
Clarify your proposition. What are you offering to them? How will it solve their problem?
Know your brand positioning. You want to be able to influence how your audience sees your brand, especially in relation to your competition. What makes you stand out? Why should they pay attention to you, instead of to someone else?
Be remarkable. That is, memorable. Catch phrases like “Just do it” (Nike) can help you be memorable, yes, but there are many ways you can be remarkable. Start to make a list.
P = Plan
Now that you know your audience in great detail, you’ve identified your unique value statement, and placed yourself squarely above the rest of the competition in your audience’s mind, you need a plan to send the message to your audience! If all the above points are simply written down on paper, and you don’t share the message, you won’t have a business!
That is called marketing. You need a marketing Plan, including paid advertising.
It doesn’t have to be a long, fancy plan. You can start with a one-page document that summarizes all of the above points.
Make sure you answer the following: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
A = Army of Referrers
The A.M.P. Up Your Business Blueprint comes back around to A again when you reach out to your current clients and customers, as well as partners in related businesses, and they become your Army of Referrers.