If you have ambitious goals for this year or you’re trying to find a solution to a challenge in your business, you need to start with getting clarity about your business foundations. In this latest blog, I explain what areas you need to be clear about to be able to grow your business, even when you’re faced with uncertainty or unexpected issues.
This blog article is a summary of the related podcast episode.
This blog is the first in a series of three articles based on the 3C™ system that I developed to help my clients create the foundations for a successful portable business. The system is based on my strong belief that whether you want to grow your business or deal with a new business challenge, making sure that you have your three Cs in place can help you find solutions more quickly and take your business to the next level.
In this blog, we are starting with Clarity and in the next two blogs, I’ll cover Consistency and Conversion. To help you create your own 3C system for your business, I’ve created a free ebook for you to download. It has all the tools you need to use this system to grow your business.
So let’s start now with clarity. There are two things you need to be completely clear about if you want to start or grow a portable business – the foundations of your business and the foundations of your marketing strategy.
The foundations of your business
Do you know where your business makes an impact? To figure out the answer to this fundamental question about your business, you need to work out your ‘zone of genius’. That might sound a bit intimidating but you can do it by answering these three questions. The area where these three questions meet is your zone of genius, which is where you can make a real impact with your business.
1. What do you have to offer?
It’s tempting to give a quick answer to this question but be careful and take the time to really think through your answer. Have you really defined the problem that you solve with your business? Can you explain it quickly and easily to potential clients or new contacts?
For example, have you confused the problem with your solution? It sounds obvious but it happens! Check out the exercise in my ebook to see if this is happening to you! You need to be sure that you understand the difference between the problem and your potential clients’ pain points. I always say that the pain points are symptoms but the problem is the actual disease. Knowing the difference between these two things is absolutely crucial to your business and to developing effective marketing strategies.
Find out how your client is addressing the pain points and how your solution addresses them before you go any further!
2. Who are you serving?
Who needs your solution to this problem? Who is experiencing the problem that you can help solve? My big message for you on this one is that you need to focus on a very clear, small, specific niche particularly if you are just starting out. So many people try to target everyone but it just doesn’t work. If you’re struggling in your business, it may well be because you’re trying to serve everyone who might possibly experience the problem you solve or need your solution. You need to focus! If this gives you major FOMO (fear of missing out) then here is a simple mantra to keep repeating to yourself.
If I reach out to everybody, I reach out to nobody.
There are some other things to ask yourself when it comes to defining your niche. Think about who you care about – who are you passionate about serving? You need to love your people! Whose lives do you really want to transform through your business?
You can also think about who you already know. Ask yourself, who do you already have access to through your existing network? And who can give me access to these people? While this can be convenient, make sure that they are also people that you really want to work with.
Finally, you can use your own journey as a way to define your niche. Did you create a solution based on a problem that you experienced personally and have proof that it works? If you did, then think about people who are like you, whose issues and challenges you can identify with.
Sometimes it can take a while to find your ideal niche. Give yourself time to research, experiment, to talk to people about your business and figure out who you really want to work with.
3. Who’s ready to pay for your solution?
If you have identified a specific niche, you then need to work out if they are prepared to pay for your solution. You need to do some work to be sure about this before you go any further!
This is where you focus on your business model. What is the transformation that you offer your clients? How do you take them from pain points to solution? Think about the different ways you can create this transformation and then turn that into packages of different types of solutions you can offer in your business. If you’re just starting out, keep it simple and focus on one offer, make sure it’s tested and you have proof that it works before you develop anything else.
Answering these three questions will not only help you find your zone of genius but they will allow you to develop three strong pillars to build your business on.
Four questions to gain clarity on your marketing strategies
Once you have clarity about your business purpose and model, you need to work on making sure you are clear about your marketing strategies. Here are the questions you need to know the answers to.
1. Who is your ideal client?
This should be easily answered because you have focused on a specific niche, but spend some time really thinking about your ‘dream client’. And then invest in getting to know them. Don’t be afraid to hop on calls and talk to people!
2. Where is your ideal client?
You will need to do some market research to answer this question. You need to know how to reach your ideal client. Where can you engage with them? What social media platforms do they use? What different types of content do they read? You need to know where they go for inspiration and ideas both online and offline. This knowledge will help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts.
When you are researching all of this, it is important to use both online and offline survey. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to your ideal clients to learn more, or to ask your network to introduce you to people who could be your future clients, as well as using an online survey. I have a full episode on how to run your survey to help with this.
3. How can you transform them into a paying client?
A successful marketing strategy needs to be built around the solution you provide and the products/services you offer. This means spending time making sure that you have analyzed the pain points and the problem your ideal clients experience. This is time to really define your unique selling point.
This is where you need to think about competition. To be able to focus on your unique selling point, you need to understand what else is out there. You need to know what has worked and not worked for your clients in the past and you need to know what choices they have for solutions to their problems. What is the competition for your solution? Look at your direct competition, particularly those that target the same type of client, the same niche, with similar marketing activities.
The critical thing when you focus on competition is that you keep it in perspective. Don’t let this discourage you! Try to think about competition as a positive. If there’s absolutely no-one else out there doing what you do, perhaps there’s not a market for your idea. Your competitors prove that there are clients who need your solution! Analyze their work and learn from them but do it without judging yourself or comparing yourself to them. No-one else will ever do what you do the way that you do it! You are unique. And don’t forget that there will be things about your competition that are not working for your clients and you may be able to position yourself right there.
To help you think differently about competition, check out this episode:
4. How can you make sure your clients are happy and referring you to others?
So many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that marketing ends when you make the sale. I think it is just the beginning. There is no easier way of growing your business than your clients recommending you to others. You need to follow up with your clients, take on board their feedback, ask them questions and do what you can to address any concerns they may have. Happy clients will buy from you again and help you grow your business!
Getting clarity on your business challenges
If you’re struggling with a challenge in your business right now, try using some of the lessons from this approach to your business purpose and marketing strategies to help you understand it. Take the time to sit down and work out the source of the challenge. It is only when you figure this out that you can start to work out a solution. The solution will only become clear when you really understand what is stopping you in your business.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” Albert Einstein
Don’t forget when you are working on getting clarity about the source of your challenge to think about everything in your business. Business and marketing strategies may seem very rational but so often what is really holding us back is our own mindset, our self-limiting beliefs and mental blocks. So as you work through my 3C™ workbook to reflect on what thoughts or feelings come up that might stop you from being effective.
For example, if working through your market research and learning about your competition makes you start to doubt yourself, you need to stop and address that feeling. If you don’t, it will be so much harder to find the right foundations for your business. So take the time to work on your own mindset too.
I can’t wait to hear what you learn going through this process to get clarity for your business and marketing strategies. If you’d like to talk to other members of the Tandem Nomad community about your portable business journey, please join us in the Tandem Nomads Facebook group – click here to join. And don’t forget to download my free 3C™ ebook for more practical exercises and guidance to help you find clarity.