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By: Dr. Gwen Smith

Serious business owners continually invest in training and growth development programs and services to expand their skills and ability to offer their products and services to those they want to serve.

What I’ve found is that this is a vital part of expansion once the foundation is laid to move forward. The foundation, which I’ll address in a moment, are necessary before hiring a coach unless your coach is knowledgeable about how to effectively guide you in creating them. And stated directly, your business profits will likely suffer as a result of not clearly thinking through these elements, most importantly, the first four.

So, I’ll present the ideas below then provide a brief overview of why they’re important.

You can skip to watch the video presentation here if you prefer:

  1. Clarity is first and foremost

Being clear about what you want to offer is very important. At times you may find yourself wanting to offer a wide buffet of  products or services that are not related.

Because entrepreneurs are in general, creative in nature, ideas keep popping. It’s really important not to ignore the ideas, while also remaining focused on your main gig. Diversifying can be great, and doing it too early in the game can cause you to spread yourself thin and therefore not be as effective.

Continuing on with clarity, is knowing your unique selling proposition. Your USP is what sets you apart from your competition. No two people offering the same product or services do it the same way. It’s impossible, because no two people are alike.

So highlighting what you bring to the table that your competitors do not have, will definitely help to set you apart.

  1. Know who your ideal client is

The temptation is that you’ll want to say EVERYBODY is your ideal client. The issue with this is that you can’t target your message to anyone in specific. The research shows that speaking the language of your client is the best way to speak to their hearts and therefore secure their business.

For example, if you want to sell life insurance to women. You must have a different message for people who are say, millenials than for those who are baby boomers as an example. The younger folks are not necessarily confronted with their late future as yet, unless they have a family. So, knowing this, your message can now be targeted towards the well-being of their family, should they make an early departure.

  1. Knowing your clients’ needs

Know what your clients’ likes, dislikes, aches, dissatisfactions, dreams goals , lifestyle and what they like to do. These all play important parts in understanding them, hence knowing their needs.

A fantastic tool to help you get into your clients’ world is Facebook Audience Insights. You can access the Audience Insights by typing that in a search in your Facebook search bar, then click on audience insights.

Then click “Everyone on Facebook” to launch the search bar

Next, you can enter the information in the left panel about what you already know about who you possibly want to serve: Age range, gender, interests, etc. and you’ll get a chart like this to give you more information:

In some cases, if you don’t know the interests, you can gather that information all the same by entering the age range and whatever you know, then looking at the Page Likes, Location, and the other tabs across the top along with Demographics. Spending the time doing your research can be tedious, but it’s also important.

If the time is consuming for you, hiring someone to help you do this will save you the energy of doing it yourself, if this is something you do not enjoy.

  1. Craft the right message

Having done your research, now use the data you found to craft your message to appeal to your audience and grab their attention.

These four elements are really important. The last four can also impact your business and they include a building a network.

  1. Get your business represented online.

Business owners can sometimes find themselves wanting to hide out, so to speak, not wanting to put their faces out in the public, or their voices or their work.

For sure it can be daunting. It almost feels like a violation of your privacy, wanting to protect you and having thoughts about how others may be critical of your work.

The reality is that there are less trolls than there are nice supportive people. And, eventually, no matter what the quality of your work. Those few will be critical and maybe less than supporting.

That shouldn’t be the reason to stay in your shell, however. And so, the next item

  1. Get your business in online places

Put your business on sites that others searching can find you. Sites such as Google Business Places, Bing, Yext, Yelp, etc., and ask those who know of your services to leave you reviews

Alignable , Linked, Facebook Business pages and other social media sites are also great places to look into. There are lots of social media pages to choose from and choosing the ones where your clients hang out will serve your business the best.

  1. Form business partnerships

Business partnerships with other businesses that don’t do the same thing you do, but who also serve your ideal clients make great partners.  Create marketing packages or cross-promote one another.

  1. Incentivize your current clients

Current clients who’ve used your products and services and know of your diligence to provide quality services are great partners in helping you promote your products or services. Providing discounts can be a great way for them to share their testimonial with referral sources to check out your services.

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