In case you missed my last post: Why are we on LinkedIn? Because that is where the audience is! But which audience? When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton is said to have replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” And social media is where our audience of leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources is. But that audience is split among different platforms, and there is little crossover between them. So who are you trying to reach? Whose money are you after?
Onto this week: Imagine a world in which you were prohibited from saying anything in your marketing that your competitors currently say.
None of the common platitudes like:
– Our service is better.
– Our people are better.
– Our reports are better.
– We care about our clients.
– We are committed to excellence.
(By the way, how do you prove any of those statements?)
You can’t say this stuff on your website.
Or in your speaking, writing, networking, or social media accounts.
Not even on your email trailer.
BVFLS marketing tends to be uniform … and painfully dull. There is no personality in it or to it. In fact, our last bit of personality was likely driven out of us by people who told us we needed to suppress it in order to be ‘professional.’
(By the way, if you don’t create the personality of your practice, your audience will assign one to it.)
Marketing is intended to create awareness and attract leads. But if we all say the same things the same way using the same font, we make it impossible for leads to become aware of us and be attracted to us!
When I talk about this to BVFLS professionals, they tell me that there’s nothing unique or special or different about their practice compared to other professionals with their practices.
They tell me they essentially do the same things in the same ways as everyone else they know so they have little/no choice but to say the same things as everyone else they know.
Well, here’s one question you can answer that will make you stand out: What do I get by hiring you that I can’t/don’t/won’t get from hiring someone else?
Can you articulate that?
Because if you can’t, you’re SOL!
Be prepared not to get hired or get hired for a commoditized fee that you’ll lament about to your colleagues.
But if you want to articulate that, there is an ‘iceberg’ model I learned that can help.
A model that I’ve not seen any practitioner in our industry using.
A model that I am teaching to my coaching clients.
Here it is.
The idea behind the model is that prospects expect:
– A price that is fair
– Service that is courteous and efficient
– A quality report that meets the relevant standards
– Results that will stand up
– A relationship with you that may last beyond the engagement
But all of these things are above the water line … part of the Obvious Value in the model above. If that is all you are offering – the tip of the iceberg – you are providing the bare minimum of what a prospect expects. And the commodity pricing you’re experiencing reflects that.
But if you can explain the Hidden or Unexpected Value that someone gets from hiring you, well, that’s a game-changer. And at the Hidden or Unexpected Value levels, price becomes less relevant.
(By the way, I want you to literally draw this model out for your client – use a napkin or your tablet – so you can draw them into your conversation).
In my world, I tell coaching prospects that my Obvious Value would be to get them more clients; they expect I will offer that. But my Hidden Value is that I help them get better clients. And if they are interested, my Unexpected Value is that I can help them get clients at scale, using proven, non-sleazy, time-saving automation tools and tactics.
If you don’t know the Hidden or Unexpected Value in what you create, make that your focus for the next quarter! And if you can’t figure it out for the work you’re doing now, it may be time to switch to a practice area or industry niche where you can.
(with attribution to Bill Maher, host of the HBO political talk show Real Time)
From this point on, you are prohibited from saying anything in your marketing that your competitors can also say. You may need some help with your new messaging … either from clients you’ve already served, referral sources you work with frequently, or friends outside the BVFLS profession who know what you do and admire you for how you do it.
Because being able to articulate the Hidden or Unexpected Value you deliver is powerful. It amps up your marketing … it helps prospects make good choices about alternative service providers … and it delivers the kind of business (better clients) you deserve.
PS – Whenever you are ready, here are 4 ways I can help you build/grow your BVFLS practice:
1. Join Practice Development ROUNDTABLE
It’s a Facebook community for BVFLS professionals who are collaborating on how to turn the practices they have into the practices they want.
2. Download this Find Your Niche infographic
The riches are in the niches, as they say. But what’s missing is a process that can help you identify your niche. This infographic is the missing process.
3. Take a free Practice Self-Assessment
I have 10 quick questions, and your answers will help you get a sense of how well your practice is working for you.