I wanna tell you the story of a friend… a former client… and — frankly — it’s a big one. **Quick note: Just because you’re not a “coach” or “guru,” doesn’t make this post obsolete. There’s GOLD here, so stick around. **
2nd quick note, I have permission to tell this story… as long as no names are used.
So this woman was really successful as a small business owner. Really, truly successful. No positioning here. She was fully self-supportive, had a savings, traveled… and it was all based on what she earned through her business. No spouse, no family money, no credit debt. Just a girl and her business. (I love this, by the way. It’s one of the most romantic American dream stories I know… just a girl and her business.)
Okay, so one day she attends a well known guru conference and comes home to announce that she’s shifting gears. And she announces boldly, I’M NOT GOING TO DO WHAT I’VE ALWAYS DONE ANY MORE. Essentially, she wanted to be a guru. An online guru… when she ran what was essentially a brick and mortar business. (???)
So, she lets the world know that she’s no longer doing X, and to stay tuned because she’s coming back with Y. She hires (the wrong) copywriter. She launches. Results are dismal. She hires one of the best known SEO and social media companies, because — she reasons — she needed a bigger stage. The results are that they delivered exactly what they promised: more “numbers” in terms of followers and fans, etc. But her sales increased by a big fat zero… nothing, nada, zilch. It’s getting scary for her. She’s invested a small fortune here and no sales are coming in. GULP!
Please note: She’s doing all she knows to do. She’s following the typical prescribed “guru system”…. 1) Declare your niche, 2) Write copy that converts 3) keep hustling to get a bigger stage of followers 4) rope people in with low priced products 5) upsell! upsell! upsell! PLEASE NOTE that this is the WRONG system to follow. It is one of the QUICKEST ways I know to GO BROKE really fast. Back to her story:
So, here she is. Her confidence is waning. Her savings is almost gone. She humbly re-engages with her previous brick&mortar clients to announce that she is still willing to serve them as she had in the past… because she needs the income. She still says she has confidence in the system she’s using, but — WHEN will the windfall of new guru money come her way??? Her pain and exhaustion and frustration and disappointment is palpable.
The worst part is: the windfall of new guru money is not coming for her… not doing what she’s doing.
And it’s NOT because she SHOULDN’T or COULDN’T be a very profitable guru. She’s actually quite amazing, and has MUCH to share. I’ve learned from her, and have sent my own clients to her as well. It’s not happening for her because she’s building her business according to old rules… rules that are obsolete. She’s learning from a guru and doing what that guru’s SYSTEM prescribes. BUT, she’s not looking closely enough to see the differences between the guru’s ACTUAL system and the one they’re promoting. (It’s obvious, by the way, when you look for it.)
ALL of us can learn from this.
MOST businesses I see are making this same mistakes. They start bold and confident and hopeful. They hang out their shingle and BUY what “the experts” tell them to buy: yellow pages ads, a Chamber membership, an ad in the local shopper magazine, and maybe even a tv spot. They read enough to piece meal their success system, buying into whatever they’re being sold, never challenging it… never testing it…. Never saying, “WAIT! How will this apply to me and my practice?”
And when the numbers are disappointing, they listen to the SAME people who gave them the first bunk advice, whether it was a book, or a SCORE volunteer, or their networking group peer… and they do MORE of what failed the first time. It’s heartbreaking.
There are NEW rules… new ways of applying what’s tried and tested and proven. Ways to InCREASE your money without increasing your headache and overhead. You just have to learn them. You have to be OPEN to them. Because here’s the truth: You CAN NOT beat your competitors by playing according to old rules. Let THEM live there….
Let them continue to invest in building a business today based on what worked 5 – 10 years ago. Let THEM hire out their core competencies, invest heavily in a “bigger stage” or bigger list or getting their name out there, when they never learned to monetize the stage they had. (Whether you’re a massage therapist or a pediatrician or a dog walker, you have your own stage.) Let THEM get desperate enough to create some poorly thought out groupon offer, and then complain bitterly about the money they lost while serving these “cheap-0s.” But not you. You have to create your own rules, that have your competitors comparing themselves to YOU — and NOT the other way around — regardless of what you or your business “does.”
**Quick thought: I’m considering offering a full day
seminar on how to THRIVE in a Groupon Culture… one
entire day on pricing, packaging, and selling…
as well as how to compete when your competitors are
willing to slice their own profits down to nothing
by undercutting your price. AND EVEN: How / When to use
these daily deal sites to build a bigger list of potential
clients and how to PROFIT WILDLY from it.
If you’re interested, email me ASAP and let me know.
Look around you. 80% of what you SEE in the business landscape will fail. EIGHTY percent. That’s sobering, but it leaves a HUGE margin of success for those willing to do things DIFFERENTLY than those 80%.
Bottom line, the rules of business are different than they were. It is true, MUCH of what was OLD is new again. But even these strategies must be applied in new ways.
Quick hint: The NEW business model that is taking ADVANTAGE of today’s economy is based on:
RECOMMENDATION-based selling, rather than on education- or information- based selling. I call it prescription- or diagnostic-based selling and describe it more here: http://www.bmichellepippin.com/diagnose-for-dollars/
More on this later in the week, but for now…
How are YOU competing? Are you comparing yourself to your competitors… nipping at their heels, doing what they do but trying to be a BIT better? Or is the opposite happening?
When you compare yourself to other businesses you see in your area, are you doing things “pretty much the same” as they are? Or do you stick out as a bit of a renegade?
MOST IMPORTANTLY, is what you are currently doing working? Or are you feeling the way my friend and former client is feeling right now? Broke, bummed, disappointed, frustrated? IF SO,
- Let’s talk. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are you WiLLING to do something completely different?