There’s a lot of fear and worry around right now. I get it. There’s no doubt many small businesses are being hit hard right now.
And it’s influencing pricing decisions.
I’m seeing a lot of people making free offers or discounting their products and programmes as a way of trying to generate income. But discounting to survive is a slippery slope, especially when your offer gets drowned out by all the other discounters. Plus you run the danger of creating something that you simply won’t be able to sustain over the coming months. Low prices mean you have to have a high volume of clients to give you the same level of income before you started to discount. You have to be sure you have the resources, mindset, systems and team to support you long past the initial creation and launch.
Flight or fight is there to save you in a life-threatening situation. It’s not to help you decide how to price your products.
If you are feeling rattled, anxious or worried, don’t let yourself knee jerk your way through your business right now. Take a moment to review your current pricing decisions and, if you are wondering whether you should be discounting, follow these steps first.
Step One – Get clear on the value you offer.
Read through your testimonials and case studies and remind yourself exactly what it is you do for others. I teach my clients to follow the guidelines of Partnership Power; both they and their clients are equal in the relationship of buying and selling. If you feel you want to start discounting and this is coming from a place of fear, then you are giving up some of your selling power.
You can very quickly go from being of service to being a servant, which you’ll find challenging to shift back from.
Step Two – Decide what you want out of making a new offer.
Do you really need to worry about income right now? Yes, there is every chance you have to assess your position in the market place and what you can be adjusting and adapting to in the next few weeks and months. But be aware of how quickly one can get whipped up into a worry storm when everyone around you is too. If you get caught up with the busy-ness of creating new, cheap or free offers, then you’re going to find it difficult to assess the bigger picture and see the True Profit™ opportunities ahead of you.
If it’s a genuine offer of help you want to make to your clients – a short term offer that you’re making to be of service in a time of need – then create a product to reflect the price. Thus you aren’t discounting but creating a new, low priced product.
Step Three – What do the top 20% of your marketplace want help with right now?
The Pareto principle states that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort, so see how this is working in your marketplace right now. Many of your clients will be experiencing fear and worry too, so the truth is that you may not be able to help most of them right at this moment in time.
Lots of people are setting up new free Facebook groups, often coming from a place of genuine desire to help and support. However, there is a danger that they will be getting distracted by a multitude of conflicting messages.
Your job right now is to find the top 20% of your marketplace and engage with them.
“The person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
Step Four – Create an offer that serves your clients right now … as well as in the near future.
If you feel you want to make a lower than a normally priced offer, then create a programme or service that reflects that price. It may be that what your clients want is a quick-fix, short term solution to help them through the next few weeks. It may be that they need help to play the long game and they need a virtual or digital programme to support them, little and often.
Come back to the purpose of making your offer and whether you need to make sales right now, or whether you need to take time out to review, assess and plan for your future.
If you are like many of the clients that I work with, you run a low-cost business that sells your expertise, talents or skills in some form or other. You may have a small team, and although you probably aren’t one of the many thousands of businesses who will be able to take advantage of the Government’s funding and assistance in the coming months, you will be agile enough to not only adapt but to grow in the future.
A previous business mentor of mine taught me that money loves speed. However, I’ve come to believe, now more than ever, that the power is in the pause.
Create the space to let our current situation settle.
Take the time to feel into your next move.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
I know that none of us could ever have imagined our current status quo. Some of you are now at home with children, others have now found your previously quiet workspaces occupied by spouses. We all have friends and family who we know are vulnerable, so there’s no doubt you are deeply concerned.
We are all facing some of the most challenging weeks and months ahead.
That said, I believe we have to find ways to keep moving forward and find a new normal in which to operate. Which is why I want to share with you today the story of James Stockdale, former vice presidential candidate, naval officer and longest surviving Vietnam prisoner of war.
Last week I was due to interview a good friend of mine for the next series of my True Profit Business podcast. She is inspirational in so many ways, not least because of her deep connection to intuitive thinking in her business strategy. I’ve known her since she started her business from her converted garage 14 years ago and have admired her balance of commitment and grace as she led her team to build one of the biggest brands in family holidays.
Decimated by the past six weeks, the day we were due to speak was following some of the toughest days yet. We both decided that now was not the time to do this interview. We spoke on the phone instead. Her story is not mine to share but suffice to say I was sobbing during the call. And for several hours after.
What I can share with you today is her introduction to me of the Stockdale Paradox.
His story is not an easy one to read. I’ve only skimmed the top; his seven years of torture and endurance contain many horrific incidents. However, it is his strategy of his survival that I have taken inspiration from and feel it’s so relevant to what we all are facing right now.
Author Jim Collins summarises Stockdale’s story in his book, “Good to Great”:
The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest-ranking United States military office in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over twenty times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. He shouldered the burden of command, doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken while fighting an internal war against his captors and their attempts to use the prisoners for propaganda.
At one point, he beat himself with a stool and cut himself with a razor, deliberately disfiguring himself, so that he could not be put on videotape as an example of a “well-treated prisoner.” He exchanged secret intelligence information with his wife through their letters, knowing that discovery would mean more torture and perhaps death. He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture (no one can resist torture indefinitely, so he created a step-wise system–-after x minutes, you can say certain things–-that gave the men milestones to survive toward). He instituted an elaborate internal communications system to reduce the sense of isolation that their captors tried to create, which used a five-by-five matrix of tap codes for alpha characters. (Tap-tap equals the letter a, tap-pause-tap-tap equals the letter b, tap-tap-pause-tap equals the letter f, and so forth, for twenty-five letters, c doubling in fork.) At one point, during an imposed silence, the prisoners mopped and swept the central yard using the code, swish-swashing out “We love you” to Stockdale, on the third anniversary of his being shot down. After his release, Stockdale became the first three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor.
How on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?”
“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”
Finally, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”
“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused given what he’d said earlier.
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end–-which you can never afford to lose–-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
What I’ve taken from this story is the danger of blind hope and optimism.
We don’t know when all this ‘will end’. It’s not ‘business as usual’ and we will never go ‘back to normal’; what we are experiencing right now and in the coming weeks and months will be felt for years from now.
But this is not the time to be falling into fear and pessimism. Several of my Momentum members have been reporting over the weekend of requests for work still coming in. Hurrah! But there’s no doubt many of you are, and will be, experiencing a drop in revenue over the coming weeks and months because of projects postponed and client work cancelled.
Fear is percolating from all angles but this is not a time for panic. We only have to look at the impact panic buying has had our food supply chain to know that a scarcity mindset is NOT helpful.
If you are like almost all my clients that I work with, you are running a low-cost business that sells your expertise, talents or skills in some form or other. You may have a small team, but you probably aren’t one of the many thousands of businesses who will have to take advantage of the Government’s funding and assistance in the coming months.
You are self-employed, freelancing or running a service-based business from home or virtual offices, and even if you take advantage of the promised tax holidays, you will still have to pay your tax at some point; they are simply giving us grace periods to help manage our immediate situation.
However, this doesn’t mean we fall into the trap of pessimism and scarcity thinking. Money needs to flow so cancelling everything, hunkering down and restricting yourself to a diet of lentils is not helpful for a business like yours.
But go too high on the optimism scale and optimism will kill your business. If you live in the hope that everything will be OK in a few weeks, it will leave you with your head in the sand and unprepared for going the distance.
No matter what is going on for you right now, I believe that this is a time for holding your vision, with a healthy dose of pragmatism on the side.
So get a grip of your finances. Get really clear on what your monthly outgoings are, know when your next annual subs are due, such as business insurance, (because surprises hurt your cash flow!), and look at your household budget; this is the time to clean up your expenditures and to change up, rather than slash, your marketing spend.
Take time to pause and re-think your approach to how you can serve your clients and customers. Tearing up your business plans and knee-jerk into taking action on ideas could end up distracting you or end up with an unsustainable ‘cheap’ offer that exhausts you.
Prepare for the worst so you have the resilience to not only carry on but also be financially able to keep holding your vision and see where you can pivot and evolve your business offers.
As James Stockdale never lost faith that he would eventually leave captivity, so must we have faith that we can and will get through this.
Your business will evolve.
You will learn many new skills over the coming months.
You will have days of feeling helpless and lost.
You will have days of inspired action and an immense sense of gratitude and appreciation.
You won’t be alone. You will need to ask for help and support.
You will find yourself needing to be creative, daring and bold with your decisions.
You will need to dig deep into your vision and the difference you so want to make through your business.
And you will need to be agile and light on your toes to keep yourself available to the opportunities that do present themselves to you.
This is not a time for optimism and blind hope.
This is a time for vision and leadership.
Until next time, do less, be more and play bigger.
Thursday 2nd April 9.30am to 5pm UK Time
If you are looking for help moving forward and know you have to evolve your business, then take a look at our event on Thursday, 2nd April. We are live streaming our previously advertised in-person workshop and have re-designed the content to give you the four important steps we all have to take over the coming months: Pause, Pivot, Plan and a fourth session on People. It’s critical that we ALL reach out and ask for help, in business AND life, particularly now as we all seem to working with many more small and big people in our homes right now!
We are about to go through one of the most intensely disruptive phases of how we do business. As I write this, countries across the globe have shut their borders and here in the UK, we are realistic about what’s going to happen over the coming days.
With the prospect of no longer being able to travel, many of my clients who deliver in-person training, coaching, therapy and support are being faced with cancellations and postponements of work with no real idea on when and how it’s going to happen. I have my own in-person training day coming up soon so I’m not so glib to know we simply shrug our shoulders and wait patiently for the bookings to return. This health crisis we are faced with is going to affect our businesses and some more than others.
However, this is also a huge opportunity to stretch your thinking and evaluate how you may still deliver your programmes and services, despite not being in the room with them.
When I first started up my coaching business back in 2004, it was a mix of phone coaching and face to face. At first, I believed that face to face was more powerful and I would charge less for phone call coaching. My thinking was that because I wasn’t ‘there’ for them, being on the phone somehow diminished my impact and expertise in being able to help them. I was, of course, challenged by my coach at the time (because that’s what a good coach does, yes?!) and I was able to see that the choice of delivery should never be an excuse for reducing prices. And, in fact, virtual can often be seen as a premium option.
When I teach my principles of True Profit™ Business, I actively encourage my clients to create and design a business model that fuels them. So often the need for in-person work comes up high for many spiritual, intuitive and introverted coaches, therapists and trainers. But I also see a lot of people use their fear of using technology as an excuse not to explore virtual work; especially when their industry norms are to be in the same room as their clients. Professionals such as nutritional therapists, counsellors and image consultants often tell me that their clients would expect to come and see them in person, so doing virtual sessions just wouldn’t work. But is that really the case? Or because everyone else does it this way, so you should too?
I get that for some of you who physically treat your clients, that virtual work will be far more challenging, if not impossible. But for many of you, these next few weeks could be a great opportunity to challenge your norm and explore the work that you do with your clients via platforms such as Zoom.
And just because webinars are now seen as something free to offer as a lead generation marketing tool, this does not mean you can’t charge for them. But only if you do the thinking and create the value through the experience, support and your expertise.
Going virtual doesn’t mean you need to drop your prices.
And here’s why.
- Your expertise does not diminish because of a change of platform. Just because you are not in the room with them, you don’t suddenly know less or lose a qualification.
- The experience changes but not the value. If a one day training workshop is reduced to a 90 minute webinar, yes I get that your client may expect a discount because they may be thinking about the time it takes you to deliver. Now it’s less, then they pay less. So it’s up to you to really think about the support before and after the virtual session. What can you offer to make the session more experiential? Printed workbooks sent out in the post before the event or prep work to be done before people show up to the session are two great add-ons that can be adapted from your in-person agenda. So you may charge less than a one day training but not proportionally so.
- Adding value through on-going support. Your clients need help implementing after your session so you have groups available on Facebook and LinkedIn as well as platforms such as Mighty Networks and Slack. For intimate, small groups it could even be a simple WhatsApp group as long as everyone is OK with sharing their mobile phone numbers.
- Recordings and playback. One of the huge benefits of virtual training and support is being able to record and provide your clients with the audio or video file after the event. Keep it simple to begin with. You don’t need to overcomplicate the process by signing up for big digital course platforms; share files on Dropbox or upload onto a private video hosting sites such as Vimeo.
- The convenience of availability. Don’t let the fact that you no longer have to pay for venue or catering costs reduce your pricing. The convenience to your clients means that they no longer have to travel and they have more time back in their day so that is a huge value to them. Never assume your clients are going to see this so it is up to you to highlight this in your proposition.
We are going to be experiencing some dramatic and chaotic times over the coming weeks and months and this is your opportunity to disrupt your current thinking and explore how you may continue to serve your clients, and avoid a high level of cancellations.
Yes, delivering your services and programmes virtually will need you to learn new skills and adapt your style. But for those of you who do this and learn how to deliver powerful virtual training, you are going to be in high demand in the very near future, especially so for those of you who support your clients’ health, mental and spiritual well being.
Now is the time that your clients need you more than ever.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
Why is it that some people seem to just love picking up the phone. They relish the thought of speaking to people. They get excited by the prospect of prospecting. But, if you like most people who run their own business, making sales calls, reaching out to potential clients and following up on your proposals is usually NOT something you like to do. Yes, you know on a logical level that this is important, but you’ll do anything to avoid the action of doing it.
And it doesn’t matter how many templates, scripts or systems you download or try out, even with the seemingly right tools to get on with prospecting, why do you avoid doing the work?
Empty the dishwasher. Iron your socks. There are so many other important jobs that conveniently get added to your to-do list so you find yourself distracted enough to not have the time to prospect. Not enough time. Such a convenient excuse … but how is it harming your business?
What if it wasn’t the practical doing bit of prospecting that you’re struggling with? What if was the way you feeling into prospecting that was holding you back? If you were able to design and create your own rituals that allowed you to feel energetically ready for prospecting, would this make a difference? First, let’s clear on what I mean by prospecting.
What is prospecting?
Prospecting isn’t cold calling. It isn’t buying a database or sending blanket emails to any email address you can get your hands on. It isn’t buying space at an exhibition and handing out leaflets to everyone who walks past your stand.
Prospecting is the simple act of initiating or following up on a conversation with someone who you think maybe an ideal client. You may have met them before at an event. You may have even had a conversation with them in the past. They may also be someone you’ve never conversed with but you’re connected to on LinkedIn or Facebook. And they can definitely be someone you worked with before in the past or a friend or even your next-door neighbour.
My point is that anyone you feel may fit your ideal client avatar is someone you can potentially initiate a conversation about the work that you do and the services that you offer. And in this world of social media noise and trying to be visible, us small business owners and entrepreneurs have the potential of cutting through that with the simple process of reaching out to one person at a time.
You can not kid yourself that working on your marketing funnels or content or brand is enough to attract enough clients. If you are still waiting to be discovered or hoping to get to the stage of having a waiting list for your services and programmes, you simply can’t afford to wait for people to approach you. You have to spend some of your time – even if it’s just an hour a week! – to reach out to and follow up and start conversations with potential clients.
As a British person, I know how up-tight our Britishness can get us. We are historically a very polite nation who would apologise for having our foot stepped on and wait patiently in queues, with only the occasional silent tut. This Britishness can really pull a lot of people back from the idea of prospecting. Just think of the reaction you may have had when you read that a friend or a next-door neighbour could be a prospect 😉
There’s a lot of fear that comes up with prospecting, too. I get that. Your mind monkeys can get really noisy every time you even think about the idea of initiating a conversation with someone you may want to sell to.
Combine this fear with British politeness and you can find all sorts of things flying through your head …
‘I would hate to be a bother. What if I interrupt a meeting or they are in the middle of something when I called them?’
Would they really pick up the phone if they were in the middle of something important? And what if they were delighted to hear from you?
‘I hate getting emails that are trying to sell me something. I’m sure my potential clients would feel the same if I sent them all these emails that I’ve been told I have to send out.’
If you hate the emails you get that are trying to sell you something, it’s usually because you are NOT interested in what they are selling. How many times have you had an email that you’ve been really pleased to get out of the blue that’s saved you money, time or told you about something that has changed your world?
‘Those messages I get on LinkedIn, trying to get me to book a call with them, are really icky.’
Ditto as above. When you get the right message from the right person at the right time, that opportunity to speak with them directly is an amazing opportunity to get your questions answered quickly.
For every mind monkey thought, I will be able to re-frame it for you. But I don’t have the time – nor the inclination TBH! – to be doing that ALL day for you 😉
What I want to share with you today is something far more useful; a list of rituals that you could adopt to help create the right space, energy and environment to ignore the mind monkeys for a short while and make prospecting far more do-able and approachable. And, just to be clear, I’m not a natural prospector either, which is why I know how important creating rituals are in making sure it happens in my business!
What do I mean by rituals?
Most human beings are creatures of habits. Habits such as brushing your teeth in the morning or taking your supplements with your breakfast are often so ingrained that you don’t even have to think consciously about doing them. Other habits such as biting your nails or chewing on a pen can be triggered by nerves or your mind’s way of wanting you to concentrate. Some people want things in a certain way to feel comfortable and relaxed, so will have certain bedtime rituals. And others will be religious in their evening face cleansing rituals.
Rituals have a wonderful power in that they can help prepare you mentally for the task ahead and create an environment and the energy conducive for the activity you need to do.
Think back to how I joked about the dishwasher and ironing of socks being more important than prospecting. If you’re using these tactics, then this is your own way of using a ritual to avoid the task. So what if you used certain rituals to help you transition into the right state and environment for prospecting? What if you create your own habits to raise your energy, which in turn helps increase your confidence?
Here are some ideas for you.
This is by no means an exhaustive list so please write down your own ideas as they come to you. Or even share them in the comments below. I’d love to know what you try.
- Make your own Success Scrapbook and read it through before you start your prospecting. Print out, write out and stick your favourite testimonials, thank you notes and positive comments into a scrapbook so you have them all in one place. It’s really easy to forget about the nice things that are said to you throughout your working week, so keep them all together in one place and use them to remind how bloody brilliant you are before you start reaching out to people.
- Dance wildly in the kitchen. OK, so this may not be your thing but dancing whilst no one watches is a great way of getting any repressed negativity out of your system, as well as making your laugh at yourself. This is one of my favourite ways of rising my own energy.
- Clear your desk. A cluttered desk not only distracts you but can also have a detrimental effect on your clarity of thinking. If you say you like working in chaos and enjoy the creativity of having books and papers everywhere, but you still can’t ‘find the time’ to prospect (or other excuses to this effect), then I challenge you to clear some space and see what difference it makes.
- Make a cup of your favourite brew. Not only do you need to be hydrated to do your best work, the simple act of brewing your favourite tea or coffee also helps create the short time to mentally transition from your previous task to prospecting. The time it takes to boil a kettle, and stay there to watch it boil (that’s important – this ain’t a multi-task moment!), can slow down your breathing, centre your thinking on the task ahead and helps grounds you.
- Mediate. Yup, even just 5 minutes of mediation can slow you down sufficiently to feel more into your power. Laura Coleman of Be Mediation calls mediation your pause button. And this is a great practice and ritual to help calm your Mind Monkeys.
- Decide how you want to show up. I asked this to one my Momentum Pod groups the other week because we were discussing prospecting rituals. Curious, being of service and interested were some of the ideas shared. Imagine if you stepped out of those feelings of doubt and fear (don’t want to interrupt or be a nuisance) and into feelings of opportunity (I wonder who I get to speak to today?). Being conscious about this decision on how to show will have a dramatic effort on the results you get.
- Smug, burn or incense. Many of the clients I work with are what we may call spiritual. They have a strong connection with their intuition, may call themselves empaths and are more often than not introverts. They are often already using rituals such a sage smudging, lighting candles and crystals in their every-day but don’t think to use these rituals to help frame and prepare for their prospecting time. I find the simple act of lighting a candle and striking my singing bowl a really great of bridging myself into prospecting time. It connects me to who I am focusing on and helps me turn down my mind monkeys for that hour. So if this your thing, try it.
What else can you think of that you know could work for you? Music, your working environment, time of day and so many other things will affect your energy and desire to prospect. Using simple rituals like these can have a quick and immediate impact not just on the way you experience prospecting, but on your results too.
It’s all very well having the latest, sure-fire way of getting leads from LinkedIn or the best script or email templates, but if you don’t feel energetically connected with the process, you are going to do anything and everything to avoid the work. Try one or two of these rituals out and let me know how they make a difference to how you embrace your prospecting and what impact you make.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.
With the set up of each new social media profile, there comes the drive to get noticed. From the elders of Facebook and Twitter through to the new kids on the block of TikTok, you are taught that for them to ‘work’, your content has to be seen. But not all of us are born to be visibility extrovert. Myself included!
Some of you may start your journey into social media by lurking; silently watching, clicking and reading everyone else’s content as you scroll through your news feeds. At some point, you may feel ready to participate so you start to comment and share interesting stuff that you find useful. But you quickly realise that spending all your time reacting to what you scroll through, just becomes a huge time suck. The hours that you spend scrolling, clicking and scrolling some more, doesn’t land you any clients. Quite rightly, you begin to question what you’re doing.
But then, at some point, you find yourself falling down Alice’s rabbit hole of visibility.
Social media experts will often talk about the importance of visibility because if you aren’t seen, your potential clients are not going to find you. I am sure you already know that your clients aren’t sitting around, waiting to discover you. In fact, if you’ve been in the business game for long enough you will already know that most of your clients don’t even know they want you until you start conversing with them and exploring opportunities together. Thus starts the chase to find out how you can become visible, following the theory that if you appear more often to more people in the social news feeds, you are more likely to be found.
There are 3 big problems with this theory.
- Visibility can kick up a big shit storm for a lot of people. ‘Who am I to be sharing this?’ ‘I’m not an expert.’ ‘What if people find out I’m really a fraud?’ Even before you’ve started dealing with your content plan and what kind of posts you are going to create, the fierce winds of doubt come racing through to put a stop to any kind of activity.
- Introverts can have a huge problem with the thought of being visible. A lot of social media content and visibility strategies taught today are taught by extroverts; those people who love to be in the spotlight. It doesn’t mean introverts can’t be visible, but the way that extroverts teach visibility can frustrate a lot of people, particularly if you know you are Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
- Some high visibility strategies can have you busy, rather than productive. Social media is NOT your only marketing tool and yet many social media marketing experts will have you believe that Facebook or LinkedIn are the only places where to find your clients. Plus it’s very easy to overcomplicate your marketing and be spending too much of your time creating multi-level funnels because that’s what you’ve been told will ‘work’ for you.
Visibility is important, and yes social media gives you the opportunity to ‘get yourself out there’. But let’s get real about what visibility really is and how it applies to you and your business. Before you start creating your content plan and psyching yourself up for your daily Facebook Lives, here are seven things to work through.
Define what visibility means to you
Before you decide to throw yourself into any visibility marketing challenge, take a moment to ask yourself what visibility means to you. With many of the clients I work with, visibility isn’t about being seen by everyone, all of the time.
Visibility is about being seen by the RIGHT people.
Before you do any work on developing a content plan or deciding to begin a daily Facebook Live practice, you have to get really clear on exactly who you want to engage with. You may call them client avatars or ideal clients, but in my experience, too many people bypass this important step of any marketing strategy.
Define how many people you really need to engage with
Another important step I help my clients work out is their Business Heartbeat. This is the number of leads, prospects and sales you need each month in order for you to make the revenue you need. When you do this work, you often find you need to be visible to far fewer people. For example, if you are selling a £2,500 product or programme, your capacity for taking on new clients maybe just four new clients a month. So if it’s just four people you need to sell to, then how many people do you really need to be visible to? This can massively help those of you who get, quite rightly, overwhelmed by feeling they have to be chasing visibility statistics such as post views, number of likes and shares.
Unfollow and declutter your own newsfeed
It’s really easy to let other people’s visibility kick up your shit storms of fears and doubts. If you struggle with comparisonitis (And who doesn’t?? It’s only human and I challenge anyone who says they never get affected by this!), then control the machine that feeds it. You have total control over what appears in your news feed.
Unfollow people who don’t inspire you or even trigger you. Don’t kid yourself that you need to know what your competitors are doing. Other people’s stuff just distracts you and you need to focus on your own game.
Unlock your limiting beliefs
Don’t just push down your fears; bring them out in the open and deal with them. Some people are able to read an inspirational quote and feel fired up enough to charge forward with a new content plan. But for most of us mere mortals, there are often some deep-rooted limiting beliefs that need unpicking.
At a recent Mastermind Day that I run for my Impact Momentum members, one of my clients opened up to some real fears about her visibility. Because of the work that she did before she started her business, she had to be very careful of how she appeared online so that patients couldn’t find and connect with her whilst she was working professionally with them. There was a genuine reason why she was finding it difficult to shift herself now into visibility mode. A daily motivational quote wasn’t going to cut it here; she had to do some work on rewiring her thinking and making sense of her new journey.
Introvert versus extrovert
The more you know yourself, the easier you will find marketing. Every one of us is unique and you will have your own set of personality traits that you can decide whether you were born with or you adopted based on life experiences. There will be some parts of your personality that you know are strengths, and there will be other parts of you that you may not like, or feel are weaknesses.
I believe that you don’t need to overcome these perceived weaknesses or that you need to have a specific entrepreneurial profile to make your marketing successful. When you accept who you are, right here and now, and know that whoever you are, you can design a business that showcases the best darn version of you. So rather than change who you are, change the way you market yourself and show up. It’s far easier. What this means is that it is OK for introverts to hate Facebook Lives. And it’s OK for extroverts to love them. You can be visible to the right people without having to do Facebook Lives; find your way of creating content, engaging and getting visible with the people who matter to you.
Know your metrics … but know that they aren’t everything
On a final note, I wanted to remind you that visibility for the sake of visibility is waste of your time and resources. The social media platforms are designed to keep you hooked. The number of likes and comments are there to draw you back in. Those three little dots that go up and down to signify that someone is commenting or responding to a message – yes, they are designed to keep you staring at the screen to wait. They have you hooked to be ready and waiting and staying online.
The algorithms share what is ‘popular’ but does that mean you only rely on their calculations to have your posts seen? No. Because you can reach out to individuals. You can engage with people. You can have conversations by picking up the phone, arrange to meet people for coffee or set up a meeting at the next conference or event you’re attending (or even speaking at). The clients I work with are never going to be social media influencers; that’s not their strategy. So be careful of being sucked into similar high visibility strategies that focus on the numbers game, rather than the impact you make with the people you want to engage with.
Visibility is important but what I hope I’ve been able to give you here today is a fresh perspective on how you approach this topic. Visibility is not just about creating content (noise?!) and sharing it on social media. Visibility could mean local networking. It could mean keynote speaking or it could be as simple as making sure you attend the top three industry conferences and events. It’s very easy to end up with over-complicated, digital marketing that ends up burning you out because you don’t enjoy the endless pressure to have to ‘show up’.
Take this time to step back and decide on how visibility can work for you and your business before you dive into creating a content plan. Visibility can be far simpler than you may think right now.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.