One of my clients contacted a podcaster: “Got a story, your audience might like it, want to interview me?”
Podcaster replies: “Sure! My guests sponsor me, and the price of admission is $160”.
Obviously, when my client asked my opinion, my reply sounded very much like “Hell no!”
For one thing, if a podcaster charges money for interviews, they either don’t know how to run a business that’s profitable enough to cover the cost of hosting a podcast.
Or, it could be that they are profitable, but they’re simply greedy. Grab what you can etc.
But ok, that’s their problem.
Our problem is an erroneous valuation of self and time.
If your story is interesting and good enough to go on a show, you bring value to the host, who gets to amplify their audience, visibility, and profits, by the value that the guests provide.
The guest is the prize, the asset who brings value.
An interview guest shouldn’t pay for the privilege, just like an artist shouldn’t pay a gallery, nor should a public speaker pay to be on a stage, like that lady in Malaga tried to get me to do last year. Hell no.
What’s next, journalists charging money to their interviewees? Sheesh.
You’ve got the value. You share it and they benefit.
So if yesterday’s message didn’t land, I’ll say it again:
When it’s your mission to find a client, or enroll a prospect in working with you… what kind of position do you take?
If you’re like most people, you take the small role, the position and attitude of a supplicant.
“Please mrs. Buyer, would you please buy this thing from me?”
But wait a minute… how many potential clients are out there?
Probably thousands, right?
And how many of you are there?
Which makes you into a super-scarce resource, with only 24 hours in your day.
And that means that your needing to win over the client is only half the story.
The other half, that’s the client winning you over. Getting your ok on working with them.
Because not every client is an ideal client, and you want to be deliberate and intentional with how you spend your most precious resource (i.e. your time)
If you work with someone who isn’t right (micro-manages, or drains you, or keeps changing the scope of the job), you’re in a bad situation: you have to put up with things you don’t like, AND you have less time to search for better, more fun clients.
This is why we need to qualify clients, just as much as clients need to qualify us.
So if ever you feel like you need to win a clients’ approval, remember this:
There are hundreds, thousands, of potential clients out there, but:
Whatever it is you want to achieve, improving your knowledge and skills are a great way to make it happen faster and with more ease.
But are you majoring in minor things?
Yes, it’s useful to learn the ins and outs of managing your website, but once your site is ready, how much will it add to your bottom line to become a WordPress ninja?
Taking a course in how to use social media for your business: yes, totally.
But spending days researching what hashtags to use and learning what kind of posts and images to use… how much ROI will that bring you, given that social media isn’t a platform for selling, but for building visibility and audience?
It’s not that such things are unimportant, because they can be.
But are they so important, that it makes sense to reach expert level, whilst the skills that bring in sales remain underdeveloped?
You only have so many hours in a day, so it’s wise to consider what are the small things to improve, and what are the big things.
So far, so good.
But here’s where it’s easy to make a mistake:
To develop things at which we’re bad, or mediocre.
In many cases, it’s a lot better to leave them as is, and instead spend our time on things that we’re already pretty good at.
For example: I (used to) sing in a band, and I play rhythm guitar – and as far as the guitar goes, I’m somewhere between capable and reasonably good. Now I could spend a lot of time upping my guitar game, and it would be useful. But it would steal time from my vocal training, and I’ll never be as awesomely terrific as our lead guitarist anyway. So becoming GOOD at playing the guitar would mean I’m majoring in something minor. Meanwhile, I’m the lead singer so I’d better be as good as I can at singing, and leave the guitar-y awesomeness to Phil.
It’s all about efficiency.
To go from zero or sub-par skills, to reasonable ability, can take a long time and a lot of hard work. And you’ll still be only reasonably skilled.
But to go from ‘pretty good at this’ to expert level is often a lot easier to achieve. AND you’ll end up being highly skilled in it, which beats ‘reasonably skilled’ any day of the week.
Besides, if your modus is to constantly develop skills you don’t have or that suck at, you’ll end up what they call ‘a bag of highly developed shortcomings’.
Again, it’s not bad to learn things. By all means, make learning and training part of your world.
The question is though: what is the one thing that you do fairly well, and that if you dedicate yourself to it, you could do terrifically well?
What major things should you major in?
Everything is strategy, and knowing what to choose, strategically, makes all the difference.
Which is exactly what the Strategic Accountability Coaching programme is for.
When trying to create clarity and fun and growth in your business, there’s three core areas to pay attention to – fundamental pillars, in my opinion:
Mindset, method, and skillset.
Mindset is about how to think, how to look at the playing field, the decisions to make, the things to say no or yes to.
Mindset is the overarching ‘how’ of the way you run your business.
Method, is straightforward, hands-on, measurable. It’s about planning, strategising, and steps to take, in such an order that one thing can build on another.
In other words, it’s the ‘what’ of being in business. What to do, in what way, what next, what not to do, what to measure, and what assets to leverage in order to create a thriving business.
Skillset is, as the word says, about capabilities: the specific skills you need to bring to your game in order to actually make things happen.
It’s really important to work with all three, because it’s like a three-legged stool: if one leg is missing, the thing will fall over.
You may have an excellent method and strategy, and crazy good skills at marketing or delivering your work, but if your mindset says ‘it’s pointless, the economy sucks, people just don’t pay what I deserve’, then method and skillset don’t do you much good.
If your mindset is ‘I can do this, and I know I can find the people who do want to pay good rates’, and your method for finding them is great – but you don’t have the skills required to actually find those people, it won’t work either.
It’s useful to assess where you’re at with each of the three pillars, so you get a view on where you’re at, where you want to go, and what needs to happen inbetween the here and the there.
If mindset needs improving, work on yourself. Read books, get a coach, go to workshops and retreats. Learn to make your mind work for you, instead of against you.
If method is undefined or underdeveloped, straight-up learning is in order, especially in terms of strategy, measurement, and systems.
If skillset is lacking, train yourself. Be it in copywriting, or selling, or SEO, or using social media or building your list: there’s things you can do and do well, provided you train yourself.
So whenever you feel things aren’t working the way they ought to, take yourself through a little thought exercise, and ask:
Is my mindset configured correctly for reaching my goals? Is there any belief or elements to my attitude or showing up that I can change, improve or replace?
Do I have a well-defined, hypothesis-based method in place for growing my business, that allows me to test, iterate and optimise?
Do I have the skills required to actually make it work – or do I need to acquire new skills?
Either way, if you want to make it in business, you need the three pillars: mindset, method, and skillset.
And, if you have them reasonably in place but you just want to be sure you’re working on the right things that get you to your results, then this will help.
Nobody looking over your shoulder, nobody telling you what to do…
Except, when you do not have a boss because the boss is you, there’s a really crucial thing missing, and it’s the cause of much struggle and even business failure – and research backs that up.
The missing element?
As nice as it is to not have a boss looking at your performance and output, it’s that very ‘being watched’ that causes the self-awareness we need to stay on task and keep moving forward.
Now here’s the fun part that psychologists have discovered:
The watcher doesn’t have to be a boss.
In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real person.
Simply a face – or even just the image of an eye, drawn or cartoon style, or stylised – directed at you and watching you, triggers self-awareness on a subconscious level, and measurably changes your state, and influences your way of operating.
So if you struggle to stay on task, get yourself a portrait of someone, or of an eye, draw something, or find an image online, and place it on your desk or wall, in your field of vision.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good drawing, or a face, or just an eye, or a good portrait – so long as someone is watching you.
The effect is subtle and incremental over time, but it’s powerful.
And, this might sound weird, but if you want to take it a step further, make it a mirror, so that the watcher is you. Even more powerful.
Most powerful of all, of course, is getting yourself accountability coaching.
Do you know why people do business with you, and not with someone else?
In other words: Do you know why people give you money?
You might answer:
“Because we’re the best”, or:
“Because of our customer service”, or:
“Because we’re an award-winning XYZ”, but:
Unless you’ve done your homework and the answer is what your customers have told you, you’re probably mistaken.
If you want to grow your company, then you can’t afford to go with what you think your people think of you.
You need to get out there and talk to them, and figure out *their* reasons, and not the reasons you *think* they have.
It’s called market research, and it’s the very first thing you should do, if you want more customers like the ones you have & love.
We all know this, yet hardly anyone does it.
So we throw more money at ads.
Hire more sales reps.
Create more offers.
Build more websites.
Do more content marketing.
Causing an enormous levy on resources, when we don’t even know the horse’s mouth facts about why people pay us.
A losing proposition.
Get the foundation in place first. THEN build up and out.
Because how does it make sense to spend resources, when you don’t even know your differentiator, your USP yet, don’t know what sets you apart and makes you desireable, in the eyes of your buyers?
Know your differentiator.
Not in terms of what you think – but in terms of what *they* say.
How to talk to your people, and how to figure out your USP – and what to do next in order to grow your revenue – is what I’ll show you this Thursday, at the training Helena Demuynck is hosting for you all.
TL;DR: Register for a free live training session this Thursday, where you’ll learn how to increase your revenue by 20% or more, without raising your ad spend. Here’s the signup page: https//bit.ly/LEAPbyMartin
It’s something I’ve not mentioned much here yet, but I run a marketing implementation programme, that guarantees that my clients raise their revenue by 20%.
And very often, people ask how I can make such a promise.
Good question too.
After all, there’s so many moving parts, so much uncertainty, so much to figure out.
So how, Martin? How do you guarantee 20% growth?
The answer is surprisingly simple, because this marketing system is based on leveraging marketing assets that you already have, but aren’t utilising.
But if you do leverage your marketing assets, generating 20% more revenue can be pretty easy.
Especially if a) you use a tried and tested system, and b) if that system is based on the fundamentals of business and marketing.
See, the trick is to look at the synergy between metrics. (do people still talk about synergy? Anyway).
Most businesses who want to grow, make ‘more sales’ the goal.
But increasing sales by 20% is a pretty tall order.
And, more sales usually also means ‘more cost’.
So yeah, how do you reach 20% growth without increasing cost?
Business fundamentals, and looking at three metrics for growth:
1: The number of leads you generate: how many people do you enter into conversations with?
2: Conversion rate: How many of those convert into paying customers?
3: Purchase value or customer account value: how much money does each client spend with you?
These three all influence revenue.
So here’s a thought exercise:
Could you, conceivably, raise your leads by 10%?
Probably yes, right?
And conversion rates – could you crank that up 10%?
Bet you can.
And having a buyer spend 10% more?
Not too difficult in most cases.
And now it’s going to get fun:
What if you raise each of these by 10%?
Then you get exponential growth, raising your revenue to 33% in total.
And that, my friends, is why – for the right kind of company – I yes, absolutely, guarantee 20% revenue growth.
Because literally every business has assets that aren’t being put to use – from expertise, to network, to intelligent messaging to different segments of your database of past, current, and potential customers…
There’s a LOT that can be done, when you use a systematic approach and base your growth efforts on data and metrics, and you allow those underused assets to drive your growth.
And this Thursday, at 7PM CEST / 1PM EST, I’m giving a live training, hosted by Helena DeMuynck, founder of Oxygen4Leadership.
You’ll get a training on a tried and proven system, showing you exactly which steps to take and in which order, to get all you can out of everything you’ve got.