Dear Digital Consultant,
In your marketing and sales, being normal is EXPENSIVE and can put you out of business.
Normal comes in a lot of different vanilla flavors, including:
- Making a bland offer that speaks to everyone…
- Comparing yourself as “better” to the competition…
- Feature dumping on your prospects everything included in your offering…
When you decide to offer vanilla to your market, you decide to:
- Market to everyone and therefore speak to no one
- Start a race to the bottom of the comparison barrel
- Knock out your prospected with features they really don’t care about
Your clients are not buying your services.
They are buying a new status, a new identity, or a new transformation in their life that your service gives them.
You are simply a medium to their desired outcome.
Client’s done care about your shiny bells and whistles.
They care that they get what they expected from you and enjoy their experience working with you.
Hint: raise your client’s expectations and experience. If you need guidance to craft your ideal client experience
Here’s a fact you can take to the bank:
If you work with humans, you work with emotions.
When your clients buy their desires, new status, identity or transformation, that’s a response to their emotions.
And you, my friend, are an expert at being human and understanding this.
The key question is how do we take this fact and craft a compelling transformation statement for your services?
You are absolutely not just another “service provider”. You are unique in your approach, in who you serve, in what you do and in the experience and results you craft for your clients.
Here’s what we will go through to ensure you are seen and known for what you truly do:
- Aligning Beliefs
- Gathering Observations
- Understanding Internal Drive
- Crafting Your Ideal Client Synthesis
- Delivering Your Transformation Statement
The worst thing you can do is help support a business that doesn’t align with your core values. Doing so leads to transactional work. Transactional work leads to low quality work, low quality work leads to unmotivated teams, which leads to high turnover rate, which leads to more and more frustration.
But you have seen businesses be very “successful” financially doing just that. That’s great for them, but why set yourself up for that when you can be a true success not just financially but also in the quality of your work, your team, and your experience.
Your journey matters because the journey determines your destination.
One thing we tend to forget is that we are in constant a state of becoming and growth all our life. We have to become the type of person that gets the results we see in our business and life. And if you choose the transaction way of business and living, who will you become?
Is that aligned with who you want to become?
To avoid falling into the transactional trap and remaining a commodity, we must start within:
What values do you admire or care about the most when working in your business?
List out the values you personally strive for personally. Don’t limit yourself.
Then, write out how others live out that value.
When you make this list, you will see patterns and trends emerge of the type of people you want to be associated with. This will be important because you can literally attract them by:
- Becoming that type of person, which you are
- By the words you use and don’t use in your marketing and sales
- The impression you set upon others when they interact with you
I interviewed Emmanuel Trinity on my podcast. He runs a social enterprise and services company with a larger mission to create more than 10,000 jobs for young Africans trapped in the slums. You can get a sense of his values just by reading his mission statement.
What type of client do you think he attracts?
Do you think his company is being compared to other subscription creative services?
No, because he’s different.
Remember, average marketing helps you get compared with the cheaper alternatives… and that will ultimately cause you to lose business or underprice and undervalue your services.
Writing the values you deeply care about is a simple, yet powerful, first step to standing out in your marketplace.
We are all mini-scientists of sorts.
We all make assumptions, hypotheses, gather data, get feedback, come to a conclusion from data or experience and repeat the cycle over and over again.
In this section, I need you to put your scientist hat on and observe:
What observable data represents your ideal client?
- Is there a certain revenue number you work best with?
- Do your ideal clients need a specific team size or position in their company for you to do your best work?
- Are they in a specific industry or have a specific type of product offering?
- What type of audience do they serve? How large is their following or community base?
- What is your ideal client’s income bracket, age, etc.
You get the picture: we are doing a simple demographic analysis on your ideal client.
Before you throw up your arms in rage, don’t worry: we will not limit ourselves to this simple demographic data to stand out in the marketplace.
We simply want to use this data to create filters and pre-qualifiers that fit your ideal client.
The best way to get this type of data by doing an analysis of your existing client base and filtering for the best clients you worked with. Reverse engineer what made a client an ideal client.
Keep a running list but keep in mind to keep it concise.
Understanding Internal Drive
It’s common to feel that your “audience targeting” is only based on your ideal client’s business, industry, job title, and so on. Surface level, demographic based, facts.
That level of targeting and audience segmentation is a good starting point…
Here’s the secret that the best marketers and salespeople use to identify, call out and attract their ideal clients from the crowd.
We target based on desires.
What are the not-so-obvious, surface-level, motivators and desires driving your ideal clients?
This will take some time through to learn and empathize with as you do hands on:
- Actually talking to your ideal clients
When doing research, follow my Rule of 21:
Look up 21 people who fit your ideal client on social media and study them.
Learn about their personality, words they use to describe themselves, words they use to describe their business, frustrations and dreams, people they associate with, where they hang out, the clothes they wear, the people that they care about the most…
Yes, you might be getting the stalker vibe, but if you want to stand out against your competition: you have to be client-centric.
I don’t know any millionaire or multi-millionaire that doesn’t deeply understand their ideal clients.
Why 21 people? Because from my experience, when you do this exercise correctly, around the 17th or 18th lookup, you should be able to literally make an educated hypothesis and be spot on what the next person cares about, talks about, wears, lives etc.
You can also do traditional research using any popular website that has user generated content or reviews (Reddit, Amazon, Quora, best-selling books…).
Remember: your goal here is to understand their internal motivators by hearing, reading and seeing.
Regardless of how much research you do, nothing will truly beat talking to an ideal client.
Understand their worldview, what beliefs they have about themselves, about their work, about their life. Hear their story! What is their vision and dream for their life?
Simply connect with another fellow human being!
As you gather this data, consolidate your finding into themes and bullet points. I would personally recommend having a simple one-page summary of who your ideal client is and what drives them.
Crafting Your Ideal Client Synthesis
Here’s where simplicity and practicality intersect.
You will roll up everything you’ve gathered thus far, your beliefs, values, surface level observations and inner drive and desires into a simple paragraph or bullet points to describe your ideal client.
Keep this brief because you will eventually use it in your marketing and sales, and you will communicate this information frequently to team members, vendors and partners.
Here’s a real example of my ideal client synthesis for Digital Growth Ops. Keep in mind I have a separate deck with my ideal client identified with 30 different bullet points.
These 5 bullet points are a synthesis of that deck with an explainer of each point:
- Bootstrapped founders with a strong track record
This is a value because bootstrapped entrepreneurship is a culture. And a strong record is a testament to the quality of the service and pride in doing hard work.
- Running a remote team of 5-50 people
This is surface level criteria that matches ideal clients who can benefit the most
- Offering digital services
This is surface level criteria that aligns with how I can most help
- Desiring to be irrelevant in the day-to-day of the business and be involved mostly in strategy and deal-making
This is an internal desire my clients have verbally expressed to me so many times I lost count
- Wanting to 2-3x your revenue without doubling your time in your business
This is a secret desire that clients reveal when talking through their desires and frustrations
Copy and paste this template into your docs with your own Ideal Client Synthesis
- Values & Belief Alignment
- Surface Level Observation
- Surface Level Observation
- Internal Desire & Motivator
- Internal Desire & Motivator
Delivering Your Transformation Statement
Now that you have that rocket ship ready to launch, we want to deliver a head turning, thought provoking, and stimulating statement to your market to tell them exactly what you do and what transformation you actually deliver.
Before you can give your Transformation Statement, we need to do a quick exercise. This simple exercise alone has helped clients increase their pricing up to 3x and attract clients who love working with them.
“What do you do?”…
Probably one of the most annoying questions you get asked during cocktail hour.
Instead of thinking of the physical things and deliverables you do, ask yourself the Transformation
What specific, high-leverage, problem do you solve for your clients, and what changes in their world when this problem is solved?
This is how you get accountants from saying “oh I just do accounting” to “I help my clients become better husbands by saving them $ every year so they can take more vacations with their family”.
Go through your Ideal Client Synthesis and clearly marry what your service does to alleviate your ideal client’s internal frustration and get them to their inner desires.
When reviewing what you deliver and identifying what is so unique about what you do, you want to refine your answer through fire.
As you state your unique differentiator, go through 2-3 rounds of asking yourself:
“Who cares?” and “What’s so special about that?”.
This will help you eliminate jargon and useless language that no one else cares about but you.
Your Delivery Mechanism
Remember: you only care about what your ideal client cares about. And your client is buying the mechanism or vehicle that gets them to their desired outcome. They are not buying the features, they are buying the outcome.
So let’s name your mechanism to deliver your services.
Step 1: Map out the special process in which you deliver your service.
Step 2: Give your method a unique name that both describes what it does but also hints at the internal desired outcome your ideal client wants because that’s what they are truly buying.
For example, if you are offering a podcast service and your ideal client wants to be famous, you can list the endless things you do to edit podcasts, focus on quality, and render in high-end audio formats… but your client won’t care. Since they care about being famous through podcasting, package your podcast editing, and distribution with your marketing/PR that gets them featured and call your service delivery “Instant Authority Podcasts”. Again this is an example to drive the point.
Another example, is if you are selling marketing automation and your ideal client is in real estate and wants to grow revenue: package your marketing automation, workflow management, and tech integrations into a delivery vehicle you call “The Wealthy Realtor Client Duplicator”.
Product names won’t cause you to sell more. But clearly communicating and articulating the value you deliver, the problems you solve, and the future state you create for your clients will help you sell more.
Your Transformation Statement
Now you are ready to fill in your Transformation Statement that you can use to create a head turning, thought provoking, and stimulating statement:
I serve/empower/help [what your ideal client calls themselves] do/get/achieve [transformation/ideal future] with [your method name] so they can [experience benefits].
Use your research to call out what your ideal clients label themselves as and what their ideal future is using their own words. When you complete the statement, list out the benefits they can experience in their ideal future, again, using their own words if possible.
Here’s an example I use for Digital Growth Ops
“I help digital-service business owners 2-3x their business with Digital Growth Ops strategies so they can be a total success in their business and all areas of their life.”
And not perfect. Because it will evolve over time as you evolve over time.
The Stepping Stone To Growth
Give this a test run next time you have a discovery call with your ideal client or when you introduce yourself over dinner. People will naturally inquire to learn more about HOW you do what you do. And with repetition and exposure, you will attract your ideal clients with inbound requests to learn more to see if they are a good fit for what you do.
This simple guide is the stepping stone to differentiated marketing, elevated sales conversations, demand for higher pricing, and attracting clients that want to work with you and seek you out.
It’s an honor to be a small part of your journey.
Do Good Work,
Know someone that needs to read this? Consider sharing this with them. You may be the catalyst that opens them up to a new way of operating their business and experiencing life.