From the BlogContact Me Today!

How To Get More Clients & Increase Sales Right Now!

increase-salesWant To Increase Sales? There’s almost limitless methods for doing so. And all those methods boil down to one thing:

Be in front of your audience when they need you.

That’s it. That’s the key to increasing your sales. Think about it, when you’re at a restaurant, do you care with the bathroom is? Not til you need it, right? Or an ATM. You likely pass dozens of them every day and don’t notice them, right? But what happens when you’re out of cash? Every ATM comes into focus. What’s more, you might scurry to find one.

So many small business owners don’t consider this when they market their business. They work hard on their vision and business plan. Then they focus on their offer and how best to communicate that offer to a target market. Ideally, they’re wanting to position themselves as an expert in a select niche market.

But no one cares that you’re an expert until they need an expert. In other words, no one cares that you can solve a set a problems until they are faced with those set of problems. Then, they go out and look for a solution.

[Read more…]

Small Business Positioning: What’s Your Market?

There are lots of keys to creating a successful business. Yet the one that I’ve found to be most important – and often most lacking in small businesses is positioning.

There’s lots of definitions of positioning because the term is often used along side branding. The definition that I gravitate to is:

Positioning is the space that you wish to occupy in your target audience’s mind, relative to your competitors.

In this short video, [Read more…]

Are The Right Customers Using Your Business?

I’ve seen this happen a number of times…

You work real hard to position your business just right in your target market only to find that the people buying aren’t in your target market. What do you do?

Well, some businesses decide that should reposition their business to reach their intended target market. MISTAKE!

Why do this? If you already have customers buying, who cares where they come from. Perhaps you miscalculated with your target market. Perhaps you didn’t see how your product or service would benefit a different market. So what!

The difference between success and failure in your business comes down to are you talking to the people who are listening? Or, are you talking to people who aren’t?

[Read more…]

Is Your Business Out of Position?

out-of-position.jpgPositioning is one of the biggest, most foundation keys to success.

It’s certainly true in sports. In baseball, if your defense is positioned wrong, the other team can more easily score runs. In basketball, both offense and defense are decided by how players are positioned on the floor. Get it right, and you have a strong defense or an explosive offense. Get it it wrong and you loose.

The position of furniture in your home can make a huge difference between the room feeling comfortable and spacious as opposed to dark and cramped. And with your office, how you position things around your desk can often decide how efficient you are.

Position is so important. So why, then, do so many businesses get it wrong? Worse, why do so many businesses not focus on it at all?

[Read more…]

Are You An Expert If You Can't Share What You Know?

expert.jpgYou know what you know, right? You know something that other’s don’t. Or at least your perspective on a topic is unique.

But does any of that matter of you can’t communicate it?

From my post yesterday, How Not Knowing Something Makes You More Of An Expert, an interesting conversation emerged. I really enjoyed hearing your perspectives on whether an expert had to know everything or not.

What most of us agreed upon is that the term expert can apply to anyone who has a unique and valuable perspective on a topic. In other words, you don’t have to be at the top of the ladder to be considered an expert. Rather, you can be seen as an expert simply by knowing more than your audience.

The second, and I think more important, point that was made had to do with how you get the title of ‘expert’ in the first place. We almost unanimously agreed that it’s unfair to designate yourself as an expert in anything. That designation is reserved for other people to ‘judge you’ by.

The conversation on this topics was (still is – as it keeps going) great. But one comment stood out for me. It was from Michael Sass, who, unfortunately, didn’t leave a URL for us to follow. Check this out

Interesting topic that can trigger self-worth and self esteem issues. Here's my take…Clients work with us not because of what we know, but because of our ability to bridge the gap between what we know and what our clients know.We are experts and students of our given fields. We have gathered a great deal of information and experience, but remain open to learning. A master is an expert and a student at the same time. Standing on a mountain of information and experience, they remain open to the unknown, and are not fooled into believing they're finished learning.

When I read this, so many ideas popped off in my mind that I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond. Yet, I managed this:

Yes! Yes! Yes! Now you're sounding a bit more like Confucius than Seth (Godin).

What you describe is very close to what I think as well. Personally, I run a business that's about knowing, learning and synthesizing a number of components – marketing, business development, strategic planning, copy writing, website development, usability, graphic design, social media – to help people grow their businesses through the internet. So not only do I need to know what I know, I also need to keep up with areas that are quickly and constantly changing. And because I coach and consult with my clients, if I can't effectively communicate what I know, then what I know is virtually useless.

Notice I didn't say teach. I said communicate. Teachers often just spew out information (think of your TA's in college) without much concern whether they're doing so in the most effective way for people to learn. Communication, on the other hand, is about being understood. And the coaching is about helping people apply their new understandings.

Does all this make me an expert? I don't care, really or personally. All I care about is helping my clients ‘get it and use it.'

Again, I’m running through tons of thoughts right now. But the one that sticks out the most is about communicating. Are you really an expert if you can’t communicate – clearly share – what you know?

I wonder. I know plenty of people who have a lot to offer. I know far less who can really share what they know in a way that benefits others. So, I ask you, can we consider someone with knowledge an expert if they’re unable to communicate their knowledge in a way that helps others?

Small Business Advice: Admit Your Lack of Knowledge

confucius.jpgDoes being an expert mean you have to know more than everyone else?

Not according to Confucius. He once advised, When you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it-this is knowledge.” In other words, we should not only know what we know, but also what we don’t know. Hence, it’s in knowing what we don’t know that we find our expertise.

Yeah, I know, the dictionary defines an expert as a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge or skill in a particular area. Certainly, that’s an expert and I’m not going to argue with the dictionary.

But is there one, supreme expert for any topic you can think of? I can’t. Is there someone who knows more about cucumbers than any other human being? And if there were would it not mean that our cucumber expert would know every single detail and every fact that all other human being know? To say they’re the supreme expert, I would say so.

But is that really possible? I’m not so sure.

So what am I getting too here? The point I want to make is that there are no true experts in anything. At least not objectively. The only expert on a topic is the one you know. And that expert may not be the most knowledgeable person on the topic.

But to you, they are. And that’s the important point. If you have some knowledge in an area, it’s easy to deduce that while you don’t have as much knowledge as some, you do have more knowledge than others. And to those ‘others’ that makes you an expert.

Confucius also said, “Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.” And neither will knowledge. There will always be someone who knows something more or different than you know. But what you don’t know isn’t what’s important. It’s what you know that is.

I like how Seth Godin phrases it in The Dip. You want to be known as the Best in the World. “Best as in: best for them, right now, based on what they believe and what they know. And world as in: their world, the world they have access to.”

So to be an expert you don’t have to be at the top of the ladder. Nor do you even have to be in the middle. What you need to do is clearly carve your niche. Find the one problem you can help people solve better than anyone else for a specific group of people. Then go about solving the problem for them. That’s how you become an expert.

Remember, being an expert “is subjective. I (the consumer) get to decide, not you. World is selfish. It’s my definition, not yours. It’s the world I define, based on my convenience or my preferences.”

As Seth continues, “Be the best in my world and you have me, at a premium, right now.”

So know what you know AND what you don’t know. And make that your expert niche. And remember what our friend Confucius said, Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

What do you think? Are there things you think you need to know that your really don’t to be the best in the world?