I’ve been there AND it wasn’t that long ago; I was working really hard, but not really smart! I would get up in the mornings, take a shower (or not! :)) and jump on the computer, believing that what I was doing for hours on end would pay the bills. I was so wrong! The money just was not coming in. That was until I created my signature system and then started using it myself!
Such a novel idea, right? It’s easy for us as experts in our field to see the flaws in others, but how many of us have taken the time to actually implement our own system in our own businesses? I would bet not very many.
The statistics for small businesses that don’t make a profit until the 5-year mark is more than half, and that’s if they make it to 5 years!
Let me give you 2 mindset shifts that you can make right now to start turning prospects into paying clients.
1) Write down the outcomes your clients will experience by working with you. It’s not enough to just know in your mind or to think you’re clearly communicating that outcome. Writing it down and seeing it in black and white makes it more tangible for you. You can, therefore, make it more tangible for your clients.
2) Be confident in your ability to provide your services! You have the experience, the expertise and the passion for doing what you do, now get out there and do it! If you fail, so what?! You’ll only get better and more confident by tweaking those mistakes and improving the services you provide. In no time at all, you’ll be the expert your ideal clients are looking for!
(Side note: Believe me when I say that I know it’s much easier said than done. As I said at the beginning, I have been there and I hated it when people told me to “just do it!” But that’s really the only way to build up your confidence. It’s like going to the gym for the first time. It’s an awful experience! You walk in feeling like all eyes are on you! But when you start to see the pounds come off and you’re really liking the way you look in your jeans, nothing can stop you from confidently walking in that gym and hopping on the treadmill!)
Now, back to the reasons your brand isn’t making any money!
If you think you’re not making any money because no one wants what you are selling, you’re wrong. Your ideal clients are out there looking for you! So, why aren’t you running a profitable business? Bottom-line – it’s your personal brand! You have not developed a personal brand that can be leveraged into an income-producing, results-generating, client attractive business.
Point blank – You don’t know what a brand is! So many people I talk to think a brand is all about a logo. Or they think brands mean products; i.e, Dove, Coca-Cola, or McDonald’s. But those are the end results of developing one’s’ personal brand. As a solo-service professional you must first define your values proposition or Unique Selling Proposition. That will determine how you show up to your ideal client. It will also establish you as the expert you are!
You haven’t connected your personal brand to your business. Another thing I see from small business owners is that they assume they should brand their business and not themselves, but aren’t your business?? If you provide a service, YOU represent your company more than any other factor. Your personal brand establishes a personal connection with your audience and YOU set the tone for the experience your clients will have.
You don’t know who you’re talking to! If you think your service is for any and everyone, you are so wrong! There is a specific person, looking for a specific solution to their specific problem. If you are not crystal clear on who that person is (hint: and it’s only ONE) your brand messages become diluted and won’t reach anyone.
You haven’t identified your niche. Imagine someone Googles you and they see that you are a consultant that helps start-up, non-profits for at-risk youth to set up and manage their social media campaigns. Isn’t that a much more intriguing profile than a social media manager. The first description lets me know that you have personal expertise in at least 4 areas: start-ups, non-profits, non-profits with a specific cause and social media. Pick a niche!
You haven’t told your story. This is the number 1 misstep in branding, especially for service professionals. Telling your personal story only reinforces the “know, like and trust” factor between you and your audience. Your clients want to know that you have walked in their shoes and have successfully come out on the other end. (I’ll be talking more about this in future posts because it’s so important!)
I know you are ready to build a profitable brand! What are you going to do in your business today so that you are not a statistic tomorrow? Leave me a comment, I want to know!