There are many things I would change if I got a do-over at my business, but today I just want to share the biggest one of those. The one thing, that if I would have done it differently, would have lead to faster growth, more money, and a stronger brand. The one thing that would have made my transition into working for myself full-time go more quickly. The one thing that would have helped put me on the map sooner.
I call it: One Problem, One Person, One Solution.
Like a lot of "helping" professionals, when I started out my message and offers were vague.
Sound familiar? Coaches, I'm lookin' at you. This is an epidemic among the coaching community.
- "I'll get you unstuck."
- "Live the life you want."
- "I'll help you start a business you love."
That ain't cuttin' it. There is no meat on those bones. You need a specific message, call to action, and solution. That's how people will know if they should buy from you or not.
I connected with a newer coach, and she asked if I'd mind referring people to her. She seemed nice and like a good coach, but I had to politely decline. I couldn't send people her way in integrity because I had no idea what they'd be getting. Plus, I didn't even know who to send! I couldn't tell from her website, or even after talking with her, who she helped or how she helped them. No bueno!
You can blog and newsletter and opt-in and interview until you're blue in the face, but until you have meat-on-the-bones specificity about what you offer, it don't matter.
So let's talk meat.
If I could do it over again, I would have started out by identifying One Problem, creating for One Person, and selling One Solution.
Identifying One Problem:
Pick one thing, one small thing, that you know people in your audience are struggling with. Be specific. No "live your best life" watered down stuff. What real problems are your people facing?
- I want to meditate, but I don't have enough time.
- I'd like to eat well, but it's intimidating to shuffle through all the data and recipes.
- I want to be more creative, but I'm not an artist.
These are real problems, expressed in plain English (beware of coachy language), that you can help people with.
Creating for One Person:
Now that you know the problem, create a solution with one person in mind. I mean a real person you actually know. This is not the time for ideal client avatars. Think of a reader or client who is really struggling with the problem you identified.
When I wrote The Purpose Paradigm, I wrote it for one client, who I'll call Sam. I knew I needed to write the book because there was a problem that a lot of clients were facing, but I didn't write with a lot of clients in mind. I wrote for Sam. Should I keep this joke in? Sam would like it. Should I add this chapter? Sam doesn't need it.
Writing for Sam made my job easy; I just had to please and help one person. The result? I can't tell you how many emails I've gotten from readers saying, "I feel like you wrote this book just for me!" and "How are you reading my mind?"
Selling something? Getting specific is more universal than attempting to include everyone.
Be brave enough to say something of significance to a real person. Don't create to impress, create to help. Make things for one person at a time. Take a stand and quit hiding behind vague statements.
Selling One Solution:
When you come up with a way to solve the One Problem, come up with a way that will work for your One Person.
Given her lifestyle and learning style, will audio, video, or written word be best? Does she need individual attention, or will a group program work?
Solve the problem in a specific way. General coaching packages are not the way to go.
- An mp3 collection of 5 minute guided meditations
- A two hour coaching session that results in month's worth of meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists
- A 30 day to creativity course: no art supplies or talent required, just a camera phone
Much more enticing than "getting unstuck." More results-oriented. Helps people know if this is for them or not.
How can you use One Problem, One Person, One Solution in your business?