The next time you hear about a marketing conversion tactic that “works”… ask this question:
“It might work to convert 10% of the audience… but does it build trust with the other 90%… or does it feel salesy to them?”
Years ago, I used to care only about the small percentage of my audience who converted — I was all about the sale… getting the transaction. What about the remainder of the audience, the non-buyers? I thought of them as “illusory clients” or “tire kickers”. Quite a cynical view.
An essential tactic many solopreneurs (maybe you) are missing is to use deadlines in their marketing. Do you clearly announce a reasonable expiration time/date when you are selling something or enrolling people into a program?
While I don’t recommend the use of FOMO in marketing, I advocate for using authentic deadlines.
Let me explain the reasons for deadlines and what kinds I would consider to be honest and reasonable...
I’ve written a lot about the importance of creating and distributing content… it’s a great foundation for an authentic business.
What I haven’t emphasized as much is the importance of having an offer rhythm, and that’s what this post is about. I encourage every client of mine — and you, if you are a small business and wish for consistent income — to have a consistent rhythm of offerings.
Even if you have no audience yet, you can and should begin testing offerings, as soon as possible, starting with your friends.
Here’s what I mean by a rhythm of offerings:
To have a consistent schedule of sharing (testing) your offers with your audience or network.
What are your offerings? Any products, services, or programs that you create and sell, or alternatively, that you curate and earn a commission from selling.
(You don’t have to always create products, you can find things that your audience or network might love to buy, and earn an affiliate commission by promoting it to them. However, in the long term, creating offers is usually the more authentic and meaningful path.)
My offer rhythm is simple. Use it if you’d like:
Each month I launch a light online course on some topic that my audience has said they’re interested in.
You can see how I actually launch, by going to my FB Page — George Kao’s Facebook Posts — and observe what I post every Wednesday. It’s always something related to the current launch.
To find out my audience’s interests, I occasionally make a post like this one that asks which of two (or sometimes up to five) options they would prefer.
Regularly launching light online courses is something I recommend that you do. It’s a wonderful way for potential clients to get to know your work, to stay top of mind for them about your expertise. It’s also an effective way for you to keep getting smarter and deeper about your field. Each of your online courses needs only to be 1–3 sessions/hours long.
If you want to focus on growing your 1–1 client base, then your offer rhythm can simply be that twice a month, you remind your audience/network about your current offering. Do this through your email newsletter, and any social media platform you use.
Your message can be:
Besides a monthly rhythm of offers, you might also have an annual schedule. For example:
Any of these could be reasons for you to make a special announcement about one of your offerings.
Part of an annual rhythm of offers could also be the launch of a bigger program. Or perhaps you want to self-publish a book every year or two. These can all be planned into a multi-year rhythm of offers.
However your annual schedule, I highly recommend that you also have a shorter rhythm of smaller offers, such as the monthly (or bi-monthly) launch of a light online course, as I do.
More frequent launches allow you to test more often what the market wants from you. The more tests you do, the clearer you become about the calling of your business: that sacred intersection between your passion and what the world will pay you for.
If you only launched once or twice a year, you only have one or two tests a year. I give myself at least 12 tests a year because every month I’m launching a new online course, or selling an older one.
Having an offer rhythm is one of the 7 disciplines of authentic business. It’s one that up to now, I’ve neglected to talk about enough. I hope this blog post will inspire you to brainstorm and create your own rhythm.
May you experiment with your offers, playfully and consistently!
You would love to do marketing authentically rather than succumb to short-term pressure, deceptive tactics, or hype.
Yet… you need to quickly fill your next course, program, or get some clients now.
How can you get clients ASAP without resorting to conventional marketing strategies that don’t feel right to you?
The key is to care more for your audience than they usually experience.
Here are 5 strategies to consider:
Years ago, I received a simple piece of career advice:“Go where you’re respected.” — eco-entrepreneur Paul Hawken
These 4 words have defined my career since.
It applies to marketing too — aim to only sell to prospective clients who are already eager to work with you. Then there’s no feeling of “selling.” There’s only connecting from the heart, helping them genuinely, and answering their questions.
Imagine never having to overcome objections… do multiple follow-ups… use compelling incentives to persuade others to “invest in themselves.”
Authentic salesmanship is where selling has transformed into service.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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