“Do what you love” …vs… “Offer what they want”
Here's a common idea among solopreneurs:
“If I have a passion for something, then there must be enough other people with that passion, which means I can build a viable business.”
Building a business on passion alone takes a lot longer than you might think. You have to look far and wide for individuals with that specific passion as you. Or, you have to build an online audience from scratch and educate them until they really "get" why you're so passionate about it.
An authentic business is financially viable and deeply meaningful to you. You make enough money to support you, but the activity itself feels worthwhile, even if you had to do it for free.
However, it's not just about “doing what you love”... not just a hobby. It is an Authentic Business, a true livelihood.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help many people make progress in their own authentic businesses, and I’ve been operating my own successfully for a decade.
Here is my current framework on how to effectively launch an authentic business:
Finding the “right” price for your services, programs, products.
Most authentic businesses have haphazard pricing.
Sometimes, you just pick a number based on how you “feel” about it. The problem is that your audience might not “feel” the same. No matter how intuitive, you are still a human being, with normal human biases. Pricing from a shoot-from-the-hip kind of way is not wise business practice. You're treating your business like a hobby.
Or, you might blindly trust a business/marketing expert who says that you should “charge what you’re worth” and always go for premium pricing.
Or, you might just go with whatever your niche mates are charging.
In this post, I’ll share a more thoughtful process to arrive at a price that feels right to you and is grounded in reality. I call it authentic pricing.
When creating your authentic business, you might get stuck defining your “niche”, or figuring out your “target market.”
Maybe you’re trying to get clarity too early in your business.
This is the typical reasoning:
Define Niche ➜ Create Content & Offerings ➜ Get Clients
In my experience of coaching hundreds of authentic businesses and creating a lot of content on this topic, the above formula doesn't seem to work most of the time...
What's the mainstream version of what you do?
When should someone seek you out?
Your prospective clients don't know the nuances of your field.
If you're an energy healer, they don't know that there 15 different modalities (or whatever).
If you're a relationship counselor, they don't need to know that there are 8 different philosophies.
If you're a life coach, they don't need to know that there are 5 major life coaching schools and why the one you graduated from is different from the rest.
Your prospective clients don't value the nuances that you spent years immersed in.
Talk only about the things they understand and value. Describe your service in a way that they can easily "get"...
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for Counselors, Coaches, Speakers, and Authors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
This blog only contains some of George's best writings. To see all of his recent writings, visit his Medium.com profile.
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