You love helping people with your skills and passion.
You've been trying to sell your services, and yet, not enough people are buying...
What to do?
Let's take a look at the 3 reasons why people might not be buying from you, and some solutions you might want to implement.
Perhaps you are not yet talking to enough people who are likely to buy your services.
You might be interacting a lot with people who have never bought or don't usually spend money on services like yours.
For example if you are selling relationship counseling services, and your audience hasn't even bought therapy (mainstream alternative to what you offer), it will be a long road before they decide to spend money on your services.
You can always change audiences.
There are 2 ways to do this:
1. Successful Niche Mates.
Network until you find a successful niche mate who already has an audience that is buying this type of service.
(a) If they provide a service that is the same as what you sell, you can contact them about maybe referring overflow clients to you, so you can take good care of the people that they aren't able to.
(b) Or, if they don't sell exactly your type of service, maybe they would be happy to share your service as a complementary offering to what they sell. They might be happy to do this on a commission basis, or a cross-promotion (you also recommend clients to them), or some other gift they would love to receive from you.
2. Paid Advertising.
Advertise your content (and eventually, your services) to the audiences that are more likely to buy.
For example, you can do this using Facebook Ads, by defining an advertising audience of people who are of a certain demographic, and are interested in the issues you help people with, or who follow famous authors or organizations / companies who recommend (or sell) your type of service. If you're advertising to people in the USA, you can even specify their approximate income level.
If you're interested, I have an online course that teaches Facebook Advertising step by step.
With paid advertising, you might still need to offer a lower-price front-end product (such as a short online course) to ease them into buying from you. We'll talk about that next.
Your audience might think that your fees are too high.
Don't be swayed by the high-priced business coaches who tell you to "charge what you're worth." ...because you're worth an infinite amount of money. You are priceless, and so are your services.
Maybe what you are offering your audience right now is priced higher than what they want to pay at this moment. It's not that they "can't afford it" but that they haven't budgeted to spend their money with your services.
You'll know this if you're talking to a prospective client on the phone, and you present your price, and they are surprised by how much it is... aka "sticker shock."
If they've never spent money with you before, then they need to be eased into it, rather than asked to jump off a cliff with your high-priced offer. This is especially true if they have rarely (or never) spent that kind of money on this type of service before.
There are a couple of solutions:
1. Low-Price Offer.
Offer something lower price on the "front end" (i.e. what your audience can easily find on your website, or on your social media.)
This might be a $25 online workshop, or a $10 book, or a $50 online course.
Then, for those who buy your low-price offer, you can later offer a mid-price offer to work further with you, e.g. a $100 4-week program, or a $100/month group program, or a $300 for one month of 2 private sessions with you.
Then after that, to those who bought the mid-priced offer, you can see if offering your higher-priced offerings and packages would feel appropriate.
2. JV with a Niche Mate.
JV (or joint venture) in this context means simply connecting with a Niche Mate about possibly promoting your low-price offer to their audience, and sharing commissions (e.g. 50%) with them.
If they have an audience, the fact that they're a niche mate means that their audience would probably find your offerings beneficial. It could be a win-win-win: Your niche mate receives commissions from you (and thanks from their audience for introducing you), Their audience wins by having the benefit of your offering, and You win by having new potential clients.
3. Build Your Credibility.
The more credibility you have in the minds of your audience, the more likely they'll buy from you, and the more they'll likely pay.
Let's talk about that next.
Even though your audience may need the help, they aren't sure that you can really help them.
Think about Brene Brown, or Gary Vaynurchuk, or ________fill in the blank for someone you admire in your field.
Imagine that they were to offer you a 1-1 private session.
Because they have enormous credibility in your mind, you might be happy to pay $1,000 to get a private hour with them, focused on you. (Some people would pay much more for that opportunity.)
And yet, people think that your $200/hour (or whatever you charge) is too high a price?
Not enough credibility.
Here are some solutions:
1. Client Case Studies.
Share your client case studies more often on your social media, as well as in your email newsletter.
To get those case studies, you may need to offer to the right people who can really benefit from what you do, your service at a much lower price, or for free, in exchange for being able to use their story as a case study.
2. Influencer Case Studies.
The most impactful kind of case study is from someone who has an audience you would love to reach. What kind of blogger, FB Page, Instagram influencer, video channel, or popular podcast host, would likely enjoy your services, and have an audience that needs your services?
If you are able to network your way to being in touch with them, and offer them your service in exchange for a testimonial (or simply, feedback), that could be a big opportunity for you.
3. Authentic Content Marketing
My favorite way to build credibility is to create and share authentic, relevant, consistent content. As you know, this is what I teach and do my best to model.
If you do authentic content marketing, you are continually showing up to your audience as someone who cares about helping them. This builds your credibility over time.
Also, you are making it easier for people to spread the word about you, because the easiest way for anyone to refer you is to share your free content with their friends.
The challenge with authentic content marketing is that it takes time until it starts to work its magic. When it finally does, it’s amazing and totally worthwhile.
In 2014 I started creating content, but not consistently. Then I started doing content consistently in mid-2015. After about a year, I noticed that I was no longer needing to seek out clients... all new clients were coming to me on their own initiative, thanks to my content and how it was beginning to spread.
It has been almost 2 years since I’ve needed to reach out for new 1-1 clients. I have a consistently full practice, with a waiting list. This wasn’t true from 2009-2015 when I was only doing launches, but not creating content consistently.
It is never too early to start.
Look back at the 3 sections above -- Audience, Pricing, Credibility -- and ask yourself which one(s) are important for your situation now?
Pick one, then try the solutions I've described.
I look forward to hearing how it goes for you!
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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