The past two months, I’ve been sharing the process I’ve developed to become the “go-to” expert in your highly profitable marketplace. Let’s review:
1. Understand yourself and your offer.
2. Understand your market and what they want.
So, now you have taken time to understand what makes you special and to define exactly what the market is looking for. The next step is to match these together to ensure you present your strengths in a way that meets the needs of your market. The benefit you are offering must outweigh the cost to them—whether financial, time, or anything else. If they want the benefit but won’t pay the cost, you won’t build the business you are hoping for.
Here’s an example—Would you pay 1,000 dollars to attend a seminar that taught you how to make 1,000 dollars? Probably not, unless it offered significant other benefits, because you are investing time as well as money. On the other hand, would you pay 1,000 dollars to attend a seminar teaching you how to earn 100,000 dollars? Possibly, provided you had confidence that it would deliver and it was something that appealed to you.
Building a successful business is as simple as that. You need to give people something they want at a price they see as value-for-money. Of course, the actual return doesn’t have to be monetary. Often people are looking for another type of benefit, but they have to feel the return justifies the investment.
In order to give your expert brand the greatest chance of success, you should ideally be offering a service that not only meets their needs, but where you also have some strong connection either through specific experience or a particular passion.
If you have a strong passion for your market, this will show through to your customers and you will be more motivated to do what needs to be done. If necessary, use this process as a chance to reinvent yourself: to do something a little bit different with your life. It may involve more work for a while, but the results will justify it both in your business and your personal happiness.
Here’s a success story—When I was in sixth grade, a light-bulb went off in my head while I was at a school dance. The math teacher was playing DJ and it was horrible. Everyone was threatening to walk out and not come to the next dance. The problem was the dance was a major school fundraiser—they were charging five dollars per student admission plus taking pictures and making money off them too.
I came up with a business plan and presented it to the principal saying I would DJ the next school dance; all they had to do was raise the ticket price from five dollars to seven dollars and give the extra two dollars to me. 200 students at two dollars each made me 400 dollars—plus I charged one dollar for each “request” that I played and made an extra 50 dollars!
The dance was such a success that the principal practically begged me to DJ the rest of the dances. The feedback was so huge that even more students came to the next dance, which meant even more money for me! And here’s the best part: I had become such a celebrity in school that a lot of the girls wanted their pictures taken with me instead of their dates!
By the time I was in High School, I was DJ'ing a couple of times a month for schools, reunions, Christmas parties…anyone that would pay me. But I was using my home stereo equipment. So I drew up a business plan for my dad and asked him to borrow 1500 dollars so I could buy some “real” commercial mobile DJ equipment. He agreed and even drove me to the audio store to help me negotiate the price on the equipment. On the way home, he stopped and ordered me some business cards! When we got back home, he drew up a promissory note and even charged me interest—one of the best lessons he ever taught me!
Once I had my “real” equipment, I started booking more gigs and charging more money. I quickly moved on from the high school dance scene, because of the lack of money involved. I moved on to colleges and wedding receptions instead. In my senior year of high school, I made more than 15,000 dollars as a self-employed part-time DJ!
Tracy Myers, C.M.D., is an award-winning small business marketing and branding solutions specialist, best-selling author, speaker, car dealership owner, and entrepreneur. To contact Tracy or for more information, visit his website at www.TracyMyers.com.
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