A few years ago I was in a really bad way. Severe illness had decimated my health and career. A disastrous relationship had gutted me emotionally. My life had gone up in flames (literally, my ex set the house on fire). I was living in my mum’s box room, flat broke, in tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, and utterly devoid of hope.
Starting my own business was a revelation for me. Working on my terms, to my timetable. I could focus on what I love (writing), earn a living, and still have time to work on my health.
Entrepreneurship was a gift from the gods, truly, but it wasn’t half a lot of work…
How I Escaped The Eternal Hamster Wheel…
For the first couple of years I did okay. I paid down my debt. Everything ticked over. But I was nowhere near the income level needed to bust me out of the rut in which I was myred. I craved independence, freedom, an escape from the eternal hamster wheel of marketing (not to mention my mother’s box room). I’d done all the courses, watched all the vlogs, read all the blogs; I’d devoured everything I could find on digital marketing but something wasn’t quite clicking.
It was kind of working.
I had clients, money was coming in, I was steadily raising my profile, it just wasn’t enough…
Enter Angie Taffs: The Woman Who Changed My Business (And Life)…
Hustling my butt off for a couple of years had one tangible benefit: I had a lot of friends and contacts in the entrepreneurial world. One of those was Angie. I was a member of her Facebook group, and had been following her for a while, so when a webinar she was running popped up in my newsfeed, I jumped right on it.
Little did I know…
Angie’s webinar was a revelation. She shared one fairly simple tip for managing clients and it transformed my business. I honestly wouldn’t have believed how powerful it was until it actually happened.
The premise is really simple: give people a free sample of what you can do; leave them craving more.
Not a freebie, or a download, a cheat sheet, or a blog/vlog, an actual sample of your paid products or services.
I baulked at this to begin with. Badly. I’m a copywriter. Offering a free sample of my work meant a lot of work for me. Writing a whole blog post, in fact. But Angie’s explanation made a great deal of sense, and while I was going great guns building my tribe, I was really struggling to convert them.
Educating them on the benefits of hiring a copywriter to produce regular, awesome content was easy enough. Getting them to take that final leap was considerably harder.
Hiring a freelancer is scary.
What if they’re a bad fit? What if they can’t really write? What if they take your money and don’t deliver? What if, what if, what if…
Allaying Their Fears And Showing My Chops…
Much as it made me flinch, I had faith. I began offering a free blog post. No strings, no catch. An actual, bonafide, free version of a service that would usually set you back (at that time) £25.
This did two things: allayed my tribe’s fears and concerns about making that final leap; and allowed me to really show my writing chops. It’s one thing to say you’re a great copywriter, it’s quite another to hand over a shining, polished, perfect example of exactly what you can do for a person’s business, complete with all the bells and whistles (in my case, royalty free images, memes, and a week’s worth of Tweets…yes, still for free!).
The Results Of Angie’s One Super Powerful Trick…
The response was phenomenal.
In marketing, a 2% conversion rate is reasonably good. 5% is good. 10% is epic. Anything above 10% is magical wildfire of supernatural origin.
The free post I instigated using Angie’s method has…wait for it… a 75% conversion rate.
Yes, it’s a lot of work writing them, but it’s so worth it!
Here’s How You (More Than) Double Your Income…
You want serious numbers? I analysed the conversions on my free blog post, here’s what I found…
- Three out of four people who sign up for a free post become paying clients.
- Of those clients, one in three spend an average of £35 on a one-off service.
- One in three spend an average of £300 on either a one off service bundle, or repeat business in lower-ticket items.
- One in three spend an average of £3,500 on monthly blog packages (and that’s just how much they had spent in December 2016 – most are still monthly clients, so that figure gets higher every month!).
- One in three of these new clients recommend me to a friend, who sign up for their own free post, or simply buy a service outright, to the tune of £500 a piece (again, on average, again, growing each month!).
- The financial reward I receive is over £1,000 per free blog post I write (including those that don’t convert) and growing monthly.
The Bottom Line…
Since I started running this offer, my business has thrived. I soon had a gaggle of clients. I put my prices up, expecting to lose a fair few. I didn’t lose any. I kept on hustling, and before the year was out I was debt free, and living in a house of my own. I invested more in the tech needed to action Angie’s epic system, and experienced another big boom in my income.
I had more clients than I could handle.
After rebranding and refocusing entirely on copywriting, I put my prices up again.
The free posts I offer are now worth £55 a piece, and they are still available for free to all new clients. I’ve not done the maths on the offer since the end of 2016, but I can tell you that my monthly income has more than doubled since then. Angie’s offer isn’t the only thing affecting that; I launched a new vlog in January that had a massive impact. But content marketing can only get you so far. It builds you tribe, it grows your list, but you still need that ineffable magic charm that converts your audience into paying clients.
That gives them the final shove.
Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, watched, read and listened to, Angie is the only one who showed me exactly how to do this. For that reason alone, I refer to her as The Woman Who Changed My Business.
But she didn’t just change my business, she also transformed my life.
If you want your business to be the mechanism that enables you to live a happy, fulfilling life of freedom, doing what you love best, this girl can show you how…
Thanks, Angie, you’re an absolute superstar!
Many thanks to Hazel Butler from The Write Copy Girl for this wonderful guest post. Having feedback like this fills me with joy and makes all my work worthwhile.
The difference between features and benefits
The difference between features and benefits is the difference between your ideal client sitting up and taking notice of your marketing message or ignoring it and moving on.
All too often small business owners fail to attract their ideal client because all they talk about are the bog standard facts, or features, of their business. They fail to engage with their prospects on an emotional level that makes them sit up and take notice.
To gain interest from a prospect you need to make them feel that you are talking about them, that you can understand the pain point or problem they are having and that you have the resources to help them out (the benefits).
First and foremost, you need to know who your ideal client is and what problem they are having that you can solve, so if you haven’t got this covered already, have a read of 3 essential points to attract ideal clients to your business
Once you know the pain point of your ideal client, to attract their interest you need to make sure you can explain clearly the benefits of your business and not just the features. If you can’t, your business isn’t thought through well enough and prospects won’t understand what you can do for them or why they should engage in conversation with you.
Remember to get across quickly and clearly what pain point you can solve for them and how it will change their life for the better by using your products or services.
As the saying goes
‘Features tell, benefits sell’
People don’t buy a bed. They buy a good night’s sleep.
People don’t buy books. They buy a way to expand their knowledge.
People don’t buy wellington boots. They buy protection for their feet from mud and water.
People don’t buy diet pills. They buy a way to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.
What is a feature?
A feature is a factual statement about the product or service.
But people don’t buy features. They buy benefits.
What is a benefit?
A benefit answers the question “What’s in it for me?”
Here are a few examples
Feature: SPF Factor 30
Benefit: Allows you to stay out in the sun for longer without getting burnt
Feature: Self-tanning properties
Benefit: A safer long lasting tan all year round
Feature: Once a day application
Benefit: No more chasing the kids around and stopping them having fun having to apply every hour
Benefit: Each piece is unique so no one in the world will have the exact same item as you
Feature: Gemstone jewellery
Benefit: Higher quality, will not cause skin irritation or discolour
Feature: Fully qualified
Benefit: Trust that they know what they are doing and are not going to leave you injured
Feature: Tailored exercise and nutrition program
Benefit: Results driven to help you lose weight, avoid heart attack and prolong life
Feature: Online coaching course
Benefit: Learn from the comfort of your own home without time and cost of attending full day event
Feature: Qualified, experienced support
Benefit: Time proven advice to gain more clients and make more money
Go write down all the features you can think of relating to your product or service. Then alongside each of these write down the benefits. Start to use the benefits in your marketing messages so that your ideal client really understands what’s in it for them by doing business with you.
Remember, if you just talk about the features of your product or service and fail to talk about how you are going to solve issues for your prospects, you will miss out on valuable future clients.
Are you struggling to attract enough quality prospects to your business?
Follow my top tips to start to get those ideal clients queuing up to find out more about you.
Create a plan – don’t just work ad hoc
Fail to plan, plan to fail. I use that adage a lot as it is so true. If you just stick your finger in the wind and hope something will work if you throw enough out there, you are likely to waste an awful lot of time and effort. Have a structured plan of exactly what you want to achieve over a specified time period. You can then prepare the right number of messages to the right audience in the right marketing channels that will significantly increase your chance of success.
How many prospects do you want?
If you want to gain 5 new clients this month and you know you gain one client out of every 5 calls you make, then you need to speak to 20 warm prospects. And then if you know that you get 1 warm prospect out of every 5 prospects you engage with, you will need to find 100 new prospects this month.
Now you have a clear number to aim for and plan to achieve rather than just aimlessly trying to get as many as you can.
Where do they hang out?
Where do your prospects hang out or go to find a solution to the problem you can solve for them? Is it online or offline, or a mix of both. Wherever it is, you need to find out and be there with your message.
If it is social media, are you sure which channels you should be on? Rather than just blindly follow the crowd with the major players such as Facebook and Twitter, do some research on others such as Snapchat and Periscope and see if your prospects are hanging out there and asking questions. This could be a better use of your time than trying to break through the ‘noise’ of over saturated options.
Create messages that talk directly to your prospects
You need to be talking in the same language that your prospects use. By this, I mean using the same keywords and phrases that they use as if they see these in your marketing message, they are more likely to resonate with the words and take notice. Start to join in groups and forums and take note of how questions are asked and what words and phrases are used. Use questions as a starting point for your marketing message by creating a message that helps answer it or gives tips as to how to solve the problem posed.
Be consistent and persistent
There is no point putting your message out there a couple of time and then giving up because you didn’t get a response. It takes time, particularly online. You need to be persistent and consistent to raise your visibility. Just because your post something in a Facebook group or on your page and you know it is there does not mean that many others will see it. There are hundreds of thousands of other messages out there and if you prospect isn’t reading at the right time, your message may easily get missed as it will have dropped down the news feed.
If you are networking face to face people will take time to get to know you and find out what you are about. You can’t expect to go to one meeting and sign up new prospects immediately. They will want to see that you are there for the long run and not about to disappear after just one session.
Get prospects to engage in conversations
Once you have the attention of your prospect, get them to engage with you in a conversation so that you start to build a relationship and trust. Ask questions to get to know them better and find out how you can help them, whether online or offline. Ask them to complete a survey, again to find out more about them and to help identify a solution for them. Offer some free advice to build trust and awareness of what you can do for them. This way you keep them engaged and interested in talking to you so you can build a future relationship.
Stick with it
Following on from being persistent and consistent, allow your marketing to take time. You may be surprised just how many people are quietly watching you and taking an interest. When the time is right, if your message and offering is right, they will get in contact with you or engage in a conversation. But if you give up too easily, they will soon find someone else to take your place.
Would you like to know how to fill your pipeline with prospects and have at least another 100 ideal clients ready to speak to in the next 28 days? Yes? Then come join my masterclass in The Small Business Kit. Find out more here
3 essential points to attract ideal clients to your business
Uncover how to save time talking to people who have no interest in buying from you and start to attract the right prospects to your business who will be a dream to work with and will value what you offer.
Are you currently not getting enough prospects enquiring about your business? Are you continually trying new ways of marketing but it is all falling on deaf ears? Are you at a complete loss as to what to do because you know you have a great product or service but you just can’t get anyone to connect with you to talk about it?
Do you get enquiries but once the conversation starts you soon realise the person you are talking to is simply not suitable for what you are offering?
This happens all too often with small business owners because of one key reason:
Your marketing message is not clearly defined and you are not clear in the first place as to who you your ideal client is and what they want to hear.
Before you undertake any marketing, you first and foremost need to identify the customer groups that are most likely to need or want your product so that you can tailor your marketing message to attract them to your business.
You then need to think about what problems they have and how your product is going to be able to solve this.
Before you do anything else, think carefully about the following questions and make sure you can answer them clearly:
Who is the ideal fit for your product or service?
You may have heard this called identifying your target market or finding your ideal client, but whatever it is, you have to know who you are selling to because as the adage states, ‘if you market to everyone, then no one is your customer’.
What often happens is that small business owners say that everybody’s going to buy their product or service. Well, I’m sorry, they won’t. What you will be doing is a spray and pray marketing campaign and you’ll be throwing a marketing message out there that’s so weak and woolly, your actual target market, the people who really want and need what you are selling and will be prepared to pay you, are going to miss it completely. It won’t resonate with them because you’re trying to talk to everybody so you won’t connect with them in their language.
Tailor down as closely as you can who your ideal client is. Think about their gender, age, where they live, their educational level, occupation, marital status, hobbies and personality.
What problem do they have?
Now you know who your ideal client is, what problem do they have or what result do they want.
Let’s take a masseur as an example. Your ideal client may be an office worker who spends long hours working on a computer all day. So the problem they have is that they have tension and muscle pain in their neck and shoulders from hunching over a computer all day which is also leading to headaches and poor sleep. They want a way of releasing that tension and easing their pain so that they can relax and sleep better.
How will your product or service help them?
What results will you create for your target audience. Staying with the masseur, your massage treatment will unknot the muscles in their neck and shoulder and relieve the tension which in turn will leave them relaxed, refreshed and pain free. Being pain free will allow them to work more productively and sleep better giving them an improved quality of life. The release from headaches will improve their mood and help family relationships by not being so stressed at home.
Take some time out to try and think about what problems your ideal clients currently have and all the different benefits you provide to them if they use your product or service.
With the information above, you can now start to tailor a marketing message that describes the problem and the solution which your ideal client will resonate with and want to know more.
Do you need help attracting ideal clients to your business? Become a member of The Small Business Kit for access to the masterclass on ‘How To Fill Your Pipeline With Prospects In 28 Days‘.
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