THE #1 Question You Need To Ask Yourself, If You Want Your Business To Grow
No matter what you’re struggling with in your business right now, I think I have the answer. Actually, you have the answer…you just need to ask yourself the right question.
Who is your ideal client?
Ok, that’s not “the question” I’m getting to, but it’s where this discussion begins. Regardless of industry or experience, most of my clients haven’t worked through fully defining their ideal client. They think they know, but when I ask them for a succinct profile I instead receive a long, rambling response. Most of them want to be generalists so they can appeal to everyone.
I’ll reserve the issue of being a generalist vs. a specialist for another post, but for now let’s just all agree (or at least assume) that defining your ideal client is critical to your success.
Now you’re ready for the question . . .
Why do you do what you do?
Before you can define your ideal client and develop messaging that magnetizes prospects, you need to ask yourself why you do what you do for a living. Why are you a lawyer? Even better, why do you practice criminal law? Maybe you started your own business or created a product. Why – what compelled you to do that?
Ask yourself why.
Stop focusing your marketing on what you do and how you do it
It’s easy to explain what you do and how you do it. It’s when you start including why you do it that your whole business will transform.
Here’s an example . . .
If you just met me, and I told you that I’m a business coach who works with busy professionals who want to create a personal brand for themselves, you’d know what I do.
Does that compel you to want to work with me?
Ok, what if I told you how I do it: I coach my clients on how to use a combination of social media, blogging, public speaking, media appearances and books to establish themselves as experts in their field in order to bring clients and customers to their doorstep.
Now do you want to work with me?
The power of leading with “why”
Let’s see how you view me and my business differently if I tell you my why . . .
The reason I’m the specific kind of business coach that I am is because in 2009, my mother and I both lost our jobs . . . but what happened next for each of us was very different. My mother was out of a job for several months, and she ended up in a job she was grossly over-qualified for and underpaid for doing. She was miserable.
I, on the other hand, never went a single day without a job. In fact, at a time when every law firm in Atlanta (and the entire country) was laying off attorneys, I received two job offers from law firms before my one month of time was up at my previous firm . . . and, I got a significant pay raise.
The reason my experience was different than my mother’s is because I had a personal brand. I had my own clients, and I had a book deal. I was beginning to become a successful blogger, and I’d made a name for myself even though I was only a third-year associate. All of that was completely independent of my first law firm – it was all things I could take with me when I left.
My mother had worked for the same company for nearly 20 years and risen basically as high as she could go in her office. Her entire career was defined by that company and that job title, not unlike many people her age. When it was gone, so was her career. (The good news is that after a few years, her company rebounded and hired her back, and she’s happily back there now. But it was a long few years.)
To summarize: my why is that I want people to create a personal brand for themselves that makes them bulletproof. I want them to be so valuable their company doesn’t know what they’d do without them. And if the unforeseen happens, I want people to be able to write their own ticket at any time, under any circumstances.
Now that you know that, does it make my coaching more appealing?
Hopefully it does.
For me, it’s helped me refine my ideal client profile, which has allowed me to locate where they hang out online, what they read, and what messaging resonates with them most. And that has helped my business start to soar.
I highly encourage you to watch this short video from Simon Sinek on why your why is so important. He gives a great example about Apple and how it uses its why to wipe out the competition.
If you’re looking for one of those aha moments, this is how you get there.
If you need some tips on getting started, check out my free guide on How To Position Yourself For Free Publicity. You’ll get my expert advice on how to position yourself for loads of FREE publicity, including everything from guest blogs and podcast interviews to radio, TV, and speaking gigs. Download it here to get started!