5 Steps To Turn A Passion Or Idea Into A Successful Full Or Part Time Business
Can YOU answer this question?
Before we dive into all of the exciting “How To”, I want to take 30 seconds to quickly address three of the most important concerns that many people have.
Concern # 1: Risk and Financial Security
First things first, you should NOT risk your financial well being or the security of your job or family. We teach that you should always start small and / or part time and grow your business as it makes sense for YOU.
I started my first [car stereo installation] business with $20.00 and my father’s tools. I did side jobs on the weekends to make some extra cash and to get some experience.
Then, when I was ready and I felt confident, I moved on to bigger businesses. Taking this approach allowed me to keep the security of my full time job and to avoid any unnecessary stress or worries. [The icing on my cake: I was able to enjoy starting my business.]
Likewise, to give yourself the greatest opportunity to succeed, you should always take advantage of any and all of the free or low cost resources you can find.
» You should network or use free publicity to find customers or clients
» You should borrow whatever you can [like I borrowed my father’s tools]
» You should use the strategies I’ll be sharing with you today
Concern # 2: Education and Training
Second, you don’t need to be a “business person”, a “sales person”, or a “techie” with a college education to have a successful business. [I never went to college.]
As a matter of fact, many of the most successful Entrepreneurs in business today never went to college or dropped out. A few of the most well-known examples include:
» Mark Zuckerberg dropped out [Facebook]
» Jessica Alba never went to college [Honest Company / Actress]
» Steve Jobs (late) never went to college [Apple Co-founder]
» Oprah Winfrey dropped out [OWN Network]
» Bill Gates dropped out and went back almost 30 years later [Microsoft]
» Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, John Paul Dejoria…
And the list goes on and on.
Concern # 3: Work Smarter NOT Harder
Finally, there’s an easier way and a hard way to do everything in life.
As you’ll soon discover, we believe in doing everything smarter so you do NOT have to work longer and harder.
Being smarter will not only save you time, money and headaches. But it’ll also prevent you from struggling with many of the frustrations that business owners deal with today.
Contrary to what most people believe, having a full or part time business does NOT have to be difficult or risky. When done correctly, it is a fun and rewarding experience you get to enjoy.
To show you how this can be done, today, I’m going to take you inside the Academy so you can see how we do things the smarter way.
“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars. I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” – Warren Buffet
One last thing I want to mention is that you can make more than just money with a successful business. You can make a difference. In your community. In our society. In the world.
Financial success is a great blessing because it gives us options in life and it allows us to live comfortably.
But, as many of us already know. Ultimately, it is what we give back or do for others that brings us the greatest level of happiness and success.
If you desire to make a social impact or fix a problem. Your business can make a difference in a very big way…
So, here’s the mysterious question…
WHY?… WHY?… WHY?
Now that we’ve covered these concerns and you’re ready to get started, the first thing you need to think about is “WHY” you want to have a business.
What is your specific reason?
Your reason might be deep and personal. Or, it can be something that is important to you. Understanding your “WHY” is critical because it is what motivates us and drives us to succeed.
Do you want to have a business that serves an important purpose? Or positively impacts the environment and / or people’s lives?
Do you want to have more free time to do what you enjoy, travel, or to spend with family and friends?
Do you want to earn an above average income so you can own a beautiful home? Or have the means to do more or enjoy life more?
Do you want to pay off debts? Or to eliminate concerns about your finances or money?
Do you want to create financial security for yourself and your family?
If you don’t know what your “WHY” is yet, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to know the answer right now. And there’s no rush to discover it.
That stated, you do want to think about it since knowing your “WHY” is critical to your success.
Generally speaking, there are many things we must consider when starting a business. Here are five vital steps that will help you to start as quickly and easily as possible.
Step 1: Determine the demand for your product or service
The quickest and surest path to success is to fill existing needs and desires. The benefit of offering a product or service that is in-demand, is that you do not need to convince someone that they want or need to buy it.
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t be successful if you offer something that is new, unique, or not exactly “Hot” and “Trendy”.
Quite the opposite, actually.
Oftentimes, it means that YOU get to establish the value with strategic marketing. And, in many cases, you get to collect a decent premium for your product or service.
This is where the rubber meets the road…
You like your idea. Your friends like your idea. And so does your family. The BIG question that you have to realistically ask yourself is this:
Are there enough people who will pay me for my product or service so I can have a successful business?
In other words, do enough people have a need or desire for your product or service?
The primary driver of commerce in every market is supply and demand. In order to have a successful business, there must be enough people who will pay you for your product or service.
For some beginners, a lack of [or weak] demand can be discouraging.
What they often don’t realize, though, is that savvy marketing creates loads of demand for a little-known reason:
Most people don’t know that they want something until they see it.
I once heard that Henry Ford said the following: “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
There are debates about whether he actually said that or not. But the message is clear. Just because something is not “Hot” or desired NOW, doesn’t mean that demand cannot be created.
A good example [or bad depending on how you look at it] is the iPhone.
Before the iPhone, there was nothing out there like it. Skeptics said it would flop when Steve Jobs first unveiled it.
They were epically wrong!
While I realize that no one person has the resources that Apple has. The point is that demand can be created for something that is new or unique. Because, again, people don’t know that they want something until they see it.
We’re not going to get too deeply into marketing just yet.
But sometimes, creating demand is easier than it seems. Two of the fastest ways to drive demand [and sales] are with packaging and bundling. This can be as simple as:
» Combining your product with an existing, in-demand, or complimentary service
» Combining your service with an existing, in-demand, or complimentary product
» Teaming up with a well-connected company or partner who already sells to the customers or clients that you want to sell to
If you already know that there is a healthy demand for your product or service, that’s fantastic. You can click or tap here to move on to step number two.
If you’re not quite sure, don’t worry. You can find out how in-demand your product or service is quite easily by going to sites like Google or Amazon and doing a simple search.
Services: How to determine demand
For a specific or unique kind of service, you should go to a search engine like Google and type in a few words related to what you do. [Or what your service is.]
Assuming there is enough demand, you should have hundreds, if not thousands, of relevant search results. If you don’t have many, you should try a search with a few different key words.
If that doesn’t bring up a decent number of results, you should try other search engines and key words because sometimes people use different terms or call things by different names.
If the service you want to provide is new or unique and you can’t find other people or companies that offer it, you may be creating a new type of service.
Assuming this is the case, remember that it just takes the right marketing message to spark imaginations and / or desire… just like the iPhone.
Products: How to determine demand
If you’re selling a product that is somewhat common or can be categorized, you should first try searching online selling sites. Some of largest and most popular online selling sites include:
You may or may not want to sell your product on these sites. Still, it’s a good idea to see how available your product is and who is selling it to determine demand.
If you’re selling a new, specialized, or unique product that is not available on these sites. You should go to a search engine like Google to do a key word search.
Assuming there is enough demand, you should have hundreds, if not thousands, of relevant search results. If you don’t have many, you should try a search with a few different key words.
If that doesn’t bring up a decent number of results, try other search engines and other key words because sometimes people use different terms or call things by different names.
If the product you want to sell is new or unique and you can’t find other people or companies that offer it, you may be creating a new product category.
Step 2: Size-up other sellers or service providers
Assuming you’re offering a product or service that has a strong demand, you should expect that there will be other people or companies offering similar products or services.
Some people believe competition is something to be feared and they cringe at the idea. Here at the Academy, we see competition as a fun and exciting challenge.
Because we know two key facts that average Entrepreneurs do not:
1) An astounding 8 out of 10, or 80%, of small business owners struggle or have difficulty with their marketing
2) The Academy’s primary focus is on effective marketing so our members can enjoy fantastic success [Which is why I’ll be talking about marketing throughout this article]
As a matter of fact, most small business owners practice what I like to call “throw-a-penny-in-the-wishing-well-marketing” because they cross their fingers and hope that it works.
That’s right, most small business owners do NOT know if their marketing is going to work.
And here’s the punch-line…
Most never invest their time to understand how to market like a pro. Instead, they blindly hand their money to senseless advertising companies and hope for the best.
Wondering why effective marketing is so critical to your success?
Marketing is THE highest paying skill in business for one simple reason: Marketing brings in all of your customers!
Effective Marketing = Plenty of Customers = Successful Business!
Ineffective Marketing = Few customers = Struggling Business!
For this reason, one of our primary goals [here at the Academy] is to show you how to KEEP perfect customers or clients coming into your business…
Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Needless to say, when you have a marketing plan that allows you to enjoy this kind of success, competition becomes much less of a concern.
BUT… There is one exception that you need to be aware of…
In most instances, you do NOT want to be going up against big companies like Wal-mart or Home Depot.
They dominate their markets. And they get the deepest discounts on commodity products.
Translation: they can sell many products at prices cheaper than most companies [YOU] can buy them.
[Commodity products are your everyday necessities such as brand name cleaning supplies, general hardware, toiletries, personal care products and general food products that you find on a shelf.]
That stated, not everything that is offered on the Walmart.com and Homedepot.com websites is sold by these companies. As a matter of fact, both are now just like Amazon with many sellers.
So, if you offer something that is highly specialized, is made by a unique brand, or serves a specific niche or industry, you’ll be fine.
To find out who your competitors are and how they’re selling to customers, you should use the same process as you did in step number one to determine demand.
[Use search engines like Google or online selling sites like Amazon.com]
As you explore other company’s websites or selling pages, you should keep the questions below in mind as they will tell you everything you need to know to win customers.
– How many companies or people are selling what I sell? Are there a lot, or just a few?
– What words are they using? Or how are they “talking” to potential customers on their websites? [Is their content well written? Or is it just “thrown” together?]
– What type of content are they using to engage and / or attract customers, if any? [Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, downloads, etc.]
– Are their websites modern looking and professional? Or, do they lack maintenance and need to be updated?
– What is their pricing, if available? How does it compare to your pricing?
– How big are the differences in pricing among sellers? Why do you think one company charges more? [Does one company offer something others do not?]
– How do you feel when you’re on each website? Would you feel safe buying from it? Why or why not?
– Do they have search ads on Google or other search engines?
– Do they advertise on Facebook?
If you want to find this out, you can install the ‘Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension’ by going here. [You must be on a desktop computer to do this.]
This extension was developed by Facebook. It tells you if a website has a “Pixel” installed. If a site has a Facebook Pixel, the extension’s icon will light up blue with a number in green.
This tells you that the website / company most likely advertises on Facebook. [Some companies also use the Pixel for tracking website traffic. Similar to Google Analytics.]
The image below is from the Academy’s website. The blue square that has a red box around it is the Facebook Pixel Helper extension icon. The green number 2 tells you that we have two Pixels installed on that specific page.
Once you install the extension, you can see the Pixel Helper icon in the very top right hand corner of your Chrome browser.
And here’s one last suggestion: If you do install the extension, you should try navigating to different websites to see who advertises on Facebook.
You might be surprised!
Step 3: Develop your basic message and “USP”
Now that you’ve seen your competition and their basic marketing approach, it’s time to start planning your success.
The first thing you need [to position yourself above every other me-too company] is a “message”. Your message should tell prospective customers or clients:
1) What you believe in, or why you exist [your mission or purpose]
2) What you specialize in, offer, or provide
3) What you will DO for them that others do not or cannot, and why
Here at the Academy, our simplified message is “Enjoy Fulfillment and Financial Success”.
To illustrate how we eventually developed this message, I’ll be [briefly] sharing some of my story as well as the Academy’s story throughout this step.
First things first, we chose this message because we don’t just help our members to start businesses. We help them to build successful businesses that enable them to enjoy the things that THEY want.
– Happiness and fulfillment
– More free time to do what they love or enjoy
– The income and financial success they want
– The personal and professional success they want
When I first started my trucking company, like many new business owners, I was dreaming of free time and financial success.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I was doing. So I ended up with a chaotic business that gave me everything that I did NOT want!
I was always feeling frustrated.
I was constantly dealing with problems.
I was going home stressed out every night.
And I was working 14 – 16 hours, six days a week.
As you can imagine, my first few years in business were very difficult.
But, after getting help from a few mentors here in the Silicon Valley and abroad, I was able to transform my business into a finely-tuned machine.
Once I had “me time” and money was no longer a concern – which was important coming from a working-poor family – it was time to start helping people.
Having suffered through so many difficulties in business early on, I knew exactly what I wanted to do…
I wanted to help others to start or fix their businesses so they could enjoy their business and life a lot more.
Eventually, my little “side project” became The Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Academy.
In other words, the Academy’s message came from my person difficulties. Likewise, your message should have a story or an important reason behind it.
The more deep and personal the reason is, the more of an emotional impact it will have on your customers. And, most importantly, the more driven and successful you will become.
At this point, you may or may not know what your message is.
As you read through the rest of this article, thoughts and ideas will come to you. Be sure to take note of them as they will help you to develop, fine-tune, and perfect your message.
Developing your USP:
The classic name for distinguishing your products, services or business from every other is called a Unique Selling Proposition, or a USP.
Truthfully, I’m not a fan of the old-school name, but I use it anyways. Sure, I could create a unique phrase and a slick acronym instead of USP like many people have.
But, as an experienced marketing pro I haven’t. And here’s the important reason why…
Since most people already know what a USP is – or have at least heard of it – it’s best to use this word / phrase because it is language they are familiar with.
When you use words, language, or you reference things people are already familiar with, they feel comfortable.
This is important because people who are comfortable are MUCH more likely to become customers or clients than those who are NOT comfortable.
Can we agree on that?
Now, when it comes to developing your USP [and your message], you can make potential customers or clients feel comfortable by ALWAYS doing at least one of the following:
1) Speaking their “language” by using the words, phrases, or industry “jargon” that they use
2) Meeting them where they, and their level of awareness, are at this moment
3) Talking about things they are familiar with, understand, or can relate to
Speaking your customer or client’s “language”:
When you speak your customer or client’s “language”, you are silently sending a message that tells them “we are alike” and “I understand you”.
One of the deepest cravings of a human being is to be understood.
When you let someone know that you understand them with unspoken clues, it is much more powerful than verbally saying “I understand you” because you are demonstrating it.
Similarly, we naturally like and are attracted to people who are like us. [Birds of a feather flock together.]
That being true, when you can non-verbally demonstrate to someone that you are similar or alike in some way, they actually like you more than they would if you were different.
To put this into perspective, there are many places you can go to learn how to start a business. But, only certain people are attracted the Academy’s message because of the way it is worded.
Those who are attracted to our message want to earn good money – whatever “good” means for them. But they also want to enjoy happiness and fulfillment.
Happiness and fulfillment means different things to different people. But for many of our members, it often means at least one of the following:
– Having a business that serves an important purpose, or fulfills a personal mission they are passionate about
– Having a business that provides them with enough free time and income so they can do more of what they enjoy, travel, or pursue their passions
– Being able to enjoy more quality time with the people they care about
– Stabilizing their finances or paying off debts so they can eliminate financial concerns
– Creating a secure future for themselves and their family
In essence, people around the world are attracted to our message and join our online training programs because they realize two important things:
a) We understand that they need more than money and “stuff” to be happy and enjoy life
b) Our beliefs about happiness and fulfillment are similar on some level, so we are alike
Meet customers or clients where they, and their level of awareness, are at this moment:
To make this explanation as simple as possible, I’ll start by saying that every person has a different level of awareness.
When it comes to your potential customers or clients, most will fall into three basic groups: [We’re only focusing on those who are NOT yet customers or clients in this example]
Group 1: Does NOT know they have a problem, need or desire – they are unaware
Group 2: Knows they have a problem, need or desire, but do NOT know there is a solution
Group 3: Knows they have a problem, need or desire, and are aware of solutions. But not your products or services
Although some of what I’m going to talk about for the next moment is a bit off topic, it’s vital because it’s marketing “How To” that will greatly boost your success.
One of the most important points I can make about marketing, in general, is that you must spend 70 – 80% of your time attracting the most qualified prospects.
The best prospects for this example are those who are most likely to buy NOW.
That means you must spend your time putting your message in front of Group 3. They already know they have a problem. And they already know that there are solutions.
Your primary focus with this group, then, is letting them know that YOU have the perfect solution for them. Because of their awareness level, you can do this by:
a) Advertising to them directly
b) Using content that positions your product or service as the perfect solution
Your next best prospect would be in Group 2 because they already know they have a problem. Your basic task now, then, is to present them with your perfect solution.
With this group, you want to deliver your message with a relevant piece of content to subtly tell them about your products or services. This is called “Content Marketing”.
Your content could be a:
– Blog post / Article
– Download such as a “report” or “white paper” [These are often called “Lead Magnets”]
If you’re not good with content or you don’t know how to create it, don’t sweat it.
Thanks to the convenience of the Internet, you can go to a site like Fiverr.com. Or, you can post a “gig” on craigslist to find someone to create it for you.
The great thing about using content to sell is that you do NOT have to create a lot of it. Many people create lots of crappy, 600 word posts just to fill their blog.
This is NOT smart!
Not only does low quality or bad content drive people away. But it’s a waste of time because no serious prospect [buyer] is ever going to read, watch or listen to it.
What’s the solution?
Focus on quality instead of quantity and do NOT rush. Truthfully, you only need one really good piece of content [at a time] so you can send traffic to it.
And here’s another super important tip…
When it comes to “selling” with content, you must remember that prospects are searching for a solution. But, most are NOT actively looking to buy a product or a service.
That stated, the content should present your product or service as the perfect solution. But it should NOT be salesy.
READ: Your content should NOT look, sound or read like an ad!
Example: Many of the Academy’s articles talk about “Enjoying Fulfillment and Financial Success.”
Yes, the readers are interested in the topic. That’s a given.
Even so, we NEVER start by talking about the Academy. And we NEVER make them feel like we’re pushing our online training programs.
Instead, we tell exciting stories about our members. And how they are enjoying wonderful fulfillment and fantastic financial success—because of the businesses our training programs have helped them to build.
By sharing these inspiring success stories, we subtly and indirectly demonstrate the effectiveness of our online training programs.
Then, once we’ve told our story in a way that is natural but compelling, we offer the reader a valuable gift to do three important things:
1) Introduce them to the Academy
2) Make them aware of our online trainings
3) Let them experience the Academy in a way that is friendly
Talk about things your customers or clients are familiar with, or can relate to:
If you remember, earlier I mentioned I use the word “USP” because people are familiar with it. And that I haven’t created my own word because it could confuse people.
Likewise, when developing your message and your USP, you must use language that your customers or clients are familiar with, can relate to, or understand.
Rather than using the Academy to illustrate why this rule is so important this time, here’s a good example with a cold beverage.
Let’s say you were driving across the state in 100 degree weather. Knowing the next store is over 50 miles away, you stop at a small gas station to get a cold drink.
You open the glass door where the cold beverages are and you see a drink you’re familiar with. And next to it is similar drink from another brand.
As you pick the other drink up to inspect it, you realize that it has a weird label and a funny name that you’ve never heard before.
And now that you’re looking around, you’re shocked to discover that just about everything in the store is a brand that you’ve never seen or heard of.
But it’s as hot as an oven outside. So you focus your attention back on the drinks in front of you.
You didn’t plan on buying the drink you’re familiar with. But it’s hot outside. So you’ve decided you’re going to get something while you’re there.
Given this scenario, do you:
a) Grab the drink you’re familiar with?
b) Take a chance on the strange drink with a weird label and a funny name?
If you’re like most people, you’re going to grab the one you’re familiar with because you’ve seen it hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
Why do most of us do this?
Because we like things we’re familiar with. And we often try to avoid things that we are uncertain about, or unfamiliar with.
Well, guess what?
The same holds true when it comes to your message and your USP!
The world is full of things we are unfamiliar with or uncertain about. So people who relate to, or are familiar with your message or USP, will naturally be attracted to you.
Not everyone will relate to your message and your USP, of course. But, this is exactly what you want because you can’t, and do not want, to do business with everyone.
Logically, it makes sense to only serve those who can benefit from what you offer. They are usually perfect for you. And you are usually perfect for them.
And when you have a business that KEEPS perfect customers or clients coming into your business, do you know what you have?
You have a business that brings you fulfillment AND financial success!
“People want riches; they need fulfillment.” – Robert Conklin
Now that we’ve covered some of the most important basics, let’s get into the “How To” of developing your USP.
In the simplest sense, a USP tells potential customers or clients:
1) How you [or your business] are different or better than your competitors
2) What you DO different or better than competitors
3) Why they should do business with you instead of someone else
As a marketer, I always look for other company’s USP’s. One thing I’ve learned is that many companies use a USP to appear different or better than others. But often times, they are not.
Take toothpaste for instance.
Every brand pitches some unique benefit or special formula as a key selling point. But, if you turn the boxes around and read the ingredients, most of them are basically the same.
How can that be possible?
Simple, in most cases, there is NO difference. So the manufacturers have to create a way to make consumers think there’s a difference.
Some add sparkles or color. Some put a dentist on their commercial. Some use attractive models. And some reference studies that “prove” their toothpaste does something special.
But other than their marketing pitch, there really isn’t a difference.
Is it false advertising?
As long as they’re not making bogus claims, technically, it isn’t.
Is it misleading?
I think it is. And so do other people once they find out. Which is why you want to find or create ways to genuinely be better than everyone else.
And to give you an idea of how you can do that, here’s another quick story…
When we first started, the Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Academy wasn’t our name. It was actually SuperstarUniversity.com.
Back then, we were teaching basic success principles along with some business training. But, we didn’t really have a “voice” or a consistent message yet.
Once we discovered who our real audience was, we gradually changed our name to The Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Academy.
Then, we fine-tuned our message to “Enjoy Fulfillment and Financial Success” because it appealed to our audience and what THEY wanted to achieve.
The Lesson: Fine-tuning our message and USP was a process that took place over time.
Now, if you’re just starting or you’re still in the planning phase, you want to have a USP [even if it is just for now] so you can distinguish yourself from any competitors.
Then, as you serve more customers or clients and you begin to understand them better, you can make changes as necessary.
To help you get a better idea of who your perfect customers or clients are, here are three questions you should think about: [some of the sub-questions may or may not apply]
1) Who is my perfect customer or client?
– What is their age group?
– What are their specific interests?
– What is their education level?
– Where do they live?
– How much money do they earn per year?
– What do they read or watch?
– What type of music do they listen to?
– Where do they shop?
2) What are my customers or clients really buying?
– Step 5 will show you how to uncover their secret desires and motivations
3) What is my message?
– How can I say what I want to say so my perfect customers or clients: a) quickly understand what I’m offering. Or b) what my product or service will do for them?
– Answer this question only AFTER you have answered the first two questions.
Once you have a handle on who your perfect customer or client is and what they really want, you can use these (10) questions to create your USP:
1) Do I have a spectacular promise? [That I can actually deliver on!]
2) Does my product have special features? [Does it DO something others do not?]
3) Do I offer unique or specific benefits my customers or clients want or need?
4) Do I have a proprietary, unusual or secret process I use?
5) Do I own or have access to exclusive patents, licenses or rights?
6) Do I have impressive credentials, certifications, associations or memberships?
7) Do I include extra services or “add-ons” that increase my value or desirability? [Warranties, spare parts, accessories, etc?]
8) Do I have a personal or “brand” story that impacts people on an emotional level? [Was your business started because of something that happened or an experience?]
9) Do I have a special cause or charity that my business supports?
10) Do I have a name that people like or remember? [Psycho Donuts]
Step 4: Your One Page Plan of Action (Business Plan)
Your simple POA should answer the 10 questions below to be most effective. Click or tap here now to download your [PDF] One Page POA template
1) What product(s) or service(s) do I offer presently?
– What complimentary product(s) or service(s) can I offer in the future?
2) Who are the best prospects to buy my product(s) or service(s) now?
– What other customers, clients or markets can I sell to in the future?
3) What other problem(s) can I solve for my customers or clients?
– Where have my competitors dropped the ball or become lazy?
4) How much are my competitors charging?
– Can I add [real or perceived] value in some way to justify a premium price?
5) Can I offer more ways for customers or clients to pay?
– Terms or financing?
6) Are there any additional products or services I can easily offer at the point of purchase?
– Up-sells, down-sells, or cross-sells?
7) How are my customers or clients finding out about my product(s) or service(s) presently?
– What other marketing or sales approaches can we use?
8) How many sales are we striving for in the next:
3 months ________
6 months ________
12 months ________
24 months ________
36 months ________
9) How much revenue and profits will that translate to, roughly?
10) What challenges can I foresee, if any? And how will I overcome them?
Step 5: Start Attracting Perfect Customers or Clients
So far, I’ve talk about the three levels of awareness that your customers will most likely be at.
Now that you have a better idea of who they are, I want to talk about how to identify and speak to them most effectively.
[Now that we’re talking about marketing, I’ll be using the words “customers” or “prospects”.]
Starting at the top, to communicate effectively and influence a potential customer’s buying decision, you must intimately understand these (3) details about them:
1) Who your perfect customers are, and how to target them in a crowd.
2) What your perfect customers are really buying. [Their secret motivations]
3) Why your perfect customers want or need your product or service. [Their purpose]
Who Your Perfect Customers Are, and How to Target Them in A Crowd.
A “prospect” is a person or business that is likely to buy your product or service because they meet specific criteria, or can benefit from what you offer.
A perfect customer, on the other hand, is a person or business that actually buys your product or service.
While some prospects may purchase your product or service eventually, you want to focus your greatest efforts and marketing dollars on those who are most likely to buy NOW.
This means your perfect customer is a person or business that:
a) Already has the need or desire for your product or service and doesn’t need to be convinced.
There may be many prospects that need or desire your product or service, but want someone to convince them. If you can persuade them with a nudge, great.
If not, they’re not the best prospect to target as your primary market.
b) Has the money to buy your product or service right NOW and can afford it.
In your market, there are prospects that want or need your products or services but don’t have the money. [They can’t afford what you offer.]
Similarly, there are prospects that have the money to buy now, technically speaking. But cannot make a purchase because their funds or budget have been allocated for something else.
c) Is ready to buy and is not “shopping” or planning for a ”future” purchase.
Today, we’re in the information age so doing research is normal prior to making an important purchase. Trouble is, we must be able to distinguish those who intend to buy from those who are merely wishing, hoping, dreaming and wasting our valuable time.
Translation: Burning time with poorly qualified prospects is like burning up your money.
What Your Perfect Customers Are Really Buying.
We all know that humans are emotional beings.
Because of this fact, we do many things based upon how we feel. While we may not always realize it, many of us make purchases because of the feeling a product or service gives us.
Or, we may also buy something because of how we DESIRE to feel.
Contrary to what most men believe, women do not buy cosmetics because they want to paint their face. Instead, they’re buying beauty, confidence and a FEELING of being attractive.
This is why cosmetics commercials always showcase beautiful, confident and attractive women to display their products.
Likewise, an expensive sports car is not a rational purchase. It is an emotional one.
People who buy them want to enjoy the rush of the acceleration. Or the prestige of ownership. They are also chasing a FEELING.
If you sell to businesses [B2B], realize that even corporate executives and those in the purchasing departments of the largest companies make emotional decisions.
They may not want a specific feeling for their personal benefit. But many make decisions to impress their boss To avoid losing money. Or to solve a problem that is causing stress or turmoil.
In essence, you need to know what your prospects are buying—their secret motivation—so you can demonstrate that your product or service meets those needs specifically.
When you do this effectively, you are selling exactly what your prospect wants to buy!
Translation: They’re ready to pay with cash, check or a credit card NOW.
Why Your Perfect Customers Want or Need Your Product or Service.
A guy who goes down to the hardware store and buys a drill doesn’t necessarily want a drill. He wants to make a hole and the drill is the tool he uses to make it.
In other words, understanding WHY your prospect wants or needs your product or service means knowing the purpose for their purchase. Or, what their purchase will be used for.
When you know what their purpose is, you can sell to those needs specifically.
Translation: They’re ready to pay with cash, check or a credit card NOW.
Once you understand these three things about your perfect customer, your next step is to position your product or service as the only viable solution that can:
a) Solve their # 1 problem
b) Provide them with the results they want faster, easier or at a lower cost [You’re selling speed, convenience and / or a greater value]
When you know what your perfect customers are actually buying – their secret motivation. And why they’re buying it – their purpose – you can convincingly demonstrate:
1) How your product or service is the best solution for their specific needs
2) What your product or service does better than the competition
3) Why your product or service is essential for them to have or use now
Educating your prospects on the benefits of your product or service not only showcases your expertise and positions you as an authority in your industry. But it also adds value to their business or life depending on who you serve and what you offer.
Adding value to your prospect’s business or life before they pay you any money is critical because it clearly demonstrates:
a) You are willing to invest in them first, before any money changes hands
b) You’re committed to meeting their personal or specific needs
c) You genuinely want to help them to enjoy the greatest benefits or outcome possible
This type of education not only establishes a higher degree of trust with prospects. But it also sets the stage for a long term buying relationship because we buy from people we like and trust.
To effectively demonstrate how your product or service is superior or of a higher quality than your competitor’s—so prospects flock to YOU—your sales propositions and marketing messages must be well structured, convincing, and most importantly, they must be consistent.
This means your advertising, your website, your brochures or literature, your business cards, your employees, and your personal interactions with your customers all convey the same message about your mission, your dedication, and your commitment to serving their needs.
In other words, you must educate prospects strategically and consistently and not randomly.
Some of the key points you need to be very specific about when communicating with your prospects include:
1) What you say: choosing the words you use carefully
2) How you say what you say: demonstrate you understand their hopes, dreams, thoughts, feelings, fears, problems and needs
3) Using testimonials as success stories or social proof
4) Providing supporting data, graphs, or charts if your customers are sophisticated
5) Employing the use of visuals: videos, images or illustrations whenever possible
When you educate and sell your prospects strategically, you are not only doing what 99% of your competitors do not know how to do.
But you’re also setting the criteria your prospects will use to make their buying decision at the same time!
Translation: You’re laying down the rules of the game and greatly increasing the likelihood that prospects will buy from you and NOT from someone else!
Example: I was recently in the market to buy a car for my daughter. I wanted a vehicle that was reliable, good on gas and that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to repair when necessary.
Exactly what every parent wants for their teenager.
I did my research online, went to a few dealerships and looked at 15 different cars. After a few days, I ended up at a Mazda dealer on the other side of town.
Before I even got into the car for a test drive, the salesman was explaining what the SkyActive Technology was. Why it worked so well. And how it enhanced the performance and reliability of the car.
After hearing his explanation, watching a video, and seeing documentation to support the facts, I was SOLD on buying my daughter a Mazda 6.
Sure, Toyota’s and Honda’s are great cars—maybe even better than a Mazda 6.
Even though this may be true, none of the other dealerships took the time to explain why their technology was better [than their competitors] or how it would benefit me.
That Mazda dealership ultimately got my business [and my money] because they were the only ones to strategically educate me in a way that clearly demonstrated how and why their car was the best choice for me.
Is having a USP [unique selling proposition] selling strategically?
While a USP is critical to distinguish your business or practice from a competitor’s, using education to sell strategically goes far beyond simply having one.
Assuming you understand your customers and their needs intimately, educating and selling strategically also means doing the following:
» Openly and honestly sharing any “insider secrets” your competition wouldn’t want your prospects to know
» Telling your prospects what to look for or what to avoid when choosing a product or service provider… even if it isn’t you they ultimately buy from
» Giving your prospects questions to ask other product or service providers so they can get exactly what they need and avoid problems or scams
» Exploring all of the options that are available to solve your prospect’s problem or meet their needs if it is beneficial and will help them
You can use this checklist to audit all of your marketing materials, lead generation tools, and sales propositions.
[Your “materials” and “tools” include your website, brochures, online ads, offline ads, direct mail pieces, sales letters, etc. Basically, anything you use to communicate with potential customers.]
Do your marketing materials, lead generation tools and sales propositions:
1) Clearly emphasize the TOP 3-5 things your prospects need to: a) Make a buying decision, or b) Take an action you want them to take?
This is critical because almost every prospect who comes into contact with one of your “tools” will make an on-the-spot decision as to whether they want to do business with you or not.
Since you want the greatest return for your marketing efforts, you must ensure that you are providing them with the most important reasons why they should buy from you. Take a specific action. Or contact you immediately.
If you do not emphasize these reasons promptly and convincingly, your prospects will move on and give their business [and money] to a competitor.
__ Yes __ No
2) Educate your prospects in a way that is entertaining and / or memorable?
The most effective marketing messages are ones that we remember. They don’t necessarily have to be funny like the Taco Bell dog.
But, they do need to make a lasting impact on your prospect so YOU come to mind when they’re ready to buy.
In today’s globally competitive marketplace, your message must be memorable to acquire “mindshare”. If it is not, your message will be quickly forgotten or completely ignored.
__ Yes __ No
3) Position your product or service as the ONLY viable solution?
In every industry, there is always some kind of direct or indirect competition. Thanks to the Internet and social media, prospects have an abundance of choices to meet their needs or fulfill their desires.
For this reason, you must ensure your prospect understands that you offer something special, exclusive, or of a unique quality they cannot get anywhere else.
__ Yes __ No
4) Compel a prospective customer to stop what they’re doing and pay attention?
Everywhere you look, you see some kind of advertising. Because of the number of marketing messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis, most of us have learned to tune them out.
With this being true, it has created the necessity for you to: a) capture your prospect’s attention immediately. And b) hold it so you can demonstrate WHY your product or service is superior. And WHY you are the clear choice.
__ Yes __ No
5) Answer your prospect’s unspoken, but burning question: “Why should I listen to you?”
To be effective on ANY level or even be acknowledged, your sales propositions and marketing messages MUST answer this question quickly as prospects do not give attention to anything they do not believe will be important to them.
Failure to answer this question swiftly and effectively means your message will be overlooked and some, or most, of your marketing efforts [and dollars] wasted.
__ Yes __ No
6) Emphasize the BENEFITS of your product or service so your prospect “gets it” QUICKLY?
W.I.I.F.M. is almost every prospects favorite radio station. This classic acronym stands for “What Is In It For Me”. And is the other critical question you must answer immediately to captivate and hold your prospect’s attention.
Example: The iPod was a BIG hit because the benefit was clear: As Steve Jobs put it, it was “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
If your prospects have to figure out WHY they need your product or service, you’re rolling the dice and taking the chance that they may not understand.
If they do not understand, they will NOT make a purchase or take the action you want them to take.
__ Yes __ No
7) Demonstrate how your product or service will: a) Solve your prospect’s # 1 problem. b) Meet their specific needs. Or, c) Help them to attain a result they want?
Even messages that are funny or memorable will not have an impact unless your prospect understands HOW your product or service will help them to get what they want.
To be financially profitable for you—which is ultimately the point of your marketing efforts—you must ensure that your prospect understands HOW your product or service will provide the result or benefit they want or need.
__ Yes __ No
8) Make EACH person feel like you’re addressing them personally and speaking to them DIRECTLY?
Although you may advertise to hundreds or thousands of people at once, each person receives [sees, hears or reads] your message individually.
When people are spoken to directly, they feel compelled to pay attention.
When they are spoken to as part of a crowd or a group, on the other hand, they do NOT give the message the same level of importance.
Only by ensuring that your message is formatted so it speaks directly to a prospect [on a personal level] can you make certain that it’ll be received, understood and acted upon.
Example: There are thousands of people around the world reading what you are reading right now. Yet, each word is written as if I were speaking to only you.
It speaks to you [personally] as if you were a friend and I’ve known you for years. You must do the same if you want your prospects to pay attention.
__ Yes __ No
9) Make your prospects think “I want that!” or “I need that!”?
One of the goals of an advertisement or a promotion is to induce a prospect to take an action. Depending on your business, it may be a purchase. Or, it could be the next step in your sales process.
When you have an offer that: a) provides irresistible benefits your prospect wants or needs. b) offers a spectacular value. Or, c) solves your prospect’s # 1 problem, it creates a chemical reaction in their brain that stimulates desire.
When you can do this like a pro, you are hitting their “hot button”. Only by hitting your prospect’s “hot button” can you persuade them to think “I want that!” or “I need that!”
The better you are at triggering this impulse, the more high quality customers you will attract.
__ Yes __ No
10) Position your product or service so it is valued at the HIGHEST possible level in your prospect’s mind?
Recently, I was browsing through an upscale business magazine when I came across an advertisement that said “Make $30,000.00 in 30 days, guaranteed!”
Realizing this ad was odd for a magazine of this caliber, I was curious so I thought I’d check it out.
Upon further investigation, I discovered it was an advertisement for a type of business that really could [in 2-3 years time] produce this level of income.
The problem was that the ad made a legitimate business seem like one of those “stay at home and stuff envelopes in your underwear” schemes that never work.
There are two types of problems when it comes to positioning your product or service: 1) a claim that seems too good to be true. Which makes it hard to believe [like that ad]. And 2) a fantastic product or service that is cheapened due to a poor ad or promotion.
__ Yes __ No
Bonus Step: The most critical rule in the “Information” age:
Today, we live in a society that is driven by information, data and various forms of media. This being the case, there’s one critical marketing rule that I absolutely must share with you:
You want to offer enough information and value so someone can benefit from it or get a great result. But not so much that they begin to feel overwhelmed.
This is what many call “information overload.”
When people feel this way, they often end up doing nothing because they get stuck processing everything they took in.
That stated, we’re going to finish up here so you can take what we’ve given you and get a successful start.
But, before we say goodbye for now, I want to give you something special to make your success easier and more enjoyable.
For a limited time, we’re offering our new and exciting Quick Start Online Training Program as a VIP gift.
Built from the ground-up to help you succeed at a pace that is convenient for you, this fantastic training is set up so you can complete it on your schedule.
The Quick Start Online Training Program includes:
(4) Online Training Videos:
Video # 1: Your Fulfillment And Financial Success Starts Here!
Video # 2: Success Isn’t An Accident… It’s A Mindset YOU Can Acquire!
Video # 3: How To Have A Successful Full Or Part Time Business That Provides You With Fulfillment AND Financial Success
Video # 4: The Academy’s “Secret Sauce” That Puts You on The Fastest, Safest, And Easiest Path To Fulfillment and Financial Success
(3) Quick Start Success Guides:
Success Guide # 1: How Successful Entrepreneurs Build Businesses That Provide Them With Free Time And Financial Success… And How You Can Too
Success Guide # 2: How To Earn $35.00 – $50.00 Per Hour With A Full Or Part Time Business
Success Guide # 3: 8 Simple Marketing Tactics That Attract Perfect Customers 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week, Even While You Sleep
Some of what you’ll discover in this amazing online training includes:
1) How 4 very well-known, successful people have used natural abilities [that every person has] to create their fantastic success… and how YOU can use them too!
2) Why you do NOT need a lot of money to start a successful business… and how you can start quickly even if you have a tiny budget [I started my first business with $20.00!]
3) How the Academy’s “Secret Sauce” KEEPS perfect customers or clients coming into your business day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year
4) The fastest and simplest way to get UN-STUCK so you can start moving towards fulfillment and financial success as quickly as possible
5) Why some people are successful and enjoy a much easier life while the majority struggle or are just making ends meet… and how you can start enjoying the “Good Life” too [whatever the “Good Life” means for you]
6) 5 silent, but alarming, trends that are changing the way businesses operate worldwide and rapidly eliminating job security for millions of people
[Hint: The initials of the 5 worldwide trends are G.I.A.A.A]
7) Why being “employee minded” can keep us stuck for our entire lifetime… and how to easily shift into a successful mindset so you can start moving towards the fulfillment and financial success that you want
8) The strange and unusual reason why many of us experience frustration, financial difficulties or end up feeling STUCK in spite of our best efforts… and how to fix the problem so success becomes natural for you
[Hint: Successful people get rid of these.]
9) Why ordinary “goal setting” is almost never enough to KEEP us motivated… and how you can kick your drive and motivation into high gear so you can FINALLY enjoy the success you deserve
[Hint: It is NOT all in your mind!]
10) How a full or part time business can allow you to LEGALLY and ethically pay less taxes so you can keep more of the money you earn
[Hint: The most successful people have known this secret for more than 150 years!]
11) Why 80% of small business owners do NOT enjoy the success, fulfillment and lifestyle they want… and the easiest ways to avoid the struggles, problems and headaches that cause their agonizing frustrations
[Hint: Most business owners do NOT figure these out until they’re getting everything they DO NOT want!]
12) How to have a successful business that serves an important purpose, supports a cause you’re passionate about, or has the greatest impact on the lives of others
13) One simple question that can significantly boost your income
14) The ONE secret that successful people have talked about and written about for more than 100 years. But have NEVER revealed how to use to become successful
15) How to operate 10x’s smarter so you do NOT have to work longer and harder
16) [LIVE FOOTAGE] Steve Jobs’ advice for success when you feel uncertain or are not sure what to do next
17) The behind-the-scenes story of how I went from broke and unemployed to a Dot-com millionaire in the trucking industry in less than a handful of years
[Hint: I tell the exciting story about how I used the Academy’s “Secret Sauce” to do business with some of the biggest companies in the world… and YES, you definitely know who these companies are!]
18) How the Academy’s “Secret Sauce” has ALREADY transformed thousands of people’s lives worldwide… and how it will help YOU to live and enjoy your dream!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why are you offering this amazing online training as a gift? What’s the catch?
A. There is not catch.
The truth is that a percentage of the people who take the training decide to become members. They realize that we can help them to enjoy the things they want much easier and faster than they could doing everything alone.
Q. Will there be any high pressure sales tactics used after I join the Quick Start Online Training Program?
A. Absolutely not! And here’s the important reason why…
This training is being promoted worldwide.
Because we can only allow so many members into the Academy at any given time, the number of spaces available is limited. [Spaces are filled on a first come, first served basis.]
Those who cannot be accepted into the Academy may be put on a waiting list until additional spaces are available.
Q. How much is the Quick Start Online Training Program going to cost me… really?
A. For now, we’re offering the training as a VIP gift so there is no cost… really.
But, like all of the Academy’s training programs, eventually there will be tuition.
Q. If the Academy is going to charge tuition for the training at some point, why are you offering it as a gift right now?
A. Glad you asked!
We’re currently having our Superstar Challenge.
The Superstar Challenge is an exciting worldwide event we hold exclusively for Academy “insiders”. [This online event is NOT advertised to the public.]
But, unlike most challenges, you’re NOT competing with anyone else and you’re NOT doing it alone.
Instead, you’re competing against yourself to have the business you’ve always dreamed of.
And to help you succeed, we’re giving each person [maybe YOU!] a VIP scholarship for our $997.00 Accelerator Online Training Program so they can:
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2) Turn their passion or idea into a successful full or part time business. [The training programs provided help participants to choose a product or service if they need a business idea.]
3) Earn their desired level of income so they can enjoy financial prosperity and security.
4) Achieve greater personal and / or professional success.
5) Live and enjoy their dream and “Good Life”. [Whatever that means for them.]
The Superstar Challenge is an exclusive program that has been hugely successful in the past. Because of the success, we’ve decided to roll it out again.
Spaces are limited for this exciting program. Click or tap here now to find out how you can participate.
Or, if you’re not quite ready for The Superstar Challenge…