I’ve had some service professionals — speakers, coaches, trainers, consultants — ask me what they can do to get their message out to a wider audience and start impacting more lives in 2021.
It’s a good question because for a lot of people (including myself for a time), that can be a real confusing enterprise. There are so many tools for getting your message heard — speaking, networking, podcasting and social media just to name a few — that it can be overwhelming to figure out what’s the next best step is for getting your name out there and securing more paying clients in the process.
Let’s talk about a few steps you can take to move forward.
Step 1: Create a clear, consistent marketing message
Generally speaking, there are not a lot of absolutes in business. But when it comes to getting your message out to a wider audience, creating a clear, consistent marketing message is non-negotiable.
Why? Because if you can’t clearly articulate who you are and how your product or service can solve a pain point, how will people know they need your solution? The short answer — they won’t.
Here are four questions to help you get started on your clear, consistent marketing message.
- What is my true product? In other words, what is that people are really buying from me? For me, what people are buying is not my coaching, but what my coaching will help them get — namely a wider audience and more paying clients. Think in terms of the result your service provides and that will get you going.
- What is my value proposition? In other words, why should people want to work with you specifically? Again, using myself as an example, people have told me it’s because they value my 17+ years of experience as a coach, along with my collaborative, partner style approach. Not all coaches are like that. And while that’s not a good or bad thing, it is what makes me different.
- What challenges are they facing? What problem(s) is really frustrating your buying market? I’ve had people say they’re frustrated because they’re networking, blogging and even thinking about doing a podcast, but with so many choices as to what to do next, they’d like some guidance as to the best way to proceed.
- Who is my buying market? A buying market is similar to a target market since it represents a group of people who are most likely to have a problem that you as a service professional can solve. So let’s say you’re a weight loss health professional. Who is most likely to need your service? The answer is anyone who feels overweight. They might not be obese, but perhaps they want to get into better shape. Obviously, it depends on your business, and there isn’t a right or wrong answer per se, but it is important to figure who is most likely to want what you have.
Step 2: Streamline your platforms
Alright, so now that you’ve got your message nailed down, the next up is to streamline the number of platforms you use to two or three. This can be counterintuitive because most people think “expanding your reach” should be about getting onto more platforms. While that is the eventual goal, I’ve found that generally speaking, scaling back to two or three platforms — and being more consistent with them — is a lot more successful.
Even if you just have a Facebook and LinkedIn presence, that’s a terrific start! Focus on building those out — and maybe a Facebook Group later — and you should be good to go.
Step 3: Make it easy to produce good content
This is the overwhelming part for most people, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In my experience, most service professionals don’t have an ideas problem, they have an organization of ideas problem. Meaning if we can better organize the ideas you already have, and make the actual process of creating content easier, then “getting out there” doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
First off, you’ll want to go all-in with video. When we talk about content, be thinking in terms of three to five min videos that you can quickly produce on your phone.
Second, you’ll need a place to collect your ideas so that when you’re ready to shoot some video, you won’t have to waste a bunch of time trying to figure out what you want to say. I have a content folder where I keep post-it notes and loose-leaf paper with different ideas. That way I have everything in one place and when the creative mood strikes.
You’ll also want to stake out a few “go-to” places in your office/house where the lighting is nice and set up is minimal. For me, that’s my office, my backyard, when I’m out walking/taking a hike, in my car, my kitchen and my living room. I like options, and those are spots where I already know what the lightning will look like.
Getting your message out to a wider audience doesn’t have to be a big deal but it can absolutely feel that way sometimes. But when you have a plan and a clear message, you’ll find the process much more manageable to accomplish.