Last week I was given an exciting opportunity…
I was invited to record a training webinar (my first!) with my friend and colleague Scott Anderson.
It was for his new program Fast Agency Scale – where he coaches growing ad agencies and teaches them creative ways to find more time, better clients and more profits.
(Scott’s done all this himself, as you would hope from a program leader.
He built his agency up to 7-figures before cashing out happily in 2014.)
It was a real privilege to be interviewed about a specific part of my process by someone as smart and experienced as Scott.
A few short years ago I couldn’t have imagined I’d be teaching what I do to a bunch of successful biz-folks on the other side of the world…
Part of the exciting entrepreneurial ride we’re all on, I guess.
Anyway, I mention it because why and how this happened are evidence of Selling Unique principles in action.
First, the WHY:
Scott found me a year ago when he saw an ad I made for a research process I offer clients as a way of learning more about their target audience…
…it’s an effective way of uncovering your ideal customer’s hidden motivations, fears and desires.
He was interested in how we could work together to deliver these kinds of messaging insights to some of his own clients.
Over the course of a couple of phone calls and a few emails, I was able to go deeper into what I personally bring to this process (since it’s not something I created myself, and plenty of others use a similar process.
Where things get interesting in these situations is when you make processes you’ve learned unique to YOU, so clients choose you over ‘the rest’.)
This gave me a series of opportunities to demonstrate – always the best form of ‘selling’ – the value of working with me to Scott…
Because at this point, everything you do is marketing:
Your communication style, your interest in and focus on the prospect’s problems, your attention to detail etc…
So I was able to leave him with a clear picture of what he’d get from me bringing my skills and personality to his course.
This didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took almost a year from our first contact.
But that’s ok when you’re in business for the long run.
I was able to position myself as an authority who would bring something different to the table that Scott wouldn’t have got with anyone else…
…even though I know for a fact there are ‘slicker’, more polished and certainly much more experienced practitioners out there.
But by sticking to my principles, I was able to make a strong case for why working with me was a good idea.
(Funny how stubbornness and focus rather than chasing the latest shiny object bring what you want closer, huh?
But that’s a topic for another day…)
Through demonstration and strategic content, I was able to ‘sell’ Scott on my abilities and gain a new project partner by focusing the conversation on my unique value.
We’ll take a look at how you can do the same in a moment…
Next up, the HOW:
Scott hypothesised that this research process would be useful to his Scale Simplifier program attendees (small marketing agencies looking to scale faster) as a way of positioning themselves to potential clients.
He believed it would allow them to do deeper, more targeted research into the markets of the prospects they would be pitching to, and – in his experience – this would give them a significant competitive advantage.
By following this research survey process, either with my help or assigning it in-house, they could demonstrate their initiative and working style to potential clients looking for a new agency.
(NOTE: creative-agency-land works a little differently to most direct response or entrepreneurial markets, where we rarely if ever have to do spec work or ‘pitch’ for new business in response to a lead…
But that just shows how important it is to create a clear, distinct impression of what your biz uniquely brings to the table, whatever the market.)
The steps you take and tools you use to do this can vary a lot – there’s no set formula for selling unique.
But one essential component is demonstrating: with articles, podcasting, webinars, live events, ad funnels, whatever…
(How you do this is completely up to you – play to your strengths!)
…the fact that you do it at all is what generates results.
With that in mind, here’s the takeaway to attracting your ideal clients/customers this way:
- Think deeply about what your ideal customer wants, but even deeper about WHY they want (you love research right? GREAT!)
- Define your product or service in terms of how you can help them achieve that in a unique way (yes, look at what the competition is doing but don’t obsess over it)
- Demonstrate how you do that in a way that plays to your strengths (hate being on camera? That’s ok, you don’t have to be on video, there are other ways to demonstrate your authority. Don’t blindly follow trends)
- Work on getting your message in front of the right people, and on communicating it as personally as possible (no, you don’t need a huge reach or a giant ad budget – you can get creative when you don’t need everyone’s attention)
- Refine and repeat (it’s never ‘finished’)
Why complicate things?
If you like the idea and want to get started, this might be of interest.