While I was on the road for 7 weeks, all the time spent in airports gave me an opportunity to read a lot more than usual.
One of the few email newsletters I still get is from Ryan Deiss, and he recently put together a great series on the biggest lessons he’s learned while building out Digital Marketer over the years.
Things weren’t always easy for them. For many years, while everyone thought they were making a ton of cash, they weren’t actually taking a lot of profit from the business.
But when Ryan asked himself a few key questions, he and his partner, Pery Belcher, were able to turn the business around.
Big Question #1: What specific value do you bring to the market?
If you want money, create something of value and sell it for some amount that is substantially less than the value it brings.
It is up to YOU to give them what THEY want. That’s how business works.
Let’s look at it another way…
“What can you offer your customers in exchange for their money?”
Don’t answer this question with a list of features. Instead, answer this question describing how your customers will be better off as a result of doing business with you.
(That last sentence was a biggie…I suggest reading it again.)
• What will they have tomorrow, that they don’t have today because they invested in your product or service? (Conversely, what negative thing won’t they have tomorrow that they currently have today because they invested in your product or service?)
• How will they feel when they’re done consuming your product? How will your product or service alter their emotional state for the better?
• What will their average day be like after they have consumed your product or service? Will they have considerably more “good days” than “bad days?” Will the story they tell about themselves be happier now that they’ve experienced what you have to offer?
These are the questions you must be able to answer so that you can clearly articulate the value that you bring.
These are the questions you must be able to answer if you want to show the world that you DESERVE to succeed.
I’m serious, right now answer this question:
What specific value do you bring to the market?
By answering this question, you’ll be able to articulate the value you deliver to the market, which is the first ESSENTIAL thing every business must have.
And speaking of the market…
Big Question #2: Who do you serve?
I’m going to make a suggestion, and if you take this suggestion to heart, I truly believe it will give you an edge over your competition.
The fact is, most businesses define themselves by the products they sell.
I believe this is a HUGE mistake.
You should define your business by the people (market) you serve.
A company that gets this is Apple.
Apple doesn’t define themselves as a “computer company.”
Instead, Apple understands they serve a very specific type of person. And because of this realization, they are able to sell their market computers, and music devices, and phones and watches, and in the future…
…cars (and who knows what else?)
The point is, Apple is MARKET-CENTRIC…
For you to pull this off, you must know WHO your customers are, or you might risk listening to the wrong people.
(If you’re unsure of who your customers are, where they’re hanging out, and what they actually want you to sell them, you can start to drill down into those answers with our Customer Avatar Worksheet.)
So right now, answer this question:
Who do you serve?
You can pivot your business model, product line, even branding all you like as long as you stay true and “dance with the ones that brung you.”
But if you ever decide to completely pivot into a new market, just know that you’re effectively launching a brand new business.
Great advice, thanks Ryan.
1) Identify the value you bring to the market.
2) Know your market.
3) Serve them with more value.
By the way, if you’re not reading Ryan’s Digital Marketer articles, make the smarter decision you’ll make today and go over here and get started.
PS – More fantastic advice from one of my virtual mentors…
“Spend the first 90 minutes of your day on your #1 priority.” – Robin Sharma…
This is the 80-20 rule: 20% of your day will give you 80% of your results. Plan your days. Block your time. Avoid email. Delegate the trivial. Concentrate on what counts