She explained that she had been following a business expert on Twitter for years. Then today, he suddenly aged by around 15 years!
15 years older in just 24 hours
Of course, the guy is just a day older today, than he was yesterday. The thing is, he’d been using the same photo on his online profiles for the past decade and, apparently, it was a few years old when he started using it. Yesterday, he decided to update his profile photo and like all of us, he looks very different than he did back in the late 1990′s.
He has told his Twitter followers he needed to change the photo, as he was tired of people not knowing who he was, when he met them face to face for the first time.
The issue this guy now has, is that his brand is strongly associated with an image, which no longer exists. By failing to invest in a professional logo and failing to update his profile photo every year or two, he’s facing a totally unnecessary challenge.
We all get older
However, until recently, business owners were connected to people who either saw them pretty regularly or who were seeing them for the first time.
In the digital age, we are represented online by photographs, which are a snapshot of how we looked when the photo was taken. If these are seldom updated, we risk facing the same problem the business expert now has.
Keep people in the picture
If you do not already, consider updating your profile photos and avatars every year or so.
Even better, invest in a professional logo and use the logo alongside your picture. This allows you to change your photo, with the continuity of your branding intact.
Here’s a quick tip, to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s all about a word you use, which is negatively impacting how people feel about your business.
That word is… change!
People are hard-wired to fear change.
We know that change, good or bad, is a source of stress. Even something as positive as the change that comes from getting married, buying a new home or setting off for a week in the sun, is a cause of stress.
Because of the negative way people feel when confronted with change, it makes sense to remove the word from your marketing. Don’t worry, I am going to give you a massively more powerful, motivating alternative!
Improve rather than change
Whenever possible, use the word improve, rather than change.Improve, is a positive word. It’s an attractive word too, because we are always looking for something better.
For example, look how the phrase below becomes far more powerful, when change is replaced with improve.
“This copywriting tip will change your marketing results.”
“This copywriting tip will improve your marketing results.”
Your prospective clients or customers fear change, but want things to improve. So, stop offering them what they fear and give them what they want!
Your next 10 clients will usually be a lot like the previous 10. They will pay you a similar fee, have similar requirements and expect a similar level of service too.
That’s great news if you already attract high value, high profit clients. It’s not such great news, if you tend to attract fee sensitive, average clients.
How to build a highly valuable client list
If you want to build a more valuable client list, start today by getting specific about the type of clients you want to work with. When you have done that, consider the following:
What level of service do these higher quality clients expect? Do some research. Find out what they want from a provider in your industry.
Next, build a level of service, which over-delivers on what they expect. By exceeding their expectations, you will have a vastly more powerful proposition to offer them — something that will earn their attention and interest.
Are you prepared to execute on this strategy, in order to build a massively more valuable client base? Nothing I have mentioned so far is difficult to do. However, putting it into play requires courage. It means leaving the failing familiar.
As service providers, we have the freedom to choose who we work with. Deliberately selecting the kind of clients we want, in advance, is the key to building a highly valuable client base.
Leigh asked me a great question yesterday. She wanted to know why her newsletter, which has over 5000 subscribers, generates very few client inquiries for her consultancy.
As Leigh was making a mistake, common to lots of newsletter publishers and bloggers, I thought I’d share my answer with you.
Building your list
The root cause of Leigh’s problem, is that she is doing everything possible to build her list. This is the mantra of pretty-much every content marketing guru and newsletter / blogging course out there.
It’s also total, utter bullshit.
If the purpose of your newsletter or blog is to generate business leads from prospective clients, then your focus should be on quality, not quantity. It’s about building meaningful, deep relationships with the right people, not shallow relationships, with a wide, vague readership.
For example: If you have just 50 engaged subscribers, who value your newsletter or blog and are a perfect fit for your services, you have a valuable list.
If, like Leigh, you have 5000 poorly-targeted people on a list, who you gained using list building techniques, you’re wasting your time and money.
An alternative approach
Get out of the list building mindset. Stop chasing the wrong numbers.
If you want to enjoy better response rates from your marketing messages, you need to know 2 things.
Your prospective clients have never had so many people, fighting for their attention. Whether they are at work, at home or on the move, their computers, phones and tablets are feeding them endless notifications.
You need to understand how they cope with all those messages. They actually do the same as you — They filter out the noise and focus their attention on those they can trust.
So, adding to the noise is not going to help you.
Earning the trust of your marketplace is a far better strategy.
Here’s something for you to think about
If building trust was the foundation of your marketing messages, how would it improve the way your marketplace feels about you and your business?
Here are some proven examples, of how to be anovernight success.
Angry Birds creator Rovio became an overnight success, after 51 less successful games, 8 years of hard work and almost going bankrupt.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling, became an overnight success in 1997… though she started writing fantasy stories as a child, more than 20 years earlier.
The Beatles become an overnight success, after playing more then 1000 gigs.
The fastest selling Kickstarter book ever, was written by Seth Godin. Most people say it took around 3 hours. Godin said it took around 8 years. That’s how long it took him, writing blog posts almost every day, to build a big enough community to reach his Kickstarter target in 3 hours.
[BTW: I was interviewed by ABC News about Kickstarter.]
The overnight success formula
So, here’s how to be an overnight success in 2 steps:
Choose the date you want your overnight success to happen.
Work hard for years, leading up to that date.
Be extremely cautious of anyone suggesting otherwise.