You aren’t in the business you think you’re in.

There are two basic ways to make money: selling services, or selling products.   No matter which, if you want to make money, or to understand why you are NOT making money, it is CRITICAL to remember the following: you are NOT in the business of providing that service or product.  

YOU ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF MARKETING THAT PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

Boy oh boy, if you don’t get this one, life is going to devastate you.  You can be the best in the world at what you do, but if you cannot define the worth of your offering, define the audience for it and find a way to reach that audience and communicate that value…you will be dead in the water, resentful of the success of others, and never understanding.  “But I’m GOOD!   Why does THAT person make more money?”

Because you never:

  1. Defined your “Unique Selling Proposition”: what is there about you and your service/product that is unlike anything else on the market.  Why the customer should give YOU their money as opposed to any and all other options, including simply keeping their money in their wallet.
  2. Defined your “Avatar”: who is the PERFECT market for your product or service. Put it this way: if you were going to have your brains blown out if you didn’t sell your next prospect, who would you want that person to be? The more specific, the better.   Let’s say you are selling Girl Scout Cookies.   Your “Avatar” isn’t “someone who likes cookies” but rather (perhaps) “a 50 year old housewife who used to be a girl scout and thinks back on those days as the best of her life.  She just ran a marathon yesterday and is breaking her diet for the first time in eight weeks, and found a ten dollar bill in the pocket of an old pair of jeans”    Be specific.  EXACTLY who would light up and say “Yes!” to you.
  3. Defined your media.  If you have your USP and your Avatar, how PRECISELY are you going to connect the two?   Frankly, Facebook allows you to have 5000 Friends. There are damned few professions where you need more than that to have a good life.  1000 people who are willing to invest 100 dollars a year in you is 100k a year.   Think you can gather a thousand people who need what YOU have?  If not, you’ve not put enough thought into who your “avatar” is, or what your “USP” is.  And FB is free.  There are countless other ways to reach people: flyers, direct mail, radio, blogs, and so on.  You should use AT LEAST three different ways to find your audience.

Assuming that you are working to develop your skills, and have invested at least 100 hours in refining them, I can pretty much promise you that if you aren’t making money, you have a deep flaw in one of these three arenas.

Remember: you are NOT in the business of providing a product or service.  You are in the business of MARKETING that product or service.  Until you exchange money with someone, you have no business, you have an enthusiasm, a skill, a hobby, a craft.   Money makes it a business. Period.  And money is about marketing.

Namaste,

Steve

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