The results of your work matter in your marketing.
It’s not enough to simply get great results in your work with clients. You have to know what the results are. Then you need to share this clearly with those interested in your services.
When people get out their wallet they want to know what they’ll get. It might be a pair of jeans, a new pair of glasses, a new resume, completed tax return or a back adjustment. People don’t want to throw money into the air like it was confetti at a wedding.
Your skills, modalities and professional services are intangible. You need to make them tangible so people can understand what they’ll get (both on a practical level and on an internal emotional level).
The first step is knowing the results you consistently get with clients.
The next step is to go deeper into the results. Besides the obvious things like a completed tax return or a clutter free home, what do you give your clients? It could be anything from ease of mind about the risk of tax audits, to the way you answer questions in a complete but nonjudgmental way. Or it might be something unusual. For example, public relations consultant Joan Stewart shares dog jokes, quotes and funny videos in her weekly ezine, and even sells an ebook full of them.
If you’re just starting a new business, you may have to make some of it up, based upon the results you intend to get. This isn’t about being deceptive, it’s simply about looking at what you are truly capable of based on your skills, training, and related experience. Based on that what are you planning to achieve? You can look at past experience where you used similar skills in a different setting, whether or not you were paid for it at the time.
Then go work with clients and take note of the results you get – in their words. Build requests for feedback into your work with them. This can actually serve your clients by helping them to notice and celebrate the progress they are making.
Some of the results of your work – what people get from you – will be different than what you expect. Adjust your marketing language according to what you learn that clients get from you.
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t have enough clients to find out what your results are, then you need to do whatever it takes to get those first few clients so you can figure this out. Do pro bono or barter work is a great way to get enough experience and confidence to speak convincingly about the results you get.
Taking the time to do pro bono or barter work may be discouraging, but, when you’re starting something new, there are no shortcuts to stable and lasting success.
If you’re not getting consistent, meaningful results from your work with clients, privately or in groups, that should be a top priority problem to fix.
There are many things you can do to get better results. Here are a few ideas:
- Meet more often with clients. If they don’t want to pay for the added time, be frank with them that they can’t expect to get results without it.
- Be more flexible about contact between meetings
- Give your clients “homework” – learning assignments to do on their own. Only work with clients willing to do the assignments.
- Be more upfront with clients that results take time, and sell packages that have more sessions in them.
- Be meticulous about writing down the results clients get, and what they say is important to them. Take notes after every meeting or any time they mention progress. Organize the notes and look for common themes across clients. Over time trends will emerge.
- Take further education in your field or profession.
- Meet regularly with a professional mentor or consultant to help you.
If you’re not getting results or you don’t know what they are, you’re building your business on a shaky foundation.
What results do you get from your work with clients? Are you able to talk about them in a concrete, tangible way? If not, what are you doing so you can start doing so?
Share your thoughts in the comments area below.