Individual Mentoring for Talented People Who Want to Learn How to Sell Their Skills
You can find millions of websites that talk about marketing, advertising, or growing an existing business. This website is different. This website will walk you through the process, starting from scratch, finding the work that is authentically “YOU,” (i.e., perfectly suited to your preferences and abilities,) finding your first paying customers, and growing a customer base.
What Do You Want Your Business to Be?
In a nutshell, “Passion To Paycheck” means that you are going to have to answer, for yourself, the following question: “What do I want to do, for money?” Answer that question, and then find customers.
Is it really that simple? Yes. But is it easy? Maybe, although it’s more likely that there are going to be many steps along the way, and each of those steps is likely going to take you into new territory which will stretch your comfort zone.
“What do I want to do, for money?”
(If you already have an answer skip ahead to the Finding Customers section.)
This question has two parts. The first part of the question is, “What do I want to do?” Answer that by making two lists:
- “What do I enjoy doing?” And,
- “What am I good at?”
Write down a list of all of the things that you enjoy doing, and another list of all of the things that you are good at. (Some items may be on both lists.) Come up with every creative combination of ideas using at least one item from each list, as well as how you would offer your services on a time basis, or a per-job basis (i.e., you service a customer, for a certain amount of time or to complete a certain job, for an agreed-upon price).
Now to the second part of the question: “…for money?” Since the money is going to come from other people, (i.e., your customers,) you will need to screen your idea through two additional filters:
- “What do people need?” And,
- “What are people willing to pay for?”
What need does your service satisfy? (E.g. entertainment, beauty, happiness, connection, more time, peace of mind, etc.) You need to be able to tell yourself, confidently, “People need this.” Also, are people going to be willing to pay for what you are offering? Is there anyone out there making money doing something similar to what you’d like to do? If it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you.
Remember that your idea should incorporate the following four elements:
- I’m good at it.
- I enjoy doing it.
- People need it. And,
- People are willing to pay for it.
After you’ve finished this exercise you should have at least one business idea to test. If not, here are some things to try: Go back to your list of things you enjoy doing. For each item, ask yourself, “Am I good at it?” “Do people need it?” “Will people pay for it?” Repeat with each item on your list of things you’re good at. Ask yourself, “Do I enjoy it?” “Do people need it?” “Will people pay for it?” When you come up with an idea that you can answer, “Yes,” to all of the questions, that’s an idea that you can test.
You can also start by asking yourself, “What can I do that people need?” For each answer, ask yourself, “Would I enjoy this? Would I be good at it? Would people pay for it?” Or, “What can I do that people would be willing to pay for? Would I enjoy it? Be good at it? Do people need it?”
Finally, you can just ask yourself, over time, “What can I do that I enjoy, am good at, people need, and are willing to pay for?” As you observe what is going on around you and you remember to ask yourself over and over, you will notice that certain ideas will become more attractive to you.
This process takes time. If you want to take some time to explore some things that you enjoy, go ahead. If you want to improve a skill first, that’s fine. As your preferences and abilities change over time you will come up with new ideas to test.
How to Package Your Idea
Now that you’ve decided what you want to do, the next step is to decide how you want to do it. How, specifically, are you going to present your offer? The key is that you need to make your offer in a way that people can say “yes” or “no” to. If you want to be a performer, you need to say more than just, “I want to be a performer.” You need to say, for example, “I want to do a show, for an hour, for an audience.” If you want to write ad copy, you need to say more than just “I want to be a writer.” You need to say something like, “I want to write a one-page advertisement for a client.” You need to encapsulate exactly what you want to do, emphasizing the benefits, and defining how the job begins and ends so people know what they are agreeing to.
What is it that you want to do? How will it look to service the client? How will the job start? How long will it last? How will it end? What will the client get out of it?
What will you call yourself? How will you tell people what you do? How do you describe what your service looks like to the client?
The important thing is that you need to do more than just talk about what you do. You need to emphasize the benefits and make a specific offer that the the prospect can say “yes” or “no” to.
Here are some examples: Suppose you want to be a photographer. What would your specialty be? Perhaps you enjoy interaction with animals, so you decide to specialize in pet photos. You could say, “I specialize in portraits of pets and their families.” How would you describe your service to a potential client? You could say, “I take clients to multiple locations and get great pictures of pets and people looking comfortable and happy.”
You want to be a professional comedian? What type of group would have the budget and need for your services? Meetings, perhaps? You could tell a potential client, “I make meetings fun.” What exactly are you offering? “I do twenty minutes of topical, clean comedy for your group that is interactive and fun.”
Or maybe you want to be an interior designer. “I make environments beautiful.” How would you describe what you do to a prospect? “I do a walk-through with the client and create 3D computer models with options to dress the space within budget.”
The options are endless. What service do you want to provide? What would you call yourself? How would you describe your ideal client? How would you describe the service you are offering? What benefit would this be to the client? What is your offer that the prospect can say “yes,” or “no” to?
Now that you know what you want to do, and how you want to do it, it’s time to find customers. Here’s the process: First you are going to find some practice customers so you can gain experience and reach a basic level of competence in delivering your service. Then you are going to fill your schedule with introductory customers you will serve at an extra reasonable rate so you can acclimate to your new workload. Finally, you will adjust your rate to your desired income level, finding new customers as needed.
The first thing to do is find some trial customers for you to practice on at your own expense. Don’t spend any money on marketing at this point. Use your own network of contacts and ask for referrals to people that might be interested in being a practice customer for your new business. Practice delivering your product or service to these customers at your own cost until you are convinced of the value of what you are offering.
The next step is to fill your schedule with introductory customers. Choose a target market, and choose a rate that is so low that people will have to say yes to it. Continue working your personal network, asking for referrals to anyone they know that might fit into your target market. If you need to spend money on marketing materials at this point, buy the smallest quantity available because your marketing messages are likely to change. If you run out of contacts you are going to have to come up with a way of generating additional leads, and follow up with them personally and ask them for referrals. Fill your schedule to what you anticipate will be a full workload.
Now that your schedule is full, determine what your target income is. Continue to market yourself as you raise your rate to that level, only changing target markets after you’ve maximized the rate you’re charging the current one.
Need More Help?
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Contact Patrick for a free consultation:
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