When did it become such a crime to do what you love every day?
I have my clients fill out a goal sheet every year and list what they want to accomplish in their business for the following year. Most of the time they just try to figure out ways to increase the status quo – find a way to increase more of what they are currently doing, even if it is not what they want to do. And I say… why? Why are you doing that? Why are you not doing what truly makes you happy?
One of my clients had the guts to literally say what they wanted. And it was eye opening – for both of us. She told me exactly the kind of work she was wanting to do. And it was amazing. When she described it to me she lit up like a Christmas tree. I was so happy for her! She literally said out loud what she wanted to do.
But now comes the scary part…How do you make it happen? How do you find the clients and the work that truly fulfill you. So here are my answers….
Name the organizations/clients that you WANT to work with. Think about how you can help them and then formulate programs, packages, incentives, whatever it is that will BENEFIT them! Think of their needs and desires: what are they wanting to move toward and move away from. List the deep rooted benefits they get when working with you. Then – seal the deal with the number one biggest result they get from working with YOU!
Start with the low hanging fruit. Get in touch with the people you already know and have a relationship with and ask them to make a personal introduction. Email introductions work great as well. Most people are more inclined to trust a recommendation from a friend, so make sure you ask your friends to represent YOU!
Develop a Direct Outreach Strategy. A Direct Outreach Strategy is one where you list the people that you want to get to know and put them on a list of people you want to interact with at least once a month. Get to know them, research them, offer them SINCERE words of praise when they do something great. Become part of their inner circle. Remember: people do business with people they know, like and trust!
I recently read a post from Seth Godin that talks about “Getting Lost On The Shelf”. In this post Seth states:
A friend got some feedback on a new project proposal recently. “It will have trouble standing out on a shelf that’s already crowded.”
The thing is, every shelf in every store and especially online is crowded. The long tail made the virtual shelves infinitely long, which means that every record, every widget, every job application, every book, every website, every non-profit… all of it… is on a crowded shelf.
And the problem with a crowded shelf is that your odds of getting found and getting picked are slim indeed, slimmer than ever before.
Which is why ‘the shelf’ can’t be your goal. If you need to get picked from the shelf/slush pile/transom catchbasin then you’ve already lost.
The only opportunity (which of course, is the best opportunity ever for most of us) is to skip depending on being found on the shelf and go directly to people who care. To skip the shelf and get talked about. To skip the shelf and be the one and only dominator in a category of one, a category that couldn’t really exist if you weren’t in it.
That’s hard to visualize, because it doesn’t match what you’ve been taught and what our culture has (until recently) celebrated, but it’s what’s on offer now.
Shelf space is available to all of us, but by itself, it’s insufficient for much of anything.
That is the last point I want to make: Find your target market and speak to THEM. Find the people that care. Again, if you speak to their needs and desires, address the deep rooted benefits and the result they get from working with you, you will accomplish your goal. Find the people that energize, inspire you, and allow you to do your best work – and you will achieve great success. And speak to them in a medium they will understand: email, social media, video, networking, you name it. It will work if you go to where they get their information.
It takes a lot of courage to draw a line in the sand and say WHO you want to work with.
But I promise – it is worth it.