What Are You Providing that I Can't Get for FREE?
We are living in a remarkable time when just about everything we could possibly want to learn is a click away - and often for free. Free cooking lessons and how to change a tire can be found in a multitude of places...and we don't even have to pay for it!
These days we've come to EXPECT free stuff and when we're asked to pay for it, we get annoyed and often keep searching until we can find what we need for minimum to no cost. This "free" market is awesome for the consumer...but what about for the service provider?
The truth is that there ARE some things that we're willing to pay for, but as business owners we really have to dig deep to figure out what that "thing" is. In a time when it's possible to sell a home without paying a realtor's fees or invest without paying for financial planning, we have to really know what it is we're actually selling.
So, I really started thinking about what it is that I'm willing to pay money for when there's a chance I could get the information somewhere without paying for it at all. And here's what I came up with.
I give away a lot of information for free. I have free guides that will tell you how to personalize your website on your own and I have free newsletters that give you all kinds of free tips (for general marketing and for financial advisors). If you look through my blog, you'll get a lot of information you don't have to pay for.
So, how do I have a business?
Because aside from the free stuff, I provide a service that I believe only I can provide. I care deeply about the success of my clients and will do everything to the best of my ability to save them time and effort while creating the best product possible. I'm happy to give away free advice because at the end of the day...it's my custom service that people will pay for.
The same could be said in other industries. Why don't I sell my house on my own? Because I want the level of service a good realtor can provide. Why don't I do my own retirement planning? Because I want someone to basically hold my hand through the process.
What service are you providing that someone cannot get for free or anywhere else?
When I'm working on a new client's website, one of the first things I ask them is about their process: how do they do what they do? And I believe that's so important that it not only needs to be said through text, but if we can somehow say it visually through a graphic, we should do that as well.
Again, I could sell my own house. What I'm paying a realtor to do is tell me, "First, we're going to do _______. After that, we're going to do _______." Knowing they have a process in place makes me feel less anxiety. And that's part of what I'm paying for.
Where is your process clearly outlined so potential clients can see it?
I am a huge advocate of custom content not only because it allows people to get to know you better before they contact you, but because it also allows you to share your perspective and your personality.
I've created several online courses; the largest one is my Digital Marketing Training for Financial Planning Staff. Now, someone could get online and find all of the elements I talk about during this training for free if they really wanted to. But what they're getting by purchasing the course is ME - I tell them everything about what I do, how they can do it on their own, and I try to make it fun. They're getting the knowledge that took me years to acquire all in one course. Not only that, but it's completely dedicated to a VERY specific niche that I know is underserved in the digital marketing world so I can specifically talk to those people.
When it comes to content, courses, videos, anything you're putting out there...you need to make sure your personality and perspective are a big part of it. Don't be afraid to be funny or a little vulnerable - transparency is vital in all areas of business these days.
What is your individual perspective about what you do and what's currently going on in your industry?
These days we can get almost any service for free. I could learn how to change the guts of my toilet by looking on YouTube, but I'd rather have the service of a plumber. I could complain to my friends (which I do), but I still like the service my therapist provides. I could read countless books about business, but I still pay to be a part of a mastermind group.