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4 Ways to Stop Attracting People Who Can’t Afford Your Services

Are you marketing yourself and your product to the people who will actually pay for it?

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Are you marketing yourself and your product to the people who will actually pay for it?

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There’s nothing worse for an entrepreneur than putting all your efforts into building a service, and a marketing strategy, only to continuously attract people who say they can’t afford them.

While many business owners focus their attention on making sure they have built an apparent “fool-proof” plan to bring people in, they can still stumble into an audience that isn’t right for them. This can be frustrating because people don’t understand why, even though they are good at what they do, prospects aren’t buying or, worse yet, they are asking for discounts on everything.

The good news is that there is a way to stop attracting those who can’t afford your services and shift your attention and marketing efforts to bring in people who are ready to buy. It all boils down to having and implementing a brand strategy that deeply resonates with your target audience and allows you to show up authentically every single time.

1. Get clear on who you do want to attract

For your business to be successful and start attracting the right people, you need to begin by understanding who your ideal customers are at a granular level. The more effective you are at connecting with the right audience and speaking to their problems and needs, the more sales you will make.

Getting extremely clear on who your ideal customers are requires going beyond demographics to truly understand the psychological and emotional elements that are impacting their lives, which will, in turn, determine their purchasing decisions.

The more you understand your audience, the more effective your messaging will be because you will have the capacity to speak directly to them, and they will finally feel seen and heard. Pricing becomes less important when they see you as the best solution to the specific problem or need that they have.

For example, it’s not nearly as impactful or effective to say that you are selling a program for women who want to lose weight, which is hugely generalized, than to say that you help busy women over 40 who are frustrated after trying low-carb, high-fat fad diets without lasting results lose weight. Not only is the latter version a lot more detailed, but it also speaks to a very specific pain point which means that these women will feel an immediate sense of recognition and understanding.

2. Stop undercharging for your services

Many entrepreneurs undercharge for their services because they believe they need to build a robust reputation or have a large audience before they can charge premium prices.

However, in practice, lowering your prices may end up hurting your reputation in the first place. If you’re building an audience based on people who are looking for a cheaper solution then it will be very difficult for you to make sales once you raise your prices.

If you want to start attracting clients who can afford your services as an online coach or consultant, you need to start charging the right price instead. Trying to sell a service by being the cheapest option out there is going to be a race straight to the bottom. After all, there will always be someone with a lower price in the market.

Instead, you want to set your price based on the value you deliver. To make this calculation, first determine what the outcome of the results you help to generate is worth.

3. Position yourself as an authority

Attracting the right people also comes down to being able to effectively position yourself as an authority or leader in your field by creating a powerful brand strategy that will allow you to be intentional with your marketing.

Building an effective brand strategy requires having absolute clarity around who you are, what you stand for and the complete experience that comes from being in contact with your business.

It is fundamental to have a well-defined brand message that clearly communicates your value by showcasing the actual outcome that you help your clients achieve. What you have to ask yourself as a business owner is “what am I really selling?” because I can assure you that it is much more than the service you are giving them. It is truly about the transformation, the outcome and the results they are getting because of hiring you.

Focus your brand communication on them and not on you. Many service providers make the mistake of simply saying things like “I am a web designer” or “I am a fitness coach” as a way to explain to others the kind of service that they provide. When doing this, they are focusing on themselves instead of on the needs of their audience.

Instead, you want to change your messaging to reflect the result you help others achieve. For example, saying things like “I build websites that increase conversions” or “I help women lose those stubborn 10 lbs” is more specific to the outcomes you deliver.

4. True brand differentiation

While it is true that it seems like market saturation is at its peak, in reality, this is only an illusion.

The real problem isn’t that there are too many providers and competitors in an industry, it’s that most entrepreneurs don’t know how to effectively differentiate themselves from others.

To attract the right audience, it’s vital that you position your offer as the best solution and ideal vehicle prospects need to achieve success. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a framework, methodology, or process that is unique to your business, a signature system that distinguishes you and sets you apart from the rest.

On top of this, according to the theory proposed by George A. Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and Rachel E. Kranton, professor of Economics at Duke University, in their Identity Economics book, people make economic decisions based not just on financial incentives, but also on their identity.

This matters to you as an entrepreneur because if you want to attract the right people, you need to effectively differentiate yourself from others while standing for something in the process. Today’s consumers are making more and more decisions based on their identities and how others’ identities shape their own. What this means is that when faced with many different options, we tend to choose the one that reinforces our beliefs the most.

If you, as a brand, aren’t doing an excellent job at clearly and succinctly communicating who you are, then you are making it way too difficult for the right people to choose you.

Putting the pieces together

Ultimately, attracting the right people comes down to making sure you are being highly intentional with your message and the way this message comes across. This allows you to transform your audience’s perception of you while bringing in the right people into your business. Taking the time to craft your complete brand strategy will allow you to get more effective results with your marketing plan as well.

For your business to be successful and start attracting the right people, you need to begin by understanding who your ideal customers are at a granular level. The more effective you are at connecting with the right audience and speaking to their problems and needs, the more sales you will make.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/sDpzx1zLx_o/355925

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Entrepreneur

The Unbearably High Price of ‘Free’

Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

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Using the word ‘free’ in your marketing is a quick way to get attention, but it’s also a double-edged sword that has tripped up a lot of businesses.

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June 13, 2021 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most powerful words in the English language is the term “free.” Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

  • “Buy one get one free.”
  • “Get a free gift with purchase, valued at $499.”
  • “Get a free eye examination.”
  • “Try our membership for FREE.”
  • “Get FREE delivery”

It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

Because, frankly, it works — by appealing to our basic human emotion of greed.

The word “free” has appeared in more advertisements than there are grains of sand on a beach. And it goes way back to the genesis of advertising when giving free samples was the best (and only) new way to get customers. So what makes “free” work so well?”

Free gets attention. It makes people feel like they are getting a great deal. On a subconscious level, it works in reverse, too — you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t take advantage of something for free.

But using the word “free” in your marketing can be a double-edged sword, especially if you don’t use it correctly.

Related content: The 5 Triggers of Psychological Pricing

Is there a wrong way to use the term “free” in your marketing?

Absolutely. There are thousands of ways that using the term “free” in your marketing can trip you up, reduce your product or service value, and do irreparable damage to your brand.

Let me give you a real example. One of our clients was in the business of producing extremely high-end Italian-made leather shoes and bags for men. Their most famous pair of boots retailed for $3,500. Their most popular bag, a messenger-style laptop bag, retailed for $950. The company’s previous marketing agency advised them that the best way to double their boot sales would be to offer the messenger bag for free.

As far as irresistible offers go, that’s a pretty good one, and it did in fact, increase sales of the boots — in the short term. But it was a strategic disaster in the long term because now they had conditioned their clients to expect the messenger bag for free.

In other words, by offering it for free, they had completely devalued that product (remember it was the company’s top-selling bag.) Even worse, by offering something of high perceived value for free, they had also damaged their own luxury brand. Why would people ever pay full price again?

The good news is that people have a short attention span, and with the right strategic pivot and messaging, you can erase the damage of using “free.” But it takes time.

The same dangers apply when you start using discounts in your business. If you discount your products, why would people ever pay full price? They just wait for them to go on sale. When our Italian client came to us, they had a branding and sales disaster on their hands through no fault of their own. Fortunately, we were able to get them out of their pickle by repositioning their products and reinventing their brand — a move that resulted in them being purchased eighteen months later by a competitor.

Moral of the story: Using a free offer can be a slippery slope and must be used sparingly and carefully.

Related: The Price Is Right: How to Price Your Product for Long-Term Success

Before using “free” in your business, ask yourself:

  • Does this have a real value that we depend on for revenue?
  • By offering this item or service for free, will this adversely impact another related service or product (for example, if you offer the first consult for free, and expect to be paid for all future consults)?
  • Why are we considering offering something for free? What else could we offer that would help us achieve the same result?
  • What if it’s not your business using “free”, but your competitors?

    Now, if you’re on the other side of the fence and your competitor is offering something for free that you are charging for, it’s time to put your marketing into high gear.

    Just because there is no money exchanged doesn’t mean that it’s not paid for in other ways — for example, in lost time, huge frustration or poor quality.

    Think of the experience and quality of “free” healthcare versus a private plan. Draw these analogies in your marketing to establish your value in the minds of your clients.

    “Free” is still a mighty word used to grab attention in marketing. But handle with extreme caution, and don’t be lured into using it to stimulate short-term sales at the expense of long-term growth.

    Related: 3 Lessons About Setting Your Price Learned From a Vegas Prostitute

    It seems like just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. So why is the term “free” used so liberally?

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/-ft2fOOD5wI/372155

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    Entrepreneur

    Have You Stashed Too Much Money in Your Emergency Fund?

    Think you’re totally set with a full year of expenses set aside in an emergency fund? Hold up. You might have too much socked into liquid assets. Read on to learn more about how much is too much for your emergency fund.

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    Think you’re totally set with a full year of expenses set aside in an emergency fund? Hold up. You might have too much socked into liquid assets. Read on to learn more about how much is too much for your emergency fund.

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    This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

    Last year heralded the case for a robust emergency fund. As people lost jobs left and right due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably checked and double-checked your emergency fund (I know I did).

    However, have you ever thought about how so much of a good thing can be just that — too much? Your emergency fund could end up way too plump.

    Where People Usually Put Their Emergency Funds

    Where do most people stash money in order for it to remain truly accessible? Most people put their funds in one of the following categories:

    • High-yield savings accounts: You usually find high-yield savings accounts at online banks, not at brick-and-mortar banking institutions. (They don’t have much overhead due to their status as online banks, so they can offer higher returns.) High-yield savings accounts usually earn around 0.50% annual percentage yield (APY).
    • Money market accounts: A money market account, also called a money market deposit account, offers a deposit account that pays you interest based on current interest rates in the money markets. You can find money market accounts at local banks. Money market accounts often come with a debit card and check-writing capabilities.
    • Checking or savings accounts: You won’t earn much interest with checking or savings accounts at a brick-and-mortar bank. Earnings for both of these types of accounts can range from 0.03% to 0.04%. However, you can access your money at any time, which means that these accounts offer major liquidity.

    Any of these options make sense because you can easily get your money out when you need it. However, if you put too much money into any one of these, you could risk a lack of growth and put yourself at a disadvantage, tax-wise.

    Before you choose the right vehicle for you, check rates, fees and withdrawal rules.

    Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Too Much

    Emergency savings offers so many great things — to a point. Let’s take a look at the downsides to putting an overly large amount in your emergency fund.

    Downside 1: Your money may not grow.

    Where do people usually park an emergency fund?

    Somewhere liquid and highly accessible, like a money market account or a high-yield savings account, right? You want to have access to that money the second your boss says, “Sorry, but I have some bad news…”

    Here’s the deal. Let’s say you save $1,000 at 0.01% APY. After a year, you’ll end up with just $1,000.10. If you put the same $1,000 in a retirement account that earns 6%, you would earn $1,062 after a year. See how you could lose out?

    Most accounts that offer a safe haven for your money often don’t offer ample returns.

    The average stock market return hovers around 7%, three times higher than any high-yield savings account rate offered anywhere today.

    Downside 2: You could lose out on the tax front.

    When you focus on saving in your emergency fund too much, you may neglect your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, which could include 401(k) plans, IRAs, 457 plans or 403(b) accounts.

    Let’s say you have the opportunity to contribute $6,000 into a traditional IRA. Your contributions get deducted from your taxable income. You would only pay taxes on the remaining balance.

    Let’s say you make $60,000 per year. Your taxable income automatically gets reduced $6,000 to $54,000 from your traditional IRA tax deduction.

    What happens when you save your money in a high-yield savings account instead of a tax-advantaged account? You miss out on that reduced taxed income.

    Downside 3: You may not clear out your debt.

    You may hear so much about the importance of emergency funds that you ignore the fact that you still need to pay off debt. That begs the question: What kind of debt do you have? Credit card debt? Student loan debt? You may want to pay down those debts first and then tackle your emergency fund. Or you can save $1,000 for emergencies to start out and then tackle any outstanding debt.

    Downside 4: You may sacrifice other goals.

    When you don’t contribute to your kids’ savings accounts, to your own retirement or maybe even save for a down payment on a house, stop and ask yourself why.

    A gargantuan emergency savings might not mean much when you’re stuck putting a vacation on a credit card or forgoing a child’s college savings account altogether.

    So… How Much Should Go in Your Emergency Fund?

    Obviously, this answer depends on a few factors, including your current income amount. Many financial experts advise saving three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

    For example, let’s say you generally spend about $4,000 per month on general expenditures, such as your mortgage payment, utilities, food, health care premiums and other items. You should save between $12,000 and $24,000.

    However, you may want to adopt the 3/6/9 rule instead, depending on your job situation. In other words, you may want to:

    • Save three months of expenses if you have a steady paycheck, have no mortgage or dependents.
    • Save six months of expenses if you have a steady paycheck, have a mortgage or dependents.
    • Save nine months of expenses if you have irregular income or if you are the only one in your family who earns money.

    How Much Equals Too Much in Your Emergency Fund?

    As you can see, it’s easy to have too much in your emergency fund. If you find that you’ve stashed more than six months’ worth of emergency money in your account and have a steady paycheck, no mortgage or dependents, ease up.

    Carefully consider whether you have too much in your account based on the stability of your income and the number of people depending on you. You may also consider the level of support you receive from others. (Your parents might love it if your family moved in if it came down to it!)

    When you do decide on the right amount, automate transfers so they occur each and every week or month. That way, you don’t have to think about saving — it just happens.

    Featured Article: What is an overbought condition?

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/YHuKBmQ-q-o/374198

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    How to give good feedback to your collaborators?

    The feedback process must be close and continuous.

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    The feedback process must be close and continuous.

    Free Book Preview: Unstoppable

    Get a glimpse of how to overcome the mental and physical fatigue that is standing between you and your full potential.

    June 8, 2021 1 min read

    This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

    This story originally appeared on Querido Dinero

    Feedback is the analysis of a person from different perspectives to show what they do very well and accelerate their professional career, but also what they need to improve because it slows their growth.

    The difference with the evaluation of results is that the feedback process must be close and continuous, and when implemented correctly it generates relationships of trust .

    We tell you how to make it a natural practice in your company:

    The difference with the evaluation of results is that the feedback process must be close and continuous, and when implemented correctly it generates relationships of trust .

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/ZMAaeXpe1Pg/373943

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