Category Archives for "Analysis"

duck swimming at speed

Are Your Prospects Prepared to Take Action?

People on step 1 of the awareness ladder know they have a problem.  To move to step 2, they need to be aware of solutions to their problem.  Are your prospects ready to take action?  (This is a post from the circuit questionnaire sequence, fourth element – Problem.  I omitted this post from the problem sequence by oversight a few months ago.)

Preparedness to take action leads to an active search for solutions.  People need to know there is likely to be more than one solution to most problems.  They need education to avoid the dash to the first solution to hand.

A Case Study

Here’s a case study.  An organisation had a very poor website.  Based on old-fashioned technology, it looked dreadful and did not begin to market their services.

They knew they had a problem and acted out of ignorance.  They went to a website designer.  He was the person who serviced their IT systems and produced a technical solution.  Not interested in the organisation, he knew nothing of marketing.  Indeed he was actively sceptical of marketing.  They now have a website that looks superficially better.  It does not use the latest technology, it looks dreadful because it is poorly maintained and still does not effectively market their services.

The big difference is they have wasted several thousand pounds on a system that can never serve their needs.  They have learned nothing from their re-design and continued ignorant of how their website and the Internet can support their business.

This is not uncommon when it comes to websites.  Indeed, it is not uncommon when it comes to business in general.  You may be brilliant at delivering your service or product.  But you are wasting your time if you can’t sell it!

Anyone in business needs to learn how to market it.  Are they ready to take action?

Will They Pay to Solve the Problem?

If prospects are willing to pay, you have a market.  There don’t have to be many to make a viable market but there needs to be enough.

The big problem with marketing, including websites, is many people resist sales and marketing; they really don’t want to go down that road.

But it is the only road in town!  There are many options available to those who set out on that road.  Many people have set views about marketing and sales.  They don’t understand marketing as education or sales as communication.  They have an image of pushy sales people and don’t see their offers as their contribution to the world’s benefit.

The truth is there are solutions that don’t work this way; they need to be learned. Usually, to get the practice you need, some type of mentoring helps.  An initial outlay to get yourself orientated in the marketplace is worth every penny.  The alternative is random activities that can cost a lot more in time as well as money.  I tried many things before I found approaches that really helped.

Resistance like this is not restricted to marketing.  Dieting and exercise is not something that appeals to everyone who is overweight.  Indeed the idea of exercise used to put me off because I was so heavy.  Now I start to get twitchy if I don’t get out and walk!

Usually, if you have a problem, you need to own it and bring the solution into your routine.  Most people need help to do this.  More accomplished people recognise they need help and are willing to pay for it.  They know they can save a lot of time with the right support.

So, I know I have to pay for help with some problems and I can get by without help for others.  This puts me in some markets and not in others.

How Much Can You Charge?

There are many factors to consider:

  • The urgency of the problem
  • The benefits of finding a solution
  • The qualifications of the person offering the solution

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is you’re not offering information.  These days people find information online.  Your role is to curate information; that is organise and interpret it.  It is to support your clients as they experience using information and for accountability.

If you are known for doing these things well, you are likely to do well.

Let me know if you find this post helpful and where you would like more information.

Service

Do You Care for Your Target Market?

In this final post of what has been a very long sequence exploring the circuit questionnaire, I shall tackle perhaps the most important question: how do you care for your target market?

In a sequence running alongside this one, I argue the need for re-enchantment of marketing.  It is through our enthusiasm, our passion, for our offer, our market and the wider transformation that results from our work, we contribute something positive.  Follow the sequence on my new website, Market Together.

Marketing is an opportunity to be creative with our offer and the skills we bring to bring a real difference to prospects and other listeners alike.  It is ultimately a spiritual discipline, contemplating the world we encounter and intervening to meet the needs we find there.

In a world obsessed with finance and the decline of capitalism, we witness the decline of care for others.  This is clearly true for caring for those who are disadvantaged but erosion of care affects everyone.  Without care we lose the essential ties of community and everyone suffers.

Care for Your Target Market

You can show care for your target market before, during and after you spend time with your client.  At all times, they are your first concern.  If there is a bond between you, the chances are your client will respond positively to your guidance and achieve what you promised when you made your offer.

Before the Deal

It is important to show not only you understand their problem but have some sense of how it feels.  You share in their experience to some degree.  This does not mean you must experience exactly what they experience but you show you understand and empathise with what they are going through.

This can be done through marketing; using stories and testimonials to convey your experience of the problem.

During the Deal

First, you are there to listen.  This is your prime objective.  Most people don’t have an opportunity to be heard in the working life and simply need space to think things through.  Your role is to structure that space and make sure your client keeps moving forward.  What moving forwards entails will depend on your offer and their needs.

It is also a good idea to over-deliver.  I stipulate session length in my formal agreement and usually allow more time if necessary.  I can bring the session to an end on time if I need to but it helps to be flexible.  Also, offer unannounced bonuses.  These can be relevant to your offer, eg a book, or some gesture, perhaps lunch!

After the Deal

Follow up and show you are interested in the progress made.  I have had several coaches who have not got back in touch.  This damages them in three ways.  First, they cannot find out how effective their coaching has been months and possibly years afterwards.  This is valuable information lost to them.

I would be much more likely to buy again from a coach who is interested in me.  Some coaches come over as money-making businesses who just care about delivering their packages to as many people as they can.  If they have a great reputation, they can get away with this but for most coaches, probably not.

Finally, I am less likely to recommend a coach who I don’t believe really cares.  For most coaches, referrals are an essential means to find new clients.  Testimonials are likely to be more detailed and insightful and referrals more likely.

Conclusion

Does care for your clients have to be genuine?  Empathy can benefit your business and so perhaps it may seem it does not.  Make it seem genuine and you might get away with it.  I’m not convinced by this because your true feelings are likely to find expression however you attempt to disguise them.

There are things you can do to show you care.  It is always a good idea to make sure they are part of your routine.  Work out some way of showing you care, schedule it and use it!  This is not about some sentimental effusion of emotion.  It is about showing you share a concern and committed to helping; that you are reliable.

Your routine practice will ring true if you do really care.  Act as if you care and you will find in time you do.  The benefit of caring is mutual.  Why should it be any other way?

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Red circle with cross on blue background

Third Party Influence on Buying Decisions

Third party influence on buying decisions is perhaps one of the least anticipated issues you face when marketing.  I have been in this situation several times.  My prospect arrives at the point of sale and then announces they need their spouse, employer or committee chair to agree to the deal.

The problem is you are sending your prospect into a situation where they have to sell your offer to a third party who has never met you.  Almost invariably, the answer is “no”.

Third Parties

The first question is: who are third parties?  These are people who have a veto over your prospect’s decision.  So, this would not include business owners, who recommend you or hold a grudge.  They exist and prospects may listen to them but they do not have a veto in the sense they can forbid a contract with you.

Broadly, there are two types of veto from third parties: domestic and business.

Domestic vetoes usually come from a spouse or partner.  These are perhaps the hardest people to persuade because the chances are they are not involved in your prospect’s business and so will base their decision on their financial circumstances.   There may also be prejudice.  They may have no concept of commercial rates or not approve of coaching or consultancy for various reasons.  Actually it matters little whether their prejudices are well founded; the problem is you cannot reach them directly.

Remember too, if the prospect has doubts, they may consciously or unconsciously seek a veto from their spouse or partner.

Business vetoes come mainly through line managers.  These may be business owners, middle managers, committee chairs or even whole committees.  Chances of success are better here because it is possible they will see the value of your offer to their business and may have a budget for staff development.  With a culture of staff development, they may understand your offer’s relevance.

Prospects may play this card because they need a reason to delay their decision. So, be alert to the reason the prospect is seeks to postpone their decision.

What’s to be Done?

Try to get a decision at the meeting.  If the veto is really an issue, they may back out later but with a handshake and quick follow-up, with any luck the problem will come to nothing.  I have tried incentives for a quick decision coupled with a clear decision date.  I have not found this approach works particularly well.  Nothing beats a decision on the spot.

So, if the prospect volunteers information about a third party veto, discuss how they intend to deal with it.

Sometimes it may be possible to meet the third party.  This depends on what you sell.  If the third party is in effect a party to the deal, they should be included in the meeting and take part in the conversation.  So, if you are network marketing utilities, speak to both partners.  If you are selling something of benefit to a business, ask to meet with all the relevant people.

If you can’t meet the third party, you will depend on the prospect to market your offer to them.  How can you help?  Can you speak to the third party on the phone?  Are there documents, a story and/or a website that might help?  Agree a date to get back together and wait for the prospect to cancel!  Provide all the support you can manage and then write it off.  If by some miracle the deal does come through, the chances are the prospect decided they really wanted it and so made sure they got the result they want.  So, make sure they do really want it.

Who Pays?

One final point for business third parties.  It is always possible the prospect could pay from their own money.  Many people say they don’t have the money but you are on far more certain ground discussing how they could pay than gambling on the whim of an unknown third party.

At all times be professional and resourceful.  Your prospect may be impressed by the way you handle this and that may make all the difference!

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Hammer laid on wood surrounded by bent nails

Do Prospects Want to Implement Your Solution Themselves?

There are three possible answers to the question:  do prospects want to carry out your solution themselves?  They do, they do not and they may need help.

Do-It-Yourself

The do-it-yourself option (DIY) may be the cheapest and it can be the most time-consuming for the client.  This option assumes they have a degree of prior knowledge or experience and so with instructions, they can work it out themselves.

So, take website design as an example.  The client knows how to build a website.  Their problem may be they are less sure about the design.  They can implement any design but need help to draw up their design.

They may need a few conversations but then they can get on with the job on their own.

Done-For-You

The done-for-you (DFY) option is usually most expensive and saves the client’s time.  There will be a higher expectation of quality.

For a website, the client provides information about what they want and the designer does the work.  To do a good job the designer needs high quality information from the client, while the client will typically want to spend as little time as possible on the website.

To get the best from a DFY offer, it is important the client takes responsibility for the work.  They need to provide clear instructions and be ready to discuss each iteration with the designer.  This is rarely an arm’s length arrangement.  DFY can save time so long as the client can spend some time on the work.

Done-With-You

The done-with-you option (DWY) is a half-way house between DIY and DFY.  The idea is the client will learn how to design a website by working alongside the designer.  This is the time the DFY option saves; the DFY client usually does not want to spend time learning how to design a website.

DWY is mid-way between DIY and DFY in price and likely to take up more time.  The money spent on this option may save money on future websites and will certainly mean the client knows how to maintain their site.

Both approaches have their limitations and sometimes limitations can be beneficial.  The link is to a post that explores these limitations in more detail.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong decision here.  It depends on what the client thinks is most important.  DIY saves money and DFY saves time.  DWY enhances their skills and increases their understanding.

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Notes on desk with crossings out

Making Assumptions about Your Market

Very few businesses have a complete picture of their market.  Your picture will develop, as you get to know your customers.  In the meantime, you will need to make assumptions about your market.

Whilst, you may have accurate data about some aspects of your market, you will have gaps in your perception.  You don’t always know where you make assumptions and so the check-list below might help.

Remember, making assumptions is not always a negative!  You will never know everything about your market and what is true today may not be true next year.  You need to make some assumptions to move forwards.  Knowing your assumptions is always an advantage.

Things to Consider

Do you make assumptions about the demography of your market?  Perhaps you don’t think it will appeal to people over or under a certain age, for example.

  • It is tempting to set your demographics too wide. If your market is age dependent then do not waste energy marketing to other age groups.  But for some offers age is not relevant.  The important thing is to target what is relevant.  Some demographics may be more relevant than others.
  • Local markets are everywhere. You may target people living or working in a particular place, perhaps because you are a trader based there.  Other offers may be less locality dependent.  You may be the sole provider in one area and others may cover other areas.  If you offer something unique anywhere, you might consider marketing beyond your locality.  Some businesses test in a locality before marketing globally.
  • Prospects will like your offer, packages or even you! These are the people likely to come back for more.  Don’t underestimate the value of returning customers.  Don’t assume if they buy once, they will not buy again.
  • You may assume prospects have knowledge when actually they don’t. Perhaps a common example is some prospects may not be aware they have the problem you solve.  The success of your business may depend on education of prospects who may be unaware of the problem or living with a problem they do not believe can be solved.  See the awareness ladder for details.
  • They may know of you but do they really know you? Do they assume you are good at some things when you are not or bad at things you excel at?  People make assumptions based on what they think you should know.  Don’t assume they know you well enough!

Testing Assumptions about Your Market

Ideally, you need to test assumptions quickly and cheaply.  This may be hard for the lone worker.  Are there efficient ways of testing assumptions?

  • Use this method of collecting testimonials to test your market. If you have contacts in your potential market, ask them for a 20-30 minute interview and get their take on your market.
  • Informal 1 to 1 interviews may be an opportunity to test aspects of your market.
  • Run a few low-cost workshops to see if you can find prospects. It is notoriously difficult to get people out to workshops.  So, if you are successful the chances are you are onto something!
  • Simply ask people what they think! You may be too close to your offer to see it clearly.  Someone with specialist knowledge of your field may be able to help but anyone might see something you have not noticed.
  • Try using social media to test ideas and assumptions.

Ultimately, you must launch and see who bites.  Your assumptions can obstruct a successful launch but you can never be 100% certain your offer will work for the people around you.

Also be aware you may find early interest that does not follow through to turn prospects into clients.  You may make assumptions that first attract and then repel prospects.  What do you assume they want, which might switch them off?

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Crowd scene, maybe football match or similar

How to Find Passionate Business Advocates

A knack that often eludes business owners, is to build a group of people who believe passionately in what they are doing.  These passionate business advocates are the key to making your business successful.

Why You Need Passionate Advocates

This follows on from the need to narrow your market.  A focused market, so that your natural market recognises you offer a solution to their problem, is essential.  If you believe everyone qualifies, you are actually confusing two things.

Positive and Negative Discrimination

Many people with a third-sector background are intent upon not being guilty of discrimination.  This is sometimes called political correctness.  The usage is often pejorative, used to disparage the motives of those who exercise it.  I prefer a more old-fashioned designation.  It is courtesy.  Perhaps this downplays its importance and that is what I want to do in the context of business.

Once you have identified your market, nothing else should stand in the way of finding those who are a part of it.  If you want to be prejudiced on grounds of race, sex, age, sexuality, etc, you will alienate some of your market.  If you attempt to exploit those in your market of whom you don’t approve, word will get out and the chances are you will lose business.

In business, you need to be discriminating in the sense you need to market in favour of those who are most likely to become your customers.  You cannot afford to allow other factors to get in the way.  This is one reason the marketplace is fundamentally egalitarian, a place where the community meets to do business of all types.

This is why immigration is such a difficult political issue.  It benefits many businesses but the unequal nature of the marketplace has led to stoking of prejudice against immigrants.  So, now we are leaving the EU because some people cannot stomach immigration and even the party that explicitly aims to bring down immigration has so far failed to the extent it also listens to business.

An Inclusive Marketplace

Businesses need an inclusive marketplace, where they can make exclusive offers.  This boils down to the need for traffic and conversion.  If you have excellent conversion, you need good traffic or no-one will see your offer and good traffic equates in part to an inclusive marketplace.  If conversion is poor, it doesn’t matter whether you have traffic because you won’t make any customers.

So, you need to be discriminatory in the sense you aim for a particular market and when you find them do not let prejudice get in the way, it is always a major disadvantage for business.

From Customer to Advocate

If someone is a passionate advocate they will help your business in several ways.  They will:

  • buy more from you. This is the key to a successful business.  If you have a range of offers, the chances people who buy from you once will buy again and spend more as their trust increases.
  • advocate your business to others, helping you find new customers.
  • write or record testimonials and speak passionately in your favour.
  • come up with new ideas for products and services you can offer.

What Your Passionate Advocates Need

So, what do your customers need if they are to become passionate advocates?  The main thing they need is a referral system.  This is some clear means by which they can advocate your business and benefit from doing so.

Let’s assume they have tried you and like your approach.  They need help to advocate on your behalf.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • The more you can systematise your referral system, the easier it will be for your advocates to use it.
  • Help them with testimonials. People will find positive things to say, if you can take them through a conversation so that they can think through what they say about you.
  • Be clear about what you want from them. You are not asking them to sell your products or services, simply to find people who benefit from contact with you.
  • Offer incentives for good referrals (referrals they have approached for permission to pass details to you) and referrals who become customers.
  • Keep in contact with past customers. This is usually best done through an email list.  They will be pleased to hear from you if you maintain an interest in them.

Every business is different but all benefit from seriously considering these issues.

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Table between two people meeting over coffee

Is Your Business B2B or B2C?

Sometimes it is worth asking: whether your market is business to business  or business to customer;  B2B or B2C?  Take care, these designations can be misleading.

They assume you are a business.  The first B is your business and so anyone who makes an offer is a business.  However, the recipient does not necessarily make a difference by being designated as a business.

Business or Customer?

Let’s assume your offer is marketing.  There are two ways to approach this.

You can offer marketing services.  This means you would be asked by a business to market some aspect of their business on their behalf.  This would be a DFY (done for you) service.  It is something that attracts small to medium-sized businesses that can afford commercial prices for a commercial service.

Alternatively, you might offer a coaching service.  Here it is likely the client will do most of their marketing themselves (DIY) or you might work closely with them (DWY).  My concern here is not to consider the pros and cons of these approaches but to point out this is where B2B and B2C can become somewhat academic.

The DFY approach is likely to appeal to companies with resources to spend on receiving a specialist service.  They are less likely to choose a coaching service for marketing unless they need to train staff in some specialist branch of marketing.

The DWY approach is more likely to be chosen by freelancers who cannot afford to pay for marketing and want to learn the basics for themselves.  Some of these may be companies and many unincorporated.  So, are the lone workers B2B or B2C?

This matters because the expectations of incorporated businesses are likely to be very different to those of a lone worker.  It may be inappropriate to offer something designed for one to the other.

The lone worker in a B2B arrangement may find they lose control of their business because someone markets for them.  An established business in a coaching arrangement may find they are not using their resources as effectively as they could.

All these businesses may think they are in a B2B relationships, even though for the lone worker the relationship may be more like a B2C arrangement.

It’s probably not crucial but worth bearing in mind.

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Qualification

Who Qualifies for Your Offer?

Qualification can be a barrier for your prospects under some circumstances.  It is likely to be informal and so may not be obviously relevant.  So it is worth asking who qualifies for your offer.  But sometimes qualification can encourage people to sign up.

Prior Knowledge, Experience or Education

If you offer help to succeed in some activity, list what they need to know or experience to get most benefit from your offer.  You both want your work together to be successful and so it is in everyone’s interests this is clear before you set out.

If qualification for your offer proves to be a major barrier, this may be evidence you need a lower end offer to help people prepare for your main offer.  You could, for example, offer a workshop to cover the groundwork necessary to qualify for one to one coaching.  This could be a means to become better known and prepare your prospects for your services.

Another approach is to ask if you could adjust your offer to take account of people’s lack of qualification.  So, you might adjust the content or even add time to a plan to bring clients up to speed.

Another possibility may be recommended reading or videos.  This could be useful during the period between someone signing up and making their payment.  You could send them a reading list or links to videos, so they can make a start short of actually tackling the material in your offer.  If this is well-structured it may address the problem of buyer’s remorse, where someone has second thoughts before they make their first payment.

Do You Qualify?

It is worth considering whether qualification for your offer can be attractive!  If you deliberately target your offer to those who meet stringent criteria, this may be attractive.  You are offering membership as it were to an élite club.

Perhaps the simplest approach might be a series of offers and prospects must follow the sequence.  Earlier steps may be low-priced and then the more advanced options would depend on their completion.

I have not tried this myself but it seems to me there are at least two essentials to this approach.  First, the quality of every stage must be high.  One bad experience and prospects are unlikely to continue.

It would be essential to show why you have such a sequence.  There needs to be some justification for the way you break the work down.  Your offers must show at each level what those who complete it shall achieve.  This means people can choose to stop at a logical point where they can do whatever it is they set out to learn.

This may mean people feel a part of something special whatever level they choose.  They know they can progress further in the future but they are confident they have the best training for their present level of attainment.

It may be worth considering whether formal qualifications might enhance the value of your offer.

Please let me know if this is helpful and if there are any points I could expand upon.

Signpost with many directions

How to Tell Right Targets from Wrong Targets

Perhaps the biggest problem facing any business is to identify its market.  It’s difficult because your target market needs to be small.  This is counter-intuitive.  We all have a gut feeling the bigger the market, the more business we will find.  This is not true because once we have found the right targets, we can aim our marketing to that market.  In a big general market, you compete with everyone else.

So, here are a few things to consider.  They will help you work out your wrong targets as well.  It is a waste of resources to market to the wrong targets and so it is helpful to know who they are.

Is there a real need?

Your target market will have a real need.  You need a story with which your market can identify.  Often in business, new technological developments supersede methods that worked a few years ago.  If you can help adjust to these changes, you may have a business.

Remember technological changes have social implications and it may be changes are not so much about learning use of some new device or application as dealing with its social implications.  The early adopters of a new technology find a way to use it and then later adopters find their needs are not fully served by these early methods.

Inertia is a growing expectation things are done in a certain way.  So, some people may feel they do not benefit from technology because they do not use it appropriately for  their market.

Proven methods are rarely so proven as they first appear.  An approach that works in one place does not necessarily work elsewhere.  The real need many customers have is to work out solutions that work in their particular circumstances. They need to know you understand their problem and can help them resolve it.

Do we promise real value?

If you promise to show why your customers have a problem and help them work out what to do about it, you offer real value.

Off-the-peg solutions can work but chances are the big players have them covered.  Also, many problems can be solved by searching online.  If you have a generally applicable solution, it is likely to appear online sooner or later and perhaps this is no bad thing.

The real challenges are where the mainstream solutions do not work.  The chances are the problem is not with the technology so much as the customer’s response to it.  The real value is  to help a customer identify their particular issues and make informed choices as a result.

Who are Your Prospects?

Clearly define the prospects for your offer.  They may experience the need and appreciate the value of your offer but there could be other barriers to a purchase.

Perhaps the biggest issue is whether they can afford your offer.  Let’s say you offer help with websites.  You may find the hassle of putting a site together is worthwhile over £2000.  Below that even a simple site is not worth the effort.

There may be many businesses that would benefit from your support if they could afford it.  But there is no point seeking prospects who can afford less than £2000.  You can’t afford to take them on.

Have you Something Valuable or Important to Say?

If you have a story or information of value to your prospects, this will help them identify you as the potential solution to their problem.  Many people struggle for years with a problem because they do not believe it can be solved.

If you can show you offer a solution to a problem they have never believed they could solve, they are likely to be interested in your offer.

You need to show knowledge of use to the prospect and show you know how to apply it.  You are not just offering information but insight into how your knowledge can be applied effectively.

Do You Promise to Solve a Problem?

This is the fundamental issue every business faces.  Do you offer to solve a problem that is live and real for your prospects?  Your prospects need not be aware of the problem but it is important they want to tackle it once aware of it.

It is essential your promise to solve the problem is credible.  You need to show there are solutions to the problem and that you are uniquely placed to offer the best possible solution.  It does not matter if this does not work for people who are not your prospects.  So, long as there are enough prospects  and you reach them, you have a business.

Doctor in mask in laboratory

Who Do Your Target Prospects Admire?

What is the point asking: who do your target prospects admire?  Hot pursuit of detailed answers to this question could be a waste of time.  However, there are some advantages, so it is worth giving it some thought:

  • It helps you build a detailed picture of your key prospects
  • You can seek an endorsement from people they are likely to admire
  • You can show you admire people similar to the ones your prospects admire. For example, you can use your blog.

Let’s take a closer look at some possible targets for admiration:

Brands

Consider established, well-known brands.  You could place adverts on your site or include photos of you using a brand.  This would be a sort of product placement and I’m not sure how far I would want to go.  Perhaps a mention in a blog would be a possibility but take care not to overdo it.  The important thing is, if you wish to associate yourself with a brand, your endorsement should be genuine.  If you include it solely to impress your prospects, you are likely to be found out.

A casual mention of an established brand may be effective and not too pushy.  If you are planning to feature it in a big way, it may be worth communicating with the brand owners.  They may not wish to be associated with you!  But if there is mutual benefit, you may be able to arrange some sort of affiliate deal or at least permission to use their logo.

However, personal brands are perhaps more important in local marketing and so it is worth exploring association with local brands and then work out how to feature them in your marketing.

Check out my post about Trustmarks for more about featuring brands.  Featuring well-known clients or sources of qualifications can be fairly powerful.

Job Types

A medical practitioner might use images of nurses or doctors on their website, for example.  Or simply dress like people in those professions.  So long as such images are relevant they may reassure visitors to a website, shop, clinic or office.

Another approach is to challenge the idea of a job.  Think of Kirosaya’s four categories: employed, self-employed, business owner and investor.  In some circumstances, your prospects may admire one or more of these approaches to finding income.  Certainly, if your offer is for business owners, you need to show you understand business ownership.  The same applies to all four categories.

Individuals

You may be able to get an endorsement from someone your prospects admire.  You would discuss this with the person and work out how best to feature them.  They may for example, see this as an opportunity for mutual benefit.

You can show you admire particular people by, for example, blogging about them or about their work.  This will be particularly effective if they are dead.

You would not have any problem featuring a dead person’s quotation. So long as you keep it short, you don’t have to ask a living person if you can use a quote.  Obviously it must be attributed, or there would be little point.  A sentence or two is all you need.  Most people look at the name and may not read a long quote.

Remember, though there is a point where a quote might be a breach of copyright.  Short quotations are never a problem so long as you attribute them.

If this has been helpful, let me know.  What else would you like to know about this topic?

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