“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen
Powerful words, right? As you put together all of the pieces of your Expertpreneur™ business – the website, autoresponders, products, live events – it's your job to keep everything congruent to your desired image. Or risk losing it all.
After all, perception is reality. What people see of your business is what they believe. And you have full control of what they see.
With all the work required to create and support your image, the desired perception your audience has of you, what do you think could easily destroy it?
If you make a move that goes against your customers' perception of you, it could cause real problems for your business. So today I'm going to show you how to maintain that delicate consistency, while utilizing the powers of perception to improve your bottom line:
You will see how one wrong sales move can lose your prospects' trust…
Why “bandwagon marketing” could work for you or against you…
And how you can charge significantly more for your products with a few simple tweaks…
Marketing Gone Wrong
Most people go into business to make a good living for themselves and their family. And in many cases, to help people, and make a difference.
Because of that, we are always looking to improve profits, while we're helping people. It only makes sense – more sales and money equals greater success, right?
Well, yes and no. Honestly, I believe that if you work smart and with passion, the money will come. But, as I discuss in this month's ExpertPreneur™ Magazine, it is always important for you to remain true to your desired perception and image in your marketing.
Because ignoring that could completely ruin your credibility with your prospects and clients.
Think about it: if you coach people with depression, helping them build new lives after going through incredible hardship, it would be jarring if you suddenly offered a MLM opportunity. They would most likely turn against you.
Whether it be your own product or something you are offering through a JV or Affiliate relationship, you have to make sure that promoting it makes sense to your business. Even the slightest departure from your core message and focus (offering a beginner's-level product to experts, and vice-versa) can alienate your “herd” of followers.
If you're looking for new products to promote, use your own forum or blog to strike up a conversation and get to know them on a personal level. Listen to your customers' deepest pains, problems and fears, or aspirations and desires, and craft new ideas for potential promotions around that.
This extends even further than products. We're talking about the perception you want your prospects and clients to have of you. If you are sending out a weekly newsletter, but aren't able to keep the quality up to your typical standards, then you need to rethink your strategy. And either send it out less often, or find someone who can produce it with the high level of quality your people expect. You don't want people to think you are less than the authority they think you are.
Keep this in mind for every element of your business. Nothing has to be perfect, but everything should at least match the standards, focus, and positioning you have set for yourself. Consistently disappointing customers, or not being congruent with your focus, messaging and marketing can lead to a whole slew of problems…
Jumping on the Bandwagon
When a lot of people are doing something, others will jump on whatever it is, causing the “bandwagon effect.” And, as you can imagine, this can go one of two ways.
If, like in the previous section, you start marketing products to your customers that seem to be just “cash-grabs”, and are not congruent with your authority positioning or what you stand for, you may start a terrible snowball effect of people who negatively view you and your business.
One person might write a scathing comment on your blog. That will prompt someone else to chime in, and someone else, and so on and so forth.
Suddenly you find yourself fighting a wave of negative backlash for one action, and people perceiving you as just trying to empty their wallets, with no regard for their problems, frustrations and desires. Do this, and you'll have to fight an uphill battle just to regain your reputation, and the trust of your prospects and clients…
Halting your progress entirely.
The good news is this can go the other way. If you stay true to your desired perception, while offering outstanding advice, training and customer service, there can be a “bandwagon effect” of people complimenting your business and writing 5-star reviews. Because they see you as the authority figure, their trusted advisor. The desired perception you have engineered in your business.
And a good way to harness this is through social media.
When you generate a lot of Twitter followers and people participating on your Facebook page, etc… you will find that more people will join in just to see what you are about. They will perceive you as popular, successful, and having something to offer.
It's why Justin Bieber's PR machine has been “buying” Twitter followers. The high numbers make it look like something important is happening there.
Now, I wouldn't recommend going that far, but consider putting time into areas where your clients' interactions are visible to others. While staying congruent to your desired perception. This will increase the positive visibility of your business, and position you as a successful Expertpreneur™… their trusted advisor.
Getting More For Your Products and Services
A known expert in any field can command high prices. You can charge whatever you want for any product or service (within reason) when you have crafted a desired perception which sets you apart from everyone else in your market.
How? Benefits and packaging.
If you take a look at any coaching/info marketing website, you'll see a lot of different products being offered. Beyond that, you will find that many of those products contain tier options for customers to choose from. Typically they range from the basic product to a high-priced exclusive model, usually in limited quantities, that caters to prospects ready to go above and beyond in their goals.
For example, if you look at GKIC (Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle), you'll see they have a membership site for prospects who want to start implementing their methods. And, of course, they offer valuable free reports and a trial to entice them to give it a shot.
You can opt to join as either a Gold, Gold Luxury, Diamond, Platinum, Titanium, or Info-Mastermind member. Each is more expensive than the one before it, offers more exclusive information, and has fewer members.
Now, GKIC has been around for a long time, and has proven time and time again through consistent, valuable content, and many rave reviews, they are the real deal.
So, when you join, if you're a new small business or Internet marketer, they encourage you to start with Gold. As your business improves, you are encouraged to join higher tiers. All the while, GKIC shows communication, trust, and real care for the customer – they're not just trying to get a lot of money out of you.
And that's why it works so well.
You can do this too. You already have a core group of ideal prospects that you market to. By providing them with useful products, consistent quality free information, as well as regular, congruent communication, you slowly increase your status as an authority to them.
Allowing you to charge more for your services.
Let's say your standard product is a package of group coaching sessions. Offer a “FastTrack Edition” with an exclusive one-on-one coaching session, as well as access to a special group limited to 50 members, and you suddenly have an elite option of your own. Charging more without adding a whole heck of a lot to it.
All because of the perception of exclusivity and value of the information you created.
(By the way, your time is worth significantly more one-on-one than it is doing group sessions, so you should be charging a lot more for these one-on-one sessions. Never forget that!)
Put Your “Perception is Reality” Engine into High Gear
Start thinking about ways you can elevate your perception to get more out of your business.
It's really as simple as taking what you are already doing – content marketing, emails, social media – and making sure it's all congruent with the desired perception you want your prospects to have of you. Your customers will start talking about you and evangelizing your business. And people will want to know more.
Also, start thinking of ways to tweak products in a way that commands more money. Think in terms of membership tiers and exclusive editions. According to the 80/20 rule, 20% of your customers are going to be worth 80% of your profits. That means they will go for your higher-priced options!
And you won't have to try and sell products that don't make sense.
Perception is a powerful thing… Do you want people to see you as a struggling, money-centric Expertpreneur™ who doesn't seem to really care about his or her customers? Or someone who is knowledgeable, helpful, and can offer true value?
It's all in your hands; tune up your engine and your business will start to boom.