“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
The last couple of ‘stuck’ blogs have hit a nerve, so if you’re new to the blog you might want to review the last couple of posts.
To get unstuck, you need to challenge your own ideas and beliefs. You’re stuck, right? So something isn’t working despite your pushing and forcing and willing your project along. If you could afford it, you’d hire a fresh set of eyes to come in and take a look under the hood, and you probably should. As I wrote the other day, hire a coach.
So here are some questions to help you figure out where you’re constraint is and break through the hurdles that are stopping you. Answering these questions will help you:
- Figure out who your market is.
- Figure out who to connect to.
- Identify the specific problems other people have that you can solve.
- Determine whether or not your idea is lousy (for lack of a better term)
- How do I attract the right clients?
Remember that all of this effort is pointless unless you start. If you’re stuck on an answer, err on the side of courage and take action, bolder than anyone else would believe is reasonable.
Start before you’re ready.
The path will become clearer as you make your way along. Always does.
Who is it for?
If you said “everyone,” you have a problem. Be specific. Now get even more specific. Now get weird. Think fringe. In every market, there is a base, middle and a top. The base needs basic stuff; they shop for price and essentials. The middle is a little more interested because their needs are a little more complicated. The top of the market, the people who care, are the people you are looking for. These are the passionate people who are looking for something special and who will share the news of what they have found.
Don’t think about the masses. Instead, think about building awareness a few people at a time.
What do these people believe?
The masses want average. Average competes on price.
The fringe is where the action is. What do they believe? What do they want to talk about?
Most advisors I meet who are struggling are struggling because they are trying to tap a niche market with mass market thinking.
Does anyone know you exist?
Are you hoping someone will make an introduction for you? Keep on hoping, it’s cheap.
If your target market doesn’t know you exist, how are they going to find you? If they don’t know you, and can’t find you, then how are they going to hire you or buy from you?
Here’s an idea: start a blog (like I did) to get your name out there. My blog is shared with a lot of people who I have never met. I hate to be so crass, but candidly I have made a lot of money blogging. By sharing what I think, I have created people who make introductions.
What problem are you solving?
The more clearly you can identify the problem, the better you can identify how you solve the problem.
What’s the hard part about what you’re trying to do?
Easy things aren’t scarce. If you’re trying to get into the soap business, you’re in for an uphill battle. Hard things are really scarce, and scarce things have value. By doing something hard, you create something of value. So what is the hard part about what you’re trying to do? It’s not hard to find a capable financial planner.
Let me summarize this for you, and give this all some thought over the weekend.
You have to get very specific and small. You have to understand your market. You have to create something that is worth noticing that solves a specific problem for a specific group. And to get their attention, you are going to have to leave the safety of mass-market thinking.
Just find a few people who will get turned on by what you’re doing. That’s all you need. They’ll bring lots of other people to the party.