Marketing 101

Marketing 101: Here are the 3 Questions to Have Clear Before Starting

Welcome. Welcome to another episode of Marketing 101. Last week, we talked about why I’m doing this series. And today I want to talk about our first piece of this series. I want us to dig in on something you’ve heard me talk about on the show before, something I talk about arguably ad nauseam, and it’s the three questions. What are you selling? Who are you selling it to? And how are you selling it? And we always come back to these questions because they answer a lot of our other questions. When building out our marketing plan, when creating content, when creating assets, all of those pieces can frequently be answered based on those three questions. 

When we first start our business, we make a lot of educated guesses. 

As we’re building our business, we kind of duct tape things all to a shaky foundation of estimations, of guesses of, “I wonder if this will work,” experiments, I guess we can say. I really want us today to shift this conversation and shift these three questions into a real conversation around what’s actually happening.

Marketing 101 Question #1: I want you to sit down and I want you to think about what are you selling? 

Not what do you want to sell this year, not what do you want to sell next year, not what do you wish you sold more of. What inside of your business is actually generating sales right now? Is it single sessions? Is it packages for coaching? Is it a particular consulting offer? Is it speaking? Is it a book you wrote? Is it a digital download or a program or a template package? I don’t care what the answer is, but I want you to sit down and map out what am I actually selling right now? What is actually generating revenue for my business? When you’re clear on what’s actually selling, you’re able to access a lot of data because once you look at that and you see what’s actually selling, you’ll see what problem people are already seeing you as a solution to.

Then when we go to make other offers or we go to map out content, we have a better, firmer understanding of what it is we need to be creating, not because we need to only provide the solution for that problem. I want to be really clear about this.  

It shows us where the holes in our education and nurturing of our audience are, especially if you look at that list of things that are currently selling in your business, and they’re not what you want to be selling. 

Maybe they’re not even what you’re actually marketing. Yeah. Maybe not. I have had this conversation with clients. I had this experience before where I am actively selling something, and in reality, I’m getting a lot of purchases in another part of my business.

Now I will say, this brings me back to one of my favorite launch lessons. And we talked about this in my episode with Nicole Otchy. I can’t remember what episode number it was, but we will make sure we link to it in the show notes. But we talked about when you put any sort of marketing effort at all into your business, and you’re getting any kind of visibility, you will benefit all of the parts of your business. You will sell all of the things. Frequently, when I sell low dollar items, I book high ticket clients. We have clients who’ve experienced the same thing. We’ve been selling a membership or even a course, and suddenly they’re like, “Yeah, I just filled one to one for this month,” but that’s not what people are supposed to be buying. And I’m like, “Oh … “

Any time you put any amount of marketing effort into any part of your business, it will impact all of your business. 

So look at what’s actually selling because it may just be that your visibility is there, but there’s still a hole in the education around a specific offering. Is what is selling right now what you want to be known for, what you want to be selling? If it’s not, let’s look at your content. Is your content confusing your audience?

And I don’t mean this like does it not make sense and are they lost? I more mean, do they not have a clear understanding of what their next step is? For example, let’s say you want to be selling larger coaching packages, but all you seem to be able to actually get sales on our single onetime sessions. A, I would say, look at how you are upselling people from one to a package, because personally I always love to generate more revenue from an existing customer than to create a new customer.

So maybe your sales process needs to be less about your large coaching package, more about that single session.  

And then you have a followup sales sequence that happens after the single session to book them into a larger package. And look at your content. Are you building out content that speaks to a in and out kind of relationship? Bring me your one problem, we’ll solve it, then we’re done. Or are you creating content educating your audience around the benefits of working with you longterm? Maybe some other larger problems. This is always where I like to bring in education around what they’re asking for and what they actually need.

Oftentimes, I see this a lot with leads in our own business, Uncommonly More, is somebody will come in and they’ll tell me that they have a leads problem. They’re not getting enough traffic. They’re not getting enough podcast listeners. They’re not getting enough people in the door to sell the thing. And I will say, “Cool. How many of the thing are you selling when you get people on the calls?” And they say, “Well, I can’t get anyone on a call to sell them. That’s the problem.” And I go, “Great. So how much traffic are you getting to your website? How many followers do you have? How many downloads are you getting?”

And they’ll give me all those numbers and I go, “Cool. So you have X amount of people and we haven’t been able to get any of them onto a sales call.” “Well, yeah, no.” “Well, great. Then the problem is not that you need more leads. 

The problem is actually that you need to better nurture those leads and convert. 

That conversion right there as a sales call and then convert them again on the sales call into the program. So you don’t have a leads problem. You have a conversion problem.”

And I’m guessing you probably find the same with your audience too. I’m sure my coaches and my mentors and the people I have worked with will say the same thing about me. I go in and I go, “This is my problem. And I’ve got to figure this out,” and it’s almost never that because we’re too close to it. We can’t see what our problems actually are. That’s what the experts are for. And so where your hole might be is actually educating them on the larger problem, the larger commitment to your work together that’s necessary to see longterm results instead of putting out a lot of content that solves those little problems that they think they have. 

Even content that maybe speaks to the little problem they think they have and models for them how it could be a larger problem. Maybe you do that through case study episodes, or blog posts. Maybe you do that through interviews. Maybe you do that through sharing your own lessons and experience. There’s lots of ways for you to do that. But again, looking at what am I actually selling allows us to dig into those other pieces.

Marketing 101 Question #2: The second question I want us to dig into today is who are we selling it to? 

This is the biggest one that I think we stay attached to our estimate. We stay attached to our best guess, and we don’t revisit, “Okay, so who am I actually working with?” And I love pulling out that ICA document that says, “This is who I want to work with. This is a dream client for this,” and then mapping out who my clients actually are and going, “Okay, this was pretty good,” or, “Wow. We took a hard left somewhere,” because both of those are possible outcomes to this exercise, and entertaining outcomes to exercise.

So I want you to look at who are you actually selling these things to. Who are your actual customers right now? 

Again, this is us checking in with what we know. Now that we know stuff, you’ve been doing this it’s a little while, you have data. So for the things you’re actually selling right now, who are your customers? And I want you to really highlight all of the things that you got wrong, all of the differences because I want you to review those things and see if that’s okay. Because if it’s not okay, then we need to go back to how are we getting these clients in? We need to go back to that lead area and say, “Hey, these are the leads that are coming in. These are not ideal clients. These are the things I don’t like about them. What am I creating content-wise, what spaces am I spending time in … ” and we’re going to talk more about that next week. 

That’s bringing in the wrong lead, that’s attracting the wrong demographic.

And on the flip side, if you’re like, “Oh my god, I was wrong about this. These people are amazing. Then we’re going great. So what about this attracted them? Let’s do more of that. Let’s double down. Let’s quadruple down,” because it’s working and it’s a happy accident that it wasn’t what you thought it was going to be. Let’s leverage that. That’s incredibly valuable data that again, far too often we are leaving on the table because we continue to stay in this dreamland. We continue to stay in this place of like, “Oh yeah, this is what I think I want. And so I’m just going to keep working this.”

And a lot of times, honestly … it’s just you and me right now so I’m going to say this. 

A lot of times I think we stay in this dreamland space because it’s easier than looking at what’s in front of us. 

If we can just stay in this place of like, “Oh yeah. So this is what I want and that’s what I … ” then we don’t actually have to look at what turns do I need to make? What changes do I need to make? What evolutions do I make? We also don’t have to look at anywhere we were wrong, even if that’s a happy accident and we’re glad we were wrong. And so I want you to sit down, map out who your clients actually are, compare that to your ideal client for the offerings that are in that first pile, that are in that this is what I’m selling, and make sure everything’s in alignment, and highlight what’s not so that you can change it.

Again, this part of these questions, this exercise above all is the place we latch on to dreamland the most. And the fact of the matter is, is you’ve now been in business long enough. You’ve now experienced enough. You now have worked with enough people. You now have been in the weeds with enough clients that you know what you want. I don’t care if you’re creating a brand new offering. I don’t care if you’re talking to a slightly different demographic. You need to know who your ideal clients are.

I want to give you an example of this because this is a space I’m in right now. 

As we forecast for 2021 and we look at what we’re going to do, one of the things I’m going to be doing more of is speaking and coming into mastermind groups and group coaching programs and memberships and offering workshops. And so I’m mapping out once again for the bazillionth time, an ideal client avatar, an ICA. I’m looking at who are the people I want to be coming in. And I’m actually making two ICAs.

One is who I want their ideal clients to be because it’s who I want to be in the program. So they’re not actually the person I’m selling to. They’re the people who I will be performing for. Right? They’re the people I will be dancing in front of. There is absolutely no actual dancing in these Q and A’s. I feel like I should say that right up front … or in the workshop. There’s no dancing. Gotta wait for the after-party. So I want you to think about that ICA is probably going to be pretty similar to who I’d want my customers to be because here’s the deal. When you go on and you connect with these groups, it’s you going in and providing your expertise. This is visibility, this is Marketing 101. 

This is you going out and doing essentially paid prospecting, paid lead generation because you’re getting paid to go in and speak to the group, but also you are in front of your potential customers. 

So that group is going to be pretty similar to my ICA for the other things I’m selling my business.

But I also have to figure out the ICA for who runs these groups. And that’s actually not terribly far from my actual ideal client. And quite honestly, we’ve already done this for a lot of our clients. We’ve come in and spoken to their groups and their communities because it’s really valuable for us to do that, for them and for us. And so it really ends up kind of being a slightly different version of our ideal clients. 

But there are some nuances there that I have to look at, how they run their programs, kind of things I prioritize when they put together a program, the kinds of guest experts they do, the fact that they pay their guest experts because that’s not something that is universal across all clients.

So I want you to recognize that in this, as I look at, “Okay, so I do need to do some forward casting. This is something I’ve not ever actively sold for. I have sold it.” Again, this came from the, “Oh, so what am I actually selling right now? Oh, I’m actually selling these. What happens if I put some actual marketing and sales intention behind that? Oh wow. Let’s find out.” And so I’m using the data of what I’m actually selling to go, “Oh, I want to do more of this. Cool. I’m looking at who I’m selling it to. Mostly right now, I’m selling it to people who know me already and our clients, our existing UM clients. Cool. That’s good for me to know.” 

Now I am going to forward cast a little bit, but I’m going to use all of that data I already have based on who I’ve already sold this to.

So do you see how I’m kind of giving some grounding to that vision? I’m giving some foundation to that what do I want. This data will make selling this exponentially easier because I know exactly why the people have bought these things. For example, a really common conversation we have is, “I need to take some time off from leading this group. I need somebody to cover me on this day. Can you come in?” “Oh yeah. Not a problem.” And I come in and I lead a Q and A. 

Or, “Hey, we’re getting question after question after question about how they can do this. They’re all having XYZ marketing problem.” “Cool. A strategy would help. Here’s what a workshop would look like.” And then I go in and I host a workshop and we build 90-day strategies with their group. 

But again, I’m able to shortcut that and get there because I have all of that data on these conversations.

So I’m using these conversations. I’m using this data to now build sales copy and figure out exactly how I sell, which is our third piece. I want you to look at how you’re already selling these things. I mentioned this last bit … we were talking about who I’m selling it to, I mentioned a lot of this came up from our existing clients. A lot of this came up from people who I already knew. So I’m already selling this person to person, relationship-based, by tapping my network and extending an offer. That’s good to know. What does it look like for then me to sell it in other ways? What about that successful way of selling it can I bring in to these other conversations? 

Well, it means if I want to add some social, maybe it’s me getting more engaged with some of the people who run these communities, people in my network who I know this will be valuable for, and reconnecting and warming that relationship a little bit, and then making an offer, let them know what’s available, letting them know what’s an option.

On the flip side, let’s go back to our example of a single coaching session. We know you’re selling these one single standalone sessions. How are you currently selling them right now? Maybe it’s your podcast. Cool. We know your podcast works. How can we double down on your podcast content? Maybe it’s pulling a transcript and using that as social content. Maybe it’s pulling clips out of your podcast and sharing them as videos on Instagram, on Facebook, on YouTube, on LinkedIn. Maybe it’s getting a transcript of your podcast and creating a pulse post, like a written blog post for LinkedIn or a post over on Medium. what do these options look like as you go, “Oh, this is how I’m already selling it. Let me find more ways to do more with this thing that I already know is working,” instead of, “Here’s what I want to sell and here’s who I want to sell it to. And here’s how I want to sell it.”

Question #3: I want you to really spend some time this week digging into how are you already selling this?

Who are you already selling it to? What are you currently selling? That data is going to ground this. The how bit I want to leave a little short because we’re going to dig more into that next week as we continue our Marketing 101 series. I want to talk more about choosing the right social channels, choosing your content types, choosing things like your email frequency and how all of these different marketing pieces, your email marketing, your content marketing, your podcast marketing, your search engine optimization marketing, your social media marketing, your network, like tapping your network for sales, your referral marketing, how these pieces fit together and where we’re focusing on them and how to choose what to focus on. So that’s what we’re going to talk about next week.

So do this work this week. We’ll talk more about that next week. Hit me up in the DMs on Instagram, @thestaceyharris, @uncommonlymore, either one. Let me know. If you’re listening to this episode and you’re going, “I just need some help. I don’t know,” 

I’m super excited to be launching a brand new way to work with me. 

It is a 90-minute marketing session and then 30 days of access to me in Voxer, meaning you essentially add a strategist to your team for 30 days without having a 12-month whole year commitment to the Uncommonly More team. You can use your existing social media manager, your virtual assistant, your existing OBM. Whoever it is that’s currently helping you with your marketing stuff, great. Let’s leave them in place. You’ve got a good relationship with them. But let’s also give you a strategist to partner with to have some of these high-level intentional conversations around where you’re going. And let’s knock out a marketing project that was on your wishlist for 2020, and just hasn’t gotten done.

Maybe it was to launch a podcast. Great. Let’s sit down. We’ll build out your launch strategy, your content calendar for your first 12 months, and start recording. As you start recording, you can send me audios to listen to and check out. You can send me music you’re thinking about for your intro music. And we can continue conversations around how you’re going to structure your show notes. We can actually be in contact while you implement the stuff from our session. 

The same can be done fielding a launch or create a new opt-in or writing a new email sequence, any project you want. But it’s one single project, we’re actually going to work on it in that 90-minute call. 

Not going to be idea time, not going to be brainstorming time, it’ll be work time.

And then again, you’ll have 30 days of access to me to get support as you take massive amounts of action in getting that thing out into the world. It is the next level of the conversation we’re having here with this Marketing 101 series. I’m only opening up a couple of spots for this this month. If you are interested, I very much encourage you to take action ASAP. If you’re unsure and you’re like, “I don’t know, is this even possible? Could this be a thing we do?” Reach out. Send me a DM on Instagram, reach out over on our contact form on the website. Let me know. My team and I will get you a call booked with me just to see if it’s a good fit. If it’s not, I promise I will tell you. If it is, I’m going to tell you that too. Okay? All right. That’s it.

I will see you next week. Make sure you sit down and take action on this episode. Map out exactly what are you selling right now? Who are you selling it to right now? And how are you currently generating those sales? That’s what I want you to look at this week. We will resume this episode next week. If you have any questions in the meantime, again, drop me a DM and I will see you very, very soon.

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