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Stuck: What Comes Next? Part 2

Still feeling stuck, but maybe just in a new place now? Not to fret, you’ve still made progress if you started working on the three action items in part one. But let’s keep the momentum and push forward!

At this point, you’ve captured the words and feedback your real clients and customers are using. You’ve likely needed a little break to process all of that… or try and rationalize it all away (don’t fall into this trap). You know what your past customers need next and how you helped them when you partnered together – gold my friends, gold.

You’ve also been super clear with yourself – you know who you are, what you excel in, what you sorta (or majorly) suck at, what you want to keep doing, and so on. Do not continue forward until you’ve done this hard work – it’s uncomfortable, but it is paramount to building a successful business for YOU, especially long term.

And finally, you’ve spent some time digging deep into creating your ideal business model – or, the type of business you want to run. If you’re unsure about your exact business model, don’t worry – it can flex and change over time if you are finding things aren’t quite working, but you need to be certain with the model you’re starting with. If you’re still unsure… try and replicate the business models for people already in your space, that feels like what you want, and tweak it with your own thoughts. Remember: don’t just pick and plop someone else’s – it won’t work.

So… what’s next from here?

#4: What are the Two or Three Problems You Solve?

Now is when you’re hoping to get the advice to start selling, right? Um… don’t do that. 😉 Instead, drill down and pick exactly and only, two or three problems you can help people solve.

Did you gasp a little? Because you’re worried about…

… missing a potential client because you’re limiting your target market

… narrowing down the list of ALL of the things you can do for your clients to two or three?

Both are the most common concerns I hear – and both concerns will hold you and your business back from success. I’m not saying that there aren’t businesses out there that can do “a lot of things” and be successful; what I am saying is that YOUR business can’t/shouldn’t… yet.

Think about it from the perspective of your customer. They are currently in pain and are seeking out a solution. Would they be more likely to want to work with someone who is the expert in solving their very specific pain and urgent need… or would they rather work with someone who can solve everything in that space?

So narrow down your solutions. The smaller and more concrete the solution, the more effective it will be to the person you are trying to work with. What are the two or three problems that you solve better than anyone out there in your opinion? THIS is what you should start creating your business around.  

#5: Talk About Your Solutions

Here’s the super awesome and sneaky result of only focusing on two or three problems. You can create exact and specific solutions to solve them – thereby creating a perceived notion of expertise AND for your clients, actual deliverable and measurable results.

Like, whoa, right?

This is when the marketing for your business becomes a lot easier in general. If you’re anything like me, you hem and haw over blog posts and funnels and topics and editorial calendars and so on, just waiting for “the right” topic to magically appear. And you’re wasting a lot of time without producing anything for your business.

But if knew exactly what the two or three problems your people are having and the exact steps to fix them… you have a never-ending pool of topics to write about. A great tip about generating topics/headlines in this manner is from the Content Direction Agency where they recommend to start with the problem and work backwards. Map out all of the steps your client would need to take to solve their issue until you reach their problem – and you’ll have a bevvy of ideas directly on-topic.

Another approach that finally made sense to me, was one shared by Charlie Gilkey during a speaking engagement. Think of your solutions as big, traditionally published books. I’ll use Dan Pink or Brene Brown as examples. They have both written several books (and a LOT of bestsellers), but they don’t write or speak about concepts they’ve shared in past books. Their current marketing efforts are all focused on their current big book – one central big idea. This is on purpose – they want to continuously establish their expertise on that one singular topic, and by doing so, they’re able to attract and convert the very customer who is has their exact problem.

Don’t try to “sell” four different books at the same time – focus more narrowly. 

Still feeling stuck? Drop me a line with where you’re at and I’d be happy to chat with you about how to keep moving forward.