Are You Offering a Commodity or a Unique Solution?

Are You Offering a Commodity or a Unique Solution?

As a self-employed professional, the last thing you want is for clients to perceive you as a commodity. Commodities are products or services that are considered to be basically the same no matter who provides them. When your target audience thinks of you as just another financial planner, graphic designer, life coach, personal trainer, or psychotherapist, you must work far too hard simply to get them to remember you until they need you.

Here are five ways you can position the solution that you offer as distinctive enough to attract and hold your prospective clients’ attention, AND convince them that your solution is the one they need.

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Are You Marketing the Right Stuff?

Are You Marketing the Right Stuff?

Jan is a graphic designer who was always struggling to find good clients. “I could find plenty of people who needed my services,” she recalls, “but they thought my rates were too high. I either ended up agreeing to work for less, or they found someone else. And then when I did get the job, they took forever to pay me.”

Like many graphic designers, Jan’s marketing emphasized her business identity work — creating a company’s logo, business cards, and other collateral, with matching design elements. Her primary audience was new businesses who were just getting started. But then Jan had a brainstorm.

“I realized that the clients I was marketing to were people who didn’t have enough money to pay me,” says Jan. “They were startups with tight budgets. And since they hadn’t been in business long, they didn’t place much value on working with an experienced, high-quality designer. They were just looking for the lowest price.”

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Your Market Niche: an Essential Key to Success

Your Market Niche: an Essential Key to Success

How important is it that you have a clearly defined market niche for your professional services? Can’t you simply make yourself available to work for anyone who might need you? Doesn’t having a niche limit you to serving only a small portion of possible clients? Why would you want to rule out any possible sources of business? Discovering the answers to these questions can have a powerful impact on the success or failure of your business.

When you have a market niche, it defines either your target market — who you wish to target as prospective clients -– or your professional specialty –- the services you specialize in providing within the broader scope of your profession. The most effective niches define both these elements.

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Six Steps to Get Your Audience to Read What You Write

Six Steps to Get Your Audience to Read What You Write

If you’re a self-employed professional who wants to get the attention of prospective clients by writing blog posts, magazine and journal articles, case studies, or an ebook, you already know this problem. Writing material like this takes up time and brain capacity. There’s nothing worse than sweating over a piece for hours and then having only a handful of people read it.

With a bit of care and attention, you can turn that situation around, and start attracting the readers you want. Here are six steps to get your desired audience reading what you write.

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Want Clients to Choose You? Be Special

Want Clients to Choose You? Be Special

The marketplace is crowded these days. It doesn’t matter how you’re trying to get clients. If you’re going to live networking events, you may find half a dozen professionals in your field at every event you attend. Online, there may be dozens of websites in your category that get a higher rank than yours. On social media, you probably see content from professionals like you all over the place. How will your potential clients find and choose you with all that competition?

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