I remember reading a fantasy novel which talks about an imaginary story when the Han Dynasty went to war with the Roman Empire...
Long story short, it's a war N-O-B-O-D-Y wins.
During the 1st and 2nd century A.D., the transportation technology was limited to animal power and the road condition.
While both the Han Dynasty and the Roman Empire had technology far beyond any other cultures at the time, and both had powerful armies that could easily conquer any enemy...
The distance between the two is too far apart that they're completely outside each other's maximum controllable territory.
So even if the two mighty empires did went to war...
The end result: Hundreds of miles of wasted land, tens of thousands of lost lives, millions in lost money... but absolutely no gain for either side.
That's a war with no winner.
And you know what else is a war with no winner?
A price war.
The war where every competitor in the market tries to undercut each other with a lower price regardless of their margin.
It'll quickly become a race to the bottom and the worst thing that can happen is to actually win the war.
Find a way to truly understand what your market wants (& needs)...
Hint: 99% of the time it's not a cheaper price.
Discover the real value you can provide and communicate it effectively with your audience, like this: https://wuyenhsu.com/apply.
And you'll never have to get involved with the price war which will only leave you getting paid far less than what you're worth.
"This is a game of focus."
"Now attention is like a spotlight, and our job is to dance in the darkness."
"The human brain is slow, and it cannot multitask... You get their focus, you take whatever you want."
These quotes are pulled straight from the movie Focus. It's the true wisdom of Apollo Robbins, the con artist mastermind consulted for making the movie. He's called by Forbes to be an artful manipulator of awareness.
While we should A-L-W-A-Y-S be operating out of total integrity, we can't deny there are lots of similarities between the art of con and the art of marketing.
After all, they're both a game of focus.
Your prospects are busy. They have a million things happening in their lives and they're bombarded with hundreds of advertising every minute.
Who cares about what sponsored advertising has to say?
To make it worse, the market is jaded with 2nd grade marketers who want to swipe & deploy other people's ad and call it a day.
So attention is in short supply these days...
To capture your audience's attention, you need to understand what's keeping them awake at 2 am in the morning. Find out their fear, desire, and core needs... Discover their market awareness and the market sophistication.
If you can't answer all these questions, you'll never master the game of focus. Needless to say, the game of marketing.
Now, to be brutally honest with you, the art of focus takes intentional practice to master, and it might not be for you.
Perhaps all you want to do is to focus on what you do best - helping your clients get the best result - and you're not interested in the whole marketing thingy.
That's totally fine.
But someone in your business (or in partnership with your business) needs to master it for you. Just like this:
As an agency, you do hard work...
In other words, you provide real services to help your clients get results in return for a good fee.
Apart from info-product guroos, you're in a very different business. There is higher head cost, more investment (i.e. time, money, and hard work), and there is a maximum cap on how many clients you can serve... that is before sabotaging your lifestyle and the quality of your work.
So while it's great to get more clients, it's equally important for you to recognize the red flags on who NOT to take on.
Here's a few to get started:
1. Cost Only Clients: Clients who view your service as merely a cost, not as value-added, are always a red flag. Keep in mind, you're in the business of providing value. This means your clients are actually purchasing money at a discount by investing in your service, not just a cost to be written off.
2. Hourly Rate Clients: When clients are asking for your hourly rate, they've already shifted their mindset from how much value you can provide to how much work they can squeeze out of you... Does it really matter if you're only spending an hour but you're getting them $10 return for every $1 invested?
3. Know-It-All Clients: Sure, we all need to listen carefully to what our clients want. The goals they want to achieve and the challenges they're facing. But the truth is they came to you because whatever they've been doing doesn't work. No matter how great they make it sound like they're doing right now.
4. Unreasonably Busy Clients: Are they always showing up late, demanding last-minute deadlines, or pushing the boundary line by requesting even more meetings? People who don't respect your time won't respect your work nor you as a person.
5. Needy Clients: One needy client can throw your whole month's schedule off track. No, you don't need to be 24/7/365 on call for your clients. And no, you don't need to give them your cell phone and answer SMS texts at 2 am in the morning. Common, you're a service provider not a nanny.
6. Money Trouble Clients: While financial difficulty may not be your clients' fault, but it's always a big warning sign. Whether it's a shortage of cash-flow or because they want a last minute revision or because they want the upper hand in future negotiation. You should seriously consider firing the clients once and for all.
7. Full of Excuses Clients: Success is rarely the result of one single factor. It's a combination of the product, the strategy, the delivery, the marketing, and the copy altogether. If you realize your clients are giving lame excuses for not providing you with what you need, they're not serious about getting the result and you can forget about getting that testimonial.
8. Just Give Me Clients: You'll definitely run into prospects who ask you, "All I need is XYZ service, don't ask that many questions and just give me the quote." So keep this in mind: You are NOT required to give a quote just because someone asks for one.
(I learned this from my mentor, Lukas Resheske.)
9. No Clue Clients: You've probably had the experience (& headache) talking to clients who have no clue what they're doing - no product, no audience, no niche, no avatar, no testimonial - and they want you to make them rich, overnight. We do marketing, not magic.
10. No Competitor Clients: This one is counter-intuitive. Isn't it good to have no competition? Actually no, because 99% of the time it's not because there isn't any competition but just because your clients have too big an ego and WANT to believe they're super unique. You can't help an ostrich who's plugging its head into the sand.
Now, I guarantee you'll recognize more red flags for your business but this is a good list to start with.
Of course, firing existing clients and turning down potential prospects is hard. One of the methods to make it a lot easier (which in turn makes your life easier) is to understand this:
"The Diamond is Forever."
It's the commercial slogan Frances Gerety created for De Beers back in 1947 to promote a type of stone which they have too much inventory both in their storage and on Earth - diamond.
The truth is diamond has little value and isn't particularly special in the natural world.
It's not rare and it definitely can't save a broken marriage.
But the campaign was such a massive success it's hard to imagine a proposal or wedding without these shiny stones.
One of the major reason for the campaign success was the association with the word "Forever." Actually, it killed three birds with just one diamond...
Since you're only going to buy one, and it doesn't go bad, it matches the word of forever...
Since you're supposed to keep ONE for a lifetime, the company doesn't have to worry about customers finding out the real value of the stone when trying to resell it...
Since everyone wants their marriage to be happily ever after, they're emotionally sold for what the diamond stands for in their marriage...
So good luck proposing without a diamond ring.
This is the power of capturing the right primal emotion of your target market in your marketing message - ever loyal fans and lots of money.
Here you go...
The secret of great marketing lies not in arguing about what great features you have but in capturing the emotion and incorporating the value BEFORE you even start selling.
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