What people are hiring for right now (changes in the marketplace)

I was talking with a friend yesterday about how the market is changing.

What people were looking for a year or two ago is not necessarily what they are looking for today. How we connect with prospects and close sales is – frankly – not as easy as it was during the ‘heyday’ of the covid years. (There were many challenges during covid but the online business space was booming.)

Now some folks look at this as a bad thing. I look at it a bit differently.

It’s business as usual.

We are simply ‘settling’ back into a season where we may have to dig deeper, be more strategic and approach things differently than we have been. I’ve been in the online business space since 1999 and I’ve seen this cycle happen many times. The “woo hoo! everything is rocking and rolling and things are flowing to me” stage and the “ooof wait a minute, I may have to roll up my sleeves here and dig in” stage.

The ‘heyday’ doesn’t last forever.

If you are newer to the online space – having started your business 2020 or later – this may be the first time you have been in this part of the cycle. And it can feel unsettling. Especially if you (or your clients) are struggling right now.

But I assure you there is success to be found here as well. I’ve been through it many times!

The bottom line is – people are still hiring. Money is still being spent. But they aren’t necessarily spending in the same ways that they were a year or two ago.

A few of the things I’m seeing right now:

  • Knowing your ROI is mandatory – It’s essential that you can clearly explain to clients what the ROI is when they work with you. What exactly will they get? What will it look like? What kind of impact does it make for your client? For their business? Too many folks have been burned in recent years spending oodles of money and feeling like they didn’t get what they expected. If you can’t clearly demonstrate your ROI – and deliver on it! – then you may not get the gig. (I’m thinking of doing a class on defining your ROI – hit reply if you are interested.)
  • Providing a complete solution vs. a part of the solution – I believe we are experiencing a ‘strategy hangover’ of sorts right now. Folks have been inundated with strategy but haven’t necessarily been able to implement the strategy (depending on their own capacity, ability or team resources.) Those who are offering solutions that see things through to completion – strategy PLUS implementation – are the ones who are thriving right now. <– This alone could change everything!
  • Consistency in Marketing – Put simply, if you aren’t showing up consistently in your marketing right now you may get lost in the crowd. Gone are the days when we could pop up ‘here and there’ and be able to find clients. The most effective marketing I’m seeing right now is when people show up DAILY. (Yes, I said daily… I can hear the groans and I get it.) This doesn’t mean you have to do all the things and overcomplicate your marketing – I’m a huge fan of choosing one channel/strategy – but you do want to be intentional and show up consistently.

I’m curious what you are noticing? What do you see working in the marketplace? What have you – or your clients – been doing differently that you’ve found helpful?

3 fastest path to cash strategies (when you are in a cash crunch)

We’ve all been there… a launch doesn’t work out the way we hoped it would. A client backs out of a program or cancels a contract.

And we find ourselves in a money crunch where we need to bring some cash in the door fast!

What to do? Here are 3 strategies:

#1 – Stick with what you know

Now is not the time to create and sell something new – look to the things that you have sold successfully in the past. The things that clients have already purchased from you.

This *might* mean that you have to offer something that you wish you didn’t have to do anymore. Like a 1-1 service package when you wish you could just focus on training instead.

I get it – we all have things that we want to let go of over time. AND if you need fast cash in the door, it’s OK to go back to what you know works in order to take care of business. (I’d rather see you spend a bit of time doing something you wish you didn’t have to do anymore, than to keep struggling with the $$!)

I also like 1-1 offerings as they are usually a much quicker sale – you can have a convo with the right person today and bam! The sale is made and you are out of your money crunch.

#2 – Reach out to your warm list

The key here is to look for the people who already know you vs. trying to sell stuff to people who don’t know you yet. Relationship building takes time, and we want to move quickly here.

There are 3 areas to look at:

  1. Existing or past clients – is there something you could offer to them again? an upsell?
  2. Personal outreach to past prospects – they may not have said yes before, but could be ready now
  3. A ‘bucket’ list from a past launch or promotion

Don’t be shy to reach out to people directly as well – it could be as simple as sending a message saying “hey NAME, would you be interested in X?” <– I’ve sold most of my 1-1 packages this way in recent years.

#3 – Sweeten the deal

Depending on what you are offering, you may decide to put together a quick ‘flash sale’ (which can work well with things like trainings or products.)

Or you might keep your prices ‘as is’ and focus on delivering more value (adding extra support to a 1-1 package.)

Either way, look to put together a smoking-hot offer that they can’t resist. And make sure that the offer adds up to bring in the amount of money you need.

What you do best vs what makes you different

A lot of traditional marketing advice advises us to ask ourselves:

“What makes me different?”
“What makes me special?”

Trying to find what makes you special or different could be the very thing stalling your business. It might sound odd to say but chances are you are NOT special or different from those around you. Especially in today’s crowded marketplace where there can be hundreds or even thousands of people who ‘do what you do’.

When we focus on what makes us different we are automatically measuring ourselves against everyone around us.

We spend our time trying to be unique and to try and find ways to position ourselves as ‘better’ than everyone else. This can put us in an exhausting cycle of comparison and judgment (and we are usually judging ourselves the most harshly when we compare ourselves to others!)

What if instead, we focus on what we do BEST?

What if we really own that and show up in the power of “here’s what I do best” and simply own it?

Yes, there are others out there who do what you do AND folks are attracted to confidence. To ownership. To you showing up and saying “I’m damn good at this and can help you.”

Plus it makes things SOOOO much simpler. It stops the cycle of looking at everyone else around us all the time and puts the power back in our own hands. All I need to do is show up and do what I do best, and tell others about it.

I’m damn good at strategy – at helping people look at where they are, see what is working, what is not working, where they want to go next and how to get there in a way that is 100% aligned with who they are. I’m also damn good at making it super simple (as one client said, cutting through the chaos to find a straight path to profit.)

There are loads of other folks out there who are great at strategy as well. And that is awesome because the world needs us all.

I’ve recently updated my offerings to include some pretty cool new ways to work together – including my Strategic Growth Intensive and Your Backpocket CEO. Click here to take a peek if you are interested in potentially working together.

Business advice that just doesn’t work for me (no matter how hard I try!)

“If you want to be successful you have to focus on offering just one thing”

I can’t do just one thing. I’m simply not wired that way.

I’ve tried… oh how I’ve tried to do just one thing! But every time I try to put myself in a box – to find my “one thing” and focus on just that – I stall. I lose steam. I feel trapped.

Then I start the cycle all over again. “Maybe this thing over here is my one thing!” I focus on that for a while and then the same thing happens again. I stall. I lose steam. I feel trapped.

It hit me recently – what if the “one thing” model just isn’t for me?

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the one thing model. There is a tonne of value in focusing on just one thing. And I do think it’s important in the early stages of business to do just this.

But I’ve been in business now for over 20 years. I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve got loads of experience. And the truth is I like – and am really good at – a number of things!

  • I’m amazing at helping business owners refine their offers to focus on their genius, make more money and attract new opportunities that are 100% aligned to who they are. (I did a refinement session on Monday with a client and she signed up a client the next day with her new offer! Hot damn, how cool is that?)
  • I’m amazing at helping CEOs develop their leadership, hire the right people and empower their team to run the business without them.
  • I’m amazing at helping leaders who have created a body of work turn that into a certification or licensing program that leaves a legacy and creates passive income.

I do all of these things already. I am working with clients in all of these areas at the moment. And I’m going to continue to do so.

No more trying to put myself in a box. I can offer all of these things and still be a successful business owner. I daresay it’s a lot more fun this way too!

I’m curious – do you consider yourself more of a “one thing” kind of business owner? Or a “many things” owner like me?

The Triple Ds of Implementation

There are 3 Ds required for implementation:

Decisions
Driving
Doing

When it comes to getting stuff done we focus on the last D – doing. But it’s the first 2 Ds that are often missed and can cause problems.

Who is making the Decisions around what needs to be done? When? How and by Whom?

And who is Driving the process to make sure things are getting done? Managing the team? Making sure folks have what they need to do their best work?

Without the first 2 Ds in place the last D may not happen at all. And this can cause a huge amount of frustration.

If you are the one hiring – it’s important to consider these first 2 Ds. Are you OK to be the one deciding and driving? Or are you looking for someone who is going to take ownership of those first 2 Ds as well? If yes, your hiring process will want to ensure that the person/s you are hiring are willing and able to bring those Ds to the table. Otherwise you may end up hiring folks who are great at doing, but are relying on you to make all the decisions and drive everything to completion. <– This right here is a huge bottleneck for many small business CEOs.

If you are being hired – I invite you to consider: How can you include the first 2 Ds in what you offer?

Do you find yourself waiting for your clients to make decisions before you can move forward? To tell you what needs to be done? When and How? <– If yes, there is an opportunity here for you to bring decision making into your offer.

Do you find that your clients are always asking you for progress updates? Or you aren’t really clear on deadlines and find yourself juggling last minute requests and struggling to stay on top of it all? <– If yes, how could you bring more driving into your offers so that you are being more proactive in getting the work done (vs. feeling like you have to wait for others.)

When all 3 Ds are in place and being owned by the right person on the team, implementation runs smoothly and things are brought to life. Ooooo yea baby!

People are still buying (just not the same way)

Most everyone I’ve been talking with lately has seen this trend occurring – especially in our online marketplace.

What used to work for sales is not working the same way as it was a year ago… or even a few months ago.

Put simply, buying habits are changing for a lot of folks.

On one hand, this can be a freaky thing… especially if we (or our clients) find ourselves in a cash crunch based on fewer sales than we were anticipating (ie: a launch that didn’t bring the same results as last time.) Combine that with the potential of a looming global recession that is being talked about daily in the news and it’s easy to think “yipes! maybe people aren’t buying anymore?”

People are still buying… just not in the same way.

I certainly don’t mean to sugarcoat anything here – especially if you or your clients are currently struggling. There are certainly some industries and businesses legitimately struggling right now.

But I do want to encourage you to also look at it from a different perspective:

When the marketplace changes it invites us as business owners to dig deeper, get creative and look at other strategies to bring in sales.

There are a couple of things that I’ve noticed…

Folks are taking more TIME to make buying decisions. Many of us are simply burnt out and tired – especially at this time of year – and we aren’t willing or able to make decisions in the moment. Now if we are used to or expecting the ‘quick sale’ (ie: lots of folks signing up during a launch) this can feel like a big problem.

I spoke with a woman last week who referred to this as the “slow yes”, which I thought was such a beautiful way to describe it. People may need more time to make a buying decision – so how can you work with them through the buying process to honor this, while also not letting them slip through the cracks? A mix of patience, persistence and solid follow-up strategies can work wonders for the “slow yes”.

Folks are being more DISCERNING with their purchases. I see this as a combination of two things – inflation and folks feeling burned by past investments. The cost of living is going up for many of us around the world, which naturally has us looking to be purposeful with our spending as we may not have as much money to spend as we used to. Likewise, if your prospects feel like they have spent a bunch of money before on past programs or coaches and didn’t get anything from it… they are naturally going to start questioning future purchases.

The solution to both of these things is the same – be crystal clear about the ROI that folks get from working with you. What exactly are they going to get as a result of joining your program or hiring you as a coach? Marketing hype is no longer enough to make the sale – we need to be able to back that up with results.

All of this to say – folks are still buying. I saw a post just this morning on Facebook about a live stream where people were buying $70K masterminds right on the call. I have colleagues that are having their best months ever (yes… even in December 😉

The money may not come as easy as it once did, but it is certainly still out there if we are willing to be creative and open to change. If we are willing to put in more effort than it might have taken before.