Retailers do it and if you want to stand out from the crowd in your industry, you must begin to do it as well. Of course I’m talking about planning your year in advance through a strategic alignment of your core business goals with the needs of your ideal clients.
Let’s be clear, if you want to be able to pull this off, you MUST be crystal clear about your potential client’s needs and wants.
You must know their challenges, setbacks, frustrations and you must know what they want instead. Your success is assured when you can offer new products and services that satisfy your clients needs and wants.
As an example, if you are a personal trainer and you’re looking ahead to next year, you must anticipate the challenges of your ideal clients. You must be preparing to introduce a weight loss program that is easy, flexible and consistent so that they lose the 10 pounds they put on at Christmas and the 20 pounds they gained before that.
Anticipating the needs of your ideal clients can be simple when you are clear about your “audience of one.”
Imagine for a second being in a crowded room attempting to converse with someone on the other side of that same room; it would be challenging to say the least. That is most likely how your marketing is being received by your ideal clients until you get into their heads and understand what they must have to solve their problems.
As soon as you get clear on the one type of person that has the one problem that you solve, it becomes like this: when you have an audience with them, the conversation and exchange would be life changing for them. After you clarify who they are, and the problem they have, your goal is to create products and services that are a complete solution for them. Makes sense, right? Then you must strategically make them available over the course of the year so that they perceive you as always having exactly what they need exactly when they need it. It’s almost like living in their heads….being able to tell where they are in the cycle so you present the right option at the right time.
And when you do this effectively, you will build clients for life
To help you to use this strategy to plan your products and services in advance, I have a few suggestions:
Take the time to understand your ideal client in full detail. Doing this will increase the success of your business and ensure that you always have people ready to pay you for a solution to their problem.
Create a “problem cycle” of your ideal clients. What is the ultimate solution that they’d love to encounter? In order for them to get that solution, what challenges or problems must they be experiencing? As you list each problem, list the counter problems that can occur as a result of the first problem. Then, list them in order as they should occur. As an example, my ideal clients ultimate solution is to create a thriving 6 figure income while doing what they love. A few of the problems they’d encounter on the way to this solution include: clarifying their ideal client, creating valuable packages of their products and services, setting prices that show their expert status and offer incentives to their clients, create marketing sequences that will help them to reach more of their ideal clients. Of course there are more, and of course, we’ve created products and services that offer the solutions to those problems.
After you create the “problem cycle” create a solution continuum so that for each problem they encounter, you have the solution.
Take the solution and determine what format you will offer it in – a group program, a home study, a live event, private consulting or coaching, etc.
Create a schedule for when you will offer the solution in the format you decided over the course of the next year and stick to it.
BONUS: Create the marketing to accompany each solution.
Through strategy and implementation, you can plan your year in advance and you can serve more of the right now problems that your ideal clients have while creating a strategic plan to grow your business.