Find the Space to Sell Out in Any Market
We are building, very intentionally, the next phase of your business and how you're going to grow it on into the future as well. In the last lesson, we really talked a lot about breaking down the resistance I know many, many, many of you feel to streamlining your business. Creating that sense of focus and really kind of finding out what that core offer is going to be. How you're going to make your highest contribution with the business that you're building instead of maybe, you know, waiting a couple years. Or, like Jennifer was thinking about doing, we've put her on the spot now. Or instead of just flailing around. We are putting a stop to that today and really focusing, focusing, focusing, focusing. But in order to do that, we need to go even deeper with what we talked about in that first lesson. We need to continue to look at the market as a whole. Whatever market it is that you're building in. That you're creating your business in. Whether that's the life coaching market. The perso...
nal development market. The nutrition and wellness and health market. Whether that's the business support market. The online education market. What ever market it might be, we need to continue to look at it, analyze it, and find the space for you to take your offer and make it a knockout. A blockbuster. Make it that breakthrough brand that's finally gonna take your business to where you want it to go. So that's where we are right now. As I said in that first lesson, we really talked about identifying your core offer, breaking down that resistance to having a really streamlined business model that stands for something and allows you to make your highest contribution. Now we're gonna continue to analyze the market. Go deeper with what we've already talked about. We're gonna bring in some student examples as well so you can really see how this works and get them to apply some stuff and get that learning working at its highest level. And then throughout the rest of this class, we're going to continue to build on our progress, find our value proposition for this product, talk about how you can get more of your prospective customers to become easy yeses. As you find product market fit, we're gonna talk about planning for growth, pricing, surveying your customers, developing complementary offers, all of that is to come. But first, we need to make sure that we've really nailed this opportunity in your market. So you never have a question of how you're gonna stand out. How you're gonna get known. How you're gonna get people to pay attention. And in order to do that, we have to start with everybody else. We have to continue to look at how other people, how other brands, how other companies, are making their highest contribution so you can make your highest contribution. So that instead of having a junk drawer of offers, you can have that one tool that your business is known for. And that you know really makes an impact in people's lives in a very meaningful way. And this is the image that I've chosen to represent that highest contribution. It's an ax. It's a beautiful tool. Greg and I were talking about Portland before during the break, and I know there's a lot of artisanal ax makers in Portland, and a lot of lumberjack looking folks who probably don't actually use the axes to cut wood. I love them dearly, they're my people. (laughs) But, as you can see, this is an ax. Now, an ax is not a better screwdriver. Right? Not a better hammer. It's not a better saw. An ax is an ax. And an ax is a really important tool. But an ax doesn't replace all these other things. You don't use it to do jobs it wasn't meant to do. And the reason I point this out is because often we want to differentiate our products. We often want to find an opportunity in the market by being better than other people. Right? We want to be a better screwdriver. A better hammer. A better chisel. But the real opportunity in any market isn't just to do what other people do but better. Because the ball is always gonna be moving. Right? You're always gonna have to be kind of repositioning, figuring out, staying... You don't really get to make that focus, really make that streamlined business model by focusing on better. Instead, you focus on being different. Because, as Sally Hogshead, author of How to Fascinate says, "Different is better than better." If you really want better positioning in your market, if you want to be better at standing out, breaking through the noise, getting people to pay attention, you need to be different. You can't just be a better one of these tools. You need to be a different tool. Your product, your core offer, needs to be a different tool. So we're gonna go back to the sock market. (laughs) And we're going to look at this analysis again. I won't spend too long on it. But I want you to start thinking through what would you do if you were creating a different kind of sock? A different brand, a different style, a different availability, different positioning? What would you do to create something different in this already crowded market? So again we've looked at four different brands. Hanes, SmartWool, Nike, and Bombas. There are many, many other brands that we could be looking at in the sock market as well. We examined their price, what the customer is, all the different styles they offer, availability and brand... This is a very crowded market. But it's a market that still has opportunity in it as evidenced by a company like Bombas coming along and saying, we're gonna succeed by only selling socks. Socks that are different. Some of the differences that they have are they have this really cool thing that goes around your foot and makes it feel all comfy and kind of supported and nice. They don't have seams in them. They're knitted together so that there's no seams. They took all those complaints that they got about other socks, or maybe just things that they didn't think were helpful, and they decided to do things differently. And different, for a lot of people, turns out to be better. That was the hole that Bombas fit. So if we look at this market to kind of practice doing this analysis of a different market, because it's always easier to do this for a different market than your own market, so we're practicing here. Think about why each brand of socks is different. Not just what that brand is or what it stands for, but why it's different than other brands that are out there. Think about how that difference is a benefit to the customer. How's the difference a benefit to the customer? And then think about how each brand of socks is sold to take advantage of that difference? Because that's the target that we're moving towards right now. Not just what the opportunity is to build something different, but to sell something different. Because we can build a product all day, and if we're not selling it, it doesn't really matter. It's not allowing you to create your highest contribution. It's not allowing you to make an impact in your customer's lives. So how is each brand of socks sold to take advantage of that difference? We think about Bombas. We can think that, alright, their whole thing is cutting-edge comfort. They have designed, what they call, is the perfect sock. And they do a lot of things differently in order to do that. And so, would it benefit them to sell that sock in the same place everybody else sells socks? Well they said no, all we're gonna do is sell this sock online. on our website. We're gonna be the only place you can buy it. So they're actually kind of taking advantage, kind of playing into that difference, by only selling in e-commerce. We actually see this with a lot of e-commerce brands today. It's really exciting. And there are a lot of brands that are getting a lot of very fast traction because they're willing to sell differently. Right? Like, think about Blue Apron. Or Green Chef. Or any of those meal delivery services. They're essentially competing with the grocery store. Right, like that's their job is to compete with grocery stores. And the main reason that they're different and the main way they take advantage of that difference to sell is that they say, hey, you just buy from us on a subscription and we'll deliver it to your door every week. So they're taking advantage of that difference from the grocery store by also selling differently. Let's take a look at the business support market. Again, this is the market that I play in. Not just here on Creative Live but also with my company CoCommercial. In the business support market, kind of taking a much broader look at this market, there's business coaching, there are business courses, there are business books, and then there's this digital small business association, CoCommerical. We looked at pricing, who the customer is, the style of each of these brands, the availability of each of these offers, and then the actual brands behind these things. And as I analyzed this market, I asked myself questions like, why is each type of business support different? Notice what I'm asking here is not why is business coaching bad, and why are business courses bad, and why are business books bad, and why is mine good. When we're doing a market analysis, I'm not actually asking you to kind of vilify the competition. We're asking you to respect the competition and say, alright, that works for somebody. This is a good solution to this kind of problem. Good answer to this kind of question. A good way to hit that goal. But that's not the only goal. The only question, the only problem that's out there. And so we wanna look at each of these brands, these opportunities, really positively. I just wanna say that 'cause I know people start to get nervous when we're doing this kind of competitive analysis because you think you've gotta be like, ugh, that's the enemy. I'm the hero, that's the enemy. And that's not what I'm saying at all here. So we're looking, really, at the differences. Because difference can be, all of the differences can be good, and valid, and great reasons for people to buy. Then as I'm continuing that market analysis I'm looking for how is that difference a benefit to the customer? Why is each of those offers not just valid but why does it benefit someone to hire a business coach? Why does it benefit someone to take a business class? Why does it benefit someone to read a business book? And then finally, why is it going to benefit someone to join CoCommercial? And then I also ask how is that type of business support sold to take advantage of the difference they offer? So again, why is business coaching sold the way it's sold? How is that a benefit? Why are business courses sold the way they're sold? How is that a benefit? Why are business books sold the way they're sold? How is that a benefit? And then looking at my opportunity, how am I going to sell this thing differently and how is that a benefit to my customers? And that leads us to your market. And so we're gonna do a market analysis with one of our studio audience members here in a little bit, not right this second, but I'm gonna start getting your gears turning. Because this is not a super quick process. (laughs) I wish that it was. This is something you're gonna wanna take some time on. So if you've purchased this class and you've got access to these videos, this is a good time to kind of let it sink in and then start doing the work, and then dive deeper into it and deeper into it. You know, put the video on pause and then come back to it a little bit later once you've done this work. So just keep that in mind. This is not a fast process. This is a thinking process. Which is also a good time to ask you when the last time it was that you took some time to just think about your business. Not to ask yourself what else you can sell or what else you can do to get people to buy, but just to think about what your opportunity is. To think about how your core offer is going to adapt and grow and scale. Make sure you're taking that kind of time. And if you haven't taken that kind of time, now's a good time to do it. So let's take a look at your market. When you're thinking about your market, you want to be thinking about the full breadth of your market. In other words, what are the kinds of questions that your customers are asking? What are the kinds of problems that they're experiencing, the kinds of goals that they have, and what are all the different ways they're trying to solve those problems? So when I do a market analysis for my company, I'm not just looking at other membership communities for business owners. That would be a mistake. It's good to think about that. But I don't wanna only think about other direct competitors. I want to think about all of the things that my business is competing with. All of the things my customers are considering and weighing their buying options against every single day. So not just looking at other communities, I'm looking at coaching, courses, books, because those are the ways people are trying to get their questions answered, the ways they're trying to get their problems fixed, and the way they're trying to get their goals met. So in your market, what's that full breadth of how people are trying to solve their problems or meet their goals? And I want you to come up with at least four brands, three brands plus yours, that you can analyze. In your workbook, if you've got that, good, if you've already purchased the class. If not, you can do this on your own at home too. But you can take those three brands plus your own, make sure they represent that full breadth and depth of your market. Then you wanna start looking at price. What does one brand sell at? What does another brand sell at? You can do what I did and you can put just little dollar signs next to it, like, if you want, it's higher priced or it's lower priced. Or you can be really precise about it. This thing sells for two thousand dollars, this thing sells for ten thousand dollars, this thing sells for 15 dollars. However it is that that works for you. But I want you to examine price. Then I want you to think about the customer. How is the kind of customer that buys from one brand or buys one kind of solution different than the kind of customer that buys from a different brand or a different kind of solution? How is that different for each one of those brands? Then there's style. And you can adapt this to your needs too. Maybe style doesn't really apply to you. But what I mean by style here is what's the actual format of the product or what's the substance of the product? Is there a lot of one on one support? Is there an app? Is it a physical product? What's the style of it? Availability, where do you actually go to buy it? Where can you do business with this brand? Is it only online? Is it only available every so often? Is it something that you need to get on a wait list for? Is it something that's always available? How do people buy this kind of thing? How is it available? And then finally, what kind of brand are each of the four brands that you've selected in this analysis? What kind of story are they telling about themselves? What is their reputation in the marketplace? When you think of that brand, what do you think of? Like I said, we're gonna do this with one of our studio audience members here in a couple of minutes and we're gonna go really deep into this. But for now, I just want you to start thinking about it. Get those gears turning. We've got a lot of layering to do in this class. Little bit by little bit by little bit, we're gonna build this up so you feel really confident about your focused, streamlined business. And not like you're going off the deep end and everything's gonna collapse or go up in a ball of flames. We don't want that. Start thinking about that full breadth of your market, and then start asking yourself those really important questions. Why is each type of offer different? What is the key differentiator for each type of offer, each brand that you analyzed as part of your market? How is that difference a benefit for your customer? What does the customer get out of it? Why would they choose that offer instead of a different one? Whether that's yours or someone else's. How is the difference a benefit for the customer? And then finally, how is that type of offer sold to take advantage of that difference? What's their availability? The venue in which they sell? The way in which they sell? How does that play into the difference that that brand has established for itself in the marketplace?