Positioning is the absolute core of your brand message and the best way to differentiate your business from lower-priced competition while attracting higher-value clients.
But, doing it right can be just plain difficult. I’m here to make it easier.
I promise that, after reading this, you will have a clear, actionable pathway to developing your unique position in the market and targeting higher-quality, more profitable clients.
We've all heard the adage, "work smarter, not harder," well, that's more true in positioning than anywhere else in your business. What you do isn't the problem. Who you do it for may be!
Before going too far, let's talk about what Positioning is and what it can do for you.
Positioning is the relationship between you (your organization, products and services) and your prospect or client's mind.
How do they think about you?What problems, benefits, or solutions do they associate with you?How do they perceive you?
Positioning your business is an ongoing process of finding and owning a defensible place in the hearts and minds of your ideal prospects and clients.
To put it more succinctly, positioning is the process of becoming completely clear on who you serve, which of their problems you solve, how you solve those problems, and what makes you and your solution unique or different to your competition.
Better clients need higher value.
All too often, I see entrepreneurs frantically searching for more services to add to their offerings so they can justify higher prices (or, worse, so they feel better asking only for what they're already getting).
In order to do the same work more profitably, you don't need to add more services, you need to choose better clients! We know, we've been there.
Don't get me wrong, your product or service needs to be professional and high-quality BUT, you don't have to sell your soul or kill yourself 24 hours a day to deliver it.
You just need to completely define the value you offer and the market you offer it to. That's the essence of brand positioning.
Keep reading and you will see how building an engaging brand positioning that connects to a better quality of clients allows you to generate higher sales from the right clients while charging a premium over the lower-priced competition.
Then, I’m going to lead you through doing it in my 5-Day Positioning Challenge, including all the worksheets, instructions, and even a bonus section on defining your Value Proposition.
If you're going to do this, commit to it and I promise you it can be done.
What if I just got more clients?
Sure, that's one way to get more income but isn't that what you've been trying to do?
It's also a great way to burn yourself out and lose the passion that made you start your company in the first place.
Here's the problem. You're spending all day trying to find new ways to drum up business but when you finally do get a lead, they've got no budget or they haven't got a clue what you do.
You've tried reducing prices, flash sales, offering discounts, you've even signed up for every online training course known to mankind.
You're spending all your time stressing and focusing on business problems, missing out on time with your family and you're taking any work you can get out of fear of saying no and not getting another job.
But, the one thing you haven't done is focused your brand. You're still trying to do everything and be everything to everyone.
It's time to focus your message and offer your unique solution to a specific market's problem. That starts with positioning.
But I just got a new logo and it hasn't improved my revenue.
First, off, let's get one thing clear. Many people think a brand is a logo. It's not.
Not even close.
Although a logo is an integral element in a complete brand, it is still only the visual representation of an otherwise detailed and strategic process.
I think the following quote from Robert Friedman, formerly an executive with AOL, Classic Media and the original MTV development team, touches on the true value of a brand:
"... in the truest sense, the synonym for brand is 'reputation.' It's a sense of identity, and it helps consumers make decisions in a crowded marketplace."
- Robert Friedman
Thinking of your brand, I believe you should focus on the importance, not only of Reputation in the eyes of external stakeholders (clients, suppliers, prospects, etc) but, the equally important clarity and Sense of Identity internally with your staff, board members, families, etc.
When you show the world your brand's personality and values, you will be planting a preference for your product or service in the hearts and minds of those who align with your character and beliefs.
This is true of every brand, from Fortune 500's to the corner store, when you show your authentic brand self, and how that relates to what you do and who you do it for, your prospects and customers will engage with you at a more emotional level.
The most well-known brands generate loyalty by sharing their values and personalities with their audiences.
What if I increase my marketing?
That's another option, of course.
You'll be spending more money and generating even more, unqualified, low-budget leads but, hey, whatever you want to do.
Instead, why not lower your marketing spend by targeting only the type of clients that you want to work with? Seems logical, right?
See, times have changed and people are finding all-new ways of communicating on a global scale. Things are noisier than ever in the digital environment and it's progressively more difficult to be heard.
But the biggest change is that, instead of trusting a website or a print ad, your prospects are trusting their friends and online communities.
Sure, you could follow your competitors and try to be heard with a loud sales message touting discounts and rebates but, that's not the way to grow a business, let alone a brand.
Spray and pray marketing may have worked in the past but, it's just not viable now that people receive over 5000 ads a day (up from 2000 a day 30 years ago).
Smarter brands have recognized that you need to limit your message, not widen it, and speak to a specific audience about their specific problem and how your solution benefits them. (Sounds like marketing, right? It's not. It starts with your brand positioning.)
And to top it all off, you've worked with "branding specialists" in the past who just sold you a logo and you didn't get any new business at all.
Once you know the process required to build a brand properly, you'll understand why a graphic design project could never help you generate the type of meaningful business you require to build the lifestyle you deserve.
What makes me qualified to teach you Positioning?
I started my professional services business in 2008 because I understood the power of branding in elevating a business above the pack and offering a unique and powerful message to a specific market.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I got tired of seeing designers selling struggling entrepreneurs a logo instead of a brand and pretending it would help them focus their message and develop new business.
It simply doesn't work that way, you've got to give your prospects a reason to want to work with you.
How do you do that?
Run up a flag, tell them what you stand for, show them your personality and very clearly define what makes you different and better able to solve their unique problems.
It takes understanding and definition, personality and values and, of course, positioning, and that's just the start.
Without defining your brand foundation, don't even think about a logo or color scheme.
So, how do you run up this brand flag? Start with Positioning.
Here's how it works.
I’ve put together a 5 Day Positioning Challenge to lead you through the process of defining and developing your unique positioning.
Using this proven process in my professional services company, I have developed brand Positioning for small and large businesses, non-profits, consultants, and service businesses, government departments, and tech companies across North America and Australasia.
Following this same technique, you can develop an effective, professional and authentic brand Positioning communicating your message both internally and externally.
You'll be well on the way to developing a brand that targets the right clients and generates more revenue with less stress. Plus, your employees will have a sense of identity and a renewed passion for success.
And when you complete your overall brand development, you'll finally get to spend time growing your business, building relationships with clients and focusing on operations instead of scrambling for new prospects.
Most importantly, your defined brand will enable you to communicate your message 24/7 through highly targeted user experiences, allowing you to leave work on time, enjoy your family and even take time off without the stress of your business going belly-up without you.
One last thought before we get started.
Positioning is really scary.
You'll second-guess this process a bunch of times based on your survival instinct and desire to avoid loss of business.
It will feel counterintuitive that you can achieve growth, stability and profits by saying no to some of the clients you have been working with. It will certainly make you question whether you really are an expert.
All of that is OK.
Just accept that this is normal, and, to your benefit, understand that this is the single biggest thing that keeps about 80% of people who are thinking about positioning their business stuck in their current situation.
Give yourself a break, take your time and you can become one of the 20% who develop a unique, differentiated, and in-demand brand!