The reading level for this article is Expert
Each quarter, I do my market research. A few things I look for are the trends, language and messaging the folks in my industry are using. The goal is to shed some light on what my industry thinks is hot and to decide what topics are becoming overused. I also look at programs being offered, both in subject and delivery.
I have a folder in my Outlook where the emails I subscribe to (for market research) pile up until I sit down to look for trends. When I did my market research the other day, I was pretty surprised. This folder, packed with over 500 emails, was 85% sales material. Thatâ€™s rightâ€"85% of what should have been interesting, educational, relevant information that was of service to those subscribed to the list (and helped the sender highlight their expertise while creating preeminence) was instead trying to sell something. Ugh, I thought. This doesnâ€™t say good things about the direction the business-growth industry took this quarter.
That brings me to the rule I always remind my clients about: the 80/20 rule. When you reach out to your list, 80% of your contact with them (emails, letters, etc.) and 80% of your content should be educational (aka the â€œbeefâ€). Discuss what readers should think about and why it is important (but not how to do it). And 20% of your content is the â€œtakeâ€, which is the place for your call to action. Your call is a specific problem (a source of pain) they are having and a specific result they want to achieve, and the action is what you want them to do—hence a â€œcall to action.â€
Keeping your 80% of your content informative, educational and of interest to your readers allows you to build a relationship with potential clients instead of trying to shove something down their throats while telling them to buy it.
Whatever youâ€™re selling, remember to manage your clientsâ€™ expectations. Be clearâ€"there is no magic bullet. When clients sign up for a live event, webinar or coaching, or when they buy a book, a video, a program or a service, they still have to do the work required to be successful. Products sit on the shelves and gather dust very easily. Success from any program involves the client doing the work. There is no magic about it.
In other words, just listening to materials or getting on a coaching call is not going to bring success. In order to create a successful business, the client has to do the work. Thatâ€™s the biggest challengeâ€"getting clients to consume what you sell. And if there is any magic involved, itâ€™s the magic in your clients, not in a system, program or book. In order to create success, your clients must be willing to do whatâ€™s necessary to achieve it.