Welcome to January 2016 edition of Just 1 Question. I do hope that this post will do a lot of good to the souls who read it.
So let’s dig in.
Question 1 : “As a budding business strategist, how do I create great contents and compelling offers for and to my clients?”
The clients that you wish to serve or you’re already serving will pay attention to your contents if they can :
- Help them achieve the results that they are trying so hard to achieve.
- Help them discover the meaning to their lives and how to live productively.
- Solve the problems that they are encountering.
- Reduce wastage of resources in their business.
- Point to areas of advantage that can raise the revenues in their business.
However, understand that your content may not entirely be tied to the above, but they’re truly foundational to all that specific niches are serving.
The most important to know is that in all that we do in life, we all desire to make our lives and the things we commit to in our lives to matter. To matter finds expressions in the things we do. For example, wearing a shirt made by Gucci makes me feel important when I walk into a room of prospective clients. The meaning is not just to wear a shirt, but the exotic feeling of superiority or importance that wearing the shirt gives me.
To know the issues that your clients are dealing with is to observe and ask relevant questions. For example, as a writer I belong to several groups that focus on writing. I observe the questions that people ask. I pay close attention to their frustrations and challenges. I also ask questions and contribute; things that elicit further responses. Based on these I design my offers to prospective clients.
In designing your offers I’ll advise that you infuse things that can make them connect at a deeply emotional level. Use stories that can cause anger, laughter or jealousy. Be humorous if you can. It gives your offering an individualistic slant and human face. As a budding strategist you become a phenomenal thought leader if your own offerings aren’t just regurgitations of the voices of others, but a unique slant borne out of your own expertise, knowledge and experiences.
Your clients can only invest in your offerings if they see themselves playing the hero in your story. By this I mean that if they see that your offerings will solve their deepest needs, and that they’re not just a “nice to have” but a “must need” they’ll pay you for theem.
Question 2 : “I want to invest in network marketing, but people say that business is not real. People say they are frauds because you don’t know the people you are transacting with neither do you know their office. I don’t know . I’m just confused. Should I invest in network marketing or should I invest in shares. Which one do you prefer?”
Network marketing has been seen by a lot of people as a pyramid scheme, perpetuated by greedy individuals who are opportunistic. There’s an enormous amount of truth in this. However, understanding how the network marketing field works is very key to becoming a success at it. Study the company that you want to sign up for thoroughly. Do not be harangued into signing up when your questions have not been thoroughly answered to the best of your understanding.
Network marketing is about upping your marketing and leadership skills. The focus is not to be transactional, but to build people. Also, it takes time to climb and so don’t expect immediate results. Be patient enough till the results from your investments start trickling in. Look out for the big players who are sincere and honest and understudy them ethically. These will help you a lot and then when folks see that you’re in for it to build them, they’ll definitely have a rethink about the business.
Investment in shares is also a good route to financial independence, but it also requires great amounts of study and patience. Studying the right kind of company to invest in means looking at their history and checking if their financial health is sound. It means studying their financial records – profit and loss posted, balance sheets and other necessary documents. You also need an expert to navigate the murk.
You must commit to this and not just being sold on the often transient spikes in stock values that are usually manipulated by the players in order to win some deals. Take your time and study. Study the stockbroking firms in your vicinity. The internet is there for you to make your research. There are so many out there that have good records that you can use. And when you finally get through to a stockbroker, work closely on monitoring your shares and the health of your portfolio.
Both are great routes, but the decision to go with one or both or neither actually depends on the results of your findings.
Question 3 : “In sharing one’s message (especially if it seems so diversified) and helping others via the art of writing, how does one become a brand…distinct and known for specific solution(s)? I often seem to be all over the place, writing on different subjects from faith, relationship, health, motivation, to work and purpose, and I feel one has to be focused to make impact.”
Being focused in your writing is the way to go. In my honest opinion, writing on all the above areas makes you stretch too thin. Yes, it is possible to contribute your thoughts on all of these should occasions arise, but penning your thoughts in diverse disciplines as the above calls for so much investiture of energy that’s spread too thin.
Here is a scenario. Imagine that you have a relation that has a heart defect and requires medical intervention. You have two doctor friends. Doctor A is a cardiologist, but he writes musical pieces for singers on Tuesday. He plays in a bar on Thursday nights, then paints in his studio on Fridays and then designs graphic ads for companies in the metropolis where he lives.
Doctor B does one thing – he operates on hearts all day, all week, all year.
Between the two, who will you choose to work on your relation’s case? My guess is that you’ll choose Doctor B.
You can become distinct and stand for something that you focus on and commit your heart and energies to doing it and doing it excellently. Majority of the personal brands that became legendary focused on just their art and did it excellently well.
However, happenings in our times have come to prove that being committed entirely to one thing in our entire life isn’t as treasured anymore. People wake up and discover things about themselves and then spread their wings to embrace other endeavours passionately. However, if you desire to do this, focus is also needed to learn that art and do it excellently.
Should you choose to diversify into others markets just like Virgin or Dangote, you would have spent time mastering one area per time and then taking the plunge or you could bring others into your business who will bring their own areas of expertise. That way, your business can expand into those areas.
Question 4 : ” You have graphics design skills, and having told people for possible recommendation, you send out CVs for possible employment both online and offline, yet employment is not forthcoming. The pressure is there to really get back to work after long time. What do I do ?”
I’m glad that you have graphics design skills. You’re so blessed to have those skills. You’re in the 1% of the world’s population who have actually deciphered what they have within them.
While I waited for my youth service call-up letter, I taught Mathematics to students of secondary school. When I finished youth service and waited for a job, I did just the same. I knew I had skills to teach and I used them profitably.
You’ve got a skill that can be traded. Use it. Trade it. Do designs for personal and corporate brands. Reach out to the companies in your vicinity and pitch your ability to design their ads. Be different. Deliver promptly. Go the extra mile and tower above others competing for the same slots.
Question 5 : “I happen to work 8 hours a day, 5 days sometimes 6 days a week. I have been running my business ‘TeejayCool Wears’ for the past 2years but it has not been as productive as it should if I wasn’t on a salary job because I attend to it only on weekends and most times I get too tired for the weekday’s activities plus time demand from my family. I am successfully building online presence for my business. The only thing left is a website. How do I marry all these activities to ensure profitability?”
Obviously, business enterprises suffer when the focus isn’t entirely on them. It’s like trying to make one eye to look up and the other to look down at the same. It’s practically impossible.
Know that business isn’t entirely a sweet game. With your salaried job, you’re able to sustain the business, but the problem remains that you desire to give it all the time it desires.
I’ll advise that you start to document your processes before you quit your day job. How do you source your clothes? Document it. How do you transport them to your shop or your home? Document that. How do you do you mark up for profitability? Document that. How do you sell them? Document it.
Business is a congregation of systems working together to help you achieve predetermined results. The systems that you create and the procedures that you document will help you understand how money enters into the business and how it leaves, and consequently its profitability. This is very key. Setting these systems up is very important in case you want to employ someone to run the business while you’re at work. That way you can see where there are leaks and plug them.
I will also advise that you extend to social media. For a product as yours Facebook and Instagram are very key platforms you should utilise.
I will advise that after setting up these systems and the processes of doing things, work on them for a while before quitting. In business, cash flow is very key. If that is not properly set up and followed, a business can fail.
It may be so difficult to combine both, but you can do it. Use your brief periods to work on your website and post during break periods. You can use Sundays to do deliveries if that’s your mode of operation. By all means do what is necessary to pull this off and with time you can settle fully into the business. That time will be when your heart truly prods you to make the leap.
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