Create Your Signature IP for Easier and More Successful Marketing
If you have a service business, you would have realised by now that it’s way more difficult to sell and market than a tangible product.
However, services do provide us with far more flexibility for packaging and reconfiguring them into different ‘products’.
But, without identifying your signature IP or your core area of mastery, you will always struggle to market your services, rise above the pack and be different.
Here are some steps to help you identify the essence of what you do – your core mastery. It may be what you do for one niche and not another, or it may be one service you provide out of many to the same group of clients. From that, you need to distill what it is you do into a signature service.
If you work through this exercise and identify how you can package one aspect of a service you provide, it will make your service easier to sell and market, and easier for prospective clients to buy because they understand the benefits instantly.
Take a Strengths Test
Just in case you don’t know what your core expertise is, take a test. My personal favourite is the Kolbe A Test by Kathy Kolbe. Another is by Strengthsfinder by Marcus Buckingham.
Do your core skills lie with persuasion, interaction with people, creating innovative ideas, counting and reconciling, initiating, completing, etc.
Ask Your Friends How They See You
Ask your close friends how they see you and what they see as your core strengths and capabilities. They will have a different perspective from you but their input is invaluable in helping you to piece this together.
Remember What You Loved as a Child
Most of us have strengths and core competencies that could be identified when we were children. What did you love doing as a child? What did you love spending time on? What sort of activities did you gravitate towards? What did you show an early aptitude for?
All of the above are ways to discover our generic strengths and talents. Now to dig deeper into what those talents translate into in your business…
Ask Your Clients
Ask your clients how they would describe your strongest skill, or your most valuable contribution to them or their business. Ask them what they see you do that others don’t. Ask them what they think is unique about you. If you’d rather not ask clients (but it’s better if you do) you could always ask other people you have worked with or who know and understand what you do.
Make a list of those skills.
List the Client Problems You Love Solving
What are the specific problems that your clients have that you LOVE solving? What challenges do they face or what needs do they have that you easily and capably step in and solve?
List all your clients and answer this question for each of them.
Ask yourself what part of solving the problems or providing the solution do you love. It may not be the whole process.
How Do You Help?
List the outcomes you provide for your clients. What exactly is it that you help them get? If I’ve been waiting for a taxi for an hour on a cold night in the rain and you hail one for me, the solution may be the taxi you help me get. But, what you’ve really done for me is get me in out of the rain, enabled me to warm up after waiting in the cold, and helped me get home to my warm house after a tiring day.
List what you do but also what the real outcome is. Emotions are part of the equation too. Clients have needs based on emotions as well as function.
Match the Solutions You Provide with Your Strengths
When you add value to your clients by solving their problems, while doing what you love AND are really good at, that’s the sweet spot.
This will take some time to work through and maybe several attempts, but keep going until you come up with the essence of what you do and provide. This is your core IP or core mastery.
Create Your Signature Program
Here are some examples:
Tony Robbins has taken his peak performance seminars and created signature programs: Date With Destiny, Unleash the Power Within, etc. Those signature programs have become high value brands.
One of the many signature programs for Robert Kiyoasaki is Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Cashflow Game.
CJ Hayden, an American marketing coach, has for years had her signature service called Get Clients Now. It is also her brand, her programs and a book that has been reprinted many times. She provides many marketing and career services, but her signature is teaching people how to get clients.
Your signature service/program/package/offer doesn’t mean that’s all you do, but it defines what you do.
I really recommend that you work through this exercise. You will be able to use your signature offer to make your marketing more effective and much easier!