One thing is for sure in today’s marketplace: You can’t get by with what you used to do to get new clients.
I’ve been in business since 2008 and in 2008 it was easy to get found by my most ideal clients in every way possible – online and off. 10 years later, my team and I have to make it our mission to stay above the noise by offering disruption to a crowded industry. It’s the only way to break through the noise to get the attention of our ideal clients and to actively compete to be hired by them. Disruptive messaging and marketing challenges the status quo by changing customer perceptions about not just your business – but your industry as a whole.
Take business consulting for instance. These days, everyone claims to be able to help you build a business. However, I have found that claims aren’t enough; you need cold, hard proof. Proof not only in the form of client case studies and success stories but proof by shifting your messaging to pack more power and invite others to see it differently as they consume it.
As a professional service-based business owner today, your mission must be to create a message that disrupts. And there are three real things to consider as you do so:
1. Your message must clearly articulate that you’re not for everyone. Yes, you read that correctly. By making it clear that your products and services are not for everyone, you’ll create a steady influx of inquiries because no one likes to be told they’re not good enough. At a recent speaking engagement, I boldly stood on the stage and told the audience that they couldn’t afford me. A bold move for sure that kept the tire kickers at bay and forced the cream to rise to the top. The result? New clients in my highest offerings and several in my introductory offerings, and overall, nearly six figures in new revenue from one speaking engagement.
2. Your message must catch them off guard. You have to show up differently than others who technically offer what you offer. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the noise that they create. The point of disruption in your messaging and marketing is to force your ideal prospects to look at everything differently – their problem, your solution and how you might be crazy enough to help them access what they crave. By being who you are and exuding confidence to put that on display, you’ll attract more new clients that you thought. And this message should be accessible by mobile devices, as mobile will continue to dominate as the platform for marketing this year and beyond.
3. Your message must not be so disruptive that they disconnect. This is the challenge. And as a result, it means that you need to conduct intensive market research to know what your ideal prospects can tolerate in marketing so that you don’t go too far and disconnect from them. The entire time they are consuming your message and marketing, they must believe that you can help them. One wrong word or image and you can lose them forever. And to be clear, some will disconnect but they aren’t your ideal clients anyway and you’ll be better for their disconnection – it will prevent you from spending time and energy on those who have no intention to consider working directly with you.
And when you disrupt, here’s what you can expect:
1. Increased visibility. The reason things go viral is because they disrupt. They offer a new paradigm on an old idea that takes people by surprise and inspires them to share it with others.
2. Waiting lists for your offerings. When you make it clear that you’re not right for everyone, more people will see you as the solution they’ve been craving. And as a result, they will be willing to wait to work directly with you. Disruptive marketing makes you much more approachable than traditional marketing ever could. When you decide to move away from traditional marketing, you’ll experience more freedom and authenticity and people who have the problem you solve crave authenticity, it’s a core value that is important to them.
3. A challenge for the status quo. Disruption in the marketplace is like spitting on tradition. You’ll inspire others to free themselves from the bureaucracies of feeling bound by tradition. As we continue to invite more and more millennials to the table, we have to understand the power of disruption as it become a real platform for profitably impacting the world.
4. More freedom to create on your own terms. Isn’t that the reason you quit your job and started your own business anyway? Exactly. It took me years to undo my corporate lineage. When I first came out into the marketplace, I was at best a carbon copy of someone else. But slowly and surely as I started to break the mold with my messaging and marketing, I started to gain confidence and pull away from the crowd.
I invite you to think about this quote from Richard Branson, and as you do, I challenge you to go create a message that disrupts!
“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.” – Richard Branson
So, now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents? How are you disrupting?