I believe this is going to be one of those foundational perception-shifting issues of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets…
Ken McCarthy founded an entire 10-year run of his annual System Seminar on one simple formula. Traffic + Conversion = Profits. It changed the way the marketing world thought about internet marketing, and still today — literally, today — entire guru businesses are based on the idea Traffic and Conversion.
Einstein simplified E=mc2, and changed the way people understood energy.
I’m certainly not Einstein, and I’m probably not Ken McCarthy either. But I have just come up with a formula that I believe gets to the very heart of how coaches, consultants, copywriters, and other high-value experts get clients.
DE + PP = UHVC
This has the same kind of simplifying power.
Figure out the first part of the equation, and the second (which represents the result you want) will come…
I’ll reveal the formula itself in just a moment. First, I want to talk about how it came to me. And this is a little crazy, or at least, I would have thought it was until it happened.
My next-door neighbor runs the world’s largest online gong retailer — Gongs Unlimited. I once asked him how he got the idea to start selling gongs. He said he’d been researching selling things online, looking for an opportunity. This was when he was working in Hollywood, writing for shows like South Park, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. And driving the Mystery Machine, just like in Scooby Doo.
Well, he told me he was meditating on the beach early one morning, and without prompting, a big image of a gong appeared in the sky, in his imagination. It was clear to him that this was what he needed to sell. Now, more than a decade later, and from here in Lincoln, NE, he runs the world’s largest online gong retailer.
Well, this morning, 126 days into my daily meditation habit and practice, I was sitting in meditation trying to focus on my breath and clear my mind, and…
BANG! DE + PP = UHVC came to me with incredible clarity.
This is exactly what you need to get clients, if you’re an “expert” service provider, such as a coach, consultant, or copywriter (or about a million other skills that are sold directly to clients)…
DE stands for Demonstrated Expertise…
PP stands for Powerful Positioning…
UHVC stands for Unlimited High-Value Clients…
So the formula is Demonstrated Expertise + Powerful Positioning = Unlimited High-Value Clients.
Or if you want an even simpler version, it’s Expertise + Positioning = Clients.
But after Ken McCarthy had been teaching Traffic + Conversion for a while, he realized it became even more valuable if you thought about Traffic in terms of Qualified Traffic and Conversion in terms of Optimized Conversion. So I’ve modeled this improvement in mine.
Breaking down The Client-Getting Formula…
What does Demonstrated Expertise mean?
Demonstrated Expertise can mean a LOT of things.
For example, if I told you I gave a client a recommendation on product pricing that added $500,000 to their annual profits, that’s a pretty cool demonstration of expertise. If I told you I wrote a multi-million dollar winner for one of the top financial publishers on the planet, that’s more demonstrated expertise. I could go on — these are all examples of accomplishments that demonstrate expertise.
But there are other forms of demonstrated expertise. These essays are a form of demonstrated expertise. Creating multimedia tutorials are forms of demonstrated expertise. Doing podcast interviews where it’s clear you know what you’re talking about is demonstrated expertise. Professional certifications, degrees, and affiliations are considered demonstrated expertise in some industries.
Giving a speech on a topic relevant to your expertise is great demonstrated expertise. Hosting a webinar, too. Giving good feedback in Facebook groups.
Writing a book is a POWERFUL way to demonstrate expertise.
Even the way you present yourself — in person, digitally, anywhere — is one form of demonstrated expertise.
There are a TON of ways to demonstrate expertise.
There are two things to know about Demonstrated Expertise:
- It’s additive — the more they see it from you, the more respect you get. An author with dozens of books is considered to be more of an expert than someone with only one.
- You only need one form to get started. A lot of people get hung up on promoting themselves because they don’t have whatever demonstration of expertise they think is necessary. But if you have ANY, you will likely find someone willing to give you more experience, from which you can build more expertise.
I could literally write a book on this — and I likely will — but this isn’t that so I’ll move on.
What does Powerful Positioning mean?
There are plenty of broke experts.
Some of the smartest, most-skilled technicians in every field also make the least money. That’s because you don’t get paid exclusively on your skills — even if you should, in an ideal world.
You get paid on the ability to sell yourself, and that’s best captured in the idea of Powerful Positioning.
Powerful Positioning encompasses everything you do to attract clients, bring them to you, proactively sell them, and how you handle them once you’ve got them. It can also overlap with a lot of the ways you demonstrate expertise.
For example, if you were to do a podcast and interview all the top people in your industry, you’re both demonstrating expertise and positioning yourself powerfully based on who you interview. That’s why this is a reliable and effective way to raise your stature and get clients coming to you.
One of the most common ways folks who sell their expert services fail in positioning is in their availability and access.
In general, powerful people are unavailable and hard to get access to. People without power or stature are available 24/7 and easy to get access to. Powerful positioning can include doing lots of little things to erect barriers to getting access to you. This may sound like it will repel clients, and will, for clients that prioritize 24/7 access and look down on you as a tool to get what they want. But for clients who respect and value your expertise, it will only make them feel more confident in you.
Along these lines, having a client-acquisition and welcome process that makes clients self-qualify to work with you will increase the value of clients who come to you.
Having a system in place that distributes your demonstrations of expertise to a broader market will also help with positioning. (E.g. — having a newsletter or books that you make sure large segments of your target market see or buy will make more of them want to do business with you.)
Also, price is positioning. If you want to be positioned highly, be priced highly. If you want to be positioned lowly, offer budget pricing. You should be able to deliver 10X or even 100X value on whatever you charge. But then, charge as much as possible.
That’s enough of a start for this essay, so let’s move on to…
What does Unlimited High-Value Clients mean?
Let’s break this down.
Unlimited is about supply and demand. Your business will never have a problem as long as the demand for your expertise out-paces the supply you have to offer. Imagine a game of musical chairs where there are 10 chairs. If there were 10 or less players, there’s no rush to find a chair. As soon as you have 11 players, there’s a mad rush to grab a chair before they’re gone. It doesn’t matter at that point whether you have 11 or 11,000 — the effect is the same — it feels unlimited based on the 10 spots on offer. (Although the metaphor breaks down because if you legitimately have 11,000 people competing for 10 chairs, those chairs increase substantially in value until you’re down to 11 willing to compete.)
High-Value is a multi-faceted concept. It’s about how much they value you up front — that is, how much they’ll pay for your services. It’s about how much they value your expertise — how willing they are to implement your expert advice and work product on your terms, because you’re the expert. And it’s about their value as a client — their capability to fully exploit and get the most value from any ideas or recommendations your expertise generates for them. Clients scoring high in all three areas are ideal — and someone who really masters The Client-Getting Formula will be able to attract and then sift and sort to work with only the highest-value clients their market has to offer.
Finally, let’s talk Clients. Just to be clear, this is people willing to pay for your expertise. At the lowest end, you have someone who sees you as an interchangeable commodity of a service provider, and will buy anybody claiming the same expertise at the lowest bid. At the highest end, you have the connoisseur who puts a premium on “the best” expert and is willing and able to pay nearly anything for someone who they respect greatly.
How to apply The Client-Getting Formula…
Like Ken’s Traffic + Conversion = Profits, this is an organizing principle that trickles down into strategy, technique, and tactic. It does not teach you the tactical implementation. But by using it as the overarching principle, every tactic you apply becomes more valuable.
So as you’re looking to develop your business around your expertise, consider how you’re demonstrating your expertise, and how powerfully you’re positioning yourself. What are you doing? What could you do better? How aware is your market on these fronts?
It’s not something that you can master overnight. Rather, it’s like a constellation for an ancient explorer. You move toward it, confident it’s orienting you in the right direction. And as long as you’re headed toward that same constellation, you can be confident you’re pointed toward the destination you’re trying to reach.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,