In the last three months, I’ve had three separate clients say something along the lines of, “Can’t clients just find me?!”
- One of those was in response to putting together a visibility plan at all because it’s a bit of work if you’ve never addressed it before and, well, wouldn’t it be nice to skip the hard work?
- One of those was in response to already spending years building a private practice to a good level of success and then basically starting over when it comes to building an online business. (Cause, you know, turns out they’re very different things!)
- And one of those was in response to seeing yet another new “competitor”–air quotes included there–pop up down the street and lamenting about it because that competitor wasn’t nearly as skilled, didn’t have nearly as many qualifications, but still seemed to be killing it. (Caveat, seemed is an important word there. We never know the inner workings of someone else’s business!)
Three different scenarios, three different people, and three different niches. All the same, basic problem in the end. “Why can’t clients just drop into my lap? Don’t they know how good I am?”
If you’ve felt this way before, know this. I have, too! I’m sure we all have at some point.
But–you can have a business where clients seemingly drop in out of nowhere. Where–poof!–here they are, asking to hire you. This is all possible, if you lay the visibility groundwork now.
In fact, just in the last week, I’ve heard two people talking about the nurturing required for sales these days. Emily Hirsh and Christine Blubaugh. Emily said 70% of her recent purchasers from in a launch were on her list 6+ months.
Christine said, “Just because someone is a “NO” right now, doesn’t mean they won’t be a YES later. Many of the people who joined her program this round had been offered the program at least once before. A few people who joined had been in my community…and finally joined after FIVE launches.”
Visibility means nurturing. And you need a plan for both.
Visibility isn’t optional. It’s about you making money.
Building brand awareness is one of my favorite things.
Seriously, digging into someone’s business and figuring out the handful of things that person should be known for is fun. Because it isn’t always what the client thinks it’s going to be–sometimes what you, the expert, think your content buckets should be isn’t it at all. You’re already an expert, you know what it takes to do xyz. But your client? Ah, your client is still in the stage where they DON’T know the answers, so those things you want to be known for? They need to meet your client where they’re at right now.
If you’re in the B2B or B2E space, it’s almost always clients or money.
- You want more clients.
- You want better clients.
- You want clients who take up less time.
- You want to get better results for your clients.
I could go on, but I think we’re already on the same page here, yes?
A visibility plan—putting your content strategy into action—gets you clients.
I’m not a fan of one size fits all formulas but when you break this one down it works.
Visibility + strategy = clients.
But despite brand awareness being one of MY favorite things, I often hear around the interwebs and related places… it’s not the other biz owner’s favorite thing.
I think–and this can’t be you, can it?–some might put it in the same category as their next dental cleaning or scrubbing out the shower after a few months of neglect.
Before you roll out of your chair laughing, and assuming you’re not my friend Ashley who genuinely loves scrubbing out the shower, know this–I chose those two examples for a reason.
They’re both things that the collective we often put off and put off.
We might build whole lists of procrastination tactics around not doing them.
But–you have to do this.
Visibility isn’t optional. It’s about money. It’s about you making money. It’s about you making enough money to live well and about you making enough money to ditch the stress of irregular paychecks.
You aren’t a business if you aren’t making money, despite acting like a business and the government labeling you one.
And actually, I was just listening to a recent episode of another podcast, All Systems Go by Chris Davis the other day, and he said something that intrigued me. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said that you don’t have a business until you have systems. You might be making money, but until you have systems in place to repeat the process, it’s not a real business.
I love that definition because it takes us beyond flukes and puts us straight into the scaling business category.
Doing content on the fly is exhausting
If you know that visibility plus strategy equals money, and you know you need to systematically be visible to build brand awareness to get clients, it’s time to put a plan together.
You can call it a visibility plan. You can call it whatever you like, so long as you have a system you can repeat. And preferably, you have a repeatable system you can automate.
Authentic, automated marketing IS within your reach.
A few episodes ago on my podcast I talked about the content mistakes I see online biz owners making and one of those mistakes is using generic lists of “content starts” you download for free, sometimes even buy.
I talked more in-depth about it in that episode, so hop over to 111 if you want to know more about that, but here’s something I failed to mention in that episode.
Doing content on the fly is exhausting, so I understand the desire to download a list and open it up and then immediately hop onto a Facebook Live and talk about it. When you sound like everyone else, though, and you’re talking about the same stuff as everyone else, your audience is going to assume you ARE just like everyone else and that you, also, can’t help them.
But in addition to sounding like every other coach out there answering the same fluffy question, something else will happen.
Your audience will see the fake in you. You’ll sound just like everyone else out there and be forgettable. And when they recognize it’s not really you that they’re hearing and seeing, they’ll tune out. Your engagement will be lackluster. And with that lackluster response, what’s going to happen to your motivation to keep creating?
It’s going to nosedive, and quick.
Knowing that creating content all the time, day in and day out is exhausting and knowing that generic prompt lists make you sound, well, generic, what is there to do?
The answer is the work of visibility.
You, the personal brand.
You, the online biz owner with enough skill to help people.
You, the expert.
The answer is YOU.
Content Holistic and Personal to Your Brand
Creating content holistic and personal to your brand–that’s what I mean when I say authentic, automated marketing is within your reach.
This is how you move beyond sounding exactly like your colleagues and move into the iconic, unforgettable space.
Nobody can copy your rebel yell.
But really, nobody CAN copy something that comes from your unique brain. And nobody can copy the unique mix of your personality, your drivers, your way of breaking things down.
When you focus your visibility content on client-centric topics, they’ll immediately opt-in and pay more attention to what you’re saying.
That’s visibility step number one.
Are you addressing a problem they have and don’t want?
Are you delivering a result they do want and don’t yet have?
Answer one of those questions and you’ve got their attention. Then we can move to the know, like and trust factor. It’s been about a year since I interviewed the author of that phrase, Bob Burg. “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to, people they know, like and trust.”
Remember, when your best client isn’t seeing or hearing your content and immediately making the connection that you can help them, it’s because you didn’t make that connection for them.
You can do this in a way that feels good to you. You just need to have a way to know why it works when it works, and why it fails when it fails. Because all of marketing is a test and content is no different, your system needs to address the good and the bad, and then do more of the good.
There are a ton of ways to build visibility. Podcasts like this, lives, YouTube channels, feed posts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, articles on LinkedIn or Medium. The list goes on!
And you can use whichever combination works best for you. For the purposes of this episode, I’m platform agnostic. They all work when they work and they all fail when they fail. It’s strategy that makes them work and lack of strategy that makes them fail.
That strategy encompasses these three visibility tenets.
- Getting them interested
- Building up the KLT
- Is your offer right for them, right now
Capturing their interest and building up your know, like and trust factor are both content-dependant.
- Content that’s authentic.
- Content that makes your clients feel like they’re part of your “in-crowd.”
- Content that leads them into a new way of thinking about their current problem.
- Content that reinforces you are legit and have the solution they’ve been looking for.
- Content that fascinates them.
This is why I’ve created Content Lab – which, by the way, is now open for enrollment! I have a limited number of Founding Member spaces (only 10!), so if you want to implement content that works FOR you instead of letting content run your life, now’s the time. britneygardner.com/contentlab
What is Content Lab?
The place for online service businesses who want a non-stop waitlist full of perfect-fit clients that magically show up on their doorstep, ready to pay top dollar.
Content Lab is the accountability-meets-mastermind group of online biz owners like you who are creating a visibility strategy with authentic, automated marketing to scale their businesses from a 1:1 model to a 1:many model.
And most importantly, it’s a container for you to work in so you get sh*t done.
In it you’ll have access to my content frameworks, The Show-Up System, Social Post Formulas, and the BE SEEN Method of content creation–that last one is not available in any other program.
If you’re a newer reader, The Show-Up System is my system of brainstorming, organizing, publishing and repurposing content. Yes, that’s the system in action!
Social Post Formulas are my templates for writing or scripting different types of content, everything from feed posts to stories, blog posts to lives to podcast episodes. This is the “how” to write part.
And the BE SEEN Method is “what” to write. It’s how you create your own prompts and cues for what to say to capture interest and built up your KLT.
Those three frameworks are all included in the Content Lab mastermind, as are accountability work sessions, a mastermind Q&A each month, and content audits.
Whether you join Content Lab or not, you need to answer a few questions for yourself if you want to truly create a business:
How are you going to use “smart content” to turn on the right clients…and subtly turn off the rest?
How are you going to use your content to stand out from everyone else in your niche…even if they’re talking about the same general topics?
How are you going to create a visibility plan so you know that every minute you spend on social is going to result in actual revenue dollars?
Do you have those answers locked down?