“You’re not in business if you’re not making offers.”
These words surprised me as they flew out of my mouth last evening while I was working with a client. As sometimes happens during my coaching sessions, I tap into some truth or wisdom that I didn’t even know was there- yet, once I hear myself say it aloud, I know how accurate it really is.
I was coaching with my client on making offers in her business. She’s been a teeny bit stuck on what to offer, combined with some fear of sounding too much like a used car salesman if she promotes too much or in the “wrong” way.
As we dug a bit deeper into this concept, we uncovered three belief systems which had been rolling around in her head.
The first: ‘What if my offers aren’t good enough?’
The second: ‘What if people get annoyed or turned off by my offers?’
The third: ‘What if I offer and nobody shows up?’
So- there you have it. The three vulnerabilities: low self confidence, people pleasing, and fear of rejection- all rolled up into a not-so-pretty package.
While the reasons for each of these feelings might be many, the solution to all of them is the same: you must feel the discomfort and the fear- and do it anyway.
If you want to have your own business, and you want to be self supporting, you must make offers to other people. Unless you’re going to work for another company that supplies you clients, you have to make offers in order to gain clients for yourself.
I think there is a strong wish, sometimes, to be taken care of- where we wish clients would, on their own, just suddenly recognize how great we are, and call us out of the blue to work with us.
Now, of course, this does happen- sometimes.
But not, I’ve found, with enough consistency or regularity to base your whole business on it.
Aside from needing to make offers to gain clients and make money, you also can think of needing to make offers as a way of helping people understand what you can help them with.
As multi-talented and multi-faceted human beings, there are likely many things someone could hire you for. The elegance of making offers, though, is that you can help shape and direct, through your offer, what work you do- and who seeks you out.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that you won’t attract people who want something else than what you’re offering. I often find that when I commit fully to marketing, a lot of opportunities show up- and flow in- which aren’t strictly tied to the marketing I was doing.
So, for example, I’m in the midst of promoting my new class- More Subscribers and Sales in 8 Weeks– and what I’m finding is that, in the course of this promotion, I’m activating other kinds of requests- requests to contribute articles, requests to speak, requests for other kinds of coaching and traffic generation services- which are all distinct and not directly related to what I am actively promoting.
This is what I mean when I say, “When you market, something always happens.” Always.
What I do, in my business, is I make this a game. Each time I put out an offer, I focus on promoting that offer fully and completely. And, just for kicks, I also keep track of how many other opportunities also show up.
So, for instance, this week, I started promoting my class. Since the start of the week, I’ve been contacted by one former client, one potential new client, with two guestblogging opportunities, and one media opportunity. This is in addition to the very dear people who have already enrolled in my class.
It’s really fun to see how much you can energize in your business, by getting comfortable making offers.
So, when we think of ‘offers, offers everywhere’- this refers to the idea that most people offer too little- when they (and their business) would benefit from making more offers.
Really, at the core of it, an offer is an invitation. It doesn’t feel good if nobody responds- I get that.
But because one offer doesn’t succeed doesn’t mean you stop offering all together.
Success leaves clues- and offers are a way of finding the breadcrumbs of what your target clients most want from you- and how you can best provide it.
So, the next time you feel worried about making an offer, ask yourself, “What would it take to market this like it was the cure to a fatal illness?’- and then do everything you can think of.
You’ll likely find, as I have, that many very awesome things start to happen.