These online business circles we run in are small. It’s interconnected. We’re in the same groups. We follow the same “experts” and work with the same coaches.
The result of this tangled web is that is just way too easy to be lulled into a group think about how certain things should be done. Or worse yet, we become indoctrinated by guru X or ninja Y, and the next thing you know we’re all doing the same thing. The expertise or opinion of that person becomes gospel and we’re afraid to try anything else because we may fail.
In short, we’re drinking the Kool-Aid.
Time and time again I’ve heard from clients that they “have” to do things a particular way because that’s “how it’s done” or what a big name expert teaches. This troubles me because it totally misses the point of why we go into business for ourselves.
Did you go into business to follow the rules? To toe the party line? Or to create something that’s based on your true values and reflects what you want and need out of your work and business?
Your marketing, your business model, your decisions are yours to make. So why are you letting experts dictate how you do things? It is your business, after all.
Take the Case of Premium Pricing
The perfect example of this this idea that you MUST charge premium pricing. There’s many arguments that make the case for premium pricing including: your clients will not get value unless there’s a barrier to entry, that you must value your own offerings and you must get paid what you’re worth.
The premium pricing story messes with people’s heads in a big way. Just because that’s what a coach or expert told them, you’ll have newbie business owners trying to command big ticket pricing when they don’t have the experience or authority to back up.
It’s a simple issue of supply and demand – if there’s no demand, you can’t really charge top dollar and expect it to work. Premium pricing gone awry results in frustrated, unhappy business owners that are struggling needlessly. Because if they’d only used pricing that’s aligned with the market, they could be thriving.
There’s a time and place for premium pricing, but it needs to be part of a well researched and thought out business model. Slapping a high price tag on your product or service and calling it a day isn’t smart or strategic!
The perfect example of this in action is my Freshly Implemented program. This offering was deliberately priced against higher priced masterminds to deliver a high touch experience and reach more business owners. The result is that we’re on round three of this program, and it’s a resounding success. Sure, I have premium pricing on one-to-one services but this program was not the place to roll out a price that was out of alignment with what my clients really needed.
Myths About Massive Email Lists
One of the most maddening myths from gurus is about your list size. How you must have a big list to succeed. Yes, list size matters, but really it matters more for specific types of businesses more than others.
Many of my clients are running service-based businesses so commonly held list size Kool-Aid rules don’t necessarily apply. They don’t always need a big list to reach their goals. The reality for them is that focusing purely on list building can be a distraction from other marketing efforts that better serve their business.
Plus, list size is a vanity metric in many cases. You can have a huge list, but if those people aren’t quality subscribers who are actually engaged with you, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had clients with good size lists that get very little conversion, and ones with tiny lists that totally rock it! Quality over quantity is what matters, so it’s a matter of determining how list building and email marketing is working for your business, gurus be damned.
How to Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid + Upgrade Your Biz
If you were giving your kids or favorite niece or nephew Kool-Aid, you’d approach with caution, right? While they may love the processed, sugary goodness of lime or grape, it’s definitely not something they should have all the time. It’s something they should consume sparingly – as otherwise they will be jacked up on sugar, not to mention all the havoc it would wreak on their teeth and bodies.
Guru, coach, and expert advice is the same. It should be used in moderation so that we can fuel our business with the stuff that really matters, things that work for us and are going to get us where we want to go. That’s what will make us different and ultimately attract the right clients to us. Drinking the Kool-Aid all the time just makes you into another sugary sweet rip off and your business deserves better than that.