Entrepreneurial Insight – Why You Shouldn’t Give Up Just Yet

by Dan Johnston

Entrepreneurial Insight – Why You Shouldn’t Give Up Just Yet

I am writing here in Prague, just after the four-day event Life Design Fiesta has finished up and I have an insight, an entrepreneurial insight.

It’s for those of you who are thinking of starting your own business or already have something and I think is really, really essential not only to successfully growing your business, but also to feeling good about yourself, not giving up so early, and to not feeling down with certain things.

I’m going to share three different examples in my own business and two other businesses that will help really illustrate this for you.

So the overall insight is just how important our market is.

And this might just be true for me, but there’s a tendency to assume that groups or audiences are maybe more diverse than that actually are.

Now, no surprise here, if you were to join me at one of my events, or in one of my online programs, yes, most of my audience, in fact, almost everyone is an idealist personality type.

We have a lot of ENFPs and some INFPs.

That’s not really a big surprise, because I talk a lot about personality types and a lot about those specific personality types, but this sort of division happens naturally with self-selection across all kinds of groups.

I remember many years ago, back in Vancouver, I was taking this craft Magog class, there was an accountant in it and he was telling me when we got into the personality tests that of his accounting firm out of something like 500 chartered accountants, he was the only person with a divergent personality type that wasn’t the same as all his colleagues.

I bet this happens with podcasts, with YouTube channels, with different events.

If you were to go to an event heavily marketed around making money and success, that you’re going to have a certain type of personality type there. And beyond just the Myers Briggs or that kind of personality, you’re also going to have similar beliefs, similar values, similar ideals, and willing to bet the self-selection happens across the board.

If you were to go to a yoga teacher training, a raw food event and anti-vaccine rally, that you’re probably going to find very similar beliefs and mental wiring among people there.

And this is really, really important to understand just how extreme this can be. Because if you initially promote your business in the wrong area, you may get back terrible results.

Or perhaps even worse, you might get bad results and feedback about how you should change your marketing, which would appeal to that certain audience, but that audience isn’t actually the people you want to work with.

And yet, if you were to find that right audience and align your offer with them, you could have tremendous results.

Example #1

So let me give you the first example.

At my event here in Prague that just finished up there was a woman who had a craft-based business, but craft isn’t really the right term. That’s what she was using to some extent, but she creates something really beautiful, that has a lot of intrinsic value and potentially emotional value.

She had been attempting to sell these at craft shows, I think I she’d only been to one or two craft shows, and was really feeling like the amount she would need to charge for these just to kind of cover her costs and time, it would not be possible to grow a business around these, because people just weren’t willing to pay that amount.

Now, if all she had done was go to this craft fair and look at her sales, or get the feedback from people, which is usually people who are going to a big craft exhibition are concerned with how much things cost, they’re not necessarily serious about buying any one thing. They’re just browsing.

So if she took their feedback, it would probably be on lowering your prices or find a way to do lower quality so it costs you less to make them things like this.

Yet, as a group, when we looked at her business and came up with a business model, we went the complete opposite route.

Turns out due to some of the emotional side and the story attached to what she’s doing, that it could be a market where she could probably charge two or three times what she’s charging, and have extremely loyal repeat customers.

But this is something that would never be found at a craft fair.

In fact, the audience that we came up with, and that everyone in the room agreed would work extremely well and would be an amazing fit, that audience isn’t in a craft show walking around haggling over price.

It’s a completely different audience.

Example #2

Which brings me to an example with my own business.

I have a great friend who has a couple of times offered to help promote something I’ve been doing. One time it was an in-person event and another time, it was one of my online coaching programs, and both times the results have not been good.

In fact, I don’t believe there has been any sales that have come through them. No one’s ended up wanting to work with me, which doesn’t really make sense considering his audience size.

Based on his audience size, and the results he generally has, I should have had probably 3 to 10 people end up wanting to work with me, after he sent out these different emails about what I’ve been doing.

So we’ve got to ask ourselves: What is the issue with it?

Is it that my marketing is really bad so people read the emails, and then they come over to my page and what I’m doing, and they’re like: “Oh, this looks terrible.”

So that is possible, but within my own audience, the rates of people who end up wanting to work with me, based on reading the pages is very high, actually.

So that doesn’t quite make sense and the only thing I can make sense of with it is audience.

Even though sometimes me and him overlap in some of the things that we’re talking about, that I would imagine in terms of desires, and perhaps even things like life satisfaction, general educational levels, things like that, that our audiences are actually quite different.

One of the things I realized too, is his audience follows a lot more of these sort of “get rich, how to have your business” type people and they’re used to this marketing that is telling them:

“Hey, there’s $80 million worth of bonuses if you buy this $45 ebook right now!” – this type of marketing, and my marketing doesn’t do that.

I do have bonuses and I do definitely use copywriting techniques when I’m promoting something, but people who follow me tend to be quite intelligent, tend to be people who value authenticity, the same as I do and, whether or not some of these tricks would work. they’re not things that I use.

But his audience doesn’t know me really at all and they come and see my page, and they’re like:

“This program is $1,000. And it only has $1,000 of bonuses, I’m used to $80 million worth of bonuses!” and likely also used to more hype he promises in terms of results and things like this.

So it’s not that when his audience visits my page 20% less are likely to work with me than someone else’s, it’s like 100%, there’s just a disconnect, because we’re speaking different languages. And I would guess for my personality type geeks out there, that his audience has more S types, so this is really good to be aware of, because now I am privileged to have enough experience and enough data to be confident in what I do.

If something doesn’t work in terms of marketing, I can look at it and say: “Okay, where did this go wrong? Why didn’t it work?” and it’s not leading to me curling up in a ball in a corner somewhere and thinking like I need to quit, that this is terrible.

But when you’re starting out, that may not be the case.

Maybe you’re starting out and you’re like: “Okay, I’m going to go to this one event and promote my business and see if it will work.”

If you pick the wrong event and the wrong audience, you may get really bad results, which you take as an indication that your work is terrible, your marketing is bad, no one wants what you’re offering.

But that may not be the case, you may just be talking to the wrong crowd and this can be really tough to see because the traits and aspects we’re looking at here aren’t things that you can usually physically see with someone.

Let’s imagine that you have a business in Florida, and you sell sunscreen, a new type of sunscreen. And it smells really nice and lasts forever and you want to get the word out and actually make sales more than get the word out.

Well, if you’ve got a choice of two events to go to in Florida, very sunny place for those of you not from the United States or familiar with Dexter, do you think you’re going to have better results at the Caribbean cultural festival or at the Scandinavian heritage event?

Which of these two groups do you think are more likely to buy a sunscreen for you?

So that’s something that if you could think about it, it’s insane, right? You would laugh at someone who was set up trying to sell sunscreen at the Caribbean cultural festival when they could with the same amount of effort be selling to a bunch of really pasty white Scandinavians living in Florida.

But we can’t see these with some of these other values, with what people think is important, what drives them in life.

But if whether or not you were driven by relationships, or experiences, or just status and significance, if that was a physical thing we could see on people and in a way you can, like you can look at certain people and tell that they’re driven by significance and status, that’s not a hard one to see, but if it was as clear like someone driven by significance had a blue face, and someone driven by relationships, and just being there for people they cared about, had a purple face, you could look and just say:

“Those are my people. That is my audience.”

Those are the people that are really going to align with whatever you’re doing, but it’s not quite that simple, which is why it does require some more work.

Example #3

On the note of people driven by significance and status is my third example.

As some of you know, my girlfriend, Gabby, has a clothing business and one of her main motivators behind it is she is Czech and people here I think are generally friendly, but they are not nearly as friendly as if you’re in parts of Latin America or even United States or Canada in terms of talking to strangers and starting conversations.

So she likes to make pieces of clothing that are interesting and funny and potentially are likely to start a conversation. You know, for her guy friends, that clothing that a girl would come up and like laugh at and start talking to them or if you’re on the metro, someone might laugh at what you’re wearing in a nice way and then you could start a conversation.

She is not someone who takes herself too seriously, could care less, in fact, if I bought her some kind of name brand handbag for 300 euros, she’d probably be pissed off and demand I return it, so you can get a sense of how she is wired.

Recently, a friend of ours who is on Instagram and is a lifestyle influencer, this is the sort of Instagram where it’s like:

“Look at me, I’m having the champagne, I have this blah, blah, blah…” that sort of Instagram account and she offered to do a promotion for Gabby and did.

I don’t believe it resulted in many sales, I think there may have been a few sales that came from it. but for past promotions, apparently there had been like 20-40 sales that came out of it. So not a lot of sales, considering her audience size.

And generally when people see Gabby’s stuff in person, or people who know her, they sell very well, people who buy one buy more, so a lot of repeat business and this sort of thing.

So we can ask ourselves again, why didn’t more sell?

And yes, maybe there’s a little bit in terms of optimizing of the website or little tweaks like that. but I think the bigger picture is people following this Instagram account something like 15-16,000 people, even though there’s that many people, I’d be shocked if there was that much diversity among them.

Well, there’d be two groups of audiences. One are men following Lifestyle Instagram, that’s for reasons I will not say, it’s pretty obvious to everyone what probably the biggest use of Instagram is.

And the second is driven by significance, wanting status, looking at fancy restaurants, fancy cars, handbags, etc.

So we have a very wired belief system, which ultimately is about financial success, or even more so projecting financial success and that life is about being better than other people, showing your status, showing that you’re important.

And then we have Gabby, where life is about making people happy and creating fun experiences for people.

She and her friend are literally bohemian artists, if you’ve heard the term bohemian, it comes from Bohemia, the part of the Czech Republic she is from, so her and all her friends are bohemian artists who don’t wear name brands, often make their own clothing, are very driven by creativity and having fun and making people happy.

So you can imagine that through her copy, her clothing, descriptions, her designs, and someone whose belief system is life is about money, life is about success, life is about name brands and looking special, they’re going to look at what she’s doing and just not connect with it and are very unlikely to actually buy and take any kind of action.

This brings me to what you can actually do about this and what are the actions to take to ensure your success.

First Approach: Adjust Your Marketing To The Odd Audience

Well, I’m going to start with maybe option number two, not the one I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but just as a lesson in marketing and business, throw it out there, which is you can change how you brand and how you market.

So with Gabby’s clothing, I’ll give you an example is one of my friend’s bosses, who’s involved in investment banking, and is sitting at the sorts of meetings where people are driving Bentleys are taking in a helicopter, this kind of ego significant, driven, but also very successful people – one of them wears Gabby’s shirts and loves them.

And apparently, in these meetings, it is like a status symbol because her stuff is so cool and unique that people there get more attention for wearing one of her shirts than the guy with the $8,000 watch, or who has the Bentley or whatever.

This is not who she markets to, but if she wanted to, she could look at her marketing and work in some of the key words like handcrafted organic cotton, which it all is, and work this kind of branding, put together really nice packaging, and instead of selling a shirt for maybe 30 euros or 40 euros could sell them for 150 euros, and really sell to that high end status market.

And that isn’t something we have dismissed, it’s a very viable marketing approach to go that way and a lot of clothing companies do and make it work.

So that’s the first option. If you have an audience or market or access to it, perhaps you have a friend who has an audience or a store or whatever it is, you can and should, if you’re going to sell that way, adjust your marketing and your message to match the audience.

Second Approach: Find The Right Audience

The second approach is to find your right audience and this is more my approach, for better or worse, is in what I do, in the content I make, whether it’s this podcast or videos, I really enjoy just being myself.

Those people can tell you at the event after a few drinks, maybe there’s some jokes that I’ll make around a dinner table, or a bar stool that I won’t necessarily make on a podcast or in a video, but when you listen to me here, you’re getting me.

And I like that because it allows me be myself, which saves a ton of energy.

This four-day event was draining in a good way, like it was energizing, but it was  12-16 hour days on some of the days, a mix of going out and seeing the city and having dinners together with training throughout the morning and the afternoon.

So very, very tiring – and that was being authentic and being myself. Imagine if I was putting on a front and this whole time I had to do the training, do some aspects of tours and going out for dinners and also be putting on a front and faking.

So my approach is to be myself, figure out who I am and what I’m about and what that message is and then connect with the audience that connects with that.

If you know what you love to do, and what’s really important to you, and you want to stay true to that, then do that and find the audience that connects with it and focus on being in front of them because the difference with the wrong and right audience is not something like 10% more sales. It might be like one or zero.

Wrong audience – no one is interested.

Right audience – everyone is interested.

Now it would be a disservice for me at the end here not to mention I do have another event coming up.

This one is in Vancouver, Canada.

Actually, we’re hosting it in a large house, so there’s accommodation available at White Rock which is very close to the American border, a few people are driving up from Seattle, Oregon, maybe even California as well.

It’s a beautiful road trip driving up.

If you are in the early stages of building your business, clarifying your audience and your model, know who you want to work with and how to make that really work financially in terms of what to charge services and everything else, then I would definitely encourage you to check out this event.

I can’t say for sure at this stage, but they’ll likely be somewhere between 6 and 10 people there, so these are definitely intimate events where we work directly on your business and what you’re doing and a lot of it is custom and interactive.

You can find out more about the Vancouver event here: https://www.dreamsaroundtheworld.com/dreambusinessvancouver/

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