*7 minute read*
Every business course you take, branding book you pick up and business owner you speak to will tell you that you need to know who you are selling to. They will throw target market exercises and persona discovery questionnaires at you and tell you to please please PLEASE go and test your hypotheses out in the real world, with real people.
Yet almost EVERY solopreneur who is starting something, somehow believes she doesn’t need to do this.
Because her products or services speak for themselves.
Because she thinks she knows the people she is developing this for.
Because her thing could just serve the whole world and she wants to keep it open for everybody.
Because, quite frankly, doodling logo’s is much more fun than doing ideal client work.
Because she is scared that narrowing down her audience will result in narrower profits.
Unfortunately for every brave business builder, the opposite is true. The more general you are, the less you will appeal to the people you want to work with. In this day and age, there are probably a million other ways to get what you have to offer. Why should people buy from YOU?
This is where resonance comes in. Resonance is a reaction to a vibrational frequency that results in: “OMG I NEED TO CALL THIS PERSON RIGHT NOW. I CAN’T BELIEVE I HADN’T KNOWN HER UNTIL TODAY.”
A strong resonance results in immediate ACTION. Action like signing up, hitting the buy button or picking up the phone. When, instead, you offer something potentially useful to a broad audience, there can be no 100% resonance. Instead, it results in: “MEEH. It’s sorta nice…”
And guess what?
PEOPLE DON’T BUY ANYTHING WHEN THEY THINK IT’S SORTA NICE.
There is a difference between: “Oh, look at those shoes, they are sorta nice” versus “OOOOHHH, these shoes fit like a glove and will go soooo well with my favourite dress…I must have them!”
Who do you think will buy? The person who thinks: “These yoga pants are comfortable AND SEXY! Can you believe it? If I wear them with the new high heels and a cute cardigan I can TOTALLY get on stage like this” or the person who thinks “Oh, another pair of yoga pants. They are sorta nice.”
In business, you need to get past sorta nice, meh, hmmpf and any other unremarkable reaction that leads to people moving on, closing the tab and ignoring you forever.
You need to make space for resonance. BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
If you do it the conventional way, the answer is: learn about great segmentation, targeting and positioning. In other words, conceptually divide a population into little chunks, based on e.g. geographic or demographic factors. Then, target one or a few of the identified chunks according to what you believe offers the highest return on investment.
This work (although sometimes useful) can feel dry, slightly creepy (because it’s a little like criminal profiling?) and useless…. because since when does knowing what kind of lipstick people wear create business.
Unfortunately people don’t think: “Oh wow, is that lipstick shade “Russian Red”? I wear it all the time — I should buy your 30,000 EUR mentorship package!”
As a small business owner who doesn’t have a huge marketing budget and 6 months to dedicate to research, I suggest you stop segmenting your imaginary segmentation list and amplifying your database of ‘blogs my ideal client reads’.
Instead, let me share a process to identify your personal criteria or factors of resonance.
Consider your own buying behaviour and and think about what gets you GENUINELY EXCITED.
When do you ever think how can I throw my money at you?!
Grab a pen and a paper and make a list of your business turn-ons. Here is mine:
I love it when…
- I know I can trust someone
- I feel that they know their shit
- They seem to generally care and are not out for the short-term sale
- I’d love to have coffee with this person
- I admire their story and and catch myself sharing it with other people
- I’m comfortable with their manner of communicating. It feels flowy.
- What they are offering is not just sorta nice but exactly what I need
- I feel like they’ve been there and identify with an issue I (secretly) have
- I feel they’ve gained a degree of mastery in this specific area and still show humility
- What they share makes me want to comment or get in touch and write a thank you email
Then, make a list of your total business turn-offs. The things you are allergic to in business, that feel cheap, superficial, unethical or boring. Here are mine:
I am totally turned off when…
- Empty buzzwords are being thrown around
- Big promises are made and little is delivered unless you pay big bucks (think pukey webinars)
- People who speak too much about themselves but can’t get me to care
- Someone is selling ‘how to make 7 figures’ and obviously hasn’t made 7 figures
- Calls to action that feel like cheap pick-up lines
- Inbox bombarding of any kind
- More of the same content
- Videos shot by people with very monotonous intonation and zero smiles
- The headline is the best part and it goes downhill from there
- People invite me to a ‘free strategy call’ that is in reality a full-fledged sales call
Once you’ve made a list of your business turn-ons and turn-offs, cluster them according to recurring themes. What do you desire when you are wanting more of this or less of that? Et voilà, you have your factors of resonance. Here are mine.
The Four Factors of Resonance:
Open Heart. I love the person delivering value.
Integrity. I sense a refreshing lack of bullshit
Focus. What they offer is exactly what I need.
Service. I feel seen, not sold to.
When your factors of resonance are met, you open up for a true exchange. Full presence. This works for receiving and for giving. On the receiving end, you can confidently stop following anyone who does not bring your factors of resonance to life. On the giving end, you can stop doing everything that is not in alignment with your factors of resonance. .
Check in with your factors of resonance every time you are about to launch something, you unsure about how to design an interaction or you just want to generally make sure you are not reverting back to status quo bullshit. I keep these close – sticky note on standing desk.
In the coming posts, I will delve deeper into each of the in the factors of resonance and how to practically express them… But now, over to you! Have you ever been exasperated with ‘ideal client exercises’? How does resonance feel? What are your business turn-ons and turn-offs? Tell me everything!