What You Don't Know WILL Hurt You

Jan 19, 2022

...Or at least hurt your business. Sometimes, "fixing" your business isn't about changing your mindset or holding yourself accountable. Sometimes you just don't know the things you need to: the marketing strategies and tactics to attract the perfect clients. And sometimes you just don't know what you don't know.

Hello, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, client attraction coach and author of the new book Client Attractor. You can get your copy at amazon.com or Barnes and Noble, and if you want to grab a free copy, you can get that at clientattractorbook.com

Today, I am going to talk a little bit about one of the big stumbling blocks that we can run into early on in our business that can, in a lot of ways, make or break our business. It's something that, in a lot of ways, can also get you stuck in this place of paralysis or inaction in your business, and that is clarity and structure, in other words, knowing exactly what you need to do and having a structure to get it done. 

For most of us, the moment we start our business is the moment we realize several things. First, that you have the expertise, knowledge, and competence to serve your niche effectively and to create massive value for them. Second, that you have a good understanding of what it takes to start a business. Maybe you've been reading some books on entrepreneurship, or you've been talking to some friends and acquaintances who are entrepreneurs, but you have a good understanding of the commitment and dedication it takes to start and grow a business. And third, that you know the next steps to move forward, that you know that “Okay, if I'm starting my business, here's exactly what I need to do in what order.”

To give you a little bit of an example, when I first started my business, I was then working in marketing and operations for a health and wellness company, which I have talked about previously on this show. And the moment I decided to start my business was when I realized that I was really good at this marketing thing, that I was getting pretty good results, and I knew what I was doing because I had gained that knowledge. So I knew that I had that expertise to serve small business owners. 

Second, I had a good understanding of what it took to start a business. I had been really kind of obsessed with entrepreneurship and learning how to start a business since a very young age, and that had kind of intensified in the few years preceding this decision. I was reading a lot more books, I was talking with my mentors a lot, and I still thought that starting a business would be five or 10 years down the road. But at that point, I did know how much work it took and the level of commitment and dedication I would have to have when I finally decided to move forward. 

Third, I knew the steps to move forward, or so I thought. I thought that the steps to move forward were to get some clients, to work with them, and to grow my business. And on an abstract level, sure, yeah, those were the steps. The stumbling point is that I thought I knew exactly what I needed to do to move forward, but in reality I didn't, and I've talked about this a whole lot before, about how I launched into my business. I was building these email campaigns, building these lead magnets, running these Facebook ad sequences, doing all these things to get clients, and that was where I poured all of my energy in terms of how I was going to get new clients. And I did start to get new clients, but the clients that I was getting weren't coming from any of those things that I was doing. 

At that point, I knew that I was kind of a marketing genius, you know, to put it humbly. And because of that, because I knew that I could market really well, I said, “Okay, great. I'm going to do exactly what I did for this previous company, and I'm just going to do it for myself to get myself clients, and everything will be hunky dory and great, and I will not experience any problems at all with that.” But if you have read Client Attractor, you know a little bit about my story, and you know that that is not at all how it played out. In fact, what it took me a long time to realize was that I had actually skipped some steps that were really, really important. I had not really honed in on my niche, my offer, or really anything to do with my messaging for the value that I was offering my clients. So, of course, jumping to these other marketing tactics weren't serving me in the way that I thought they would. 

In previous episodes and in my book, I dive a lot more into that side of things, about why I needed to first focus on an offer and on figuring out who my ideal client was in the first place. But what I want to highlight today in this episode is that I was bringing some sort of bias into this entrepreneurial endeavor, and this bias was really informed by my experience working for this health and wellness company. What I learned working for that company was that if you have good marketing, people will buy. And that is true, but I didn't really see the other side of the story, which is that you really need to have a good offer before you can get people to buy with any marketing tactic. 

To give you an example of the exact same situation, but an exact opposite way, at one point, I was working with a client who had one of the most finely tuned and most compelling offers I had ever seen. It was truly what I would call a no-brainer offer. She really understood her ideal client and had crafted something for them that was, like I said, this no-brainer offer. Yet, she was not getting any new clients, and that's because when she started her business, she realized that third thing. She knew the steps to move forward, except she thought she knew the steps to move forward, she thought that, Okay, if I create this offer, if I really get clear on who my ideal client is, and if I create some content, then my ideal clients are just going to start coming out of the woodwork begging to work with me, and that will be that. 

So her thought process was, in a lot of ways, the exact opposite of what my thought process was when I started my business. However, the problem was the exact same, which is that she thought she knew what she needed to do, but she really didn't know what she needed to do, and that was because she didn't have all the information she needed. She didn't have that complete strategy or arsenal of tactics that would help her not just create that offer, but also sell it to her dream clients. 

So what happens when you're in that situation, when you're doing the exact things that you think you need to be doing, but they're not the things you need to be doing, but you don't know that all you're experiencing is this thought process of “I'm doing what I need to be doing, and it's not working”? Oftentimes, being in that situation leads to this, not just discouragement, but paralysis and inaction in your business, because your experience is “Well, I'm trying and it's not working, so what do I do now?” and you don't have the answer to that, so you do nothing. 

That's the major pitfall that occurs here, when you realize things aren't working, and you don't know how to fix it, so you don't do anything at all. But the good news is that this is actually one of the easiest problems in your business you can fix, because it really comes down to being a knowledge problem. It's a tools problem. It's you need the knowledge, and you need the tools to take the most effective action. So when things aren't working, take a step back for a second, pause and think: Could this be because I'm missing something, because there is some information or strategy out there that could work for me, but I'm just not aware of it, so I can't even consider it much less implement it? 

Fortunately, again, this is potentially one of the easiest problems to solve, really, no matter what your budget is. Because again, it's a knowledge problem, and knowledge is out there. Now I'm not saying that you can watch a few YouTube videos and be fine, but there are a wide variety of sources and information types out there that can help you get what you need. Whether that is YouTube videos or books or coaching or online courses, whatever, that information is out there. The really important thing is to turn yourself not into this just information-gathering monster, but this experimenting and implementing monster as well. Because still, you can have all the information in the world, but if you don't experiment and implement, you're not going to have a lot of luck with that. 

What I have seen, over and over again, is that when there is this information or knowledge problem occurring, oftentimes expanding that knowledge and starting to get that information is motivating in and of itself, because you start to realize that the way you've been doing things is not the only way to do things, and that starts to get you trying new things and moving closer towards the strategy and tactics that are going to work for you. Now, this was not explicitly planned, but this does segue quite nicely into a shameless plug for my new book Client Attractor, which I do mention in every episode. But it feels especially relevant in today's episode, because Client Attractor for a lot of, specifically, coaches and consultants solves that information problem, and that's because the premise, or the inspiration, actually, of writing this book was that I wanted to give coaches and consultants the resource that I wish I had when I was first starting my business. 

Because of that, it hits all of the major pain points and pitfalls of coaches in their first five years of business, all the way from that offer and ideal client to how you're finding your ideal clients, how you are connecting with them, starting those conversations, getting those discovery calls and strategy sessions on your calendar, and how you are turning them from ideal clients or prospects into real-life, living, breathing, paying clients. It really is the process from start to finish of going from making none or not a lot of money from your coaching business, to actually bringing on paying clients and starting to consistently hit your monthly revenue goals. 

So if you suspect that you might have this knowledge problem or an information problem, where what you've been doing isn't quite working, and you don't know why but you don't know what to do instead, then Client Attractor is the best resource that you need to add to your arsenal right now. It is available both on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, and I'm even sending out free copies if you go to clientattractorbook.com. Obviously, I'm not going to be sending out these free copies forever, so if you want to get a copy for free, now is the time to do that, because that special offer will be ending soon. As always, thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of Client Attractor, and I will see you tomorrow.

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