Once you are clear on your sacred purpose, beginning to get clear on your brilliance-based system and your offerings, then it’s time to start inviting people into them.
Once you have created your program, course, product or other offering, it’s time to sit down and figure out how to bring it forward to your community, to prospects, clients, and even people beyond your community.
Being able to make a highly effective & successful invitation into your offerings is so important because there are so many entrepreneurs who don’t make the invitation at all. Are you in this boat? If so, you’re not alone! You’ve created your brilliant, aligned offering – and simply stopped. Maybe you get caught up in busy work or bury yourself in marketing, and there’s a lot of avoiding. But what happens next? Next, there are fewer clients, less income, and less flow.
Sometimes you’ll make invitations, but don’t do it well. It’s not skillful, or you don’t do it in a way that feels aligned for you, so it’s not effective. And you get the same disappointing result. If you don’t invite people to participate in your offerings in a way that is aligned for you, and in a skillful way, then people will not know about you or your offerings. They will not become your clients and enter your community.
The Biggest Obstacle to Making the Invitation
By and large, the biggest reason entrepreneurs don’t make invitations effectively is fear. Fears come in all shapes and sizes, but for the most part, the big ones are fear:
- Of failure
- Of visibility
- That you’re not good enough
- That you’re too old or too young
Fear is a doozy, but even bigger than fear is a lack of embracing your value. When you don’t feel and sense into the value of your work, when you can’t embrace it or see why it is of so much service in the world, then of course it’s hard to put yourself out there and make a direct invitation to others to participate in it with you.
From what I’ve seen (and I include myself here, because the journey of value is one I’ve taken in my own business) the valuing of yourself, your offerings, and your time, is just a HUGE issue for soul-centered entrepreneurs. It is essential to address this and step more into your value or you will absolutely sabotage yourself and your business.
The idea of embracing your value more and more, and the importance on it is one of the reasons I put so much focus and attention on it with my program and private clients.
Mini Assignment: Answer the following questions:
- Why are your offerings valuable?
- How do you feel right now about your offerings?
- How do you want to feel about your offerings?
- What do you want to believe about your offerings?
Next, on a daily basis for the next week, spend time focusing on the question of why your offering is so valuable. This will help you in cultivating your belief in the value of what you have to offer.
How to Create a Soul Centered Invitation
Just to remind you, my definition of marketing is creating a connection and relationship with those that you are meant to serve.
As you create these invitations, remember that they aren’t some formal, robotized, super-professionalized version of you talking. It’s you, remembering and thinking about what it is to create a relationship and connection. The other key is that marketing isn’t about selling so much as about serving, and serving value. It’s not about serving value to everyone in the world, but to your ideal client.
Grouping Your Prospects: Apple Picking
I like to think of prospects as like an apple tree. The first tier of prospects includes the apples that are easy to pick; you can just walk up to the tree and pluck the fruit. The second tier is when you have to get a stepstool and reach up on your toes to reach the apples. And the third tier includes the apples you can only reach with maybe a special apple-picking truck with a crane on it!
Tier One Prospects
First tier prospects are people you know personally, whom you feel would make a great fit with your offering. These might be current clients, past clients, old prospects who may not have converted, colleagues, friends of friends to whom you’ve mentioned your business and they were excited about it. These people had the highest resonance with you – they are the most likely to come in with you because your offering is well aligned with them.
Send individual letters to Tier One. I like to send letters via email, but paper mail is great, too. Before you even let your bigger community know about a program, before you do a joint venture partnership, before you go to social media, before you put it on your website, connect with people whom you know will be a perfect match for your offering.
Remember, to create a relationship and a connection, the best way to deepen these existing relationships with first tier prospects is to be personal, and make the letters personalized. You’ll want to spend more time on these. This letter should be full of buzz and celebration that lets people know about your new offering and how excited you are about it.
- First, If you have a piece of personal information you can include, such as you know they just sold their house, or they took a trip to Italy, etc., you should make a note of that and inquire about it. You can have a template for the main body of the letter, but tweak each one to make it unique and personal.
- Next, let them know who the offering is for, and tell them exactly how your offering will help. Tell them that they came to mind as you were looking to fill spots in your offering. Let that individual know that they specifically came to mind, and then tell them why. Also, it’s important to let them know that you are contacting them first – make them feel special.
- From there, invite this person into a conversation with you. This is your call to action. Clearly invite them into the next step with you so that together you can get clear on what they want for themselves, what’s standing in their way, and how you can help them. (Next week I’ll fill you in on how to have effective enrollment conversations!)
Tier Two Prospects
There are two streams of prospects that fit within Tier Two. The first stream consists of people your contacts know. For example, maybe your sister knows some people who would be ideal for your offerings, or your former manager is tapped into a community of people who need your services. The best part here is that people LOVE to give referrals! It’s human nature to want to be helpful; you just need to give instruction on how to do it.
With Tier Two, I also recommend sending individual emails. Again, do as much personalization as you can. Also include some information about yourself that they may not have known. Let them know that you’re in business, or that you have a new offering, or that you have a new focus, or whatever is new to them.
Then let them know that you’re reaching out to them specifically because you know that THEY know individuals who would be a good match for your work. You can also ask this person if they could have a short conversation with you so they know more about your offering and they are more invested.
The second stream of Tier Two prospects is comprised of groups that you’re involved in, such as a moms group, a book club, a business group, etc. The letter to these folks would look similar to your Tier One letter, but would not be personalized. It’s more of a general call: you’d say, “if you are interested or if you know someone who might be interested, then I invite you to talk with me.” And then you can set up a call or a meeting.
Tier Three Prospects
The highest apples on the tree represent your community at large. If you have an already existing newsletter or mailing list community, that’s your third tier. This could be a neighborhood group you’re a member of, but are not particularly active in.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to send them that Tier One individualized letter, but you will send these people a series of three emails over the course of 10 days. In this first email, you will:
- Let people know you have space available in your schedule or X number of products available
- Let them know who is appropriate for this offering
- Let them know how your offering will help them
- Make a clear call to action
In the second email, four days later, you will:
- Take a new angle in (more info about offering, more info about who it’s for, more info about how it helps, etc.)
- Make another clear call to action
In the third email, ten days after the first email, you will:
- Remind prospects that there is space available
- Make a clear call to action
Persistent and Consistent Action
When it comes to making connections with prospects, what matters is that you’re actively doing it, and that you’re being persistent and consistent about it. When it comes to your marketing, you can’t just to do something once and have it work (most of the time!). Any entrepreneur who expects to send something out once and get a ton of response is setting herself up for failure and disappointment.
Where you will recognize success is in being persistent and consistent, and also following up. I like to call this the F-word of business.
Sometimes follow-up is as easy as sending another email 3 days later saying something like, “Hey, I haven’t heard back from you. Here’s my email attached again for you to read. Let’s set up a conversation next week!”
Homework: Create a template letter for your Tier One prospects. Then make a list of at least 25 people for your Tier One. Create and personalize each letter, and start sending! You don’t have to send all those letters out at once; it might be overwhelming. But maybe you can decide that once a week, you will send out five new Tier One letters.
Then repeat this process for your Tier Two. Initially, restrict your focus on your first two tiers. You can work on Tier Three once you’ve got a system down.