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Alexander Wekell | Sky Feather

Business Acceleration 101: Stop Competing on Price, Start Winning with Value

From Zero to Hero: How a Simple Change Made it So I Never Worried About Where My Next Client Would Come From

Why You Are a Happenstance Business - "Stop being like everyone else"

In this guide, I'll share the story and strategies that transformed my business from a mere 'happenstance' operation into true success. I'll show this framework can help you make more money, gain free time, become unrivaled in your market, and achieve your dreams faster and easier. Winning looks different for everyone, but whether you want to make a million dollars or simply spend more time with loved ones, this guide can help.

I want to be clear: I am not a salesperson, and I don't consider myself one. My background started a decade ago as a creative professional who, over that time, has mastered the art of crafting compelling offers and translating them into marketing strategies. I've helped businesses reach their first million, their first IPO, and even non-profits make real change in the world. My passion lies in empowering startups and small businesses to better their lives and help their communities because we are so often stuck in the trenches.

The reality is that business is harder now. Attention used to be cheap in a world of Main Street, local American businesses. You might only have a small set of car dealerships, general stores, CPAs, contractors, designers, painters, or even factories that could make a physical product in your area. Your only competition was within your county or ZIP code, and even then, some businesses might close, be out sick, or retire. The days of dancing mascots, sell-out TV ads, and walking door-to-door in your town are gone. We live in a world where getting 100, 500, or 10,000 loyal fans is more expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. Fast forward to now, and your competition has expanded from a small local market to the entire internet – you're competing with everyone, everywhere, all at once. It's why Amazon is a trillion-dollar business and you've probably never shaken hands, let alone know someone who works there in the "store". The value of what they provide is simply too high, and undeniably powerful that no one can compete. When the value, time, and ease of using something is so great, people will naturally use it and you don't need to be "local", "small" or "a real person", you become something greator in your market: real change.


This is why most business owners plateau; they get stuck on Main Street, struggling to gain more money, time, and freedom. The good news is, I was just like you, and I found a way out by no longer being a happenstance business. But what is a 'happenstance' business? It's a common trap for business owners, freelancers, artisans, and executives— the constant struggle to stand out. Despite knowing your unique strengths and being good at what you do while even working hard at it — you're stuck in an endless cycle of networking events, chamber meetings, cold calls, and emails, all for the elusive hope of a sale or referral.


A 'happenstance' business merely announces its presence ("Hey, if you know someone who needs X, have them contact me!"), peddles a job title or commodity, and attracts clients based on luck: the right place, right time, right budget. It's a business indistinguishable from its competitors and, therefore, easily replaceable. By the end of this guide, you'll have a framework to make your business and life easier by becoming so compelling that sales, marketing, and growth all flow naturally. Let's explore the telltale signs of a 'happenstance business' and the phrases that signal you might be falling into this trap.

You're Too Similar

Why This Matters: If you are just like everyone else, there's no real reason to choose you over anyone else

When your business feels like just another drop in the ocean, it's a wake-up call. If clients can't see what sets you apart, and it's actually quantifiable (customer service, pricing, being local, etc are not true differentiators) you're at risk of being swapped out without a second thought. You need to make a mark so indelibly powerful that customers wouldn't dream of going elsewhere. You might say your relationships, service, family atmosphere with employees, etc. is a reason to stick around, but if your competitor did it for half the cost and time required for the same result, why would they choose you?

Inconsistent Sales

Why This Matters: Sales is not about persuasion, it's about solving a problem and giving an outcome for someone

Facing the ups and downs of sales can be disheartening, especially when it feels like you're stuck on repeat with your pitches. It's like being in a boat with a slow leak; no matter how hard you row, you're gradually sinking. This inconsistency isn't just about what you're selling but how you're connecting with your audience. If your pitch hasn't aligned with your customer's needs, and the outcome they want from working with you, you're missing the mark, leaving you repeating the same thing over and over gain.

Competing on Price

Why This Matters: Anyone can lower prices, but it hurts your business and it's better to add more value then go down

Dropping prices might seem like the quickest way to a sale, but it's a race to the bottom that hurts more than it helps. When price becomes your main draw, your product's real worth gets sidelined. You end up attracting deal-seekers instead of loyal customers, thinning your margins and making your business's survival a gamble. True growth comes from adding undeniable value, not just slashing costs.

Hitting a Ceiling

Why This Matters: If you're struggling to grow, overworked, or even underworked, you need to make everything simpler

Hitting a growth wall feels like running on a treadmill — lots of effort, no forward movement. It's frustrating and demoralizing, signaling that your current playbook might need a rewrite. Whether it's clinging to outdated methods or not tuning into your customers' changing needs, this standstill can stifle your business's potential, leaving you watching as others move forward.

Too Much Customization

Why This Matters: Every single successful business has one thing in common - they are good at something in particular ​


It's exhausting when every solution needs a tailor-made approach. This constant cycle of customization eats away at your time and energy, resources that could be better spent scaling what already works. It's like being stuck in quicksand; the more you struggle to create something new, the deeper you sink, making it hard to move forward efficiently.

Wrong Language

Why This Matters: Your customers only value the outcome of your work, not the technical aspects


If your message isn't landing, it's like speaking a foreign language to your customers. Bombarding them with features or industry speak they don't grasp means your real value is getting lost in translation. Nobody cares about the tools you use, only what you use them for. Do not guilt your client either by saying things like "buy from us, we're local", because your product or service should stand on it's own. Effective communication is about speaking to what your client wants in a way that makes sense to them.

Embrace Competition and Just Ask - "What works on them, worked on you"

Let's be honest: we all get swayed by ads and sales talks more than we'd like to admit, and that includes us, the business owners. It happens all the time. Maybe you find yourself shopping on Amazon instead of visiting the local bookstore, grabbing your morning coffee from Starbucks instead of that small café down the street, eating at fast-food chains, or listening to music on Spotify rather than buying CDs. These are all examples of you choosing a competitor because they are faster, cheaper, easier, etc. Your customers will do the same in the real world.

But it's okay; it's just how things work. Even us business folks, who often say everything's fine and dandy, end up going for the easy route. Sometimes, we forget to show our customers why our stuff is special. Sure, having friends recommend our business helps, but that can only get you so far. The real game-changer is when you make what you offer line up with what your customers really want, in a way that clicks with them. When you do this you escape the loop of just being another product or service option, you become something better. Until then, you're just one of the many choices they have.

It's important to admit that you have competitors, maybe even ones better than you. Let go of your pride and try to see things from your customer's viewpoint. The big successful companies start by thinking about what their customers want and work backward from there. If you start by thinking about what you can do, and how to reach the customer, you might have to keep guessing what they want. It's best to start with what your customers want solved, how you can solve it and work back to you - then you'll know exactly what to offer.  In our example below, a videographer might perform the same amount of labor in both jobs, yet one is seen as vastly more valuble and nets a bigger sale.

Stop Guessing, Start Asking

Why This Matters: The majority of business owners assume they know what their customers want. You need to skip this and just ask your customers.

Why play the guessing game when you can get the answers straight from the horse's mouth? Chat with your customers like you would with a good friend at a BBQ. Find out what they're into, what could be better, and what they're really after when they choose you. Interview 5-10 of your top customers and give an Amazon gift card or something similar to them for 30-45 minutes of their time. Get them to be brutally honest: likes, dislikes, loves, hates, why they bought from you, who else they considered, what they wanted from your service or product, etc. It's like finding out why your neighbor picked your BBQ over the one down the street. This chat isn't just small talk; it's gold for making your business better. You'll know exactly what to cook up next time to keep them coming back for more.

​Take from the Competition

Why This Matters: If you understand why others are not choosing you, then you can refine your business so they pivot to your offerings. Start by seeing what they offer and why.

It's crucial to occasionally set aside your ego and critically assess why some customers might prefer your competitors. This exercise isn't about undermining your value but understanding the competitive landscape from a customer's perspective. Even as business owners, we've all opted for convenience, price, or brand recognition in our personal choices, favoring the likes of Amazon, Starbucks, or Spotify for their ease and accessibility. Recognizing these factors in our behavior helps us understand why customers might choose competitors over us. By acknowledging this, we can identify areas for improvement, adapt our offerings, and communicate our unique value more effectively, ensuring we stand out in a crowded market.

Build Around Your Customers

Why This Matters: If you know what your customers value about you, why they value it and what made them choose you, then you can build around this experience. Start by being your own customer.

Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a day. If you were buying from you, what would catch your eye? What might make you think twice? What would you want to know? This isn't just an exercise in imagination; it's a way to see your business from the outside in. It helps you spot what's working, what's not, and how you can make your spot the go-to place for what your customers are really after. Write out all the steps from finding you to buying from you and see what is high value, what can be automated, what is a time waster, where they might ask the most questions, etc. Even a basic FAQ on your website might make a sales call go from 1 h/r to 20 minutes.

Create Real Value By Being Something to Someone - "The riches are in the niches"

You've likely heard "value" used a lot in business circles. While it can be overused, a strong focus on value truly transforms your strategy. There are only two ways to increase revenue: A. Get more customers, or B. Increase revenue per customer by lowering delivery costs or raising prices. Most business owners would prefer a predictable income stream with less work and greater profit, rather than an unpredictable flow of clients, more work and lower earnings. While some claim they want to work with anyone, we both know there's always a preferred type of client. Maybe it's a first-time homebuyer, an emerging tech product founder, a local non-profit, or even just a customer who pays on time without hassle – there are always green and red flags you look for in clients, just like in any other relationship.

Yet, many business owners struggle with being too broad. They market their services too generically, hoping to attract enough clients to keep the lights on. Ironically, this approach backfires, yielding inconsistent results, wasting time, attracting undesirable clients, and limiting your pricing power. Most mistakenly think this is a marketing problem ("if only more people knew about me!"), when it's actually a sales issue (not fully understanding the value you provide). Would you rather spend 30 hours a week servicing five clients who pay $1,000 each and deliver OK results, or spend 12 hours focusing on one client who pays $5,000, becomes a raving fan, and refers you to their entire network? The bigger the splash, the more everyone wins, so why not find that ideal client and make them the hero? Even with unlimited leads, it won't help if you don't have a streamlined sales process.

This is where understanding value and niching down becomes essential. By focusing on a more defined type of customer, you can now refine your process, promise more valuable outcomes, charge more, get better results, and scale faster. Remember, successful businesses are known for a few things done exceptionally well. McDonald's, for example, delivers a consistent Big Mac experience nationwide due to their niche focus. The value of that business is in the ability to deliver the same experience, and outcome regardless of the acutal store location. Ask yourself - how much of your business is dependant on you to hopefully create that value and how much of your value does your customer even understand?


The more rock-solid the value, the easier everything else becomes. As a creative professional, I've run into instances where teams might pay $500 or $25,000 for a video. You have to ask, "What's the difference?" The hard truth that most business owners don't accept is that there might not be a significant difference between the upper and lower ends of spending, allowing clients to go to anyone at any time. However, if the video itself has defined value and a clear outcome, the question simply becomes, "How much is fixing this problem worth to you?" For instance, a company might spend $25,000 on that same video if it means automating their entire hiring and training process from start to finish, resulting in a $250,000 savings in human resources labor.

The goal of understanding value is to build a better revenue-generating machine while gaining more freedom and time. With a niche focus, your sales problem shifts into a marketing one. Understanding the value allows you to target your marketing directly to the right people, create ads with a return on investment (put a dollar in, get more out), and refine your offer for even greater profit. You'll know exactly who your ideal customer is, what questions they ask, and what outcome they desire. A broad offering means competing with everyone, reinventing the wheel for each client, and limited scalability. Even basic niching enables higher prices, better outcomes, faster turnaround, and easier scaling. You go from blind outreach (scraping emails, cold calls, buying leads, networking events) to pinpointing the right customers and delivering a message they're receptive to.

Always remember, niching down doesn't push out the old. You don't want to shock the system and alienate existing clients (do you recall when Mark Zukerburg promised everyone would in the Metaverse?). The process should be gradual and will improve over time. Even though McDonald's target customer is a middle-aged, married, white woman living in the suburban Southeast US, earning over $80,000 annually and frequently purchasing breakfast items, there's no reason they cannot serve a tech CEO billionaire who pulls into the drive-thru in a European supercar. It's about balancing your existing customers while also building the best experience for a particular type of customer.

Define Your Customer


Business Owner: Sarah, owner of a boutique fitness studio.

Action: Sarah identified her ideal customer as a busy professional in their 30s and 40s, seeking personalized, efficient workouts in a community-oriented environment. She tailored her marketing messages, class offerings, and studio atmosphere to align with this demographic, emphasizing quick, effective workouts and a supportive community.

Outcome: The studio attracted a loyal customer base fitting the profile, leading to increased retention rates, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and the ability to charge premium prices due to the tailored experience.

Why This Matters: You know that you have a type of customer that you want to work with, or you have made the biggest impact for. Assume money is no object, and start to look at your favorite type of customer and understand them.

Think of your ideal customer like your favorite kind of friend. You know the ones – they get your humor, share your interests, and you always have a blast together. Just like you wouldn't hang out with just anyone, you want your business to attract those perfect-fit clients. Instead of trying to please everyone, imagine what kind of person truly lights up your work. Are they creative? Problem-solvers? Maybe they're always seeking out the next big thing. By understanding what makes them tick, you'll start attracting more of your favorite clients, just like a magnet draws in the perfect hangout buddies. The goal is to push out those who don't apply so you become more efficient for those you want to work with. Write all of this down in your customer stat sheet, including things like age, sex, location, interests, purchasing power, issues they have, etc. Nothing should be off the table.

Keep it Personal


Business Owner: Alex, founder of a specialty coffee subscription service.

Action: Understanding that his niche was coffee enthusiasts who valued unique, high-quality beans, Alex personalized the subscription experience by allowing customers to rate previous shipments, which then influenced future selections. He used language and imagery in his marketing that resonated with true coffee aficionados, discussing flavor profiles, origins, and brewing methods.


Outcome: Subscribers felt a strong personal connection to the brand, often sharing their experiences on social media, which not only increased customer loyalty but also attracted new customers who were seeking a more personalized coffee experience.

Why This Matters: Now that you have your stat sheets for ideal customers you shift into understanding their language. This means you are building around their needs first and formost, you need to understand the product or service from their perspective.

The "niche" is the specific group of people defined by your ideal customer stat sheets. It's about understanding their unique language, needs, and perspectives. Think of it like Amazon vs. your local bookstore. Both sell books, but Amazon personalizes the experience – rearranging the "store" to highlight your favorite genres.  Instead of seeing the same irrelevant books every time, you're instantly drawn to titles you'll love.  Apply that to your business: When you understand your niche's world – frustrations, aspirations, and the words they use – you're no longer selling a generic product. You're offering solutions that deeply resonate, creating a personalized "wow, this is everything I ever wanted!" experience. Now you can rearrange your store so that the client walks into it and instantly goes "wow, this is everything I have ever wanted!"

Just Make it Easy


Business Owner: Mia, creator of an online boutique for handmade jewelry.

Action: Mia streamlined her online shopping experience by simplifying the navigation, offering clear and concise product descriptions, and implementing a one-page checkout process. She also added a live chat feature for instant customer support and introduced a hassle-free return policy.


Outcome: The ease of the shopping experience led to higher conversion rates and repeat customers. Positive customer reviews frequently cited the simplicity and convenience of buying from her site, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Why This Matters: Now that you understand your customers and their ideal experience, you can refine your sales, marketing, and operations to make acquiring your solution as easy as possible. Identify all potential questions, concerns, and payment obstacles they might face.


The key is to "just make it easy" for your customer. With your deep understanding of their needs, remove every possible roadblock in their journey. As an Amazon buyer, you don't care when you click "buy now" on something that a real person was involved, you still get the value 2 days later when Prime Shipping drops that package on your doorstep. The mindset is to think about your offering as a "buy button", what would they need to see to make it a no-brainer to buy. Analyze your processes from their perspective, write out all the steps to buy from you start to finish. Is there confusing jargon? Are there too many steps? Can you streamline payment options? What are the time-wasters? By making everything seamless, you build trust, instill confidence, and make choosing you a no-brainer.

Proactive vs Reactive: Using Pain, Solution, and Offer to Be Better - "Get them saying 'hey that's me! every time"

We've taken a good look at what might be holding your business back, and now it's time to change things up for a better path forward. From my journey in the creative world, I've noticed a lot of professionals, from videographers and photographers to web designers and marketers, getting trapped in the cycle of offering one-off services. This often leads to competitive price undercutting, transient customer relationships, and a blurry picture of what your customers truly want.

Being a proactive business rather than a reactive one lets you avoid unnecessary steps and simplify your operations. Let's say you believe a fancier website will attract more customers. You find someone to design a visually appealing, well-functioning website and hope it will boost sales. But how certain are you of its success? The vendor you hire is simply reacting to perceived demand and offers no guarantee of a real outcome from getting the website. In theory, you could hire any other web designer to create a similar website with comparable value. Unless there's a significant difference in creative abilities, you could opt for the cheapest web designer and still anticipate a return on investment (ROI) from the new site.

However, consider this: which is ultimately more valuable – a website that looks OK but proactively generates leads, automates parts of your business, and serves as a digital storefront, or a beautiful website that lacks functionality?

When you become a proactive business, you are now taking your offer directly to those who need it. Sales, growth, revenue, etc., all become easier because you are finding only people who fit the criteria you want to work with. You know their pain points, wants, needs, desired outcomes, problems, etc. A web designer, for example, builds a package that allows construction companies to put their tool rentals online so customers can check them out 24/7, 365, unlocking a whole new revenue stream for no extra work. This proactive business knows what it takes to get to that outcome of extra revenue, and they are seen as less risky, higher value, can grow easier, sell faster, and for higher amounts.

Think of it this way: why would anyone hire a personal trainer to shed 30 pounds? Workouts are available everywhere, anytime, free of charge. Pair that with a balanced diet, and you're set. Yet, people opt for a personal trainer, perceiving it as a safer bet with a smaller chance of failure, thanks to the guided path toward their weight loss goal. It's the same reason Xanax is a multi-billion-dollar solution for depression while meditation, which demands discipline, self-reflection, and time management, isn't as widely adopted due to the fear of not succeeding on one's own. Xanax offers a shortcut that's seen as a faster, easier, and less risky way to manage depression.

You're in a similar situation. Everything you offer in the market should address a need and do so in a way that your client sees as valuable above all else. The more you can amplify the perceived value and likelihood of your client achieving their desired outcome through you, while also minimizing the risk and effort on their part, the easier sales become, the greater your revenue, and the quicker your business expands.

Pin-point the Pain

Example: Sara's craft store customers feel overwhelmed by the getting into the hobby, leading to indecision and sometimes leaving without making a purchase.

Why this matters: When customers feel understood, they're more likely to trust your business and consider your solutions, paving the way for a relationship based on empathy and support.

As a business owner, begin by immersing yourself in your customers' world. What are their daily challenges? What obstacles are preventing them from achieving their goals? This deep dive into their pain points is not just about understanding their struggles; it's about feeling them as your own. This empathetic approach is the cornerstone of any successful business offering.

See the Solution

Example: Sara creates themed craft kits that bundle everything needed for a specific project, simplifying the decision-making process and enhancing the shopping experience.

Why this matters: Tailored solutions foster a sense of partnership and collaboration between your business and your customers, enhancing loyalty and satisfaction.

With a clear understanding of your customers' pain points, shift your focus to crafting a solution. This isn't about repackaging existing services or products; it's about building around the customer's needs. How can your unique capabilities alleviate their specific pains? The solution should feel as though it's been custom-made for them, demonstrating your commitment to not just meeting but exceeding their expectations.

Open the Offer

Example: She promotes the kits with a "Craft Along" workshop, where the first 10 kit purchasers can attend for free, providing a guided, hands-on experience with their new materials.

Why This Matters: Building a compelling offer allows you to reach more people easily and addresses all of the main concerns your customer might have, upfront

With your solution at the ready, it's time to make your offer. But this isn't just about announcing a new product or service; it's about communicating the value it brings to your customers' lives. Your offer should clearly articulate how it addresses their pain points, why it's different from (and better than) other solutions, and how it will transform their current situation. The key here is to make it so compelling that the market can't help but take notice.

Let's Build an Offer - "How to Be So Good, They Can't Say No"

Imagine you're crafting a super enticing offer for your business. It's like assembling a toolkit – you need the right components in the right proportions! Start with a great foundation (your product or service). Then, add some urgency ("limited spots available!") and a dash of extra value with bonuses (like a free guide or consultation). A generous scoop of community shows you care about customers beyond the sale. Finally, include the guarantee – your promise that it delivers the expected results or your money back. Now that's a toolkit (or offer!) people will line up for!

In my experience as a business owner and creative professional, this framework allowed me to make my own sales easier, charge more, provide more value, and spend less time on unqualified leads. Clients are happy because they get to the value faster, and I'm happy because my job is a lot easier in the end.  From your perspective, those pre-sold customers mean smoother sales conversations, reduced friction when it comes to pricing, and higher client retention. This translates to less wasted time, greater income potential, and the opportunity to focus on delivering outstanding results rather than convincing people they need your help in the first place.  When you quantify what actually makes you special, you effectively leapfrog the competition. The best part is that with a well-crafted offer, you are now incomparable in the market because no competitor offers a similar experience and you only need to do this process once then you refine it over time.


​You realistically have only a certain amount of clients you can take on. People value exclusivity and respond to limited availability. Consider offering a limitation on your amount of clients or even a number of discounted introductory packages, early bird pricing, or access to a special promotional version of your product/service for a select group. This creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and drives action.


Help potential clients overcome indecision by injecting urgency into your offer. Set clear deadlines for promotions, highlight the potential consequences of inaction, or offer time-sensitive bonuses for early sign-ups. These tactics encourage quick decisions.


Provide immediate value and address potential customer concerns by adding relevant bonuses to your offer. These could include free consultations, exclusive content, additional support, or trial periods. The more valuable the bonus, the easier the sale. Ideally, it's free, and scalable in document, video, program, or similar. Bonuses enhance the perceived value of your product or service.


Guarantees are one of the most powerful marketing tools, acting as your reverse uno card to mitigate perceived risk for hesitant buyers. Common examples include satisfaction or money-back guarantees. Even better are conditional guarantees (i.e., "if you don't achieve X outcome by Y date, then I'll Z"). These can be based on time, quality, criteria, or performance, with the strongest ones linked to a specific outcome. This demonstrates your confidence in your offering and builds trust, easing potential customers' worries during the decision-making process.

​Community & Referrals

Leverage and emphasize the opportunity to connect with a community of users of your product/service. This could include access to exclusive forums, networking events, or collaborative opportunities. If other people are all experiencing the same pain, why not link them together so they feel a sense of belonging? Not only that, but you have customers who can get you other customers by simply setting up a basifc referral program. Paired with an incentive to do so, then you'll have customers recommending you left and right. A sense of belonging and a geniune support network creates added value beyond the core service. ​


Emphasizing how quickly your product or service delivers value is crucial for driving conversions. Highlight the time frame within which customers can expect to see results, solve their problems, or experience the primary benefits. This could mean offering a 30-day trial, a quick-start guide for immediate results, or case studies that showcase swift success.


Incorporate quick wins and early successes throughout your customer onboarding or experience. This could mean celebrating milestones, providing small rewards, or offering immediate access to valuable resources. It may take 3-days or 3-months for them to "win", but split that into smaller wins. These mini-wins create positive reinforcement and help customers feel immediate progress, boosting their motivation to continue.

Good Will

Always do your good will out in the open and try to align your brand with social responsibility by incorporating a charitable component or partnering with a relevant cause. This could mean donating a portion of profits, offering services pro bono to non-profits, or aligning with a cause through sponsorships. Demonstrating social responsibility attracts customers who share your values. You could also get certifications that pair with customer ideals such as organic, fair trade, no animal testing, b-corp, etc.

Testimonials & Outcomes

Testimonials and case studies are powerful social proof tools that significantly impact potential customers' decision-making processes. Include quantifiable results (e.g., "Increased sales by 20%" or "Saved 10 hours per week on reporting"). Display these testimonials prominently on your website, marketing materials, and sales presentations to effectively leverage their persuasive power.

Price It & Get Leads to Come to You - "How to Build a Money Making Machine"

Now we should have a solid foundation for crafting your high-value offer. Shift your pricing mentality away from charging for your time and instead focus on the specific outcomes you deliver for clients. Remember, the greater the problem you solve for your customer, the higher you can price your solution. For example, if you could help a business double its revenue from $200,000 to $400,000 annually, you could charge a premium price – potentially as high as $50,000. Consider the perceived value from your client's perspective, not just what you deem "fair."

To attract potential clients to your new offer, create a compelling lead hook (or lead magnet). This free, valuable resource gives prospects a taste of your expertise and the potential results they can expect from your program. Prioritize speed, convenience, and reducing the client's workload.

Consider this example: a smaller car rental company competes with a larger chain that charges 25% more.  The larger chain offers online booking with instant availability, pricing, and an app for self-service check-in, while the smaller company requires phone calls or forms. Convenience greatly increases perceived value, even with a higher price tag – it's simply more work to buy from the smaller company. Customers inherently value solutions that are free, fast, easy, and readily available. The bigger chain's lead magnet is its transparent inventory, availability, and pricing. However, turning your product or service into a "buy" button takes time, research, and optimization. What you need to build is trust and credibility, so you offer something small for free or with minimal effort to build that upfront.

With a compelling offer as leverage, you can pair it with a lead hook to passively generate more leads. Think about the first problem your potential customer would encounter relative to your business type and offer a free, easy-to-understand solution. The more value the lead hook has, the more leads come to you. The Standard Approach is like fishing with a wide net – you catch a lot, but most have to be thrown back.  The Lead Magnet Approach is like fishing with targeted bait – you attract a more specific type of fish and have a higher chance of keeping what you catch.


Digital Examples:

  • A web designer could offer a downloadable PDF guide titled "5 Ways to Boost Website Traffic in 30 Days" to capture leads.

  • A marketer could host a short webinar on "The Secrets to Effective Email Marketing" to showcase their expertise and attract potential clients.

  • A social media manager could provide a free social media content calendar template to simplify content creation for their ideal customers.

  • A realtor offers a free spreadsheet to property investors that gives them data on when they'll be profitable from their investment

In-Person Examples:

  • A realtor offers a complimentary housing inspection and appraisal

  • An ice cream parlor offers free samples of its flavors to attract customers

  • A kitchen appliance company sets up a booth to showcase it's new blender

  • A car manufacturer offers a complimentary test drive

Build the Hook

Your lead hook is the key to attracting potential customers. It should be a valuable piece of content specifically designed to solve a common pain point or answer a pressing question your ideal clients face.  To make it irresistible, focus on delivering a quick, actionable solution, and showcase your expertise without being overly promotional. Consider formats that provide immediate value like downloadable checklists, in-depth templates, short and focused e-books, or engaging webinars.

Position the Hook

Once you've got an amazing lead hook, you need to put it where people can find it! Start with a dedicated landing page that clearly outlines the benefits your hook provides and has a strong call to action.  To expand accessibility and increase engagement, create multiple pathways to access your hook such as a downloadable PDF, a pre-recorded video tutorial, or even an interactive quiz that offers  personalized recommendations. It's best to trade the hook for some form of data, such as an email or phone number to track your leads.

Market the Hook

Finally, get your lead hook out into the world where your ideal customers are and give them your offer! Use paid channels like targeted ads on social media platforms or search engines based on the demographics and interests of your target audience. Simultaneously, grow your organic reach by sharing your hook across your website, blog, email newsletters, and social media profiles. The key is to consistently promote your hook to the people who are most likely to find it valuable.

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