Let’s talk about the success of others. How much time do you invest in it? How concerned are you about it? How concerned are you about them? How invested in your own customers’ success are you? If you want them to love you and be loyal to you, you ought to be deeply invested in your customers’ successes. You ought to want what’s best for them. You ought to be rooting for them. You ought to even be working for them. It is symbiotic: your customers’ success is your success. You want to help move them from where they are to where they want to be. Or, do you feel too busy to worry about your customers? Hopefully, you don’t because your customers should be your top priority.
It might be somewhat ironic, but you feel more successful when you take the focus off of yourself and place it on your customer. Think about them. Think about what a big win for them is. Think about what they’re trying to accomplish. Think about how you can best stand out in terms of them. Think about how you can help add value to their lives. Think about how you can help them solve their customers’ problems. This one will elevate you into the upper echelon of their minds. Why wouldn’t it? You’re solving the customer’s customer’s problem. Aside from backing a huge truck full of money to their door, what more could they want? Yes, something magical happens when you take the focus off of your own success and place it onto your customer. Or, your customer’s customer. People become magnetically attracted to you as an expert, as a resource, as a problem-solver, as a person of value. This is how you get good and develop your reputation in the marketplace.
What if you have no current reputation in the marketplace? What then? What if you’re just getting started? Even if you’re just getting started, start creating. Start with the basics. Start by documenting what you’re learning in your industry. Start by creating problem-solution stories. Start by taking great notes. Start by listening because almost no one else is. Start by getting involved in your industry association and looking for gaps where you can contribute. Start by writing every day. Document what you learn so thoroughly that you could create a course out of of the content. There will be tons of expertise in your industry, but likely not much of which is written down in digestible format. Make yours digestible and, of course, searchable. These are all great ways to begin adding value and building your reputation in your market because these are attractor habits. These actions are all designed to get people to come to you. And if you’re in sales & marketing or even other professions, this is precisely what you want.
You become valuable in others’ eyes when you guide them through problems toward solutions or solve their problems for them or you lead them all the way through a proven process to accomplish a goal. Either way, you are creating and sharing what you know. Great coaches and consultants do this all the time, and then enjoy recommendations and referrals from happy clients. They build their reputations this way in their industry and then they get better at helping others. It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle.
It is hard to overestimate the importance of teaching in your industry or market place. Teachers are perceived as experts, and most marketing professionals agree that great marketing today is teaching and training. It is excellent positioning. It is excellent content that is easily shareable. It is timeless. The lessons you teach can be on video or written-down instructions. It is reproducible. It is also write-once, share everywhere. If you really want to develop your industry reputation and expertise as stated earlier, begin teaching today. Teach what you know. Give away your best stuff or the things you think are your best stuff. Package your curriculum into a course, create the course, and market the course to your audience. People love online courses with definitive outcomes! They cannot get enough of them. Even if you’re starting out, it should be your aim to do this. Teaching and giving away your best stuff for free aligns with what Zig Ziglar stated earlier: you’re on your way to helping people get whatever it is they want. You’re teaching. You’re training. You’re creating and sharing what you know. This is powerful stuff.
To market your courses, books or guides are a great way to be discovered and to add quick value to people, helping them to solve problems. Say, you had an e-book, How to Get Consulting Clients at high prices. And you give it away for free or a low price on your web site. You teach people something really valuable they want right now. They get the chance to test your teaching and put it into action. They get a positive result. They come back to you for more. They say, “Hey, Man, that was great! I got three new consulting clients because of what you taught in that book. What else have you got?” And then you offer them your digital course. Or, you offer them coaching. Or, you offer them another training. You keep adding value to their lives. You keep on giving them good stuff. You add value. You make offers. You add value. You make offers. It becomes the value + offers loop, again and again and again. And ideally, it becomes a virtuous circle of happy customers who buy from you over and over again. Never stop adding value to people no matter what.
Coaching is the other action of entrepreneurs that is so vitally important. Entrepreneurship is a lonely business. This is the subtext or dark side of the business that few discuss. You often feel like you’re on your own. You often feel like no one understands what you do. People even make fun of you or have masked hostility toward you for pulling off what you do because they can’t and they’re stuck in a job they don’t like. Naturally, you know that anybody can do this; they just have to believe in themselves and what they do and persist. But entrepreneurship is a lonely business. And like anybody else, entrepreneurs need others to rely on to commiserate with, to share ideas with, to build things with, to build businesses and campaigns with. Coaching and masterminds are where this comes into play.
Group masterminds are wonderful teams of people where everyone comes together semi-regularly to share ideas, to commiserate, to discuss the industry, to talk about wins and losses, and to help each other out in general. Everyone is there to learn what’s working now. For what is entrepreneurship but learning put to action repeatedly?
Masterminds are great because they are designed to be self-reinforcing. These bring people together with commonalities to discuss best practices. And there isn’t nearly enough best practice sharing out there. We’re so much better than that. Remember earlier when I stated you should give away what you think are your best ideas? Best ideas are subjective. Your best idea may not be even close to my best idea and vice versa. So, share yours and I’ll share mine and we’ll both be far better off this way than if we hadn’t done it. Masterminds are all about creating and sharing together regularly and frequently. They are also a great place to meet people and develop relationships into potential promotional partnerships. If you’ve got something to promote, see if you can promote for one of your fellow mastermind group members. Give the value first. Always. Help first. Then, ask.
A good mastermind and coaching can help build businesses faster than just about anything else out there. Think of them as shortcuts to success. Because what you’re doing is modeling successes of others. You’re also building confidence in your abilities: “If he can do it, I can do it, too. This isn’t so hard.” There’s just something to seeing others do it first-hand, live, and in person. And then meeting them. It’s energizing and invigorating and inspiring. It leaves a halo effect on people. It is very similar to the effect that great teachers have upon people.