“When in doubt, go to the source.”Star Wars: The Clone Wars
In our case, that “source” is our offer. Always and forever, if you’re not making the sales you want, getting the clients you want, etc…. go to the source… your offer. 99% of the time that’s the problem.
Today, we continue talking about how to get your service offer right.
A quick recap…
We’re talking about creating an irresistible freelance service offer — making your service package clearly and abundantly superior to your competitors — because it makes marketing and selling almost unnecessary…
AND, sets you up to charge whatever you want.
Because value is subjective.
We identified that you first need a “superior solution”… the actual “thing” you deliver has to be better than your competitors. And, we discovered there are four ways you can do that:
- Dream outcome
- Probability of success
- Time delay
- Time and effort cost
Now… it’s time to handle the 2nd part which is crafting a superior offer. To be clear, your offer is not the same as your solution. Your solution is part of your offer, but it’s more than that.
Let’s use a really simple example.
Say you go to Walmart to buy some deodorant (or Target if you’re feeling fancy :D) and you’re standing in the aisle looking at all the options. The actual products themselves would be the solution.
Maybe, you just love you some Axe.
That’s the solution.
But, let’s say with Axe you get a 5 oz canister of that manliness for $3. That’s the offer. It’s what you get for what you pay. So, the deodorant is the solution… the amount and the price is the offer.
And let’s say you notice there’s a double pack of Axe where you get 2 5 oz canisters for $5. Same solution, different offer. The various scents Axe makes? Different solutions (you may like one scent better than another).
Now, imagine that Old Spice is like “Nah chief, we’re not going to be outdone”. So, they have a double pack where you can get 3 6 oz canisters for $6. Different solution, better offer. You might like Axe a bit better, but not enough to spend the extra money on it. And, you walk out with Old Spice.
This is all the nuance that goes into buying decisions.
And we do this all day, every day, when we buy things.
Sometimes, the solution is so far and away superior (in our minds) that we won’t buy anything else regardless of the offer. Think Apple products. The people who love them, love them. They’ll pay way more for them.
As an Android guy, I’ll never buy Apple.
I can’t stand the way their stuff works.
Doesn’t matter what kind of deal they might offer.
So, again, solution AND offer. It’s BOTH. Our goal is to make both so far and away superior that potential clients see it as a “no-brainer”. “Why would I even consider another option?” That’s what we’re after.
Again, do THAT… and marketing and sales become almost unnecessary.
Okay… how do we do it, then?
Here’s the thing… offer creation isn’t an exact science. We’re dealing with people… who are complex and multi-faceted. What YOU think is a no-brainer offer might not be to your market… for some reason that’s not obvious.
The business world is littered with failed offers whose creators thought were a homerun. Point is, you need to be willing to experiment and listen. Keep tweaking and futzing until an offer hits.
If you DO keep tweaking, it WILL hit eventually.
That said, there are established principles we can follow to help us figure out that homerun offer. Those principles are:
- iPhone Principle
- Relevance Principle
- Turnkey Principle
- 10X Principle
Let’s cover each.
The iPhone Principle.
This comes from Russell Brunson (another one of those online marketing guys). At least, that’s where I saw it. He actually did this at one of his live events. He held up his iPhone and said, “I bet I can get someone here to pay me $100,000 for this iPhone.” Then, he asked for a show of hands who thought he’d be able to do that and nobody raised their hands.
“Okay, well let me tell you about my iPhone. It’s the latest iPhone, but mine is different. First, on MY iPhone, there are over $250,000 worth of marketing courses downloaded on it. Every marketing course that’s ever been released in our industry, I’ve bought it and it’s downloaded on my iPhone.”
“Also, I’ve got audiobooks of every marketing book ever written. I’m talking the old stuff, too. I go out, find them, then have my team turn them into audio, and I put them on my iPhone. At least, $1 million dollars worth of books. So, right now, who would give me $10,000 for my iPhone?”
Almost every hand went up.
“Okay… also, on my iPhone is my contact list of virtually every well-known business leader on the planet. Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuck, Rich Schefren, Eben Pagan… hundreds of these kinds of people that you can just call up and ask for advice any time you want… IF you own my iPhone. Who would give me $50,000 for my iPhone now?”
About 3/4 of the room raised their hands.
“$100,000? $250,000? $500,000?”
There were two people willing to give him half a million dollars for his iPhone. In fact, one guy asked if he was serious because he was ready to cut him a check for his iPhone right then and there.
Now look… that’s a bit of an extreme example…
And maybe a bit silly.
But, it does illustrate the point… how do you get clients to pick YOU over other freelancers who do exactly the same thing as you? Because, no matter what you do, there are probably 1,000 other people who do it, too.
What makes you special, unique, different… better? Russell’s iPhone was functionality the same as any other. The solution was the same. The offer, however, was much different.
The idea, then, is what’s called “offer stacking”. Adding things to your offer that make it different AND more valuable than your competitors. So, if your service is building custom WordPress websites for people. Maybe, you can add “SEO optimization” as a free bonus that comes with your service. Or, include a bunch of “blog post templates” to help them write their content. Or a course on content marketing. Something that makes your offer more valuable compared to others.
For me, all my membership site builds come with discussions about content strategy, marketing, and retention. I know, from having been in the industry for years, that those are things membership site owners need/want. And, they’re value-adds I can include that most my competitors can’t.
Different… AND better.
That, then, leads to the obvious question… what value-adds?
And, that brings us to the next principle:
The Relevance Principle.
Imagine if you went to buy some deodorant, as I described before, and the offer was: “Buy one canister of Axe and get… a can opener”.
I mean, you might take the can opener, but is it really all that compelling? Is it meeting your immediate need at that moment to the point it’d cause you to overlook every other option and rip that Axe canister off the shelf?
That’s the Relevance Principle. Your superior solution is the core of your offer… your value-adds need to be relevant to that core offer and/or the ultimate result your client is after (more on that later).
So, if Axe says: “Buy one canister, get a second free.” That’s relevant. They could also say: “Buy a canister of deodorant and get a bottle of our body spray and a bottle of our cologne free. Normally you’d pay $15 to get all three, but get it for just $5 in this package”.
That’s also relevant.
This is in contrast to the tendency among online business people to just grab any old thing they have sitting on their hard drive and offer it as a bonus. That’s like offering a can opener to someone buying deodorant.
Cool, but not overly compelling.
And, the Relevance Principle is nothing more than that. Make your value-adds relevant to the client. Don’t just add any old thing and think it’ll work. It won’t.
This, by the way, is where most of your experimentation will happen. You’re guessing a bit at what you think is relevant to the majority of your market. You think you know but don’t always.
But, once you get it right, it’ll be obvious.
So, experiment with different value-adds you believe to be relevant until you find that magic combination that gets people to “rip your service off the shelf” so to speak. That’s the idea here.
Now, one slight tweak to this is…
The Turnkey Principle.
Remember I said that your value-adds need to be relevant to the core solution… or the ultimate result your client is after. The Turnkey Principle is about that second part.
Let’s go back to our deodorant example.
Let’s assume our buyer is a man.
Why is he buying deodorant… and Axe, in particular?
Well, we know a little bit of the why just based on the advertising. Axe’s advertising offers a simple promise: “Spray on Axe and you’ll be more attractive to ahem… potential relationship partners“.
Maybe, but that’s the promise. So, we have some idea why someone might pick Axe over other options. Because of that, we know the “ultimate result” a buyer of Axe might be after.
Success in dating (to put it euphemistically :D).
So, in addition to highly relevant value-adds, we can also include value-adds that speak to the greater ultimate result. Maybe, we include a pamphlet that contains dating tips for men. Or, fashion advice. A free trial to Match.com, etc.
That’s probably a bit over the top for deodorant but illustrates the point.
(Although, Axe actually does kinda do this. If you go to their website and click on “Irresistible Perks”, you’ll see that they offer “grooming tips and tricks, offers and deals, as well as invitations to exclusive Axe events” in return for signing up to their newsletter. That’s an example of this.)
But, going back to our WordPress developer example… maybe along with your website builds, you include an extended trial to a CRM, hosting for a year, Google Ads credits, a 1-year subscription to TubeBuddy to help them with their YouTube channel, an extended trial of Canva or Photoshop for creating images, and so on.
Yes, there’d be some work to do in order to set all that up.
Maybe some of those specific examples you couldn’t do, even.
But, the point is to think about the bigger picture and give them things they’re already going to need anyway. If you’re running an online business, you’re going to need hosting, a CRM, graphics, and so on.
If your main clients are business owners, then think of positioning your service as a “business in a box”. That is, they buy your service and they get everything they need to start and run their business.
Turnkey means: “of or involving the provision of a complete product or service that is ready for immediate use.” That’s what we’re aiming at here.
Pro tip: do both.
Include BOTH relevant AND turnkey value-adds. That is, value-adds closely related to the core service AND value-adds that speak to the bigger result and creating a “complete service ready for immediate use”.
THAT, by the way, is how you get to a “premium” service.
One that clients will pay tens of thousands for. Because it’s complete.
All that, then, brings us to our final principle:
The 10X Principle
This one is simple… as much as you can, you want the total value of your offer to be 10X the price. So, if your price is $100, you want the value to be $1,000… at a minimum. More is better, of course, but 10X at a minimum.
Even better, if you can show that the value is real.
It’s not just some numbers you made up. For example, I have an offer I advertise in certain places where you can get a collection of my courses for a discounted price. The value I used there is based on the actual prices of those courses. Prices a customer can see right on my website.
So, the value proposition is real and provable.
One way you can easily do this is to actually sell your value-adds as separate products. So, if you’re adding in an SEO course as a part of your service offer, actually create a page selling that course on your website.
Maybe, it’s not a core product or something you plan to market a ton, but actually making it for sale establishes its value as real.
In any case, however you do it, try to get to 10X.
And so, all that, then, is creating an irresistible offer. A superior solution (like we talked about yesterday) combined with a superior offer… and all the ways to make both actually superior.
As for implementing…
Take one thing at a time. Do the competitive research first. Then, look at your solution, implement one idea at a time in order to make it superior and note the impact. Then, move on to the next thing and then the next, etc.
Until you’ve gone through everything for both the solution and the offer.
And, if you do that, it’s virtually impossible that you won’t start seeing better results. That said, we’re not going to stop there. I’m going to walk you through absolutely every detail of creating a thriving freelance business.
So, we are just getting started.
And again, if you want to fast-track this and get even more detail, I recommend going through my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course on Skillshare. The purpose is to shortcut the first-year learning curve and shrink it down to just a month or two… instead of a full year (or more).
It’s included in the Skillshare extended free trial you get when you use my referral link: https://myjohn.us/bgtf .
That said, in my next post, I’m going to move from the offer to the order process and start showing you ways to optimize that for your clients (tricks I’ve learned for making it easier to give you money) and maximize your order value.
So, you get more clients AND those clients pay you more.
We’ll see ya then.
P.S. If you know somebody you think would benefit from the information in this post, I’d appreciate it if you’d forward it to them. Thanks! 🙂