Positioning comes up a LOT on Freelance Transformation. This is no accident: having strong positioning is one of the most fool-proof ways to find high value clients that insist on working with you.
But coming up with this positioning can be very challenging. It's not as simple as waking up one day and saying that you will now only serve a particular industry.
That's why I decided to bring Philip Morgan on the show. Philip is the author of The Positioning Manual and in this episode we dive deep into Philip's head on the theory behind positioning and how to actually get it done.
Philip shares with us:
- What Positioning Actually Is and Isn't: we chat about why it's important to think differently about positioning in the consulting world vs the traditional branding definition of "owning a word" like Volvo = safety.
- The Incredible Power of Positioning: Philip gives us examples of generalist clients moving into a specific positioning, and what that has done for their business. Bottom line, it's hard to get word of mouth when there are millions of potential projects you could be a fit for. But if you become really good at solving a specific problem, you can quickly become the go-to person or company for that problem.
- How a Person with Specific Skills (such as PHP, Ruby, Photoshop) can Develop Positioning: the tool(s) that you use is rarely what the client understands or cares about. The bigger value is how to solve problems for clients.
- How to Actually Discover What Problems Are Out There That You May Be Able to Solve: this is so critical. We talk about how to interview people about their problems without letting your biases get in the way (more resources linked below), and why at the end of day you must talk to people to learn what their real pain points are. Sitting at home and making these problems up is simply not a substitute.
- The Different Dimensions That You Can Position Around: we talk about how to narrow both your audience, and what it is that you can do for them. Past guest Kurt Elster is used as a great example.
- How to Safely Transition Your Business to a Narrow Positioning: we talk about how to safely test and transition to your new positioning without betting the farm or changing your entire business overnight.
- How to Continue to Grow in Your Narrow Positioning: it's great to earn money, but of course at Freelance Transformation we also care about the lifestyle that our business creates. Philip and I dive into how this plays into the ultimate end game of the business and lifestyle you want to build, how to continue to grow and not get bored, and why positioning is simply a tool to help your business achieve some other means (spend more time with kids, retire early, location independence, etc).
Recommended Resources for Customer Interviews:
- Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez (book)
- Survey Format For Discovering Expensive Problems (article)
- Suggested Interview Question List for Content Marketing Articles (article)
- Market Research Cold Email Template (article)
- 11 Questions to Ask Clients Before Writing Your Proposal (article)
Find Philip Online: