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Last week, I went all reflective and chatted about the 3 unexpected lessons I’ve learnt from traveling. Since then, I’ve actually moved from Paris to Berlin…and yes, I was tempted to drop in that ‘Paris to Berlin’ song at this point, just for added effect – because I know that’s maybe what springs to mind when I say that. Hey, admit it, it’s cheesy as hell but it’s catchy!

Anyway, before I get completely side tracked, my move to Berlin has also given me some time to reflect on what I really learnt from the experience of being in Paris for 2 months.

Of course, there were loads of things I learnt while I was there, so to keep this post on track, in true Masterclass fashion, I’m going to share some very specific business and marketing tips with you this week.

1. Keep your coaching services and packages LEAN

Firstly, excuse the pun with this one. But by LEAN, I mean trim and compact. Don’t offer too many options. This was something that really hit me like a lightbulb moment in Paris. I couldn’t speak a word of French, so when it came to looking at menu’s, the bigger they got, the more I got confused. And the more confused I got, the more likely it was that I would just give up and look for something easier to deal with. And that’s exactly what I did - I found places that kept a LEAN menu that could make my decision a whole lot easier, and bought from them instead.

This lesson will apply to those potential clients browsing your products or services too. It’s a natural thing for us to do – offer loads of different options as we believe that people will pick the most suitable for them. The truth is, it makes the buying decision even harder for people, especially if they don’t understand exactly what you’re offering them, or what the difference between your products is.

So I want you to take a good look at your current offerings and see if you can trim them down to something more simple. This will also help simplify your business and reduce your stress.

Take my Masterclass as the perfect example. I could have kept the nutrition and business courses as separate programmes entirely. But I combined them to make it easier for students to know which one to pick, as they are both included. There are also only 2 payment options, a ‘pay as you go’ monthly, which offers a lot of freedom, or the annual option that provides greater savings in return for a longer term commitment to the Masterclass. That’s it. So it’s one core product, 2 payment options, but everyone gets the same thing. Simple and stress free. Lean is better.

2. Referrals are king

When I first arrived in Paris, which was my first time, I didn’t have a clue where to visit, or where to eat and drink. Not a clue. I managed to find one cool bar to get a drink, so I decided to ask the barman for some further recommendations.

He wrote me out a small list and I literally looked them up on a map and headed straight there for some more drinks. There were no questions asked and I didn’t think twice about it. That’s the power of referrals in action. It has got to be the quickest method of turning a complete stranger who knows nothing about you or your brand into a client. If they ‘know, like, and trust’ the source of the referral, then that’s enough for the majority of people to suddenly ‘know, like and trust’ you too.

So here’s what I suggest you do – today – go and ask all of your current clients if they know anyone who would benefit from your help, and ask them to get in touch with you. Now there’s a ton of ways of doing this really effectively, but my main piece of advice here would be build this referral system in as a standard procedure of your coaching business. What I mean is don’t just do it today and forget about it, do it again and again and again.

3. Give people what they NEED

In the heart of Paris, it’s tourist central, there’s people from all corners of the world visiting there. This also makes it a prime location for locals to sell stuff to this huge market. In particular, there are a lot of street sellers in Paris too, and these guys have literally mastered the art of selling. How do they do this? They offer people what they need, not what they think they want.

Let me explain

If the weather was really sunny and warm, they sold ice-cold beers. Perfect, right?

But if the weather was wet and cold, they sold umbrellas and ponchos. Again, perfect.

If the weather was pretty much in between, they sold mini Eiffel towers and selfie sticks. Again perfect, because everyone was just getting on with their touristy stuff in this type of weather.

So let me ask you this – are you offering people what they really NEED or are you offering people what you think they want? There’s a big difference here.

4. Become exclusive and hard to find

Remember that barman who gave me a list of cool places to go? Well one of those places was called the ‘Little Red Door’. Despite knowing it’s name and address, I didn’t have a clue how to actually find it or get in for a drink. You see, they decided to make this bar exclusive and hard to find.

The bar from the outside didn’t look like a bar at all. Curtains blocked the windows and there was no sign or banner above the door – it could have been anything. After I had decided that this one place ‘could’ be it, I went up to the door (which was indeed red and little), turned the handle and tried to push it. Nothing, it was locked – I must have got the wrong place. But then, all of a sudden, the wall beside the door opened up and a man poked his head out. He said, can I help you…I said I’m sorry, I was looking for a bar, and I thought this was it. He replied, Ok, come on in then: at this point I entered the bar via this side wall, which was actually the entrance. Once in, it was packed with people and had a great vibe to it. They also charged a premium for their drinks.

The Little Red Door

Now this is the power of being exclusive and hard to find. In our industry where everyone is shouting ‘ look at me, look at me’ or ‘buy my shit, buy my shit’, try doing the opposite. Try being exclusive and hard to find. I’ve recently done this with my Masterclass too. You can no longer join without an invite, it’s no longer an option to join via my website – you have to join a waiting list before being accepted.

If people really want to be a part of what you do, they will always find a means of doing so.

Ok, that’s a wrap for this week, I’ve had fun sharing these stories with you. Now it’s time for some action at your end. Stop consuming content and not doing anything with it, even if you are only here for my nice accent. Ha!

Today I want you to think about 4 things:
  1. ​How can you keep your coaching services simple and lean?
  2. How can you get existing clients to refer you to others?
  3. Are you giving people what they really need?
  4. How can you become exclusive and hard to find?

It’s time for some work.

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Mark

Great article! I have actually been working on #1 for a couple weeks now. I think you mentioned it on one of your podcasts and I realized, ‘my offerings are too confusing’.
#4… very interesting!

    Ru Anderson

    Thanks Mark, glad it helped! Let me know how you get on with number 4 then!

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