Sell the problem you solve, not the thing you do

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The mistake most new coaches and other service-based business owners make

New coaches and service providers often miss the most important part of building their offer (package, program, course, event, etc.): choosing a niche, or specialty.

You can't be everything to everybody.

Think about it… it would be nearly impossible to sell a solution for every problem that any person could possibly bring to you, whether you’re a coach, a graphic designer, a photographer, or really any kind of service provider. 

While attempting to be a generalist is nothing to be ashamed of (almost everyone clings to this approach early on), we really have to let go of the idea that limiting our scope of services equals limiting our income potential. Because it’s actually the opposite. Successful service-based businesses have a clearly defined specialty, or niche.

What is a niche?

Using the provider types I just mentioned, here are some examples of niches:

  • COACH
    Example coaching niches:
    Confidence Coach for Women
    Empowerment Coach for Survivors of Domestic Abuse
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Example designer niches:
    Presentation Designer for Medium to Large Tech Companies
    Elementor Page Builder Website Template Designer
  • PHOTOGRAPHER
    Example photography niches:
    Elegant Boudoir Experience Packages
    High School Senior Portraits

Even with just those few examples, it’s probably starting to become clear that having a specialty makes it super easy for someone to tell what it is that you do. And, with less stuff on the “menu” to choose from, it’s natural for the prospective client to assume that you do this one thing (or small handful of things) very well. 

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4 Secrets for Selling More Authentically

Emotion sells, period.

It doesn’t matter what you’re pedaling, people buy a product, service, or experience because of how it makes them feel. Or perhaps more accurately, how it promises to make them feel once they have it.

So how do we tap into that emotion when selling a service? It’s simple. We solve a specific problem for a specific type of client, and we use their own words to describe the solution.

Let’s go back to our service types from earlier and look at some examples of problems their specialized offers might solve.


COACH

Confidence Coach for Women
The problem: Women with low confidence struggle to stand up for themselves in life and work. They may lose out on opportunities like asking for a promotion or a raise, or finding a loving relationship because they don’t believe they are worthy or deserving of these things. They feel discouraged seeing their peers accomplish impressive things in their careers and building healthy romantic relationships. They want that for themselves.

The offer promise: Helping you step into your worth so you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Empowerment Coach for Survivors of Domestic Abuse 

The problem: Survivors of domestic abuse tend to struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, doubt and remorse even after leaving the abusive situation. After being a victim under someone else’s control, even if subtly, it can be difficult to forgive yourself and find your way back to who you are.

The offer promise: Empowering you to free yourself from blame and reclaim control of your life.


GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Presentation Designer for medium to large tech companies

The problem: Presentation decks tend to be churned out quickly and by the subject matter expert, not a designer. Even if there are templates to start from, there is often a lack of polish and professionalism that a designer can bring to the table. Slide decks tend to have a lot of text but don’t often tell a story on a visual level, allowing the consumer to digest the information in a pleasing and compelling way. When competing for clients or customers, a well designed deck can go a long way to winning new business.

The offer promise: Telling meaningful visual stories that compel action, one slide at a time.

Elementor Page Builder Website Template Designer 

The problem: Custom designed websites are obviously what everyone wants—they’re one of a kind, the strategy is well thought out, and the design is beautiful. But they’re expensive and affordable templates tend to be too simplistic and generic looking. And often, the original design gets mucked up when it’s handed off to a developer. Not to mention that the end user doesn’t want to have to touch any code when updating their website when using Elementor page builder plugin.

The offer promise: Beautiful turn-key WordPress websites that look like a million bucks but cost next to nothing. No code required.


PHOTOGRAPHER

Elegant Boudoir Experience Packages

The problem: Boudoir can easily become tacky with the wrong photographer. And, you’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable position letting someone into your bedroom to take photos of you wearing a lot less than you wear in public. But you’re doing this for a reason. Maybe it’s to feel beautiful again, maybe it’s a steamy surprise for your partner. Either way, you need the right photographer or it could end up being a disaster.

The offer promise: Creating elegant boudoir experiences so our clients can feel their absolute best, for themselves and for the ones they love.

High School Senior Portraits

The problem: The person choosing a photographer to take their 12th grader’s senior portrait is usually a parent. They still look at their child as their baby, not a young adult who is about to head out into the world and figure out who they are, on their own. These young adults are looking for a photographer who can balance giving their parents what they want—photos that capture their child’s innocence before it’s gone forever, and what they want—to feel seen as an adult, to feel confident and taken seriously.

The offer promiseYour baby is entering adulthood. Help them spread their wings with custom photo shoots to bring out the best of where they’ve come from and where they’re going next.

As you can see, these services are now so much more than just “coaching,” “designing,” and “photography.” They’ve become emotion-driven solutions to the core audience’s real-time problems.

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Meredith McCreight

Meredith McCreight

Hello hello! I'm a brand and business coach. I work with women entrepreneurs with heart-centered businesses who want to stop playing small and instead raise their vibration and frequency to achieve clarity, wealth + abundance mindset, high-end design, functional digital interactions, and automated business processes and systems. I want to pet all the dogs and hug all the humans. I look forward to connecting with you!

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not a fan of sales?

I didn't used to be either.

Do you dread getting on sales calls and asking people to pay you money? Wanna learn how to bring joy and ease into the process? Grab this FREE download!

4 Secrets to Sell More Authentically

not a fan of sales?

I didn't used to be either.

Do you dread getting on sales calls and asking people to pay you money? Wanna learn how to bring joy and ease into the process? Grab this FREE download!

4 Secrets to Sell More Authentically

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