lesson in positioning services

Recently, I had the privilege of working with a close friend on her new business venture. She wanted to encapsulate the last leg of her illustrious career in the hospitality and catering industry—something that I, admittedly, knew nothing about.

If strong positioning works for literally any service-based business or product, I decided to pressure test the process and framework that I use with creative and technology agency leaders.

As we worked together on her positioning in unknown geographic markets, we were able to pull from (a) the cross-section of her individual passion and expertise, (b) most profitable past engagements, and (c) market demand.

It’s important to note that part of demand is also SEO related, in that if no one searches for your offering, that indicates a need to find linguistic variations that match prospect intent.

So, What Emerged From Our Work Together?

Rachel Mack is a Culinary Consultant seasonally serving Sarasota County in Florida and the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts. She offers two package options for food and beverage provisioning for homes, vacation rentals, yachts and sailboats. As an extension, she provides culinary consulting services for corporate and social events.

Her provisioning clients are busy, affluent, and require more than a simple supermarket home delivery service when they’re about to arrive at home, their vacation destination, or charter a big boat.

After creating some buyer persona sheets, Rachel came away with a deeper understanding of her ideal prospects, their pain points, how to effectively market to them, and how she should package and price her services.

The approach we took with SEO translated into benefit-driven, optimized content for a new website, a new identity and corporate identity system.

After meeting with Kelly and exploring a potential pivot for my event production company, we incorporated her unique positioning methodology and applied it to my vision… The process was extraordinary in that Kelly proved out the power of positioning, clarity of marketing messaging and SEO to focus on attracting my “ideal client”. Kelly is a magician; her expertise in this field is unmatched in my opinion. Response from colleagues and clients has been wildly positive.
— Rachel Mack

If you’re questioning how strong your own positioning is within the market in which your business competes, ask yourself the following five questions:

• Does your positioning convey to prospects and clients your expertise, benefits of your work together, and that you’ve solved the pain points for others just like them?
• Can you clearly articulate your value proposition so that prospects see themselves within your offerings and within your existing client list?
• Are you attracting ideal clients (and do non-ideal clients disqualify themselves)?
• Is your service or product offering not easily replaceable (as opposed to there being a ton of competition where the only differentiating factor is your pricing)?
• When you get to proposal phase, are conversations focused on process, expectations and next steps (as opposed to discounts)?

If you’ve answered “no” to most of these questions, check out this post on How Positioning Impacts Pricing.

The overarching lesson here is that strong positioning—whether narrow in vertical, horizontal, or both—makes you irreplaceable in your prospect’s mind—which in turn allows you to be selective about your clients, charge a premium, and realize a higher profit margin… and all as you do what you love in life. Win. Win. Win.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Agency Transformation Coach based in New York. The former owner of a cause marketing agency for 14 years, she helps creative leaders transform their businesses and their lives—focusing on the 5 P's: purpose, people, positioning, pipeline and profitability. She speaks at agency growth conferences across the country, has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes, gets vulnerable on Medium, and is currently authoring her first book on the awakening process that creative leaders experience in their pursuit of purpose. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate personal and professional growth.

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