Ever wondered how some people have a waiting list and clients dying to work with them? Or how some people can command top shelf rates for what they do even if it doesn’t seem much different than what you’re doing?
It comes down to authority, or a certain level of swagger when it comes to their services. And this type of confidence doesn’t come from offering 7 types of services, being everything to everyone or having an offering that pretty much any other person in your industry can pull off.
You need to be known for something, and for being really freakin’ good at it.
That’s common sense, right? But it’s so much harder to actually make that happen here in reality. When you’re starting out, you’re struggling to book clients or to have any clients at all, so you’re not exactly in a position to be picky. After all, there’s only so long you can go without money coming in the door because there’s bills to pay and food to buy.
But at a certain point, you need to get out of “anything goes” freelancer mode and move into owning your expertise.
And that all starts with having a signature process. This is a system or approach to your work (no matter what it is) that’s 100% you and is based on your skills and experience. It’s the thing that sets you apart from the other 99 people who do what you do.
Why Creating a Signature System is so HARD
Over the past two plus years, I’ve worked with a lot of business owners on their sales page copy. So many I can’t even count, and I’ve made a big discovery working with these clients…
What they hire me for is not really to write their sales page, but to get an outside perspective on creating their offer. They need help defining that offer, and coming up with how they are different. (Usually this comes out as a signature service or process that we work into the copy.)
Why? Creating an offer, let alone a signature system is hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Usually, we’re way too close to what we do to see the value of what we deliver, or it comes so easily to us that we think it’s not something people would pay for. Then there’s the small issue of what we think we’re selling is not what we’re selling at all.
For example, while I’m a copywriter, the real value I deliver to my clients is being able to back things up and look at the 10,000 foot level as to what they’re selling, their experience and how to position that in the market. I bring business strategy to their sales page that goes far, far beyond their copy.
Being able to understand the real value you bring and how that’s at a much higher level than trading your time for dollars is the perfect starting point for a signature service.
Creating a signature service is challenging, but it’s so worth it because:
#1. Selling Gets SO Much Simpler
Have you ever got on a consult call with a prospective client and stumbled over your pitch, and totally botched the conversation about pricing? (Most of us have!)
We’re not all natural sales people, but when you have a defined, specific way of doing things, you’ll quickly find you’ve got sales superpowers.
You’ll be able to walk your would-be client through the exact steps they go through when they work with you and paint a clear picture of the results they’ll experience.
The result? You’re smooth and your prospect is confident in your ability to deliver as you’re not struggling to find the right words. All of which makes you stand out, and helps you close more business.
Plus, no need to keep writing proposals, your system is outlined and well-defined so it’s a take it or leave it proposition.
#2. You’ll Make More Money with Your Signature Service
Tired of trading time for dollars or feel like your income is capped? Having a signature service helps you make more money as you’re able to assign a premium, flat rate for the work you do.
As an expert, you’ve got a proven way of doing things that gets results and that means you can charge accordingly. If the service only takes you 3 hours from start to finish, you don’t have to bill your client for 3 hours, but for the total value of that package. So where you may make $150, you may be able to charge $500 for the same work as it’s a signature offer.
Plus, as you’re delivering this service time and time again, you can create systems to help make the delivery more efficient, and that makes the service itself more profitable.
Not convinced? Creating the Story Distillery, my signature service for storytelling in 2014 was a game changer. I was able to book clients for that at a premium price and more than double the price on my copywriting package by including this signature service.
#3. You Become Known for Something
There’s a lot of challenges to our businesses, but one of the biggest is obscurity. If people don’t know who you are or what you do, it’s really hard for them to do business with you.
Your job as the boss is for your business to be known for something and for people that find you to know exactly what you do. (Keeping in mind people have 8 second attention spans!)
A prime example of this is my friend Amanda Genther. As a designer, she could be lost in a sea of thousands that do the exact same thing. But she’s focused her services and signature process around sales pages. Thanks to that, people know exactly who to go to for sales pages.
If you find yourself struggling to stand out, a signature service is a game changer and will help you attract more of the right clients to your door. Plus, it helps you create a service that’s productized so it’s much easier to deliver, and ultimately more profitable for your business in the long run.