February 24, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There’s almost nothing worse than the feeling you get after days – weeks even – of sharing your offer on your various social media platforms, and getting nothing but a couple of sympathy likes from your sister on your posts in return. But that doesn’t mean that you should throw your offer in the trash.
If you’ve already checked the more obvious reasons this offer is a flop right now, like:
Do you have an engaged audience that knows who you are and what you do?
Are you showing up consistently enough for your posts to perform well in the algorithm?
Have you triple-checked your links and checkout system?
…then it’s time to consider that the problem isn’t necessarily with you, your offer, or anything technical – the issue is probably how you’re positioning the offer itself.
Is it a priority for your customer right now?
Can you make it one? We’re living in a tumultuous time; you have to consider the real-life circumstances in which your ideal client is living right now when you’re presenting them with a buying decision.
A stumbling block I see a lot of new entrepreneurs fall prey to is that they’re positioning their offers only to the highest tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Self-Actualization. It usually sounds something like “helping people to step into authenticity and be their best self.”
Which sounds great, right? Except it’s really not most people’s top priorities at this moment.
According to his model that describes human motivation, Maslow says that people can only focus on climbing to the next tier if they feel secure in the one they’re already in.
So for someone to feel safe and confident in their buying decision to invest in a self-actualization offer, they must already feel like they’re on stable ground in their physiological needs (air, water, shelter, food); their safety needs (personal safety, employment, resources, health); their relational needs (friendship, intimacy, family); and their esteem needs (respect, self-esteem, freedom).
How can you position your work so that people will get the results you know you’re capable of giving them – but also shows them how your work will benefit an area of their life that they’re potentially more interested in upleveling right now?
Offer carrot cake, bring them carrots.
One of my mentors, Scott Oldford, shared this analogy with me at the beginning of our work together, and it forever altered the way I position my offers. For people who are struggling to figure out how to share their self-actualization offer in a way that creates more urgency, this one mindset shift will radically change your sales results.
Unless you’re me, you’re probably not ordering carrots when you sit down at a nice restaurant. There are so many more appetizing things than carrots on the menu – why would you do that to yourself?
Carrot cake, on the other hand, is delicious and moist and has cream cheese on top – I mean, who can say no to that? The thing is…it’s called carrot cake for a reason. There are still carrots in there!
What if the problem with your sales isn’t that your offer is bad? What if the problem is actually that you’re positioning it in a way that makes people want to hold their nose and ask for the check early?
My favorite way to find the carrot cake in my carrot-y offers is to flesh out the intended results:
What is life going to look like for my client when they’re on the other side of this offer/experience? (More money in their bank account? A nicer office? A more well-developed plan to execute with their team?)
What sounds will they hear when they’re on the other side of this offer/experience? (The pride in the voice of their significant other? The cha-ching of their PayPal app receiving money?)
What will things feel like for them when they’re on the other side of this offer/experience? (Will they be wearing nicer fabrics? Will they drive a nicer car with fine interiors?)
The clearer you can make this picture and the more effectively you can communicate those intended results to your clients, the easier it will be to make sales.
Be a product of your message.
One of the questions I hear a lot is, “how much sharing is too much?” And what they’re really asking is: How can I be transparent and honest with my audience without looking messy, so I can maintain my authority and position of leadership?
In this highly evolving world where people want to know who is running a company, what their values are, and if they’re walking the walk – it’s no longer a choice for entrepreneurs to “keep it strictly professional.”
The thing is, you don’t have to go full-influencer mode for you to give your audience the opportunity to know you, like you, and trust that you’re both knowledgeable and capable enough to help them with the thing your offer claims it will.
After you figure out what the delicious carrot cake positioning is for your offer, it’s up to you to show your audience that you are a living, breathing example of what it looks like to experience the results that your offer is promising.
Use your social media platforms to share your own experience, your stories, and your client experiences (with permission of course!) – alongside your sales posts. Your audience will begin to see that it’s a no-brainer to work with you because you’re clearly so good at what you do.
So in case you were thinking that you just need to invest in a better logo, or get another set of professional photos done, or hire someone to do intensive market research – consider that the solution may be a whole lot easier than that.
Confidence in yourself, your offer, and your ability to carry buyers from Point A to Point B is going to be the thing that seals the deal for your potential buyers.