You know how in The Great British Bake Off there’s a signature round? Where the contestants are given the same challenge but all tackle it in their own way.
That’s what a signature service means to your business. It’s taking the thing that you do, and probably countless other people in your profession do, and putting your own spin on it. Making it totally unique to you.
So think about it. Take a simple Victoria Sponge and you could flavour the sponge differently, decorate it in a quirky way, use unusual fillings.
Have I got you thinking how the way that you deliver your service is unique to you? Great, let’s start thinking about how we can build a package around your uniqueness.
You’re really great at doing what you do, it’s time to be known for it!
I know that when you’re starting out and want to get clients there’s a temptation to work with any client. You might not even know what you’re great at yet, and you’ll need a bit of experience under your belt. Even so, it’s great to think about how you will deliver your services right at the start. You’ll be thinking about the 7 P’s of marketing, and all of these can help shape your signature service.
At some point in your business you will be ready to move out of working with anyone to moving into your own niche, delivering your signature service to your ideal client.
Your signature service is 100% you, based on your skills, experience and passion. It sets you apart from the others who do what you do.
Sounds easy, but in practice we can be reluctant to talk about ourselves in this way, we don’t like ‘blowing our own trumpets’. We’ve been taught that it’s not lady like, or that it’s impolite. Let me tell you this – if you don’t tell people what makes you great how will they know? No-one is out there looking for a mediocre service delivered by someone who just ticks the box.
Because your experience is as important here as your skills you might not come up with your signature service overnight. But here’s the thing, what you sell is YOUR choice, you can tweak your packages as you get more experience, or you can switch a service off altogether, replacing it with a shiny new signature service.
As you get more experience you’ll get to learn what it is that makes you different. Listen to your clients. Ask them about their previous experiences, after all, if their previous experience was so great why are they not going back for more? Learn what other people in your industry do, and compare yourself.
The thing is not to think, wow, they sound brilliant, and just emulate them. Remember, the client in front of you is with you, not with them, so find out why. Don’t be a copycat. Yes, coming up with your signature service can be hard.
If it was easy everyone would do it!
It’s easy to put yourself out there in a bland way. But it’s easier to truly shine if you focus on what you’re good at, and what you love doing.
Take me as an example. I can do all manner of marketing things. After all, I market my own business, and as a marketing strategist (fancy words for helping you create your business goals and a plan to achieve them) I have to know about all the marketing options out there. What I love is strategy and planning, I adore a process, have lists and spreadsheets for everything. It’s just how I’m wired.
So my signature service is working with clients for 12 weeks at a time, brining my skills and experience to their business while doing what I love. Yes, I could offer to manage their social media, but it’s not what I love, so even if I could earn good money from it I’d never be truly happy, and as a result, if I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t be giving it 100%.
It took me a while to realise this. What people hire me for is the clarity and the process, plus support to help them get the end results they desire – whatever they may be.
Often we’re can’t see what makes us different, or how to communicate it in our marketing. This leads us to under-pricing our services, because we can’t see the value we provide. Understanding this value is a significant part of the jigsaw puzzle that is your business.
I’m hoping that I’m convincing you that despite the challenges, creating a signature service is key to connecting with more of your ideal clients.
If you’re still not sure, let me walk you through some of the benefits of a signature service:
It simplifies your marketing
Do you struggle to tell people what you do? If you have a signature service that can easily become your mission statement, elevator pitch or magic minute.
You’ll be clear on the price – especially true if you never know what to charge for follow up consultations, or follow up.
You’ll be able to explain exactly what a client can expect throughout the programme.
You’ll stop struggling to find the right words and images, and you’ll feel confident in your pricing.
You’ll be able to stop reinventing the wheel every time you sit down to write about what you do, it will be there, all ready to go.
You can charge more
That statement might make some of you feel uneasy. Truth be told it does the same to me. But this goes back to value, and when you know the value of your service you can stop thinking in terms of your hourly rate.
This is why there will be people in your industry charging 2 x, 3x or even 10 x what you are right now.
Sales is one half of the profit equation. If you are delivering just one service you can create processes (remember the 7 Ps) that make the delivery of that service efficient for you, saving you time and money. You’ll make more profit.
You become the ‘go to’ for your service
People don’t want nutritional therapy, or a massage, or a yoga class. They want a result.
If you can tell people that you deliver that result, then you will naturally receive more referrals. You’ll be able to call people out in your copy. We can it self-identifying – where the reaction to your marketing is “that’s me – I need that”
It will be easier for people to find you.
It will be easier for you to filter out the people that you don’twant to work with (wantto work with menopausal women, then you don’t want your marketing to appeal to 20-something men).
People have short attention spans. Make it easy for them. Grab their attention and make them stay looking at your marketing a while longer. If you don’t they’ll be gone in a matter of seconds.
If you’re struggling with your visibility, not getting enough clients, and not making enough money, consider working on your signature service.