The 9 Pillars of Business Success

Today I wanted to share a business lesson which WILL make you more successful if you take it to heart.

Do you remember the original Karate Kid movie?

Growing up, that was one of my favorite movies.

The story line is a classic heroes journey. Loser kid gets redemption and becomes a kickass karate guy.

(I could really relate.)

But here's the marketing and business lesson I picked up.

Do you remember Mr Miyagi's classic training?

Wax on, wax off...

Painting the fence...

...In other words, mindlessly boring tasks.

The Karate Kid thought the old man was wasting his time.
"Why do you keep making me do these stupid chores!? I want to learn REAL karate!!"

Where's the flying kicks?
Where's the karate chops breaking through 3 boards?
Where's the 5 finger death punch, where the victims heart explodes after they walk 5 steps?

He wanted to learn the COOL stuff he saw in the movies. But this damn old man kept wasting his time with boring stuff...

And then as we all know, it turns out the advanced karate training WAS those simple, boring moves.

In other words, Mr Miyagi focused on teaching him the basics.

Not the roundhouse kick
Not the "flying dragon hidden monkey technique"
Not even the super secret "reverse throat-rip death claw" move.

What I didn’t realize as a kid was how true this principle is for the rest of life.
At least 80% of all results come from mastering the fundamentals.

The boring old basics.
The advanced stuff barely moves the needle.

Yet, most people want are just like the Karate kid. They want the hacks and the ninja tricks. Look at most internet marketers for instance.

Every newbie wants to know all the secret persuasion tactics and the killer promotion strategies… before they’ve even created an offer or made a single sale.

So the easy way to get ahead is by using the karate kid secret in your business.

You need a little "wax on" in your business.
You need a rock solid grasp of the fundamentals.

I’ve narrowed them down to 9 “pillars” for you.
And whenever I look at a new business, I always go through the pillars in this specific order.

1) Your market and knowing the market segment or niche you're going after.

There's a good reason this is number 1 on my list.
Getting just this one right is probably the most important thing you can do in business.

You can be a total screw up in every other category and still be successful if you have your target market dialed in.

How do we do this?

The first step is to make an avatar.

This is something you can do immediately after reading this post.

Just answer the following questions in as much detail as you can.

What are your ideal clients demographics? IE: Age, sex, job title, income, political standing, and so on.

Next, what are their psychographics?

What do they want? Why do they want it?
What are their fears and frustrations?
What are their objections to buying?

Which media do they consume? Are they on LinkedIn? Facebook? Are they Amish?

Next, have they bought your type of product or service before?

Finally, who are your competitors?

That's your homework.
Answer all those questions in as much detail as you can.

2) Your offer.

This is number 2 because you can't make an effective offer to someone you don't understand first.

So to get crystal clear on your offer, first become fully focused on your target market and avatar.
You have to know what makes them tick before you can make a good offer, so don't skip step 1!

Dominoes had one famous offer.

It was so good they grew into a 2 billion dollar nationwide brand almost overnight.

"Delicious Pizza delivered hot and fresh in 30 minutes -or its free!"

Ever ask yourself, "Why'd that work?"

The obvious answer is because other pizza companies were NOT delivering their pizza fast, or hot and fresh.

They also specifically targeted college towns.

Why? Because they're full of kids suffering from a bad case of the munchies...literally a starving market who is highly interested in getting pizza fast.

Why would they have the munchies? I have no idea...ahem, moving on.

For best results, you'll want to target the segment of your market with the most amount of money to spend, with the most amount of urgency for your product.

3) Your price point.

Once you know your offer, you need to know what price point to sell it at.
Again, this is entirely dependent on two things.

First) the segment of the market you want to serve.

Second) The value of your offer to that segment.

Here's a thought experiment you can try
Let's say you have a $5000 fitness coaching package.

Now, which of these 2 options would make your selling job easier?

Option A: The 19 year old college kid who loves working out, eating right, but hardly has two nickels to rub together.

Or Option B: The 51 year old stressed out executive. The overweight CEO who might literally die if she doesn't get results fast. To her, the $5000 is a pittance compared to the benefits she'll receive.

Such as more energy, more focus, the ability to deal with stress better, to make better decisions, to prolong her life so she can actually enjoy the fruits of her labor, the confidence which comes from being in amazing shape, the list goes on.

As you can guess, one option is fighting an uphill battle and the second is shooting fish in a barrel (to shamelessly mix metaphors).

There's always a market segment who wants your product NOW and they have the money to spend on it.

Find them.

4) Sales

Selling your product or service needs to be your top priority. The better you get at sales, the better chance your business has of success.

One piece of advice I picked up from Dan Kennedy is always tying your activities back to your goals.

In particular, revenue generating goals.
By those I mean talking to a potential prospect, upselling your current clients, asking for referrals, and so on.

The problem is, most people are completely full of "head trash'.
They don't have the right mindset for sales.
They consider it to be sleazy or beneath them.
They also think selling automatically means you have to be the pushy used car salesmen, or the annoying telemarketer who talks for 6 minutes before you can get one word in.

I know this "sales is yucky" feeling well, because I had it too!

News flash: It doesn't have to be that way.

You can make a TON of money selling in a "cool way." In fact, I wrote a book on how to do so.

To help you out, here's a few mindset tweaks you can make.

  1. You're offering real value in exchange for the money you're asking.  In fact, your client is getting 10 times more value than what they're paying you. (If they're not - Sell something better!)
  2. People will say no to you - it's natural and it's perfectly acceptable. That's what they're SUPPOSED to do.  Persistent follow up pays off in this situation. If they're assholes to you, that's fine too. On to the next one.
  3. Sales works because you're solving someones problem...and if they have a serious enough problem which you can solve, you're doing a real service to them.

That's all.

Repeat after me: Sales is good. I love sales because I'm helping others. The more I help others, the more I'm rewarded with money.

Moving on,

5) Message

Message put another way is the copy in your marketing.
This includes:
Your website, ads, business cards, every word you say to people which attract them to doing business with you in the first place.

Obviously I've chosen to specialize in messaging so I could go on about it all day.
However, notice I didn't put it first in our list?

That's for a very specific reason. Everything begins with your market. You can't write a message and try to graft it onto the market, you gotta do the opposite.

Dan Kennedy has a famous term called Message to Market Match.
The idea is tailoring your message so it speaks exactly to your market.
Sounds good at first, but I think this idea is backwards.

Market to message match puts the emphasis on the most important part of the term: The Market.

Once you find out what makes them tick, they'll write your message for you.

6) Funnel

Forget everything you heard about sales funnels and simply focus on the next question.

How do you take someone who does not know who you are all the way to doing repeat business with you?

This is the basic premise of a funnel.

And they can take many different shapes.

Sometimes it's a blog article, to an opt in for your email list, to emailing offers to jump on a call with you...

Sometimes it's a Fakebook ad, to a webinar, to an application, to a phone call with you...

And sometimes it's simply calling up businesses, getting appointments, meeting them, and closing them.

Their basic elements are as follows:

  1. Traffic Source.
  2. Opt in to become a lead
  3. Convert to a customer
  4. Buy again or refer you (optional but this is the goal)

Your sales funnel will depend on a few variables which we've already covered.

Your market, your price point and offer, and ultimately sales.

We can get fancy here and add automation so you don't have to be constantly following up with people, but let's save that for another post.

Finally, there's a hidden benefit to funnels not many others understand. The right funnel allows you to spend more money than your competitors to acquire a customer. If you can spend more to acquire a customer than anyone else, you win.

Next,

 

7) Traffic

I place traffic higher up on the list.
Why? Because I like to have everything in place before I start buying ads.
That includes my perfect avatar, messaging, automation sequences, offer, price point, sales process, positioning (which I'll get to in another article) and funnel.

Some like to do the opposite.
They follow the entrepreneurial style "ready fire aim" approach. There's no problem with that either.
I'd love to do so, but my engineering mind likes creating order out of the chaos. What can I say? I'm working through it.

Traffic is an essential element of your business though. You can't scale "free" as any entrepreneur will tell you. Real wealth comes from turning advertising into cash.

So regardless of whether you're a B2B or B2C business, you gotta crack the code on successfully (meaning profitably) advertising for your business.
Where does your target market hang out?  What messages do they like? Which funnel filters the best ones to you?

Luckily, if you follow my steps, you've already done this part - right?

Most people are terrified of paid traffic and I totally get it.
Most people don't even believe advertising works.
Thankfully I've been thoroughly brainwashed by direct response marketing. I'm about as obsessed with advertising and paid traffic as they come.

But you gotta tread carefully. Traffic is where all the bright and shiny object (BSO) monsters live. It seems like every week there's a new platform to advertise on. Frankly, it's exhausting keeping up with them all.

So before you try to master every source of traffic, choose one and conquer it.

(However, always have contingencies or back up traffic sources in place, because one is the worst number in business)

Speaking of business...

8) Your business model.

This is often the last thing people think of when they go into business...and that's a big mistake.

Your business model is simply what you do in exchange for money.

For instance, consulting might be two 30 minute phone calls a month where you advise the client and get paid a retainer. I'm a big fan of this model.

Or it could be performance based consulting where you get a percentage of the increase in revenue you provide. I'm a HUGE fan of this model.

Another great model is group coaching.

Here's one great way to fulfill group coaching.
If you have a subject which lends itself well to a curriculum structure, you can get a group of similar people together. They could be accountants, copywriters, or people who want to lose weight.

Next, you take them through your group coaching program so they all learn at the same time. Many of them will ask questions which the others might be thinking, so there's a synergistic effect for them.

And of course there's done for you services, affiliate marketing, ecommerce, or masterminds. They all have their pros and cons and it's important to pick one that suits you.

Truthfully, there are millions of business models to choose from so give it some serious thought.

9) What ties all of these things together?

Your Mindset.

Mindset may be the most important pillar of them all. If you have the right mindset, you can still win if you get everything else wrong.
Because with the right mindset, eventually you'll get all of the fundamentals right.

But with the wrong mindset, you can have everything else right and still lose.

Henry Ford had a quote.

"If you think you can, you're right. If you think you can't, you're also right."

Mindset mindset mindset.

I've read a ton of books on mindset. Here are some great ones.
Psychocybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, The Magic of Thinking Big, Never Eat Alone, No Excuses by Brian Tracy, No BS Wealth Attraction by Dan Kennedy, and Success Forces by Joe Sugarman.

Okay, I've given you enough to chew on today.

If you liked this, I've gone ahead and opened my schedule up for some one on one "Business Breakthrough" sessions.

We'll get on a call for about 45 minutes and I'll help you get clear on all these pillars. Next, we'll work out a strategy to help you hit your revenue goals for your business. You'll leave with a solid plan of attack for the next quarter.

However, since most people aren't even clear on their target market, usually we won't get to all 9 pillars in only 45 minutes. Still, that's the goal.

So if you're wondering why I would be offering free help, it's simple.

I love helping business owners using the skills I've acquired over the past few years and I know I can make a huge difference to any business, anywhere.

Plus I know you'll love the work we do together so much, you'll probably want to keep working together by becoming one of my clients.

With said said, keep in mind: this is NOT a sales pitch in disguise.
There's no hard sell at the end of this session, just an option to say yes or no if we're a good fit.

I plan on delivering real actionable value to your business so if you feel like I wasted even one second of your time, I'll gladly send $50 to you or your charity of choice.

However, my time is limited and I can't help everyone.

Here's my dream client.

You deliver an amazing result or product and you have testimonials from your happy customers to prove it.
Ideally you are offering a premium product at a premium price point (over $3000.)
Or you're willing to make such an offer if you knew how to market it right.

And preferably you should already be advertising, with a list of buyers and leads.

Those are the people who I can really over deliver great results to.

So if that's you there's a special form below. Go ahead and fill it out. Don't worry, it's a few uninstrusive questions about you and your business.

After that, we'll set up a skype call and I'll be talking to you soon.

Thanks for reading this, I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it for you.

Talk soon,

Ben Byrne.