Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with @darnyellejervey. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA is an award winning author, sought after speaker, award-winning certified business coach and marketing consultant. Darnyelle is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises, LLC, a full service marketing strategy, empowerment and business optimization consulting firm that specializes in offering business leaders marketing and business optimization strategies, empowerment and executive coaching solutions to individuals and organizations worldwide. For more info, visit: incredibleoneenterprises.com.
SmallBizLady: There’s a lot of noise out there, is it hard to build a business amongst the chaos?
Darnyelle Jervey: Yes, there is and yes, it can be challenging to get a marketing word in edgewise. If you want to rise above the noise, there’s a process you need to follow. Honestly, you’ll have to get known by having a compelling brand message, get found by having effective marketing strategies and sequences, get paid by mastering sales conversations and set up your operational systems so you can build a business. Without getting known, found, paid it’s impossible to build a six or seven figure business.
SmallBizLady: Why don’t all entrepreneurs make 6 figures or more in their businesses?
Darnyelle Jervey: While there are many factors, I believe it’s because they aren’t positioned above the noise, they aren’t priced for profitability and they aren’t focused on ensuring that their daily activity is purposeful.
SmallBizLady: What do you mean by a profitable business?
Darnyelle Jervey: Let me start by saying that your business should serve you. Leftovers seldom taste better the next day. So the most profitable business owners are served daily, monthly and weekly in their businesses. The traditional formula for profitability suggests that you earn profit based on what’s left over after sales minus expenses but that won’t work if you want a business that serves you and allows you financial and spiritual abundance. I suggest that you position your business to get served before you serve your clients.
SmallBizLady: What is the first step in building a profitable business?
Darnyelle Jervey: Each step is first and foremost about taking consistent action. First you have to get positioned by making sure that you are known for solving a specific problem in the marketplace. The problem that you solve must be what I like to call a Top Of Mind SPICE problem.
SmallBizLady: What exactly is a Top of Mind SPICE problem?
Darnyelle Jervey: A Top of Mind SPICE problem is a top of mind problem that your ideal clients are conscious that they have. It’s a problem that keeps your Audience of One awake at 3 am when they should be asleep. They are losing sleep and stressed because this problem is at the forefront of their minds. Moreover, they are actively seeking a solution to them right now. SPICE is an acronym that describes the characteristics of the problem that you must address in your marketing message. SPICE stands for Specific, Pervasive and Persistent, Immediate and Insurmountable, Clear and Conscious, Expensive and Expansive. When you focus on ensuring that the problem you solve is very specific, persistent like a rash for your ideal client, insurmountable without your help, they are clear and conscious that the problem exists and the longer the problem goes unsolved it becomes more expensive and expansive, you’re solving a SPICE problem and you’ll get found by more clients when your message addresses it this easily.
SmallBizLady: Is it really that simple?
Darnyelle Jervey: The steps, yes. The process no. If it were that easy, business owners would have a waitlist of ideal clients waiting on them. The challenge is that most business owners focus on the solution with their marketing and not the problem.
SmallBizLady: Why do you recommend shifting to focus on the problem with your marketing message?
Darnyelle Jervey: Simply put, because people in pain are actively seeking a painkiller. If you focus on the warm and fuzzies, you’ll miss 67% of your ideal audience that isn’t shopping for a solution. But when you focus on the problem, you’ll get and keep their attention until the problem has been solved. Positioning in this way is what has helped my clients grow their businesses by 50-600% in the last year – trust me it’s a game changer.
SmallBizLady: Okay, so after I get positioned, what’s the next step?
Darnyelle Jervey: The next step is to get profitable by charging more than it costs to perform the service. Most business owners use the old school pricing formula Direct Costs + General & Admin Costs + Overhead to set their process. And while there’s nothing wrong with this formula, you’re not going to leave every transaction profitably.
SmallBizLady: So, what do I need to do to leave every transaction profitably?
Darnyelle Jervey: I recommend that you add two more things to your pricing formula. First, add in your time based on your daily earnings target (if you were to charge by the hour – which I don’t recommend) what you’d charge in order to hit your personal salary goal. And secondly add in the percentage of profit you’d like to earn so your formula looks like this: Direct Costs + General & Admin Costs + Overhead + (Daily Earnings Target * Time) + % Profit. When you do this, you’ll build a business that serves you.
SmallBizLady: Is there any business where this formula won’t work?
Darnyelle Jervey: When you are in a product based business this formula won’t work as written because the product is typically a passive or leveraged revenue source and you’re not spending active time to fulfill it. This formula is specifically for business owners who offer a service to their clients – consultants, speakers, trainers, etc.
SmallBizLady: Once I get profitable in my business what is the next step?
Darnyelle Jervey: The next and final step is about getting purposeful in how you operate (and market) your business. Specifically, I recommend that you apply what I call the 80/20 of business building. 80% of your time must be spent on profit producing or revenue generating activity. I’m speaking about activities that include networking, speaking, prospecting, sales calls and networking blitzes. The other 20% of your time can be spent on what I like to call awareness-generating activities. These include social media, online marketing, media and PR.
SmallBizLady: Why do you consider social media, online marketing, media and PR awareness generating activities.
Darnyelle Jervey: Mostly because the results don’t directly correlate to profit. I based my recommendations on the conversion rates that most enjoy in the industry. For example, social media yields a whopping .71% conversion rate, online marketing yields a 1-3% conversion rate and media and PR exposure can often be hard to track. It’s great for getting followers but not bank account funders. .
SmallBizLady: So how do you pull this all together to run a strong business?
Darnyelle Jervey: After clarifying your message, and ensuring you solve a SPICE problem that is priced to serve you, you have to create a systematic approach to marketing them in a consistent manner. I created the Positioned & Profitable Blueprint that includes setting up marketing sequences that move prospects through your cycle in an authentic and compelling way.
SmallBizLady: Can you give us an example of a potential marketing sequence?
Darnyelle Jervey: Sure. The formula I like to use is Value x 3 + Offer + Delivery + Value. If we were building your Free Offer Sequence, it would look like this: It starts with your free offer – make sure it addresses the first top of mind problem they are actively seeking a solution to and offers a high content and value sample of what it would be like to work with you. And also make sure it has an effective call to action so that they opt in. Then, create a sequence (video or email) that provides 3 pieces of value pertaining to that top of mind problem and additional content before making an offer for them to invest in your help to solve said problem. After you make the offer, deliver it, and then add more value to deepen the relationship to position the next solution to the new problem that will surface.
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