Do you feel like, no matter what you do, you’ll never be able to break away from your day job and run your business full time?
You spend nights and weekends creating a new offer… but when you email your list, nobody signs up.
You set aside time to be of service on social media… but the people you help aren’t turning into paying clients.
You have a consult with a prospective client that goes well… but the person ends up backing out and you’re not sure why.
It’s beyond frustrating when your efforts aren’t paying off and you’re not getting clients consistently.
So when this happens time after time, you throw your hands up and declare, “This doesn’t work for my business” or you assume you’re trying to sell the wrong thing.
The real problem is something else entirely.
What are you really missing? Keep reading to find out.
The Struggle Starts with Blissful Ignorance
Having freshly quit my job to start a business, I was full of confidence and dove head first into creating a website. Within a few months (and with huge thanks to my husband for making it happen), my site was up. I was officially in business!
I knew I needed to blog, build an email list, and start emailing that list.
I’d been following all of the well-known bloggers who talked about the various types of posts I should create, how to maximize my articles for SEO, and the frequency with which I should publish.
I tried my best to follow the “rules” they shared. I blogged twice per week, sent a newsletter twice per month, and shared my expertise with my readers.
Month after month, post after post, I felt like I was getting zero traction.
“But I’m blogging so much! I’m sending newsletters!” I thought.
It could have been easy to fall into the “this doesn’t work for my business” trap, but since everyone was successfully blogging, I realized it must be me that wasn’t doing something right.
Looking back, with hundreds of posts now under my belt, I can clearly see where I was totally missing the mark.
From writing in “expert speak” to failing to connect with readers, I was blogging all wrong. And even though I was trying my best, I was completely unaware of the mistakes I was making.
This is exactly what’s happening with you and your business. And not just when it comes to blogging.
Even with the best of intentions and the most diligent of efforts, you’re making mistakes all over the place without even knowing it. (But don’t worry, I’m going to tell you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it—fast!)
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
You see, even if you read all the blogs, watch all the videos, attend all the webinars, sign up for all the online courses, and try to do everything all right, there’s a good chance you’re still doing it all wrong—just like I was.
This means, no matter how many helpful comments you leave in Facebook groups, no matter how many consults you have or sales emails you write, you’ll continue to struggle until you become aware of the mistakes you’re making (and fix them).
The upside is, it’s not your fault and you’re not alone. This phenomenon happens to all of us!
This experience is such a normal part of the learning process that there’s even an official term for it: unconscious incompetence.
In this phase of learning, you’re unaware that you’re incompetent.
But if you don’t know what you don’t know, how do you effectively move past it?
How to Move Up the Pyramid
If you don’t know that you’re doing something incorrectly, what’s the best way to learn?
There are three things you can do to move up the pyramid.
Step #1: Do the work
Try the things you’ve been taught and see where you get traction… and where you don’t.
The key here is that you must do these things consistently. Once or twice, here and there doesn’t cut it.
I tell my Make It Work Online Accelerator clients to commit to client-getting actions for at least a month (if not longer) to know whether or not something will work for their business.
Otherwise, you’ll never really know what’s working and what’s not.
Take consistent action and track your results.
Step #2: Get personalized feedback
After you have some data, reach out to a hands-on coach.
Share what actions you’ve taken and the results you have or haven’t gotten. Ask questions like:
- Am I doing this correctly? (And showing them exactly what you did.)
- Are these results typical?
- Have I put in enough effort to know if this won’t work for me?
- What do I do now?
An experienced coach will be able to quickly assess if you’re doing it right, if you’ve put in enough effort, if your results are typical, and what your next steps should be.
Step 3: Test your new approach
With insights from action and a hands-on coach, the next step is to follow through, perhaps modifying your approach to something better based on the feedback you got.
Keep in mind that a new approach doesn’t guarantee a stellar result. Every business is unique, and you will have to experiment. Remember to think like a scientist to discover the unique formula that works for you.
In fact, my client Jo Anna did just this.
After sending several post-consult, follow-up emails to prospects and not getting the YESes she was hoping for, Jo Anna asked me to review her follow-ups.
I instantly saw the one thing that was causing her prospects to turn her down. I explained what I saw and how to fix it.
She followed through on the changes I suggested, and BAM! Clients began signing up left and right!
Curious what happened? Here’s the inside scoop…
How Jo Anna Easily Turned Wavering Prospects into Paying Clients
From being of service on social media, to sending personalized emails to new subscribers, adding autoresponders to their email list, guest posting, getting interviewed, you name it, I have them share everything that’s not working so we can tweak it until it works!
Jo Anna jumped on the opportunity to get feedback. As a coach who helps people with sleep problems, Jo Anna works a lot with parents who are exhausted and emotional and overwhelmed.
She shared a few examples of her email correspondences with prospects. If a parent emailed her with a problem, Jo Anna would respond with something like, “We can fix that with a 3 session package.” (Of course I’m paraphrasing, but she is a to-the-point kind of gal.)
Although Jo Anna was doing an excellent job explaining her process and the next steps that her clients needed to take, her emails were coming off as transactional. This meant she wasn’t making the necessary emotional connection that would help a prospect trust her.
I showed her how to adjust her emails to include empathy and create that much-needed connection. In most cases, it was as simple as adding in a few lines like, “I understand how stressful it must be to…” This would show that she truly cares about her prospects and wants to help them (which she does!).
Once Jo Anna saw her transactional tendency and had a good laugh at what she had been doing, she changed her approach and immediately began converting more prospects into paying clients.
Without doing the work and seeing what wasn’t working, Jo Anna would never have known why her prospects weren’t converting into clients. She could have just thought, “Follow-ups don’t work for me.” (And she would have been sooo wrong!)
Mastering Your Skill
By taking action and getting feedback, Jo Anna moved from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence. She could see what was wasn’t working but didn’t know how to change it.
That’s where the hands-on help came in. By me simply showing her how to edit her emails with specific examples from her prospects, she was able to learn how to do it herself.
With a few rounds of feedback, she quickly moved to conscious competence. She knew how to do it right and started doing it.
As she keeps at it, writing follow-up emails will soon become second nature, or unconscious competence. Like driving a car and brushing your teeth, it’ll be hard to remember that she was ever not good at doing this.
The same is true for you in all the areas you struggle in your business. With the right steps (and the right feedback), you can move from doing it all wrong to doing it all right, creating the results you’ve been looking for.