Something to prove

Sometimes the only reason we choose to stick at something is because we have something to prove to ourselves.

From the outside it might seem as though we’re wasting time and money because the success isn’t coming. From the inside we’re just not willing to give up yet because we believe that somehow we can find a way to make things work.

People tend to make fun of or be critical of things people do when they don’t consider them to be successful or aren’t making money from it. But the thing you choose to stick at doesn’t have to be something you’re trying to earn a living from.

More importantly, if you have something to prove to yourself, don’t let other people get in the way of that.

Is it worth fixing?

Before you make the choice to fix something, ask yourself if the thing is worth fixing in the first place.

Nobody wants to spend their time, energy and possibly money on something that could end up being a waste of time. As much as some things are worth sticking at and working on, sometimes the best thing to do is put it aside and start over.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped

When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.

But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.

It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.

The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.

5 ways to convince people to spend money

I recently got thinking about some of the ways we’re persuaded to spend money. Sometimes it’s things we planned to buy anyway but other times it’s things we actually had no intention of getting or stuff we just don’t need.

Tell them it’s limited edition

If something won’t be around for long they’re more likely to buy it because they don’t want to miss out. In many cases we’d actually rather take the risk and buy it, than not buy it and potentially regret it.

Make then feel like it’s something exclusive

Exclusivity makes people feel special. Similarly to when something is limited edition, when something is or feels exclusive people want it more. It could be as simple as having a special link to a product that you provide to those who sign up to your newsletter. Or it could also be something incredibly expensive that only the wealthy can afford it.

Let them know that it’s worth the cost

When you highlight that something is great value people want to buy it because it seems like it’s worth it. Maybe you highlight where a particular fabric was grown, the treatment of the workers, the minimal environmental impact or how long the product could last. The value that is focused on and highlighted will depend on the type of customer you’re trying to attract.

Let them know that it’s more than worth the cost

This method works well when you’re providing a service but can also apply to certain physical products. There are many things that we purchase that come with secondary value. It could be a cooking class that is worth it because you’re learning a new skill. It becomes more than worth the cost when now you’re more confident to host your friends and family because you now you know your way around the kitchen. It could also be a digital course where what you teach will allow small business owners to attract more repeat customers which will improve their profits.

Make them think it will improve their life

If you play into ideas of what people think is good for them then they’re more likely to buy from you. This is very rampant in the wellness industry but also in fashion. Many people buy items like bags because of signals they want to send and the way they want to be perceived. Going back to wellness, if you can sell someone something that is supposed to be good for them in some way, they’ll feel good even before they’ve used or consumed it. People are often aware if this which is what drives them to buy the thing in the first place.

The benefits of creating free content

Many of us regularly post free content and some people also use that to lead people to their paid services.

Sometimes the easiest way to get someone to value what you want them to pay for is by offering them something amazing for free. They’ll either be so enticed that they want what you have for sale because they think it’ll be even better or they’ll be willing to buy something that you offer just as a means of compensating you for all your great work that they’ve consumed for free.

Some types of free content are: Podcasts, Youtube videos, Blog posts, Instagram posts and Newsletters.

90s baby show is a free podcast that also share the podcast visuals on YouTube. They have a patreon where they upload new content each month.

Stacey June is a former podcaster who has had various free podcasts and regularly shares does content on Instagram. She also runs an online self-care club that has a monthly fee.

Both have been able get people to buy from them based on what they offer for free. If someone doesn’t know who you are, as in what you do and the services you offer with some visible examples of your work then it can be hard to get them to buy from you.

The problem with trying to be relatable

A lot of people build personal brands around ‘the struggle’, being relatable and essentially saying that they are ‘just like you’ (but a little more visible).

People are often drawn to things that they can relate to. It’s comforting to see someone also going after the thing that they are working towards. But if their interest in you is because they feel like they’re like you (often including financially), of course how they feel towards you will change when they can no longer relate.

If you spend time growing a personal brand and a big part of that is you saying you’re just like the people watching, listening to and supporting you, if you’re now regularly shopping from luxury brands, mingling with celebrities, attending events and you’ve bumped yourself up a few tax brackets then you’re clearly not ‘just like everyone else’, your life is now different.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all, I think the issue comes when people try to deny that their life has changed much in order to still be relatable. We’re all aware that a persons financial situation doesn’t mean they don’t go through some of the same things as the average person but it’s okay to acknowledge the other parts of your life too.

With influencers the need to be relatable comes from the fact that it’s easier to sell to people when they feel like you’re just like them rather than when you show up as a millionaire that you are. It’s really just a marketing tactic which I don’t think it necessarily a bad thing. However, it shifts influencers away from being the relatable stranger online who recommends things they’ve used or clothes they’ve worn to instead being just another sales person trying to get you to buy something.

When to change your customer

In a podcast episode from a while back the host answered a question about what to do if your customer, the people you’re selling to, aren’t allowing you to make enough money. The answer was something along the lines of ‘change your customer’.

If you know how much you want to make a month as a minimum and you know how many clients you can comfortably take on at once, it’ll give you an indication of how much to charge. It’ll also offer a good idea of who your customer is and who your customer isn’t.

So, often people get caught up in keeping prices low to try and attract more people. Or the tell themselves that helping others requires them to sacrifice their own wants and needs. In this case it means providing affordable services but barely scraping by financially. The reality is that low prices means you need to make a lot more sales.

Instead it is worth thinking about who you can provide services to so that you won’t need 101 sales each month or 101 clients. That might mean increasing your prices and changing your customer. Helping people shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to Many people want to help others but that shouldn’t be at your own expense. You have to find a way to do it in a way that works for you.

That could mean providing services to a select few customers/clients that enable you to make enough money to live comfortably. Then use your spare time to provide something for free that will he helpful for those that can’t afford to pay for what you offer.

The content and the audience

I recently read an article about how much various influencers get paid. The majority of the people were twenty something but the numbers of followers ranged from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand.

What I’ve found to be interesting is that when paying an influencer to create content you’re paying for 2 things: the content and the audience.

In my opinion, even if you don’t have a high following the money you get paid to create content should make sense. If you’re spending hours to come up with a concept, style the shoot, take the photos and edit them, what you earn should sufficiently compensate that plus more for your audience.

And with that in mind it makes it a little bit easier to figure out how much you should ask for and what to say no to.

Cost and accountability

People pay a lot of money to ensure they remain accountable.

Perhaps you want to lose weight and you’re struggling to do it alone so you join weight loss group. You might be a writer who is struggling to make time to write so you join an online weekly writing group. Both of these types of groups can be created and attended for free.

However, when it comes to losing weight many people choose to pay to join a group like Weight Watchers. Or perhaps they pay to join a gym or a particular fitness class. The group provides a community of like minded people and the fact that you pay makes you more likely to commit because now you have something to lose.

If you’re paying a certain amount every month or every week and you ignore the meal plans, don’t exercise and continue with a diet full of processed, sugary, high fat and high salt foods then you’ve just wasted your money.

With writing perhaps you pay to attend a writing group where you sit and write for an hour or 2 each week. The purpose of the group is to work on your writing separately but for many it feels easier together. Of course you wouldn’t be reliant on the group to get all your writing done however if the group also involves sharing writing progress made throughtout the week it gives you an incentive to something done between meetings.

From the outside some people may not see the value in joining these kinds of groups, perhaps because they don’t need to but I think if it works then it’s worth it.

You don’t get paid to pave the way

The idea of paving the way is quite interesting and also amazing.

However, one thing that I’ve noticed is often the trailblazers do not receive as much financially in comparison to those that come after. I think in some ways that is one of the reasons that people are afraid to go first.

Paving the way is almost always difficult and comes with many challenges. It’s much easier to simply wait for someone else and then jump on the band wagon.

If you decide to carve out a new path, you do that with the knowledge that as much as you may gain success and be known for the work you’ve done, it’s the ones that follow that often end up getting paid more, even though you’ve worked so much harder.

In order to pave the way, you don’t need to be the best or the most talented. But you do need to have passion, commitment and dedication. You need to be able to create and hold a vision for long enough for it to come to life. You have to have the resilence to keep going even when you experience knock backs.

After doing all of that work, it can be difficult to then hold the door open for others, that’s why trailblazing and pioneering might be considered to be for the selfless. However, holding the door open for others is not a requirement, it’s a choice. Some people decide not to do it because they don’t want others to have it any easier than they did, whilst others do it gladly.

Some focus on they themselves ‘winning’ (as in earning the most money) whilst others will just ensure they get what they need to be comfortable. For some it is about being known and revered for what they have done whilst for others it is about doing the work to make a change.