Sometimes once you’ve got the first epic 12 months or so under your belt, even though the thought makes you kinda nervous, there’s a little seed inside you that’s wondering if it’s time already. Time to transition your business to a more premium brand in the market.
If you’re anything like me, here are some ways that little seed could present itself as a:
- Delicious imagine-if daydream;
- Long-held vision;
- Rude awakening when you realize it hasn’t happened organically; and even
- Surprise yearning.
Perhaps you’ve realised that your work might be really, really good. You’ve discovered that you’re creating full-on powerful change in your client’s lives. Maybe a happy customer has even told you they would’ve gladly paid more
There’s plenty of great reasons why becoming a premium brand could make great business sense for you… but the question becomes: how the hell do you actually do it without losing clients and screwing up everything you’ve already worked so hard for?
If this is you right now, I hear you. And man, can I relate. I know: the fear is real. Transitioning smoothly – even knowing where to start – can be a minefield.
From personal experience, here are 5 main areas I like to focus on when shepherding the journey to becoming a premium brand for my VIP clients:
(SPOILER: Pricing isn’t on this list – this might sound counter-intuitive but that’s usually one of the very last things I recommend focusing on. Read on to discover what I recommend focusing on first instead.)
1. Executing brand values: Are my brand values clear and congruent with my marketing, content and service delivery?
I think of brand values as the way we want people to feel about our business in the marketplace. And if our brand values aren’t utterly present and aligned across our marketing, content and service delivery, it’s like there’s a glitch in the system. This is super important no matter where you’re at in your business.
Your potential clients may not be able to express exactly why or how, but when our values aren’t fully aligned, awesome prospects may not feel comfortable taking the next step towards working with you. And this need for congruency becomes even more important if you want to step up to premium brand status.
2. Narrow focus: Who EXACTLY is my ideal client?
If you’ve completed a PhD you’ll already know: the key to becoming the world’s foremost expert on a specific topic is to go narrow and deep.
The same applies when it comes to cementing your market position and attracting ideal clients. Doing this well means you’ll need to hold your nerve. Even though it can feel risky to zoom in on a specific ideal client, when you’re ready to position yourself as hugely credible, narrowing your focus can help you gain unbelievable traction in your market quickly.
3. Investment: Have I invested in myself/my business at a premium level?
Investing in yourself or your business at, or beyond, the level you’ll be asking your own clients to invest is important for a few different reasons.
It’s hugely confidence building, great market research, and means you’ll be able to talk genuinely about your personal experiences investing at a similar level with prospective clients. (For example, my private clients usually invest 5-figures to work with me. I personally know what making that kind of investment in my own business is like, both practically and energetically – and the fears that can come up with that kind of thing.)
Also, being a buyer of premium services means you allow yourself/your business to be supported at a whole new level (instead of struggling in isolation, only investing in DIY options or being the person who does everything in your biz) – and that in itself is massively transformational.
(NOTE: I don’t necessarily recommend investing in the area that you’re already an expert in – unless you’re a coach, but rather in a complementary area.)
4. Customer Experience: How can I provide an awesome customer experience?
A streamlined customer experience separates the men from the boys (so to speak) when it comes to distinguishing yourself as a pro.
Client expectations can change when you step up as an industry leader. Your stick strategies, onboarding process, and key contact points with your clients can either disappoint or delight them. (Hint: Always aim for delight.)
Think about how customer service reads in your industry and focus on streamlining and going above and beyond with client experiences there (for example, customer service in an e-commerce setting might translate as fast delivery and easy returns).
5. Signature offer: Do I offer a high-value premium package my ideal clients love?
A critical element of transitioning to a premium brand is making premium offers.
If you take a couple of minutes to think of a few of the key players in your space, I bet they each have at least one signature high-value offer they’re known for. For example, business coach Marie Forleo’s BSchool; web designer Ellissa Jayne’s Brand Lab; social media maven Laura Roeder’s Creating Fame; crystal guru Hibiscus Moon’s Crystal Healer Academy; eCourse whisperer Kathryn Hocking’s eCourse Launch Formula; and eBook designer Alana Wimmer’s eBook design service.
If you do a bit of research, you’ll quickly see that none of these high-value offers is the cheapest option in their field. Instead, all these entrepreneurs have (very successfully!) positioned their packages as a more premium offering.
Heads up: Think creatively here. Depending on where you’re at in your business, crafting a signature offer may not mean completely re-inventing the wheel, but rather could be more about auditing and re-positioning the business assets you already have.
BONUS TIP: Get support. (Seriously.)
You don’t have to go it alone.
So many aspects of being in business and struggling to transition to brand and market position you’d like to hold can feel isolating: thinking strategically, making big decisions, pushing and setting boundaries, stretching your personal comfort zone and fear, and making big investments.
Mentorship and community can really help.
I hope you find these MUST-FOCUS areas and prompts really useful!
If you’re dreaming of becoming a premium brand in your market I hope this post inspires you to start taking action to make it happen!