If you’re a micro business or solopreneur service provider who has built your business through word of mouth, you are responding to demand, and this can be a great way to get started. It’s also nice to have clients fall into your lap.
However, relying solely on this method to get customers can hurt your online marketing efforts.
If you are experiencing …
- Feast or famine scenarios – or up and down revenue
- Have plateaued at a certain level of income
- Have been doing online marketing but it’s not generating new leads or clients
- Are tired of relying on word of mouth and want a more proactive approach to getting clients
If these experiences are familiar, then stick around to learn the pitfalls of responding to demand, how it hurts your marketing efforts, and what you can do to turn it around.
First, let’s look at the difference between responding to demand and creating demand. These are two different approaches to marketing.
Responding to Demand
Responding to customer demand is a reactive approach to marketing. Done through traditional marketing tactics such as advertising a range of services, or relying on word-of-mouth. The service provider is relying on existing customers or potential customers to reach out to them. This can create inconsistent cash flow in your business – otherwise known as the feast or famine cycle.
Meanwhile, service providers who create demand for their services often do so through more creative approaches such as content marketing and social media marketing. They may use methods like blogging, webinars, and more to attract and engage new customers.
However, if your marketing is general in nature – so as to appeal to a wide audience that finds you through word of mouth – your efforts to create demand will fall flat. We’ll get into why that is in a moment – and what you can do about it.
Responding to Demand and Stagnant Business Growth
First, let’s look at why responding to demand hurts your potential for long-term business growth.
Example: This scenario may be familiar …. Someone refers a potential customer and you get on a call to understand their needs. Then, you create a custom solution.
While this approach can be useful for winning new customers, it can also be limiting in terms of scaling up your capacity to serve more clients – and getting to that next level of business growth.
By responding to demand, you are creating custom solutions with every service. This creates operational inefficiencies, as you spend extra time on customizations and figuring out the best service delivery method. Ultimately, this means you have less capacity to serve more customers. This is one reason why small business service providers often plateau at a certain level of earnings.
How Responding to Demand Hurts Your Marketing Efforts
In an effort to not exclude anyone from your marketing, your messaging will be more general in nature. The mindset behind this type of marketing is to say “yes” to all customer opportunities. As discussed, this is not an ideal strategy for long-term business growth.
The unintended consequence of general marketing is that you blend in with messaging that sounds like everyone else’s. Unfortunately, general messaging also positions your services to be seen as a commodity, which invites price shoppers who are looking for the best deal.
In order to stand out over the noise online – and scale up business growth – you need unique, valuable services and corresponding messaging that distinguish you from your competitors.
Benefits of Creating Demand
To maximize growth and profitability, it’s important to go beyond simply responding to customer needs and develop a proactive approach to your marketing.
This involves staying ahead of the curve by having conversations with your target audience, identifying emerging trends and customer needs, and using data-driven insights to develop new desirable services that help you to stand out in your industry.
When you create demand, it means that you are actively marketing your services with a unique, “Magnetic message” and reaching out to potential customers. This helps build brand recognition and loyalty, as well as improves your reputation as a provider of quality services.
Additionally, creating demand gives you the ability to set your own prices, which can result in higher profits. It also allows you to focus on your core strengths, rather than having to constantly respond to requests. Finally, when you create demand, you are able to stay ahead of your competitors and become an industry leader.
What to Do Next
If you want to learn how to stand out online, create demand for your services, and get to the next level of success in your business, then download my free guide “3 Keys to Double Your Clients & Profits”.
And, if you want help implementing these strategies, book a call with me to discuss what currently isn’t working in your business and we’ll get you an action plan so you can get better results.