Marketing is tough. Marketing when you’re not sure who your ideal clients is or where or how to market to them makes it even tougher.

That’s why I’m so excited to share with you a recent conversation I had with Kirby Hassemen of hassemanmarketing.com sharing his proven TARGET framework for reaching, attracting and landing the best fit clients for your web design business.

Kirby has been in the marketing game for a long time and knows timeless principles on sales and marketing that have stood the test of time and that have worked across all mediums of sales (in person, virtual and via different social media.)

In this one, we cover:

Kriby’s proven TARGET framework
How to sell on social media without being “salesy”
How to determine who your best clients are
How to figure out where your ideal clients hang out
How to market effectively in a way that suits your personality

And a whole lot more.

Enjoy this target marketing 101 masterclass!

In this episode:

0:00 – Treating Social Media Like Real Life
4:15 – Knowing Your Target Market’s Importance
14:25 – Identifying Metrics for Ideal Customer Avatar
18:04 – Maximizing Marketing Strategies
27:55 – Building Reach and Providing Value
39:15 – Effective Sales Strategies and Ethical Selling
42:41 – Building Client Relationships
54:05 – Effective Tracking and Balancing Business Growth
1:06:32 – Building a Profitable Business Lessons

Hasseman Marketing Target Market Playbook


Connect with Kirby:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #273 Full Transcription

Kirby: 

I think we treat social media as if it’s different than real life. Right, and it is to a degree, but I would also say that if we would treat social media more like real life, we would get better results. On social media, like, I always think, like if you go to a networking event, you just said it, you’re like if you walked in and you’re like buy from me, buy from me, buy from me, buy from me. You are not getting invited back. But people do that on social media all the time. Great point so. But if you go in and you so it’s, you know servant leadership, it’s servant salesmanship, right. What problem do you have and how can I help you solve it? Whether that is me solving it or somebody else, people remember that.

Josh: 

Target marketing sounds like a corporate, cheesy term that would be used in a boardroom with spreadsheets and graphs. At least, that’s what I thought about this term until I started to realize that it is so important to know who the heck is your ideal customer, how to market to them and, additionally, how to reach them, because if you want to save time, cost and energy when it comes to selling your services, you want to know where the ideal customers are, and that’s why I’m so excited that you’re here in this episode to hear from Kirby Hassam, who is a repeat guest on the podcast. Kirby has been in the graphic design, digital marketing and online marketing game for a long time now, and what I like about Kirby is that he is really focused on timeless principles, and what we dive into in this episode is actually a really cool framework that he’s come up with around the term target in how to reach the right customers for you and your business all around target marketing. So I would consider this a target marketing 101 masterclass Such a good time having Kirby back on the show. I think you’re really going to like this one If you’re just trying to figure out where to market and how to market and who your best clients are.

So, before I bring Kirby on, really, really excited to share this with you. This is actually a good precursor for what we’re going to dive into over the next little while here, with episodes coming up, because we’re going to dive further and further into getting the right customers for you proposals, pricing so a lot of awesome podcast episodes right up ahead for you to help you boost your rates, get really good clients. And a lot of the stuff is actually pulled from my business course, which, side note, is about to go live. The second version of my business course, version 2.0, is coming at the time of this release. I think we’ll be dropping it next week, so I will follow up with more details on that. But for right now, here is Kirby and I’m going to follow up at the end of this episode with some additional links, including a free gift that he has for you, a free playbook to make sure you are targeting the right customers for you. Enjoy, kirby. Welcome back onto the podcast man, round two.

Kirby: 

You have so, so, so excited to be here. I had so much fun last time so I’m fired up to dig back in. Man, how you doing.

Josh: 

I’m doing good. Yeah, we had a great conversation. Yeah, we were talking back in 2020, which literally feels like 10 years ago. Wild, how a few years can feel so different, and maybe this that’s just because of the landscape in 2020. But, yeah, I’m really excited to have you back on this time because, for folks who don’t know you, maybe we’ll get some of your backstory. But you have a deep, not only interest, but a deep involvement in marketing in a variety of different areas. So let’s start there. For folks who maybe didn’t hear, your first episode was was back on episode 73. Do you want to just give us the backstory, kirby? Like, what is your experience in marketing?

Kirby: 

Yeah, so I’ve been doing it for a long time. I started. I have a company called the Hosman marketing. So you know we do a pretty, we have kind of an agency model when it comes to marketing. We do brand and merch, we have in-house video, we help people manage their social media. You know, you, you name it. We sort of do it. We’ve been doing it since 2004. And so I just realized that’s coming up on 20 years, so that’s pretty exciting, um, and for me, I started on the sales side, right, and when you’re building a sales business, I think you, you start to develop your marketing chops if you want to stand out right. And so the way that I sort of built my marketing business was I would go and try and execute and then people would come to me clients who I’m selling brand and merch to or different things to. They’d come to me and be like hey, I really like the way you’re doing video, can you do that for us? Uh, sure, and so I literally built this agency model marketing thing based on, um, essentially consumer requests, and so it was. What’s cool about that is that you know you have a built in market right Every time you launch a new service and so um, that’s. You know, I started out just doing the sales side and then it’s kind of developed from there and it’s been been a really fun journey because I get to see sort of the the backstory of all these other businesses and kind of help them tell their story, and I love doing that.

Josh: 

All right. So this just brings us right to the first thing I was curious about. When it comes to marketing and specifically target marketing, which is, I know, the the theme of this conversation, Do you think maybe this isn’t a fair question to ask if it’s better or not, but is it? Is it better to know your target market and have services for them, or do your services that you figure out and evolve over time, Like you said do? Does that help you figure out your target market? I guess the question is services first or people first and then figure out your services?

Kirby: 

Yeah, no. So chicken or the egg, right? Um, so for me. So I, as I said, I developed those services for the, the the client tell, right, it was because I knew the client tell so well. So if I were to say if you’re starting one or the other, it would be like I, every time I meet with a client, because I’m also a coach for the Small Business Development Center, and every single time I meet with them, the very first step is who is your ideal customer, who’s the perfect person you’re trying to serve? And the funny thing is is your listeners might be hearing this and go yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that I’m telling you. Most organizations don’t take the time to really do it. I literally this morning had a conversation with cabinet manufacturer and we’re talking through their, their who’s your target market? And they’re like, oh, all builders. Like all builders, I’m like, well, what about this type of builder? Like, well, they kind of price us out and as we dug down and niche down and really got down, they’re like, oh, we have this high end specific builder, you know, you know, once they got down, I’m like we love taking their calls.

So if you are a, an entrepreneur or a business that already has an audience, you can start to figure out who your perfect audience is, or your perfect customer is. Based on that, based on your, your business now, and those I always say they’re the people you look at, your top customers, the ones who are spending the most money with you, right? And then kind of, hey, then I factor in okay, do they pay me, and pay me quickly, that kind of matters. And then it’s sort of the groan versus grin metric. Right, when they call you, when you get an email from them, when you see them pop up on on voicemail, do you groan or do you grin. Right, it’s like, yeah, they spend a lot of money with me, but, man, they’re a pain. Or, oh my god, the moment that they call, I can’t wait to talk with them, I can’t wait to work on a project with them. Well, then you start to dig in, to go okay, these are the people that not only do I do the best work for, but I really enjoy doing it too. And then, once you niche down into, hey, this is the exact right kind of customer for me. It’s funny how you go from okay, now I’m marketing to everybody and 50 percent of my marketing is working, but I don’t know which 50 percent right you go down to. Oh, okay, so technically there’s really only about a thousand customers that I really want, and reaching a thousand people is actually not nearly as hard, and so I think that for me, that’s actually one of the very, very, very first steps is to go okay, who is exactly who I’m trying to serve? Because it changes how I talk, it changes my messaging, it changes the conferences I go to, like literally everything about it. So once you know that, that’s a good foundational piece to start everything from my perspective and what, and I totally agree.

Josh: 

But it’s interesting is I feel like there’s been such a shift, at least in web design, with this idea of niching and serving one type of ideal customer avatar, when I was a lot of power to that. I also come from a background of being a generalist, so I niched in a bit of a different way. I didn’t niche by industry but I just niched by small and medium-sized businesses, which brought me people in different industries, but they were similar in some way, so that worked for me. So it goes to say like it can’t work in a lot of different ways, but it’s true, if you don’t know who you’re serving, it is very hard to market and to target them because it’s like, well, yeah, it’s just, it’s all over the place well, and what I would say, josh, it’s so funny, this is the number one piece of advice I give.

Kirby: 

It’s also the hardest for me to follow, because I did the same thing. I grew up in a small area here and so when I started, I’m like I’m taking every single customer right, and so I had people in healthcare, I had people in fitness, I had people in finance, I’d you know. And so I’m like, well, how do I niche that down? And what I figured out is you can niche down by region, you can niche down, but it doesn’t always have to be. It has to be a specific industry, right, like for us. We actually decided and it’s funny, you said small to mid-sized businesses. We, we changed it to say, look, we are focusing on small you know forward thinking small to mid-sized businesses in the Ohio and surrounding region. Well, that made that. You know, that brought that down to me, so that I can have salespeople in those areas. I know what chambers to join I can, I can travel to all of them for speaking and for whatever. There are different ways to niche it down. It doesn’t have to be, oh, I’m only in serving assisted living facilities you know, I mean it there are different ways, I think, to break it down what about services?

Josh: 

because, kind of going back to the first question, I do find that a lot of my students are not sure about their ideal customer because they’re still trying to figure out their services. Now, the really cool thing about web design is whether you’re doing e-commerce or whether you’re doing SEO or branding, or whether you’re doing conversion or copy or messaging or development, it all is under the umbrella of web design. So I think that’s one benefit for all of my students is you can just say web design and then you can kind of figure it out from there. But it is. I mean, I guess my question to Kirby is what if somebody is unsure of their services? How do you identify the perfect customer if we’re going to target them?

Kirby: 

yeah, that’s a great question. I again I think it goes back to where you, if you like, and if I’m here in your right I just want to make sure I understand is like they’re trying to figure out what services there are so they don’t have a lot of customers. Is that fair? Probably, yeah, yeah or maybe yeah, maybe they’re like.

Josh: 

I don’t know if I want to do e-commerce or offer maybe. I do want to do SEO. I could do a little bit. Yeah, like, I guess the uncertainty that I’ve seen, at least for students who are not sure of their suite of packages of services, is they’re like why it’s hard to choose a customer type. I don’t quite know what I do, so I guess that might be the first step, right? Yeah, I think yes.

Kirby: 

I think, identifying what it is you want to offer. But I think that there is in every new business, because that’s what we’re talking about here. It sounds like, is it? You know that entrepreneur is there’s going to be a trial and error when you make this decision. It doesn’t mean you’re making a forever decision, which, by the way, is. I think that’s something that holds us up in a lot of areas of our life. It’s like oh, I’m making this this decision and it’s forever no, it’s not as entrepreneurs, we know that right, so to say. I would say, if I were choosing, then it’d be like well, this is the kind of projects that fascinate me, that excite me, that I want to work on, and so then I’m going to start down those, and then and by the way, I think that’s happened to a lot of us like, hey, I’m going to do e-commerce right, and then you realize, oh, e-commerce is a pain, I don’t actually want to deal with that. Okay, cool, I’ve tried it. I have that in my area of expertise now, and if there’s a project with a perfect customer down the road, I’ll know something about it. But I’m going to keep working on different. I think it’s you try a bunch of things until you realize, oh man, this is my sweet spot, not only am I good at it, but I can make money at it. And I think at the very beginning you got to try a bunch of different things to figure out.

Josh: 

Once you have that dialed in, that’ll help you pick your favorite or your perfect customer yeah, and I think that the beauty about web design in particular is that there are some core services that are generally going to be in every customer type. Like, you’re going to build a website and you can choose from there whether it’s an e-commerce website or a membership site or just portfolio sites or blog sites or whatever. So that’s the beauty is one thing I tell my students is to have three categories a build category for building websites you can refine that. A support category for maintenance, hosting and ongoing optimization and care. And then a growth category and you can take that as far or as simple as you would like as far as helping clients grow with their website some of my students are doing like you. They’re doing multiple marketing services and social media management. I have one student, april, who is just doing email marketing in her growth category. So it is really as I mean, how excited are you, kirby, now with the landscape, because I feel like you can really do whatever the heck you want to do. It’s different than maybe even 10 years ago, from what I’ve seen oh, absolutely.

Kirby: 

I mean, there’s so many opportunities. You know, it’s funny, I think, if you listen to mainstream media or social media or whoever it’s like, people lament the stage of, of, of culture and life that we’re in. Man, this is an awesome time to be alive, especially if you have entrepreneurial tendencies. It’s never been easier, never been less expensive, to to try a side hustle or start a business or or get started on something. So I’m a, I’m an optimistic guy by nature, but man, I and A I think it’s easier to start and then back to the idea once you figure out the, the niche or the ideal target that you want to reach, it’s never been easier to reach them either, and so it’s.

Josh: 

It’s a, it’s a cool time to be alive so I want to dive into your tips and you have kind of a framework for the word target, right, yeah, yeah, it’s an acronym okay, so let’s dive into that. But before we do that, what are the most important metrics for you that you’ve learned, kirby, to identify your ICA, your ideal customer avatar? Do you look at industry type? Do you look at size of business? Do you look at personality type? Do you look at their revenue? What are some of the metrics? Because I I’ve seen so much. I mean, I know there’s no right or wrong answer on this, but I’m curious to see what’s worked for you on how the metrics that you use to identify your ICA yeah, it’s we.

Kirby: 

Small to mid-size is such a range right like it’s like oh, it’s somewhere between one and a thousand employees, but that is kind of. Employee size is a start. We find that you know the best kind of, because generally you’re gonna have to have 10 employees to get to a certain revenue. Right, and so we some of it is we want you to be somewhat forward thinking, and we define forward thinking. So are you a person who believes in marketing? Are you an organization that’s willing to invest and try different things, whether it’s social media, content, marketing? If you’re not that, if you’re, are you a person who believes in brand building, an organization that believes in brown brand building? Those are hard to quantify, but I, you know you get a sense of it the moment you start talking to people, right? I think one of the mistakes we make in sales is we try to convince people who are unconvincible, right? If my advice is if you are someone who walk, you walk in and somebody says I don’t even believe in websites, leave like this is a pointless exercise. There’s no reason to piss them off and spend waste your time because there are too many people who do believe in what you have to offer, and so that’s what I define as forward thinking. And then, yeah, we say small to mid-size in a specific region, because then we can reach them. So those are sort of the way that and I’ll be honest, josh, that’s something that we struggled with to identify because I wanted to reach everybody. But if everybody’s your customer, nobody’s your customer, and so yeah, that’s great.

Josh: 

Yeah, I love that idea of the employee account because it does say like if you have to have a minimum of 10 employees, if they’re full time, you’d probably have to be in a range. That’s what at least 500 million dollar business, probably something like that yeah, I’d say most of the ones we’re looking at.

Kirby: 

If I were to dig down, I would say all of them are doing north of a million. But I don’t ask because I know that if you know for what we do, that’s an indicator that’s really easy to ask. You know how many employees you have? It is like people are very comfortable answering that question, whereas if you say, hey, what’s your sales? You might get the. I’m not sure that’s any of your business.

Josh: 

Yeah exactly exactly now. How do you? It may be different for you because you are offering such a suite of marketing services, but when it comes to the web design side of things, do you now, or have you ever asked the question, what’s your budget? Because I have very conflicting thoughts on this, but I don’t know if that’s worked for you have.

Kirby: 

You’ve done it oh, I 100% ask yeah, because, again, let’s, I think that so many times, if we don’t have a sense of what they’re willing to invest, that that goes back to that forward thinking to me, that’s if you are willing to share that, how can I be a consultant? Right? And I again. Now, sometimes they give me the, the answer of dude, I just don’t know so. And then then I’m like, okay, cool, I’ll give you a good, better, best scenario, whatever if they don’t know. But if they’re not willing to share, then that means they don’t trust me and either I need to do some more work on that side if I think it’s worth it, or it’s time for me to move on. Um, so, yeah, I 100% ask that question because if they say, yeah, I want to do this and I want to do an e-commerce site and I want to spend $500, all right, cool. So you should here, here’s a couple free websites. You should go do the work on your own for a little bit and call me back when you’re tired of trying it.

Josh: 

Yeah that makes a whole lot of sense. Yeah, I think I was very opposed to that over the years as a web designer and maybe that’s because I was working with a lot of like mom paul shops in the beginning in one to two person businesses.

Kirby: 

But as I got more experienced and I realized the kind of the value of having a what’s your budget range, yeah, well, I think it sets expectations, right, because if, if they like, I’m willing to have that conversation on the front end, because otherwise it’s going to be a crappy conversation on the back end. And and then I’ve wasted time on them and me, and so it’s like, if they, if, and again, if the answers I don’t know, I’m totally comfortable with that, right, if they like the mom and paul example is, they may honestly not know what it costs to do it, um, and so then I’m like, oh okay, well, then we can do the super basic one for our lowest price point. But you know, and then the next question, I guess, becomes okay, then what do you want to accomplish?

Josh: 

right, yeah, I was gonna say they don’t know. They probably don’t know what they, yeah, or what they what they actually need in their business yeah, I gotta.

Kirby: 

It’s actually an example I used as a teaching moment on our team is a local realtor called in, talked to one of my folks and said I want to do this, and they laid out all these things they had seen on other people’s websites and it was a job right, Like. It was a very extensive website. It was going to be $15,000, $20,000. And I know where this person works, I know their office, I know their team. They can’t afford a $15,000 or $20,000 website. And so we sent them over the proposal and they were flabbergasted and so and that was the teaching moment was we didn’t ask but what are you trying to accomplish? What is it? You know I get that you want to attack. You know you want the MLS to come here and you want to do this and you want to do that, but ultimately, how many sales do you want to create? And maybe there are. You just are, as a person who doesn’t do websites, you don’t know how long this is going to take. You don’t know all this stuff. You’re just like I’ve seen all these things and they’re cool, but okay, I want to create an additional $20,000 a month in sales. Okay, that might be a completely different discussion. So that’s one of the reasons I think the question is on the front end or so important.

Josh: 

Yeah, that’s good, that’s good. My hybrid model for the budget question is just to get people to at least see my price ranges if I’m not sure of their qualified lead, and that way, if they do move forward wanting a proposal, they at least know the price ranges. Yeah, so we’ll start at $2,500 or $5,000 and then we’ll go from there. Yeah, I like it. So, yeah, it’s cool to hear there’s a lot of different ways that works out towards your target, marcus. So let’s dive into the acronym. What’s the T on this one, kirby?

Kirby: 

Yeah, Just like what we talked about, the T stands for identify your perfect target, identify your perfect customer. It’s the first one, because it’s so foundational right. Once we know exactly who we’re trying to communicate with, then it changes where we go, it changes how we write, copy. It changes everything about what we’re doing. The example I’ve been using a lot is my wife and I have a building that we use for Airbnb’s. Okay, well, there’s 14 different apartments, so we promote that and we created a website to promote it, as you might expect, right. And once we got into it, we realized just like I was talking about. We tried things and the overnight stays are awesome, but we found that we loved traveling nurses, we loved midterm rentals, the traveling professionals who come into the place for 12 weeks or six weeks or whatever. And so, all of a sudden, once we realized who our perfect customer was, we changed the first thing you see on the website the perfect location for midterm rentals and traveling professionals. So the first thing they see is that we are targeting them right. And so I think that once you know that, it changes everything else you do.

Josh: 

So beautiful T-Target, absolutely Start with the messaging. What are the tips for figuring out where they are? Like, I mean, I think what’s tricky now with social media, as opposed to even maybe five years ago, is there is just such a dissected version of online activity now, like it used to be that most everyone was on Facebook and maybe Instagram. Well, now it’s really really segmented towards LinkedIn, twitter, tiktok, whatever. So what are some tips on like figuring out where they are, where they hang out? And then, of course, there’s online. There’s in-person groups, there’s chambers, there’s networking groups. Do you have any tips for figuring out where they are?

Kirby: 

Yeah, I think the key is exactly is dig deeper on the exact right. It all comes back to that part like digging deeper on the persona a little bit right, because you know, for us one of the people is HR professionals, right? Well, I would literally, because we have a client base I’d be like, oh okay, that is the person. It’s that woman at this age and generally she’s going to be on Facebook and Instagram, so that’s where we’re going. But what conferences do they go to? Who do they hang out with? What restaurants do they go to? I just continually try to dig in, because wherever they’re hanging out, the people who look just like them and buy like them and you know all that stuff go there. So it’s funny because, as that HR professional, we’ve started going to different conferences because we’re identifying them as a specific niche that we’re going into. And so here at the toward the end of this year, I’m going to a conference I’ve never gone to because that’s where those people hang out. So there’s the social media side of it, but there’s the fit. Don’t discount the physical side of it, because people still buy from people they like, know and trust. So, physically, getting into those spaces with them where you can provide them value is still, to me, one of the best ways to grow that trust.

Josh: 

Especially now there’s a resurgence in everything in person, from concerts to restaurants, to comedy, to shows, whatever it is, conferences everything is in person is boosted For sure, like sporting stuff. I mean, the jackets were terrible this year, but we had record attendance because everyone’s just so desperate to get out of the house again after quite a few years. So okay, so that’s great. So T, nataria, what’s the A? What’s next for us?

Kirby: 

A stands for attract, and that is about building your list. I actually think this is one of the ones that people discount too, because they think that we have, because of the internet and social media, we have sort of access to many people, but it’s different. It’s the difference between rented media and owned media. So we, as entrepreneurs, as marketers, as web designers, whatever we’re very comfortable with rented media. Somebody else has built the audience and we’re renting it from them. So it’s the radio station as the audience, the billboard, the TV, whatever it is. We pay them to rent access to that audience. And so A is about building your own list. It is about owned media. So, whether that’s through lead magnets, which I know you’re great at, but getting them to, often You’re going to do some better work on this, but it’s about opting, getting people to opt in with your communication so that when you have a special offer for them, when you have content that would be valuable for them, you get to decide when it goes to them and people say well, I’ve got a thousand or 10,000 people following me on Facebook. Awesome. Still rented media because Facebook owns that audience.

Josh: 

Now you’re not going to get in front of 10,000 people with a post.

Kirby: 

It’s even with an ad.

Josh: 

You can pay Facebook and it’s not going to happen, exactly.

Kirby: 

Now that doesn’t mean I’m a big user of social media, so I love social media. It’s just understanding that it’s one tool in the toolbox I hearken back to. I think it was like a year and a half ago when Facebook and Instagram went down for like six hours and half of the entrepreneurs in the world lost their minds because they lost their whole audience. And so that tells you it’s rented media, you don’t own it, and so you should utilize those things, and we’ll get to that in our but. But one of the things you should be doing continually is figuring out ways to get people to opt in so that you can provide them value, make them offers, all that sort of thing on your own time, and so that’s what is all about.

Josh: 

That’s great, and I think one thing you mentioned earlier is like the idea of which kind of goes back to the classic article of a thousand true fans like you just want to reach a thousand people, and for web designers, though, you don’t even need to reach a hundred. That’s the beautiful thing, if you like. For the average solo printer, a web designer with a couple of team members, 50 clients paying you 2000, 3000, five to 10 a year, depending on what it is, that is well enough for a quarter of a quarter of a million dollar business plus, or if you want to scale it up at school too. So I say that to say with the email, I think it can be very disheartening for people when they see somebody with a list of tens of thousands and they’re like I only have like 130. But can you speak to the importance of having a hundred people on your list and how powerful that can be? It’s unbelievably powerful.

Kirby: 

I think, and again, I think one of the things that we do is we look at things as a marketer or as an entrepreneur, and not as a customer. Think of what you did when you made that last decision to opt in. We all know that there’s yeah, it’s a free resource, but when you give that email, you know that you’re giving something of value to them. There is a transaction that’s happening, and so having the idea that a hundred people are willing to let you communicate with them anytime they want is really that’s a huge compliment, right, and so, number one, value it. Right. Like, so don’t spam them. The reason that we don’t want to give up our emails is because people like Groupon. You signed up one time and they sent you 45 emails a day right, so when you Get that, respect the list, right it is. I mean and you know this, josh companies are bought and sold based on lists, right. That’s essentially a lot of times, what people are buying.

So if you want to grow a business worth buying some day, part of what the people who are acquiring you is buying is the list, right, and so A ton of value in having 100, what? 100 is the start, right, and when you have 100, that means your open rate is probably going to be higher. So you have, those are your early adopters. Those are the folks who you know, the folks who, in a band, will travel to buy the t-shirts early on. So those are the people that are almost most value, because they’re the ones who will help you spread the word if you continue to create value for them and you don’t just say, hey, buy from me, buy from me, buy from me.

Josh: 

Yeah, and I think there’s a time and place for the ask, but it’s definitely. It falls in between the free value and just tips trends, ideas, helping. The cool thing with a smaller list is you can really engage personally with all the replies. If you have thousands, tens of thousands, it can be very hard, if you’re getting a lot of replies, to keep up with that. So I say for web designers in particular, go for it. The other thing I would think what I’ve learned is when you see numbers on a screen like an email list, it’s so easy to forget that these are real people. Somebody was on their laptop or on their phone and they actually signed up for this. I have 11,000, just under 11,000 on my list right now. Yes, nice, but I have colleagues who are doing 25,000, 50,000. So part of me is like, oh, I should have at least a double-sided list. But then I remember if I were to see 11,000 people in front of me.

Kirby: 

Yes, that’s my hometown. That’s my hometown. Yeah, here in North Ohio, yeah, like that would fill up a really good.

Josh: 

I mean, that’s a half of an arena, right there, that’s like that is half an arena on my list. So when I email them this is such a great reminder for me and everyone who has, no matter what size just picture them like. What does that look like? If you have 80 people on your list, probably it feels like nothing, but if those 80 people are looking at you in an amphitheater and you’re seeing 80 people and you’re sharing with them and giving them options to join your program or whatever it is, that’s huge. So I don’t know. I just want to throw that out there, because it’s so easy to look at numbers and forget that every single number and email is a real person and they might buy it and especially if you’re focusing on them being the exact right kind of buyer like going back to the T right, so you pointed it out.

Kirby: 

If it’s 80 people and they’re your exact right buyer, that’s all you need to create a real business. You know what I mean? Yeah, so it’s a great point.

Josh: 

A lot of my students only need one customer a month with where they’re at. So if your list is 15, are there 15 really good people? Yeah, keep on serving them. They don’t need to know. Your list is only 15. You don’t need to market that. You know. That’s right. I love it. I love it. They think you’re a freaking rock star with hundreds or thousands, but you have 15. It doesn’t matter.

Kirby: 

Yeah, I love that.

Josh: 

Okay, so you mentioned the R. Yeah, let’s dive into R and this target acronym yeah.

Kirby: 

This is the part where everybody’s going to get uncomfortable, right Like so? R is stands for reach. It means not only build your reach, but reach across platforms. I said I’m a big fan of social media. I think this is the moment. Reach is when you are doing those early brand building exercises. You are creating value. Give first. That’s something you and I’ve talked about before. You’re answering questions, you’re entertaining, but you are. You’re creating LinkedIn posts. You’re creating Facebook, you’re creating Instagram, especially wherever that perfect customer is for you, but you’re doing it more than you think you should. Okay, like. I think so many people are like, oh, I’m going to post once a week. Once a week posts. It’s not going to move the needle. Like, if you really want to build something, you need to be out there more than you think and you’re. I always say this is the moment that your inner voice is going to get really loud, that voice that says it’s screaming at you, saying you’re not good enough. Nobody cares what you think. What? Why are you doing this? You’re your, your wife’s going to yell at you. Whatever it is in your brain. That’s going to get really loud and you got to push through it. Gary Vaynerchuk, gary V. For those who. He’s a social media kind of guru and if you ask him right now how many pieces of content he’s like, you need to be putting out 40 pieces of content a day. Now, I’m not putting out 40 pieces of content a day.

Josh: 

He also has a team of like I think he 30 plus doing that. Now right, he totally does.

Kirby: 

But I think what it does is it makes you, it makes you realize that it’s like, oh my God, that’s I could never do that. It’s that voice, right. And so I’m now. I’m now and he also says 40, and he’s saying, you know, five across eight different platforms, just to be clear. But it still seems like an absurd amount and you’re going to talk yourself out of doing that work, and so what I would say is this is the moment, as long as you’re providing value, and that’s that give first answering questions. The 10 questions you get all the time, the ones you repeat, those are your pieces of content that you start with. You know what? What kind of website do I need? And like, okay, answer that question in its entirety. That’s a blog post, that’s a podcast, that’s a whatever right, and then you can break that up into many pieces of content and put it out there. At the end of the day, while social media shouldn’t be your only thing, you need to build your list, right, but it needs to be a piece and it is free still. So it’s one of those things. It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, but our stands for reach, because you’re extending the reach of your business, and so you need to do that.

Josh: 

What about reach in person Cause? it’s a pretty different strategy. I mean, the free value thing is great, but I found the in person stuff Like if you go to a chambers of chamber of commerce meeting can’t just be like, hey everybody, I want to share some top tips with you when they’re not expecting it, but in a networking group, when it’s your time to present, as that was one reason I love my networking group is like every two or three months we each got to present on something. Perfect example of this reach. But what are some other strategies on the reach and sharing free value per se in person?

Kirby: 

Yeah, actually so, when it comes to specifically networking, I like, again, give first networking. So one of the best ways I think that I do in networking is I connect other people. So you said, yeah, I’m not going to. Hey, I do, you know I do websites, blah, blah, blah. But you said you need landscaping. Actually, this company over here is amazing, john, meet Steve, you guys go about it. I found out to build relationships with me that have nothing to do with. Oh, they need a web designer because, but it creates people, buy from thing people. They like no one trusts. That’s a little thing you can do to build trust with them so that when they are in the market that they, they are ready to come to you because they trust you already, because you haven’t tried to knock them down, you know. I think that the other thing I was going to say is this is also a time to nurture your list of your 80 people. Your 15 people email them. During this time you’re reaching across that platform to provide value, and that also builds trust as well.

So again, it’s when I say across platforms in person is one of those platforms and when you get a chance to present at that networking event, like you said, give value, don’t just sell Right If you because I read a study and I found it to be true that says that at any given moment, about 3% of people are in the market for whatever you sell Right. 3% of the market’s in in right now, in in the market for a TV Right. And then there’s some people who aren’t going to do it at all and then there’s a big portion who, if given the right offer, they could become in that. And I think that those networking events where you just are a good person and are trying to help other people, those are the moments that when they move into that 3%, they think of you.

Josh: 

It’s an interesting concept there of re. I didn’t really, because when I think about reach I think about outbound marketing, social media kind of thing, but it’s a great reminder that reach can be to your current list, your current clients, your past clients, reaching back out to them. And then the in person stuff. I do love the idea of just being a helpful connector over anything. When it comes to anything in person networking, referral groups, chambers, organization involvement, like that really is it’s true, that’s it. That is it when it comes to networking, like if you’re the person who does referrals and connects people, you’re going to get a ton of business. It just happens so naturally.

Kirby: 

Well, and I’ll tell you, it’s funny, we always talk about, you know, social media. I think we treat social media as if it’s different than real life. Right, and it is to a degree, but I would also say that if we would treat social media more like real life, we would get better results. On social media, like I always think. Like if you go to a networking event and you just said it, you’re like if you walked in and you’re like, buy from me, buy from me, buy from me, buy from me, you are not getting invited back. But people do that on social media all the time, right. So, but if you go in and you it’s, you know, servant leadership, it’s servant salesmanship, right, how? What problem do you have and how can I help you solve it, whether that is me solving it or somebody else, people remember that I, I, I tell people go to people when you’re not asking for money.

Josh: 

And what a great reminder with social media to be a connector there. This is a great prompt for me because I’ve I’ve kind of thought about like sharing some of the podcasts I listened to and some of my top colleagues and I’m like why haven’t I done that yet? I should share that and tag them because they’re like, actually, somebody just recently did that with me. They shared my podcast and I shared all my stories and DM them and said thanks so much for sharing my show. Yeah, why haven’t I done that more? It’s a great reminder to like be a connector and, side note, secret marketing strategy. If everyone wants to know, if you do that with the type of clients you’re you’re wanting to work with, suddenly you are, you’re right in the forefront for them If you share their work, if it’s a good fit in the industry, so yeah, that’s wonderful.

Kirby: 

Well, and I tell you the other end, I love that you brought this up. This is something that I talk about. A lot is no. I said that this is the part we’re going to get uncomfortable. Well, everybody has that voice. Everybody has that voice that says you’re not good enough, You’re not smart enough and dog on it. People don’t like you, right? Which means that your clients do too, right? So when they share a piece of content, you don’t necessarily have to share it, but if you like it, you comment on it. Hey, this is really cool, Great job. Those are the kind of things where you show up to your client through social media and be like oh man, that made me feel good. And, over time, a, it’s just brand awareness right, they’re going to see your face and your brand or whatever, but also they just feel good about you because you’re complimenting them on something that they’re probably a little bit insecure about.

Josh: 

Love it. Yeah, that’s a great reminder. So that might transition us to the G of target. So we’ve got target target market, We’ve got a attract, We’ve got our reach. I assume the G is get clients right. It’s actually stands for go get it right.

Kirby: 

Like so now it’s time to sell right.

Josh: 

So you know, I didn’t know this, by the way, I just assumed. So I see them all correctly.

Kirby: 

Yeah, any marketing plan that doesn’t include sales is not a full marketing plan, right? So I think that then that’s where I think you know we need to give first and provide value. But at some point, if somebody signed up for your newsletter, if somebody’s followed a business on social blah, blah, blah they expect you to make them an offer. Right, they expect you to sell to them. The key is just not to do it all the time. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about his jab, jab, jab, right hook, right Give, give, give, ask. Well, he said, if right, hooks are great, but if you know they’re coming, you can duck right Now. That being said, one of my big pet peeves is when it’s time to sell. Sell. Don’t conflate it with providing value. Don’t be disingenuous because you are lacking courage to just ask At some point I have this offer, would you like to buy? It Is the most thoughtful way to actually sell. Don’t be wishy-washy when you’re making the offer. Just make the offer.

Josh: 

That’s right. Yes, it’s so important because if someone is not expecting to be sold and then you spring it on them, it does leave a bad taste in their mouth, and I get it Like I’ve I’ve actually backed off on selling as much this year, and I’ve and I’ve literally seen it not go well Like I need to get back into selling occasionally. The trick is, though, like you just said, to make it known like honest sales. I was in a mastermind group yesterday with one of my colleagues and he said the same thing. He’s like when I get on a discovery call, I make it so clear I’m selling something to you. There’s no ambiguity. You’re not going to be surprised. One of my mentors, pat Flynn. When I went through his webinar course, one of the top tips I took from that was in the beginning of a webinar or a free training, you say this might be pulled from a full training that I have for you. I’m going to offer that to you at the end, but for right now, here’s the free value. So they’re prime, they’re ready, they know at the end of this there’s going to be some sort of sales pitch, and as long as I like the free stuff, I might want the full kitten, the caboodle. I just wanted to back that point up. It’s so important.

Kirby: 

Well, yeah, and I think it’s great because, at the end of the day, if you provide value, what are you doing? You’re providing your building trust, You’re building credibility. And then I wanted to and I think Pat Flynn is like the best at this, but, like I’ve heard so many people, it’s like here I’m giving away all this stuff. If you want to dive deeper, if you want to learn more, I do have this offer, this course, this, whatever it is, and I think that makes sense. The other thing I always say is especially like, again, if I let’s put it in a face to face we talked about in person If I’ve sat with you, I’ve met with you maybe this is our second meeting and we’ve talked through and I’ve come to you and asked you all these questions and vetted and whatever, If I don’t ask some closing questions, it’s disrespectful. I have just wasted two hours of your time. You know that that’s what we’re doing here. It’s a for-profit exchange. They can say no and because that’s I think I mentioned earlier it’s like I am not interested in trying to sell people who are not interested in buying. That’s actually one of the great fallacies of sales, in my opinion, is that you know we’re trying to manipulate people. We’re trying to convince them. No, I’m not. If you don’t believe, like, in what I’m selling, even if I win you over, you’re never going to be happy as a client and I’m never going to be happy serving you. I only want to guide people down the road that it makes sense for both of us, because that’s going to work out for both of us anyway. But once it’s time to sell, just make the offer.

Josh: 

What are some of your tips for closing? I almost think it’s easier for web designers because it’s very likely if you’re in any sort of meeting, the person on the other end has a terrible website or doesn’t have a website. It’s pretty clear they need you. Selling courses, I found, are actually like a hundred times harder because they might be like well, I could find stuff on YouTube or I could. There’s a ton of other courses, whatever it is, so I’ve had to build urgency and manufacture that in some ways. What are some tips for adding either urgency or, I guess, what are some of the closing tips?

Kirby: 

Yeah, I think that you’re exactly right. I mean, there’s some basic psychology but honestly, again, I don’t, like I don’t try to build in things that don’t exist. Like I think building in scarcity is really good, but only if it makes sense. So let’s say it’s a course, right, okay, there’s only going to be 10, but really there should only be 10 because I can only service 10. That sort of scarcity I think does work. But honestly, for me I don’t focus a ton on that closing, because it’s about the whole journey of the sales. I’ve met with you. We’ve identified you have a problem. Here’s the solutions I can think. I’m going to give you a variety of price packages based on again, this is why that budget Remember we talked about the budget question because it avoids the objection in the back end, right, Because, if they say, oh, this is way more money. Well, you told me $5,000 is what you had to spend, right? So like asking those questions on the front end alleviates so many objections on the back end. And so, to be honest, by the time I get to the closing question, the closing question is pretty much so what do you think Right? Because we’ve gone down this road and identified that it solves the problem. And then they have to decide if they are ready to do that and if they don’t decide right.

Josh: 

then, kirby, do you have a follow-up game plan? Do you have a proposal that’s like valid for a certain amount of days? This is very timely, because I just covered this in the new version of my business course and I shared some of my tips for adding urgency and scarcity, but in a honest, genuine, like, thoughtful way, and not like this deal’s ending, you’ve got to buy now, kind of thing.

Kirby: 

Yeah, no, and so, yes, I do have a follow-up thing. Now again, sometimes it’s a different project. Now I will say that if that urgency is, look, we’re pretty full, I’ve got room for one more project, so that helps build the urgency and scarcity into it. I do think that makes sense when it’s honest. But a lot of times I’m like, look, you need to take as long as you need to take, but I then do like, okay, I have a follow-up. I say that I heard early on in my career that yeses are great, nos are great, maybes will kill you, right. Like it’s one of those where if you say no, I’ll stop, but I’m not going to say I’m not going to stop until you say no.

Josh: 

That’s good, and it’s a great reminder too, that sometimes you’ll meet with somebody or have a proposal not go through initially, but six months from now they’re ready yeah absolutely. And sometimes they are a lost cause. But I’ve had that happen numerous times where I sent a proposal and what I learned to do was have a valid date for that, and you could do that valid for 30 days or 60 or 90. I would generally not go past 90. It’s what I advise. But I always remember one of my clients. She ended up being an A client. She started off, though, as a very questionable, like C client and she thought that 1500 for her first author website was just way too much. And I politely said, yeah, that’s as low as we start right now. And I said you know, there are other options, there’s cheaper options. And I said you’re welcome to do that and if you feel like we’re right for you in the future, just let me know. She reached out not one month later and apologized and paid in full that day, because she was like I went cheap and I paid for it Never again. And then it was funny about two or three years later she started a whole new brand and it was a $12,000 project to see invested in. So somebody who was balking at 1500 a few years later is now a $12,000 e-commerce site client.

Kirby: 

And I’ll tell you this is what I kind of view is. That’s where it’s so valuable to get that person on my email newsletter.

Josh: 

Yeah, right.

Kirby: 

So, even if they don’t buy, what I’ve found, based on my numbers, is every single email on my email list is worth $1,000. And when you look at it that way, it’s different. Like, even if they’re not buying from me yet, six months down the road they may have tried to build their website themselves, or their brother-in-law did it, and it was a dumpster fire, right. And six months down the road they’re like enough’s enough. I want to pay the professional, but then you want to be in front of them and that’s where being on the list is again. It kind of comes full circle.

Josh: 

Gosh, such a great reminder forever. I mean, email and newsletters are again timely thing. I’m actually starting my newsletter here in the next month or so. Nice, I do have a lot of people that I call every one weekly, multi-weekly often but I don’t have an official newsletter. But I’ve just everyone like you talking about this. It just reminded me like it is so important. Email is more important than ever. Great reminder for all web designers stay top of mind, just use email, make yes, yes, anyway. So go get it. What about E? What’s E?

Kirby: 

for us, E stands for enthusiasm. This is where you build your brand right, and you build your brand with your clients, so the folks who are buying from you on the regular basis. So the stat that I’m always reminded of is that 69% of your customers who leave you leave you because of perceived indifference. In other words, seven out of 10, sorry about the train seven out of 10 of customers who leave you leave you because they don’t think you care. That is both a scary statistic and an exciting statistic to me. It’s scary because I’m like, oh my God, they leave because they don’t think I care. Man, it’s an easy problem to solve right. Those people who are your bread and butter, the ones who are paying your monthly fees and websites and doing you know the person who’s coming back. Whatever, the other thing I’ve found and this may or may not be true for web businesses, but it’s certainly true of mine is most businesses follow Pareto’s rule, which is the 80-20 rule, which means 80% of their revenue comes from 20% of their clients.

Josh: 

It’s very true in web design Right. It’s a 70-10 in web design Right.

Kirby: 

So the key then is that 10%? You need to make sure that they know that you appreciate them, and that’s the place that you start with your brand building. So I always I like to recommend hey, you know just the basics, right, reach out on a regular basis, send them a video, send them a handwritten card, send them whatever that just says hey, thank you, stop by if you can, or do a Zoom call or whatever, to say, hey, just want to tell you I appreciate you. Go to them when you’re not asking for money. And then, finally, I’m a big believer in what I like to call it a quarterly appreciation program. So once a quarter to those people, those people who make the most impact on your business, go to them with something. Now, you know we’re a brand and merch company, so a piece of brand and merch. Once a quarter in front of those people to say thank you.

Josh: 

Right, and is that like coffee mug Post-its t-shirt Right.

Kirby: 

And then something that goes with your logo or a branded message that says, hey, I just wanted to get this in front of you to say thank you, and you can set a budget. You know, if it’s your top, if it’s 10% or 20% of your clients, it’s not that many, right? So you say, okay, I’m going to spend $100 a year per customer, so 25 bucks a quarter, and we’re going to put something cool a vacuum sealed tumbler, something really nice. Put it in front of them so that they never say, I don’t think he cares. So those are the steps where you start building a brand, that you have enthusiastic brand ambassadors and those are the people that when somebody says, yeah, I need to get a website, oh my god, you got to call Josh.

Josh: 

He’s my guy and so that’s how you that’s what he is. It’s funny, even like. I feel like everything that was on its way out 10 years ago has resurgenced, and that’s true with styles and stuff.

Kirby: 

But also like.

Josh: 

I still I think of my friend James with contest snare every day because I use this little coffee coaster that he sent after being a guest on his podcast and it’s as simple as that, like literally. I mean, I used to do post it notes that were in transit studios. Why? Because people freaking love post it notes and they use them all the time and they’ll be up on their computer often Every day. You know. They see, like, oh, there’s Josh within transit studios and it’s, it’s, and I’m actually it’s funny, I’m like trying to in the course world, in the world I’m in right now, it’s a little bit different, because I shouldn’t say it’s completely different, because service, like I, I’m dealing with the great, greater scale now, but I’m still working back towards aligning my customers, just like I did as a web designer, in categories of a customers, e customers and C customers. It doesn’t mean as a person, it just means as a pure customer revenue level, like there are literally people who are more valuable to my business and I need to focus on them. What a great reminder to focus on your a clients.

Kirby: 

Well and again, I think I always think back. It’s like a Harley Davidson Yeti, like Apple, like these are brands that people are so passionate about that they tattoo it on their body Right Like that’s. Ultimately, I don’t think that I’m there yet right, but the goal is to get to a point where you have people that passionate, and one of the things I say is it’s a little less of a commitment to put on a T-shirt.

Josh: 

Yeah. But it’s the way to see somebody have a Kirby head tattoo on their back at the beach. I can’t wait for that day. I’ll still do a picture when I see it, please do yeah. A great reminder though, kirby my gosh, yes. Enthusiasm, care, attention to all those things, and they’re so easy to do. Like you don’t need to be, like this is, you can just do this. You don’t need to be at any skill level, to send somebody a coffee mug or a coaster, or a note every quarter that you appreciate them. That’s right. Or a written letter.

Kirby: 

Yeah, that’s right, literally it’s old school. But so one of the things I’d say is that when everybody else zigs, you should zag. So, of course, how many honest handwritten letters do you get? Or just notes do you get Very, very few. So if the idea is, you know, sometimes better is not better, different is better, by doing something like that it shows up as different.

Josh: 

This conversation is unveiling all my top tips in my business course. I’ll share another one. Every year, my A client’s got a handwritten letter. Well, I typed it because my handwritten handwriting is doctor’s style is terrible, but I just wrote a real note. You could tell it was not canned. It was not like hello, valued client, we appreciate your business this year. No, it was like, hey, I so appreciate working with you. You, I’m really excited about what we’ve done for you, what we’ll continue to do. I really appreciate this and this and this. And I just wanted to say you know, this year was incredible. I hope you have an awesome Christmas and great new year and excited to continue on something like that and when I would do that, the people I mean, like, what other service provider or creative or web designer has done that Exactly? Probably not. Or same thing with a personal video. This is one thing I try to really tell all my students to do Send a personal video. I did this last year at the end of the year. I had like 30 people that I sent a personal loom video to. Most of them were just a couple of minutes, but I just said, hey, they’re mostly colleagues and people who are in my network, who have helped grow my business, and vice versa, and I say, hey, I really appreciate you. Same thing, the exact same thing, and the reason I did that is because no one else is going to do that, yeah, so that’s my encouragement. I love that you prompted that. Yeah, that’s awesome and that’s so cool. So T. Let’s wrap up this. The second T, so. I have some ideas on what this might be, but I don’t know, I don’t know. Yeah, so the second T is track.

Kirby: 

So yeah, so I think that you know and track on a regular basis is figure out the things that move the metrics. So build a dashboard of things that if you were put on a deserted island and you they handed you these numbers, you could decide how your business is doing Right Now. Obviously there’s some that would be like sales numbers, right, this is what we did this week, but I think it’s got to. So that’s your the difference between lead mate measures and lag measures. So the sales is a lag measure. Once you read it, it’s done. I like to also measure lead measures. These are the things that if you do these over time, it will lead to this outcome you want. If you want to get in better shape, well then, I’m going to work out 30 minutes a day and I’m going to not drink beer every night. Whatever, you know those things that if I do these things, it will lead to this outcome. So, for us, you know we find that presentations and touches so client interactions, proactive lead to those sales. So we measure that. We measure presentations, we measure touches, then we measure okay, what’s our invoices look like, what’s, and we have a dashboard that we look at every week and the numbers, either green or red, and so over time we can see that, oh man, the presentations have started to fall off. You know that in the next month or so, sales are going to do the same and so. But then you say, oh man, I found that if I do this other thing, good things happen, right, okay, well, I’m going to put that on my dashboard and so the dashboard can evolve. But it’s tracking those and tracking them on a regular basis so that you can, you don’t get to the end of the year and go what happened?

Josh: 

Yes, I’m so. It’s so funny you mentioned that, so I had mentioned. I just talked with Eric Dingler, who you know very well CEO of an agency now and he talked about the same thing, that because we were talking about leads in what’s working for the agency right now, and he was like, honestly, the biggest thing is the lag versus lead measure. And really forecasting over the next few months is, I mean, you can only control so many things, but you can control a lot of things, which is how are you marketing? What’s your content marketing? Look like, how many networking events are you going to? How many webinars are you hosting or workshops, Anything that you are doing? Yeah, what’s the upcoming schedule of that? I honestly needed to hear this beginning of this year because I I haven’t done as many of the forecasting things and it is yeah, you’re right Like it’s easy to look at the back numbers, but you can’t change the past.

Kirby: 

Yeah.

Josh: 

So you can’t say, well, I did you know great in the first few months of 2023. So should be the same. Well, what does should be mean? What do you like? What’s the? What are you proactively doing? So I, I, I love that idea when it comes to tracking, because it’s such a great reminder. You can track what you did and learn from that, but you can also track what you’re about to do. Right, that’s exactly right.

Kirby: 

And I’ll tell you, it’s funny when you set numbers for your team. It is amazing how people evolve to them. Like, if that becomes the expectation, right, and you track it on a regular basis and you talk about ways to do it, like for us, then part of the reason this is this is near and dear to my heart right now Josh is we’re doing these things and as at the end of a May our business was up 60%, 60% is not a small number for us Right, yeah, we’re doing this. Now, that being said, june’s been a little slower. Guess what. Over the last six weeks, presentations and activity have been slowly going down. And now great news, because we’re tracking it on a regular basis we’re like, oh, we’re getting this wrong again. So in June our activity is through the roof. Now our sales is not through the roof, but I’m guessing July, august, september is going to look really good because we’re doing those things and otherwise you wait till the end of the year and go what happened? Right? So that’s why the final T is so important.

Josh: 

Now I have found this to be very difficult to do prospecting, do lead generation, do sales ongoing as a solopreneur and as a course trader. I found it even harder because there are. What I’ve found essentially is that there are seasons where there is a season to work on your business, on your systems In my case, like re-record courses, update them. That’s literally the phase I’m in right now, but up ahead for me it’s sale time, baby. Yeah, it is time to push, promote and of course, I’m going to share free value and everything I can continue to do. But there will be a bigger push for all. Right, I’ve spent months Time to go get it.

Kirby: 

Go get it.

Josh: 

I’m like heading back into the G part of this formula, like I guess, what is your? Do you agree with that model of like? You might have a month where you’re not selling as much and you’re refining, but you doubled down and I don’t know what are your thoughts on that to be able to balance that? Because I know a lot of people are listening to this and they’re like how the heck am I going to just sell all the time and do everything if I have to do the deliverables and actually get the project out the door?

Kirby: 

Oh yeah, absolutely, and I think that you have to give yourself grace. Right, it has to do with your goals as well. Right Is reverse engineering what you actually want and then kind of building it back. The fact of the matter is, you know, the month we’re sitting in right now hasn’t been as good a month, right, because of the seasons. Part of the reason is because sales were so good the previous three months. There have been like I had a couple of salespeople that did. I have one salesperson that has done more through May than they did all of last year. Well, guess what? Their proactive stuff fell down because they were taking care, they were delivering on the projects. It happens.

Josh: 

Gotcha, gotcha.

Kirby: 

But knowing that, so that you can go oh okay, I see what just happened, so that you can just learn from it. This isn’t about saying that there’s one way to do it, but one of the things I think from looking at the framework is to go oh okay, cool, so I’m not doing the R, I’m not doing this. That’s the place where I probably need to focus Okay, now it’s time to go get it, it’s time to live in that season. Well, guess what? Some of the other things might fall off while you’re doing those things, but it gives you a framework to go. Okay, so the results aren’t exactly what I want. This is where I need to focus my time and attention. Next, especially for a solo print arm.

Josh: 

Yeah, and it’s a great point. It’s like if you do sell a lot and things are going well, guess what you have to deliver. That’s right If you’re the only one in your business, you don’t have a team behind you or at least a designer or a couple of people helping you, then it’s on you. That’s what I discovered when I had 23 projects on my plate and I was like I literally have like I’ve outsold myself. It’s funny. Actually, I had Mike McCallowits, the author of Profit First, on the podcast a while back and one of the things of many from that conversation that stuck with me is that sales can often destroy a company if they are not prepared to fulfill it. And it’s so true. And for solo printers, this is the danger. Unless you have a model that has like very rigid, like booking slots and stuff like that is, you can literally put yourself out of business by selling too much. So there is it’s and I don’t mean to take this on a downturn, but it is a great reminder that when it comes to these seasons, like have a plan for a lot of sales as you start to implement all this.

Kirby: 

Yeah, I love it. Mccallowits is great. He and he was one of the people who said that it’s not a sale until you collect the money and the verbal yes and handshake doesn’t mean anything if they’re not taking it.

Josh: 

You know, depositing something in the bank, yeah, love it. Yeah, that’s great. Well, kirby, thanks so much for this conversation, man, great, great. A lot of great reminders in here. A lot of the stuff I personally needed to hear. I know this is going to be right on nail on the head for a lot of my students, because we’re having a lot of these conversations, so target my gosh. Such good stuff. Great acronym, thanks, man, I love it. Attracting you got, or yeah, you got. Attracting, we got. Reach Go get them. Enthusiasm, care and track, baby, track, track, track what’s behind and what’s ahead. I know you have some more resources. Where would you like people to go to go next after this if they want to hear more marketing goodness from you?

Kirby: 

Yeah, I appreciate that. So the best place I’d say to start is, if they can get this whole playbook. I put together a new playbook. It’s 19 pages. I actually wanted there to be lots of value to it. Just go to target T-A-R-G-E-T dot Hossam and marketingcom. It’s a free piece. I am practicing what I preach here, people, so you will get on our newsletter. We are not a salesy group, right. We’re just going to provide you more value, and so I’m really, really excited. The feedback on the playbook has been really good. And then actually, as I mentioned to you right before we started, I’ve got a book coming, and so about this, and so I’m really excited about that as well too.

Josh: 

Well, we’ll have the Target Playbook linked in the show notes for sure. So I’ll mention that. And yeah, what’s the upcoming book? Fall right, fall 2023?

Kirby: 

Yeah, and so it’s going to be called Hit the Target. It’s actually a parable. I’ve never done a parable before. So it’s the story of a business owner, a marketing business owner named Michael, who built a business with his wife and then his wife passes away in a tragic car accident. And over the course of the next year his business unravels and the book starts with him getting a call from the bank saying it’s you know, you’re about to lose your business, you’re about to lose your family home and you got three weeks to turn it around. And so that’s the story is how he meets someone who helps him kind of understand how to implement this playbook and kind of get your business and your life back on track.

Josh: 

So very cool. That’s exciting to hear man. Yeah, anything you can frame in a story. It’s funny I mentioned I’m working on. I put it on hold just with everything I’m watching right now, but I’m revitalizing the book I started and it’s it’s basically like my business course, wrapped in a story of a guy who’s you know kind of it’s kind of similar, like just really struggling and is interested in web design and somebody who’s been through that path. It’s kind of like the Josh for me when I was 23, to the Josh who was 33 and you’re kind of you know there’s a mentor who’s guiding him through every step. So I think that’s cool. I just laid out the synoptus, synoptus for everybody. It’s happening now, baby.

Kirby: 

I knew it now.

Josh: 

All right, kirby man, thanks for your time. Great chat as always. Appreciate it. We’ll have these linked and, yeah, really appreciate your time again, man. Thanks, buddy, it was really good to talk to you. I am a sucker for timeless principles. I hope you enjoyed this episode and this conversation as much as I did. That framework for target is beautiful. So target the right audience for you. A. Attract them are reach G, get out of your comfort zone, go get them. E. Be enthusiastic and have that energy and then T track them. The numbers don’t lie and it will help you grow your business. Use that framework, my friends. If you would like to take the next step with this again, kirby has the target marketing playbook for you that you can get at target dot, hasam and marketingcom. We’ll, of course, have that linked in the show notes for this episode, which will be at joshallco slash two, three, seven. Can’t recommend again that you check that out. Kirby is just such a great guy. I really, really enjoyed the time I get to chat with him and I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. A reminder again a lot of what we covered here and what we’re going to be covering over the next several weeks on the podcast is all about getting good clients proposals, conversions, pricing. Make sure you’re subscribed to the show you have not already, and a lot of this is going to be coming from my business course. The second version of my business course is going to be launching at the time of releasing this episode. We should be launching it next week. The plan is to be launching it on July 26th officially. So if you are a current student of that course, you still have access to the current version, but we will be replacing that at the time of releasing this episode this week and then we’re going to officially launch it big time shortly after that. So I’m so excited to share with you all the updated lessons of the new business course to help you build the profitable six-figure business that you deserve. So you get a freedom and a lifestyle you love. That’s literally what this is all about. So I hope you enjoyed this one. My friends, I’ll see you on the next episode and I hope you’re excited. I truly hope you’re excited, because we got some crazy awesome stuff right up ahead for you. So until next time, see you on the next episode.

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