No one likes the idea of being pigeonholed by others. Pigeonholing yourself, on the other hand, is one of the best things you can do for your business. Follow along as Jonathan teaches attendees how to create a laser-focused positioning statement and how to use that statement to attract better clients, close more deals, and ultimately make more money.
P I G E O N H O L E
Y O U R S E L F
@ J O N A T H A N S TA R K
No one likes the idea of being pigeonholed by others. Pigeonholing yourself, on the other hand, is one of the best things you can do for your
business. Follow along as Jonathan teaches attendees how to create a laser-focused positioning statement and how to use that statement to
attract better clients, close more deals, and ultimately make more money.
How to pick a target market that is the perfect size for your business
How to uncover the real reasons why a client needs your help
How to decrease your labor intensity while increasing your proﬁts
How to get paid for your smarts, not your labor
S O U N D FA M I L I A R ?
• Your business is feast or famine - some months you’re slammed, other months you’re scrambling.
• You never know if/when new prospects will appear.
• The leads you do get are all over that map - a veterinarian one month, an oﬀset printing company the next.
• When money is tight, you take on bad clients just to pay the bills.
• You might be getting better at doing your work, but you’re not getting better at running your business.
• You can’t increase your income without working more or hiring.
T H E R E ’ S A B E T T E R WAY
• Smooth out your workload, all year round.
• Create a predictable stream of incoming leads.
• Decrease your labor intensity by attracting customers who are similar.
• Write killer proposals in a fraction of the time.
• Cherry pick the clients who have the most interesting projects, who value your expertise the most, and who you like the best.
• Get better at working on your business, instead of in your business.
• Increase your proﬁtability without adding headcount, labor intensity, or signiﬁcant costs.
W R I T E Y O U R
P O S I T I O N I N G S TAT E M E N T
S T E P O N E
Take a stand. Grab the wheel. Decide what you want to be when you grow up.
I’m a _______ who helps _______ with _______.
Unlike my competitors, _______.
Got a minute? Let’s do step one right now...
Grab a pencil and paper and write this down:
I’m a _______ who helps _______ with _______. Unlike my competitors, _______.
Now, ﬁll in the blanks to create your laser focused positioning statement.
If you’re having trouble, don’t feel bad - almost everyone does. It’s brutal. I’ve had people actually start crying during this exercise.
I’m a UX professional who helps businesses with
elegant solutions to complex problems. Unlike my
competitors, I have 10+ years of experience
adding value by building high quality software.
If you DID NOT have trouble with this exercise, you probably wrote something soggy like:
“I’m a UX professional who helps businesses with elegant solutions to complex problems. Unlike my competitors, I have 10+ years of
experience adding value by building high quality software.”
This is not a laser focused positioning statement; it’s just clever wordsmithing that encompasses your vision of yourself, to yourself; it doesn’t
communicate any value to anyone.
More soggy positioning statement examples here:
I’m a Rails developer who helps dentists with older
patients who forget appointments. Unlike my
competitors, I use SMS reminders which work on
both smart phones and dumb phones.
This is a pretty solid.
I’m a Web designer who helps Fortune 500
retailers with abandoned shopping carts on their e-
commerce sites. Unlike my competitors, I use A/B
tests to focus on the bottom line instead of
wasting time with arbitrary design changes.
This is a pretty solid.
I’m a DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET
with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. Unlike my
competitors, UNIQUE DIFFERENCE.
See the pattern?
I’m a DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. Unlike my competitors, UNIQUE DIFFERENCE.
Nailing your laser focused positioning statement is the single best thing you can do to grow your business. It’s the foundation of everything.
T H E F E A R ™
S A Y H E L L O T O
Working through a positioning exercise for the ﬁrst time almost always triggers what positioning guru Philip Morgan calls "The Positioning Fear
Here are three of the biggest fears...
I W O N ’ T B E A B L E T O
F I N D E N O U G H C L I E N T S
I ' M A F R A I D T H A T
1. "I won't be able to ﬁnd enough clients."
Yes, you probably will. Almost nobody over specializes on their ﬁrst try. To allay your fears, do some research.
PRO TIP: If there's at least one successful conference for your ideal buyers, then there's a good chance that there's plenty of work to keep you
busy for a long time.
I ’ L L G E T B O R E D D O I N G T H E
S A M E T H I N G A L L T H E T I M E
I ' M A F R A I D T H A T
2. "I'm afraid I'll get bored doing the same thing all the time."
This is your mind messing with you. It doesn't even pass the sniﬀ test.
"Generalist vs specialist" is not "big vs small", it's "wide vs deep" Same surface area, diﬀerent angle of approach.
Virtually everyone who's ever given a TED talk is a specialist. Do they seem bored?
I M I G H T P I C K T H E
W R O N G T H I N G
I ' M A F R A I D T H A T
3. "I'm afraid I might pick the wrong niche."
This is the least irrational of the three fears that I mention because it is technically possible. However, you can validate your niche before
committing to it.
Also, you can (and probably should) refocus or shift gears every 18-24 months anyway.
Also also, if it turns out you picked the wrong niche, you can pick a new one.
BOTTOM LINE: Picking the wrong niche is better than not picking one at all.
W O R D O F M O U T H
S U P E R C H A R G E D
Having a clear, concise, conversational positioning statement makes it easy for people who know people in your target market to refer you.
People like connecting other people - if you make it easy for them, they happily do it.
Cocktail party version of LFPS.
Private college counselors story.
Pet rescue story.
WAT E R I N G H O L E S
O B V I O U S
If you know who you're ideal customers are, it's trivial to ﬁnd places where your buyers hang out online and in real life. The conferences they
attend, the podcasts they listen to, the magazines they subscribe to, the blogs they read, and so on. You can literally make a list of the 20
people - not companies but actual humans - who you should try to get in front of with your message.
C O N T E N T
E V E R G R E E N
Picking a niche allows you to create a body of work.
Having a body of work allows you to spend less time on marketing.
Spending less time on marketing gives you more time to add to your body of work.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Q U E S T I O N S . . .
L E T ' S TA K E A F E W M I N U T E S F O R
– J O N AT H A N S TA R K
“Don’t waste another year moving
one inch in every direction.”
Without a laser focused positioning statement, you’re wasting your time with marketing eﬀorts like advertising, outreach, blogging, vlogging,
podcasting, social media, webinars, etc.
Don't waste another year moving one inch in every direction.
M O R E I N F O
Creating a laser-focused positioning statement:
The beneﬁts of pigeonholing
Soggy positioning examples:
Market research cold email template for validating a new position:
How to attract clients without doing sales:
Ask me anything: