One of my favorite newsletters from the last year is Justin Welsh's Saturday Solopreneur. Each week he shares one actionable tip, and I've saved many to that I can go back and implement.
One thing I want to highlight for you today is something most readers likely overlook in his weekly emails.
And it hints to a principle that is imperative for each of us to understand and apply to our own businesses
Today you'll learn:
- Why the language he includes in his weekly email is so important
- What principle he's using
- How to apply that principle in your own business
Let's dive in...
"It's possible to be completely independent of your industry and build a market of your own."
The One Sentence That Creates The Market
Here's the snippet from one of Justin's weekly newsletters:
Did you catch it? It's only one sentence, four words long.
Booking into June 2023.
It's not about how many subscribers he has, it's not about the language he uses to "sponsor this newsletter".
It's that he shows that there is currently more demand than there is supply.
Before we started the 10k Challenge at the beginning of the year I sent out a scorecard to each of the participants to get an idea of where they were in their business and how to best support them in the challenge.
The results showed me that the thing creators struggled with the most was sales:
The average sales score was 23% out of 100.
(Yes, this is why I'm writing about the topic today. Getting info on your audience is super helpful for creating content they need!)
A friend of mine, Daniel Priestley, recently wrote a book called Oversubscribed: How to get people lining up to do business with you.
It's one of the best books I've read on sales and controlling the market forces. The idea is that as soon as you have more demand than supply, you control the economics and can grow your sales, pricing, revenue, and profit.
Let's take a look at actors in the USA as an example of an industry in oversupply. There are over 450,000 people who have a Screen Actors Guild (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) membership and there are barely 4,500 actors who make better than minimum wage from their acting income. About 99% of actors can't afford to live on the money they earn from acting. Of the 1% that does earn some money, fewer than 1,000 actors in the USA make over US$150,000 a year. From an economic standpoint there is a massive oversupply of screen actors. So, there's absolutely no reason why a producer would pay a large sum for an actor. Yet, as we know, they do it all the time. For some actors, a fee of millions per film isn't only a possibility; people line up to pay it.
Sound anything like the creator economy we're all trying to build a business in?
The takeaway here is not to try and serve everyone and become the #1 actor in the entire world. That's not realistic, nor is it the way we teach how to build businesses at Craftsman Creative.
The idea, instead, is to think of the smallest, "minimum viable audience" that you can, become known and trusted in that market as someone who people want to work with, and then tweak your offers to create the proper balance between supply and demand.
Creating Your Own Market
Let's look at coaches as an example. Since Tony Robbins coined the term "coach" decades ago, there are now nearly 65,000 business coaches in the US, over 23,000 life coaches, and it's a $15 billion + industry .
So, how do you stand out and carve out a nice bespoke lifestyle business of your own in this crowded space?
It's a simple equation.
How much revenue you want = How much do you charge for your services x How many clients
So for a business that charges $500 per call, to make $100,000 a year you need 200 calls.
Or you can charge $20,000 per client to work with them for a longer period of time and you only need 5 clients per year.
Now that you've identified how many you need, you simply need more demand than there is supply.
You can - and I think you should - control the supply so that it is always less than demand. Yes, you're potentially leaving money on the table, but this allows you to affect the way people see you and your business as in demand, and you can then raise your prices as demand increases to keep the ideal balance.
Going back to Justin, he has two sponsor slots per week in his newsletter, and is booked out 5-6 months in advance.
When he started his sponsor slots were $250. Then they quickly rose to $500, $750, $1,250, and now $1,500.
He didn't need to increse the number of sponsor slots to 4, 5, 10, or more to make that much. He simply needed to control the supply against demand and then raise prices accordingly.
If you want access to his audience, the only way you can get it is by paying $1,500. And you are driven to do that sooner than later because as his subscriber base grows, so will the price to advertise to them.
As a coach, you simply need more demand then there is supply.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- When you launch your online course, ask how many people on your list are interested, and then release less at the preorder price so that you sell out.
- When you launch your book, offer a massive deal to those who preorder, and then turn off that offer on launch day (I did this for my book Craftsman Creative and made ~$1,200 from those $50 preorders)
- Cap the size of your coaching community like Jay Clouse does. His community "The Lab" has a hard cap at 200 people, so every time he mentions it he can say "there are only 40 slots left... 39... 38...". It allowed him to double the price over the last year when he introduced the cap on membership.
- Limit the number of calls or clients you take at one time. I only have space for 2 coaching clients at one time, and two Systems clients per month. My focus on the systems clients is 100% on generating enough interest from leads to outweigh that supply
- Find a smaller venue for your event that only seats 50 or 100 people, based on how many people expressed interest in coming. If 200 people express interest, find a venue with 50 seats. Better to sell out than have only 20% of the room filled.
If you've struggled with selling enough of your products, though it may seem counterintuitive, take a look at the current supply and demand at play and then change it to be in your favor.
PS - When you're ready, there are a few ways I can help you on your creative journey...
- Grab a copy of my book, Craftsman Creative - How Five-Figure Creators Can Build Six-Figure Businesses
- Check out the 10k Challenge and build your bespoke creative business.
- Work with me. I've got a few ways - both done-with-you and done-for-you - to help you grow your creative business this year. Start with this free scorecard .
LINKS TO HELP YOU GROW...
This recent appearance on the Louis & Kyle Show was my favorite podcast interview of 2022. To be on a show that's had guests like Steph Smith, Tiago Forte, Wes Kao, and Amanda Natividad was a highlight of a year full of awesome podcast wins! Check it out here or on your favorite podcast app:
Take the 10k Challenge for free! I've seen so many people posting that they've been let go from their jobs, so I'm giving a 30-day free trial to the Society of Independent Creators. Plenty of time for you to watch through the six sessions and start working your way through the course.
Start here with the free scorecard, the invite link is on the results page: craftsmancreative.scoreapp.com
If you know anyone who's recently lost a job and wants to build a creative business, feel free to share the link with them as well. People are hurting, and I want to help however I can.
This thread from Neal O'Grady (Co-Founder of Demand Curve) is a nice chaser to today's email on sales:
January 10th 2023