Forget Positioning: Here’s What Really Matters in a Recession 🥳

Unspoken Insights — Edition 6 — May 19th, 2024

Here’s the thing about positioning: it’s not the problem. No, that’s just a shiny lure. Here’s your real blind spot.

Let’s get real. You’re desperate to break through to the decision-makers. But the secret no one whispers is PMF—product-market fit.

Positioning? It’s just a lie we tell ourselves. If what you’re selling doesn’t hit the market hard, no amount of slick positioning will save you. But get your PMF nailed down, and suddenly, marketing is easy. Sales cycles shrink. Prospects start name-dropping you like you’re the messiah. You gain the kind of authority that lets you lead clients without having to hand-hold your team.

The so-called industry gurus push positioning as the magic fix. Newsflash: It’s not. Positioning is just the tip of the iceberg—visible, but it doesn’t move the needle.

Here’s the harsh truth, the slap in the face:
You don’t know why they buy from you.
• You don’t know what you’re selling, do you?
• You don’t know the real problems your clients want to solve.
• You don’t understand the raw, naked value of your work.
• You can’t articulate how you’re different from the competition that’s breathing down your neck.

These hard questions? They dissolve once you’ve nailed your PMF.

Here’s How, Step by Step:
Step 1: Sell the Transformation
Markets change all the time. So do company goals. Don’t sell the obvious; that’s how you become a commodity, a piece of generic office furniture. If you’re selling creative services, you’re just another option picked by price.
People want to escape their misery. They crave an exit, a way out. Offer to pull them from their problems to their dream state, and you’ll tap into bigger budgets.

Step 2: Lower The Risks
Most studios haven’t outlined their creative process from the client’s perspective. This omission creates a fog of uncertainty. Clients see you as a risk unless they clearly understand their role, touchpoints, and outcomes of each milestone.
If you only offer a kickoff call and a final delivery, clients feel lost. They’ll micromanage your team to death. Map out 3-5 clear steps. Attach tangible outcomes to each. Be precise.

Step 3: Speak Their Language
Selling creative services in a buyer’s market? Welcome to the commodity bin. But here’s the fix: understand the hierarchy of buyers within a company. The lowest rung buys creative services—they have small budgets and a need to micromanage.

Direct your language to the higher levels. Be clear with promises, value propositions, and every word on your website and pitch decks. Speak to those with the big budgets. Show them you can create amazing work and lead them to their goals.

Once you pinpoint your PMF, marketing your studio, finding your ideal clients, reaching out, and starting conversations will be easy. Your offer becomes a no-brainer.

Let’s cut the crap and get to what really matters.

If you want to learn more about this subject, watch out my brand new, free training called “4 Steps to Access Big Budgets From Brave Clients”, now.

Marko 'Guru' Pfann

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p.s: Please share this newsletter with your friends and rivals. I'm committed to raising the bar in the creative industry so everyone can earn more, produce exceptional work, and find deep satisfaction in what they do.
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