The knowledge trap

It’s not usually required that you share everything you know with a client. They don’t need access to every aspect of your expertise to get value from your services.

When we first encounter a client’s problem, it’s so exciting to view it from the perspective of all the things you could do to elevate their situation. If they just get with your program, follow it from start to finish, never skipping a step or going off on tangents, the change could be astronomical.

It’s true that clients may view you as the silver bullet for whatever their situation. They want everything you know. The challenge then is knowing which knowledge they need to know and when they need to know it. And when they don’t respond in predictable ways, knowing how to guide them.

It’s not what you know. it’s knowing what to share and when.

Do you have a marketing problem or a goal setting problem?

Do you have a marketing problem or a goal setting problem?

In 2017, when I was first thinking about launching my own business, I created my first marketing strategy document.

Who was my target audience? What problems do they have? How do I solve those problems? What is my unique value proposition?

Then, I started setting some goals for myself. Things like:

To be the best small business marketing consultant in Greater Vancouver.”

And:

To have a great reputation for doing great work.”

For a year or so, like most freelancers starting their first small business, I went from project to project. I took what I could get. Most of the work was a far cry from what I wanted to do or what I promoted on my website but I put this down to figuring out what I really wanted to do. Searching for my niche.

Yet, somehow I was holding onto the thing I had set out to do in the beginning. That it was still a good idea. I just hadn’t done the work required to truly make a difference.

Why I had I given up on it so easily?

I thought it was because I had a marketing problem. I didn’t know how to get people to buy it.

But I didn’t have a marketing problem, I had a goal setting problem. When I look back now over the goals I set for myself in 2017, they don’t excite me. They read like something I would write to impress someone else. Like someone else was looking over my shoulder. I had no emotional connection to what I was trying to accomplish, nor a way to know when I had reached my goals.

So this year, I’ve re-written my goals. They’re big with lots of blue sky and a long runway. I really want to reach them and this has made it a hell of a lot easier to know what I need to do this year, this month, this week and today.