It’s great to have you back as an active subscriber again – you’ll find your mystery gift right here on this page – How To Create Your Signature Service and Stand Out In A Crowded Market. This is an invaluable tool that to help you show your value and set yourself apart from your competitors. This is normally only available as part of the 7 Step Client Attraction Plan and the Prosperous Photographer Blueprint (it’s one of 6 methods I teach in the Blueprint), but today I delighted to be sharing it with you as a thank you. This tool has helped many of my clients differentiate themselves and show why they are worth every penny of their fee, even if they do charge more than many of their competitors, enabling to book more clients with more ease and less frustration, so let’s begin…
Create Your Signature Service & Stand Out In A Crowded Market
What is a Signature Service?
Your Signature Service is how you define your product or service in a way that is unique so that you can stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive advantage.
We use something called the Client Transformation Framework, which shows how you deliver the result your clients are looking for in a unique way, giving you significant competitive advantages and market distinction.
This is important because not only do you demonstrate your value, your prospects will no longer be comparing you with all the other photographers out there – instead of comparing apples to apples, your prospects will now be comparing apples to oranges, and you will go from commodity to market of one. And that gives you price elasticity in your fees.
Again this is something that it is very rare to see photographers do, so in this module, I am are going to guide you through creating your Signature Service so that you can gain market distinction and remove yourself from the saturated market of ‘me too” photographers.
Once you have created your Signature Service you can use it on your website and in your marketing to show how you offer more value than other photographers and that you do more than just take a few photographs!
First of all, we are going to look at how you position yourself in the market. Now if you have researched your market and Perfect Client, this should be relatively easy for you because once you know your Perfect Client, their goals, frustrations, desires you will then be able to package your products and services in a way which will instantly boost the perceived value of your services, and make you unique.
To do this, we create your Signature Service.
Why Create A Signature Service
So now, let’s take a look at why it is important to create a Signature Service and how it will transform your business.
A Signature Service is a way of framing what you do in your business, the service and products that you offer in a way that is irresistible to your prospects. Now that you’ve created your Perfect Client, you know your client’s exact desired results, frustrations and what they need help with. This allows you to create an offer that is EXACTLY what they have been looking for.
When you do that, you will automatically get more recommendations and referrals because you will become known as the person that helps X person do/get X thing. You focus on a particular type of person that is experiencing a SPECIFIC type of problem or has a SPECIFIC desire.
Now we are going to take a look at the difference between features/benefits and results/stories and why one is so much more powerful than the other.
Results and Stories
Traditional marketing advice tells us that we should talk in terms of features and benefits but I am going to show you how to use results and stories instead because this is ten times more powerful.
But before I do that, let’s get clear on what I mean by features and benefits. Let’s use the iPod as an example.
A feature of the iPod is that it is small, 4.8 x 2.3 x 0.24 inches and that it has a 40GB hard disk. The benefit of this, and I am sure that you will all recognise this, is “10,000 songs in your pocket”.
Now I am sure that you will agree that the benefit is more compelling than the feature, but we can take this further with results and stories. So let’s take a look at what I mean by results and stories.
Results are the actual change in life that the client receives from your product. In the case of an iPod, it is that you can carry your music around with you so that you can listen to it at any time.
Other examples of results include drop a dress size and memories of your wedding day.
Results are better than benefits.
Stories are how the client visualises themselves using and applying that change. So using the example of the iPod again the story could be, enjoy the feeling of freedom as you walk along the beach, feeling the sand between your toes listening to your favourite feel-good songs that lift your spirits.
Or for drop a dress size – wearing her favourite dress and feeling confident on the first date and getting admiring glances from strangers.
For a wedding album, it could be, reliving your special day like it was yesterday as each image takes you back to those cherished moments with memories that are so strong you can almost hear the music and laughter, taste the wedding cake, and feel the heat on that beautiful day so many summers ago.
And one final example for framed portraits: Enjoying an oasis of calm in your busy, packed life as you take a few moments to stop and enjoy the beautiful portraits of your much-loved family together, enjoying the memories of when your children were so much younger and innocent.
The important thing is to make your stories specific to your Perfect Client and target their emotions to create a stronger desire to buy. The story is the reason why someone is buying your product or service; it goes beyond the superficial reason. People want the result you offer to create a specific story in their life.
The more specific you make the results and stories, the more desirable your product or service becomes.
And for the best results, your service needs to be targeted to a specific person, offering a specific result or experience.
Let me give you some examples:
- 28 days to drop a dress size Mum’s challenge.
- Attract your soul mate in 6 simple steps.
- Learn to connect and communicate with your strong willed and out of control teenager in only 28 days.
Remember, your results and stories should be guided by your Perfect Client and the results and stories they want. This is why over time you need to build a detailed and intimate portrait of your Perfect Clients. If you serve different types of client or niches, you can create different Signature Services for each of these.
Creating Your Signature Service
Offering a Signature Service in your photography business will help you build authority and demonstrate your expertise fast.
First of all, you need to understand the beliefs and desires of your prospects. You should know these from your Perfect Client framework.
You need to match the beliefs and desires of your prospects so that your offer is at the sweet spot where their desires meet their beliefs and avoid hype while keeping motivation high.
Let’s take the example of a beauty portrait photographer who specialises in photographing curvy women whose children have grown up and left home.
- You will look 20 years younger, and four dress sizes smaller – although this may be highly desirable your prospects are going to have a low belief.
- Let your true beauty shine through and look and feel amazing – desirable and believable.
You need to know your Perfect Client’s beliefs and motivate them by pushing them slightly out of their comfort zone.
When creating your Signature Service the title of your product or service should only promise to solve your client’s number one biggest problem or fulfil their number one greatest desire.
As you go through the steps of your Service, the features should be appealing to your prospect and not what you think they want. In most cases, people want simplicity in life, less information and step by step guidance, but always refer to your Perfect Client framework to know and understand exactly what it is your customers want. When you know this you can reframe everything you offer to sound more appealing to the desires of our prospects.
Now you understand more about creating a Signature Service, it’s time to show you the exact steps to take.
Signature Service Creation Formula
So now, let’s take a look at the method we use to create your Signature service where you take your clients from point A (where they are) to point B (where they want to be).
The first step is to take your client journey from booking to final product delivery and outline each step or milestone of the journey.
For example, in a portrait photography business this could be:
- The client makes the booking and receives a welcome pack which includes advice for getting ready for the shoot and a questionnaire.
- Pre-shoot consultation (in client’s home, at the studio or via Skype).
- The shoot itself.
- In person viewing/ordering appointment.
- Image preparation and product delivery.
For each of these steps you define:
- The goals of this milestone from the clients perspective.
- The frustrations or concerns your client may be feeling at this point.
- How this step will transform those concerns into achieving the client’s goals or aims.
- Give the step a unique name.
For example, let’s take a look at a family portrait photographer who knows that their Perfect Client is a busy Mum. This photographer does in person viewings/ordering appointments, and this is how they might outline this step in their Signature Service:
1. Goal from clients perspective – easily and quickly choose the best images from your portrait photography and decide how to best present them without struggling to choose between all the options with advice on the best styles and sizes of frames.
2. The frustration from the client’s perspective – worried that there will be too many images that she wants for her limited budget and that it will take ages to choose between them and she doesn’t even know where to start when it comes to choosing the right products for their walls or the best sizes.
3. The transformation – from bewildered and overwhelmed by having to choose between all of the gorgeous images to confident that you have chosen the best images to be beautifully presented and admired in your home so that you can cherish the memories for years to come without taking hours and hours to do this.
4. The unique name – Love Your Images
Once you have completed this for every step of your client journey, you then can give your overall Signature System its name. So a portrait photographer who photographs families at the beach could call this particular offering the Seashore Experience.