Wouldn’t you love to get a call from Oprah? Who wouldn’t want to have their business, book or product out in front of millions of people—around the world? Some of you’s love to have your own television or radio program, regularly reaching thousands and thousands of people. There’s nothing wrong with these dreams, but the real question is, HOW is your business serving the audience and clients that it already has?
If you’re not working your ass off to enrich, enhance or add value to the lives of the 100 or 1000 people in your community, then you don’t need a larger audience.
Successful people tend to rise to greater prominence because they are always asking, “What does my audience need help with?” or “What do my people want to experience?” Then they create products and services to meet their people’s needs or desires. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an entrepreneur such as Spanx founder, Sara Blakely; spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, or a rap artist of the caliber of a Jay-Z, most people are “discovered” by the mainstream media after they’ve created innovative or transformational “work” that’s garnered them raving fans.
The reality is that most overnight sensations are years in the making. In the vast majority of cases, by the time Oprah’s (Ellen DeGeneres’, The View’s or Charlie Rose’s) producers calls someone, that person has been serving her own audience/community for years. These people’s intentions weren’t to be on a national television program but to use their talents, skills and/or expertise to benefit the lives of other people. Even in the case of artists, they’ve been creating works, which they believe is filling or expressing a human need or desire. Also by the time someone is tapped for the national spotlight they’ve already honed their core message surrounding their work.
Two of the main reasons that many entrepreneurs (and artists) fail is:
They aren’t willing to be crystal clear about what they stand for (Brand) AND;
They aren’t willing to put in the time and energy to find and serve the people who already care about what they’re offering. (Marketing)
One idea that’s been spreading among entrepreneurs is creating “profits through service.” It’s a very different message than the conventional business idea that you win by “crushing your competition.” In comparison, the notion of profits through service is that you can “get rich” by making a difference in people’s lives. It’s premised on the idea that with so many available options, people will choose to work with businesses that consistently demonstrate that they are concerned about their customers.
In 2007 Bob Burg may have started the trend with his book The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, which discusses creating value for customers. A few years later in 2011, Gary Vuynerchak published Thank You Economy, which focused on how companies “win” by becoming more customer-centric. Recently on Super Soul Sunday, Oprah interviewed multi-millionaire business mentor, Marie Forleo and author and spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein. These women built highly profitable businesses with the chief intention to help other women. So, whether your motivation is practical or spiritual, it makes sense to put your customers first.
Putting the customer first doesn’t mean contorting yourself, your message or your methods to find customers. Instead, entrepreneurs can tailor their businesses to appeal to a select portion of the market, instead of the whole. This means that you can create a profitable business by connecting your product or service with the people who resonate with your particular perspective and vibe.
Here are three ways to be of service:
Solve a problem for a specific group of people
Connect people to one another
Create something that inspires, evokes people’s emotions or provokes them to critical thinking
You then can decide the way(s) that you want to deliver your product or service. Among the numerous choices include:
Online or physical store; Coaching; Consulting; Teaching classes
Creating information products
In our celebrity culture, everyone wants to be famous. However creating loyal fans is the best way to catapult your profits and your public exposure. To quote entrepreneur Dusti Arab, “Fame is the result of being remarkable, original, and consistent.”