What matters? The 5 questions that helped me focus my professional service brand

Focussing your brand offer on what matters to your clients seems to be the best advice out there for professionals who hope to work with clients who value the services they offer. Easier said than done.

As I set about developing a brand I aimed for a straightforward offer that would be clear on what my services would take care of for my clients I found five questions proved most helpful. My website is an example of the results of working with these questions.

1. Have Conversations

Doing this work can be a lonely exercise and the only voice you are hearing is your own. Inviting others to join the conversation helped me clarify “What matters?”.  Clients shared what mattered to them, experts gave advice and coaches asked tough questions.

A question that you could ask is “What conversations could I have with whom?”

2. Focus on the client

A risk for many professional services businesses is becoming distracted by what we do without being clear about what that takes care of for our clients. The trouble with that is that clients don’t necessarily recognise what you do as valuable.You will know you are getting close when your clients say ”Wow! It’s like you’re in my head”

The question I was hoping to answer is “What challenges do my clients experience and how do they describe them?

3. Be clear about the results

Developing on this theme I found it helpful to be clear about what the results people who work with me could expect and to be able to say this so that it made sense to potential clients. This means describing outcomes with clear indicators that they have been achieved.

The best question I was asked is “How will things be better for clients who work with you?”

4. Knowing what I value

Being clear about what matters to me about the service I offer has been helpful. This is the “Why?” question that gives us and our teams a sense of purpose. For me the answer is that when we are all able to take self-directed action that enables meaningful fulfilled lives for ourselves and others there will be better business, better communities and a better world.

You could ask “How will the world (or the community you are part of) be better off for having the service you offer?”

5. Getting help

It has been great to accept that I am not and don’t have to be the expert at everything about running a professional services business.I continue to be very fortunate to be working with some great coaches and the impressive team at Auxiliary Design Studios.

This sounds like it will cost money but it needn’t. So many resources are available  on the internet including some wonderful on-demand webinars. In addition so many colleagues, clients and people working in field were happy to listen to my ideas and share their thoughts.

It was helpful to ask myself “What don’t I know and who might I ask for help?”

An invitation for clarity

Conversations for Clarity with clients, peers and thinking partners have been extremely helpful in honing my understanding of the challenges that face my clients and the relevance of my offer.

To this end I invite you to participate in a further Conversation for Clarity. This is for you if you would like to:

  • Be clear on the key areas of improvement you would like to see in your business;
  • Understand what possibilities for progress may be available for you and your team;
  • Assess whether Conversations for Action would be of value to you and your team.

A Conversation for Clarity is a two-hour discussion with me and is a free service. To book an appointment or to share your impression of this work contact me at stephen@stephenbeukes.co.za



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