20 Ways To Improve Your Marketing Offering

The stronger your offering, the less selling is needed…

George Kao
Apr 11, 2014 · 6 min read


Let’s say you found a cure to cancer — one that had no negative side effects, was proven to work, and was easy to take. Word-of-mouth will spread so quickly you would never need to “sell” it.

What follows are 20 factors that, if strengthened in your “offering” of your service, would lessen your need to promote…and yet people would be happy to buy.

Look down this list. See which one resonates with you. Use it to strengthen your offer!

  1. Can your offer be described as an alternative to what the audience is already used to paying for? The more your offer is such an alternative, the less you’ll have educate them about why it’s valuable. A great article about this: Is your market actually big? Or is it a fake market?
    What similar service is already selling well in the market, and how is yours better suited for your ideal audience?
    Example: You are a relationship coach who offers a faster alternative to traditional psychotherapy, specifically for women who seek healthier relationships after a divorce. So you position your program as a “better” alternative — not better than all psychotherapy — but better suited for that type of woman going through that type of situation. It’s an alternative to what she is already paying for or would have paid for. Because she already values psychotherapy, its alternative — your service — is in a context she understands and can quickly accept.
  2. Usefulness — your service is true to what your ideal clients need and want… it solves an issue that “keeps them up at night.” It’s not only something you are passionate about, it’s something that they say is useful to them. Discover this by doing more niche interviews.
  3. Urgency—the more urgent the problem, the more people are likely to pay for it.
  4. Diagnosis—The better you understand them and their problem, the more you can really diagnose them. The more you can accurately diagnose them, the more they will trust you. Therefore: grow your ability to describe their pain, their problem, their need, such that they would say, “You really know what I’m going through!”
  5. Quickness of results—it’s about efficiency and effectiveness, not hype or unhealthy shortcuts. But the sooner a client can experience transformation, the more they will spread the word about you.
  6. Personalization—something like an e-book or webinar has the lowest personalization because the same thing is being given to lots of people. One-to-one Counseling/Coaching/Consulting on the other hand has high personalization as one of its strengths.
  7. Delivery speed—What benefit can you give them right after they buy, so they can begin to be comforted, helped?
  8. Enrollment Ease—is your website easy to read, delightful to look at, or overwhelming and cluttered? Are your services easy to find? Is it obvious where to sign up? Does the technology meet people where they’re at?
  9. Your SSPP StoryStruggle, Solution, Proof, Passion. More here.
  10. Branding—memorable brand name and tagline, values, style, communicated through text, graphics, audio, video, specifically resonating with your ideal audience.
  11. Entertainment value—graphic design, audio, video, humor.
  12. Service first, payment later—Be sure to be clear with them in advance what the payments are and when they’re due… then simply start delivering the service, and remind them about the payment when it’s time. Give value before expecting value.
  13. Includes bite-sized pieces so people can quickly understand the benefits of your service. Examples: a virtual intuitive who does “readings” can offer email mini-readings. A life coach can offer 1 curated piece of content delivered to the client once per week.
  14. Placement and visibility—where is your type of service already being mentioned, or bought? Examples: as a bonus to someone else’s program, service, or book. In a directory of similar services (but beware of paid directories unless they have a ROI guarantee such as Noomii’s). Being featured in front of an audience (e.g. through a webinar) who has already been educated about similar things. Where are people asking for recommendations of services like yours?
  15. Authentic, Real-World Limits—rather than something that is just made up to strike fear or greed into the audience. Example, “You are being invited to apply before I send the invitation to my audience on March 17; There are only 20 spots available because I believe in serving my clients thoughtfully. In terms of scheduling, I’d like to start the next group of clients on April 7 so I am offering a discount for people who sign up by April 3rd.”
  16. Visible First Steps—can you include within your marketing materials any examples of people who have taken the first few steps of the process with you? How did it go for them? This gives the audience confidence that it’s a great idea to get stated with you. Another way: in your free content, can you help your audience successfully take their first few steps? (I go even further: I prefer to give my audience as much content as they can reasonably implement without needing my personal support.)
  17. Clarity & specificity on whom it’s for — “That’s exactly me!” —or “I know someone exactly like that!” If you can describe your services in this way, you become easily referrable. Example: “My life coach specializes in working with women who are going through a divorce, and I know you’re having a tough time with the divorce with Tom right now. You should give her a call.” Not referrable: “You should call my life coach, she’s great.” Most referrals occur simply because a friend has a specific challenge and the client proactively recommends you as a solution.
  18. Client Reviews—which is to ask your clients to honestly review your service, so those who are considering your service can know whether it’s the best fit for them. “What would you say to someone who is considering my service?” My own client examples here.
  19. Case studies—can you offer stories demonstrating in what cases your service works well? Try to offer at least 3 stories in your marketing. As you start tracking such stories, you’ll start to notice the top problems you most effectively solve for clients, and the solutions you bring that make the greatest difference for them. And specifically, for whom. If you focus your marketing on talking about these problems, explaining these solutions, and for whom your service is best, your marketing becomes resonant!
  20. Statistics of Results—if possible, offer numbers related to your service, such as # of people you’ve served; satisfaction rates; and any measurable thing your clients transformed in, as a result of working with you.

That’s a big list! Just start by getting good at one thing.

Imagine a scale…

On one side is the 20 Factors and how deeply you’ve implemented them in your service offerings.

On the other side is the Price of your offerings.

The more you’ve implemented the factors, the higher your Price can be.

The less you’ve implemented the factors, the lower your price needs to be.

Creative-commons image from flickr

The more your scale tips toward The 20 Factors, the more people will spread the word and the less selling is needed!

Keep boosting your offerings using the list above. One day your offer will be so strong that you won’t have to do any more promotion—all new business will come via word of mouth.

George Kao is a marketing & business coach who values authenticity, service, and personal growth. He has been featured on hundreds of webinars, telesummits, and podcasts. He now gives away all his training for free. To get his best content in a single monthly email, subscribe for free at www.georgekao.com/email

This blog post is freely licensed with a CC Attribution 4.0 License.

Share it forward, improve upon it if you’d like, make the world a better place!

George Kao

Written by

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com

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