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Has anyone seen the new Facebook adverts? Facebook has decided to remove business posts from people’s newsfeeds “in order to improve the customer experience” which it will but it will also force businesses to pay for advertising as they have to with other platforms like google and bing.

I imagine there will be panic as the number of likes and views drops like a stone since users will need to click through to visit an advertisers site. However, they will at least be motivated viewers who are more likely to actually buy from you.

REMEMBER; it’s not the number of friends or likes that is important, it’s the amount of money they are paying you. In fact it’s actually the amount of profit you are making from them.

Friends and likes are for your personal page not your business one. They boost the ego but not necessarily the bank balance.

And on that note back to the adverts themselves (Facebook’s own not yours). They depict a bunch of people working all hours to cut hair, make burgers etc, and the advert appears to promise more clients and customers to help them.

Why? If you are rushed off your feet already why would you ever want more of the same? Clearly none of these people have looked at their numbers. If they had they would realise that the profit per customer is so small they need oodles of them, and to spend most of their waking lives working. They don’t have businesses, they have jobs, and worse the boss is a slave driver. Even worse still they can’t tell them to stick it because they ARE the boss. It’s like a horror movie where they have created their own monster and it’s turned on them.

If this is you then you need to stop and take a deep breath. The problem isn’t lack of quantity, it’s lack of quality. What you need aren’t MORE clients, what you need are BETTER ones. Or sometimes the same ones but better trained.

What you need to do is increase your prices. And before you say “my customers will leave” let me say that they won’t. Or if they do GOOD. You aren’t making a decent living from them anyway.

Generally speaking, nothing is commoditised (that is, exactly the same) so there is always room for a better quality product or service. And for that (most) people will pay more.

Step one: Put your prices up a bit. A 10% increase in price equals a 37% increase in profits for an average business. Plus you get to work 10% less.

Step two: Identify your best customers, work out what they have in common and where they hang out (figuratively speaking) then market yourself to them focusing on what they want from you.

Step three: Position yourself as the go to person in your business segment (or niche). Across the pond they have a saying “riches in niches” It doesn’t rhyme over here because we speak English properly but it’s still true. You DON’T need anyone’s permission to do this. I’ve seen people use the slogan “You’ve tried the rest now try the best” and they were a joke but at least they had balls (although I bet the business went south fairly quickly).

You DO need to give a service that is worthy of being described as the best but being in a small niche makes that more likely. An example I came across recently as an architect who charged 5 times (yes five) what his competitor did but scooped the work anyway for two reasons:

First his bill was only a small part of the overall cost but mainly because his expertise delivered the planning permission on a site which gave a £400,000  profit to the developer. The architect’s bill was trivial compared to the value that the client received.

So have a great weekend

Paul