Hey there fabulous health professionals,
I know you’ve got an idea brewing. I can feel it! Maybe you’ve been thinking lately about creating a new online course, maybe you’re playing with the idea of running some in-the-room-training or maybe you’ve got a physical product you’re just itching to create for your people.
There’s never a shortage of ideas. Ideas are usually the easy part!
But after the idea comes the execution. Ideas are just fun little daydreams until we decide to do something about them. A lot of people don’t even get this far.
But….. there’s something else I have to break to you, too.
Even the most perfectly executed idea is bound to flop unless you know you’re building something your people want and will buy.
You see, we’ve dug ourselves into a bit of a hole as health professionals.
We are experts in our field – experts in parenting, experts in mental health, experts in relationships, experts in speech pathology, experts in…. well, you name it.
So what does this mean?
It means that we are really good at diagnosing problems and identifying what our people NEED. This works perfectly fine inside our practices but it will not work for you when it comes to creating something that people have to WANT and DESIRE before they purchase.
People don’t buy what you think they need. They buy what they WANT.
Here’s an example:
In my practice, Purple Co, we’ve built a fatigue management program based on cognitive behavioural principles. We built this offering because we know, as health professionals, that what people NEED is a way to take back control of their energy and fatigue where conventional treatment has failed them.
But this is not what people want. We’ve found that what most of our clients want is a cure, they want treatment that gets rid of their symptoms, and they want answers. That’s why so many of our clients have spent up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on quirky treatments and therapies – because these treatments promise (but almost always never deliver) something that our clients so desperately want: certainty, control, answers and relief.
So when we talk about our program, we don’t talk about why cognitive behavioural principles are so useful, or why self-management and pacing is so sexy (AKA – needs)…. no. We talk about the fact that our program offers our clients something that they haven’t found anywhere else yet: control and the chance to start living life now instead of hoping for a cure. We offer people a chance to get their lives and their independence back (AKA – wants).
You MUST make this distinction as you start thinking about your new offering. Yes – you’ve identified a need. Yes – you know that what you have will help people. But do you know whether anyone will want it?
And how can you start talking about, creating and designing your new offering to create demand and desire for what you’ve got?
You need to validate. Put aside need for a moment. Let’s talk about what your people want.
So how do you figure out what your people want?
- Think back to conversations you’ve had with your ideal and current clients (NOT YOUR COLLEAGUES!!). What do their words and actions tell you about what they want and where they are willing to invest their time, money and energy?
- Go back and look at your posts on social media and your blog over the past 6 months. Which ones have received the most engagement or response? What pattern emerges?
- What question do you get asked all the time?
- And… what don’t you get asked? (more on that below)
Thinking about what people don’t ask you:
I want to share another example of what happens when you try to build something that people need but don’t necessarily want.
The wonderful Agnes Wainman has created a Facebook group called Blissful Practice (seriously, check it out if you haven’t already). Agnes invited me to host an “Ask Me Anything” about the topic of sales for clinicians in private practice.
Now I KNOW that many clinicians need help with executing their sales and getting clients in the door.
But when the AMA opened… nobody cared about sales. The clinicians were asking me about something very different: mindset and how to get out of your own way.
This is such valuable information for me as I continue to hone my message and my offering. I want to build something that people want, first and foremost. And so do you.
If no one is asking about what you’re creating, if you’re the only one who is excited by it, if no one is demonstrating buying behaviour and a genuine interest in what you’re making… it’s time to pivot. Go back to wants.
And in order to do this…
You need to know your ideal client inside and out and better than they know themselves. This takes work and time and many, many conversations, which is something we explore in depth inside Accelerate Your Practice.
Creating a new course or product is exciting and fun.
Validating it and learning about your people… not so much.
But without it… prepare for crickets when you throw open the gates on your shiny new thing.
Let me know in the comments below – what do your people WANT and how is that different to what you know they NEED?
I’m rooting for you.
Here’s to your success,