In his new book, Seth Godin talks about the lock and the key. The lock is your ideal client, and the key is your offer – the promise you are making to those people.
Of course, the ideal way to start a business is to identify the locks you want, then build a key to fit, but most of us don’t do that – we make our key, then run around trying as many locks as we can to see if we can find a match.
That’s a terrible way to build a business – looking for ‘anyone’ and ‘everyone’ that might conceivably be interested in what we offer, and as a result finding that the only thing we can compete on is price.
The good news though, is that even if you haven’t thought about which locks you really want, you can use the key you’ve already made to reverse engineer what they look like, so you can systematically help them to find you.
Because people don’t really buy what you do, they buy the feeling you give them through your unique way of doing it.