Five steps to the combination code

(Last Updated On: August 22, 2012)

Helping you find your combination code is my mission.  I want you to be successful.

The combination code is a process of finding what makes you different.  Why should people hire you and pay you more money for the work you do?  If you find the right combination, you become the expert who commands a higher fee. There are five basic steps to this process that take a lifetime to master:

1. Identify your core.  What are you really good at? Where is your passion? Unfortunately for many of us, what we really want to do has become a commodity in the digital age.  Anyone can Google it and learn how to do it themselves. Don’t worry about that at this point. The key is that you do something well and have passion for it.  You need that passion to keep you going through the ups and downs.

2. Find your And. Your And is the thing that makes you different. You separate yourself from the competition when you combine your core talent with a creative concept, technology, application from another industry, or a creative solution. Then you are the expert and the field narrows from hundreds or thousands to a handful of direct competitors. When you only have a few direct competitors you don’t have to battle over price to the same degree. Never forget you always have competition because everyone is competing for the customer dollar. You need to earn it.

3. Test. Just because you think you have a great combination doesn’t mean it’s marketable or holds enough value.  Once you believe you have a sound idea, test it on a few clients. Share it with prospects or begin a small campaign using digital marketing techniques and resources to see if it really is a viable option. Tweak it until you know you have proof there is demand for your concept.

4. Your story: Why are you different? You need to develop a memorable story. Why should they hire you? Why are you the expert? Your story should not be focused on price, service, quality, or how long you have been in business.

5. Promote:  In the past, creating a narrow niche combination did not work because there were not enough customers in your town or region. In the Internet era, social media and digital marketing make the world your market.

Combining two things to make something new has a deep creative history.  You can use this concept as an entrepreneur or an employee. The bottom line is to make yourself more valuable to the people who hire you. You must continue to apply all five steps and reexamine what you offer regularly.  It’s a continuous process of improvement and discovery.


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