A lot of people talk about a branded process, but many aren’t quite sure what that means. In a branded process, you package what you do into a series of clear steps, making it easy to explain to other people and easy for them to remember. When you define that process or those steps with a unique name, then it becomes yours and yours alone. It is what distinguishes you from your competitors. Most branded processes are some type of system, program, solution or formula. This is because people get the feeling from them that whatever issue they must solve, that the system, program, solution or formula will solve it for them.
Creating a Branded Process
We talk with a lot of people who start out saying they don’t really have a process, that each client they work with is unique needs to address each of them in a different way and that’s really the value that I bring. The reality is that everybody has some type of underlying process that they use with every single one of their clients. They may come to different conclusions; clearly each client needs something slightly different, but the process that you use to engage with those clients to determine what their underlying issue is and then address that issue is a process that you use repeatedly with all of your clients. So, even when they’re unique, there are some common elements underlying what you do.
In a sense, that’s what makes each of us unique in our coaching. It’s that we have our own approach, our own unique process that we use to work with our clients. Maybe it’s that you go through the same steps every time, maybe it’s that you start out with an assessment or you start out with them talking about their company or what their issues are or you start out by having them answer some questions for you, that’s the beginning of your unique process. We’ve worked with clients in fields as diverse as social media marketing, psychology, voice coaching and even relaxation coaches and they each have their unique process that they use with every single client. Sometimes they don’t notice that right away, but as we delve deeper with them, it turns out that they do have that process that they follow with all their clients. Through this process, they discover that their uniqueness is in their process, not in dealing with each client in a unique way.
One-on-One Coaching is the Foundation
When we’re talking to people about whether or not they’re ready to create a product or where they are in their business development, it’s really important for people to have done one-on-one coaching or be familiar with their process because then, they can look at it and they can see what is unique to them and what are they doing repeatedly. So often people have developed products and then, they don’t sell. Experts have a lot of great ideas but until you really understand what your gift is, it’s difficult to create products that you can monetize.
It’s key that you’ve done some one-on-one or even small group coaching with real clients. There are several reasons for that. First, you want to know what sells. The only way you can know that is by working with clients and seeing what works for them, what benefits they’ve gotten and what transformations they’ve gone through because of what you do. You may think you know the benefits and potential transformational results of your products and processes, but you may find that clients get a completely different transformation. Often, it’s one that’s more important than the one you originally set out to give them. That’s important knowledge, that’s important enough.
Second, until you work with real clients, you don’t really know what your process is. You provide your first client with what you think the process ought to be but what you’ll find is that as you start to work through it with them, there are parts that they’re going to understand very quickly and parts of it that are more difficult to understand. That’s where you really are flushing out your process, the real process that really works for people. Again, it’s important that you do that one-on-one coaching and you really find out who your ideal clients are and what transformation they get from working with you and then really identify what your process is.
Experts and Speed Thinking
When we work with experts, they often do something we call speed thinking. Because the expert understands so much about their area of expertise and their process, them may start on step twelve, skipping the first eleven steps because they are “obvious.” These steps may be obvious to them as the expert, but what they may not realize is that their client is starting back on step two or three. So, it’s important that you start out working with clients and really start to hone in on what your process actually is. You need to look for areas the clients have difficulty understanding and ask yourself, “What additional information do I need to give them here? Am I “speed thinking” through these steps?”
Branded Process as a Framework
Your branded process is the framework on which you’re going to hang all of your products, programs and services. If you do that, then everything you offer will be consistent. And, once you have your process in place, there’s really no limit to the ways you can package it up and offer it in different media, at different price points, and with different levels of intimacy with you. You can create products, programs and services that appeal to, and serve the needs of, almost every ideal client. Having your own branded process will enable you to grow your business in incredible ways.