This post is part of the Brilliant Marketing Tricks series over at Heartmade Blog

What I’m about to share is not a trick. It’s a smart way to turn ambiguous problems into a successful business model.

Offering services – whether it’s web design, virtual assistance, social media marketing, coaching, or teaching – and developing ecourses is a fantastic way to grow a business or add another layer to a successful one. But just slapping up services on your website won’t bring the clients in.

In order to sell teaching or services and build a thriving business you need two things: a need & a magnifying lens.

You can’t teach something people don’t want to learn. Well, you can, but it would be a lot like playing school with a classroom full of teddy bears and Barbie dolls. And if you try to teach something without a unique perspective (that’s where the magnifying lens comes in), you’re just trying to sell Googling services and people don’t pay for Google.

In the end, marketing is all about matching the right people with the right product to fulfill their need. So the key to crafting a service that sells is to find a need, fill it, and then find a way to tip off the right people to your solution.

Identifying Needs

When we consider what we want to sell, we think of just that: what WE want. Luckily, we’re not buying our services – there’s no profit in that.

Instead, when considering your services package or your newest ecourse, it’s of utmost importance that you continually look to your potential customer, your existing audience, as the source for the product you’re designing.

  • What problem needs solving?
  • What itch needs scratching?
  • What are they already buying?
  • Why doesn’t it work?
  • What constraints do they have?

Looking through your brainstorming, you’ll no doubt see problems you have no interest in solving. Others will seem too hard. Still more will seem too easy.

Pick one that you have a strong reaction to.

Consider how you could mold and shape this need. Consider how you already deal with it on a day to day basis. Consider what parts of the problem are easy and what parts are difficult.

Most importantly, consider the experience your audience has around this need. Is it frustrating? Terrifying? Does it leave them feeling stupid? Does it just take too much time?

Of course, you can’t teach something you’re no good at. And you don’t want to teach something you’re not interested in. But the genesis of the idea comes from the customer. Even if the need you identify isn’t particularly interesting to you, there are ways of bending it to your will.

Using Your Magnifying Lens

Danielle LaPorte teaches that your business should be centered around what comes easily to you. I agree. We often shy away from what is easy because other people could do it too, our customers could do it for themselves, or people would never pay a premium for it.


If you build your skills around what comes easily to you, you’re virtually guaranteed a great marketing strategy.

And here’s where you need to whip out the magnifying lens.

What comes easily to you is not quite enough around which to build a business or a brand. Take your ease, your shining personality, your unique perspective and look at them through your magnifying glass.

  • What details really stand out?
  • What have you not noticed before?
  • What looks really funny all blown up?

Now, how can you use the magnifying lens to turn what is easy to you into what is marketable? Use what stands out.

For instance, don’t stop at saying you have a passion for helping people. Sure, I have a passion for helping people too. I call mine “Brainstorming” and I let everyone know that I think big. I’m not afraid of the big ideas that you need to move your business forward. I won’t just “help you,” I’ll shift your thinking. I’ll take your small thinking and bust right on through it.

You know you have small thinking. I have big thinking. We work well together. Simple as that – that’s marketing at it’s best. Matching needs with the product or service that fits it BEST.

Brainstorming & big thinking are the details you see when you look at my business with a magnifying lens. “Helping people” just kinda blends in. Build your service or ecourse around the unique details, the thing you can’t get anywhere else, your sense of humor, your affinity for the magical arts, or passion for Pokemon. Just don’t make it boring.

If your brand, your service, or your ecourse – let alone you – is indistinguishable from the crowd, you have nothing to market. All you can do is hope something picks you instead of the 500 other options out there.

If you have a service built around your passion for Pokemon, I guarantee you’re going to find the right people.

If under the magnifying lens, your unique perspective is like a red ant in an army of black ants, the people who are looking for you will spot you right away. The people who need to find a red ant for their red ant colony will scoop you up and take you home.

Marketing a service or ecourse is as simple as finding a need, creating a solution, and using your unique perspective to find the right people for the product. While the idea for your service may start with your customers’ need, it’s sold on the unique details you have to offer. It spreads because of the manner in which you translate your own passion into the mundane. Your customers share it because they identify with the details, not so much with the problem you’re helping them solve.

Consider how you can help your customers today. Then grab your magnifying glass and look for your unique solution.

{ image by jonny2love }