Learning to build offers that reliably facilitate results is a journey. And it’s one that all business owners—regardless of expertise, experience, or embodiment—need to intentionally choose to go on.

There were many times early on in my business where I had this somewhat unexplainable anxiety about bringing clients into my work. People I looked up to would write it off as imposter syndrome or tell me that I needed to work on my mindset, and yes, it’s true, part of it was imposter syndrome and mindset issues. But to say that that was all it was was not only doing a disservice to me—because now I had to “fix myself” when the reality was, my mindset wasn’t the true ‘issue’—it was also doing a disservice to my clients, to my community, and for those of you who have been around the WholeCo world since the beginning (p.s. thank you), to you.

Being in my 6th year in business now and having worked with over 100+ individual business owners in that time, many of whom experience this same anxiety around bringing clients into their work, I can say with certainty that it’s rarely “just” imposter syndrome causing it. In fact, most of the time the imposter syndrome is a surface-level symptom of the real “problem”—or rather opportunity—and when these business owners dive into the opportunity that this anxiety around bringing clients into their work, not only does the vast majority of that imposter syndrome ‘magically’ wash away, but they can actually begin to compile pieces of proof to show that lingering imposter syndrome that they do actually know what they’re doing and they are actually capable of facilitating reliable results with or for their clients.

It’s amazing how much easier it is to bring clients into your work after this 😉

If it’s not—or not only—imposter syndrome, what is it?

I have a question for you: Do you actually know how to reliably facilitate results for or with your clients?

Like, in plain speak/I don’t need your framework, could you explain to someone exactly what creates the conditions within which your Right Fit clients can and do reliably experience the result of your work?

Do you know what the exact steps of the journey are for your client to go from where they are to where they want to be? (Yes, you can know this information even if your work is highly nuanced and/or individualized.)

Do you know exactly what qualities and characteristics to look for in potential clients to ascertain whether they’ll succeed in or with your work, and do you have clear, enforceable boundaries around who you will and won’t accept into your work based on those qualities and characteristics?

I don’t ask these questions to send you into a shame spiral—though I honor and recognize that these questions can feel confronting, and whatever your natural physiological response is to them is allowed and normal—but rather to share what I hope will feel somewhat relieving: the honest answer for most people in business is no. (In transparency, my answer is mostly—I still have room to grow here—and I literally teach this stuff.)

I ask these admittedly confronting questions because when you can answer those questions honestly today, even only to yourself, that is the precise moment where you now open yourself to the opportunity of doing the work that will support you in being able to answer these (and many more) questions with confident “yes’s”—or, more likely, “mostly’s“—and therefore that much more confidently bring Right Fit clients into your right-for-them work.

We go into “imposter syndrome” around bringing clients into our work because our brains, which are very good at pattern recognition and finding problems or gaps, recognize that we have an opportunity to learn how to build offers that reliably facilitate results for or with our Right Fit clients. Which means that this “unexplainable anxiety” around bringing clients into our work can be solved, not really with more mindset or somatic stuff (though that can be helpful here too), but with learning the skill that is building offers that deliver on what they say they will, create the conditions within which our Right Fit clients can and do succeed, and reliably facilitate the intended outcome, transformation, or result.

I have no doubt that you are great at your work. I have no doubt that you have a bunch of relevant experience and very legitimate expertise (whether or not you have a piece of paper that says so). I have no doubt that you care deeply about seeing your clients succeed.

I also know, from personal experience as well as working with my clients, that most business owners have never been taught how to build offers that create the conditions within which their Right Fit clients can and do reliably succeed. Even more importantly, I know that you absolutely, 100% have the capacity to do just that. You simply need to learn how to. And that is what I want to invite you into today.

Creating the conditions for reliable client success

Creating the conditions for reliable client success requires a holistic view at your entire business. It’s not only about how you are serving/delivering—though 100% that too—it’s also about how you are talking about and selling your work. For example, if I’m a website designer and I say that I can turn your website into “a client generating machine,” then I’m setting both you and I up for failure because that’s not actually something that any website designer can actually deliver on. They’d have to also drive traffic to your website (and the right traffic), write the copy, design your sales process, etc. in addition to designing the website that you’ve hired them to design. I don’t care how much sales psychology and UX experience they bring into their design, as a website designer staying in their lane and doing the work they are best at, they cannot make your website a client generating machine.

Not only that, but it also matters who you’re bringing into your work. To continue the website designer example, you don’t really want to bring someone into your work who is changing their offers every other week, because that would mean that their needs for the website—and therefore your scope of work—are going to constantly change, too. You want to bring true Right Fit clients into your work who are actually best positioned to succeed in order to see or facilitate reliable results for or with your clients.

For our purposes here, we’re not going to look at your audience or messaging—though we cover both in addition to offer-building inside our course, The Aligned Niche™—instead we’re going to keep our focus on your offers and how you can set them up to reliably facilitate the intended result/s of your work. Which all starts with one thing: the Proprietary Process.

What is a Proprietary Process?

The Proprietary Process is one of our five Offer foundations. It technically comes after Offer Alignment, but we’re going to assume today that you have already determined that you do actually desire to sell and deliver the offer in question.

(p.s. we cover all 5 of the Offer Foundations in our free in-depth guide, Powerful Offers that Transform.)

The Proprietary Process’s main job is to answer the question: if your client was to get or create the intended result or transformation of this offer, independent of your work, what steps would they need to take to do so?

To answer that question, you need to know three things:

  1. Where your Right Fit client (for this offer) is now
  2. Where they want to be
  3. What steps they need to take to go from where they are to where they want to be

I’ll share more on each of those components of a Proprietary Process in just a moment, but first, a note of nuance. Sometimes when I’ve taught on the Proprietary Process, people don’t resonate with the usage of the word “proprietary.” If that’s you, that’s totally ok: you can simply think of this as the journey that, from your experience and expertise, you know that your Right Fit client would need to take in order to get their intended result or transformation—and use whatever language feels right for you. The reason I use the word “proprietary” here is because the steps that you see that your Right Fit client would need to take are naturally going to be different than what a competitor or someone who does similar work to you would see. For example, if we have two different business owners who support their clients to find joy in their life, one might see that the steps need to include “getting in touch with your intuition” while another might see that the steps need to include “understanding your personality and strengths.” Both valid answers and both will work for different people—and this is why the Audience element comes before Offers in the Sustainable Success System™ (below)—yet entirely different approaches to finding joy in your day-to-day life. Both “proprietary.”

If you want to build offers that reliably facilitate results, you’ll create a different Proprietary Process for all of your offers. In fact, you’ll need to build all 5 of the Offer foundations for each of your offers in addition to identifying the Right Fit audience and crafting transparent and magnetic messaging.

The #1 thing that all Proprietary Processes have in common

If you’ll notice in our guiding question for the Proprietary Process—“if your client was to get or create the intended result or transformation of this offer, independent of your work, what steps would they need to take to do so?”—we specifically are asking about their journey independent of your work. Yes, I know we are designing this for your offer, but we need to know what steps they, themselves need to take for several reasons.

One is simply that when we know these steps, we can then decide exactly how to structure your offer and what systems of support to include so that your Right Fit clients can reliably take these steps. Deciding the Offer Structure and Offer Inclusions—the next two Offer foundations—based off of the Proprietary Process is how you build offers that essentially catalyze them on this journey of transformation and help them take those steps with more expediency and/or ease.

The second is that in order to facilitate real, lasting transformations or results with our clients, we have to believe—I might even say, know—that they are capable of succeeding without our help. And that we are simply supports and/or catalysts on their journey, rather than the savior making them succeed. When we believe that our clients cannot succeed without us, we effectively put ourselves into the savior position and then not only attract clients who are looking for that savior (which I think we all can agree is exhausting), but also set ourselves up for failure in the delivery (we quite literally cannot save people no matter how hard we try) as well as set our clients up to not be able to truly succeed. Why? Because anytime one person is reliant on another in order to transform or see a desired result, the most they can experience is a breakthrough or series of breakthroughs; they will not be able to sustain those changes on their own (a function of a true transformation), because they have unconsciously tied their ability to succeed to working with you.

Your Proprietary Process needs to be built independent of your work if you want to be able to create offers that can reliably facilitate real, lasting transformation.

Design your Proprietary Process

Designing your Proprietary Process is relatively simple, though we do go into some more detail inside of our course, The Aligned Niche™, to ensure that each component is set up as it needs to be. You basically need to answer three core questions:

  1. Where is your Right Fit client (for this offer) right now?
  2. Where do they want to be?
  3. What steps do they need to take to go from where they are to where they want to be?

Remember that you are designing a Proprietary Process for each individual offer. This is not a “signature framework” that defines all of your work (though you will likely come to evolve at least one of your Proprietary Processes into a signature framework, later down the line in your business).

Here’s what our Proprietary Process looks like for our course, The Aligned Niche™.

  1. FROM: “I need to be able to clearly explain who I help and how so that I can showcase what actually makes us unique in the world and use THAT in our marketing.”
  2. TO: “I know exactly who I’m selling to, what I’m selling, and how to talk to them in a way that highlights my expertise (‘authority’) and differentiator. I’m ready to start marketing with even more confidence!”
  3. STEPS:
    • Get the basics down. “I am doing X (type of) work for X (broad) people in service of supporting them to X (result).”
    • Decide the audience. “I have already done Ideal Client exercises before, but I still feel like I don’t really know my people. Who is my Right Fit client?”
    • Build one offer. “I have tried to build offers already, but people aren’t buying them. Or if I do get leads for the offers, then I still feel like I have to convince them that it’s worth it. Not to mention, I also feel a bit terrified about bringing clients into my work, because what if I’m not good enough/can’t deliver well?”
    • Learn to talk about it. “Every time I go to talk about my work, I get stuck in my head and then struggle to actually talk about it. Or when I do talk about it, I feel like it isn’t unique enough or positioning me as an authority. Or my audience/prospective clients don’t really seem to get it.”
    • Begin expressing your ideas in marketing.

An important note with Proprietary Processes is that they really only need to “sound good” and/or “make sense” to you. You’ll very rarely be sharing a Proprietary Process publicly (like I just did above). That also means that how you structure the Proprietary Process might look a little different, sometimes even for different offers. For example, in the STEPS of the above Proprietary Process for The Aligned Niche™, I shared some quotes of what my Right Fit client might be saying at each step—but that’s actually our only Proprietary Process where I’ve done so 😅 For whatever reason, it just made sense to me with this one! But with the Proprietary Process for our other offers, for the most part I’ll just write a short phrase or a single sentence. As long as you understand your Proprietary Process, you’re able to move on with the Offer-building process and setting up your offers to reliably facilitate the result or transformation you say they will.

“Ok, I have my Proprietary Process. Now what?”

Once you have your Proprietary Process, you can now move on to building out each of the other foundations of your Offers as well as ensuring that you’re using language (messaging!) that attract Right Fit people into your work. Remember: each of these components contribute to your ability to build offers that reliably facilitate the results that you say they will.

Simply by cultivating the skillset of building offers that reliably facilitate results you’ll often discover that A LOT of your imposter syndrome around bringing clients into your work and then actually delivering to them has disappeared, because again: that imposter syndrome is usually only a symptom of the “problem,” and not the actual problem itself. And when you know how to set up offers that reliably facilitate results—and can answer those questions I asked at the beginning of this article with a “mostly”—you’ll find that it is so. much. simpler. to invite clients into your work (aka SELL IT!) because now you can confidently stand behind it, knowing that you have created the conditions within which they can (and do) succed.

We cover exactly how to build offers that reliably facilitate results—as well as the audience + messaging work required to do so holistically—inside of our course, The Aligned Niche™.

The Aligned Niche™ is a step-by-step course where you will learn to clearly express who you help and how so that you can confidently showcase what makes you and your work unique everywhere that you’re marketing and selling your stuff.

With the help of The Aligned Niche™, you will…

  • Come to know the person or people you’re building offers for, talking to in your marketing, and inviting into your work so you can speak directly to them and make sales with more ease.
  • Learn to communicate the real value of your work without having to pull a “differentiator” or “value proposition” out of thin air so you can begin establishing “authority” in an authentic and organic way.
  • Build foundations that allow you to be clear on what you actually need to do to move your business forward, regardless of what people outside of you are saying, so you can confidently build momentum and get less distracted by the shiny objects that fill your social media feed.
  • Feel confident as a business owner who knows what they need to do to continue building their business and expanding their client roster.

Sound like exactly what you need? Great news! We’re running a 4-week LIVE ROUND of The Aligned Niche™ from February 12-March 8, 2024. Register here if you’d like to join us!

Imposter syndrome is a very real thing. And one skillset that we can cultivate as business owners is recognizing when that imposter syndrome is showing up as Resistance—holding us back from doing the things that we know we want and/or need to be doing—and when it is actually showing us a bit of Reality—like the opportunity we have to expand our abilities to build offers that reliably facilitate the results or transformations we say they will.

Join us inside The Aligned Niche™ today to step into that opportunity, especially during our 4-week LIVE ROUND!

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Carly Jo Bell of WholeCo Media - Headshot@2x

hey!

I’m Carly Jo Bell.

(Though you can just call me Carly.)

Carly Jo Bell is a business strategist and mentor, and fonder of Whole Co media. Through her courses and programs, podcast, and one on one coaching, Carly helps pulled-in-every-direction entrepreneurs create a business that brings in as much joy as it does revenue — by cultivating deep self trust, and solid foundations as the first step.

For more from Carly, and to learn about her signature “looking external for inspiration, and internal for answers” approach, join the conversation by signing up for her weekly email series, Carly's Couch.

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