FOMO (aka the fear of missing out) is a chronic sense that others might be having opportunities and experiences that you are not participating in. While FOMO is becoming more and more pervasive with social media highlighting everyone’s exciting news, it can also become a costly trigger driven by envy and a desire to keep up with others.
A few years ago I had a SWEET opportunity to participate in an industry event called a “Cage Match.” An influential marketer had invited a few of us movers and shakers to compete with a series of questions and the audience had to vote for the winners. The idea was that whoever won provided a gift that the 100,000 followers would sign up for.
I won my first round…and sure enough I generated an avalanche of new leads (over 1000) and I was ecstatic. I set all of these leads up with a juicy gift – 30 days in my membership program. But right at day 29 I had another avalanche — of cancellations. I realized that those leads were looking for a magic button to make a million dollars and wouldn’t relate to my strategies. Hence they were not my target audience.
So essentially I created a lot of extra work for my team and racked up additional costs for just a few meager $47 sales.
Now at first glance you might not think that’s a bad ROI until you run the numbers and realize that the campaign actually COST me $1,500 after all revenues came in.
There was a vital learning in that experience that I’ve now been able to teach my clients over and over again – a marketing strategy is only profitable if it delivers ideal prospects who can and will buy your offerings.
Well, you would think. But what I’ve noticed is that many entrepreneurs have a deep seated fear of missing out on a valuable opportunity. That fear kicks in and even the smartest business owners will say yes to an opportunity that becomes a complete waste of time.
Here’s four ways that FOMO can be derailing you from achieving your goals and creating a more profitable business:
1) Saying Yes when it should be a No
I think this is the most difficult decision many business leaders make — what opportunities should you accept versus which should you decline. Often you see your influential peers being featured on telesummits, speaking on live stages or even being asked to teach for someone else’s clients and wish it was you. There’s two factors to consider before you seek out those opportunities. First, you have no idea if the ROI is worth it for your peer. Second, just because its a fit for another person doesn’t mean its the right opportunity for you too.
The best way to avoid a FOMO-driven decision is to do a little digging. Find out who the audience is. Are they your ideal clients or not? Then ask questions to uncover what will be required of you so you can determine how to monetize the opportunity. Just because its a high profile business leader involved doesn’t always make it a great opportunity for you. Its a yes if it aligns with your goals and values — and allows you to be in front of your best prospects!Saying yes to something that isn't a great fit is one sign FOMO is running your #smallbusiness. Click To Tweet
2) Marketing to everyone instead of your Ideal Prospect
Just because your service or product CAN help everyone doesn’t mean you should market to everyone. When a client tells me that their prospect is “anyone” I know they are operating out of FOMO. The reality is that “everyone” will not buy your offer. There is a formula that I call the Sweet Spot Prospecting System and when you know who your best client is and tailor your marketing to that person, your marketing efforts will drive better leads, which translates to more sales, which of course can lead to higher profits.
3) Enrolling the Iffy Clients
Similar to the marketing to everyone, when a service provider enrolls the “iffy” clients, they often end up with nightmares down the road. An “iffy” client is someone who is showing you their red flags even in the sales conversation, but you enroll them anyway because you need the money. FOMO has reared its ugly head again, this time your fear of missing out on money takes over and you sacrifice your standards or values in order to capture this low hanging fruit.
99% of the time, this client becomes a nagging, always unhappy, and often unrealistically demanding force in your business. You’ll most likely end up resenting this client. Some small business owners end up sabotaging these relationships along the way. Or, out of desperation for control over your time, firing the client during highly stressful times. Save yourself the headache and just say no. Trust that there is an abundance of quality clients for you and don’t sacrifice your sanity for the “iffy clients.”
4) Creating Too Many Offerings Instead of Optimizing your Best
Entrepreneurs by nature are creative beings. As you grow your business you’ll often find that your best clients have needs that you can solve – if you just create a new offering. As tempting as this is, its also another form of FOMO as the business owner thinks, “If I don’t create this offer my client will go somewhere else.” There’s something to be said for sticking to your unique positioning and core offers.
First, every time you create something new, you also have to create the branding, messaging, marketing plan and sale system to turn it into a profitable offer. Then, you will have to plug it into your marketing plan and dedicate time to the offer (otherwise it just sits on your shelf collecting dust.) This process is time consuming — and takes you away from selling other offerings.
I’m a huge fan of partnering with others to fulfill other needs in your pipeline instead of creating tons of offers that you have to manage. When you stick to your core 3 – 5 offerings, you can optimize your marketing, sales and delivery so that you increase profits — instead of stealing profits to create new offerings.
This may be an entirely new way of thinking, or it may reinforce what you already know — profits can quickly improve by having the discipline to stay focused on your high payoff activities.
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