The Positioning Course
I'm building an online positioning course. The goal is to help you move from a generalist position to focused specialist with minimum risk, maximum speed, and more structure, support, and accountability than my book is able to offer. And with less cost than my Positioning Accelerator Program involves.
- You are buying an under-construction product. The price is $399. The first 2 modules are available now, and I'll be releasing the final 2 modules as they're finished over the next 30 days.
- The course uses a combination of video lessons, assessments, and hands-on work to help you improve your market position.
- This course has two forms of support:
- A Slack group for asynchronous questions
- Short video calls with me (lightning coaching sessions) to troubleshoot specific issues
- This course has lots of structure to help you succeed:
- A single, specific, easy process for moving from generalist to specialist
- Easy procedures for reducing overwhelm and making a good choice about narrowing your focus
- Troubleshooting exercises to help you get unstuck if you get stuck
- An automated, personalized email nag-bot to nag you into making progress if you get distracted, lose momentum, etc.
- Before I'll let you buy the course you'll have to fill out a brief application form (below). I want to make sure this course is right for you, so I'll ask a few questions about your background and goals to make sure it is.
Module 1 Academic
- Results of positioning
- Classical definition
- More useful understanding
- Moving market positions
- What positioning is NOT
Module 1 Practicum
- Why positioning matters, from a practical perspective
Module 2 Academic
- Criteria of a strong market position
- Troubleshooting niche selection
- Positioning statement format options
- Understanding differentiation
- Common market positions & examples
- Developing your positioning statement
Module 2 Practicum
- Create a shortlist of 2 or 3 market verticals you could focus on. If you have 1 clear best choice, skip the next step.
- Stress-test your market vertical options.
- Draft multiple positioning statement options using provided templates.
Module 3 Academic
- Why research?
- Research tools
- Research procedures
- The right questions to ask
- Analyzing and beginning to apply your findings
Module 3 Practicum
- Build a market research outreach list
- Construct email sequence to arrange research interviews
- Conduct 5 or more market research interviews
- Iterate positioning statement based on research findings
Module 4 Academic
- What is the goal of your website?
- Recommended approach for lead generation
- Phased approach to creating website content
- Site creation mistakes
- Copywriting mistakes to avoid
- How to approach copywriting instead
- About proof elements
- Useful CTAs
Module 4 Practicum
- Build out lead-generating website content using a very prescriptive, helpful template
Who is this course ideal for?
If you're a self-employed generalist who is ready to implement the simplest, lowest-risk possible version of narrowing your focus and take the first step to integrate that narrowed focus into your marketing, then this course will help you.
If you want to do deep market research that takes 4 to 6 months to discover a hyper-narrow expensive problem that you can position your business as the solution to, this course is not your bag, but my Positioning Accelerator Program might be. Email me for more info.
Will this course actually... work?
Probably. Ain't no guarantees in the world of marketing, but most people will get a ridiculously good ROI on the price of this course and the time you'll have to invest.
Oh yes... this is not magic fairy dust I sprinkle on your business to increase demand for your services and your rates overnight. But... it works if you work it.
I'll give you proven methods for choosing a strong market position, and I'll help you develop that positioning into a basic website message. With time and followthrough on your part, this will improve your business significantly.
Here are the things that will cause this course experience to not work for you:
- If you don't watch the video lessons, don't do the homework, or generally don't invest your time and effort into the course.
- If you are completely risk-averse. No judgement, but if you're very risk averse this course will push a lot of buttons for you ("what? say no to potential clients!?!?!") and I'd recommend you avoid it.
- If you're brand spanking new to self-employment. I like to see my course students have a year or two of experience working for themselves before they take this course. I can make exceptions, though, if you have a compelling reason why I should. Just email me if you do.
- If you don't believe that by narrowing your focus you can benefit your business. If that's you, just remain on my email list and I'll bring you around to the truth. 😉
Do I need to be a good writer or a creative marketer?
Absolutely not. That's a large part of why I'm doing this course: I believe I can provide you with the right templates, processes, and structure to help you develop an improved market position for your business without you having to be a strong writer or clever marketer. Yes, need to have something of value to offer clients, but that's it.
What's the deal with those lightning coaching sessions?
If you need the support I will legit get on a Zoom video call with you and help you realtime. The sessions are 15 minutes long and there are only 6 of them per week (currently on Wednesdays, 9am to 10:30am Pacific time), so we'll have to keep things focused, but you'll get the same kind of help I charge individuals $300/hr for as a part of this course if you need it.
If you don't need coaching, that's fine too. You can just move through the course at maximum speed on your own. 🙂
What are the technical requirements to participate?
You'll need the same stuff you'd need for a Skype video call: computer, webcam, headphones with microphone (like Apple earbuds, for example), and a solid, fast internet connection.
What if I hate it, think it sucks, or am dissatisfied?
If that's the case, I will be refunding you in full faster than my dog Malcolm sits down when I pull a treat out of my pocket. Your refund will be contingent on you providing me feedback so I can improve future iterations of this thing.
But please do us both a favor... if you have any questions about this, please email me and ask before signing up. If you know about this course, you are almost certainly on my email list, so just find any email from me, hit REPLY, and tell me what's on your mind. I want this to be the right decision for you.
Will my business or life get better overnight?
No. This is not magic, but I am applying every "make things better rapidly" best practice I know of, so you've got a good shot at seeing significant improvement in 4 to 6 months. You'll need to maintain what we've set in motion for some time after the course.
Will you make me torch my existing market position and replace it with some hastily-constructed replacement?
No, we will be developing a new market position that you can roll out publicly as/when you see fit. I'll help you articulate this position into basic website messaging so you're not just left with a positioning statement but no idea of how to move forward from there.
The inertia of your old market position and referral momentum from old clients will naturally slow down over the 4 to 6 months it'll take for your new market position to pick up steam, sort of like handing off the baton in a relay race except slower.
Have you ever done this before?
I have helped hundreds of people like you research, define, validate, or dominate a profitable, desirable market position. You will get the full benefit of my experience during this course.
I'm currently pricing this course at an absolutely no-brainer, bargain price because for the pilot group, yeah, there will certainly be some rough edges. But... the price will not be this low next time, so if you can roll with a few rough edges then now's your chance to get the medicine your ailing business needs to move towards vim, vigor, and profit.
Who should not sign up for this?
- If the cost of the course will make or break your monthly budget, please don't do it. Enjoy my free stuff, buy my book, but do not overextend yourself financially to do this course. Despite the hype you may see some marketers using, very few marketing investments actually pay immediate returns, and this one is no different. I'm confident you will get a strong return on your investment in this course, but it will take some time to materialize.
- If you are completely or mostly risk intolerant, this event will push every button there is for you, and you might consider something with less of a "move fast and break things" kind of ethos. If that's you, my mentoring program would be a better fit because we really emphasize market research and validation there.
- If you're not open to the idea of narrowing down your market position, then this course won't make sense to you.
Others have worked with me on positioning. Here is what they have to say:
Most of these are people from my mentoring program, not this course (cause the course is brand spanking new) but you'll get a sense of how the positioning process works, and that's valuable no matter whether you buy my book, this course, or work with me directly in my mentoring program.
"Helped Me Clarify Important Business Strategy Questions"
"Was a Great Catalyst for Growth in My Business"
"Helped Me Grow From 1 to 6 Employees"
"Thought This Would Improve My Website, But It Actually Improved My Business"
"Helped Me Launch My Consulting Business"
"I Wasn't Looking for 'Group Coaching'"
Honestly this program was a no-brainer for me personally. I had been thinking for about a year that I wanted a narrow niche. You were the first person I found that advocated it and I was immediately sold when I saw you had a group program.
My only hesitation would have been if you had called it group coaching (but you didn't...you called it a mentorship). That was an important distinction for me. I don't struggle with motivation, discipline or necessarily need the accountability to implement things (which is what most coaching programs provide). I was looking for feedback, fresh ideas and a consultant. You did make that clear so for that reason I had no hesitation.
Two months in, this is actually happening! By declaring a niche and expertise at least enough to get out there and start interviewing people and evaluating it, I became connected with people in the industry and was offered a recurring consultant job. I'm about to launch a more targeted website and I have lots of specific ideas for marketing and products now that I have a market to focus on.
The regular feedback and perspective on all the ideas that kept emerging so I didn't get hyper-focused on my original hypothesis and plan. (it did end up changing!)
I liked the format of Slack where I could post my latest development and get your thoughts on it within a day or 2. It kept momentum going.
I liked that you have a background as a marketing writer and can help polish copy so things get sent and done. (I tend to overly obsess about my writing before I hit send)
The group was small enough and it felt very personal. You knew me and my business as well as you would have if it was a one-on-one consultancy.
As far as true measure-able benefits (results!) I'll let you know in 6 months 🙂 but I can already attribute a $2,000 paycheck from that live event that I wouldn't have probably been in the position to get if I hadn't been purposefully researching and declaring my interest in that industry. And I'm on contract to do that same event 4 more times in 2016.
I would absolutely recommend this to others (and I already have!). As a solo business owner it makes things so much simpler and easier. I have a much easier time knowing what marketing to do and what content to create. There's so much more organization and focus in my business.
Looking forward to coming back and wrangling my content into something manageable! Really love the resource center accountability program you're putting together.
-Connie Holen, Web Designer for Yoga Professionals
"Wasn't Sure the Expense Would Produce Tangible Benefits"
I wasn’t sure that the expense of Philip’s mentoring program would produce any tangible benefits to my business. I signed up for 1 month to see…
Three months in, it’s turned out that working on my positioning with Philip has led to a complete shift in the way I think about my business, what I offer, and where I want to go in the future. Together we have developed tactics to define my position, but the real value for me has been the strategic thinking that the process encourages.
The weekly hangouts have been an important part of this process. Sharing the journey with other class-mates helps with accountability, and helps me deal with parts of the positioning process that seem overwhelming.
I’ve actually learned a lot from other business owners in the program and I’d recommend this to people who have some idea of the business that they want to build but who aren’t quite sure of who their customers are, or what they need.
– Keith Devon, WordPress Developer