The Positioning Course
I've built an online positioning course for you. 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.
- The price is $399.
- 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
What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this course?
I quite honestly did not have many objections to the course. I knew I needed more structure and accountability than The Positioning Manual could provide. I fidgeted and hesitated on the price for a couple days until I realized I really just needed one decent client or student to get a huge ROI from the course.
What did you find as a result of completing this course?
I found a brand new confidence and motivation for running and growing my business. The course forced me well out of my comfort zone in many different ways, and in doing so, showed me that I can run an effective marketing campaign. By pushing me to narrow my focus to a very specific audience with a very specific message, I gained a confidence in talking and reaching out to people I believed I could help because now I truly believed I could help them. I attribute that confidence directly to Philip Morgan.
What specific feature did you like most about this course?
No question about it, the Lightning Coaching Sessions are what truly put this course over the top for me. Without those, I probably would have continued to waffle on decisions and delay talking to my audience.
The 15 or 30 minutes each week with Philip on the phone were worth far more than the price of the course. Nothing substitutes for a personal conversation with an expert such as Philip.
The accountability that naturally arises from these conversations, and the affirmation that my thought processes were not completely insane gave me a brand new perspective on my business and renewed confidence to actually run it, and run it well.
What would be three other benefits of this course?
The cold outreach portion of this course changed my mindset on running my business. It made me realize that I didn’t need to sit in my office alone and contemplate what to do next. All I had to do was pick a target audience and ask them. It showed me that when you reach out to complete strangers with a genuine interest in their struggles, they’re more than happy to open up and let you help.
Would you recommend this course? If so, why?
I would recommend this course to *everyone* who is even considering self-employment, regardless of their industry. It would honestly be impossible for me to recommend The Positioning Course higher.
Before a laptop, before a desk, before the $50 to officially form my business, I should have invested in this course. It has been the single most positive influence on my business, both in terms of lead generation and in my own personal levels of satisfaction and commitment.
-- Eric T Grubaugh, SuiteScript Coaching for NetSuite Admins
Just wanted to say a bit of a thanks.
As I work through the positioning course, narrow in on a few markets to focus on, and get more and more excited that it's the right thing to be doing - I'm still in the phase of keeping the bills paid with general work, and even keeping an eye on contracting/freelancing job ads in the meantime.
As a designer, reading job ad descriptions like this:
Is getting harder and harder to stomach. I've worked in agencies for years and this is the kind of work I've always done... a bit of everything for just about anyone. The benefits are that it's fun, it's varied, and you get to touch on a lot of different technologies, software, and occasionally visit sets and do photoshoots etc, good fun.
The drawbacks are the more skills they pile in, the less they seem willing to pay you. Some ads I've looked at this morning want end-to-end website designers who can build, optimise, and guide conversions while doing maintenance, building brands, editing video, speaking to printers, running client meetings - in my mind I hear a "$ ching!" sound every time I see another task, but it's just not like that.
And their lack of focus on anything at all (read: their willingness to take cash and make promises to anyone who wants to be a client) is something I was aware of at the time, but I'm just now fully is a very long way from where I want to be professionally.
I used to think I wanted my own an agency, but I can't think of anything more stressful than a generalist design agency! 😀
...plus as a side effect of taking a lot of yours (and Jonathan Stark's, and Brennan Dunn's...) advice, is I feel like I almost shouldn't be calling myself a designer anymore. I've given so much advice to people beyond design that I feel like you guys have introduced me to some kind of Value Mafia - and just like the real mafia, I know too much now... I can't go back to how it was before and I'm not sure I want to - pay's better over here 😀
So thanks for everything you share - the Positioning Course is great and I'm working through some of the meaty bits right now (setting up phonecalls - yikes).
Big sincere thanks!
-- Danny Ruspandini, Designer (but not for much longer 🙂 )
I will be delighted to take your money for this course after you've verified that it will be a good fit for you with the simple 3-question checklist below.
You used to have to fill out an actual form to determine if you'd be shown the Buy Button, but there were caching issues with that form and my host, so it's now it's the static checklist you see below.
The reason I have this checklist is not fake scarcity bullshit, it's simply to make sure that the course is right for you. Based on my experience, about 80% of self-employed, generalist freelancers will be a good fit, and about 20% will not.
This course will be a good fit for you if you can honestly answer NO to all of the 3 questions below:
1) Have you invented anything that you use in your client work?
Examples of the kind of inventions I’m talking about:
* Code libraries or frameworks
* Proprietary methodologies for diagnosing or prescribing
* Proprietary datasets
* Proprietary concepts, processes, or systems you use to produce results for your clients
* Other things you’ve created that are unique to you/your business. The word proprietary shows up a lot above, but these inventions don’t have to be secret (ex: http://trustvelocity.com), they just have to be yours or closely associated with a small group of which you’re a member (ex: the Agile Manifesto which has 17 now-famous signatories, one of who lives on a goat farm in rural Oregon and remotely coaches Facebook developers for what I’m sure is a PRIMO rate).
2) Do you apply world class expertise to your client work? (That means there are maybe 0 to 6 others in the world who can do what you can)
3) Would you prefer to develop a new market position slowly but with incredible precision (instead of rapidly but with some compromises)?
If you've answered NO to all of these questions, please go ahead and buy the course using the button below and then check your inbox. That's where I'll send the course lessons.
If you answered NO to one or more of those checklist questions but you believe the course might be a good fit anyway, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll discuss it from there.
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.
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.