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No matter what stage you are at right now, getting super clear on what your business is and who you want to serve is a critical foundation for business planning and ultimately success.

And, as a Video Strategist, our role for our clients is often to help them gain this clarity too.

And it all starts with a hedgehog.

Recently in my Accredited Video Strategist Program, we’ve been working a lot on gaining clarity on audiences and particularly positioning our Video Strategy businesses in the right way for the right types of clients, and it’s really interesting to me how we all have different views on the type of business we’re aiming to build and who we are wanting to work with. But let me tell you, the clarity, and growth from that clarity that is coming out through the program over the last few weeks has been seriously awesome to see.

So in this episode I’m going to share with you an approach you can take to getting super clear what your business is all about, and in particular what type of clients and projects you will want to attract to work with you.

“There’s an ancient Greek parable that says “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” 

Author Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, talks about how the fox tries to attack and kill the hedgehog. It’s cunning, it knows five or six different paths to take, it leaps, it crawls, it slithers, it jumps out of a tree. And all the hedgehog knows how to do is one thing: Roll up in a ball. 

But yet that one thing keeps the fox from accomplishing its goal every time.

Jim writes, (quote) “Drawing upon this parable, philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously divided the world into two types of thinkers: Foxes and hedgehogs. Foxes embrace the inherent complexity of the world and pursue many ideas, never giving themselves over to a single pursuit or organizing idea. Hedgehogs, in contrast, gravitate towards simplicity, and think in terms of a single organizing idea that guides everything.” 

He continues, “Our research found that those who build great companies tend to be more hedgehog than fox. We also found that they implicitly or explicitly use a Hedgehog concept for disciplined decision-making. A Hedgehog concept is a simple concept that flows from deeply understanding the intersection of the following three circles.” So think about these three circles as a Venn diagram. “One, what are you deeply passionate about? Two, what can you be best at in the whole world? And three, what drives your economic engine the best?”

Taking some time for critical reflection around this hedgehog concept can provide so much clarity on the business that you want to build, and can become a critical filter for decision making as you grow your business.

But let’s now take this idea a step further and apply this same way of thinking to your audience. Your ideal clients… 

How to find them…

I recommend at least once a year doing a client audit.

And it goes like this;

  1. Run a report of all projects completed over the last period (year). Including if possible, source of the referral, total project income and profit margin
  2. Now go through the list and rank your clients on a scale of 1 – 10 based on the following factors. 
    1. Did you enjoy working with the client and the type of project delivered?
    2. Was the outcome of the project something you are proud of, or demonstrates your best work?
    3. Level of profit margin in the project.
  3. Now, sort your client / project list from highest to lowest. 0 at the bottom, 30s at the top.
  4. Work out the top 20%  (paretos principle). And highlight those clients.
  5. There you go, this list represents your top 20% of clients and projects 

Next you need to spend some time identifying the common aspects of these clients, perhaps categorising them into different buckets so you can get clear on how to attract more of these clients into the future.

This clarity should inform new (or refined) customer avatars for your business, a more strategic approach to your marketing and sales, and importantly a whole lot more clarity on your business and what you want it to become over the next 12 months or 5 years.

So, my friend, be like the hedgehog. Not the fox. Work out what you are good at, passionate about, and what makes you money, and do more of that.


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