At this risk of sounding dramatic, this post could be life AND business-changing for you. The rule of one is the thing that most people struggle with in their business – but you don’t have to!
The Rule of One
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
First, I want to tell you that this is not originally my idea. I don’t want to pull a Rachel Hollis and tell you something and not credit it – but I legitimately don’t know where I heard it first. I’ve heard it a ton of places and in a ton of different ways over the years. This one is my version!
What we’re talking about today is essentially “niching,” but in a more doable, applicable, and obtainable format. It’ll be easy to follow, I promise.
This is something I have really struggled with for a very long time. I still struggle with it. The Rule of One is the path that I am on right now to further my business and continue growing. I know that it’s the best path, even though I have not taken it in the past.
What is the Rule of One?
The Rule of One means you have…
- ONE ideal client
- ONE way to get them on your email list or in your funnel (i.e. one freebie)
- ONE main social platform
- ONE thing you sell
That’s it. The purpose of this is to help your brain understand every action that you take in your business. If you decide that you’re talking to this one ideal customer, you’re using one funnel to sell them one thing, AND you’re focused on one social platform… It’s a lot easier to make business decisions. Eliminate those extra, unnecessary choices!
I am THE most guilty of this, and you all probably know it. A lot of the time, people get off of this path unintentionally. They start with one ideal client, freebie and offer, but then, they decide “OH, I need to do that thing over there.” Then, we end up with a business that’s the rule of 12.
So, to recap: you have ONE ideal client. You know they fit into this specific basket and you know what they struggle with so that you can help them. When you know their struggle, you know which freebie and offer to provide them to get their business. When you’re only talking to one person, it’s way easier to create the things that solve their problems!
Let’s look at an example.
Let’s say you have a business where you sell planners. Your ideal client is women who are age 25-50 in corporate America who love planners (or whatever). Then, let’s say you have three people who message you and say “Hey, I would love to start a planner business. How did you make yours?”
That feels like a lot of people asking the same question when you’re online. Maybe you veer off and create content about how you made your planners. Now, you have an audience of people who want your planner who aren’t even REMOTELY the same audience as people who want to know how you make your planner.
You have created a fork in the road. And you’ve got to constantly be creating new things for both audiences: people who want planners and people who want planner businesses. People focused on the Rule of One have clarity about what they should be doing!
Let’s get tactical with the Rule of One.
What does one ideal client really mean?
Having one ideal clients means EVERYTHING you do is made for one group of people. They could be teachers, in corporate jobs, people who are mompreneurs, or whoever else. Your niche-specific audience are your people, and you NEVER need to create ANYTHING that doesn't help them.
Practically, that means you know that EVERYTHING you create is going to help those people. It also makes it way easier to create content, because you know who you’re talking to on Instagram, YouTube, and your blog.
If your bucket is mom's who are just starting their own businesses at home, think of content for them. If you want to write a blog post about starting a podcast, think about whether or not your audience needs that content. In this case, they probably aren’t ready to start a podcast. So, you can decide on another topic! Maybe, right now, you need to write a blog post that tells your audience you see and understand their struggles.
Now, you need to create one way to get people on your email list.
You can absolutely create a small offer funnel or something similar to get people on your email list, or you can use freebies. Either one is great!
With the SLO (self-liquidating offer) funnels, or small offer funnels, you’re spending a little money and making a little money to build your email list. With a freebie, you’re not making any money to build your list.
You DON’T need 17 different freebies. Seriously. I did this SO wrong for many years. I currently still do it wrong because I’ve done it wrong in the past. (I’ve got freebies floating around everywhere on the internet, y’all.)
You need ONE freebie or offer to get people on your email list. It could be one freebie, one e-Book, one PDF, one system, or something else.
Then, focus on ONE social media platform.
Now, you can build on the social media platforms. If you get really good at one, you could add another. I have a LOT of ways I put content out into the world – but they all started when I focused on ONE way. I started a blog and I focused there. Then, YouTube and I focused there. I started a podcast and I focused there. Now, they all run so seamlessly it’s easy for me to split my focus.
My ONE social media platform is Instagram. (YouTube is a search engine for me, not a social media platform.) If you are trying to put original content out on too many platforms at once, you’re going to burn out. Your audience will be confused, and you will be, too.
Focus on ONE offer.
This point is more important than all of the other things I’ve talked about in this episode. I’m really honing in on this one offer portion this year (and you’re going to hear more about it this year). I’m going to focus on ONE offer that I promote to my ONE ideal client. I get those ideal clients by offering ONE freebie to get them on my email list.
When we are too divided among the different things that we sell, it’s very hard to sell anything. Let’s go back to the planner example. This person is selling planners in one arm of their business and teaching people how to make the planners to start their own businesses in another.
Now, their audience is split. Their freebies are split. Their focus is split. Everything is split.
To really have a good launch and a good quarter, you need one offer for one ideal client. (That’s not to say that can’t expand later, but at first – ONE!) It’s so hard sometimes for us to plant our flag in one hill when we know we have so many things we could offer our ideal customer. I get that it’s tough! But look at any of the successful entrepreneurs that you look up to, and I guarantee that they have basically one offer where they focus. Even if they have more than one, they’re heavily focused on one offer at a time.
I’m thinking about Amy Porterfield. She currently has ONE offer – her Digital Course Academy. Prior to now, Amy had several different offers available, and she still had a multi-seven-figure business. But, for three to six months prior to the launch of ONE of her offers, she only focused on that offer.
Only worrying about one offer that you’re selling for now makes everyone’s life easier. You KNOW that everything you’re doing is going for one purpose. You know WHY you’re getting people on your email list. Secondarily to that, your customer knows what to come to you for and how to support you.
Third, and probably the most important here, is that you have ONE offer to make the best it can possibly be. That’s your whole job – to create this one thing, make it great, and launch it.
A bonus tip on why this is so powerful!
Jaclyn Mellone (if you don’t know her, you’re missing out!) used to have this saying about what makes you referrable. You HAVE to be referable, no matter what your business is doing, to have a sustainable clientele.
When you’re doing all the things, people don’t know how to refer you to others. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. When you do a little bit of everything, you aren't referable. If you're trying to sell to a broad portion of the market, you aren't referable either. People don't know where your expertise lies!
That’s obvious on the client side, but it works in other types of business, too. Using the Rule of One is crucial if your goal is to speak on stage or be interviewed on podcasts. If people don’t know what they can have you speak about or what your speciality is, they’re not going to ask you to be on their podcast or speak on their stage.
That’s why a lot of my speaking engagements over the past two years have been about YouTube. I focused on being the YouTube teacher for several years, and that’s how people knew I would provide value.
Then, mind you, in the last 18 months when I’ve been a lost little ducky out at sea without a focus, it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to come to me and say “we want you on our podcast.” You get asked to speak at conferences when you’re really good at one thing. If that’s a goal for you, the Rule of One is a really big deal.