The Concept of “One”

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We live in a world of excess. We need more likes, more followers, more views, more traffic, more conversions.

Vanity metrics are THE social currency, and it’s killing authenticity. When these metrics become the focus, then we lose sight of the bigger picture and purpose.

Side note: What are vanity metrics? Vanity metrics are measurements and calculations that are designed to be impressive as opposed to actionable or relevant to core business goals such as revenue and operating margins.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, this attitude towards life makes you nothing more than an ungrateful little brat. We look with disdain at the one comment on our video and wish we had more. The only client we have is boring and we dream of a day when we could have 20 clients that we could do our best work for.

But what about that one comment? What about that one client you have? What about the “One”?

How to eat an elephant

Spoiler alert. One bite at a time. That’s how.

This old analogy is all about breaking down your big goals and dreams into smaller goals that can be more easily achieved in the short term.

A large business with 1000 customers doesn’t start out that way. No. It begins with one customer. Whilst this seems obvious and logical, our behaviour towards business growth says otherwise. We’re forever on the lookout for more.

Slowing the pace and bringing our focus towards what we have in front of us is the power of the “One”.

With the concept of “One”, we want to shift our focus from what we DON’T have, to what we DO have. Giving our everything to that one customer, one comment, one viewer or one listener.

Bite by bite you start to eat away at your elephant. The only difference is, when you have a strong focus on the “One”, you start growing exponentially. You build up the strength to start taking bigger bites and learn how to chew faster.

Why this works

There are two things that happen when you start appreciating and valuing the “One”.

  1. Turning prospects into fans

    A customer will buy once, maybe twice from you. A fan will buy everything from you. They become brand advocates.

    Think about Apple for a second. People like myself are less customer and more fanatic. To the point where I can overlook the negatives and justify them in some trivial way, because God forbid anyone ever talks crap about my Macbook, iPad and iPhone.

    You don’t need to be Apple to have this type of impact though.

    If you jump on a Facebook live and only one person is watching you, speak to that one person as if they were prepared to give you a million dollars.

    If only one person leaves a comment on your post, get excited and dive deep into the conversation, giving them more value than they could ever hope for.

    It’s these experiences that people brag about and share with their tribes. It’s like finding fresh water out in the wild. You tell the rest of the tribe so you can all benefit and be refreshed.

  2. Valuable insight and knowledge

    A successful brand is well informed in these three areas: Company, Customers, Competitors.

    By focusing on the “One”, you open yourself up to be able to learn more from your customers and thus empowering your brand.

    It’s not uncommon for businesses once they have their first customer, to immediately start thinking of the next customer. I’ve been in this rut before.

    I’ve worked hard to bring on a new client, but once I won the job, I lost all momentum and excitement. Like the thrill of the hunt was gone. Because now I had to do the actual work! So the work gets done begrudgingly whilst I seek out client number two.

    Here’s the problem though. Just because you have one customer, doesn’t mean you’re ready for two.

    A mentor of mine asked me recently how many new clients I was looking for. I told him three. Perplexed, he then asked “Why three? Why not more?”. I told him that three was what I could handle and would allow me the opportunity to learn more about my customers and their needs, as well as my company and how my systems and processes can be improved.

    For the past 9 months I have deliberately kept only one client. The perfect client according to my research and customer avatar.

    My goal was to watch and learn. Give them my everything and discover what it is they truly needed and how I could provide a better solution.

    Now I feel I am in a place where I am ready for more clients, but be careful never to bite off more than you can chew. Based on your new found knowledge and experience, take the next step that is manageable whilst still stretching your capacity, allowing you to grow personally and professionally.

Why this matters

  • Gratitude

  • Building a tribe - There’s more like that one person

Let’s take a look at this example:

John is a Personal Trainer. He provides 1 hour group training sessions for $30 per person per session.

His ideal customer is:

  • Male

  • Aged between 25-34 years old

  • Living in Brisbane, Australia

  • Earning $1000-$1249 per week

According to 2016 census data, there are 12,956 males that match the above description. If John were to target this market segment online and have a 1% conversion rate, he would have himself 129 clients.

Most people train more than once per week, but let’s be conservative and say that each of those 129 only want to train once per week. John doesn’t work weekends so he does 2 x 1 hour sessions per weekday, limiting his classes to 14 clients.

John is effectively earning $3870 per week, working only 10 hours per week. The question now is, how does he get 129 clients?

Spoiler alert. One client at a time. That’s how.

Remember, 129 is only 1% of the total market. That’s not a lot. It means for every 100 visitors to his online booking form, he only needs one to convert. For every 100 views on his Youtube video he only needs one to resonate with his message.

129 is a very small tribe these days. You only need to search the thousands of Facebook groups to know this is true.

Through customer research and a lot of empathy, John needs to find that one client that matches the demographics of his customer avatar, but has a very specific worldview. That worldview might be that working out should be fun and in a non-competitive and non-threatening environment.

If John can provide a service that matches that one client's worldview, you best believe that one client will be telling his other mates, who also share that same worldview (his tribe), about John and his group sessions.

I’m hoping that makes sense and that I haven’t gone too deep down the rabbit hole with this one.

Just for fun, let’s broaden the numbers a bit.

If John were to slightly broaden his target demographic to include the same aged males but earning a weekly income of $800-$1499, his total target market increases from 12,956 males to 33,744 males.

If he still only wanted 129 clients, that’s now only 0.38% of the total market.

Sorry for geeking out over the maths, but the numbers help put things into perspective.

The point I’m trying to make here is that there is plenty to go around for everyone. Even your competitors. Pump the brakes and focus on learning about your customers, their world views, engaging in conversations and providing value. Focus on the “One”.