Most of us start our business doing whatever we need to do to drive a little revenue. Need help with that? Suuuure, I can help! Oh you’re not sure how to do this? I’ll figure it out.
This gung-ho energy is what helps us build a client base, a reputation, and a couple pennies in the ol’ bank account — but over time we start to hone in on our offers. We realize that — yeah, no — we’re not doing that again. We realize what we’re really good and we start to craft offers (service packages, products, programs, etc.) around that. Some of us even create communities around our offers.
But what if we’re starting to feel the itch to offer something new? What if we (as Human First, Biz Second® adherents) notice that our clients, customers, and people are in need of a different kind of support? And what if — hold on to your hats — we want to stay competitive and make money?
All of those are valid reasons to re-evaluate your current offers and packages and find a new offer or structure that reflects what you and your audience really need right now.
That’s what I help people do with my Offer Architect Intensives. I help folks just like you find *the* offer that allows you to show up and pour into the others the way that you’ve been craving. No more searching for solutions that just never seem to quite fit. We’ll pinpoint the Glass Slipper of All Offers and I’ll give you the roadmap you need to make it a reality.
But I also know that not everyone is ready for this kind of intensive — and some of you are just curious about what you should consider before you go into full “Offer Overhaul Mode.” Been there, got the souvenir keychain, don’t recommend the food.
So what can you start thinking about now that can help you design your next offer on your own? Glad you asked, friend, because I’m about to show you how to be your own Offer Architect.
First off, let’s address the elephant in the room…
When you start to think about creating something new, I know that there is very likely an external reason for this thought. It could be a conversation with a client or a peek at a competitor’s Instagram. Or it could be everyone talking about the latest and greatest offer model that everyone is shifting to (cough, VIP days, cough).
There are a ton of people telling you how to create an offer that will save you time, make you more money, and put you at the top of everyone’s “Must Work With” list. But when it comes to your people and finding the right offer for you, the one-size-fits-all offer models just aren’t the way to go.
You have what it takes to create a community or a service that makes people feel seen, welcome, and supported. Whether you’re seeking to teach folks what you know (and it’s a lot!) or to do the work for them (cheers to that) or both (abso-freakin’-lutely), you can make it happen. But let’s not create a new offer just because the latest Instagram coaches tell you to, k?
Now that that’s done…. Let’s talk about reviewing your current offers.
How to review your current offers
We’re not diving into new offer creation until we review your current offers. No siree, Bob. Instead, I want you to look at your offers from three points of view: The skills, your strengths, and the boundaries each offer requires or provides.
Assess your skills
This goes beyond your current offers or packages. I want you to catalog every job you’ve ever had and the skills associated with each job — really. Do it now (OK, maybe later if you’re on the treadmill or, like, really busy.)
Highlight the shit out what you love to do on that list of skills and strike through the shit you’d never touch again with a 10 foot pole.
Notice how I asked you to list out your skills, not just the offer or job title. That’s because looking at the skill separate from the job is a necessity. For instance, I fucking HATED working at a bank, but I loved that my skills in precisions and efficiency were utilized in that job. Capiche?
Allow yourself to reflect on what you’re skilled at AND LOVE TO DO, not just highly skilled at regardless of engagement and pleasure. If you’re like, “Megan, what’s even the difference?” I have an explainer video for you here.
Think about your strengths
OK strengths and skills: Are they different? Yes. Do they overlap? Uh-huh. Will you probably use them interchangeably? Yup — but you shouldn’t. Strengths are your knowledge and abilities that really shine through. I once heard that you can tell someone’s strength by listening to what they think “anyone can do.” Are you feeling attacked right now? Me, too.
But back to strengths. Even if you’ve done Clifton Strengths (which all my clients do as part of their package), those 34 strengths will still present differently in different humans. Some of us may have a Connectedness strength, but we’re not all going to have a special strength in virtual community building or connecting with strangers. Pinpoint exactly how your strengths manifest — that will tell you a lot.
I know all this self-reflection is like therapy without all the fun (ha), so when in doubt, talk to friends and family, past coworkers, past clients, etc. They can reflect back to you what you’re really good at, not just where you’re skilled or competent.
Reflect on how to describe these strengths in a way that expresses your values and feels really true to what you want to do inside your business (and your life). When doing values work with clients, I’ll frequently ask them to finish this sentence:
“I want to leave a legacy of _________.”
By completing the statement, and letting yourself get a little wordy, you’ll find language at the intersection of your strengths and values.
For instance, let’s say you deeply value autonomy and a strength of yours is designing brand suites that convey intense emotion. When posed with a question of legacy, you may state “I want to leave a legacy of compassion and identity.” The language in your copy will then play up how your design strengths are used to craft brand identities for folks that exude compassion, while also standing out from the Live-Laugh-Love crowd.
Draw them boundaries
Usually when it’s time to create a new offer, it’s because you 1. Want to meet a new market demand 2. Don’t want to burn yourself out meeting said demand. I see you, and we’re going to work on your boundaries before we work on that new offer.
So… It’s time to *gulp* get brutally honest with yourself about your energetic and financial capacity.
- Energetic capacity: Account for your mental health, physical health, emotional health
- Financial capacity: What do you need to survive? What do you need to feel secure? What do you need to make to feel luxurious AF?
All these are RIGHT NOW boundaries, not a gorgeous future version of yourself. I love a good imagination vacation but this is not the time for it. Be honest with yourself about where you’re at and what you need or this new offer you create is going to be a real recipe for disaster.
Next, and only after you’ve laid out the first two types of boundaries, we can talk about business/logistical boundaries. Think of things like:
- Office hours
- Call days and scheduling
- Software and systems you consider ESSENTIAL (aka I couldn’t run my biz without them)
- Turnaround time and communication windows
These business boundaries may be things you don’t have in place yet, but know that you need to implement in order to get to this ideal new offer state (and just a general positive place in your business).
How to look for gaps
Woohoo! First steps done. Now, it’s time to use the SKILLS – STRENGTHS – BOUNDARIES structure to evaluate your current offers:
Use those same factors to evaluate your current offer catalog:
- How does each offer play to your skills? Are there skills you don’t want to bring into the new offer?
- How does each offer boost your strengths? Or do they?
- How does each measure up in terms of boundaries? What do you want to keep and what do you want to change? Also consider the energetic and financial elements — you want to think about how your offers get you paid, too.
Now let’s step back about 10 feet. If you’re using Post-It Notes like I do when I do this, then I mean literally. But take a step back and look at your offers. What skills do you really want to shine in your new offer? Which strengths are you wanting to lean into? And which boundaries do you need to draw?
Take a look at the offers you’ve got laid out and ask yourself: Do I like these offers? Are there changes I can make to these offers, as they exist now, that would help me feel better about offering them? Be honest with yourself — it’s ok to not like an offer. It’s also 100% groovy to update a current offer rather than creating a whole new one.
How to start crafting an offer that meets needs (yours & theirs)
Alriiiiight, you’ve got an idea of what YOU need from your offer, you’ve got an idea of how your current offers stack up, and now it’s time to craft your next offer that will be the culmination of all these things.
Of course, when we think about creating a new offer, we often think about what others are doing, right? I already mentioned that. “So-and-so is doing this, so I should do that, too.” No. None of that here. I want you to think about all of the notes you just took, look them over, and then think about what serves YOU in a new offer first. Don’t worry, we’ll get to your clients/customers in a hot sec.
I love a Good-Better-Best framework for how your business needs to serve YOU first:
While the dream is to have each area — Skills, Strengths, Boundaries — be in the “Best” category, that’s usually not realistic the first go around (because no one starts out with all the resources they need. We’re all scrappy af and making it WERK).
So, we start with Good. Here’s how to weigh offer ideas on this Good-Better-Best Scale:
- Good: You’re not doing anything you hate with the passion of a thousand suns (SCORE!) for the service or offer itself. You may not love every skill, strength, and/or you may be at your energetic capacity, but you’re staying within a window of tolerance and sticking to your integrity.
- Better: Things aren’t just good enough, you’re really in your zone of genius most of the time.
- Best: You are flow, flow is you, things are flowing. Everything from Skills to Strengths to Boundaries is working together to make your life feel luxurious and easy.
After you’ve “Good-Better-Best”-ed, take a hard look at who needs this offer (someone needs it, that’s a given).
Start by considering the problem or dilemma your offer addresses
If you can’t state it in a sentence or less, you’ve probably overloaded your offer with deliverables and features in an effort convince yourself — or *ahem* your clients — that you know what you’re talking about and this offer is worth the cash. STOP IT. You don’t need more deliverables, you need to provide an exceptional experience that addresses ONE singular problem.
Step into their shoes
Now it’s time for an Imagination Vacation, my friends. Who is the person facing this dilemma? What do they really want to feel or experience? Start with the psychographics (not the demographics) to develop what this person is struggling with, what they’re excelling at, and how your values mesh in such a way they can’t help but be inspired by you and your work.
Also ask yourself:
- Are you already serving these folks? FANTASTIC.
- Is this close to your current audience? Then it’s time for some market research (Instagram polls and story-filled emails that ask for a reply & discussion are my faves)
Realizing this person is someone totally new? Use my Human First “Ideal Client” template to better understand this potential client and see how you can better reach them.
Take a look at the world around you (and them)
Next up, let’s think about what you really need to do to make this offer stand out from the crowd. What kinds of things are you currently seeing in your industry or market, and how might they affect your persona’s perception of your offer? This can be the trickiest because lordy lordy does the market love a non-nuanced “THIS IS THE NEW SINGULAR RIGHT WAY TO DO SERVICES.”
The reality is… there are an infinite number of ways to offer services or packages that will get your clients the results they’re seeking while keeping you in your zone of flow. What are you seeing in your industry, and how does your new offer fit — or contradict — these trends.
Nobody creates a new offer overnight
(without doing all this work first)
We’ve all gotten a wild hair up our ass and created something new one night when the ADHD meds hit just right and the weather was just the right blend of cool-and-clear. Right??? But the truth is, those new ideas are often percolating in the back of our brain for a while, and it takes just one tiny piece to fall into place before we’re PEWWWW off like a rocket.
Before you get to that point with this new offer, just know: This is a freakin’ process. It’s usually not a weekend project from shitty brain thoughts to magical new offer.
This (what I’ve shared with you above) is the strategy of it all* — not the tactics or containers you “have to follow” to bring that new offer to life. No, none of the above gets into the software, systems, processes of it all in a concrete way (you’ve probably got a clear concept of what’s needed and what changes will happen), but you can’t choose things like tech or hire a designer until you know the who, what, and why of your next offer.
Think about the strategy first. Then it’s time to build. If you need help identifying your ideal client so you can pinpoint the offer that best fits their needs, grab my Human First Ideal Client Template here.
* Thank you Maggie Patterson for the brilliant distinction between tactics and strategy.