How to Use Exclusivity to Get Your Audience Frantic to Buy From You

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Just kidding. Let’s get going…


There’s a secret bar in New York called ‘Please Don’t Tell’ (Oops the secret is out!). To get in you first have to walk into another restaurant, find an unnoticeable phone booth, enter and dial ‘1’ to request access to get in to the secret bar…and you might not even get in!

Secret Bar
Source: Yelp


And boy, do we want to get into that place!

Why? Because it’s exclusive.

It’s in our nature to be curious, to want what we can’t have.

It’s proven time and time again with psychology studies on it, we feel special when get ‘in’. We would rather be in the group than out of it, and if we can’t, we want it all the more!

You can use this to your advantage in business too.

Exclusivity works because it creates a buzz around it’s scarcity and a desire to be ‘in’ the group rather than ‘out’. Nobody wants to be left out. It can whip up an audience into a frenzy of first to buy, and help your sales dramatically. Not only that but it makes you look good too. It helps your positioning, it makes you seem special somehow and in high demand. It makes it seems like you have something nobody else does. This illusion, also allows you to have a relatively high price point compared to a non exclusive product/service.

Another great benefit of exclusivity is that it can spread word of mouth like crazy – everyone wants to tell someone about a secret they have just found don’t they. In ‘Contagious’, Jonah Berger describes how exclusive promotions make people feel special, unique and high status when they get in. Once on the inside, they become more likely to spread the word because their insider status makes them look good.

Warning Note: It is possible to artificially create a feeling of exclusivity and scarcity, but it doesn’t work if you make something exclusive for say 100 people, but only 1 person wants it. It really is only works if your offering is truly remarkable that people scramble to buy it when it is exclusive, whether that’s a real demand or one that you can conjure up through clever marketing. It also doesn’t work if you fake exclusivity just for the sake of increasing sales.

Example Ideas of How to Use Exclusivity

– The personal trainer who only works with a certain niche (e.g. CEOs or lawyers or nerds, or olympians), only ten clients at any one time on a 1-1 basis, charging £1000/month. That’s £10,000 a month. Does this mean that this trainer is limited forever on their income? No, they can always up-sell more products, start an exclusive membership site or even sell products online.

– A speaker who only does 5 Keynote talks a year.

– A Mastermind Group that only let’s CEOs of fortune 500 companies join.

– A cocktail so extravagant that it is only served to one customer a day.

– An app or membership site that is invite only. Google+ did this very successfully.

– A bar for ‘lads’ only.

Does this mean that this these people are limited forever on their income? No, they can always up-sell more products, start an exclusive membership site or even sell products online, and much more! In fact rather than think exclusive means limiting, instead realise that it actually magnifies the appeal of your offering for your right target market.

How to Become Exclusive

Niche down as small as you can…
– Find their problems and talk in a way that addresses what they really want… (problem maps will help with that)
Position yourself appropriately
– Update all your messaging on your website and other materials to get this across…
– Figure out how much you need to make from a small base of exclusive clients and match your price for that… (i.e. if £2000 is your goal and you can only manage 10 clients that means your prices should be at £200)
– Name your exclusive ‘program’ something awesome. Also be careful of language to describe it i.e. ‘programme’ sounds better than ‘course’ and ‘elite’ sounds better than ‘members’…
– Call or email the people you really want to work with – remember, if it is exclusive, you only want to work with people who you will a) be able to get results with, and b) actually enjoy working with! Let them know you are giving them first refusal for that reason. Be honest about how many slots you have, and tell them you would like them to fill one of them.
– Maybe even at this point design a nice looking pdf to show off the package in the best light. Atomic Members – Read our blog cluster on graphic design about this (tip: Use something like Google Drive or Powerpoint to make it). Not absolutely necessary but would help.

Obviously this will only work for certain types of businesses, but whatever type of business you have, you can make it exclusive in some way. You just have to get creative, think about:
– Limited distribution channels
– Limited usage rights
– Small niches
– Price (can you price out some people)
– Limited applicants
– Limited one-off events
– Invite only
– Invite by a friend only
– Deadlines

Let us know how you get on by commenting your exclusive ideas below!

ACTION: Try to make one of your services exclusive and test the results.