There are a few things in life we can count on: death, taxes, and the fact that without customers, your business will cease to exist.
I can’t help you with the first two – but I’m pretty darn good on the customer thing. And I know there are a 3 key action steps many people skip when it comes to marketing!
Completing these activities is the foundation of a successful business.
- Know Your Customer
- Do Your Research
- Craft a Compelling Message (To stand apart from all the noise and RESONATE with your best prospects!)
1. Know Your Customer: I wrote about the importance of identifying your ideal customer in a recent post: Does Your Customer Have a First Name? In it, I explain how to drill down and choose who you want to work with. Answering the questions I shared will help you determine EXACTLY who your customer is, and what their challenges and dreams are. The more you know about your best potential clients, the better you can find them and begin talking to them.
2. Do Your Research: Another post talked about the importance of basic market research. A Little Market Research Goes a Long Way! outlines simple strategies that can yield huge results. Research doesn’t have to be complicated – and it is a crucial activity which should be part of your ongoing marketing strategy.
This brings us to our third key activity!
3. Craft a Compelling Message that will RESONATE with your best prospects! I find many business owners and entrepreneurs know intrinsically what their point of difference is, but they have a hard time verbalizing it.
Your ability to communicate your unique point of difference – the reasons people should do business with YOU and not with someone else – can literally make or break your business.
Take the time to craft a clear statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well. Describe your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you’re distinctly better than the alternatives. This simple statement helps you stand out from the very crowded market and is the foundation of your brand and all your marketing.
When you can articulate your Unique Selling Point, or USP – you will be ahead of the game! So, what’s yours? If you aren’t sure complete the following steps. (Disclaimer Alert! I use my business as an example because I know it so well – I don’t mean for this post to be a blatant advertisement! At the same time – if the message resonates….so be it!) 🙂
A. Begin by defining the problem. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of diving headlong into the solution before really understanding the problem they’re looking to solve. Ask yourself – how important is the problem to my potential customer? What will happen if it isn’t fixed? How are they addressing the problem now?
The problems my BEST Customer has are:
- Being in business is harder than (she) thought it would be
- Overwhelmed with the details of running it
- Lots of ideas; not sure where to focus
- Frustrated by the lack of growth
- Not making the money she wants/deserves
If the problem isn’t fixed:
- Her dreams could go up in smoke!
She is currently addressing the problem by:
- Researching internet articles and videos
- Talking to friends and family
- Taking courses
- Hiring a coach
B. Then, describe your solution. How can you help your potential customers address their problems differently? (Better!?) This can be hard. It’s one reason Market Research is important. Look at what your competitors offer, then ask yourself why your solution is superior, and what makes you the right choice to do business with. Is it your schooling, education or training? Your experience? Technique? Or perspective?
My solution is: Virtual Mastermind Programs that combine powerful content AND peer collaboration/accountability. After all, more heads are better than one!
The reasons I am the right choice are:
- 20+ years in business/marketing
- Working with online and offline business models and marketing strategies
- Clients come from retail, service, wholesale, MLM, and non-profit ventures
- I’m a Trained Facilitator and Educator
- I’ve designed and taught B2B & B2C Marketing/Sales/Leadership
- I have 10+ years experience leading small groups
- I have developed a Signature RoadMap system to keep your business on track
C. Now, design your message. What story can you tell? What details can you use? How can you do something differently?
Here is my USP as an example:
l lead powerful mastermind groups of amazing entrepreneurs who are growing businesses to escape the time and money trap. Together we brainstorm ideas, set goals and hold each other accountable. Weekly training is focused on how to generate new QUALIFIED leads and prospects, convert them into paying customers, and build systems to help their business practically run itself! As a professional facilitator I keep meetings on track and on time and leverage the collective wisdom and experience of the group. Capped at just 6 carefully selected members, each group is large enough for everyone to benefit from diversity of the group, and small enough so every member receives individual attention.
THIS gives me a solid foundation to build from. It’s a little wordy in day-to-day conversation and is easily shortened to: “I run online masterminds for entrepreneurs who want to be more strategic and successful in business”. This simple statement opens many doors and starts great dialogues with my best potential customers and is much more productive than saying “I’m a business strategist.”
These three activities are the foundation for your company, and the beginning of defining your brand. When you know who your customer is, you know where to find them. And when you know what your unique message is, you know what to say to get their attention. And THAT is the sole purpose of Marketing.
It’s a crowded market place out there. How do you stand out? How will your customers know YOU are the right choice?
I would love to hear your thoughts or your USP if you care to share!