To build a successful business, you need to be intensely focused on your prospective customers. In order to find them and attract their attention, you first need to understand who they are and what they really need.
When you are crystal clear on your ideal customer:
- You know how to best serve them.
- You know how to speak their language.
- You will save $$ with focused and effective marketing.
- You can begin to build relationships so they get to know and like you!
- You will earn their business and increase your sales!
Can we agree that “everyone” is not a target audience? I hope so, because “everyone” does NOT need your product or service. Really.
Once upon a time, in the days of mass media, it was enough to market to “18- to 49-year old men and women who have disposable income.” Those days are a thing of the past.
With the internet and social media, people have more choices than ever on how they buy and consume products and services. There is a lot of noise in the marketplace vying for their attention.
In order to stand out from the competition, you need to position your business by crafting compelling messages to interest and engage them. We will talk more about that in a few weeks – but it starts with knowing your customer.
In today’s highly social and relationship-oriented market, the most successful entrepreneurs drill down to discover their ONE person. The ONE person they exist to serve.
When you know your person, you can:
Market to and own a niche where you become “the one to go to”.
Hone your marketing message so it appeals to a specific someone as opposed to a generic everyone.
Increase conversion rates by saying the right thing to encourage your customer to take action.
Attract more of the right customer because the “wrong” people won’t be attracted by your message.
Avoid spending time, money and energy on strategies that just don’t work.
So while your business could theoretically serve any number of people, who would you most like to work with on a consistent basis?!
What you do want to end up with at the end of this exercise is something like this:
Stacey Anderson is a confident 47 year old woman. She has a BA in Communications and was raised by middle class parents – her dad was the sole breadwinner and did very well. She is married and lives in Chico, California. She and her husband Dan earn a combined annual income of $95,000. Dan is in insurance; 5 years ago Stacey turned her passion for photography into her own business that she runs from home. She usually shops at Safeway (using coupons and buying what is on sale). She is starting to eat more organic food and loves Whole Foods for produce. She occasionally splurges at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s – but you will find her looking for thrift store bargains and in Target, too. She drives a Subaru Outback. She and Dan have two kids, Cole is 16 – a freshman in high school, and Danielle is 20, and in her sophomore year at UCS. As a family, they love the outdoors. They ski in Tahoe and Redding when they can, and hike and camp around Lake Almanor. Stacey dreams of traveling internationally with the family. She is a spiritual woman who is starting to meditate and re-discover herself.
Stacey is frustrated with her business. Being in business is harder than she thought it would be. She is making (some) money and has (some) clients but it isn’t as profitable as she wants it to be. She is:
• Frustrated by the lack of growth in her business.
• Overwhelmed with the details of running it.
• Not really sure where to focus her efforts.
• Not making the money she deserves.
She feels she isn’t living her full potential, and doesn’t know what to do or how to pull the pieces together. Stacey really wants to make her work profitable while having an impact on her client’s lives. Financial freedom is important to her, but deep down she is afraid they will never really be able to live the lifestyle she yearns for which includes a house with a view and more traveling with their grown children and spouses in the future.
Stacey has become a real person!
Think about your ONE person. The one who you were thinking of when you started your business. The one for whom you developed your product or service. If the answers don’t come quickly – think about who you are drawn to. Who do you want to work with? It’s your business – you get to decide!
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What is their gender, age, education, occupation or business?
- What was their upbringing?
- What is their income, financial and relationship situation
- What is their situation today in life or work?
- Where does your customer live or work?
- Where do they shop? Where do they eat? What kind of car do they drive?
- Do they have kids? How many? How old are they?
- Where do they travel?
- What is their greatest fear?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What do they really want but think they will never have?
EXTRA CREDIT! Give your customer a name and find an image that best represents the person you’ve described. Next, frame the photo and place it prominently in your work space as a constant reminder of who the right PERSON is for you.
Now, examine everything you do, through their eyes. Create every product or service, every piece of marketing, every blog post, and every branding decision with them in mind. Will they like this? If the answer is yes, you are successfully sticking to your brand identity and talking to the right person. And they will recognize that and reward you with their business!
So how about you – do you know your customer’s first name?!