As you know, I am a small business and start-up marketing coach or ENABLER as I prefer to call myself.
Today, I have recorded a video and I’m writing because I realize from where I’ve been, that start-ups and small businesses struggle with the first basic but ESSENTIAL steps. Those that help you build a sustainable and sound marketing foundation.
Too often, when you are trying to get your basics buttoned-down, you are expected to Google anything and everything you get stuck with, right? Yet, it’s not always the quickest, safest route as you may have discovered. For me in the beginning, it was like going down a rabbit hole from one thing to another, chewing up the hours in my day. Sound familiar?
I also know that not everyone is as passionate about marketing as I am and, luckily with perseverance, I learned valuable shortcuts, a quick and smart way, albeit the hard way. That’s when I realized that I can help people climb those initial steps to ignite their marketing (a la RedMatchstick!) and get their businesses out there quicker and easier, without the fuss and struggle I went through.
This is where to start!
5 ESSENTIAL PILLARS OF A MARKETING STRATEGY
If you get these things right, the rest kind of falls into place.
- WHY are you doing this?
2. WHAT are you offering?
3. WHO are you ‘talking’ to or targeting? This is absolutely the most important thing you’re going to have to get really good at. If you’re off course with knowing WHO your audience is; I can assure you you’re going to waste a heap of time and money. That’s why it is today’s focus in this Blog.
4. WHERE do you go talk to your target audience?
5. WHEN are they ready to buy from you? Help them by busting all their objections and challenges on their journey to choosing you!
6. HOW do you get their Attention – Interest – Desire – Action at every stage of their Buying Journey?
PRO TIP: Ask these 5 questions when you are challenged by any problem and you will find clarity in the answers.
Your Ideal Customer comes in many guises and is a combination of the best qualities of all those you have or wish you had. The avatar is made up of the best characteristics of each of your favourite customers and then mixed up to create a persona with the best qualities in all respects.
Here is a TEMPLATE for you to get the gist of what to look for.
Your ideal customer is a semi-fictional representation based on market research. These fictional characters are used to understand the needs, values, aspirations, abilities, limitations and, character traits of your customers; for purposes of marketing better and creating a better user experience.
While you are probably going to be building more than one buyer persona, my advice is that you start with the most important one for now.
You’re going to need more than one ideal customer avatar or a buyer persona as it’s called because people, generations behave different, needs differ and you probably have different products.
This Blog is going to work through:
Why do you need to know about them
How to use them
What you need to know when you study them
Where to learn more about them.
You should be totally obsessive about your ideal customers and it is the one thing to make a habit that will teach you to handle your customers differently; when you know what makes them tick.
WHY THE HYPE ABOUT IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATARS?
Remember Choices, Behaviours, Trends and Platforms change. This is a never-ending job!
So Sorry! Spoiler Alert! This is not a once-off task but, once you’ve cracked the code, I am almost 100% sure you’re going to love doing it. Suddenly everything you see, hear, learn, observe about your customers in action, are going to be thought about and seen in a different light.
Any part of the marketing and sales process that touches the customer, which is pretty much everything, will improve when you’re clear on Who they are. In this day and age, EVERYTHING integrates into the effectiveness of your marketing strategy AND is dictated by the customer.
When you analyze the sales potential of your product or service, and when you talk to your audience and you work out who’s buying what, you will note that taste, needs and demands differ, between groups of customers.
And guess what? They’re prepared to pay different prices. It is your job in your ideal customer study, to work out what they value and what you can upsell to make more money.
This in turn will help you understand where you should advertise for maximum exposure to your ideal customer, what message affects your ideal customer i.e. what verbiage, vocab, and tone you should use in your marketing effort to talk to them in a way they understand and relate to. You’ll know what your story should be telling.
You’re going to suddenly start finding things that people value that you perhaps overlooked and you now realize could be that unique differentiator and selling point that will connect with you as opposed to your competitor.
An important thing is with online marketing is it’s NOT A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.
The internet enables easy access to information which means that consumers are now more than ever able to exercise their CHOICE. Our information-rich clients with higher standards of living and a trend towards individualism have meant that customers are now more than ever able to exercise their choice.
All platforms on the social media space are not created equal. Different rooms have different conversations. So when you’re studying these audiences; you will ask if your story is visual enough for those people hanging out on Instagram. Is it possible for your video idea to live within YouTube and to connect with an audience there? Can you get your message into your ideal prospect’s news feed?
With a better understanding, you will talk directly to Avatars and give them the choice they demand because you know what they value and what they are prepared to give in return.
The brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is; it is what the customers tell us. Lean in and listen! With this studying of the ideal customer avatar, you’re going to learn to listen to where they are telling you what matters. And, by being in the right place and, listening to the right conversations, you’re going to be better equipped to manage your relationship with your customers.
You will only know this once you’ve done this work and you can confidently devote marketing power to the few channels where you know you can stand out instead of diluting your message across many. I want to reiterate that point! This exercise is going to show you WHERE YOUR CLIENTS HANG OUT; where to devote your effort and not spread yourself too thin.
I hope that explains exactly WHY you need to pay attention to this.
HOW TO USE YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATARS.
It’s a two-way relationship. It’s going to benefit both of you if you do this work really well.
Understanding your ideal customer better than anyone else is important for you and them. When they sense that you’re talking directly to their pain, their challenge, their problem, their need to be happy; their need to have something different; to experience something different; then you will get their attention.
Possibly one of the most difficult tactics for beginner social media marketers to understand is that it’s not all about you on Social Media. It’s about them! And, how what you put out there helps them feel better, feel entertained, feel helped, feel enriched.
We talk more about the 80/20 principle when we do our Content Generation training but for now, like any relationship, it starts with the’ looks’ and the first impression i.e. the Branding, the setting up of your Profiles; and, discovering the opportunities to serve better.
When you have got their attention with good first impressions, you will want to get to know each other well and give them a good reason to hang around.
This only occurs when you talk to each other at a point where you connect and know what interests each other and you listen to understand not reply.
How do you do that? By studying what makes them tick and starting conversations they want to engage with.
One of the core concepts here that I can introduce you to is to take them from “Pain Island to Pleasure Island”.
What are their Desires and Fears? What transformation do they desire? How can you make their challenge go away?
It is when you know what keeps them awake at night and what is frustrating them, or what do they wish for, that you can give them a sense of how You can take them from Pain to Pleasure; Frustration to Solution; Sad to Happy. There lies your opportunity! And by the way, a happy end result always looks more tempting than the current pain.
WAYS TO USE IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATARS
Target Ads more Effectively
For you as a marketer, perhaps with a limited budget and with limited resources, an ideal customer avatar helps you target your ads much more effectively.
Tailor Messaging to Connect
Once you know exactly who you’re talking to and what their pain points are, you’re going to message that much better in your email subject lines; your call to action and headlines in ads and posts.
Selecting Appealing Images
You’re also going to use images that you know resonate with people. One of the most effective things you can do in getting people to connect with you is showing your ideal customer in an image. People are looking at the image and imagining themselves in that place or situation, feeling the way the subject does. You need to know what that ideal customer looks like, feels like, and behaves like, in order to be able to use winning ideal customer images.
Collecting Critical Information
Critical market information is going to help you over and over and over again. Tweaking product development, changing the tactics, changing the content, changing the way you present marketing messages. Do you print a brochure? Does your target audience still want a CD? Do you do a video? Or do you just do audio, whatever?
Of course, market research of your customers and your competitors’ customers are great ways to fine-tune your intimate knowledge of your own ideal customer.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATAR.
What you need to know is the kind of stuff you want to lean into and find out and absolutely pin-point to perfection. Here’s the Ideal Customer Template for you to get an idea about what information to look for.
It’s going to help save you so much time and money. You’re going to relate that much better to your people and you’re going to talk to those people who are more likely to buy; who like your message. I like to say, if you do this effectively your customers come to you with cash in hand ready to buy. The sales job is practically done because of the way you have spoken to them and built the relationship through attention and interest to create a desire.
Thankfully, so many people share all their information online and we as marketers love that because it gives us this wealth of information to learn all about our ideal customer. To truly understand and relate you also want to know what they are doing offline which would be very difficult if you didn’t go and study them online and find out where they are spending their time offline. Luckily they show us on social media where they are doing this.
WHERE TO START FINDING AND LEARNING ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATAR
Your Current Customers
Talk to your current customers one-on-one or survey a range of customers. In the ideal Customer Training, we give you some script tips and a survey template to help you gather powerful know-how.
Also in the training, we show you where to listen to competitor customers.
Your Social Media
This is great fun when we show you how your own fans tell you what they like, want and need. You even learn how to talk to them.
IN CLOSING …
I just want to elaborate on this IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATAR TRAINING I’ve been mentioning.
It is a critical tactic to take your marketing to the next level.
I know this because I’ve just been on so many courses and read so many blogs and seen so much material out there …everywhere I go, that echo this message, ‘make sure you know who your ideal customer avatar is” … it is everywhere you look.
Yikes, I struggled with Ideal Customer Avatar in my own business. In fact, it took me two years to pinpoint that because nobody told me HOW despite working with Business Coaches! If only I had this opportunity a long time ago.
Anyway, the milk is spilt but luckily I have devised a system to explore and research the ideal customer avatar by calling on pieces of training I have done; adding my own little tweaks and twists; I now have a way to go WHERE you get the information you need to learn about customers. You gather data that helps you work out who is right, who is wrong and what you need to do to be more effective. You learn to record information that helps you choose the right images, the right wording, the right phrases, make the right offers at the right time, in the right place, all those good things.
Ideal Customer Avatar is obviously one of the topics we cover and one of the most important. But we also give you training on conducting a mini online audit to explore your customers’ online journey. Where does it begin and where do they go; what do they need from you at each step of that journey unless you’re there and you know what they looking for, you’re going to waste time and effort.
We also show you Facebook tips and tricks. Facebook is doing lots of tweaking and lots of changes making it hard for someone without time to follow every update.
IDEAL CUSTOMER AVATAR SERVICES
Grab our Template and do it on your own
If you need to work on your WHY and WHAT, then this free mini-training may help. WATCH NOW!