You can have the best product or service, the best price, the best website, the best language, and you can still fail. Why? Because the most important part is your ability to connect with your audience. That's where you lose or win.
How do you connect?
One of my marketing mentors said that you have to join the conversation that's going on in their heads. That means you need to understand the pain, problem or predicament that they think about constantly, and that your product or service can resolve for them. Then you can empathize with them - and they'll feel you understand what they're going through. That's the first step.
How do I know what are they thinking?
Put on your research hat and find out.
Research doesn't sound exciting. But how fired up can you get watching workers dig a hole for the foundation of a house. It's much more thrilling to watch the walls go up and see the house take shape. But without the foundation, the walls won't stand.
The picture of your ideal client is your foundation that the rest of your marketing is built upon.
You need to know as much as you can about your ideal client. What are her highest aspirations? What are her fears? What does she despise? What does she admire? What is the problem she's facing that your service offers a solution to? What does she expect from the solution?
These are just a few of the questions I ask when I help my clients with their marketing or writing.
It may take some time to get a clear picture of who you're talking to, but if you take the time to do this excavation work up front, everything you say and write will be clearer, more focused, and more effective because it will land with the people it's meant for.
Some quick ways to do your own informal market research
Research doesn't have to be intimidating or expensive either.
· Review your past clients and see if there are common threads that link the issues you want to help them with.
· Pick people who would be ideal clients and interview them. Most people like to talk about themselves: usually it isn't a problem getting this information. It doesn't have to be in a formal setting. A 5-minute conversation at a networking meeting can be enough. You're not asking for intimate details of their personal lives, you're simply wanting to find out what makes them tick.
Mostly people want to help; many people are starved of attention and are glad to have the chance to talk about themselves.
How does this help?
When you understand your ideal clients, you can easily tune into how they think and what they believe. Then you can present your message, whether written or verbal, in a way that resonates with them. It may mean that some people will love you and some will not. That's the risk. But why would you want to appeal to those who aren't ideal clients anyway?
Try it. You might be surprised at the response you get.
Copyright 2012 Maggie Dennison. All rights reserved.