Many people make the mistake of not defining their target customer when they start marketing online (ok, and offline businesses do it, too). if you haven’t defined your ideal customer yet, you may want to remember this phrase (it stems from success training):
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time”.
If that phrase sounds illogical to you, then consider this:
When you write a blog post, you are telling a story, or conveying a set of facts, to another person. Let’s think of it as a conversation…
After all, you are “talking to someone” (the reader).
Now, the big question:
Are all of your conversations the same? I mean your real life conversations – when you talk to your kids, your employer, your friends, your grandmother…
Do you use the same tone of voice, the same set of words, and the same frame of reference when you talk to each of them?
Of course not. You wouldn’t talk to your employer like you talk to your kids…:)
Now consider this:
If you don’t know who and what your target customer is, you may be talking to him or her in the wrong tone of voice, or from a disconnected or illogical perspective.
If you do that, you have lost the sale. Period.
And you will keep losing every sale. Until you fix your mess.
Think of it as a salesperson in a store – he or she adapts to the person in front of him/her. The tone of voice, and what is being said, will depend on a number of factors, which may include what the person is looking for, how old he or she is, how affluent he or he is, and which questions he or she may have.
On the internet, you don’t have the luxury of meeting that person face to face. You have to guess…
Note: Once your website receives enough traffic, you can use services like Alexa.com and Quantcast.com to shed some more light on the demographics of your visitors. Unfortunately, until you get there, you are on your own.
Sub-note: Alexa.com offers a free one week trial in case you ever need to use it – whether it is for researching your own site or that of your competition (in order to see what their visitor demographics look like, and gain some insights from there).
Fact: The closer you can come to identifying your ideal target customer, the better the conversation will be. You will be able to connect, and bring your point across without it seeming like you are speaking to him/her from another planet. Being able to connect is the first step towards making the sale.
So – how do you go about it? Well, according to Frank Kern, in his training on “core values”, this is what you do:
Imagine you are in the same room with your typical, or should I say “ideal” customer…
Let’s call him “Bob”, or let’s call her “Jenny” (or whatever you prefer).
What is he or she like? Is he or she in any specific age group? Is he or she in any specific income group? What are their biggest concerns and questions? And most importantly, what are their personal experiences of those problems?
Go to forums where your target customers hang out. Note how they talk. Note the questions, the perspectives, and the tone of voice. If it is a Facebook group, look at the member list. Who and what are you dealing with, and what do they want?
Imagine sitting down with that person, and having a conversation. What would it be like? What would you be talking about? What can you help him or her with (even if you have to go and find the answers)?
Once you have ascertained this, you will be in a much better position to “be engaged in a conversation with your target customer”. You will be able to relate to them, and talk TO them – not AT them. You will be able to connect on a personal level, even though you never met the person in front of you.
And once you are able to connect with your prospective customers, two things will happen:
1. They will have the perception that you really understand their needs.
2. They will trust you more – simply because they can relate to you.
Both of these will bring you closer to making a sale.
You can apply this to improve your blog posts, autoresponder emails, advertising material, landing pages, sales page copy…
Your success starts with knowing your target customer. There is NO way around it.