Understanding Your Customer
Welcome to week two of this educational series on Being the Boss of Your Brand! I'm Jennifer Roberts, and I'm taking the rest of this calendar year to talk about how business and nonprofit leaders can truly Be the Boss of Your Brand.
Last week we talked about what it means to Be the Boss of Your Brand. This week we are talking about understanding your customer. The more we know and understand our customer's needs, wants, and desires, the more likely we will be able to help them. And by help, I mean to sell to them.
Let me just take a pause for a moment and clarify what I mean when I say sell. Here is what I don't mean – convincing a person to buy something they don't actually need or want. That feels terrible, right? I never want someone to buy from me and feel trapped into the purchase. Sometimes the word sell has a negative connotation – like I can't get away from the used car salesman trying to get me to buy something I don't want. YUCK!
Words like help, educate, and problem solve all feel much better to me than sell. Because really who we want to help are the people who need what we offer. We want the people who will find value in what we do. This is why finding your ideal customer is critical.
Often when we talk about marketing or advertising, the term demographics comes up. Demographics is a way to categorize people who might be interested in your product or service. Demographics are things like – women over 40 with two children, men age 30-50 an income of over $100,000 per year. Age, household size, homeowners, income levels, gender – all of these are generally demographics. It's great to know these things about your customer, but to find your ideal client – you need to know more.
You want to know what your ideal client worries about, where they hang out online, what they desire, what type of transformation they are looking for?
These are much more intimate and harder to answer questions than someone's age, gender, and annual household income. That is why it is so powerful. When you have these answers to these types of questions for your ideal client – it's almost like you are in their brain. You know what they need, and you have a solution that will really work!
So how do you get this precious intel? You ask! It sounds so simple, but it doesn't take much. When you think about your favorite customer who loves what you offer, who pays on time, who tells their friends about what you do, who is excited to do business with you again and again – that's probably your ideal customer!
Interview Your Ideal Customer
Suppose you can find a couple of customers like that in your business, even better! Now all you have to do is ask them a few questions. If you are trying to get feedback from hundreds of people – you probably have to do a survey. But if you are trying to get a baseline of the people who love your work the most – just call them and ask to interview them. If they love doing business with you – they will probably leap at the chance. Here are some basic questions you want to get specific answers to.
1. What were you struggling with before we worked together? What problem did you need to be solved?
2. What did you try to do to solve that problem before we met?
3. How did you find my business/nonprofit?
4. What happened when we started working together? What happened when you bought my product?
5. How has working together made your life easier?
With answers to these questions, you can find out how to attract more clients like your favorite one! These answers can help you
· Create content that your future clients might find helpful
· Know where to promote your business/nonprofit in the same place that your ideal client found you
· Write testimonials to show others how great and transformational it is to work with you
· Understand how your customer sees you differently from others in your industry
The possibilities are nearly endless.
Reinterview and Refine
But as you have probably figured out – you likely have more than one ideal client. One interview won't give you all the answers. You need to do several. Then several more in six months from now. It's important to refine and expand on the knowledge of your customer continually. Someone that you believe is your ideal client today – might not be next year – because you have learned so much more about your ideal client in the span of a year if you keep asking questions.
The most important thing about ideal clients – if you found one, you can bet there are more in the world out there to find. Sometimes it's tempting to call an ideal client a unicorn – a once in a lifetime find, never to be encountered again. With continued curiosity and refinement – you can understand your customer in ways that will even surprise them!
If you are interested in learning more about how you can Be the Boss of Your Brand – we have seven more weeks of topics to go through. There is more to come on clear communications – that is next week - being the face of your brand, setting goals for next year, and much, much more.
Stick with me for the rest of the year, and we'll dive into the specifics each week.
You can find this series in a variety of places. Pick which one you like the most!
· Be the Boss of Your Brand Blog.
· On the Back Porch Communications YouTube Channel.
· Join the PR and Marketing for Small Business Owners and Nonprofits Facebook group to find a community of others who want to share their passion with the world just like you.
If you are interested in working together, I do have 1:1 spaces available right now. Book a 30-minute Zoom call on my calendar, and we can talk about taking your brand to the next level.