Take The Guesswork Out Of Business Ownership and Marketing

Whether you’re the busy business owner, trying to generate new business while tying up loose ends of existing tasks, or the marketing team, creating “killer content” to draw potential customers to your product or service, the first hurdle you must overcome is in knowing the characteristics of the persons you are trying to reach.

Since I am a fisherman, I often equate this to fishing. I wouldn’t, for instance, put a worm on my hook to catch a tuna, and I wouldn’t fish in the ocean for trout (Trout are freshwater fish, for non-fisher-types, and tuna are salt-water fish). Clearly, to catch the right fish, I need the right bait.

In business, bait comes in different forms. This includes:

a. A unique product or service

b. An understanding of how people shop

c. Marketing content that speaks to that shopper

d. The ability to keep one’s promise (in other words, not over promising what you can deliver)

This is all good to know, but we still haven’t cleared the first hurdle: Who’s your potential client?

To make it past that challenge and clear the path to your next hurdle, you must be able to answer these three questions:

1. What problem is my product or service a solution to?

2. Who has the problem?

3. What keywords are they using on the search engines to find answers to their perceived problems?

One key way to identify how the process works is to do a search yourself, as if you are the customer looking for your product and/or service. What keyword or words would you type into the search engine, and when you are led to sites matching your keywords, what site do you choose? Ask yourself, “Why did I click on that particular selection rather than the one above or below it?”

Study the content or language of the search you selected. What triggered (if anything) an impulse to take an action?

A good rule of thumb for creating your own effective copy is to:

1. Address the concern of your potential buyer.

2. Guide them to an easy solution

To address the concerns of your potential buyer, return to the three questions above. What about your product or service will help solve your potential buyer’s problem? If, for example, you are a business owner that feels like your business is consuming you to the point that you are working in your business 24/7 with no time for yourself, your family, or perhaps even eating…well, then you have a problem.

The next step is to offer a solution:

“Yes! I want to break free of the stress, and access easy-to-implement tools to systemize my business. Send me more information.”

Link the word “yes” to a squeeze page where, by giving their email address, they gain access to your site, or to a white paper or report that addresses the solution you are offering them. That page, in turn, will have a new call to action (sign up for our newsletter), or other offer that will truly make them aware that if they go with you and your product or service, their lives will, indeed, be less stressful.

Understanding one’s customers involves understanding how they process…how they buy. Consider exploring these guidelines for determining that:

1. Begin your marketing process with educating your potential buyer to who you are, what you do and what you have that they need and why it’s important for them to take an action.

2. Having researched what challenges your potential customer is faced with, show how your product or service fixes their problem.

3. Be confident enough to show what your competition offers (or doesn’t offer) and remind the potential customer that they have a choice.

4. Ask them to choose you.

Once you are clear on those steps, be clear as well on the vehicles you will use to get the word out to your potential clients. Buyers come at buying from many angles. Some are social connectors who rely heavily on what others say and think. For these buyers, blogs and social media approaches work well. Social media might include Facebook and Twitter.

Other potential buyers are heavy-duty researchers who look for validation outside of you and your claims to make their decisions. For these buyers, articles, trends, news, newsletters, webinars, and informational pieces helps to build confidence and connection. For others, they like to compare shop, and will need testimonials, visuals, and other means to show that going with your product or service is a wise decision, and lastly, you’ll potentially have the non-believers that need case studies, analytic reports, and assurance that may require more time and effort on your part to gain their trust.

As a business owner and certainly as head of a marketing team, a good place to start this whole process is with a plan. Some call it an editorial or progress calendar. Others a flowchart. Whatever you name your plan the point is to create one. Remember that research on your end has to be part of the plan and definitely part of the process, so plan for that. A typical template for a plan might look like this:

a. Research demographics of potential customers through keyword searches. Check out Google Trends and type in keywords you’ve been using to see if the region you want to target even shows up! You may be surprised and need to change your focus.

b. Map out a plan for creating content that will address the types of buyers we listed above (blog readers, trend followers, comparison shoppers, researchers, etc.), and create compelling content that will speak to each type of buyer.

c. Create a spreadsheet, flowchart, or progress calendar that shows who’s responsible for what and include deadlines for production.

d. Take action. Use Sales Genie or other services that will connect your with the region you are targeting and start testing and measuring your Adword campaigns, or the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

I hope this information has been useful to help you move from stress to success. Remember, it’s not a weakness to ask for help, and as an owner of a business coaching firm, I assure you it’s the desire and motivation of every one of our business coaches to help you succeed.