The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers - Shiv Singh

There is so much competition in the marketplace now particularly for small online businesses. Should this make you give up on your idea before you even start? Of course not, it just means you  need to show how you’re different to all the other options out there – and you are, there is no one else that’s you!

So how do I do this I hear you say? Well it’s simple, know your customer and when I say know your customer I mean, really, really know your customer. What are their fears, dreams, what is keeping them up late at night, where do they like to go?, what do they wish they could do but don’t have the time? You get the picture – know them like you know your best friend. Once you know this information you will know exactly how to market to them and where to find them.

“But I do know my customer, it’s mum’s/small businesses/corporate clients etc” Well that’s the same customer as all your competitors. You need to be different to shine in the crowded marketplace.

Knowing and truly understanding your customers is a vital part of a profitable and purposeful business. It helps you create better products and services, write better copy and focus your time and energy when it comes to marketing. Running your own business isn’t easy and don’t forget all the other things you’ve got going on in your life too so you need to make it as easy as possible to get to your customers.

I know you may be thinking you don’t want to leave anyone out or that your product or service can help everyone but realistically there are over 7 billion people on the planet – you will never be able to service them all. By having a specific customer in mind you are able to keep your brand compelling, consistent, clear, perfectly detailed and personal. You won’t appeal to everyone but you will appeal to the right people who will buy from you time after time and tell all their friends.

Another time saving bonus of knowing your ideal customer is that anything you write or create will happen so much quicker. You know who you are talking to and therefore can be more genuine and communicate like you would a friend. This will make the person reading your material or seeing your product feel that you really understand them and their challenges and compel them to buy from you. You just seem to ‘get’ what they are dealing with.

OK, so here’s your homework. Grab your drink of choice (hot chocolate, tea, coffee, wine), a notebook and pen and start thinking about your ideal customer. Here are a few questions to get you started.

Who do you love to deal with and why?

What do they have in common? Including demographic and psychographic traits e.g.: gender, income, marital status, values, beliefs, interests, hobbies.

What types of things do they Google?

What events do they go to?

What do they do in their free time?

What are their guilty pleasures?

Who does they idolize?

What authors, teachers or experts do they follow?

What brands do they love?

Think outside the square, what other information could you know like what do they watch on tv, you tube etc – you get the picture.

Now that you know all this information, step into their shoes and view their life through their eyes (all the common cliques)

What emotions do they feel at the exact moment before they buy your product or service?

What are they telling themselves?

What is their secret fear?

What stresses them out?

Keep thinking of all the information you can about your ideal customer, the more deep dark secrets you know the better.

Now that you have done this you will have pages of information about your ideal customer that you can use to inspire your web copy, social media posts, where you find and connect with your ideal customers, your sales and promotional materials, your ability to design and deliver products and services and your ability to make your marketing convert.

I know your brain is probably hurting right now but trust me it’s worth it and you can repeat it every time you are about to launch a new product or service.

If you need some extra motivation and support please email me with your story and I will be happy to give you some feedback.