Finding your Ideal Clients and Customers
Do you ever think about that fact that Facebook probably has enough demographic information to tell how many freckles you have on your nose? Of course I am kidding, but they know a lot about people. They see it in your profile, they see it in your posts and other activities.
Do you think this is a good thing? If you are in business you do. It allows us to find your ideal clients and customers. But how many businesses are actually taking time to sit down and identify their ideal target market, known as personas.
This is not an article about Facebook. It is about saving your budget dollars by completing this one simple activity.
This little principle is a quaint phenomenon. Also known as the 80/20 Rule. It states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In our world of small business, 80% of our revenues come from 20% of our customers/clients.
Can you identify who they are in your business? Of course you can. Just spend some time thinking about it, or pull out your income reports. It is eerie how this rule applies to so many things in our lives.
After you determine who the 20% are that bring in the most revenue, start creating your perfect personas, or perfect customers. What do they do for a living? Do they have a family? What do they do for fun? Just write a one page essay on “A day in the life of…” Then, search Google or some magazines, and find a picture of this person. Attach it to your essay.
You will want to do two or three of these, but no more than that at a time. Why? You will see in a bit.
Where Do Your Personas Hang Out?
Now you need to learn where your ideal customers hang out online. Do they look at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or other network sites? The best way to find out is to survey those 20% of your current clients. Otherwise, there are online resources to find out what demographics use what social networks.
Why would you buy ads on Facebook if your ideal customers hang out on Pinterest?
Inbound Marketing Methodologies
All inbound marketing strategies begin with identifying your best personas. There is good reason for this. First, you need to create your website pages to be attractive to those personas looking for answers. Then you need to create a blogging strategy that will speak to their needs.
Imagine what a big waste of time it is to create all that great content if you don’t know who will read it? With a targeted ideal customer, everything you do, and spend money on, is very focused.
It does not stop there. Once you have all that great content, you are promoting it through the social networks you have identified. You know where they are hanging out and what time of day they are looking.
Paid Advertising to the Invisible
The previous discussion focused on creating organic methods to attract customers. But what about those companies that say they can get you all those visits to your website using paid advertising?
I am not banishing paid advertising to the corner. But it needs to have some strategy. If you are approached by such companies, ask them these questions, or see if they ask you:
- Who is the target audience? Where do they hang out online?
- What strategy is in place to capture the lead once they come to the website? In other words, how will I know if a visitor came to the site and is interested in my services or products?
- Do you create the Calls to Action and content behind them?
- What is the overall goal of the campaign? And how many visitors do I need to attract in order to reach my goal?
Number of Visits Means Nothing
When I hear people say that this marketing company sent them a report, or just told them over the phone, that they had 1200 visits to their website last month, I say,”So What!” Because the strategy did not include a landing page with any type of offer to capture that visitor.
Who were they? Why did they click and why did I pay for them to click?
Any campaign, and I mean paid, organic, or social media, should be focused around a way to capture the lead.
For example. You write a fantastic article for your blog that is of great interest to your target customer. On the side bar of the article you have a nice call to action for an upcoming webinar you are hosting on a related topic. To push this out, you choose to share the article on specific social networks multiple times a day.
As people click to read your article, they see your offer for a free webinar, click the image, fill out the form, and now your know who they are and that they are very interested in the topic.
Doesn’t this make more sense than posting random pictures of puppies on Facebook? Or sharing those nice inspirational sayings?
Why Only Two or Three Personas?
I was hoping you would ask. But I have a feeling you already know the answer. For each persona, you could have a different set of articles to write, different combinations of social networks to promote your content, and different campaigns with different give-aways.
Can you image trying to do that with more than two or three at a time? Not if you want to run your business too!
Over time you can add more to the mix. The wonderful thing about all that content you are creating for your personas is that it is there for them to find for a long time. A lot of traffic comes from older articles! You just need to make sure your time specific offers are removed and replaced with static ones.
Schedule yourself some hour blocks of time. You might spend 20 minutes looking at your client list on your accounting software and identify your 20%. Then create a little survey to send them asking what social networks are their favorites. Maybe disguise it as a special offer that will be pushed out on those channels.
Develop up to three personas, write the essay about each one and attach an image of that persona. Have this near your computer when you are tempted to buy advertising.
Spend at least an hour a month creating a strategy for lead generation, blogging, and social media posts.
This method takes time. But you do not need to do it all. In the beginning you will do it yourself. But as those leads come in and your business grows, you can hire someone for $20 or an hour or so to do a lot of it for you.
Now pull out those calendars and get started!