In my coaching efforts with small business owners, I find that one of the most overlooked items when designing a marketing campaign is also one of the most important and should never be skipped: identifying your target population. It sounds so basic, yet it is so regularly skipped. Most of the business owners I coach cast too wide a net and therefore don’t find their response rates or opt-in rates nearly as high as they would like. They aren’t able to get clients on the phone or to return phone calls; get them to respond to e-mails; visit their website; answer direct mails; or anything. Their bosses or some sales strategies tell them it’s a numbers game, just keep trying.
If you want to attract more of YOUR target population, then you must identify them with laser-like proficiency. One of the best ways to do this is to be able to visualize your target market. I recently attended a meeting where one of my fellow coaches discussed using an Avatar approach. This way you can actually envision exactly what your target looks like. Once you can see them in your minds eye, it’s much easier to attract them. Brilliant!!!!
If you are selling weight loss products for instance, who exactly are you trying to attract?? I hear often from the people I coach: “anyone who is overweight”. That is just way too broad a spectrum of people to effectively attract. You must get much more specific as to who they are. I’ve heard very similar answers from financial planners, real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, automobile salespeople, and many others. The lesson here is to be more specific and don’t try to attract absolutely everyone. As the old story goes “He who chases two rabbits catches none”.
You must get specific for each campaign. You should note that you can have multiple “ideal prospects” and their related Avatars, however, each campaign must be addressed to a specific population to be able to appeal to their specific needs, challenges and other emotional triggers.
Ask yourself questions about your ideal client such as:
1. Who is your ideal client or customer?
b) Age range?
c) Education Level?
d) Marital Status?
e) Children? Will they be part of the product appeal?
2. Where do they live?
c) Community? (rural, urban, suburban)
d) Housing? (apartment, homeowner, sprawling estate, etc)
3. What do they do for fun?
a) Where do they spend their time online?
b) What activities do they do on their free time?
c) Belong to any organizations or clubs?
4. Personality Attributes?
a) What’s their biggest fear?
b) What’s their dreams and goals in life?
c) What are some big needs they have yet to have met?
5. Business Profile
a) Where do they work? (Stay at home, work from home, Small Office, Big Corp)
b) Do they already use something similar to your product or service?
c) Do they have the money to spend?
d) How often will they need your products or services?
Once you have answered these questions, then create an Avatar. Simply stated, an Avatar is a visual representation of what your target looks like. This can be anything from a stick figure, to finding a picture of them on the web. The point being that you must be able to see them in your minds eye. You must understand exactly who they are and what concerns them the most.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s say you are selling copiers. Your target population is typically an office manager. She is likely going to be in her40’s; let’s say on average 45 years old. She is married and is college educated. Most likely has children. Lives locally in the suburbs and probably owns her own home. Her income can range, but is likely to be high $30’s to low $40’s and she is probably not the primary wage earner in her home. She spends a lot of her spare time with her kids going from event to event and lesson to lesson. She is surely very good on the web and can find most of what she wants by going to ebay, amazon.com, zappos, and other similar sites. She will do much research and perform due diligence about purchases online and has a good idea of what she wants and how much it should cost.
So we are well on our way to knowing what she looks like; now we have to identify what really makes her tick. What are the emotional feelings which really concern her? These are the questions from #4 above. Understand these and you will unlock how to work with her and get her wanting to work with you. What I can assure you is that most copier salesmen will ask her questions about what’s important to her such as: How many copy’s/month do you need to do? Do you need double sided copies? Color? Web or wifi access to the machines? What kind of machine do you currently use? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? How long is left on your lease or do you own it? And other questions along these lines.
Although these questions are good, and eventually knowing the answers to them is important; they don’t really engage the office manager and get to her real needs and problems and get her wanting to speak with you right now. Education based attraction marketing begins with the premise that to attract more of your ideal prospects more quickly, you must offer to teach them something of value to themselves rather than just trying to sell them something.
So, what really worries or bothers her? I can assure you, it’s not how many copies the machine can do per minute!! It’s things like how to get more respect from her boss. How to build a support team that she can really rely on. How to have a better balance of work and home. Solve these problems for her and she’ll be a life-long client!!!
So to attract this person, offer to help her to solve these types of concerns. You can create reports, seminars, webinars, etc. on “How to Get My Boss To Respect Me” or “Seven Strategies to Avoid When Building a Team” or “The Office Managers Guide on How to Have a Better Work/Home Balance”.
Try it, you’ll like it!!!
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