Most people start with marketing their WHAT by talking about what products or services they offer. Starting with WHAT is backward, start with WHO and WHY instead.
Define your WHO
Most business owners I ask about their target audience say something like this: “Everybody who,” or “Anybody who.” Unfortunately, this is an oversight. If you don’t have a very specific definition of your ideal client, you will make errors in your messaging, marketing, and sales. You won’t effectively capture the attention of your ideal client, on your website, during phone calls, or in your customer service. This is step one!
Here is an example that might help. Our Roof Maxx dealership sells a product that is meant to help aging roofs last longer. I could say that our target audience is anybody that has a roof. That is the exact oversight I am referring to, that market is much too wide. We can’t actually speak to that audience effectively. In actuality, the WHO for our Roof Maxx dealership are maintenance-minded men aged 55+. They are homeowners who are frugal and enjoy classic cars and tools. These are our WHO. Does that mean a woman wouldn’t call in and be interested in Roof Maxx? No, but when we talk about matching with your ideal client, you should focus on the smallest viable group of people who resonate with your message, product, and brand personality. https://roofrenewalogden.com/
Jennie Taylor is the founder of the Brent Taylor Foundation, which she started after her husband Brent was killed in action in Afghanistan. Her foundation is very patriotic and believes in the promotion of American values and pride. When we talked about her vision for the foundation, I asked her if she wanted to try and convert others to her way of thinking and to the principles of patriotism, or if she wanted to enroll and engage those who already feel that way and inspire them to do more. After a pause, she said she wanted to ignite the passion of patriots who could do more. She has done amazing at igniting passion. https://majorbrenttaylor.com/
Even if you have something that everyone needs, you are not going to connect with them all. Let's say you are a plumber. Everyone will likely need a plumber at some point in their life. When that need arises, some might want the cheapest plumber, while others want the fastest, or most efficient. Those things are called differentiators. Within each of those categories you might find 30-40 local plumbers who claim to be the fastest plumbers, so we need to drill deeper. You want to define yourself in a way that is uniquely you.
Let’s say one plumber is a very patriotic patron of the Major Brent Taylor Foundation I mentioned. People who want a fast plumber might also be patriotic. This doesn’t eliminate someone who may not be as passionate about the USA, but it does help you connect with a potential client who shares similar values.
Your WHO should be narrow, but not so narrow that you can’t make a living. Think of it like a dating app. If you were to use an app to try and find someone you could date, you might start by listing your interests in music, movies, and activities. You might look for someone who shares some of your interests. That is how people are going to shop for you and your business. Give them reasons to like you. When you know these things, you can feature imagery and messaging that speaks to your similar group.
Define your WHY
You don’t connect with every piece of art that you see. It’s likely you have a specific style of art that speaks to you. In the same way, your marketing needs to appeal to your ideal customers. I call this your WHY. Once you have defined your WHO, you need to think about messaging that speaks directly to them; messaging that demonstrates the key things they will find interesting or important about your business. You can also engage in activities that showcase your allegiance to those values, which will help you find friends and customers who will do business with you.
When we started Connection Publishing, for example, we wanted to help create connection among the communities we serve. Because of this, we made sure to keep our publications positive and to give information to help people connect to their community better. Our clients tend to value this connection, and community just like us. Our clients are similar to us. Yours will be similar to you. Not exactly the same, just similar.
In conclusion, understanding and connecting with your ideal client is the cornerstone of successful marketing. Your WHO, or the specific demographic or group that resonates most with your brand, plays a crucial role in shaping your marketing strategies. Whether it's through targeted advertising, personalized content, or engaging in activities that reflect your brand's values and ethos, it's essential to create a marketing message that speaks directly to your WHO.
While broad appeal might seem advantageous, it often dilutes the effectiveness of your message. By focusing on your WHO, you can create more meaningful, impactful connections that not only attract but also retain customers. This targeted approach is especially effective in today's digital world, where SEO, social media marketing, and online presence are vital.
Embrace the power of specificity in your marketing efforts, and watch as your business resonates with the right audience, driving growth and lasting customer relationships. Tailor your message to stand out in your niche, and make your brand a beacon for those who share your values and interests. Your ideal client is out there, and it's just a matter of speaking their language and aligning your marketing strategies with their needs and preferences.