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The biggest mistake I see business owners make is  starting with What and Where when advertising. They see an advertising source, or a sales person walks into their business and they like what they hear, so they buy advertising. It’s ok to buy advertising, in fact that’s what we sell at Connection Publishing, but you shouldn’t start there!

So where do you start? You must start with WHO! It’s vital to clearly define your primary target audience. Seth Godin calls it your “minimum viable audience”. Most businesses assume their audience is wide and broad when, in fact, they should get way more narrow. Not only are their riches in niches, but the narrower your target, the more effective you can be in speaking to them with your marketing. This is the key. If you haven’t done this yet, you should start here. We created this form to help you get super-narrow and define your WHO. When you do this first, it will change everything. Instead of a wide net that catches very little, you can cast a stronger, narrow net that catches your best prospect. You do this by speaking to them clearly and concisely.

Determining your WHO is crucial to effective marketing. Defining your potential customer as “everyone” or “anyone who likes _____” is too broad. While everyone might possibly be your customer, hone your messaging to those who are most likely to love you and your product. Lacking a specific definition of your WHO will cost you time, money, and effectiveness. This worksheet will help you determine your WHO.

The Second Step before deciding WHERE to advertise and WHAT to put in your ads, is to define your WHY.

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is WHY people do business with you. It should be short and real; don’t claim something you can’t back up. It should highlight your strengths, touch on what your customers like about you, and use powerful wording to say it concisely. This is much more than a slogan and much more specific than “We Create High-Quality Products,” which is so vague it means almost nothing. It can also easily be used by a competitor. Your USP needs to be uniquely yours. If you have multiple focuses, you may want to have one USP for each area and one for your company as a whole.

Simon Sinek says to “start with WHY”. I agree with him as long as you have defined your WHO, then yes, start with WHY. One of my favorite whys comes from the Saddleback Leather Company. Their statement is “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead!” They make extremely high-quality leather goods that last beyond a lifetime. Your WHY should be something similar. Something that captures the spirit of what you do and why people love you. Use this worksheet to define your WHY.

If you define these two things, your WHO and your WHY, you have just taken your marketing game to a whole new level! Your messaging and targeting are now much better and more effective. If you need help with this, we are happy to help click here. If you want to do it on your own, find the WHO and WHY worksheets here.

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