When you have a solid idea of what is happening in the lives of your ideal customers, what is driving them, what they are concerned about and where the trust issues are you can tailor your marketing approach much more effectively. Trust is important for all businesses but the industries where it seems like there are an abundance of scammers have even bigger challengers facing them when they want to build quality relationships and reputations.
Let's have a look at a service based business for in a challening and competitive industry...
SEO and Content Marketing Business
You've decided that life is too short to be miserable working in a company that just doesn't care and you're taking the leap and setting up your own business to help others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. With so much at risk for yourself and the family and seriously understanding that business is done between people, not businesses you are connecting directly with your ideal customers who have business nous and money.
You've learnt a great deal about how not to do things and you are systematically setting your enterprise up so you attract the sort of clients you want to work with - those who pay on time, have businesses to grow and will trust you to do the right thing. The only problems are that it can be hard to find these ideal clients, the industry itself does have at times an image problem and it takes time and effort to grow. You understand that trust is key too all of this and it needs to be earnt.
Ideal Client Time….
Katherine has her own successful business selling corporate and employee gifts to smart entrepreneurs who understand how important it is to nurture key relationships. She is an excellent sales woman who knows how to build strong relationships that have made her success what it is today.
Katherine has come to realise that her website is not achieving the sales that is should, money is being left on the table and it is about time the site became the sales channel it was always intended to be.
Time and effort has been put into the look and feel of the site so it fits with her branding messages and it is customer focused and easy to use. The products are all up there, the client testimonials are there and every month the online advertising campaigns are happening and being paid for. Yet still the traffic numbers just aren't there.
As all good saleswomen know, if you aren't interacting with the right type and number of potential customers then you won't get your sales, it is a numbers game as well as a business built on relationships.
Katherine also understands the value of networking and it is how she has built her business, getting out there and meeting her ideal audience face to face and developing the relationships. It's through these conversations that she has come to realise that she really is leaving money on the table with her website, that it is seriously underperforming and her online advertising spend is failing.
As a key factor is centred around her actual visitor numbers to her website and attracting the right type of potential customers to her online hub, Katherine has come to realise that she needs to optimise the site. But where to start? Her initial conversations and research is showing her it's much more complicated than she initially thought, she is concerned about the stories of scammers and doesn't trust all those spam emails she gets about SEO from people she thinks will only do her business harm.
Katherine is also concerned about being ripped off and being a fool who doesn't know enough in this area and all the risks around that lack of experience.
What she does want is someone she can trust to do a good job and achieve the results she is after. So she starts asking around in her network to learn more about what's involved and the pitfalls as well as to find who has had good and bad experiences with whom.
Her research tells her that optimising the website is not just about key words any more but also about telling a story, using carefully selected and developed content to bring the right audience to her, about having the right sort of links back to her website from good quality websites, making the website the hub of her social media network and developing digital assets to use to build relationships online. All of this is going to take time and it will probably take longer than she anticipates, just as it did when building the website in the first (and second and third) place.
Katherine wants to be able to trust who she is going to work with. Someone who does business in a similar way she does, ethically, with a view to the long term, results orientated and sustainably. Being concerned about the risks to her business and determined for this "new" sales channel to be profitable, Katherine will carefully research anyone she is recommended through her extensive network. Once satisfied with the verbal recommendations, she will go to the website of the SEO specialist being suggested and check them out online, from their own digital assets and social media websites - are they walking their talk with their own profiles? What are their audience numbers like, who are they connecting with, what information are they sharing with their potential clients to educate them, who are they working with?
This is all done before taking the time out of her hectic week to have a coffee with them. Sure, she's met them briefly at an event and has also seen them present but she's checking a few out and wants to be sure she isn't wasting her time.
So when you get the call from a Katherine and find out through a few quick questions that she has done her research and you've already met, you figure out pretty smart that she is results orientated, has a budget for the project and is ready to commit to the right person.
Making Networking Work
It means that the networking and presenting at events and seminars has paid off. Your investment in your own digital strategies of assets, website and social media is working.
You have already trained your ideal client without even having to spend multiple one on one sessions with them, and better yet, this was done for you by previous clients and your online hub. You are in a position where you can choose which clients you work with and which ones you avoid. Based on having met them and your own network you can find out who are the good ones and who are the trouble clients.
Because you are regularly talking with potential clients you have a much better understanding of what is actually happening with them, how busy they are, what's important to them, how switched on they are and if they make the money decisions within the business.
While you do get a number of clients from your own online marketing and networks, they are cream to your business and if they turn out to be tyre kickers or problem clients you can jettison them quickly.
This gives you time to manage a good team of content writers, find ideal sponsored post partners for your range of clients, keep ahead of the pack with smart strategies, develop key strategic partnerships and actually enjoy the business you set up to be your own boss. It's a marked difference from the days when you were part of a business you dreaded going to each day. Now you have a profitable business working with clients you enjoy.
More ideas with: solar panel business and a bed and breakfast business.
Explore the idea of your customer's journey with this exercise.