In this article I am going to take you through the number 1 mistake I see businesses make.
The real question is…are you making this mistake?
Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
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Often entrepreneurs and business owners call me when they have hit a wall and realise they need some help.
They have tried a hundred different things but cannot seem to grow their business.
I have a process I use to help these people diagnose what’s wrong in their business and without doubt the number 1 mistake I find is a poorly defined target customer.
This results in a poor product or service offering and poor marketing messages that don’t work.
If you don’t understand who your customer truly is and what they really want you aren’t going to succeed.
To help you solve this problem here is the specific process I use to make sure my clients get this right.
Do NOT assume you know your customer. Follow this process step by step.
Don’t skip a step.
Every time I run a business owner through this process they have an “Ah HA” moment and realise what they have been doing wrong.
Step 1: Ideal Target Customer
Step 1 of my process is to write down your ideal target customer.
Think about all the different types of customers you sell too. Write down 4 – 5 different types.
Now pick the customer group that is your absolute sweet spot.
They would be the ones that are the most profitable and the ones you have the most success with.
Some businesses might pick two customer groups but don’t pick many ideal target customers because the complexity will just overwhelm you.
Now list out everything you know about them.
What is their age, gender, where they live, do they have kids, income range. Anything that really accurately describes them. Details matter.
Step 2: Pain Points
Now list out all of the pain points of this ideal target customer.
What problems do they have?
What keeps them up at night?
What do they fear?
Don’t miss a thing because this section is full of absolute marketing gold.
Step 3: Hopes & Dreams
Now write down what your ideal target customer dreams about.
Where do they see themselves in the future? Do they want to be rich? Do they want to lose weight? Do they want to be an actor? Do they want to find partner?
When they lay in bed at night what do they dream of?
If you are having trouble with these first three steps that’s ok.
I strongly recommend you go and find your ideal customer and talk to them.
You can meet them physically or jump into Facebook groups or online chat boards and ask them these important questions.
Write down everything they say and, importantly, note the specific language they use.
You’ll use this language in a later step.
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Step 4: Unique
List out what makes you special. Is there something unique about your products or services that differentiates you from the competition?
I cannot emphasise how important this is.
To be successful in business you need to tell people why you are different from everyone else out there in your market. Otherwise you’re just another tree in a forrest.
Step 5: Product & Service Review
Now you’ve got all this information you need to review your current products and services and test if they fit this ideal target customer you have just outlined.
Be really honest, are your products PERFECT for this ideal customer?
Are they a true fit for your ideal customer?
Often when you really deep dive into this you’ll find that there are some key compromises or gaps in your product or service offering that means it doesn’t resonate with your ideal customer.
Remember, this is not about having a product or service that has EVERY feature. You MUST make sure your product or service has the KEY features that your ideal customer wants.
Step 6: Review Marketing Messages
You might have a great product or service but if you aren’t appealing to customers pain points or hopes and dreams you aren’t going to cut through the thousands of marketing messages that the average consumer gets every day.
So here is a test:
- Do your marketing messages talk to a customer pain point or their hopes and dreams?
- Does your marketing use the exact language your ideal customer uses when describing their problems or dreams? You want the customer to look at your marketing and really identify with what you are saying and the best way to do this is talk in their language. Specific words matter.
- Do you talk about why you are different? Don’t just be another tree in the forrest, tell people why you are different.
Step 7: Test, Test, Test
Now you understand who you are targeting and what you are selling you’ve got to have a testing mindset.
By this I mean have 3 variations of your products or services and test to see which one sells.
Also have at least 3 variations of the marketing messages you use to promote your products and services and test these as well.
If you have this testing mindset you won’t be relying on opinion to grow your business, you’ll be relying on testing to determine what works.
Importantly, do this testing BEFORE you bet big money on your business. It’s much easier to fail with only a small amount of dollars than everything you have. Don’t bet the farm until you know you have a product or service people want.
Eventually you’ll find the secret sauce to success in your business.
I’m SO passionate about this process because it works.
Don’t cheat and just write anything down. You are only fooling yourself.
Really deeply think about these questions. I promise you’ll be amazed at what you uncover.
If you need some help, you can book a free chat with me to kick this around.
Sometimes we all just need a fresh pair of eyes.
Once you understand your ideal target customer you’ll find building your website so much easier. Check my guide “10 Secrets to Designing The Ultimate Homepage” for some important tips.
See you in the next article.