Recently I asked for input from local business owners on what they wanted to know about marketing. This blog explores one of their questions.
One thing that small business owners can struggle with is the concern that people won’t want what they’re selling. The truth is, whatever you’re offering (or how you’re offering it) will not appeal to everyone, but it will appeal to the right people. You shouldn't try to appeal to anyone and everyone, you should only try to reach those who will be receptive to you. You could try to evangelize and convert everyone, but that requires a lot of effort and time, and it not a realistic approach for a small business.
Identify the people that matter
As in any relationship, if people don’t think you’re worth their time, they’re not worth yours. The key is to work out who you are, what you offer, and who you want to offer it to. You need to find your market and hone in on it – everyone else doesn’t matter.
Sometimes it can be hard working out who that audience is. The first mistake is assuming that your audience could be "anyone". It's unrealistic and unhelpful for your marketing efforts. If you need help identifying your target audience, I have a step-by-step process laid out in my recent blog “Who are you talking to” or you can watch my free mini-course on audience persona-building.
Then talk directly to them
Once you have identified your core audience, you need to communicate who you are and why they should buy what you’re selling. The great thing about knowing who your audience is is that you can work out what they want to hear and what messages will resonate most effectively with them. Those are the people that you want to “convince” and if you know they’re perfect for you, then it shouldn’t be too hard because they will be receptive to what you have to say anyway. The trick is finding them and talking directly to them.
Here are some examples of local businesses that have a specific audience, which helps them effectively grow their business. I have gleaned this information from solely looking at their websites, so I might be wrong in my conclusions, but I think their messaging is strong and specific.
Boomers’ Social Media Tutor (Joyce Feustel)
People often think of social media as a young person’s game, but the first social media website, Six Degrees, was created in 1997 so it's been around for a while and nowadays social media platforms are used by people of all ages. Joyce specializes in tutoring the Baby Boomer generation, helping to improve their social media presence. She knows her audience and they love her.
Who might not be the right customer:
Someone looking to do well on Tiktok
Someone who wants to work with a man
Who might be a perfect customer:
Someone over 45
Someone looking for help with Facebook or LinkedIn
Small business owners; consultants; speakers, authors etc.
Golden Laser Aesthetics
Golden Laser Aesthetics is an aesthetician company, based in Golden, Colorado, that offers a variety of services including laser services and fillers. They believe everyone deserves to look and feel their best at every stage of life and want to transform lives by making people feel young, beautiful, and confident.
The more technical services, such as laser treatments and fillers will not appeal to everyone. If you’re comfortable with your crows' feet, they probably aren't what you're looking for. However, if you’re looking for excellent customer service and an aesthetician knowledgeable about lasers, then you might want to check them out – at least that’s according to their testimonials.
Who might not be the right customer for these services:
Someone who is afraid of lasers or injections
Someone who is happy with their wrinkles
Who might be a perfect customer for these services:
Someone who wants the latest technologies and techniques in their beauty treatments
Someone who is open to botox and fillers
The company is starting to offer organic facials and natural treatments - so I'm looking forward to seeing how the company communicates these different services to their audience.
I wanted to use these examples to show that if you're having trouble "convincing" people of your services, before getting disheartened, consider whether you're talking to the right people. Both of these businesses could have tried to appeal to everyone, but they didn't - they know their audience and talked directly to them.
Writing this blog has made me realize that I should also write a piece on how to write great messaging, so stay tuned for that one!
If you'd like to talk more about identifying your audience or developing strong messaging, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!