Friday, July 20, 2018

8 Easy Steps to Attracting Your Ideal Customer and Improving Sales

One of the most common mistakes businesses make is wanting to be all things to all customers. Just as in life and friendships, you will never be everyone’s “cup of tea.” 

That’s okay. It’s more than okay. 

Understanding this and attracting your ideal customer is the one way to build loyalty among your clients and provide them with the services and products they need. In personalizing your sales approach you will gain more, not less. Here’s how you can go about doing that:



1.    Decide who your ideal customer is. There is a group (or maybe several groups) that you can help better than any other business. Who are they? Identify them, flesh out details about their demographics including:

     How old are they?
     How much money do they make? Do they have disposable income or are they living check to check?
     What do they do for a living?
     How do they spend their free time?
     What services or products are they loyal to?

2.    Figure out what they need. What is their most pressing issue? How does your business help them solve this?

3.    Analyze what they want? Now that you know what they’re struggling with figure out what they want; what they wish they had even if it’s not in the budget right now. Focus on how you can help them get there. Several banks have used this approach selling the question of what dream can they help you achieve today.

4.    Design marketing campaigns based around the second and third step in this list. Target individual demographics separately. Don’t try to use an all-encompassing solution for the different groups who buy from you. For instance, market to Millennials differently than you do retirees. They have different concerns. Designing your marketing strategy around these groups involves more than just your message. It also affects where and how you’re delivering it. For Millennials, you might turn to Instagram or YouTube. For the older generation, it might be Facebook and direct mail. You need to assess where your clients are so you can implement a strategy to reach them.

5.    Create content that appeals to each group. Yes, your marketing message is content but this step takes it a bit further. Create ebooks or infographics with information that will help your ideal customer. Do video or host events. Understand the group you want to reach and then create content and experiences to reach them best. Ever notice a lot of end-of-life providers host free lunch and learns? That’s because they’re a popular way to reach that demographic.

6.    Create a clear and “doable” call to action (CTA). At the end (and even midway, as appropriate) of all of your helpful content, you’ll want a clear and actionable CTA. The call to action must be the next step in what they’re looking for. For instance, if you’re selling something with a long sales cycle, you don’t want to add a buy-now button to your About Page on your website. About Pages are something most people visit when they want to learn more about you, not at a late stage in the sales cycle. On the other hand, a call to action to learn more about you on an infographic that walks people through the financing process of your product or service is not a good fit either because by that point most people are ready to consider signing with you. They likely already know about you.

7.    Find a way to delight them. Remember when you were figuring out what your ideal customer wanted and needed? Now you want to use that information to make an impression. By this point, you’ve already attracted them with your targeted marketing. They’re already looking into what you have to offer. They’ve scanned your valuable, personalized materials and content. Now, use what you know about them to make an impression. This could be through a targeted email marketing drip campaign or promotional materials that are tied to their wants and needs. But at this stage, you want to kick up your marketing and do something no one else is doing. Maybe that’s a handwritten note or a pop-up event. Use what you know about your ideal customer to surprise and delight them.

8.    Always follow-up. Most salespeople know to follow up but incessant calls from your sales team can get old. You need a way to stay in touch with your ideal customer as they consider doing business with you. You also want to stay in contact with those who have purchased and may purchase again. You can do this through a newsletter or other means of occasional contact. Get their email address. Being connected on social media is not enough. They could opt out of those platforms at any time but for someone to give up email that would be nearly impossible. Getting someone’s email is like getting their home address. It could change but not as often.

Get to work at attracting your ideal customer. They’ll remain more loyal to you and you’ll be more able to solve their problems and suit their needs. You’ll have fewer customer service issues because they are a good fit for your business. Stop trying to appeal to everyone and speak to those you are best suited to help.  






Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.comand the Event Manager Blog. 
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Newbie's Guide to Selecting the Ideal Social Media Platform


There's a lot of information out there about how to use social media for your business but most of those articles assume a certain amount of knowledge on the participant's part. Without that basic knowledge, you could spend a lot of time doing things that aren't helpful for your business. 
Best practices aren't best practices when applied in the wrong scenario or on the wrong platform. To better understand why the platform is so important, let's think about fishing.
Yes, the basics of catching a fish.
You can buy the perfect lure, learn to cast properly, practice constantly, get your permit to fish, and never catch a shark in your bathtub. Where you are fishing is as important as what you use; just as which platform you're onis critical to success in social media for your business.
If you want more sales and customers, you need not only best practices but need to be using them on the right platform for your business. This article will help you decide which social media sites you should be on to reach your ideal customers. 
Once you know that critical information, you can decide how to best spend your time and get the most out of your social media resources.

Statistics on the Most Popular Social Media Platforms 


If you want to be effective in using social media for your business, it is imperative to figure out where your audience is. 
There are a lot of options out there and all of the social media platforms are different. Here's a brief description of the most popular ones but keep in mind if you have a niche audience, there may be private online communities or groups that will help you reach more of them. Before you decide to start posting on any of the sites below, check that your ideal audience is there. You can do this by asking them or doing the research on the average age, gender composition, and other demographic data. This article will help you get started.

Facebook

This is the country's most popular social network with 79% of the US's internet users participating. 75% of male internet users are here. Based on mere numbers, 22% of the world's entire population uses this platform. However, the Facebook algorithm often keeps a majority of your audience from seeing your posts unless you pay for them to be seen. 
According to Statista, Facebook has 164.13 million monthly app users (not factoring in Messenger).

 

Instagram

This visual sharing platform is popular with people under 35 and more women are here than men but it still attracts 32% of the world's internet users on a regular basis, second only to Facebook. If you're wondering what to post, pizza is the most widely Instagrammed food, ahead of steak and sushi.
Monthly app users: 111.54 million 

 

Twitter

Twitter has about 330 million total monthly users on its platform, with a 4% adoption growth from 2017-18. 36% of internet users ages 19-29 are on Twitter, while only 22% of 30-49 use it, and 18% of people between 50-64. Important to note: 30% of Americans who earn over $75,000 a year use Twitter.
Monthly app users: 71.79 million

 

Pinterest

This visual site works as a virtual board in which to pin your favorite pictures, products, quotes, and advice. It's the third-largest site attracting 31% of the world's internet users. 2 million Pinterest posters save something to boards every day but only 7% of total Pinterest pins belong to men. Millennials use Pinterest as much as they use Instagram. 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases.
Monthly app users: 56.92 million

Snapchat

This app attracts a younger demographic as seen in the fact that 44% of teen-aged Internet users chose this app above all others, if they could only select one. The site boasts an impressive 187 million daily users. Yet, only 18% of US Internet users use Snapchat leaving a big market that it has yet to capture.
Monthly app users: 53.28 million

 

LinkedIn

Largely a place to share professional accomplishments, this social network has tried to become a spot for thought leadership by encouraging people to publish there. While the average Linkedin user spends 17 minutes a month on the platform, 40% of users claim to use it daily. It's important to note that 70% of users are from outside the US.
Monthly users:  250 million (total)

 

Honorable Mentions for Additional Views

There are a few other sites that are worth mentioning when it comes to building an audience. Look into them to see if your ideal customer is well represented on them. They include:
·     Medium
·     Quora
·     Tumblr
·     Reddit
·     WhatsApp
·     Google Hangouts

Most businesses don't have a lot of time for social media so they want the maximum return on their time investment. In order to achieve that, you want to ensure your ideal customer is on that social space. If not, it doesn't matter how many others are on there. You're still trying to catch a shark in a bathtub. 

Sources:



Christina R. Greenteaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.comand the Event Manager Blog. 
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

20 Inexpensive Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Customers

There's a lot of noise out there right now. It's hard for a business to break through. But let's say you do and someone is trying you out for the first time. How can you not only exceed their expectations but delight them in a way they'll be talking about you later. Here are a few ideas on how you can make a big impression:

Making a big impression on a new customer means doing something that stands out, something they haven't experienced before. If that sounds costly, know that it doesn't have to be.
While each business is different, and you should analyze your own to see how these ideas or even better ones fit in, most businesses present these types of opportunities that can be customized to make an impact on your customers. Things like improving the wait or surprising them in little ways are particularly effective.
Try these ideas for your businesses:
1.   Add a surprise to what they're buying. This could be a sample or a quick tissue-paper wrap inside the bag. When they open their bag, they'll be thrilled to find that special something.
2.   Add an invitation/instructions for them to upload a picture of themselves and their new item or share a pic on your social media platform of choice with a specified hashtag. Give them a future discount for doing it.
3.   Offer free samples in store,such as a warm (or cold) beverage or warm cookies. Not only are those special treats when shopping but they make your business smell delicious.
4.   Engage them in conversation and then make a suggestion for something in your business that you think they may like based on what you know about them.
5.   Have a smile for everyone and make them feel welcome.
6.   See every customer as someone you can learn from. It's amazing what you can discover when you adopt this attitude.
7.   Ask if they'd like to sign up for receiving notices about sales and coupons. Then send them a thank-you postcard with a discount. Send them one for a friend too.
8.   Make the exterior and interior of your business warm and inviting. Setting has a lot to do with how long someone stays and browses.
9.   Email them to check on their product. Are they enjoying it? Do they have any questions? Don't ask them to fill out a survey. These things are getting too widespread. They are now detracting from customer experience. Now even calling your credit card company with a name change elicits a survey.
10.Walk them out. If they just made a big purchase with you and you can spare the time (meaning there's no line at your cash register), walk them to the door like you would a guest. Thank them again for their business. Give them your card, if they don't already have it.
11.Compliment them or their selection. Or both.
12.Hide a fun fortune or inspirational quote in their package.
13.Offer a loyalty program that you keep track of for them.Punch cards, key chains, and mobile apps can be tiresome to customers when they need a unique one for every business they patronize. Instead, keep track of it for them.
14.If you offer discounts like AAA or AARP, ask them if they have the membership. Since asking about AARP can get you into hot water, you may want to instead tell them the discount programs you offer and let them share with you which they belong to. 
15.If you see someone trying to decide between two things, why not offer them a discount if they get both? It's the type of thing they'll remember and might inspire them to buy more each time.
16.Throw something in for free. This is different than the little surprise mentioned earlier. For customers who spend quite a bit with you, give them a little something free. You can keep a handful of things at the register and offer them their choice as a thank you.
17.Tell a story about the item. Purchases are generally emotional things. Stories can help with that.
18.Have treats for their special loves. Keep dog treats and treats for kids on hand. Offering thee sorts of things can keep people shopping longer.
19.Hand out a fresh flower to everyone who comes into your business. 
20.Always explain next steps. The next step might be as easy as telling them to go home and enjoy their purchase and come back to see you soon or reexplaining the delivery process. Whatever the next step is in the customer relationship, make sure they are clear on it. Your website has a call to action. You want to leave them with the next step in your business relationship. 
Finally, it's not hard to make an impression on a customer. Often, it's the little things that make the biggest differences. These suggestions should give you some ideas of how to delight your customers. Now look over these and brainstorm how you can make them an even better fit for your business.



Christina R. Green is a writer and speaker who helps small businesses and chambers reach their audiences through content (without exclamation points). Her advice on crafting a memorable business story and creating content that resonates with customers has appeared in Associations North magazine, Association Now, and Event Manager's Blog. She is a regular blogger on Frankjkenny.com.