Which side of the hand are you?

If you’re a business owner – or responsible for marketing a business – there are some key issues you’ll need to get clear about.

1: Who are you trying to reach?

An ideal client profile – or more than one for your core audiences – is an excellent start

2: What do they want to know?

Not what you want to tell them, but what they are actively looking for.

3: How do you find these people?

Where do they hang out?  In groups, forums, networking events, professional organisations, etc.

This is the very short version of what are deceptively simple tasks.  To really get your sales running effectively, you need to invest some time in finding these things out.

Where does the hand come in?

Let’s imagine I am holding my hand up with the palm facing you and the back facing me.  Are we seeing the same thing?

Of course, we both recognize it’s a hand, but if we described what we were seeing to someone else, they would get two very different descriptions.  I’m looking at knuckles and nails, wrinkles and freckles. You’re looking at a smooth-ish effect with a few lines marking it.

That’s the situation when you look at your business and a potential customer looks at it from their perspective.

You may both be looking at the same things, but you’re seeing them from a different perspective. You are seeing a lot more detail, because you know all the ins and outs of your business, the potential customer is seeing a surface level view, because that’s all they need to know to make a decision to take the next step.

If you want to get your message on target to reach your ideal client, you’ll need to step out of your business and go and sit in their chair – you might be surprised at what you’ll see.

To make this easier, have a chat with a couple of clients that fit into your ideal client profile and see what they have to say.  You’ll just have to be good at asking the right questions – and then sitting back and waiting to see what they have to say. 

You don’t need to give people all the information available – only the information they actually want, so it’s important to know exactly what that is.

This kind of research is invaluable in putting the right words on advertising, your website, your blogs, newsletters and email campaigns.

Lesley Morrissey runs Inside News, specialising in reputation marketing

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