Step 1: Create an offer that connects
The first step to getting customers is an offer that connects. Your first task on this journey is to define your offer. By that I mean your legendary brand offering that stands out clearly to the customer you desire to acquire.
If you have several products and services that are very different from each other, I would suggest that you carry out the exercises outlined here for each product/service.
Examples of good offers:
– Emeka Nobis: I will coach you to become an exceptional thought leader in your industry.
– Nick Loper: I’m an online entrepreneur and lifelong student in the game of business. It’s all about the side hustle! I want to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses or take their side hustles to the next level. Won’t you join me in the adventure?
– Printivo: Online print shop
These examples clearly communicate what each brand is offering. Let’s call those their headlines.
However, they go on to describe their offer in more detail. The lesson here is to distill your offer into its simplest form so that anyone can understand immediately what you’re selling.
A great offer identifies the problem you’re trying to solve and communicates the value you are offering your customers clearly.
There should be no ambiguity about what you do or why your widget is the best widget available.
Step 2: Define your target market
Our next task is to define your target market.
Who is the ideal user of your service or product? How old are they? Where are they located?
To drill down and get this right you must create a persona for your ideal client.
Give her/him a name, describe what they like to do. Is he/she single? Does he or she have a job? What kind of job? Does he or she have children?
The more detailed you can be, the easier it is to reach your ideal client and sell to them.
Here’s an example of a persona:
“Ade is 26 years old, she’s been married for 1 year and has a job at a media agency. She and her husband live in a 2 bedroom flat in Surulere. They share one car. Her husband drops her off and picks her up from work daily. When he’s not able to she takes public transport. She has an Android low end smartphone. She uses her phone to stay in touch with friends through social media and instant messaging services.”
Step 3: Communication
By now you have a compelling offer and you have clearly identified your ideal customer.
Now, we will tackle how you communicate with them.
Your communications materials MUST consist of two key elements: Compelling copy and eye-catching images.
Compelling copy: The words in your advert, online banner or social media post must capture the imagination of the viewer. They must show that you understand their pain and that your solution will fix that problem for them.
Copy writing is not for everyone and you may prefer to outsource this to an experienced copywriter. Whether you do it yourself or outsource, try different versions till you find the one that gets the most response.
Look at examples of adverts that have caught your attention and learn from them. What about those words made you want to know more or even buy the product?
Eye-catching images: Images can convey a lot without words. Good quality images project your brand as professional and trustworthy.
If you’re offering a personal service such as coaching, a high quality image of yourself looking ‘coach-like’ will create trust. People looking at your website or social media platform must feel that, too.
Pick a colour scheme and font for your brand so that your images have a consistent look and feel. You want your customers to easily recognise your brand when they see it.
Step 4: Promotion
Now we move on to some specific strategies for getting your target market to see this offer.
1. Identify local businesses that serve the same market segments.
You want to find businesses that sell complimentary products and not direct competitors. For example if you sell shoes, you can collaborate with a clothing store. They can introduce your line of shoes to their existing customers in their newsletter or social media posts.
2. Speak at industry events
Look out for opportunities to speak at events where your target customers will be attending. Be prepared to speak for free. Your goal is to get your name out so your target customer knows you exist. You also get the chance to network with them at these kind of event, giving you an opportunity for data collection. Once you have their contact details, you can send them compelling offers and convert them to paying customers.
3. Offer free trials
A lot of subscription sites use this model. They allow you sign up for a free trial with the option to move to a paid service on expiry of the service. The free trial offer is a great one because it allows your customer to see that your product is a great fit for their requirements. And you know the people that stay on for the paid service are the right fit.
4. Create special offers
Special offers allow people to purchase your product/service at a discounted rate. This can be an early bird sign up offer or a seasonal offers.
The key to advertising is to make sure you’re getting returns for your spend. Digital advertising is easy to track and you can easily set up different offers and track their performance.
Traditional advertising also has its place depending on your product and target market. This route is more expensive than digital media and your choice would depend on your available budget.
Step 5: Leverage Existing Customers
We’ve talked a lot about getting new customers in the earlier sections. Now we’re concentrating on the customer you already have.
Give great service
Whatever product or service you’re providing, a great customer experience will speak volumes. You must ensure that you’re delivering top notch service.
When things fail as the inevitably will, step up, apologise and make it up to your customer. An unhappy customer will tell anyone who cares to listen.
Get to know your customers
This can be done through physical focus groups or online questionnaires. Ask your customers what they read, where they go for fun, how they shop and any other question that gives you an insight into their lives.
The more you know about your customers, the better you can target offers that will appeal to them.
Ask for referrals
When you have delivered top notch service to your customer, don’t be afraid to ask them for referrals. Make it easy for them to give you referrals.
Make sure that your content is easily shareable and that you have an easy to complete referral form on your platform.
Ask for feedback
You should ask current customers for feedback on your products/services. Knowing what is working and what is not is like gold dust to your business.
Learning of customer dissatisfaction early allows you to course correct quickly and avoid losing customers.
Existing customers are worth 10 times as much as a prospect. Treat them well and they will be evangelists for your business.
Putting it all together
This free workbook has more details and tools around these five steps. Click on the image below to download the printable workbook.