Micro and Side Hustle Business Branding: Who Are Your Customers?
“Who are your customers?” is one of the most important questions in business
The reason? Your brand must be developed to create a positive emotional response from these people to your product or service. Put simply, your brand must make your target customers WANT what you have got to sell.
It’s only once you have clarity about your brand and your customers that you will be in a position to develop your marketing plan.
Because once you can picture exactly the kind of people you most want to attract, you’ll understand more about where to find them (do they prefer Facebook to LinkedIn, or Twitter to Instagram, or maybe they don’t use social media at all!) and how best to talk to them.
If you don’t know who your customers are, you could end up wasting precious time and money trying to be all things to everyone. And that’s a sure-fire way to come across as bland and uninspiring, no matter how amazing your product or service.
Now, be honest, when you looked at that opening question, did you automatically come up with a whole list of people – or even, “everyone” – as your answer?
If you did, don’t worry! I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard from micro and side hustle business owners that their product or service is ideal for just about everybody.
I completely understand that wonderful sensation of believing you have a business that offers something so amazing, you can’t imagine anyone not wanting or needing it.
But, honesty is the best policy
I have to tell you that there is absolutely no magic product or service exists that actually does appeal to everybody.
Every product or service has a natural ‘tribe’ of potential customers – people with a specific issue or problem that your business is going to solve
My previous posts in this series explained how to be more specific about who you are and what you stand for, so you could create a strong business brand. Now, let’s use that information to get specific about your customers.
Creating Your Ideal Customer Profile
When creating a customer profile, it’s always easier to imagine just one person, rather than a huge group (even though you’ll hopefully end up with more than just the one customer!)
So think about your ideal customer as a real person, then imagine yourself walking in their shoes and living their life. What problem do they have that your business is going to solve? How exactly will you do this?
Don’t forget to think about your ideal customer in terms of demographics, too. As a starting point, you could try answering the following questions:
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- How much do they earn?
- Where do they live – and do they own their home?
- Are they a city type, or do they prefer the country?
- How educated are they?
- Do they have any hobbies?
- Have they got children, or pets (or both?)
- Do they drive?
- What are their political views?
If you’re not sure about the answers, do some research. Get out and talk to people, set up a focus group, or create an online survey for your target customers to answer.
Selling to Business = Selling to People
If your business sells to other businesses rather than directly to customers (you may hear this referred to as B2B – business to business) it can be easy to think you don’t have to worry about customer profiling.
Start by swapping the personal demographic information listed above for the demographics of the business sector you work with, instead. Again, what specific problem do these organisations have that your business is going to solve?
Remember that even though you’re selling to a business rather than a person, you’ll probably still have to target a specific someone inside that organisation. So, who are they?
Use the questions listed above to create a profile of the person you’ll most likely be coming into contact with inside the business. For example, if this is the HR Manager then she’s very likely to be female, in her late 30s to early 40s, and married with a small family.
So now you’ve created your ideal customer profile, it’s time to move on to creating a statement that details exactly how you’re going to help them!
Your Target Customer Problem-Solving Statement
To create your own statement, simply fill in the blanks.
If you are a…
and you struggle with…
you have come to the right place!
Once you discover…
Struggling? Here’s an example for you to work with:
If you are a successful business woman and you struggle with moving your business to the next level of success, you have come to the right place! Once you discover why you’re approaching your marketing the wrong way and how it’s costing you time, money and customers you will reach the customers you really want to attract and add exceptional value to your marketing campaigns, so customers can’t help but be attracted.
Why not give it a go, and let me know how you get on in he comments box below?!
If you need some more help, my e-book, Five and a Half Steps to a Brilliant Business Brand, contains more exercises just like these, along with experienced, been-there-done-that advice to guide your branding process from start to finish.