Customers for Life – 3 Marketing Tips to Get You Closer…

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As a small business owner, you’ve probably given some thought to your target market. After all, you’re not trying to sell life-coaching services (or basket weaving classes, or SEO eBooks) to everyone in the world. Right?

You’re simply trying to sell your product or service to the people who want and need it most.

Finding out who those people are, and learning to connect with them in a meaningful way, is what marketing is all about.

When you get crystal clear about your target market, niche, and ideal client, you’re able to create marketing materials that easily turn prospects into paying customers.

The terms target market, niche, and ideal client get tossed around an awful lot. The first step to streamlining your marketing efforts is to understand the difference between the three.     

Target Market – This is the broadest section of the population you’re targeting.

Consider what group of prospects will get the best results, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort because of working with you.

For example, perhaps you run a private cleaning company in Philadelphia. Is your target market “everyone who lives in Philadelphia?” Certainly not!

Why? Because not everyone in Philadelphia needs or wants their house cleaned. Of the people that do, who is it that needs and wants what your company has to offer?

Do you do your best work with affluent, college-educated married couples with children? Then perhaps you brand your company as an upscale, top of the line and exclusive service.

Do you consistently get business from coupon clippers, single parents or young professionals on a budget? Then perhaps you brand your company as the most affordable cleaning service in town?

There is not necessarily a right answer to who is your target market. However the wrong answer is “everyone”. The old saying “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” definitely applies to target markets.

Niche – What you do for your audience

Target market deals with your customer. Niche is all about you.

“Health and wellness” is an industry. “Private pilates coaching” could be your niche – that is, what you offer to people interested in health and wellness.

“Dating and relationships” is an industry. “Dating advice for new divorcees” could be a niche to pursue within that industry.

You can’t differentiate yourself from thousands of other businesses if you attempt to market a “travel website” or a “weight loss product.” There are millions of travel websites and weight loss products out there. What makes yours different?

Here’s what niche-ing down looks like:

Travel agent -> Solo travel expert -> Career break solo travel -> Career break solo travel for 40-somethings

Business coaching -> Business coaching for solopreneurs -> Business coaching for tech-challenged solopreneurs

Ideal Client – The detailed description of your perfect client or customer.

It’s difficult to connect with a nameless, faceless group of people, even if you’ve done your homework and “niched down.”

That’s where an ideal client profile comes into play. An ideal client profile is a made-up person who represents your perfect customer. They have the exact problems your best customers have, they need your help, and they’re ready to buy right now.

By creating a detailed bio of your ideal client, including biographical information and emotional needs, you’ll be able to create email newsletters, blog posts, website copy and products that resonate with your audience on a deep and personal level.

Why?

Because using an ideal client profile is like writing a letter to one person instead of thousands – the result is that each person who reads the letter feels like it’s written just for them.

Remember, choosing a target market, niche and ideal client is for the purposes of your marketing efforts. You will likely attract people who don’t fit what you’ve chosen and that’s ok! We’re not talking about turning anyone away. We’re talking about F-O-C-U-S-I-N-G the limited time, money and energy you have to spend on marketing on the people that will yield the best results.

Define your target market, see if you can “niche down” within your chosen industry, and spend some time crafting your ideal client’s bio and backstory.

The more specific you get, the more effective your marketing will be and the more qualified your leads will become as you begin to create customers for life.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.comKnown for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create money NOW. Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE training course, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!

Mid-Year Review – Are you reaching your 2014 goals?

Jenelle in Action

Have you made progress or completed your 2014 goals?  Are you doing "stuff" and not really accomplishing what you'd set out to?

With bulging daily to-do's we can easily continue to move forward and not take a moment to reflect and refocus for increased success.

Popforms does a wonderful job of sharing leadership ideas and simple strategies to lead with purpose.

A few weeks back Popforms wrote a post focused on the importance of conducting a mid-year review.  With all the productivity tools, tricks and tips, we

often just need quiet and focus to be more strategic about goals, in life, business, and as a person.  Check that post out here.

A key few areas to review mid year are:

– Uncovering strengths and weaknesses

– Defining values and principles

– Crafting your purpose

– Reflections of the past

– 5 year plan

Like many I'd like to think im super-organized, have it all planned out, and am working progressively toward intended goals.  The challenge is life throws us many curveballs testing our agility at every turn.  I'm still in the process of reviewing and recharting my course as necessary.  What about you?

Do you take time for a mid-year review?  What adjustments have you made after doing this?

Let's continue the conversation!  Use #midyearreview2014 on Twitter and I'll tweet you back.

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

 

Paperless Tax Planning with Evernote

What comes to mind when tax season arrives?  Stress?  Frustration?  Many of us tend to feel at least a measure of increased tension as tax season approaches.  Going through a year’s worth of paperwork associated with business transactions and whittling them down to a few spreadsheets or folder items is rarely a welcomed task.  Let’s take a look at how you’re accustomed to prepare for tax season and consider how to do them the Evernote way.

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Tax Planning Then

The organized business owner generally keeps a properly labeled set of folders with financial documents, statements, payroll information and charitable donations archived in the office or home.  Then, as tax season arrives, these documents creep out claiming real estate on much of our desks or the desk of our tax preparer.

This can be a tedious process for even the most organized business owner.  For those that let the documentation take over, scattered paper piles, some online files, and still others at the office can really get out of hand.  Once office documentation gets to this point no doubt a hike up Mission Peak (Fremont, CA) on the hottest of summer days may be a preferred activity.

Consider Evernote Now

Invest in an affordable scanner for the office (a Fujitsu ScanSnap retails for under $500 on www.amazon.com) or check out http://goo.gl/uAL6CC – Evernote scansnap.  Connect it to your Evernote account.  Then, every time you receive a bank/credit card statement, charitable donation acknowledgement, or other financial documentation simply scan directly to your Evernote account.  Statements can even be “clipped” to your Evernote account.  These documents can all be organized into a notebook labeled ‘Finances’ or ‘2013 Taxes’.  Evernote allows you to tag each statement type if more specifics needed (i.e., Bank, Charitable Donations, Payroll).  See here Adam Dachis, LifeHacker blogger suggestions for other affordable scanning tools and suggestions on running a paperless office.

Spend most of your time outside of the office?  Most smartphones allow for a quick snapshot of receipts (i.e., business trip dinner with clients) and tagging these images with a tag like ‘client receipts’ insuring these are organized.  Evernote partners like Docscanner can improve the quality of your snapshot making it easier to search within this tool.  Camscanner has been my iPhone scanner app of choice.

Saving time and energy during tax season with Evernote will allow you to get back to business. When taxes are done, save your paperwork in the same folder by scanning it, or adding the PDF into your notebook.  Your previous year’s tax documents will be securely in one place for easy reference the following tax season.

Have you gone paperless?  If so what tools are working for you?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

Roar into Business Planning for 2014

Last night after a productive and fun local Chamber of Commerce mixer I was out of energy and needed to refocus.  What did I do?  Watch the current season of The Voice artists continue to wow us with their artistry, risk taking, and unique approaches toward music.

Olivia Henken performed “Roar” a pop favorite by Katy Perry.  Her courage to push limits as a country star hopeful and deliver an unexpectedly amazing performance made me think of my 2014 business plan goals.

lions-tigers-and-leopards-oh-my

Business planning for 2014 will need to be flexible and SIMPLE for Efficacy Plus, here are a few goals I’ll be implementing.

Plan to COMPLETE at least 3 things each day.  You read that correctly.  If overwhelming task lists are staring at you a feeling of defeat sneaks up slowing momentum and progress. Completing high importance business tasks daily gives me time and energy to focus on what is critical for that day then move on to the next priority.

Keep blogging. Companies that blog more than 15 times a month get 5 times more web traffic and 10 times more inbound leads. (from Hubspot report 2012)  During the mixer I attended a fellow business owner shared his excitement about winning a new customer because of his blog.  Providing relevant industry trends, tips, and sharing more about my brand will be a continued activity.   Reading statistics then actually speaking to REAL business owners benefiting solidifies why blogging for business is a must.

Stay active in local market.  The last quarter of 2013 has been full of new relationship building opportunities.  Many of the business owners I’ve met are looking for help with marketing and blogging.  It’s been enlightening to understand how and why providing project support for these folks will truly help them grow their brands and ultimately increase revenue

These are just a few of the items going into my 2014 business plans.  How do you plan to “roar” into business for 2014.  I’d love to hear from you!!

Jenelle 

 

 

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