Before we get down to the nitty gritty of getting and keeping more customers, I think it’s worthwhile to look at the reasons why you DON’T have enough. Let’s start with the 3 reasons you don’t have all the customers you really want…
1) One reason you don’t have all the customers you want is you’re not really sure who you should be targeting. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in business 5 months or 5 years. I work with entrepreneurs of all kinds and this issue crops up for so many of us – we’re not clear who we should be targeting.
The truth is (and I’ve been through it myself more than once) that if YOU aren’t sure who you should be targeting, you won’t know where to find them, and you won’t know what marketing message to write to them.
If YOU’RE confused, trust me, THEY are too. And they will not buy from you if they don’t really “get” that your product is for them. Customers will think, I’m confused, well maybe I’m not, oh I think I am. And a confused customer just walks away, often not even understanding why they didn’t buy.
2) Another reason you don’t have all the customers you need is you are not standing outin the marketplace. If someone lands on your webpage, for instance, is it really clear what you sell and how they can buy it? Is there a compelling reason customers should buy from you and not from them? It doesn’t matter whether you sell business to business or direct to consumer. There is so much SAME-ness out there. You simply must be willing to take a risk, have a point of view, and have something unique about your product that distinguishes you from the pack.
3) The third reason you don’t have packs of customers at your door is that you don’t spend enough time on your marketing. I’m talking about marketing to your current customers – so you can keep them happy. And I’m also thinking about new customers and how you’re going to get them interested in what you do. It would be nice if customers just found you, right? But that’s not the way it works and you need to go after them — once you’ve defined who it is you need to go after (back to #1). And if your excuse is “I don’t have the time for all the marketing!” then consider this: you have to make time because no customers = no business.
Here’s what you should do now…
Step One: Get clear on who your ideal customer is
- Make a cheat sheet listing who your best customers are, what they’re like, and where you found them. Now STUDY it. Look for commonalities and focus in on who really responds to your product by laying their money down. You need to know who your ideal customer is because you must ONLY put effort into building a following of people that are interested in your product.
Step Two: Be sure you stand out in the marketplace
- Take a look at your business with a fresh eye. Is what you do truly compelling for the market? Is there anything you’ve wanted to design or offer but were too afraid to take a risk? My suggestion is to try something new and fresh with 10 – 15% of your product line. The benefit is twofold: a) You’ll surprise and possibly delight your customers with something unexpected, and b) It will give you room to get creative and go a little wild. How freeing would that be?
Step Three: Begin marketing on a consistent basis
- Be honest about how much you are doing to market your business and if you’re working off a plan. Or is what you call a “plan” just catch-as-catch-can marketing? And how is that going?
What would happen if you had a marketing plan in place and knew what you should do – specifically – every week, every month, every quarter? What difference would that make in your business? Your stress level? Your life? Your bank account?
If you’re not sure how to do these steps on your own, and you want help focusing and staying accountable, maybe it’s time to get some help. There’s a Buddhist Proverb that states, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
If you’re ready, we can work on these steps together. You can contact me at brain@fashionbrainacademy or 773.551.2111.