You’re probably reading this because you want to sell a product or service while making enough money to pay your bills. Right? You need to understand only one simple concept, which I promise we’ll cover in more detail below: the Right Message to the Right Customer at the Right Time.
The Right Customer
We’ll call her Ms. Right. This could even be slightly different from your current Customer, but it doesn’t have to be. I want you to think about your perfect customer. What do you know about Ms. Right? Like really, really know?
How old is she? Where does she live? Does she have children? What are her interests? What are her joys, her fears; what makes her life difficult? What moves her?
Close your eyes. Put yourself in her shoes. What does she do for work? How does she relax after work? What does she do for fun? What challenges her? Can you picture a day in the life of Ms. Right?
Are you writing it down? … What is the first thing she does when she wakes up? What does she do before work? How does she get to work? Does she bring a lunch or go out every day? Walk through her day. What is the last thought she has before going to bed and doing it all again. Take notes. The more you can imagine the little annoyances or everyday joys, the more you know about how to tailor your message and when and where to find her and how to deliver your message to her most effectively.
The Right Message
Ahhhh, the message. The good stuff.
Once upon a time, I was having a hard time getting my message across to a loved one. My brother, who has a background in psychology, told me to “wrap the message up in a way that your loved one WANTS to hear it.” Like a gift. This applies to all conversations across all channels, and most importantly for this conversation, to marketing your business.
It starts with your elevator pitch - your 90-second recap of what your product or service is. But it’s not what you think. It’s not actually about you or even really about your product or service. Read that again. It’s. Not. About. You.
Remember the days of high pitch salesmen who live by the mantra “always be closing?” This … is NOT that. In fact, people can sense a sales pitch from a mile away and you’ll lose your best customer before you even open your mouth.
What I’m proposing is authenticity. People worldwide are tired of fake. They are tired of lies. They are tired of politics and half-truths. They want you to be honest and trustworthy and real. So, quite simply, do that. How are Ms. Right’s needs met by what your company delivers? How will she feel after using your product or service?
Humans are big bags of emotions. To best help Ms. Right understand what your product does for her, let her know how she will feel after using it. Or better yet, show her! Use images. Use video! Will she feel relief? Will she feel safer? More focused? How will your product make her feel and how can you get that across in your message?
In addition to how your service can help your customer, determine what sets you apart from your competitors. What is unique about your business, your product, or your service? Make it a no-brainer for your customer to choose you.
The Right Time
Now … you know who your ideal customer is, you know what your message is, the big question is how you “wrap it up” in a way your customer wants to hear it?
One of the questions I get most often is: where should I invest my time and resources to reach my customer? Here’s the surprising answer: it depends. There is no one perfect platform. This is where knowing your customers intimately will give you the competitive edge.
If Ms. Right is a middle-aged woman, she is active on Facebook, Instagram, and likely Pinterest. Your marketing efforts should meet her where she is. If Ms. Right is in her mid 20’s to mid 30’s, she is likely on TikTok and YouTube and your time is best spent meeting her there. If Ms. Right is a 40-something business professional, you will find her on LinkedIn. And keep in mind these statistics shift over time, so you’ll need to stay on top of where Ms. Right is active online to meet her digitally in her preferred spaces.
And keep in mind one more thing that I’ll touch on in more depth another time: what part of the “Buyer’s Funnel” is Ms. Right in and how does your message change based on this information?
The Buyer’s Funnel in TLDR format:
Where is Ms. Right when she is ready to buy? Is she searching Google for “X Service near me” or “X Product buy now?” What kind of coupons can you offer for this person ready to act now?
Where is Ms. Right when she is considering buying? Is she looking at reviews of products like yours? What can you say to sway Ms. Right to choose your product over a competitor’s at this stage?
Where is Ms. Right when she can be influenced? She may have no idea your product or service exists … you have the chance to show her! How can you catch her interest and what does your message say at this specific time in her journey?
Whew! That’s a lot to swallow. If you are still with me, I’ll give you a little real world example.
Real World Case Study
Let’s say you have a start-up business that offers art and tutoring services after school and on weekends. You offer an amazing service that is much needed in your community. So, why isn’t business booming?
Let’s go through the steps above. I’ll keep it brief, but obviously, you’ll need to dive much deeper.
Who is your customer? Is it the 10-17 year old crowd who will frequent your establishment? Should your message be tailored to all the fun the kids will have? Surprisingly: No. Your customer is the person writing the checks - the parent.
Walking through the exercise above, you find your customer is a parent in their mid-40s who likely works all day and is worried about how to best care for their kids during the hours where school is out but they aren’t yet off work. They are frustrated with all the screens their kids are using and just want something real for their kids to do, like art or board games, while still being safe from harm. If only that service existed …
When this parent is ready to buy, like immediately, they are likely searching Google for “after school programs near me” or “kid activities near me.” Be sure you have your Google Business Profile fully filled out completely and you are highly responsive to calls and messages. Have a reputable website linked to this profile. And if you have money to spend on advertising, find those searched terms and create search campaigns to put your message in front of this exact customer during their buying moment.
Because your customer is a mid-40s parent, they are likely sharing photos of their kids with friends and family on social media. This is a great place to reach them when they are considering or even just to make them aware of your business. Build your presence. Post weekly at minimum to start conversations. Share and share some more. Spending a portion of your marketing budget here will help attract more potential customers - be sure your message is directed to that parent. For example …
Imagine the feelings of safety and security knowing your children are in good hands after school hours. Talk about that feeling while highlighting the thorough background checks you run or the security cameras and locks.
Imagine the joy that comes with your child’s newly learned skills in art, instead of all the hours lost on screens. Paint a picture with words and videos of that shared moment between parent and child.
With your images, videos, and messaging, show the proud feeling a parent has as they see their child showing off their first A in that class they’ve been struggling with.
It’s the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. We’ll dive deeper in the future. My hope is that this overview starts a lot of business owners down the right path and gives friends and family specific ways to start attracting the customers they desire right away.