78% of consumers report they are retracting loyalty at a faster pace than three years ago (Accenture) – that’s a bit scary – and surely a reason to find out as much as you can about your customers so that you can serve them better. After all, loyal customers spend more and recommend more – and without loyal customers you’re going to have to work much harder to keep attracting new people to your business.
Knowing WHO your audience is, is crucial. You can’t – just can’t – appeal to everyone, work with everyone, be for everyone. There isn’t enough of you to go around for starters, but more than that, trying to attract everyone means that you’ll have a bland brand and that’s not ideal for creating a brand that attracts. Knowing who you want to work with really helps you to focus your efforts in the right direction, to the right people in the right way – but it’s more than knowing who you want to work with, it’s about reeeeeeally KNOWING that person so so well, so that they actually feel it.
84% of UK consumers say they are loyal to brands that share their values (Wunderman) and have developed a new concept: Wantedness. Go and check it out. It’s all about going above and beyond – getting to know your customer (what we’re talking about here), providing what you do and then winning them over again and again and again so they stay. Think incredible customer service, convenience, set high standards, really care and be the very best at what you do.
You need to find out as much as you can about your people so that you can get to know them really well and understand what makes them tick. What is important to them? What is worrying them? What makes them stay up late? Why do they do what they do? What ARE their values? You need to know this so you can tap into that wantedness, so you can keep winning them over, so that you can provide a service which is EXACTLY what they need and also helps them to see how much you “get” them. “The more connected you are with your audience, the more you’ll be able to resonate with them” (Carrie Green)
So how can you find out who your audience is?
- Start with you – what do you do? What problems do you solve? What issues do your customers have?
- Look at your customers – the people who buy from you – and see if you can fit them into categories. Who did you most enjoy working with and who has spent the most money with you? These are the people you want more of. Are there any similarities between the people who fall into both of these categories? What patterns can you see? You can survey your customers – or just the best ones – and see what comes up. I love Typeform for this, or Survey Monkey. Check out this post about running surveys. Very importantly you need to ask them how they felt and what was going on in their business or their lives BEFORE and AFTER they worked with you or bought your product.
- Check your analytics – there’s a lot of good stuff in there. You can dig into your Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.. whatever you’re using, take a look and see who is actually interested in what you do. TheseYou can also use something like Quantcast to gather even MORE info. This is the point where you cross your fingers and hope that your intended customer is the main person paying attention to what you say! If not, then you either need to refocus your business to aim at the people who are interested in you – or rework your social media to change the outcome.
- Ask your audience questions to find out more about them – you can do this on social media, just by posting a question to start a discussion “What magazines do you read?”, “What did you do over the weekend?”, “Do you prefer A or B?” or any question that helps you find out just a bit more, pay attention to the words and phrases they use too – OR you could run a survey with specific questions to help you find the answers you’re looking for.
- Go where you think your audience will be – blogs they might read, books they might review, social media profiles with a similar audience and read the comments to see what comes up. What sort of things are people saying, asking, complaining about, discussing? What is making people rant? What are people waxing lyrical about? Pay attention. Find places where they are in real life too and have conversations.
Once you’ve done this you need to spend some time looking at all of the information you’ve gathered and spotting patterns. Arrange it on sticky fix it notes, or in Excel or Trello or whatever system works for you – as long as you can move the information around you’ll be able to work with it until you have a clear picture of the different aspects – the things your customer likes and dislikes, their challenges, their triumphs, their ideas. You may have more than one customer identified and that’s OK, but do keep it narrowed down as much as possible.
Take this information and write it up as a customer profile. Give them a name and some information about who they are, what they do, their likes and dislikes, passions and hopes, what sort of person they are.
Get onto Pinterest and type in the things that make up your customer profile. See what images come up and create a secret board when helps you to really grasp who your customer is. Sometimes – especially if you’re more of a visual person like me – being able to see who someone is can be better than writing a profile out. If you prefer then you go out and buy some of those magazines that your audience reads (probably a good idea for research anyway!) and use these to create a visual by sticking images down on a board.
All of this should help when you are working on your brand and your marketing as this will give you a really clear idea of who to aim at. When you or your designer are working on designs for your business you’ll be able to refer to your ideal client profile and make sure that it’s appealing to them – that the colours and patterns and typefaces used are aligned with the values and likes of your ideal client rather than yourself, that you use wording that sounds like something they would say, that you pay attention to the design elements of the brands they’re interested in so that you can be relevant to them. Knowing what programmes they watch or what pages they like on Facebook can also help you to create very targeted adverts.
Who are you wanting to attract to work with you?
Amy Purdie can help your business become irresistible to your ideal clients so that they can’t wait to work with you. Click here for more on that!
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.