Do you know your customers?

Your customers are the ones you want to convince to buy your stuff…whatever your stuff is.  So you better know them, understand them and communicate with them or you are not going to be successful.  That’s a bold statement, but it is true.yellow-blue guy

I love it when I talk to an entrepreneur and ask them “Do you know who your target customers are”?  Nine times out of ten they say something like “Well, everyone could benefit from my product.”  Wrong!  While you might want to think that everyone on the planet wants your new software, your bookkeeping services, or your fantastic new widget, not everyone does.  Get over it.  Find the people who do want it and market to them.  As an entrepreneur, you don’t have the time, money or energy to market your business to everyone on the planet.  It is much more effective to find the people who need your stuff and directly market to them.

Defining your ideal customer is the second most important thing you can do to build your business.  Remember the first was defining your business goal.  The second is defining your ideal customer.  It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about social media , PR or online advertising – if you don’t know this stuff, you won’t be effective.

Start by identifying who your customers are using standard demographics like age, sex, influencers, vertical markets, company-size, or revenue.  Then find out what they care about and the reason for it.  Finally, figure out the problem they are trying to solve?  This is what THEY are trying to solve, not what you think they are trying to solve.

Once you know who they are, you need to know where they go for information.  Do they spend time online, offline, with industry leaders, in their community, do they read magazines or blogs?   Understanding the problem your customers are trying to solve is the third most important thing you need to know.  You can now communicate to a specific group of people whpo have a problem that you you can uniquely solve.  They are looking for something you have.  Now go out and tell them all about it!