March 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We can agree that in every business, customers are crucial. How you reach and talk to your potential customers is crucial to your success. There isn’t a magical answer to follow to gain more customers. Sometimes marketing is trial and error. Hopefully at the end of the day your wins overcome your mistakes.
When you pour your heart into something, like your business, it can sting when a customer chooses another product/service over yours. Sure many seasoned business owners are used to hearing rejection. It is all part of the game. However, for a rookie, it can sting.
Overcoming the rejection is important. Whether your intention is to move to the next project, not make the mistake again or try it again with a particular customer/group, it is important to learn from our mistakes. Before you move forward, quickly figure out what went right and what went wrong.
Earlier this week, I wrote an introductory proposal letter to a potential client. I did it quick and was multitasking at the time. I ended up not getting the project, but what hurt was the way I was rejected. The potential customer was rude in his response back to me, literally tearing me apart for my opening salutation. This may seem silly, but he is right. Though it stung a bit, I should have written a better opening that addressed his needs.
Writing Content for your Audience
• Identify who you are really targeting – it is incredibly important to write your content specific to your audience, no matter what media you use. Not identifying specific target audiences and understanding how they tick will take away from your efforts.
• Understand your media – how does your audience uses a certain channel – as internet, email, social outlets, mail, etc. Are they heavy users of the medium? Many companies are diving into social media, for instance, but may not know how their target audience uses social media and why.
• Know your audience’s needs and wants – identifying why a customer may want to use your product is an important step before you write your content. What problems do you solve and how can you make your customer’s life easier.
• Personalize your messaging will resonate with your audience – I get very aggravated when I get an email or direct mail piece that is either addressed to the wrong name or when the product they are selling has nothing to do with me or my family.
• Interesting content retains audience’s attention – you can entertain or stick to the facts, whatever your style, make sure your audience finds it interesting.
• Write to your audience’s level – You may be question this with a “duh,” but it is worth mentioning. Write your content at the audience’s reading level and level of understanding a particular topic.
• Always check your facts and grammar – nothing more to say on this point.
The biggest take away is testing your content. You may not have the time or expertise to test your headlines or content against a second version, but you do know when something is working or not working. If your content isn’t doing the job it was designed to do, then step back and reevaluate your efforts.
March 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
You think you know it all. In reality you may, but no one cares. When searching for new customers, your priority should be the customer. Period. Bombarding the conversation will not win new customers and here is an example.
As a marketing consultant, I read many marketing and business blogs. This helps me stay on top of my craft, but also shows me how others are succeeding. A few months ago, I happen across a marketing agency and I signed up for email updates. It looked interesting after I read a couple blog posts.
It turns out that every email starts with “Let me tell you why I am great and you are not.” It doesn’t actually say that, but it is how I felt after reading a few emails. For instance, the agency offered a webinar on “how to write like me.” Really!?! To me this is horribly cocky. Every week, I receive several emails stating why they are so great. Maybe it is professional ego, but this company turns me off.
Here is my point. Your customers need to know you know what you are doing. However, your customers aren’t dummies. So when writing for your audience, don’t blow yourself up to appear bigger than you really are. It isn’t about you, but rather how you can help your customer with his problem.