Recently I was asked, “if you were sitting in front of a consulting or law firm, they’ve got a couple of clients but want to grow their business, and attract more clients, where would you start?
The very first thing we do with every client is define who can you help?
I know that sounds like a really broad question. But from experience, the answer usually is anybody who needs consulting or legal advice, and that’s unfortunately where a lot of people start.
However, if you take that consultant or lawyer and look at:
Recently I was speaking with the owner of a local pet grooming business and at some point in the conversation growth and scaling was mentioned in the same context.
But from my point of view, growth and scale are not exactly the same thing.
Typical growth strategies are to add revenue and incremental costs to grow revenue incrementally.
But with scale, it’s about adding significant client and significant revenue growth without necessarily adding the same costs.
It’s kind of like a math concept. Growth is addition, but scale is multiplication.
And for the business owner, it takes a mindset shift.
Know the reasons people hire you better
Lately, I’ve been having conversations with owners and CEOs of growing businesses, who are starting to realize that there are very specific reasons why people choose to do business with them over someone else.
Usually, I’m being presented with the reasons they think they’re getting hired but in almost every case I see opportunities to get much better at helping define what that is.
One of the best ways to do that is to pick out some of your ideal customers, five, seven, ten, and sit down and interview them over the phone.
Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one?⠀⠀
The first rule of any business is to retain customers and build a loyal relationship with them, and thereby avoid customer acquisition costs.⠀⠀
Moreover, let’s not forget that a customer’s needs grow and evolve with time. A smart business anticipates that and welcomes an opportunity for increased profits.⠀⠀
1. A $3 car wash offers a $14.95 monthly unlimited car wash membership
2. McDonald’s employees always offer you a drink or some fries with your purchase.⠀⠀⠀
The best way to advance your business is to put a great deal of your effort into customer discovery.
Figuring out who makes an ideal customer for your business.
If you’re a business owner or CEO with some years of experience, you have customers and now it’s time to actually narrow your focus on who makes an ideal customer within your existing customer base.
Now I’m sure you’ve discovered that there are some more ideal than others. But this is why customer discovery never really ends.
It’s something that you’re going to do continuously.
But now that you have customers…
Recently was speaking with the CEO of an accounting and bookkeeping firm in Maryland about growing through strategic targeting of an industry vertical.
One bit of advice I gave was investing time to understand your target ideal prospect and how they make decisions is the ultimate “growth hack”
BTW that comes from conducting client research in the form of interviews.
The best piece of advice for finding where your customers hang out is research in the form of customer interviews.
The one thing that remains true in business and marketing is that the customer is the boss.
So my advice…
I’m speaking at a small business conference in November and each time I do one of these I am struck with one recurring theme:
Owners and CEOs have a hard time defining a narrow ideal client within their target market.
This is due in part to the fact that defining who is your customer, requires you to define who is not.
That’s all well and good in the meeting room as an exercise, but it takes courage to put that “who’s not a customer” message out there in your networking circles and online presence.
But, it could be one of…
So many small business owners and marketers make basic mistakes when it comes to online copywriting by trying to make web pages be all things to all people.
The goal of effective SEO copywriting is that it starts the sales cycle.
Get a highly targeted prospect in the door, maybe a content landing page, and then start the engagement and attention from there.
Conversion is just part of the process and probably not the first part of the process.
The biggie is trying to be everything to everyone. If you can narrow your focus to a specific ideal client or audience you stand a far greater chance of attracting them as an “expert” in their needs.
Fusing online with offline efforts. Small local businesses still have the opportunity to dominate their local market with some effort into directories, social media, and local content building.
Look at your business as a platform for transformation instead of offering a transaction — explore all the ways you can build your services to take clients from where they are to where they want…
There’s been a shift away from marketing that interrupts and toward marketing that attracts.
Some refer to this as ‘inbound vs. outbound’ marketing or ‘prospect-initiated’ vs. ‘seller-initiated’ marketing.
Why? In a word, “Google”.
As Wayne Gretsky once said, “I go to where the puck is going to be . . . not where it is now”.
Similarly, owners and CEOs of small businesses want to be found by prospects when they are ready to buy or are seriously looking for information to help them do so in the fairly near future.
In marketing spending time on the WHO and WHAT…