How do you get your offer in front of people that will buy from you?
Today I want to cover another misconception that I’ve come across in my 20 years serving business owners. This is an error that a lot of business owners make when they’re trying to market their business. They try to get in front of as many people as possible because they think that the more people that see their ad or offer, the more they will sell.
Well that’s just not necessarily true. You can put your offer out to 100,000 people, but if only 100 of those people actually need or could use your service, you’re just wasting your advertising budget because 900 would never have bought from you anyway. You need to target the people that will buy from you.
So what I want you to think about is not how many people you can get in front of, but how do you get in front of the RIGHT people.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
A restaurant puts their ad into the local newspaper because they think a lot of people are going to see it because a lot of people buy the newspaper. So they think that people will see the ad and come to the restaurant. They offer a discount voucher to sweeten the deal. The response is low because not everyone reading the newspaper wants to eat at their restaurant.
We suggested instead a Facebook ad targeted at a specific but smaller audience to fill the restaurant at lunchtime – the lowest hanging fruit. The obvious target was business and office workers within a mile radius of the restaurant. Business lunches would be a good offer, with no discount. Just give the audience what they want.
The restaurant ended up being packed each lunchtime. They got a lot more people to respond to the ad even though they targeted fewer people. Their advertising dollars went only on people who would buy from them instead of the whole city, and they didn’t have to drop their prices.
They were successful because now they were actually talking to the right audience and they were filling the need that these people had to have a place to go to entertain their business associates for lunch.
So to get your offer in front of the people who will buy from you, know who will buy from you and target only them. Offer what they want. If you offer what they want, there should be no reason for you to discount your prices.
Stop spraying and praying and instead aim for the bullseye.
I want to touch in this blog on branding for your business and getting you to look at how to create a brand experience your customers will love, whether you have an in-store service business or you are completely online. Either way, you will be offering touch points where your customers get to experience your brand and they all add up to that customer brand experience and ultimately how your customer feels about your brand.
So think about how your are going to create a brand experience that your customers will love.
So why is that so important?
You want to create a brand experience that build that people want to come back. Let me give you an example of that. We all know Starbucks. So, when you go into Starbucks, you know what you’re going to expect:
a comfortable seat to sit in
an easy chair if it’s not too crowded
a table where you can plug in your laptop and work all day
friendly staff that will engage you in chat when you place your order
coffee that’s the same whichever branch I go to
Starbucks has done a great job of creating a reliable brand experience for its customers. It sets the expectations.
But there was just this one time when I went into Starbucks and I didn’t get that experience. It actually made me do a double take and look around to check that the branch hadn’t been taken over by a different brand since my last visit. I can’t be in Starbucks! I thought to myself. But sure enough, it was Starbucks.
What happened was the gentleman behind the counter completely ignored me, didn’t speak to me, didn’t ask for my order (I was at the counter and was the only one there). I soon realised that he was in training and his trainer has walked off and left him alone, and he didn’t know what to do. However, when the trainer and served me, it still wasn’t the usual friendly Starbucks service. And it really made a difference to the experience.
How to create a brand experience at every touch point
So you want to think about your brand and you want to think about the experience that you want to deliver for your clients. How are you going to make that consistent every time so that your customers don’t have a bad experience?
Sure, it’s OK when you are a one man show. You are solely responsible for the experience you create. But when you start to grow and you have a team, how are you going to communicate the brand experience you need them to deliver for you. You’ll need to create a system that helps them to deliver that same brand experience each time. So you want to train your staff on how to speak or communicate to your customers at the different points of contact. It’s not always going to be when they are around you to supervise them. It might be you have staff that go out and go to your client’s offices and visit them there. How should they act on brand? It could be people answering the phone or how they reply to emails. Emails by nature are short communications and the intended message can get lost in their brevity. How do you keep it on brand? How can you create a brand experience that sticks?
Start planning now
So start thinking now about how you will train future staff to make sure that they’re delivering that great brand experience at all touch points.
The bets place to start is to think about what your brand stands for, the values that your brand has and how you are going to communicate that through everything you do in your business so that you don’t end up with a customer wondering if they are in the right place.
Let’s look at lead generation and in particular lead conversion. What does that mean?
Lead generation is the activity of bringing people to your website or your sales page. If you have good lead generation that means you’ve got traffic coming over to your website. That’s a great position to be in – until you discover that they are not buying!
So let’s look at why your leads aren’t converting
Just because people turn up at your site does not necessarily mean they will buy.
I had a couple of my customers a few years ago come to me with the same problem. they were in different industries but they both had loads of traffic to their site and zero or very little sales conversion. No one was buying.
I knew before I even looked at their sites what the problem was. There was a disconnect between the offer on the ad and what the visitor saw when they landed on the page.
The expectations were not matter for one of several reasons and they left the site quickly or “bounced”.
Reasons people bounce can be:
the landing page doesn’t offer what was promised
the offer is hidden in the landing page
the visitor doesn’t understand the landing page
the branding of the page doesn’t instil trust
For one of my clients, the reasons were the site was too gaudy and didn’t instil the trust a customer would expect of a financial services provider. They also spoke above the customer’s head using jargon the customer couldn’t hope to understand. Nothing about the site said trust me with your money.
The other client was a tuition centre. Customers found the site too confusing, with too much information and, given it was an educational establishment, the trust was lost due to the ineffectual communication.
So think about these points as you’re building your website.
Build your site for your customer, not for yourself
Build it to communicate the value that you can deliver to the customer. Don’t make it confusing. Make sure your visual brand also communicates the right message to the customer so that they trust you and they want to do business with you.
Remember, it’s not enough to get the right traffic. You’ve got to retain that traffic on your site and entice them in with easily understandable offers that they trust and will buy. Look at why your leads aren’t converting and make the changes needed.
Be the business that they want to do business with.
When COVID-19 first hit and lockdown forced the population into their homes, I thought my business was “virus” proof. I was wrong.
You see, over the years, I’ve been adopting Cloud technologies and onboarding apps that would improve productivity, allow my teams to collaborate virtually and business was effectively run on the Cloud.
We no longer needed a physical office as we could communicate virtually without borders. Meetings could be conducted on Zoom and webinar.
Accounting went digital, so all invoices were sent through an app with options to be paid directly through credit card through Stripe or by Paypal. Even QR codes sent to my client would allow them to pay direct to my account from their corporate account by phone.
But it seems a lot of businesses out there just haven’t got the message.
So when lockdown happened, it didn’t change my daily life. Yes, I was worried for my family, hoping no one caught the coronavirus. But business wise, I was feeling pretty confident. Nothing would change for me. I could work from home as normal. I could convert enquiries online into paying projects as normal, I could instruct my virtual team as normal. Life would be per normal.
Only it wasn’t. Although I had digitised my business to be COVID-19-proof, many, many businesses have not. When the lockdown hit, they struggled to operate with staff working from home. Their processes didn’t work online. They ground to a halt.
So even though my business could run OK in the new “normal”, enquiries slowed. And worse, those who needed to settle their bills with me advised that until their offices reopened, they weren’t able to process my digital invoices. So not only are incoming projects reduced, I can’t get paid for the projects already completed. Not too much of an issue for a short 2 weeks. But as the lockdown continues and July is looking more a possibility for the economy to regroup, it’s become a problem.
We operate in an eco-system. So when the majority of players, mostly the big boys, can’t keep up, prove not to be agile, those that had the foresight to adapt are pulled down.
So, I ask, why did I bother digitising my business?
At least looking on the bright side, when we are freed from our home prisons, my business is in a position to bounce back faster than most. And in the interim period, I’m building for even greater digitisation and I’ll be first off the starting block.
We are all battling the Covid-19 virus in this first half of 2020. It’s not a turn of events many of us envisaged and fleeting hopes that it would resolve in a few weeks have proved unfruitful.
Different countries have taken their own approached to controlling the spread based on their demographics and size, but all have eventually come to the conclusion that a long period of isolation is the way to stop the spread.
The UK govt call of Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. has largely been obeyed over the last 3 weeks. And it seems to now be working.
Where I live in Singapore, cases were easily contained at the beginning so no lockdown was applied but rather social distancing imposed. But with the return of infected citizens to the country, tracing proved more problematic and isolation measures have now been imposed.
Today is my fourth day in lockdown and I’ve been using the time to slow down and take stock of my priorities, what really matters in life, and am also starting to prepare my business for its next wave of growth.
Here are my observations:
I am luckier that a good number of business owners facing the probability of losing their business unless government support measures stretch far enough to make a difference. Unlike some, which have been asked to close their brick and mortar stores indefinitely, my business is completely online and has been for over two years. I embraced the cloud, my team work from home and all communications are made through highly effective project management software. I can talk to clients via online meetings. So it’s business as normal for me as I don’t need to change anything I do. Or it should be …
HOWEVER, because so many other businesses have NOT prepared for the lockdown, have NOT digitised their operations or embraced allowing staff to work from home, or brought retail online, or digitised and automated their systems, their business has ground to a halt, and the knock-on effect is that mine has too as enquiries have slowed to a trickle, and most of those are actually others promoting their wares through my forms made for enquiries only! Grrr!
I’ve noticed a tendency to make do with what we’ve got. I’m cooking recipes I’d never have done before just to work with what’s in the pantry. I’m much more appreciative of the simple things and grateful that we can still get food, and basic necessities.
I’ve also evaluated how much I spend normally compared to what I’m spending in lockdown (not much obviously!) and come to the conclusion that I spend far too much on stuff that really doesn’t matter. My transport costs have gone to zero too as I walk if I go out, or I stay in. Meetings in person with clients has stopped and virtual meetings have become a norm. And I intend to try to reinforce this when things turn to normal too.
But most importantly, I’m using this time to get my online training and coaching business off the ground. Ideas have been coming to me left, right and centre and it’s a little overwhelming what to start on first. The possibilities and the opportunities are endless! There is so much I can teach and I’m so excited to get this all launched!
See what’s coming and get updated once my programmes launch!
The reason I ask is that this week I’ve had three simple short messages misread by the readers.
It had me scratching my head.
Was I failing to communicate? Were the communications too complicated or convoluted?
I looked hard but no, they were straight forward and easy to understand.
The readers just hadn’t taken the time and focus to actually read the message as delivered.
All cases were a case of word blindness. Like an ad that was on TV a few years ago about only hearing the good stuff – selective hearing.
Well, we are now seeing selective reading. Even short messages are being misunderstood because the readers are missing out important words in an effort to read fast, I guess.
In an age where video is the preferred method for digesting information, listening skills must be overtaking reading skills and reading is becoming a forgotten, dare I say dying, art.
It remains to be seen if I will have a career five years hence if words are losing their power? 🙁
What do you think?
About Ange Dove
Master copywriter and content marketer Ange Dove, AKA Your Business Transformation Fairy Godmother, founded Proof Perfect in 2003 to improve business communication and marketing, one business at a time.
Ange and her Proof Perfect team focus on providing compelling copy backed by powerful visuals to make clients’ content stand out both online and offline.
She is adept at planning strategies for her clients and using the best of today’s technologies to automate their marketing so they can Get Ready, Get Seen, Get Business.
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