But I have more than one ideal customer, what now?
I often write/talk about creating content on your blog and other social media places that speaks to your ideal customer. For ideal customer read ideal reader / prospect, I’ll use these terms through the post. Angela said on a post here that she struggles with this as she has more than one ideal customer, and then Jill emailed me to say she has a similar issue. So I said I would write a blog post about the solution, here it is :)
Who is our ideal customer?
When we write our business plans we talk about target markets and we demonstrate how we think we are going to approach that marketplace to win their hearts and minds, and sell them our goodies. But a marketplace can be made up of many people… so the next step is not to refer to them as a marketplace but to drill down and think of them as people. It helps to create a marketing persona, and market directly to her.
Marketplace vs ideal customer
Imagine you sell buggies (strollers for my US readers), your marketplace is people with babies and toddlers – new mums, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles. And the chances are you don’t just sell one type of buggy, but multiple types and styles so you can meet the needs of your customers.
That’s a big marketplace, and sure people pass strollers around but some prefer to have their own. What you need to be doing here is drilling down to the ideal customer.
When you have the ideal customer you get a better picture of how to market your buggies to that person. If your mum is a health nut, she’d love the buggy that you can jog with, Dads are often taller and buggies with adjustable handles will speak to him… but here’s the thing, a new mum tends to spend more than a second time mum, she’s the ideal customer in that big marketplace. You have to market to her first and get a relationship started with her swiftly before someone else does.
In business your marketplace is often too big, you only need to speak to one person. By creating a marketing persona and marketing to your ideal customer then you have more chances to make the sale.
More than one ideal customer
Well stick with the buggy example. In the marketplace we mention above, there is another customer.
She’s almost as lucrative as the first-time mum and that’s first-time granny. Now first-time granny is different to first-time mum, she’s been there, done that and has been rewarded with the gift of a grandbaby on the way. She’s as excited as hell; interfering one minute and being helpful the next and she wants to please first-time mum and support her. She’s going to help look after the baby and plans to take the baby to the park. She needs a buggy too.
If you are blogging about buggies, you can’t write a post that speaks to both first time mum and first time gran. It just won’t speak to them both. First time mum lays awake amazed at the wondrous chemistry of the baby growing inside her, she is scared and hormonal and fancies Ben and Jerry’s at 3am.
First time gran is different, she worries about the baby being given a name she can’t spell or pronounce. She worries about her daughter not eating enough and not getting enough rest. She lies awake chatting to grandpa to be and they share the happiness of a future grandchild together. Reminiscing about dirty nappies, sleepless nights and oh how they grow so fast…
So write two separate posts. One for first time mum and one for first time gran.
Secondary customers are not your ideal customer, they are the person that influences and signposts to your ideal customer. They are the friendly work colleague who has lunch with first time mum and says “Omg, I saw an article the other day on getting the most from your buggy. I’ll email you the link…”. First time mum can be the secondary customer and influencer in a group of first time mums, first time gran can be the influencer and so can first time dad.
Secondary customers need posts just for them.
All these customers Sarah, won’t my readers get confused?
As bloggers we get caught up with our audiences and we can get quite pretentious. We think they read every single post. We are all busy people, we look at the content in multiple ways – on the site, via email or via search. We rarely read every post from our favourite bloggers. We’re people, we’re fickle. The way to deal with this is to write blog posts that speak to multiple ideal customers. And no, your readers won’t get confused, they know that a post is not quite for them, but they can also be an influencer of your ideal customer, and that’s why things like refer a friend offers still convert their socks off.
Refer a friend – where did that come from!
Back to the buggies. We know first time mum probably works and has 2/3 close female friends. She has her own income and is independent but baby makes her apprehensive, so she asks around and bingo… refer a friend is back.
Think to your own life for a moment. Do you know any pregnant women? Maybe? Let’s drill it down some more, have you recently attended an offline event where there was a pregnant woman? Or saw a Facebook/Twitter update that announced a new arrival? As you start to think about the scenarios, you start to focus and lo, you recall so-and-so is pregnant. You see another update asking for a recommendation or it comes up in conversation, so what do you do – you make a referral to a site, you recommend what products you adored and you influence the ideal customer.
The secret to marketing to your ideal customers is…
- Make your blog posts speak to the ideal customer,
- It’s okay to write to more than one ideal customer – just not in the same post
- Make it easy for readers who are secondary customers to refer your ideal customer to you.
Over to you, but before you share your thoughts with me, can I ask you a favour?
If you know someone who is struggling with their blogging as they think they can’t write to their ideal customer as there are just too many of them, would you email them this post? Thank you.