By now you know growing your brand into a business you love requires hard work, persistence, agility, and (at times) the ability to function on very little sleep.
But what if I told you there’s a secret to growing your brand that’s available to everyone, but used by very few?
In fact, it’s easy to spot the brands who are acting on this secret — they’re the brands that stand out in a crowded field, are growing faster than their competitors, always seem to have the perfect offer at just the right time, and create marketing content that pulls you in and gets you from ‘shopping’ to ‘buying’ in record time.
The “Secret” Is Right At Your Fingertips
So, what’s their secret?!
It’s just this simple: They make it a priority to talk to their ideal customers.
Why? Because they know these conversations are the absolute best way to gather feedback and learn more about their ideal customers’ lives and motivations. Then they leverage that information to refine (or add more dimension to) their product or service offer, level-up their marketing, and create a more efficient sales process.
Make It Your Business To Get to Know Your Ideal Customer
To be clear, I’m not talking about customer surveys where you’re asking for feedback about your product or service (although those do have their place and can be invaluable). I’m talking about an honest conversation that centers on your customer — not on you.
Your goal with these conversations is to really get know your ideal customer on a deep and personal level.
The way you know your best friend.
Because when it comes to your business, your ideal customer is your best friend.
They’re the customers who are willing to pay full price for your products or services, who will go out of their way to buy only from you, and who will recommend your product or service to everyone they know.
The Top 5 Reasons To Start Having Conversations With Your Ideal Customer Now
#1. They help you attract MORE ideal customers.
Attracting more ideal customers is the key to growing your brand into a business you love.
One complaint I hear from my clients over and over again is that they’re attracting a lot of shoppers and not a lot of buyers. They’re spending way too much time on prospects that are likely never going to buy. Or, who will only buy if they can get a discount.
And that’s a recipe for frustration and burn out.
Instead, you need to spend your time getting to know and truly understand what motivates your ideal customers to buy from you. Once you ‘get’ what they see in you that they don’t see anywhere else — you can use that information to sharpen your messaging to attract new customers just like them.
#2. They help you differentiate your product or service in a way that’s meaningful.
Sometimes what you think is your strongest point of difference doesn’t quite line up with how your ideal customer sees your point of difference. For example, you may think your point of difference is something highly functional, like a unique technology, ingredient, or process that you offer — while your customer sees your difference as something more emotional — like how that technology, ingredient, or process made her life better or easier.
For example, one of my clients who offers a product for people with food allergies was able to differentiate her offer from her competitors by focusing on how her product brings families together — creating a sense of shared joy. This higher-level benefit has helped her open new distribution channels and grow her business significantly in the past year. Her product meets all the functional requirements of the category, but her brand offers something emotionally different that no other brand can replicate.
Knowing how your ideal customer sees you as meaningfully different helps you clarify your messaging so your marketing connects better and is more efficient.
#3. They help you create solutions no one else is delivering.
With a few simple questions you can easily find out what’s missing from the marketplace that would solve a problem or make life better for your ideal customer. This kind of information is pure gold when it comes to creating innovative products or services.
While your ideal customer can’t give you the solution, they can give you insight into what’s missing or not working for them with the options currently available. You can get a much deeper understanding of their needs and desires — which is exactly the kind of information you need to brainstorm new or improved products or services.
#4. They help you understand how your ideal customer makes their buying decisions and what influences them the most.
It’s easy to get frustrated by marketing when you don’t know where to go to find your ideal customers and you’re unsure what kinds of information would help them choose you.
This one’s easy.
You simply have to ask your ideal customer about their path to purchase and what sources of information influence them the most. You can find out what kinds of recommendations they value, the books or magazines they read, the podcasts they listen to, the influencers they follow. And you can learn about the brands they love and what attracts them to those brands.
Now you know where you need to be to find them and what messages are most influential in their buying process.
Think about how this simplifies your marketing efforts!
No more wasting money and resources on marketing or sales efforts that never reach your ideal customer or aren’t moving the needle for them in their buying process.
#5. They help you demonstrate empathy in your marketing and sales efforts.
Today selling is all about creating relationships. And the best way to really connect with your customers is to demonstrate that you know and understand the challenges they’re experiencing.
A conversation with your ideal customer is the perfect way to get clarity on their pain points and the outcomes they fear if they don’t find a solution that makes their pain go away.
Once you’re able to demonstrate real empathy in your marketing efforts, clients will more naturally gravitate to you.
Pick Up The Phone
I know this all sounds ridiculously simple, but my business is filled with entrepreneurs and business owners who never think about talking to their ideal customers or are unsure of how to have these conversations — so they avoid them and continue to struggle with their marketing and sales.
“Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates, sometimes, the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.” — Steve Jobs
Growing your business is never easy, but when you reach out and take proactive steps to really get to know your ideal customer, you’ll find a treasure trove of insights that will make your journey simpler — and more rewarding in every way.
How To Get Started
If you’re feeling nervous or unsure about how to get these conversations started, I’ve got you covered.
My Ideal Customer Interview Guide is designed to walk you step-by-step through the process of setting up and conducting ideal customer interviews.
It’s filled with sample questions to get the conversation started plus tips on how to keep the flow going.
This free guide shows you exactly how to get the insights you need to you improve your product or service, level-up your marketing and sales efforts, and grow your brand into a business you love.