6 second take: Finding interested clients is difficult for any entrepreneur. Here’s what you can do to find customers that can help grow your business.
Your ideal customer is experiencing a problem. He’s frustrated, tired, and wants to be doing something other than what he’s doing right now. If only a solution existed that would free him of ever having this problem again!
You have great news for this guy! Your business idea solves the problem. You just launched your offering to the market, and it’s available to buy now! You want to find this customer so you can help him. You’re looking for the scenario where your proven solution intersects with his path, so he’ll know it exists, give a shot, and love it.
Let’s call this the Launch process, which goes something like this:
- Your brand promise gets noticed by your ideal customer.
- It inspires the customer to believe that there is a solution that works.
- The ideal customer remembers and recognizes the solution.
- You convert the ideal customer to a trial. The solution works!
- He happily buys from you.
- You keep the customer engaged.
- He becomes an Ambassador for your brand.
Figuring out how to accomplish each step of this process is the sales and marketing work you must do to move your company from great idea to growth.
The launch phase requires a lot of research and trial and error. It’s often the hardest part for new entrepreneurs just starting their businesses because you don’t know what you don’t know.
So how can you make it easier?
Launching Your Offer
Take the learnings from your initial prototyping phase and use them to build from here.
At this point of having your offer ready to sell, you’ve studied the client, his habits, his routines, etc., and you know enough about him to know where to find him and what it takes to convince him.
Get started by writing a summary of what you know about this hypothetical ideal client: Does he work Monday to Friday? Does he work from home since COVID-19? Does he buy a Starbucks coffee every day around 10:00 am?
Is he a member of any professional organizations (according to LinkedIn)? Does he have kids in private elementary school? Is he ready to solve the problem he experiences every day?
Using what you know about him, you can find ways that make sense to show up throughout his daily routine to share the brand promise you’re offering.
Let’s use Peer to Peer as an example of how this works.
It all starts with getting noticed.
Step 1: Get Noticed
By understanding the habits and routines of your target client you can insert yourself along the way.
The customer will come across your offer in the normal course of their routine (Phase 2 in the customer journey graphic below).
For B to C: what social platforms do they frequent, where do they shop, where do they go for news, where do they go for entertainment, and where do they go for work? For B to B: where do they go for information and referrals, do they submit RFPs, do they use platforms such as Upwork?
Case Study: Getting Peer to Peer Noticed
Peer to Peer targets new entrepreneurs who are eager for guidance on how to succeed in their new businesses. The ideal client is committed to making their business work, is willing to put in the hard work and invest in their idea, and seeks knowledge from experienced mentors to make their own business decisions.
Their routine path includes interactions with their trusted advisors such as their CPA and their local chambers of commerce. As such, I offer to do free speaking engagements to these professionals and their clients. I offer useful content for free; if they want more, they can check out Peer to Peer through our free trial.
This is an example of knowing your ideal client’s journey and placing yourself inside it.
Step 2: Inspire the Customer
Now that the ideal customer notices you and you’ve determined that you have the right butt in the right seat, you must inspire them to action.
You want them to try the product, so make it super easy.
If it’s an online service, show them why it’s worth their time to learn more. If it’s a physical product, give them the perfect bite-size information so they’re convinced that it works, maybe with a testimonial. This is why many beauty products use beautiful movie stars in their ads. They’re inspiring the ideal customer that it works. What is your equivalent?
Case Study: Inspiring New Entrepreneurs with Peer to Peer
When ideal customers attend my free informational seminars, I ask everyone to talk about their business and their current bottlenecks; I make the sessions interactive. I don’t use a Power Point. Instead I use the businesses in the room (real or virtual) to teach them all how to step up their game.
The goal is to get them to want more of this mentorship so they’ll want to try out Office Hours with others just like them giving and receiving business advice and being held accountable to their business commitments.
Step 3: Convert to Trial
Notice the Pitch section of the customer journey map above: “Easy. Fast. Affordable.” If someone truly meets your ideal client profile and you offer them a solution that is easy to implement, fast, and affordable, they’ll give it a shot.
Continue to make it easy for them to say yes to the trial.
Make it one click. Serve it in a manageable portion that allows the solution to work and prove itself.
Case Study: Two-Week Trial of Peer to Peer
The ideal client easily converts to a trial when I do a good job of inspiring them in the moments before they join the trial. If I fall down on explaining the trial, or if I don’t provide real value in the inspiration stage, I will lose the majority of people who would have said yes to a trial. You can’t skip steps on this journey.
Step 4: Make a Sale
Once you’ve sold a trial, the full sale is yours to lose unless the person was never your ideal customer in the first place. At this point, your job is to deliver, deliver, deliver.
Make sure you give them the best experience you can.
Case Study: New Peer to Peer Member
I feel that I must constantly up my game during our Office Hours. My job is to deliver not only sound business advice from myself, but also a nice, curated group of people who can help one another. We’re all accountability partners to one another. If members aren’t meeting their business goals, they will not stay.
Step 5: Maintain Customer Engagements
Once you get the customer onboarded, don’t leave them hanging. They’re humans who need interaction.
Whether you have a physical product and want to start a Facebook group for the community of users to engage with one another and hear from you, or whether you have a service and plan to engage on a personal level, figure out what is most appropriate and optimize these touchpoints.
Case Study: The Peer to Peer Office Hours and Feed
Peer to Peer is set up to be the lifeline for entrepreneurs. They have live weekly Office Hours for business coaching, plus the ability to ask for feedback and support in between coaching sessions with our private community.
Everyone knows one another because of the weekly coaching sessions and supports one another. This engagement is key for the service to make a true difference and live up to its brand promise.
Step 6: Create Ambassadors
You know you’ve built something remarkable when your ideal customer buys from you, uses and implements the purchase instead of letting it collect dust, and then recommends it to someone else.
This is a great way to acquire new customers even when you’re looking for many customers. If you’re selling an item worth $20 to $30 and you want to sell a million of them, you can create content that resonates with your ideal customer so well that everyone shares your message.
Chatbooks is a company who has done this extremely well. Check out their ad here that has had at least a million organic, aka free, social shares.
If you have a service, blow people away with your responsiveness and helpful service and people will talk about it.
Case Study: The Peer to Peer Ambassador
Fortunately, we have members who do love talking about Peer to Peer and that is exciting to experience. Now, I have to continue to up the game and keep evolving the experience to make it better.
If your goal is to get your business to the Growth stage and you’ve just launched, take confidence in knowing it’s possible and you can do this.
It will be hard along the way and you may make mistakes that you will learn from. Keep going and follow the customer’s journey. Listen to your customer’s feedback, incorporate it, figure out where to show up, and make it better every day.
Belinda DiGiambattista is a serial entrepreneur, business coach, and outsourced financial controller, and can be found at https://belindadigiambattista.com/.