Duct Tape Marketing Series: We’re applying the theories from this book to our business, chapter by chapter, and will share our experiences with you here on this blog. Click here to read from the first Chapter.
As the title suggests, Chapter 2 is all about figuring out who your ideal client is. For those of us who have been in business for awhile this is a bit of a frustrating exercise because most of us know who the “always pays, pays on time, gives good projects, is a pleasure to work with” clients are. I was still surprised by a few things in this chapter though because even as a marketer myself it made me look at my clients with a new eye and I discovered a few things.
First, my clients are not typical. I printed out a list of all our clients and divided them into categories as I worked through each section of the chapter, and I noticed that I don’t really have one dominate industry. There are leanings of course, such as arts/music, construction, and professional services (i.e. attorneys), but when I looked at the company sizes, they are predominately a sole proprietorship, or small businesses (LLCs to S Corps) with up to roughly 30 employees, with only a handful of companies larger than that.
Now the neat part, most of my referrals came from art or music-based sites, automobile-based sites, and technology-based sites. So go figure – those are industries that have nothing to do with each other, so why are they generating the most referrals? Well one thing I noticed was that the referrals we were getting weren’t generally referrals to the same industry, instead they were usually to friends and family who were either starting out on their own or were having a very hard time with their current webmaster. The folks who were referring us had such a good experience with us that when they came across someone complaining about their site, they were happy to mention us.
So we definitely have a niche – small businesses, although Mr. Jantsch would prefer we narrow that down a bit to say “arts and music websites for small business owners” I have to say I do like being diverse. It helps to keep the creativity juices flowing, otherwise I fear it would become monotonous.
So what is our “Ideal Prospect Profile?” Here’s what I came up with:
Our ideal prospect is a product or service-based small business owner with 1-30 employees, and no internal marketing department who is located in the Northern Virginia area. They typically have been in business for several years, and have been successful but could do much better with proper marketing.
The biggest problem our ideal prospect faces is that they know how to perform their service or produce their product extremely well, but marketing it is a completely foreign concept. As a result they stay in business, but they don’t dominate their industry.
The best way to reach these ideal prospects is through online media, referrals, email blasts, and education about products and services we have available and how they can be used to bring in more customers or sell more products.
The most common frustration our clients seem to have is that because they don’t understand marketing, except that it can be expensive, is that they just don’t want to deal with it. They have so many other demands on their time that learning a whole new industry is both daunting and seemingly impossible. They get upset when they don’t hear back from their marketing techies – webmasters, printers, etc. – and when turnaround times are much, much longer than expected.
So I’ll conclude with the first question Jantsch asks: “What’s the problem?”
He’s really asking what it is that you are solving for your customers, and in our case it’s the problem of creating regular customer flow (getting folks in the door of business, or interested in buying a product). They know they need to get products and their services in front of customers, but what they really want is for customers to come to them (not the other way around), and our mission is to create that customer flow for our clients so they can focus on just running the business.
Until Chapter 3!
P.S. If you’re interested in buying the book, please hit up this link. Helps me monetize these posts. Thanks!