The first step in any good marketing plan is to know your ideal client and their emotionally compelling problem.
Whether you are marketing your services as a massage therapist, a web builder, or designer, it's important to know how to communicate with potential clients in a way that grabs them at the gut level.
Why is this so important?
When you are able to speak to their emotions they sense that you understand them. When people they feel like you really get it, they also begin to trust you, and therefore are more ready to move to the next step in the sales process. It’s about building a strong relationship first.
This first part of building empathy cannot be rushed. Here is my empathetic sentence about my target client.
My clients are people who feel stuck, overwhelmed and not sure how to focus on their business. They are stressed from not having enough cash flow or as many of the kind of clients they want.
You need to come up with a sentence similar to mine this for your clients. Notice that I never once mentioned my services or any solutions. I only mentioned their problem, issue and how they feel.
Most small business owners immediately begin to talk about themselves and their wonderful product or service. You all know what you do and what you can offer. That’s the easy part. It can be challenging to come up with a couple of sentences that really hit the nail on the head as to your client’s problem or issue.
Example. Recently I worked with a marriage counselor. She said her clients were couples who wanted to restore the passion in their relationship. This says what they want but it doesn’t say how they feel and what their real problem is.
She could have said, “My clients are couples who have become bored with each other, they are arguing a lot, feel unhappy, loss of joy and a lack of passion.” Ah- that’s emotionally compelling. If I was one of those couples I would say, "Yes, that’s just how I feel."
Before you can develop an effective marketing plan you have to be able to articulate your client’s emotionally compelling problem. Here are a few tips to help you develop this.
1. Imagine one person who would be your favorite client. If you can’t think of a real person then make one up and give them a name. Picture that person and their life in detail. This person will become your marketing expert.
2. What is troubling this person that would cause them to look for help? How do they feel? Come up with a list of 10 feelings they have using feeling words like, anger, sadness, frustration, stress, yearning, low-energy, overwhelmed, in pain, etc.
3. Still thinking of your person, what do they want? How do they want to feel? How do they want their life to be different? How important to them is it to address those issues?
Take all your answers and combine them into a couple sentences. Notice: that this is all about your client and not about you and what you offer.
You can use these sentences for your marketing copy for your website and for sharing about your business at networking groups. This is the very first part of developing a marketing plan. Once you get this, it is easy to move forward to the next part.