It’s not going to be taking your product or service and saying how great it is - everyone knows that by now.
You need to really put yourself in the shoes of your ideal buyer. You need to live and breathe as they would. You need to feel their pains and experience their joys the same way that you do your own. Only then will you truly understand what motivates them to buy what you’re selling.
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But how do you do this? Not everyone can think that way, it’s too easy to stay inside the box.
I’m coining a phrase today. It’s “be the buyer.”
It’s a methodology I’ve used without realizing it for the past few months, and it’s what is taking strategy and work that I’ve done for my clients to the next level. It’s also allowed me to guide my clients towards crafting their own marketing messages, because anyone can do it, and it applies to any business.
Let me explain.
Start with Why
Like all good ideas, this one starts with why. Why would anyone purchase what you’re selling?
It’s doing one of two things: it’s creating value or it’s relieving pain. An emotional connection is important as well, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
An example of creating value is always positive: your client uses your product or service to be more efficient, sell more, or increase a key performance metric. There’s a reason you hear the phrase value-added so often, it’s because value is all about increases.
An example of relieving pain is the opposite -- a removal. Your product or service eliminates the pain felt from a normal job function, such as having to send emails one by one, or manage contacts in a spreadsheet.
Gain creators and pain relievers are undoubtedly linked - you can’t have one without the other. The most valuable purchases are ones that do both.
Think of HubSpot - it allows you to increase your efficiencies by sending an email to a specific subset of your contact database, that is maintained with very little effort. HubSpot is both a gain creator and a pain reliever, so it is incredibly valuable.
This is the same type of value that your product or service will create for your ideal customer. It has already, or you wouldn’t be sitting at your desk, reading this post, wondering what “be the buyer” means and how you can apply it to your business.
Who is Your Ideal Client?
Start with your ideal client. This is someone who experiences both gain creation and pain alleviation from your business. Reach out to them and find out what makes them tick.
Priority Initiative: What was going on in their lives/company that made looking for a solution a priority? This is where you can pick up on pain points.
Success Factors: After choosing a solution, what does success look like for your prospect? Pick up on benefits they’re hoping to obtain and features they think will solve their issues.
Perceived Barriers: What would stop a prospect from moving forward with you? Listen for what issues they have, false perceptions they may have about you and any historical situations that may cause red flags when looking into your solution.
Decision Criteria: What will their decision ultimately come down to? Price? Features? Understand what could be a deal breaker and what you can leverage for competitive advantage.
Buyer’s Journey: As your prospects educate themselves on how to solve their problem, what are they doing along the way? Pick up on where they go for information, who they trust, who is involved in the decision process, and what they find helpful.
Once you’ve created a buyer persona, use it. I can’t emphasize this enough.
You’ve spent the time and effort to document your ideal client, what they’re looking for, and what problems they have. It’s easy to set it and forget it, but make sure you reference and update your buyer personas once a quarter - they will change.
Crafting Your Marketing Message
Let’s jump ahead to where a lot of people get stuck: content.
Whether it’s for social media, your blog, the value prop of your homepage, or a landing page for a really useful checklist, you need to have the right message for the right buyer persona at the right stage in the buyer’s journey, otherwise you’re conversions will never look how you want them to, and you’ll never grow your traffic, leads and sales.
Starting with those two powerful resources in front of you, ask yourself what about the content you are working on will convince that persona at that point in the buyer’s journey to keep reading, convert, or buy on the spot.
What gain creator are you presenting? What pain are you relieving? If that’s not immediately clear, you’re doing it wrong.
Don’t worry! We’ve all been there - I’m there more than a few times a day, but it’s what you do next that really matters.
You’ll never get unstuck with asking yourself those two questions. Close your eyes and put yourself in your persona’s shoes. What would they search for to help them break through their ceiling?
What problem do they have, every single day, that keeps them up at night staring at the ceiling wondering: how will I ever get out of this one?
That’s where you come in. Solve that problem for them, or show them a better way of doing things. They’ll pay you for it.