Are you the buyer of your product or service? Not usually, no. Or, you were, but you’re such an old pro that it’s hard to connect with the mindset of the buyer any longer. You know the inside language. You know what you want the buyer to do. But if you’re going to market, in social media or otherwise, you have to become the buyer.
What Do You Need Solved?
In your buyer’s mind, what are you hoping to do? For instance, if I try to think about Kitchen Table Companies and then what a buyer would want, maybe I’ve been running my small business for a few years. I got lucky, but now I’m worried. Sales aren’t coming in fast enough. I don’t know what this search engine optimization stuff is. I swear that my nephew tells me about a new website I have to be on every two days. I just want to keep getting new clients and service my existing ones.
That’s what I thought about when I thought about what someone needs when they want to buy Kitchen Table Companies. Is that what the website tells them for a story? You decide.
Do this exercise for your own site or your own projects.
Who Are You?
Do you know who your buyer is and what they want? In my mind, my buyers (for KTC) are small business owners and entrepreneurs. But maybe many of them are solo consulting organizations looking to find tips and tricks to improve their consulting business, which isn’t exactly what we sell at KTC (though you can stand to learn plenty from what’s there).
Does the language of your site, your newsletter, your blog posts, your sales copy, help you find new buyers? (In the case of [chrisbrogan.com], the answer is no, but that’s because my “buyer” is a very diverse crowd, ranging from Fortune 10 companies to mom and pop companies.)
What Do I Do?
Say I’ve miraculously self-identified as a buyer. What do I do to start? Is the onramping process obvious and easy? Do I understand what comes first, and where I’m supposed to go? You might think it looks perfectly obvious but maybe it’s not. If I look at the Kitchen Table Companies forums, there’s a lot there. If I were new, would I know what to do first, second and third? Maybe not.
How does your process and/or your content stack up? If someone has stumbled into being a reader of yours, how are you serving their further education? How are you getting them “up to speed?”
What Else Do I Need?
In a conversation a day or two ago, I steered someone away from selling a product, and instead pushed for selling services that were wrapped around the product instead. The reason was that I think the buyer in this case is going to want someone to do the work for him or her. When I become the buyer, I start wondering what else I need. I think about the times when I’ve been gearing up for a new hobby, and not knowing what else will make it interesting or not.
This, by the way, in a premium shop, is a make-or-break experience. If I’m the buyer and I have every intention of trusting you, then you the seller have to tell me, “You don’t need this yet. Hold off on spending on that until you’ve had a little more time with what you already have.” You know that experience, right? I’ve had it in bike shops, archery shops, camera shops, you name it. You can earn a loyal buyer for life if you help me navigate “what else do I need” without milking me.
Become the Buyer
If you’re here to market, then you have to build on your empathy, your understanding, and your experiential design. Unless you’re selling a simple transactional product or service, something that’s throwaway, then it’s vital that you become the buyer. Practice this exercise once a month. Review EVERYTHING you’re sending out, everything you’re presenting, and ask yourself whether it sells to your buyer. Rip out everything that doesn’t and work until you have your buyer pegged.
What else did I miss? How have you tried doing this? What would your buyer think about your site/offerings?