One of the growing pains of developing a brand past the “holy crap, this is going to be real” phase is understanding the type of audience you want to reach. Demographics are important for understanding the real people who will be investing in your goods or service. An issue I had in doing freelance graphic design fresh out of college was I was not appealing to the audience that I wanted to do work in. My goal as a brand strategist now is the same as it was as a wee baby designer: to make a difference in someone’s business by providing purposeful design that accomplishes their goals. The only difference was I was willing to lower my standards to appeal to anyone who needed design and thus, I began a downward spiral into being unhappy with freelance because my demographic was anyone who would pay me.
Since then, I’ve discovered the key: two small steps to help bring brand clarity to your mission statement. Scroll down to see ways to get the clients you really want and stop wasting time!
walk the walk, but also… talk the talk
Now more than ever, your customers are online. They search in Google, they read Facebook reviews, they ask for recommendations directly. Your business needs to stand on its own for its integrity, effectiveness, and its visibility. Without that, you’re just another unclicked link in Google. Having a website simply isn’t enough anymore. You need to speak to your customer as transparency is one of the biggest factors.
Learning how your customers talk and think will help any good website develop the appropriate language to use. When have you ever seen a Bath and Body Works ad talk about fighting odor? When have you ever heard a Febreeze ad talk about having a tropical get-away at home? These two, while offering similar products (home goods), appeal to different type of demographics. Bath and Body Works romanticizes fragrance, touches on the relaxation a well-scented candle offers, and prides itself on its sales. Febreeze offers tough odor-fighting candles with long-lasting effects, safe for all, and turns an “ew” (urgent, negative situation) into an “aw” moment. These brands are effective in understanding their target audiences and their concerns by simply acknowledging how they speak to them and what their product offers to their daily life.
So next time you feel a disconnect with your customers, ask yourself:
- how does my product effect my target audience’s daily life?
- am I talking to them the right way?
- am I clearly expressing how my service/product will help them?
- does my business have a simple objective that my customers will relate to?
- is this information consistent through-out my website and social media copy?
be clear with your time and pricing
Websites are more than just one big ‘about me’ page — they are your 24/7 brochure that work when you are not.
Brands that have clarity are confident enough to list pricing for goods, offer some form of insight on service pricing, or continue their sales funnel by allowing people to reach out for personalized quotes. A couple of scenarios of being clear with your time and pricing are as follows:
If you are running an e-Commerce site or have products to sale, list pricing and be very vocal about discounts. Often times, many visitors to your website will return to it in the future. By having a clear space for such things, you are gaining a peace of real estate in their mind and allowing them to check back. Whether the discount is one-time or during select times of the year, they are able to navigate your website to make informed judgments on their own.
For service-based businesses, one simple thing I’ve learned is to not shy away from your pricing. Elevating yourself as an expert in your field, you are offering a service unlike any other. Pricing transparency immediately weeds out bargain shoppers, which are people not worth your time. By listing your pricing, even in the safety net of “Prices starting at…” you are openly demonstrating your confidence and success while keeping yourself from taking someone not willing to pay for your services down the rabbit hole of a sales funnel. What is key here is understanding that no matter what, budget will be brought up in the conversation — why not offer that information leisurely where your potential customer can make a choice on their own and save you the time?
don’t be shy, refine!
Unfortunately, when asked what type of client they want to attract, business owners go for the default answer: “everyone”. That is not the case. Your clients should be easily targeted: moms, teachers, men under the age of 21 who like sports, etc. You’re able to go forth and create “personas” that allow you to help word your website and branding to reach to them. What keywords may seem appealing to a mom may not seem appealing to a man under the age of 21.
If you’d like to begin strategizing how to reach your potential customer, feel free to contact me!