One of the greatest joys of having your own business, of being an entrepreneur is choosing whom you work with. No more clients chosen by your sales team or your boss. You no longer have to work with any person warm, and breathing with a pulse (although that helps ;)), you get to profile and attract who you want to work with, you get to say no to people who are not a fit and you get to spend each day waking up and wanting to go to work. What's not to love?
Well, you're not your ideal customer.
I know, your ideal customer might be like you, but she's not you. She doesn't get excited when Glee comes on the TV, she does love the X Factor though. That might not seem like a difference, but it is. Human beings are made up of hundreds and millions of nuances, and their experiences may differ from yours. Example, when I was in school the teachers spent two years striking. They would stand up and say “We want you to get the best education.” and then we'd have the rest of the week off as they were striking. Now, it's not that I don't like teachers, four of my closest friends are excellent teachers. My experience of teachers is different to yours. If you tell me you're a teacher, my response will be so what.
Let's compare that to someone who had a solid education, they didn't experience broken schooling or the indifference of the teachers to the pupils, but someone who has had a positive experience of teachers. When you say you're a teacher, they get excited. They share your passion for teaching and will tell you how fabulous you are and what a brilliant education system the country has.
Those are the nuances.
When you're up close and personal with your work as entrepreneurs can be, it's easy to think that your ideal customer is just like you; that she shares the same beliefs. She probably does, but what she doesn't have is the same experiences as you. This means you have to focus on your customer avatars and when you share something you have to think “Would my ideal customer like this”. Not whether you like it or not, but whether it will connect and resonate with your ideal customer.
That's hard for a lot of entrepreneurs who do their own social media to understand.
You are not your ideal customer. Trust me, you're not. They may be like you, and have things in common but they are not you. When you get advice from a professional marketer, she looks at your customer avatar with you, your brand and it's values. Then you get the advice on how to do whatever you need to do.
If that advice is to share a certain type of content to attract in your ideal client you should try it to see if it works and try it for an agreed amount of time. Looking at something and saying it won't work is what idiots, the overwhelmed and those that think they are their own customer do. I know, I've been all of those people.
Marketing is about tweaking and testing…
It's about sharing the right content for your audience, connecting with them, finding what could be better and then giving them that. It's about constantly testing and finding the sweet spot, and that might mean sharing things that you personally don't like, but connect with your audience. As you get to know the ideal customer, you get to know and understand their nuances. You start to discover the things they care about deeply, so you can tailor your marketing more specifically, and that might mean deviating greatly from the things that you love.
If my audience was moms of children of a certain age, I might make references to Minecraft. Children, who aren't teens, love Minecraft. Do I love Minecraft? No. Do I watch my children play it? Yes, yes I do. Like these mums, I know who Stampy is and Eyeballistic Squid is, and I know that Stampy likes cake. But what if your ideal customer don't have children of that age? Hers are younger or older? Mentioning Minecraft might not get the same connection. Should you decline mentioning or sharing Minecraft and Stampy just in case? Hell no.
If these mums are my ideal customers then I need to talk about the detail, the things that show that I understand them and what goes on in their life. I might like to play Crash Bandicoot on my ancient Playstation, but that's me. I'm not hiding who I am, I'm connecting.
It's not about you. It's about them.
I know you're the most important person in your life. I get it. You might talk about whom you serve, but you are the centre of your world. Then one day you wake up and realise you're not the centre of the universe; there are hundreds of other stars out there with their own gravitational pull. Did you like how I just went from Minecraft to Astronomy? ;), If I was really smart I'd get in a reference about Big Bang Theory and Sheldon Cooper.
So think for a moment about the nuances, the little details that connect you to prospects and ideal customers. These little things are the things that connect us.
PS Like this? You might need to know more about psychographics