I’m in the middle of a series of posts on leveraging your customer’s perspective (and your business’ unique strengths) to discover how to take your ideas to scale. We’ve talked about to-do lists, evolving your business model, leveraging love, and using small ideas to create the most impact in your market.
But what else can you do with an intimate knowledge of your customer’s perspective?
1. Devise an engaging content strategy.
When you know what’s on your customer’s mind, you can create content–blog posts, email updates, social media posts, videos, classes, etc…–that meet her exactly where she’s at. Instead of hoping that the latest social media trick will tip the scales in your favor, you offer fresh ideas, instant inspiration, or genuine entertainment that lets your customer know just how in tune your business is with her needs.
When you write like everyone else and sound like everyone else and act like everyone else, you’re saying, “Our products are like everyone else’s, too.” Or think of it this way: Would you go to a dinner party and just repeat what the person to the right of you is saying all night long? Would that be interesting to anybody?
— Jason Fried, Why is Business Writing So Awful?
And perhaps more importantly, do you want to give your customers the impression you think they’re just like everyone else? No. You want to make them feel special. One in a million.
For example, Lisa Claudia Briggs, from Intuitive Body, knows her Most Valued Customer tends to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. They internalize outside stress (at work, in their families, with friends) and turn that into unhealthy habits like overeating. She calls them empaths. Using the Customer Perspective Process, she can use that information to create instant connections and establish trust with potential clients. She recently wrote about the advantages of being an empath, turning a perceived negative into a positive. That’s great (long-lasting) content!
2. Use the media to spread your story.
Your customers are the media’s customers. The same people that buy your products and services also buy newspapers, magazines, and cable. Reaching your customers through the media (as opposed to advertising) means your coming through a trusted source. You earn the title expert or insider from people who get paid to mete out experts and insiders.
My friend and colleague Brigitte Lyons, a media strategist for microbusinesses and creator of the Your Media Map program, uses the Customer Perspective Process to both better understand her own clients and to train them in preparation for dealing with the media.
As I was preparing to launch my publicity planning program, Your Media Map, I brainstormed the work participants needed to do before they went after the media. The first thing that came to mind was Tara’s Customer Perspective Process.
One of the most successful mindset shifts you can make to dramatically increase your hit rate is to keep in mind that you and the media share a common customer. Your right-fit media is just as invested in serving your MVC as your business is. When you keep this commonality in mind, your approach to a journalist (or blogger) changes from being a self-interested pitch to a customer-focused collaboration.
This mindset shift is the key to launching a successful media campaign — and it also helps you calm the jitters you’ll feel when you approach a journalist with a huge audience. You know their reader inside-and-out, because she also happens to be your MVC.
3. Construct a sales process tailor made to duplicate your best customers.
Too many businesses use fancy language to sound like they have a solution. Any kind of jargon–business, self improvement, design, craft, advocacy, etc…–is a barrier between your customers and your work. Your sales process isn’t an opportunity to display your smarts.
It’s an opportunity to match how the value your business creates matches the needs and desires your customer is already expressing (or not expressing) the way they’re expressing them. For example, Jen Louden knows the frustrations, questions, and desires that teachers face when they enter the virtual classroom. She’s crafted the sales process for TeachNow, her signature program for creating confidence & clarity around teaching-as-business, to reflect those frustrations, questions, and desires in her students’ language.
4. Build a business model that exponentially increases your revenue.
When you construct your business model using your customer’s worldview, you can anticipate what products or services he’ll want and when. That means that each satisfying experience with a product turns into a marketing device for the next.
Your business retains highly satisfied customers who continue to invest the products & services they depend on.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a loyal customer can be worth 10x as much as a single purchase. If your customers could purchase 10x more from you, you’d be quite happy, right? Crafting a smart business model around your customers’ evolving needs–based on your knowledge of their worldview–means they’ll have that opportunity.
5. Turn your business into a referral engine.
You’re not the only one who needs to talk about your business. You need your customers to be consistently referring clients to your products & services, too.
They’re unlikely to feel comfortable using your description for your business. If the only way you know how to talk about your business is through careful brand language, you’re missing out on a big opportunity for scale. When you give your customers ways to talk about your business from their perspective, it’s easier for them to spread the word for you.
I’ve seen this happen beautifully with my book, The Art of Earning. My customers (that’s you!) are all familiar with the starving artist archetype. By turning that on its head and challenging their perspective, they have a fun way to recommend the book to their friends and colleagues.
Your customer’s perspective is powerful.
Seeing the world through your customers’ eyes is a powerful thing. It’s more than just attracting your right people. It’s the foundation for a business that is truly social, truly sustainable, and truly successful.