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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Do I know what you do?

I wrote an earlier post on the first question which we all ask when making any kind of purchase decision, "have I heard of you?" and "do I know what you do?" is the logical next step.  These days we're all time poor, and if we don't understand, its easier to walk away than take the time to learn.

Telling the world what you do starts with a simple business description.  It's the text you need to fill your profile page on LinkedIn, or Twitter or Facebook (assuming you've build a business page).  It should be clear and concise and free of jargon.  Think of this step as a foundation stone.  Your business description/profile should be the facts without frills version of what you do, but attracting customers means taking a step further and building familiarity.
  1. Think about your ideal customer.  Who are they?  What age are they?  Where do they live?  What do they do?  How much spare time do they have to hear your message?  What are they reading your message on?   The language you use to describe your business is key.  Which words would your ideal customer use to describe what you do? (It's often helpful to get a friend or family member to tell you what they think your business does.  If your mother doesn't understand your description, there's a good chance no-one else will).
  2. Does your company produce products/services which mean the same to everyone? If you sell ice cream then most people know what that means.  If you're an applications developer then explaining what you do to a technical audience, requires the use of terms they understand and would expect you to use for credibility.  An applications developer pitching to the marketing team needs a different slant.  Don't leave any group to assume they know what you do.  Tell them.
  3. Familiarity comes from meeting your ideal customer where they already are.  Often I hear SMEs moaning about the uphill battle to attract customers.  These days we all have so much choice that its unlikely we'll go looking for the next big thing unless it comes to find us.  Having worked out who you want to target, consider where those people are now.  e.g. Twitter is a great tool for finding others interested in what you have to say.  Type relevant words into the Twitter search bar and it will return lists of those already talking about that subject.  Also think about the publications/blogs they might read.  If you know who's already influential to their world, you can work on a plan to be seen in the same space etc.
  4. Be there when people are looking for you.  Seems like the opposite of what I've just said above, but now that we're all so google dependant, make sure that you can be found when someone types in a search term relevant to your business.  It seems so obvious, but without visibility there can be no familiarity.  Your google rankings is a whole other blog post though.
Have you guessed what I do yet?

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