Build your audience, they said. They’ll start waving their credit cards at you, they said. If you’ve ever followed that advice but found converting your audience into clients has been an issue, then you’ll know it isn’t so straightforward.
The piece that’s missing is strategically attracting audiences that buy. Because it’s one thing to build your audience, and quite another to have people in your audience who are willing to actually buy.
Of course not everyone in your audience is going to be your perfect potential client. But if you consistently find yourself troubleshooting by using tips, tricks & hacks to coax people from audience to warm leads and clients, that’s an issue. Instead, let’s talk about what actually works to attract audiences that buy, and what pitfalls to look out for along the way.
MARKETING STRATEGY IS THE LINK TO YOUR GOALS
Let’s be honest, no one gets excited about strategy. Most people want to jump in and get things happening, but that's where all the problems start. Building an audience without a strategy and plan leads entrepreneurs onto the merry-go-round of busywork.
There’s a saying that execution eats strategy for breakfast. The truth is neither work on their own, yet together they help you reach your goals. Sure, it looks like something is happening when you get straight into a plan and execution. But man is it the long way of doing things!
Instead, you want to start with the foundations that give you the best possible outcome. While marketing strategies take time to prepare, we can at least go over a few things that will lead you in the right direction to strategically attract audiences that buy.
First, let’s go over some common pitfalls when building your audience.
COMMON PITFALLS IN ATTRACTING AUDIENCES THAT BUY
Using the wrong tactics to attract your audience
One common pitfall is starting from the wrong place which leads to using marketing tactics that don’t work. Many entrepreneurs who want to increase sales tend to start from a vague goal, then jump straight into choosing a project which then becomes their goal.
An example of this might be something like: “I need to increase sales, so I’m thinking about doing some webinars, therefore I need to get on LinkedIn and get people to the webinar.” Or, “My book is almost finished, and I need to build my audience.” You can see the goal has switched from creating sales to “getting bums on seats,” which is actually a project.
Making the project the goal leads to using the wrong marketing tactics for the outcome you want. This is why you see some entrepreneurs consistently using hacks to try and convince their audience to do something. It’s difficult to get results when there’s no strategy or plan to ensure that your projects are successful in helping you reach your goals.
The main thing to remember is that by creating a strategy, you’re ensuring there’s a link between what your audience wants, what you can provide and the outcome you want. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you there, further down the post we’ll talk about some key things to include in your strategy.
Relying on a traditional marketing funnel to do all the work
Relying only on a marketing funnel is something I’ve seen trip people up over and over again. Just like in the previous example, it's moving people from where they found us to more content and then a pitch somewhere down the line. And if that doesn’t work (along with the tips and hacks), ads are added to help the bring in more people.
The problem here is that people haven’t been buying in a linear way for years. They create their own funnels, zig-zagging their way through information they feel is important to them. Think about the last time you made a major purchase. You would have done all your own research online and maybe seeking advice from others before even coming close to giving away your phone number or filling in a contact form. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a funnel at all. But it’s using a funnel in the traditional way and expecting it to be do all the work that’s the problem.
However with every problem there's an opportunity to do better, stand out and get better results. Instead of a set and forget funnel, you want to understand how your audience buys, so you can meet them with the right information for where they are, at the time they want to buy. From there you can monitor what's working and what needs adjusting, so you can meet the needs of your audience at every stage.
Focusing on the wrong metrics to make decisions
As unsexy as analytics are, it’s essential to keep an eye on them so you know what’s working and what isn’t. The trick though is to look at the metrics which make a difference to the outcome you want.
A while ago I had a client who came to me with the goal of increasing their warm leads. As we were exploring their current marketing, they showed me their LinkedIn profile and mentioned the number of comments on their posts along with high impressions. However this wasn’t translating to more leads.
Why is that? Despite the figures looking excellent, most of the people commenting weren't in this entrepreneur’s target audience – not by a long shot. In fact most of the comments were either from people who wanted to increase their own visibility on LinkedIn, or who had connected because they ultimately wanted to sell their own services to the entrepreneur. A major issue that showed up was that this entrepreneur’s posts didn't identify the exact things their perfect prospect would relate to. The results was, their target audience couldn't relate to anything being presented, and instead of engaging further, their audience would scroll on by.
Looking at the likes and comments meant this entrepreneur felt that all they needed to do was post more and create a better funnel. Note those wrong tactics turning up again! Posting more of what isn’t already working won’t magically change the results.
The metrics that are more important in this case are how many people are clicking through to the website and how many of those people are then buying. If people are engaging but not buying, the issue is going to be in the foundations of your marketing – who you’re attracting and why.
Okay, we’ve covered some common pitfalls. Now let’s talk about what to do instead, to attract audiences that buy.
HOW TO STRATEGICALLY ATTRACT AUDIENCES THAT BUY
IDEAL CLIENT VS PERFECT CLIENT
When business owners sit down to map out their ideal client, they usually start with demographics. While demographics are important, they’re not enough for building a highly targeted audience. And quite often you can end up categorizing people in an outdated way that doesn’t leave room for those you can create magic for.
Who is your perfect client? It’s those people you would absolutely love to work with. Forget about those who mess you around, consume all your time and then ask for a refund without taking action. Instead, write down all the attributes of your dream clients. These are the people who will be your biggest advocates after working with you, because you know you can do an amazing job for them. What do they have in common?
WHAT DOES YOUR AUDIENCE CRAVE?
Once you’ve determined who your perfect client is, think about what they need.
- What outcome do they desire?
- What are they thinking or feeling right now as it pertains to their problem?
- What do they need to understand about their problem and your solution?
- How can you provide what they need in a way that others can’t?
When you start from your perfect client and focus on what you can do for them, you’re stacking the odds to attract an audience who will be delighted by what you offer.
YOUR FUNNEL IS FLUID
We already spoke about how the traditional funnel fails people. So now you want to take the information you have about what your audience needs and how you solve that, and express it in all your marketing.
Decide why people should listen to you and create content to support that. The key here is focusing on value from your audience’s perspective. Consistently sharing content that focuses on your audience’s ‘why’ helps them identify themselves in your content while identifying you as someone who can help them. This point is vital and often missed, even by those who have worked on their brand’s message.
When you’re creating your strategy and plan, think further than where you traditionally market yourself. Your audience can come from a variety of places. Where does your perfect client look to for their information? Think about specific publications, podcasts, online and face-to-face events, peers and others who they look to for advice.
Remember to think about where your strengths lie so you can have the best outcome. Then choose the channels where you can build your brand and spread your message to attract your audience.
If you’ve got a genuine solution and can add true value, your audience is looking for you. Let me know if you have any questions, you can drop me a line here on my contact page.