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Do you know what your customer would serve if they had a dinner party?

Key to Capturing Attention
Maybe that sounds like a strange question to you… That question is a tried and true one for anyone in the business of capturing the attention of customers through promotion – traditionally and with social media.
And for a new business, answers to this type of question are fundamental to your future success.  Seriously.

You’re Solving a Problem
Why?  Let’s explore this for just a few seconds…
You’re inspired by how to solve a problem in a new way, right?  And you’re creating a business designed to deliver that solution to people you believe have the problem.  And for a variety of reasons, you’re sure there are enough people out there with the problem that will be motivated to buy your solution.  That’s great!  Just getting that far means you’ve completed a ton of work – congratulations!

Why Knowing Details Makes ALL the Difference
The next step is getting your solution in front of those people in such a way as to make it clear you solve this problem for them.  Hmmm… That seems straightforward, but it’s not.  Imagine talking to a friend about their problem and your solution… what do you say?  More than likely, because they’re your friend, you know a little about in what situations they encounter the problem and you know why this particular solution would make a difference.  The key factor in that… CONTEXT.  You know enough about your friend to put the entire conversation into the context of their life.  And THAT is a critical reason they will listen to you at all, and then possibly be able to envision this solution making a difference.

Creating Context Captures Customers
Now you need to translate that entire experience – of creating context when you describe the problem and offer the solution – into speaking to your audience (also known as your target segment).  The way you do that is to know them so well you can create context for them in your marketing copy.  You can speak directly to their experience of their life, and their problems in such as way as they feel completely understood and can see themselves in the picture you paint of how their life will be different when they use your solution.
That context comes from knowing your customer as well as you know your friend.  And you do that by actually observing, taking notes, asking questions, and getting into the world of your customer.

Building a Persona
Then you create a persona that incorporates all that you know in as much detail as possible – a persona is a made up version of this customer.  Your persona needs a name, an age, and a complete life description – enough so that you can see and hear this persona as a person and know how they’ll act and what they’ll say.
When it comes time to do your marketing, you speak directly to this persona.  Just like you would your friend.  And your chances of capturing their attention and their business will increase dramatically…

Actions you can take:

  • Take 15 minutes to start describing your customer persona.  Give them a name, find a photo on the web that represents them, and give them some basic personality characteristics.
  • You’re bound to uncover some gaps…that’s good!  Use those gaps to start learning more about your customer in a focused way.
  • Start working on finding the information to at least one gap this week.

Become a cultural anthropologist whenever you’re around people you consider to be your customer type: observe, learn, integrate, make notes, and fill in the gaps.  You’ll be happy you did!

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