December 26th, 2009 Archive

Know Them Well and They’ll Gladly Know You

December 26th, 2009 by Liz in Financial Freedom

In business, as with any relationship in any part of the world and any industry, it helps when you know who you’re talking to. One of the main reasons you should have for starting your business in the first place is the intention to fulfill a market need. As everyone may well know, there will be no market need without the market itself. <g> Therefore, one of the best — if not one of the most important <g> — marketing success secrets I know, and I myself practice, is KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

This is the main point Joseph Lizio discussed in his Small Business CEO Magazine article The One Key to Business Success! – And Three Simple Ways to Do It. His tips are not unlike those I have for you here today.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Yes, it does bring to mind a very popular 60’s R&B song from soulful singer Aretha Franklin, doesn’t it? <g> What any self-respecting entrepreneur — who is looking to start and build her own business — should know, is that this is one of the main contributing factors to money-making success.

Being aware of the needs of your target market and shaping your business up to answer that need is one of the best forms of respect — and marketing strategies — I know. Respect that they know what they want, and they’ll respect and most likely remember you for recognizing that fact. Although, of course, there are some that you just have to and need to lead towards knowing what they want. You are, after all, an entrepreneur. <g>


Go out there


One of the easiest ways to get to know your audience is to simply go out there. Make yourself and your product known to them by interacting and conversing with them.

Ask them questions. Get curious and pick their brains. Hear the facts straight from the source. Don’t just trust whatever information is floating out there. You have to find out for yourself. Better yet, it’s probably best if you start a business that would cater to the same market you already belong to, especially if you’re starting with a small business.

Study their behavior



There are several formal and informal ways to do this. If you have money, then you could hire a research firm to conduct formal studies, hold focused group discussions, compute budget and marketing considerations, whip up cost and profit projections and the like. However, if you are a small business owner who just has enough money to get your business started, you can do the actual studying yourself.
There are plenty of free online survey software available that you could use. A couple of them are mentioned in Joseph’s article. But then again, as mentioned above, one of the best ways to study your intended audience is to go out there and mingle.

You can also pull the love and relationship card and talk to your family and friends. Being consumers themselves, they’ll have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

You could also reflect on your own experiences. What do you hate most about businesses that cater to you? What are your pet peeves? What do you like most about them? You can learn from their practices, or you could search and study how the masters did it. Become a self-professed business apprentice.

Before we could even enter this online marketing industry, my husband Ric and I did our own studying. We searched for and learned from already established online gurus. We poured over all their available materials, spent a lot of time asking questions and followed any and all advice they could give. In our own way, we were able to filter out what works and what doesn’t for our particular brand of business.

Remember, don’t do something the business gurus and veterans wouldn’t do — except if it’s a new genius marketing strategy that will help your business skyrocket. <g>   

Keep an eye out for the competition


Going into business for yourself, you should anticipate that everything that is anything has already been discovered, talked about, thought of and marketed. [Kudos to you, however, if what you’re offering is something so new and so alien that nobody has even considered thinking about it. And if that’s the case, best of luck to you and to your marketing strategies too. <g>

Of course there is competition out there! That’s the one thing you can always count on. <g> It’s a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full situation. You can either be discouraged, because there are plenty of you out there fighting for the same market’s attention. Or, you can take it as a challenge and find your own niche. Look for your own unique angle, where you can strike and corner the market.

When Ric and I got into this online marketing business with a few colleagues, there was already plenty of competition out there. The Internet has been around awhile and we were more or less offering something that others have already done. We just had to find our own niche and narrow down our own target market. Thankfully, all our sleepless brainstorming and nerve-wracking days and nights pulled off. <g>

Don’t get discouraged if your plans don’t work the first time. We ourselves had to learn how to crawl before we could walk in this industry, and now we’re practically running to keep up! <g> Just don’t forget to dust yourself off and try again, and keep on working at it until you’re back on the saddle again. [Yes, a little pop song and cowboy cliché for you right there. <g>.

Quid pro quo

As the infamous Hannibal Lectre said, “Quid pro quo, Clarice, quid pro quo.” This Latin expression, which means “something for something,” is what it all boils down to.

Getting into your own business is hard work. Making it work by finding your target audience, knowing how to market to them and succeeding in getting their attention, even more so. Thus, you have to get on your feet and do something.

It’s an exchange between you and the consumers. Do your homework; be observant and sharp; respect their knowledge of their needs and wants; and they’ll definitely respond to you. If you take the time to get to know them — and know them well, then they would most definitely like getting to know you and your business.

Happy mingling!