I consider myself fortunate to live with a very talented, smart, creative and funny lady.
She’s inspiring and entertaining – but here’s her Kryptonite:
This wonderful woman cannot leave the house without something important going missing – usually at the very last minute.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the mad scramble that happens only when you’re in a rush to get out the door?
You suddenly can’t find your keys, or your phone, or the right shoes, or your Moongel (a common one in our house, drummers never leave home without it)…
…even though you had the damn things in your hand/right in front of you/on your feet/next to the toaster…
Well, that mad scramble happens a lot over here, usually accompanied by some very creative effin’ and a-jeffin’.
Hey, I’m not complaining…
Things just wouldn’t be the same without this near-daily ritual.
And I’m certainly not suggesting this is a ‘girls-only’ deal either…
I once travelled around the US for 3 months with a guy who couldn’t keep track of the stuff in his rucksack, going through 4 sets of sunglasses during the trip and returning home without a single matching pair of socks.
But this ‘blind spot’ that seems to appear each morning in our – um, ‘tastefully cluttered’ – home, like some sort of hyper-local Bermuda Triangle, got me thinking about marketing.
Specifically, about the blind spots we sometimes experience when it comes to our best customers.
At some point in your business, you’ve probably fallen victim to a blind spot that made you wonder if you were looking in the wrong place the whole time…
Especially if you’re a founder or developer of your product, when you can often get so close to your finished output you lose sight of how other people experience it.
Marketing can sometimes feel like you’re just sending ‘best guess’ messages out into the digital ether and hoping they resonate with the right people…
But a ‘fingers crossed’ approach like that is usually an expensive shortcut to failure…
You wind up scratching your head because people didn’t respond to your offer…
…or they just misunderstood your message…
…or your free trial users didn’t convert to paid customers.
All of which can be suffocating to your biz growth, and all too common experiences for startups and solopreneurs short on time or budget.
Thing is, you probably had 90% of the messaging puzzle in place…
You just ran into a blind spot when it came to those last couple of crucial pieces.
But those pieces weren’t under the couch or in the cereal box (where I once found a missing cufflink just seconds before I had to head out the door to a wedding, cuffs a-flappin’ in the breeze like an angry seabird)…
They were right here in this post, waiting for you to show up.
Always in the last place you look, right?
So try this:
It’s a simple 3-step process for eliminating the most common blind spots and achieving 20/20 vision in your marketing…
Step 1 – Do a simple competitor analysis
Before writing your sales message, review the sites of a few similar products/services, and consider how their messaging compares to yours.
Do they make yours sound like the ‘second cheapest wine on the menu’ affordable but unexciting option, or a ‘lite’ version with fewer sexy features?
Are they the established market leader, or a new kid on the block?
If so, is there a way you could spin that to your advantage – perhaps if people are sick of the limitations of the ‘old way of doing things’ – or wary of cheap knock-offs & imitators in your niche.
How would you answer if someone suggested you were just a clone of this competitor? And what evidence could you point to that proves otherwise?
Do they use very similar language to describe their product?
If so, which are the key points you also need to include in your copy, and which can be ignored so you can focus on more dynamic elements and differentiators?
Where do your competitors suffer in comparison – and can you draw attention to that, with your greater experience?
Where are you faster, more complete, less restricted, cheaper, more reassuringly expensive or more ethical?
What messages do they use that resonate with you, and can you explain why?
Is there something essential in that message that you can translate into your own copy but put a unique spin on, something that sets you apart?
By paying attention to what others are doing, and assessing why they’ve chosen a particular strategy, you can decide where to go toe-to-toe with your competitors…
And where you should focus instead on scooping up prospects whose different priorities aren’t being addressed by ‘the other guy’.
Step 2 – Assess the earlier messages on your prospect’s journey
What other messages do people encounter before they see yours?
Remember: your site, emails and landing pages don’t exist in a bubble…
Somehow, your reader – each and every one – has found their way to you from elsewhere, and how they discover you greatly affects how they respond to your messaging.
It’s easy to underestimate the ‘flow’ from one location to another, and how it influences your reader.
So, start by examining the congruity from your ads (FB, Google etc) to your page…
Does your headline give that ad-clicker exactly what they’re expecting, or is the connection to the promise you trailed in your ad buried further down in the copy?
Will they get that far if they’re confused? (Probably not.)
When someone signs up to your email list, how much of your content have they seen, and how aware are they of your brand and your TOV before they receive your onboarding emails?
Is that post you wrote getting referral traffic from a recommendation in a forum, and do those readers have a higher level of awareness or more skepticism than your search or social traffic?
If so, perhaps you can repurpose that piece for a more sophisticated audience, or offer them a unique deal that appeals to that group.
Sometimes it takes a little original thinking or on-the-hoof experimenting to get some fast wins from different or unexpected traffic sources…
You don’t have to be a ‘Ninja Level Growth Hacker’ to do this…
Just spend some time with your analytics, be prepared to test a couple of hypotheses, and adapt your sales copy when new opportunities arise.
Step 3 – Start swiping copy from your customers
It’s no secret that some of the best sales copy comes directly from the people who already bought.
Whether it’s in your testimonials, user testing or running a prospect survey, the things people say when talking about your product – or the problem it solves – resonate with others like them.
Which is a huge boost for your marketing.
So don’t guess – find out how your users actually talk, compile a swipe file of those comments and get ‘em out in front of people in the same position.
Too often, marketing copy reads like a boardroom PowerPoint presentation – all “the ultimate” this and “unleash your inner” that.
Your customers will easily rumble this ‘best guess’ copy, like a narc in a hippy wig at Woodstock.
So forget the bluster…
Start asking people who bought/requested info about your product what they most wanted to know about it, and how they felt after they bought/found out more.
They’ll give you simple truths about how you should sell that same service to more people, uncovering language you can swipe and use to persuade your target market to become your best customers.
Much better than any focus group (and much cheaper).
To help you make the most of this part of the process, I’ve developed a service designed to help you get the best responses from your target market.
It’s called a Deep Dive Survey and you can find out more right here.
So there you have it…
A simple 3-step process to fix your marketing blind spot and start converting more customers.
Now, where did I put my damn keys…
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