When it comes to making money online everything revolves around serving customers. The happier you make your customers the better you will do. The more you meet their needs, the stronger your business becomes.
But in order to serve customers you have to find them first!
Whether you are a “newbie” or a “guru”, finding the right customers is a key to your success.
So where do you find your perfect customer?
I believe there are five keys to success.
Let me suggest you take out a notepad and write down the answers to these five important questions.
By doing that you will be drawing a profile of success that will help you find great customers fast.
1 – Who do you want to reach?
It is impossible to hit a target you can’t see.
Sounds silly I know, but far too many make this mistake.
They buy ads without knowing who they want to reach. They just want to “make money now”.
That’s understandable, but real breakthroughs happen when you operate your business like a business. And I can promise you that every durable business out there knows exactly who they are trying to reach.
So should you.
So make the first thing on your list be a picture of a person. An avatar of the ideal customer for your offer.
Here are a few considerations that might help.
Are they …
- A man or woman, or does it matter?
- In a certain age group?
- Retired or still working at a job?
- A homeowner or someone renting a house?
- Do they have a specific income level?
- A college student?
- Living in a specific region, country or state?
The more you can know about who your perfect customer is, what he or she looks like, thinks like and where they are hurting now, the faster you can find them.
And finding them is step 1 in serving them.
2 – What are their problems?
No one can serve everyone. You will flat out go broke trying to be everything to everyone.
We all go through stages. We all progress from where we are now to where we want to be, one stage at a time.
So it’s best to think about your customer in stages.
Here are some common stages for people interested in an online business …
- I want to make money but don’t know how.
- I have bought products that don’t work for me and am discouraged.
- I earned a few commissions but can’t repeat my successes.
- I’ve made some money and now want to own my own product.
- I want to find a powerful JV partner to accelerate my success.
- I’m ready to reach new audiences with a podcast.
- I know video is important but don’t know how to do it.
Notice how specific these are.
There are huge numbers of people who are asking these questions right now. If you can reach them, and offer them a viable solution to their specific problem, they will become your customers, and friends.
So think about what stage your customer might be in right now. One way to do that is evaluate the products you are promoting.
- Are they geared toward newbies?
- Are they for highly technical people?
- Do they require a big up-front investment?
- Do they pre-suppose that a person has had certain experiences?
Thinking about the products you promote, or produce, in these ways helps you more clearly define your perfect customer.
And that helps you when it comes to finding your perfect customer.
3 – Where are they now?
Now you know more than you did before about who you want to reach.
You have a picture of who they are and know something about what stage of success they might be in.
Now it’s time to come to the biggest realization of them all.
Your perfect customer is out there waiting to hear from you!
I know that might be hard to believe, but it’s true. It’s true for three reasons that have stood the test of time.
- People have needs.
- Their needs are not being met now.
- They will buy from the person who they trust can meet their needs.
They are going to buy from someone, so why not let it be you?
But how do you find your perfect customer?
I believe there are three keys.
- Think like they think. What are their frustrations and pain points? Write them down.
- Search like they search. What would someone trying to find your product put in the search box at Google? Are you writing articles and optimizing your site for those terms? Write them down.
- Ask like they ask. Your customers are asking everywhere how to get their problem solved. Do you know what they are asking? Write it down.
So where are your potential customers asking all these questions? I believe there are three key areas.
- Social media – Facebook, Twitter and more are abuzz with questions about how to find solutions to problems. Make it your business to be there, answer those questions, and point people to your site so they can join your mailing list.
- Forums – Every niche has a forum. Some have many. If you want to know what your potential customers are asking just visit the top one. Now that you know who you are looking for, their questions will jump off the page at you. Write them down. Solve them. Build a business.
- Email lists – People don’t join mailing lists or read ezines because they are lonely or have time on their hands. They join lists to get their problems solved. Email marketing is the #1 method of marketing online for one very good reason – when your ad appears to this highly interested audience they take action.
If you know who you want to reach, make a list of the problems they need to solve, and find out where they are hanging out, you will be much farther ahead than most people ever get.
Now it’s time to answer two very importantquestions.
4 – How can you help them?
You can help people! Even if you are not an expert, not a “guru”, you can help people.
All you have to do is try.
How can you help people? Here are a few ways to consider. Write down those that resonate with your passion.
- Provide information
- Answer specific questions
- Provide personal help
- Help people save time
- Help people save money
- Help people avoid losing or wasting money
- Clear up confusion and help them take the next step
No matter where you are now, there are people who are where you were last week, last month or last year. They need to know what you have learned along the way.
Share it with them and you both win.
5 – Why should they listen to you?
Ah, the big one. “Sounds good Charlie but I’m no expert!”
I guarantee you that you are an expert to someone!
If you can swim or tie a shoe or write an email or make fudge you know something that others don’t know right now.
They need to know, and they need to learn from you.
If you don’t want to think of yourself as a teacher, consider this.
What is Oprah Winfrey’s #1 skill?
- Is she a great dancer?
- Is she a great writer?
- Is she a great scientist?
No. But she is a great reporter and interviewer. And it’s made her untold millions of dollars.
Am I saying you are the next Oprah?
What I am saying is this – if you don’t have knowledge now you can get it and get it quickly.
Many bloggers, especially those who curate content, are making small fortunes by simply repurposing (with integrity) other people’s content.
Take Matt Drudge for example. He is a great reporter but his real skill is curating content like crazy. If you visit his site you will see links, lots and lots of links.
He is not creating the content. He is leveraging the work of others to serve his audience and making a fortune in the process.
So who are you? What best describes what you want to do?
- Are you an expert?
- Are you a reporter?
- Are you a clearinghouse?
Success online is very much about matching.
- Matching what you offer to what people need.
- Matching your passion and enthusiasm to the needs, wants and desires of your customers.
Success is not about being everything to everyone.
Success is about being the best you can be and knowing that you have served those who need what you offer to the best of your ability.
Find them. Serve them. Listen to them. Grow with them.
When you do that, you will have built a legacy – a business that grows strong, survives you and one in which everyone wins.
And that is perhaps the most beautiful thing of all!