You need to make a map to your success if you are going to reach it. Great ideas are great, but without deliberate execution, you’ll just be spinning your wheels in the sand.
The event coordinator answered the phone when one of her guests called.
“Can you help us find the red barn?” The caller asked.
The event coordinator stared at the wall. She knew there was a Red Barn road, and she knew there had been a Red Barn store at one time. With the limited amount of information, she couldn’t help. “Where are you now?”
It was necessary to come up with a starting point if she was going to provide the correct directions.
“Well, we crossed two bridges, went down a dirt road, and then crossed a ditch with water.”
The event coordinator tried not to laugh but couldn’t help but wonder how much the guests had been drinking. There was only one location in the entire count with two bridges, and those guests should never have ended up at that location.
“Okay, help me out. Is there a street sign or highway sign?”
The guest was quiet for a moment. “I’ve just figured out what happened,” he finally replied. “I called the wrong number.”
He wanted the hotel manager and not the event coordinator. The guests were out driving around the hotel grounds and were trying to find a particular feature.
The event coordinator couldn’t help them find their destination because she didn’t understand where they were going.
Too often, we are either asking the wrong people the right questions, or the right people the wrong questions, or we are too dizzy to ask any questions (because we’ve been methodically watching the wheels spin). If you are going to bring your dreams and goals to life, then you have to begin by mapping out your success.
Do You Know Your Target?
Every business wants to sell something to someone – maybe it’s a physical product, or maybe it’s a service – but there is something that you want to sell. But defining the person that you have in mind for buying the thing you want to sell will take you a long way towards getting it sold.
Think of one specific person who you think of when you are working on the product. Write down everything you know about the person: likes, dislikes, hobbies, habits, background, interests, education, family, associations. Keep going until you have exhausted all possible avenues of the person you consider the perfect customer. The more information you can imagine about your ideal customer, the more likely you are to hit the target.
The more information you can imagine around the target the more likely you are to hit the target.
Have You Heard the Problem?
When you define the target customer and invest time hanging out with that customer, you’ll begin to hear the true problems that your customer would most like to address. But you can’t hear if you don’t take the time to listen. Betamax offered a better quality picture, AND their product was smaller, but the VHS won in part because the tapes would hold a full movie.
Go to where your target customer hangs out – that would be in groups associated with the list of attributes you made earlier. Once you find where they hang out, listen. You’ll hear or notice recurring themes, complaints, or quandaries. These are the problems you want to address.The more you listen, the more you understand.
The more you listen, the more you will understand the problems and how you can best address those problems.
Have You Adjusted Your Products to Their Problems?
The greatest widget in the world will never be purchased if it doesn’t fix a problem. On the flip side, the most mundane, insane, that will never sell product will sell – as long as it fits a need. Someone looked at pipe insulation and thought, “Let’s color these and sell them for 10x our cost as water toys.” They met the need for fun, versatile, and inexpensive beach and pool toys, so parents didn’t have to worry about inflating, punctures, or if the toys were lost.
That, someone listened to the problems and then found a way to adjust an existing product to answer the problems.
Think creatively about how you can repurpose, repackage, or rework your existing products to come up with new ways to meet the problems of your target market.
How Are You Showing Off Your Product?
If people don’t know what you have available, then they will never be able to purchase what you have to offer. You need a funnel system that attracts your target, moves them deeper into your system (through email signups and free downloads), and eventually lands them right in the middle of your purchase system.
If you don’t have a funnel system in place, then you are missing out on sales. Getting them to your social media post won’t get them to the checkout line. You have to find a way to move them further in and further along.
Let the problems you heard as you engaged your target be the driving force for developing your funnel system. Hit them right in their pain point.
A Fine Line Between Helping and Harping
You need to walk the line between being helpful and being annoying. If you go to a cocktail party with a large bag of your books and spend the whole evening trying to sell those books, you’ve crossed over into harping land.
Now, imagine that all social media is a cocktail party. Find ways to be fun and engaging while subtly showcasing your products and talents. Or maybe you simply point them in the direction of your website and let it do the work. Either way (or whatever way works for you), avoid being the annoying party crasher.
Your path to your success will be distinctly you oriented – because you are the foundational component to your business. Find your way by defining your focus and target. The more you hone in on your one the more you will begin to win.
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Kathryn Lang believes it is simple, and as an award-winning author and natural-born hopesmith, she shares tips on how to find your why, pursue your purpose, and live a bold, intentional life – always with a dash of twisted encouragement.