In today’s economy, a business typically doesn’t develop a product and then determine which audience they’re going to target; rather, businesses zero in on their targeted audience and then build great products around the needs of their target audience. It’s simply not a one-size-fits-all approach or the shotgun approach, as you hear it referred to a lot; so knowing your audience is absolutely crucial for a business.
“Knowing your audience” is exactly what we did here at Good Success when we created our Belief Event. We have a wholesale business here, and last year we had the privilege of buying and selling over 300 houses in one year. Through the years, we’ve had lots of people and lots of teams and businesses from around the country, ask if they could come into our office, spend a couple days with us and watch what we do. After so many businesses asked us to do that, we finally came together and decided to create a Belief Event in which everyone could come in at one time for a week to see exactly what we do. We created our Belief Event by determining who our audience was, what their problems were, and then we created the event to help businesses and to help solve their specific problems.
Why is it important for a business to know its audience? Simply put, the better you know your audience, the better you’ll be able to create products to solve their problems. During the Successful Saturday podcast that we did this past weekend, we talked about marketing and the fact that marketing is all about communication and developing a relationship. The better your relationship is with individual customers, the more you will see what their real problems are. You start to really dig beneath the surface and find those core problems. Then you create a product to help solve their problems.
Another reason you need to know your audience is because you need to be effective. Unfortunately, in our world, just knowing your audience is not enough. Getting to know your audience is the first step toward building a strong, loyal, lasting relationship, and getting to understand your customers and know them as real people that have issues and problems but they have great services. You want to get to know your audience and find out what they like, where they go, groups they’re a part of, what blogs they read, what business associations they are a part of, and what websites they go to. Each discovery will help build an understanding of who each individual client is, who your customer base is, and who your target audience is.
The more you know about someone the more effective you can be. What do I mean by that? Understanding the littlest things about your clients will help you build an understanding of who they are and how best to connect with them. For instance, what time of day do you blast your emails to your clients? Do you know when your customers typically open their emails? Your clients could be located in different in different time zones across the country or across the world. If you send an email at 8 o’clock in the morning central time, the West Coast is going to get the email at 6 a.m. Chances are, that email is not going to get opened. You have to be mindful of the times in which you make phone calls to people in other areas of the country. It takes a little bit of extra effort on your part to show consideration when you are emailing, text messaging or making phone calls. Do you check the analytics on your website to determine when you should publish your blog post or interact on social media? The more you get to know your audience, the more effective you can be at communicating with them and the more effective you can be with your time as well.
If you want to be effective as a wholesaler, do you go on meetup.com and find a group of photographers and attend their events and meetings? No, that wouldn’t be very effective for you, but attending the networking events we have here at Good Success would be very valuable for you. If you’re a wholesaler, you may want to consider having a Facebook page or becoming a part of several Facebook group pages or even have listings on Craigslist, but using Instagram as an outlet wouldn’t be very effective. It’s all about understanding your audience, where they are, and then being there when they’re there and communicating with them.
Marketing takes quite a bit of time; it’s a constant effort. It’s not just a quick “one and done” kind of thing. If you don’t learn how to target your audience properly, your marketing efforts will take a lot more of your time, and you’ll start getting frustrated. You will end up wasting valuable time and money.
If you’re just blasting out information and not zeroing in on your audience, you might be wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars on people that don’t care about your product and don’t even need your product. That’s why it’s very important to understand your target audience.
Throughout this blog we have been using the term “audience,” but the audience is really an umbrella term often used by social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube which are all trying to reach a vast population. For the sake of really getting more of an understanding who we are trying to reach, let’s use a narrower term, “customer.” At Good Success, we tried to figure out who our ideal customer is by creating an avatar, which is an icon or figure representing a particular person, a.k.a our customer. The items of interest that were used to create our customer avatar were age, occupation, location, interests, relationships, and a few other things. Being that Good Success is a real estate education company, our customers will be interested in learning more about aspects of real estate such as fix and flip and the retail housing market, but we want to go even further in narrowing down who our customer is. By targeting the customers’ interests, you can target your customers’ age group. For instance, are most of your customers Apple users? Generally speaking, are your customers into Photoshop and computer design? Many people in the 40-60 age group are not committed Apple customers or avid Photoshop users—generally, this age group does not care about those things. As Good Success builds a customer base, we must target those who would most benefit from real estate education, so instead of reaching out to a whole real estate company, our goal is to reach a specific audience. When Good Success hosts Belief Events, rather than multiple people from a real estate company attending, a more specific customer may be the project manager who relates to the advantages of using Photoshop, Apple Products, or social media like Facebook. The event could be very valuable to someone who has knowledge and understanding of the uses of technology in the workplace.
At Good Success, we have tried to analyze who our customers are by knowing what their occupations are– whether they are investors, realtors, property managers, etc. Knowing our customer’s occupations allows us to educate our customers to the best of our ability.
Another important aspect regarding understanding your customer is knowing his geographical location. We have an event in San Diego coming up in which delegates from China may be participating. The best thing we could do in preparation for the event would be to learn as much as possible about what could best benefit the Chinese delegates. Buying turnkey in the United States will be in stark contrast to buying real estate in China or other parts of the world. Even within the United States, each individual state’s laws are so different from the other states, we must be educated on what the differences are and how best to help our customers according to geographical location.
So many people are trying to sell houses “For Sale By Owner.” FSBO is a pretty large segment of the real estate market, and we need to know how to best help those customers who are utilizing the FSBO market. One thing that everyone who is trying sell the property through FSBO has in common is the fact that they are trying to make a sale. That seems like such a simple concept, yet with that knowledge, what can we do to help them know HOW to make a sale? Some people use, what I like to call the “shotgun effect,” when it comes to FSBO; I consider putting out signs that say “We Buy Houses” as shotgun effect selling—everybody sees the sign, but not everybody who sees the sign is your customer. You will always come out ahead if you directly market to your customer base rather than use the shotgun effect. One very effective way to reach your target audience is by “direct mail” which are mailings which go directly to people who are interested in selling their homes. Before you send a direct mail, you first have to determine who is actually interested in selling a home. How do you make that determination? Ask your current customers. Shoot an email to your customer base asking a few questions (like a survey), and use that data to build a direct mailing list just for FSBO. Be creative in developing methods to directly reach your customers.
Being involved in the business of real estate can be painful at times. At Good Success, we try to determine what our clients “pain points” or problems are and create solutions that lead them to success. Our customers are people who want to take their business to another level, but they just don’t know how. So many real estate seminars teach on how to acquire a lead or make a deal, but our business covers so much more! Our business is much more than just real estate—we do marketing; we do acquisitions; we do sales; we do automation processes; we do property management, and much more. Our desire is to help educate our customers to get past their pain points and reach new levels in their businesses. Once you establish what your customer’s pain points are, run with it! Make your marketing all about it. Put your shotgun approach of reaching customers back into the closet and take out your sniper rifle and start picking off your customers by marketing directly to them. If you can solve people’s problems, they will become your customers.
We held our first Belief Event in September. We had twelve people attend, and we were able to solve most of the issues that all of them were dealing with. Everyone who attended was astounded by the value of the content they received because we directly dealt with their problems. How was it that we were able to solve so many problems? Before the event actually began, we sat down with our clients and asked them, “What are you hoping to come away with from this event?” The clients presented their issues to us, and then we knew how to maximize the impact of the Belief Event. After the event, we at Good Success analyzed what we had accomplished and what problems we had solved. During the event, we solved every problem that had been presented to us before the event—every single one! It was awesome to see that! Three of the twelve that attended the Belief Event in September are returning for our March event. Even though the presentation in March will be like the one we had in September (with some variations), we have clients excited to return because we were able to answer their questions and solve their problems.
When you know your customer and you understand your customer, then you must target your customer. There are so many ways in which you can market your business, but the goal is to target your customer in the most effective ways possible. What are those ways? In this day of social media, you need to use the best marketing tools available—many of which are free advertising available at your fingertips! When you learn what social media form(s) your clients use the most, you can utilize the one that best targets your customer. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Craigslist, and Twitter are all very widely used as marketing tools, but when you analyze each one, you come to understand that some media platforms are best suited to particular types of marketing, and you want to use the one that best targets your particular customer avatar. If you are looking to sell properties wholesale, Instagram is not the media platform for you. Instagram is a media that much more suitable to showcase a fix and flip project that has been remodeled so beautifully that it looks like a brand-new house. Joe Blow, who is looking to buy a home to live in himself, could be scrolling through Instagram and see a picture of a retail fix and flip and decide to follow up on it—he is not a real estate investor, just your average home buyer; but real estate investors are not going to search through Instagram to find potential rental investments or fix and flips. They would be prone to use Facebook. Everyone uses Facebook! Dentists, photographers, small business owners…virtually everyone and every business has a Facebook. If you want to take your business to another level and reach more customers, you need to have a Facebook personally and for your business. To not harness the power of advertising with a tool as far-reaching as Facebook would be totally negligent! You are placing a ceiling on your business if you are not on Facebook. Once you have a Facebook, keep it fresh–update it; post pictures; quote customers who have great things to say. Doing those types of things on Facebook will keep your business at the forefront of your potential customer’s minds. Find out from your customers what types of social media they are using, and then make social media work for you!
The concept of creating a customer avatar can be so valuable to your business because you are learning where your customer’s interests lie and what they spend their time doing. I use a lot of social media references because currently, social media is one of the biggest marketing platforms there is. We have discovered when developing our customer avatar, that our clients are spending lots of time on social media, so it makes sense to utilize something that is already being used by the customer. There are tons of other marketing strategies such as billboards, signs, flyers, mailings, etc., but digital is absolutely the biggest thing right now.
Ask the simple question of your customers, “How did your hear about us?” If 70% of the customers heard about you through a sign, then channel more of your efforts to advertising with signs. If 70% of your leads are coming from Facebook ads, then run more Facebook ads. Don’t be afraid to spend money on advertising. Find out what type of advertising works best for you and brings you the most leads, and then be willing to spend money. Good advertising will pay off for your business. Marketing is ever-changing, so you must keep your finger on the pulse and be ready to change marketing strategies when necessary. As previously stated, you don’t want to use a shotgun approach to advertising; you don’t want to waste your money, but when you find out what works, invest your money in that area.
If you are a business owner and the idea of using social media seems overwhelming, there are tons of free resources available to help you learn to do something like running an ad on Facebook. YouTube videos are a great resource to help you learn to develop your social media skills. I would also recommend attending one of our Belief Events. We set aside some time during the event to focus on marketing; we will teach you and show you what we do here. If learning to use social media does not appeal to you at all, find someone you can delegate the task to. Some people love doing that type of thing so much, they will help you out just for fun.
Watch the Quick Tip Video on Knowing Your Audience Here!