There I was, working on an exciting new coaching program for my audience. And I was struggling for words.
Yes. Me. Struggling for words. Alert the media.
It was one of those moments when you’re a marketer and you question your own expertise. I mean, c’mon, I do this for clients every single day! Why was I doubting that my message was coming across clearly?
When it comes to consulting others, we have it nailed, don’t we? We can spot mistakes as if they were bright neon arrows. We can detect the inconsistencies, see the creative brilliance or connect dots that might seem so obvious…because we’re acting as unbiased observers.
Objectivity shows itself to be a sly little superpower.
I can see those things in your business, marketing or even your psyche because I’M NOT LIVING IT, 24/7 And I bet the same is true for you, too. But when it comes to following our own advice? Forget it. We’re too busy! As I often say….
Consultants are often their own worst clients.
Our faces pushed up too close to the glass of our own work, we can’t see the bigger picture. Worse, we live in our own bubble when it comes to our businesses and we either think everything is important and needs to be communicated right now, or we fail to see when we’re out of touch with what our clients want or just plain confusing then with our web copy because it sounds so good in out own heads. We just love to guess.
This is true of consultants, boutique owners, coaches or anyone else who struggles to understand why the amazing work they have to offer isn’t flying off the physical or digital shelves. Especially when it’s really, really valuable.
Here’s how to combat your tendency to live in a vacuum: Remember those people you serve? You know, your ideal customers? Your fans, your audience? Hell-oooooooo?! Remember them? The humans who can tell you– in words–what they crave, hate, value or despise? They are right in front of you - yet too many times, for some reason, we forget or are afraid to ask them what they think.
If you want to deliver products or services that your target audience cannot resist buying, you have to GO ASK THEM what they want and need! How?
Here are 4 clever ways to find out what your clients or customers really want:
- Send them a short survey, as I have done with you in the past. Easy to create using SurveyMonkey for free or perhaps just a short Google form.
- Ask them a thought-provoking question via email and tell them to hit REPLY, as I have done with you in the past. Remember when I asked you a month or so ago which adjective you’d use to describe the “brand” you’d like to have? If you don’t remember, feel free to fill in the blank and hit REPLY now: “I want my brand to be ___________!”
- Interview them individually by phone. Recently, I reached out to a few beloved past clients and colleagues who match my ideal client persona and talked to them about what they want and need. The feedback was amazing and it’s all helping shape the new course I’m creating.
- Gather a group of them together. I recently held a Business Tea Party in my home (and a virtual one by phone) for two select groups of entrepreneurs. They not only shared what their challenges and goals are but they gave each other resources and made connections of their own. Success!
Reach out to your existing audience or people who fit the bill for the type of audience you’d like to have. Send them a quick note, prepare a few direct and simple questions to discuss and be respectful of their time. And don’t forget….offer them a thank you: a coffee gift card, tea and sweets, or a donation to a charity of their choice.
Sometimes the easiest way forward, is actually the simplest. When you are not sure of something, ask the people who know.