42% - No Market Need! This is the top reason startups fail, for according to a comprehensive research of entrepreneurs with failed companies.
The REACH OR MISS podcast is all about being a customer focused entrepreneur. One and a half years ago, I decided to create this podcast after I realized that most entrepreneurs failed because they didn’t understand what I call the magic of marketing. Marketing is magic; it’s all about being able to look at the market from the eye view of the potential customers.
Entrepreneurs fail for two reasons; both of which are part of not finding the biggest opportunity in the market:
- They didn’t find their most potential customers, those who will be the initial and secondary audience to adopt the new product.
- They didn’t manage to clearly define their new, unfamiliar product. Let’s face it; this is a huge challenge. Among the 120 startups and entrepreneurs we worked with over the last ten years, only in one company did the two founders define their product in the same way, with the same words. Most entrepreneurs tell a different story than their colleagues and even from day to day.
My guests in the REACH OR MISS podcast are successful entrepreneurs and opinion leaders. I ask them about how they managed to find who their most potential customers are, and how it led them to reach their successes.
The issue of choosing the customers that are most likely to adopt, use, and pay for your product is one of the most important aspects of business success.
In today’s show I’ve chosen to focus on some of the most important issue my guests talked about while answering the question about “Who are your customers, and how did you figured out that these are the best customers for you?
My first guest is Lance Scoular.
For me, Lance is one of the best examples to how entrepreneurs succeed by focusing on their most potential customers. And how, listening to them led Lance to a very successful pivot.
Lance Scoular, AKA The Savvy Navigator, has been involved in International Trade and Transport for 50 years. In 2008, Lance started receiving invitations from students in his classes to connect with them on both Facebook and LinkedIn.
Over the last nine years, he has developed and expanded his social media networks exponentially (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and beBee) and those of a select group of clients in a variety of sectors, both locally and globally.
The results have been significant.
Lance is currently in the process of doing a 180-degree business pivot, refocusing away from Social Media Consulting, back to what he does best, International Trade and Transport Training.
He will soon launch an online course, “Import Export Made Easy” in video and audio, as well as the “Import Export Made Easy” Podcast.
How Lance found his customers
- Back in 2009, I got very involved in social media. I was running an Import Export course, and I was getting invitations from my students to connect with them on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- In the beginning, I didn’t understand what they wanted from me, but once I Googled it, I got very interested in the business potential of these social networks.
- As we mentioned before, Australia was very isolated from the rest of the world, the Internet and social media, in particular, have changed that.
- In 2009, I decided to start helping people to use social media with no connection to import or export. (I still taught the import and export courses, but the number of courses dropped during those years.)
- And today, I’m pivoting since I just recently realized that I could help many businesses all over the world with my knowledge and expertise in Import and Export, so I’m about to launch my first online Import-Export course.
- The exciting thing is that I’m going to use my wide network of social media connections that I built over the last nine years to promote my course.
I love Mark Metry’s advice to be very specific in what you do. You should do what you are the best in doing and really hone in on that.
“Many founders should adopt Mark Metry’s ‘limits don’t exist’ mindset. It reminds me of Elon Musk.”
– Huffington Post
Mark Metry is the host of iTunes Top Charts podcast, Humans 2.0. Mark’s show features innovative and talented guests like Jay Samit, Neil Patel, and David Meltzer to educate others, change their lives, and upgrade to the Human version 2.0 that is inside each of us.
Prior to creating the Humans 2.0 Podcast, Mark was the founder and creative director of PPMC, started in 2013, the #1 Pixelmon Minecraft server in the world. As creative director, Mark grew the company’s website to reach over 10 million users and 10,000 registered premium members.
Mark founded and operating VU Dream (started in Dec. 2016), a growing and innovative virtual and augmented reality marketing & advertising agency based in Boston.
– Mark is Quora’s Top Writer 2018
Who are Mark’s customers?
- Our customers are virtual and augmented reality startups, like VR games companies, a company that is trying to be like YMCA Virtual Reality, another startup from south Korea that is more a lab and deals with motion sickness and eye screening. So, we help small and medium sized VR and AR teams that are struggling and need help to grow.
Approaching your customers
- Competition today is difficult and I think an entrepreneur that wants to succeed should speak to the customers and potential clients with the utmost respect and apply empathy to their situation.
- You should be very specific in what you do. You should do what you are the best in doing and really hone in on that.
My next guest is Carla Johnson, and her best advice is probably the best way to describe the shift in our approach to customers today: “Instead of banging the drums to try to get customers’ attention, we should ask, how can I help my customers?”
A world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author of seven books, Carla Johnson is the Chief Experience Officer for Type A Communications.
Her last book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, sets the benchmark for a powerful new way for marketing to create value for businesses.
Named one of the top 50 women in marketing, one of the top 25 women in digital marketing, and one of the top 10 influencers in marketing technology worldwide, Carla challenges conventional thinking.
- Mostly B2B organizations, like Motorola solutions and Dell. I help them understand the idea that is unique to them and how to tell their story to invite their audience.
- A VP or above, or a business owner, if it’s a startup or a smaller company, someone that is looking to be unique, to differentiate themselves, and stand out from the crowed.
Carla’s best advice about approaching customers
- In the world we are in today, you can talk with anybody around the world, and we have access to so much information and so many people at once and we realize how many people are demanding attention.
- What makes the difference today is, instead of banging the drums, e ask what can I do to help my customers? Where are the information gaps and what should we, as a company, do to fill those gaps?
The way Dan Knowlton attracts customers to his company is what I call working “by the book”. However, the biggest achievement was finding their most potential customers. Mainly by trying different industries and being really focused on the customers’ responses and needs.
Dan Knowlton has been ranked as a Top #100 Digital Marketing Influencer and is an international speaker who went from knowing nothing about Digital & Social Media Marketing to growing an award winning, 6 figure Digital Marketing Agency with his brother Lloyd in under 2.5 years.
Dan is also a contributor for a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute, and Jeff Bullas’ Blog.
- Starting out, I really didn’t know who my customers were going to be. It’s taken experience, and years of working in different industries, with different companies, and different mind sets to understand who the right customers are for us. And today, we are working with a variety of companies of different sizes and from different industries.
- When we started out, we had this mindset that we wanted to work with everyone that wanted to work with us, because this was the beginning. But we soon got to understand that our best customers are those who really understand the value in what we provide. Those who don’t need convincing and chasing after. The people who you chase tend to be the customers that are never satisfied and take the hardest work.
- So for us, the customers we focus on are those who understand the value in what we do, and also those customers that truly understand that social media, and marketing isn’t just a magic pill you take, you are doing one thing and BOOM!! Everything happens. They are those who understand that they need to work hard, they need a team on board, etc. And finally, our best customers are customers that share similar values with us, and we have three main values, first of all, to have fun, to grow, and make money for both the customers and us, and to live through our values.
How do you attract your customers to you?
- We really were growing our customers through inbound marketing. We don’t do any kind of outbound, going after customers, saying: Hi, come and work with us.
- We focus on creating as much value, adding content that helps and attracts customers to us, building relationships with these customers over time, so they come to us and say, “We see what you do and we want to work with you.” So my number one tip would be to really understand who your customers are, first of all, and then do all the great digital, social, and content marketing that will help attract those people to you, rather than going out there and trying to find them.
John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson are partners in life and in Entrepreneurs On Fire, the leading podcast for entrepreneurs that John founded and hosts and much more. For me, John and Kate set the standards for entrepreneurial customers approach.
John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas: John is the host of EOFire, an award winning podcast where he interviews today’s most successful entrepreneurs 7 days a week. JLD has grown EOFire into a multi-million dollar a year business with over 1500 interviews and 1.5 million monthly listeners. He’s the author of The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal, two of the most funded publishing campaigns of all time on Kickstarter. All the magic happens at EOFire.com!
John’s guide for the right customer approach
- Number one, you need to know who your perfect customer is, the ideal customer, your avatar.
- Once you know who that person is, you can start creating free valuable and consisting content for that person.
- Then you want to make sure you are getting that content in front of them, so you have to find them and make sure you are putting that content in front of them. And of course, they will be attracted to that content because you are creating it for them specifically.
- Then, once you have the opportunity to get in front of them, ask them a question, send them an email, newsletter or a social media message, you have to ask the question: What are you struggling with?
- Than you can start to understand your ideal customers, what their pain points, obstacles, challenges, and struggles are, so then you – the person that by the way is been delivering them free value and helpful content, can provide the solution in the form of a product, a service, or a community.
- You are not just somebody pitching them something, you are somebody that already provided them value, who they are growing to know, like, and trust, who asked them what they are struggling with, and who listened to them as they told about their pain point.
- Then you say: ‘Hi, you told me you are struggling with this, here is the solution, and I’d love to offer it to you’.
That’s the way to approach your customer.
Kate Erickson is a creator, engager and implementer, over at EOFire, a 7 day a week podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs.
She is also the host of Kate’s Take, the EOFire audio blog and the author of the FirePath, Beginners Guide to Growing Your Online Business.
Kate is passionate about helping entrepreneurs to create freedom in their business and life by developing systems and processes that can help their business scale and grow.
- EOFire’s perfect customer (avatar) is a mid-age male at a corporate job spending most of his time doing things he doesn’t really love.
- While approaching your customers you need to do things that DO NOT SCALE. Mainly speaking with a lot of your customers. That’s the only way to understand who your perfect customer is.
- Podcasters Paradise community is EOFire’s biggest success when it comes to customer approach. This is the platform for likeminded people that come together, help support one another, provide feedback to one another, and help each other accomplish their goals.
- This community is the place to get a clear picture of what EOFire’s customers need and want. This is the best example of the importance of listening to your customers.
I hope you enjoyed listening to these smart and educational answers. These entrepreneurs weren’t born with those answers. They found them during their long journey and they share it with us to enable you to succeed faster and maybe even bigger.
SO TAKE A MOMENT AND THINK ABOUT what these entrepreneurs shared about their customers, find one thing that can help you get better. And if you would like to have our free help to think how you can benefit from it, please leave a comment on this episode, or in our site: www.reachormiss.com.
Or you can email me directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll be more than happy to get your message and think together with you how you can benefit from the method of being customer-focused.
Next week we will go back to talk with a new fantastic guest.
So, until next week, stay tuned.