I understand how it feels to be ignored in this noisy world. It’s a challenge to speak in a way that gets the attention of your dream clients. You have this great product or service, but you’re getting beat out by people who are able to communicate about their offer better.
Whether you’re a coach, photographer, realtor, designer, you name it… If you’re asking the question, “How on earth do I stand out?!” then I have a solution for you! It all starts with knowing what the customer wants and what their pain points are, then positioning yourself as the person that will solve that problem. In this episode, we go very deep into marketing tactics and the minds of our ideal customers.
Do you know what problem you are solving for customers? Can you sum it up in a couple of sentences and in a way that is compelling to them? Often times we really understand our product or service. We know every in and out of what we do. But, we don’t fully know what problems we are solving on a deeper level. People don’t want your service, they want their problems solved. They want a transformation.
In order to successfully sell your product or service, you need to have 2 really important things:
- A deep understanding of your products and services
- A DEEPER understanding of your target customer
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Understanding your products and services usually comes pretty easily, but understanding your audience beyond age and gender can give us headaches. I hate to break it to you, but knowing your dream clients’ age and gender isn’t going to help THAT MUCH in transforming them from a viewer to a customer. Motivation is what causes people to buy, not their age. Successfully selling your offering starts with understanding your customers’ DEEPEST pain points, not their age and gender.
By talking about the problems that our customers face, we deepen their interest in what we have to offer, we prove that we can be trusted, and we allow the customer to engage with our brand. To understand your target audience, you need to know their needs and desires. By understanding this, you can communicate through your design and messaging, in a way that they will be attracted to (and more importantly, buy from!)
A great message is NOT when your ideal client understands you, it’s when your ideal client
feels UNDERSTOOD by you.
It’s not about you and your offer. It’s about your ideal client and their needs and desires. Have you ever heard someone talk or read something, where they are speaking to your deepest needs and desires so INTENSELY that you think “They are in my head!! How did they know that?!”.
A great example of this, that most of us have experienced recently, is the enneagram personality test. This isn’t a marketing thing, but it is an example of feeling like someone is in your head.
You read about your type, and then you think “That’s exactly right! That’s such an intimate deep need or desire in me, or a thing I struggle with. How did they know?”.
You feel known and understood by the test results. We want this type of thing to happen in our marketing too. We want to hit the clients’ needs and pain points so EXACTLY that they think we are in their head. I was recently watching a video for someone’s online course, and he spoke right to a struggle I’ve had in my business. It was word for word the way I’d describe the struggle. When he did that, it led me to go through the process of “Wow he really gets me. He must really know how to solve this since he gets it so well. I can trust him and buy from him because of this.” Of course, this is all on a subconscious level, but it still happens!
So, ask yourself the question: “What does my ideal customer want/need?”
Because trust me, they want something, and they are likely not on your website or social media just to “browse.” They are looking for a solution to a problem or for one of their desires to be met. To demonstrate with my business, it does not matter how much someone understands my template shop, if they don’t feel that I understand the pain points within their business that led them to seek out a new template.
1. How to Discover your Customer’s Pain Points
First things first, what to focus on here really depends on your business type.
Identifying your ideal client’s pain points will vary from business to business. You may already be reading and thinking “I’m a wedding photographer. I’m not solving any problems per se, this is the happiest day of their life. Problem-free!” But, you’re wrong. You actually ARE solving a problem. You are a business owner, and you should always be solving a problem! But, the way you present the problem might look different. Sometimes it makes more sense to present the problem to your potential client with the mindset of vision of what success looks like with you, and being proactive in identifying your client’s potential hesitations. Also, if in your area of business, you are struggling with the word “problem” as you think about your service, then think about the desire instead.
Here’s a list of questions for you to explore about your brand.
Get out a notebook or computer document and start brainstorming answers!
- What is the solution you are offering?
Read over your past testimonials and look for patterns of problems solved or desires met.
- When you’re speaking to a potential client, what are their desires?
- Survey your audience on social media or your mailing list and ask about their problems in relation to your products/services.
- How can your products/services make someone’s life better?
- Why would someone choose to buy your service/product over someone else's? What makes you unique?
- Is there a bigger issue that your brand is defeating?
- Is there a hesitation that keeps your ideal client from your services?
- What will your ideal client’s life look like if they never discover your offering?
Here are some great pain point examples from my design clients:
Health/Life Coach: My ideal client doesn’t like the way they feel in their body. They cannot find their purpose in the world. They desire a sustainable, abundant, love-filled life.
Home Organization Company: My ideal client’s home is a wreck, which makes them feel like their life is a wreck. They need someone to help tidy it up so they can stop feeling embarrassed.
Marketing Company: My ideal client works so hard on social media for their business, but they wonder “Why won’t any of it work?” They are sick of hearing crickets on every post and need someone to take this off their plate.
Cake Bakery: My ideal client wants an incredible cake for their wedding that is as unique and special as they are.
Photographer: My ideal client wants to capture the sweet moments in their children’s lives, but they are horrible with a camera. They need someone to take the perfect family photo for their Christmas card.
Now that you know how to discover your customer’s pain points, you can begin
addressing it in your messaging. It all starts with expressing empathy and authority.
2. How to SPEAK to your Customer’s Pain Points
Empathy: An expression of understanding the pain and frustration of the customer
Authority: Giving them the confidence that you have the ability to help them
We trust people who understand us and who are like us. We follow this standard for who we make friends with in real life or the people we follow online, and it’s the same for businesses. People trust brands who understand them. People want to be seen, heard, and understood. Empathy is NOT about talking about how great your business and your services are. It is all about focusing on the customer.
Once you know what your customer’s problems are and how you can solve them, try filling in these statements:
- Like you, we understand how it feels to …
- Nobody should have to experience …
- Like you, we are frustrated by …
- I get it, you struggle with …
When you start using empathy in your messaging clients, you have to show that you are the one that can solve their problem, which is where authority comes in. No one likes a “know it all,” but they do like people with serious experience in solving the problem they have. You don’t need to be perfect. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t. But you do need to be a step ahead of the people you are trying to help.
For example, if you are a weight loss coach, you can be empathetic all you want, but if you haven't lost weight and aren’t an example of a “fit life” you won’t have authority. If you’re a weight loss coach, and have no empathy for your potential clients’ problems, struggles and needs, BUT you are in great shape physically, it also doesn’t work. People want to feel understood to trust that you can help them lose weight too. Proving that you need both, empathy and authority, to effectively speak to your customer’s pain points.
Here are some great ways to show authority in your marketing:
- Testimonials: Let others do the talking for you with proof that you can solve the problem your potential customer is seeking help with!
- Content Creation: This could be blog posts, podcasts, videos, books, Instagram posts, etc. The goal is to show that you know what you’re doing and can in fact help.
- Certifications/Awards: Are you certified in what you do? Are you “award winning?” Let’s show it!
- Press features: Has your work been featured somewhere noteworthy? Mention it!
- Statistics: This one is super powerful, but often overlooked. Showing statistics about your customer’s success. For example, on my website, I show statistics about the number of clients served.
- Portfolio/Case Studies: This is one of the easiest ways to get started with authority!
Make sure your customers know that you have the skills required for you to be trusted. You can also show authority and empathy together by SAYING BOTH.
One model I love for this is The Feel, Felt, Found Model of copywriting:
- I know how you feel, I have felt the same way too, until I found...
- I know how you feel, my past customers have felt the same way too, they solved it when they found …
If you read the introduction of this episode blog post, you’ll find that I used the Feel, Felt, Found Model there! And, you can get a freebie below that will guide you through exactly how to do this model in your own copywriting! Remember that YOU are a real person trying to market to another real person. And customers look for brands that they have something in common with, especially those that know how to solve their problems and speak to their pain points!
One last note about marketing and sales:
I know many people struggle with feeling sleazy when they use marketing strategies to sell their products/services. I get that. I’ve been there.
Here’s something for you to consider that has completely changed my own perspective:
Do you believe that your offering can really help people? Do you believe that you have the solution to people’s problems, if only they can find you? If you care about helping people solve their problems with your solution, then it’s your job to sell your offering with confidence, boldness, and strategy. When you really care about your customers and believe in what you’re doing, the selling part comes easy!
A quote to close us out:
“People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems.
Be the solution that they’re looking for.” —Melonie Dodaro
August 13, 2019