The Three Questions You Must Be Able to Answer Before Your Market Your Business
It always seems like there are a million internet marketers out there, showing up in your Facebook feed, promising to help you grow your business in 90 days.
You’ve seen them before, right?
And if you’re like me, you can’t help but be a bit sucked in by their promises. I mean, after all, who doesn’t want to work from their laptop, 10 hours per week, grossing over $500k per year, all while going to weekly yoga classes and drinking green smoothies?
As parents, it feels like there is already so much pressure to be doing #allthethings. If you are a business owner, that pressure triples. In addition to running your own household, you also have to be a webmaster, accountant, content creator, and marketer. It’s enough to pull your hair out!
After leaving the corporate world to run my photography business, I learned firsthand all the marketing strategies that helped me grow. I soon found I liked learning about (and in turn, teaching) marketing more than I did running my photography business and before I knew it, I was an online marketer myself. But here is my dirty secret… I don’t love the industry I work within. Honestly, there is a lot of fly by night marketers out there, taking the money and giving bad advice (hello “like bots” on Instagram). I am super passionate about combining integrity and marketing to grow your business. There are definitely some marketing strategies I recommend for nearly every business owner and thanks to Erin, I’ll be popping in on Des Moines Parent every month with a few pieces of advice, or strategies to implement, for my fellow parents in business!
We all have to walk before we run, right? So I like to start with the basics. These are the questions I ask every client during our discovery phase. And despite many of them have been in business for years … they often struggle with the answers. Today, I encourage you to grab a sheet of notebook paper (I know you have a cute journal/Target impulse buy that needs cracked open) and answer these questions for yourself.
Let’s get started!
Question 1 – What is it that you do?
Please, don’t roll your eyes at me. You’d be surprised at the type of answers I get for this question. People usually start out strong with their answer and then begin to just list of various things they do in their business. I want you to be able to answer this with clarity and authority.
You should be able to answer this question in three parts:
- How you operate
- Who you serve
- The results they get
Then structure your answer in this way
I (HOW) for (WHO) so that they (RESULT).
Take my marketing business for example:
I teach mama-owned businesses how to run self-managed Facebook ads for increased web traffic and email list growth.
Now take a minute and write down your answer in your notebook. And don’t be afraid to make it your own! No one is grading you.
Question 2 – Who is it exactly that you serve?
This question really means, who is your ideal client? Who is the person that would be a dream to work with? Picture him/her in your mind and in the best detail possible answer these questions:
- What do they read/watch?
- Where do they hang out online (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat)?
- What are their secret obsessions/lists of favorites (aka favorite food, Target vs Walmart, guilty pleasures…)?
- What keeps them up at night with worry?
- What are their values?
- What are their goals?
Answer these questions as honestly as you can. And don’t worry about how that answer pertains to your business. Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, you can speak his/her language by understanding these key elements of their personality. You can use these answers to form connection points in your web copy, emails and social media posts.
Question 3 – What is your customer journey?
The customer journey sounds like such marketing jargon (ugh). But what you need to understand to create a super-effective marketing plan for your business is the following:
- How do people find out about you? Are you showing up on social? Attending vendor fairs? Word-of-mouth/referrals?
- Once someone knows who you are/what you do… how do they learn more? Do they stalk you on Instagram? Visit your website shop? Book a discovery call with you?
- How does someone become a customer? How do they purchase your goods or services?
- How are the goods or services delivered to the customer?
- What touchpoints happen after the transaction is completed? Can they become a repeat customer or, if not, can they provide referrals/testimonials?
For some businesses, the customer journey might be fairly straight-forward. Others might have multiple steps along the way. Do your best to draw yourself a customer journey map (here is your excuse to stretch your creative muscles) and be as thorough as possible.
The beauty of creating this customer journey map is that you’ll be able to identify the strong points (like your super great at reaching new faces on Instagram) and weaker points (like failure to follow-up and nurture past client relationships) of your customer experience. I personally like to get a huge piece of paper and sketch it all out. Then after I feel like I’ve got all the pieces of the journey captured, I do transfer it to a Google doc and start working on notes to myself and ideas for improvement.
These three basic questions trip up even the most seasoned of business owners. So often we are in the thick of things with running our business that we don’t step back to observe changes, wins and challenges that we may be facing. I encourage you to put aside some time (aka lock yourself in the bathroom for some peace and quiet) and really dive into these questions.
To better get to know each other, share your answers to question one (what do you do) in the comments!
About the Author
Hi! I’m Katie Spellman, the one-woman show behind Revel and Grow. I teach mama-owned businesses how to run self-managed Facebook and Instagram ads to increase their web traffic and grow their email list. My handsome husband and I live in the rural area outside of Des Moines, with our 1-year-old son, Matthew and crazy chocolate lab, Penny. Like most 30-something women, I have a penchant for Target and Starbucks and oversized, cozy sweaters. I don’t really believe in work-life “balance” but I do believe in work-life “integration”. I love helping women grow their own businesses through online marketing strategies. If you’re looking for more feedback on your business strategies, feel free to ask me inside my Facebook Group. I host weekly office hours where I’ll answer all your marketing questions (and more)!
Learn more about Katie Spellman here!