In this post I’m going to talk you through the 6 fundamental pillars of a thriving online service based business. I will also reveal a common mistake that I see a lot of people making when starting a business and that you would want to avoid. Let’s get straight into it!
1 – Define your ideal customer
The first pillar that I want to talk to you about is defining your ideal customer.
And often people that are new in business get scared about narrowing their target audience, because they think they are limiting their reach. But the reality is that your business cannot and should not attempt to appeal to everyone.
Identifying your ideal customer will help you get more targeted with your marketing and as a result, boost your conversions.
And you may be thinking, “Ok Nat, but I am a social media manager, I can help anyone.”
Yes, I hear you!
Technically, you can. But that doesn’t mean you should!
Let’s look at this example.
If your ideal customer is a male real estate agent, you would communicate with them in a different way than if you wanted to work with a female that works within the wellness industry.
The look of your website, the language you use, the content you share, should resonate with your ideal customer.
So identifying your ideal customer will help your business in the long term, because it will really help you connect with the people that you can help the most and filter the rest.
When you try to talk to everyone, you end up making real connections with no one.
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How to define your dream client:
If you are having trouble identifying who you want your ideal customer to be, I want you to think about the kind of person that you would LOVE to work with.
Because you want to build a business that you can be truly passionate about.
When you are an employee you don’t get to choose your workmates. But when you are a business owner, you can, and should, choose to work only with people you genuinely like.
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Here are some things to consider:
Thinking about the kind of people you enjoy interacting with in your everyday life can help you define your ideal customer.
You can also consider things such as demographics: gender, age, what kind of job they have, and so on.
You also want to work with clients that have personalities that are compatible with yours.
Generally speaking, real estate agents or sales people have different personalities from yoga teachers or meditation coaches.
Who would you rather work with? Have a think about that
You also want to work with people that have values that are aligned to yours.
This will allow you to genuinely connect with them and make your work more enjoyable.
2 – Identify their problems
Once you have identified your ideal customer, then you can move on to identifying their problems.
Because your goal as a business owner is to solve a problem or problems for people.
Your ideal customer will likely come across your business while searching for a solution to a problem. So put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and think about what they are searching for when they hire the services of a business like yours.
- What are their pain points?
- What is prompting them to seek help from a business like yours?
- What are they trying to achieve and why?
- How would their lives be better after engaging your services?
And doing market research is a great way to get insights into your ideal customer’s pain points and problems.
And this doesn’t have to be anything too formal.
Simply talk to people that may fit within your ideal customer’s profile and ask them about their problems and how a business like yours could help make their lives better.
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So what technique
And when you are asking your questions, it can help to use the “so what” technique, as it helps you dig deeper and identify the real source of the problem that you need to solve
For example, if you are a social media manager and your ideal customer says they want to get more Instagram followers, then ask yourself “so what” or “why does my ideal customer **actually** want this?” Keep going until you get to the real root of the problem. So it would look something like this:
“I want more Instagram followers”
“So I can get more leads”
“So I can increase my sales”
Having more social media followers is not the problem that you are solving. You are helping your client grow their business and, ultimately, make more money.
3 – Create services and packages that solve those specific problems.
Once you have identified your ideal customer and their problems, it is time to create services and packages that solve those specific problems.
So going back to my social media manager example, let’s say that your ideal customer is a commercial real estate agent and after market research you learn that the problem that they want you to solve is to get more leads so they can make more money.
Now you would need to sit down and think about their business, their clients, their industry and design packages that are tailor-made for their specific needs.
For example, you could create a Linked In outreach package that focuses on building connections with other businesses and landlords.
But then if your ideal customers are wellness practitioners, and their problem also is that they want to get more leads to make more money, you would need to create a package that focuses on solving the problem in a way that is specific for that industry and their audience.
So you could create an instagram management package with an emphasis on creating a content strategy that uses beautiful images, video content, educational posts, hashtag research and engagement to attract more leads for your client.
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As you can see, by focusing on specific problems within the context of your ideal customer, you can create packages that are very attractive for them.
And this will boost your conversions, because it will make it a no brainer for them to choose you over your competitors.
4 – Communicate services and packages clearly
Once you have identified your ideal customer, their problem, and have created packages or services that solve those problems, the next step is to communicate them very clearly.
You want to make it very easy for your ideal customer to know how you can help them.
And you can do this by showcasing and explaining your services and packages very clearly on your website and on social media.
You want to make it easy for your ideal customer to understand that you can help solve their problem and how you can do it.
And you also want to make it easy for someone to find these details. So display them clearly on your website and social media.
5 – Have an optimised website
And this brings me to the next step, which is that your website needs to be spot on.
You only have seconds to engage a visitor, so your website needs to engage them from the moment they arrive.
Like I said before, you want your website to have a look and feel that will resonate with your ideal customer.
The design of your website and the language you use will be different if you want to work with real estate agents or wellness practitioners. And the copy on your website needs to be very clear.
You want visitors to be able to understand straight away how you can help them solve their problem – without spending much time or energy.
As you can see, one step builds on from the previous one.
It is important that you take the time to do this foundation work:
You want to know who is your ideal client so you can identify their problems.
You need to identify their problems so you can create packages and services that solve those problems.
And you need to know all of the above in order to build a website that will convert.
And this is the common mistake that I see people making all the time.
A lot of people skip this foundation work, and they spend ages posting on social media without having these foundations in place.
So they are not converting followers into clients because people don’t know what they do, what services they offer, and how they can help them.
Or the services are not converting because they are not targeted enough, they are not solving the actual problem their customer has, and they are not what their ideal customer needs.
Or some people don’t have a website that has been thoughtfully designed, so when their ideal customer lands on their website trying to assess if they should hire their services, they come across a website that is confusing, and doesn’t clearly explain what they do.
And when this happens, they are going to leave their website and check their competitors.
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6 – Social media and marketing strategy
You need to have all these foundation stuff in place before you think about your social media and marketing strategy. If you don’t have:
- a clear target audience,
- services that help solve a problem and are clearly explained and communicated
- a website that will resonate with your ideal clients and clearly and instantly explains what you do…..
Then it is going to be very hard to convert visitors or social media followers into paying clients.
Want to learn how to implement this in your business?
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