Nov 09, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Succeed by Finding Your Audience

Many people tell me that their website costs more than it brings in. For many, this is just a fact of life and their site becomes a bill to pay like a cell phone. If your site is commercial in nature, however, this is no way to go about your technological life. I want to talk about how to fundamentally change how your business works and how the website assists that.

Your website should be doing two very important things:

OK, here’s the straight dope, ready? I think the fundamental issue with many, many websites out there is that few people have identified what activities contribute the most to their bottom line. Who buys what you have to sell? Who emails you about your product? Who perks up when you talk about what you do? Who do you really want to work with?

Here are a few things to think about:

So, what can we do for your site? At this point, nothing. There is not much that can be done with a website until we really know WHO you’re talking to and WHAT you need to say to get their attention.

What can we do for your predicament? So, so many things!

Here’s a few steps to move this process forward. Each of these steps could take 10 – 20 hours apiece if you’re serious about really making a change to your business.

  1. Figure out, through your previous buyers and anyone who has expressed interest, who your audience is. Talk to everyone you can to get a profile of who buys your products or who needs your service. Do they buy other types of products? What software do they use? Where do they spend their free time? You’re looking for a profile of the type of person you need to seek out.
  2. Sit down with what you have (hopefully many pages of notes) and FIND THESE PEOPLE. Look for commonalities and find where they go. Send out an email poll through your email service and find what they’re reading, what websites they are on, what events they go to, what kind of food they like, where they drink coffee. Know these people in and out so you can speak directly to them. If you know what they do, where they go, and how they interact, you’re in a MUCH better position to find them and talk directly to them (literally and otherwise).
  3. Now, take a long hard look at this profile you’ve built and figure out what you’re doing right and where you’re going astray. Does your website appeal to your potential buyers? Ask them directly. Are you holding events they would be interested in? Have you found the site that they all frequent?

Sound a bit like stalking? Well, if you’re concentrating on one person then, yes, I imagine this feels a little creepy. But the goal here is to discover a profile of a person, the theoretical client. If you’re not right where your clients are, where are you? Where are your competitors?

I know this is more “brain storm” than “step-by-step” guide to success but I’m much more of a fan of finding your own path. I also find it hard to believe that one persons path to success will work for everyone else. Without a true desire to succeed and the ability to just get out there and try a few things, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Sit down with a laptop and a pad of paper and FIND YOUR AUDIENCE!

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Tags

Web Strategy

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