There are so many important elements of having a website that delivers you clients. Your site’s design, layout, content, etc – these are all important things.

But when it comes down to it the most critical part of your website are your offers. Whether it’s the free product you use to get email signups or your most premium client package, the way you create your offers is vital to whether people will respond or not.

Basically, you have three ways to create your offers:

  1. You can create the offers you want without any concern for what your audience wants (this happens more than you think).
  2. You can create offers that you think the people in your target audience want (this is the norm).
  3. You can create the offers the people in your target audience tell you they want.

Well, the first option doesn’t work?

That should be clear. If you just create the offers you want and don’t really think about your audience wants, it’s pretty likely they’re not going to buy what you offer.

The second option can work.

And that’s because guessing does work from time to time. Some times you’ll guess right and people will buy your offers. But maybe just as often, or more, you’ll guess wrong and be disappointed in the results.

The third option works every time.

This only makes sense. Just stop and think for a second. If someone tells you what they want and you create what they want doesn’t it only make sense that they’ll buy what you create?

Yet as clear as the answer to this question is, few small business owners actually positioned their business this way. Most small businesses first figure out what they do. Then they go about marketing what they can do for the people in their target market in hopes that they’ll buy.

This certainly is one way to go. And sometimes you can get lucky in communicating what you do to just the right people in just the right way that your business finds some success.

But the less trodden, yet more successful path is to find out what your target audience knows they need. Notice, I said ‘knows’ they need. Not what they need. But what they know they need. This is an important distinction because people will most often only respond to what they know they need.

For instance, let’s say you found a way to produce the best curry powder in the world. It was grown in the perfect climate, with the right nutrients. It was organically and biodynamically grown and was dried and powered better than any other.

Well, you could broadcast your new curry powder up and down the hillsides of the world and you’ll get some response. Yet you’ll spend a lot of time, effort and money talking in the direction of whole bunch of people who have no need for a better curry powder.

But what if you targeted a specific need inside your market? An example might be chefs at fine restaurants. They would have a need and desire to find ingredients that would make their food that much better. They’d also need less convincing other than taste. Or maybe, since your curry powder was grown biodynamically, you market it to people who eat mostly organic foods. They’d appreciate the specialness of your curry powder.

Either way, you can put your efforts into specific markets where people are looking for a better a better curry powder or healthier foods rather than broadcasting your message to a mass of people, most of which don’t regularly cook.

The point here is that you want to talk to the people who are actively looking to solve a need. Identify who they are and then market your solution directly to them. If others buy, no worry. If you miss you target market but gain business from other group, no worry. The key, though, is to select a target group that identifies that they have a problem to be solved. To do this, simply:

  • Know, clearly, who you are and what you do. The clearer you are, the easier it is for others to be clear about it too – including your target audience.
  • Know your market – Who are the people that make up your target market?
  • Know their need – What do the people in your target market need. Again, not what you think they need, but what they know they need. How do you find out…ask.
  • Create a message that solves their problem – If you know what you do and understand the need of the people you do it for, all you have to do is clearly communicate the two to the people who need what you do. It’s really that simple.
  • Keep asking, keep learning – Once your message is out there, track the responses. Do so with statistics, surveys and by speaking to people directly. Tracking is vital to success.
  • Reposition – Take what you learn and adjust your offering and your message to better meet your audience’s need.

Really, this is how you grow a business. It’s how the big boys do it. And this is how almost all successful little folks do it. So what’s holding you back?

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