Part 2: The Foundation Of ALL Marketing

The FIRST thing all hugely profitable businesses do. I bet you’re not doing it.

This. Is. HUGE.

I felt I had to emphasize that because, in all likelihood, you’ve probably seen this ‘strategy’ before.

But for some reason or other, you never placed much importance to it. You didn’t implement it… and a couple of months later, you’re wondering why you’re still stuck at the same plateau. Promise me that if you read on, you’ll at least seriously consider doing it this very week.

The strategy you already know but still aren’t doing?

Talking to your target market.

This. Is. WHY.

Here’s the typical startup journey that results in failure 9 out of 10 times:

  1. Have a great business idea
  2. Build a deck and find investors
  3. Build a team
  4. Build the product
  5. Go to market (i.e. sell)
  6. No one buys

Here’s the profitable startup journey that actually gets to profit:

  1. Have a great business idea
  2. Go to market (i.e. sell)
  3. Learn what customers really want
  4. Use revenue to build product, team, get more funding

Notice the difference? Customer input, validation of your entire business, should happen first.

In fact, most big businesses that we’re familiar with, started because the founders faced a real life problem, then got the idea, then built the business around that.

I don’t touch any business until I really understand the target market. It’s the first thing I do for any business I start, any project I launch, any product I offer.

Answer this question:

Who’s your target market?

If you answered, “everyone”, or “most people”, that’s why your marketing isn’t getting you customers.

Even if you answered “<age range><gender><job title>”, not good enough.

Understand this:

All marketing is one to one.

When you consume an advertisement, you read it as one person. Only marketing channels are one to many. But as a business, so few of us actually talk to our customers one to one. That’s why we see so little marketing that really speaks to us.

But how many of you really intimately understand your target persona?

I mean, their psychology.

How many of you understand what makes them buy?

When you want to reverse-engineer a buying decision, you need to understand the compelling reason to buy. That comes when you solve a problem for him/her.

(I paid $4,000 and a year of trial & error to really learn this. I hope you’ll actually take action this time…)

The Problem Gap

The problem gap is what makes people buy. It’s the gap between where your target persona is now, and where he/she wants to be.

If I wanted to charge $10, I’d aim to solve a $100 problem. Makes it a lot easier to sell.

My clients buy my $5,000 services, and love me for it, because I always show how I solve a $50,000 (or bigger) problem.

The problem gap comes from the gap between your target persona’s negative and positive psychology.

Frustrations and fears are negatives.

Wants and aspirations are positives.

If I were targeting university students who wanted to be entrepreneurs (20 year old males in local universities), I’d have to first understand 2 things:

#1: their biggest frustration is that they can’t find the right team members.

#2 All they really wanted is to build a profitable business that made an impact on the people they cared for.

Then I would know… that to market to this person, I’d have to give them what they want.

Too many startups show the market what they need.

People don’t know what they really need. If they knew they needed it, they would have already bought it. People only care about what they want.

And above all, people want their problems solved.

I knew that my student wantrepreneurs needed a mentor to teach them business, and made sure they didn’t give up no matter what. So I presented this solution to them… by organising meetups that promised them what they wanted. But I eventually offered them what they needed… and of course they bought.

That was my last business… I made $4,000–$8,000 a month just doing that.

My secret target avatar… it’s what yours needs to look like too.

(BTW, if you’re targeting university students who want to be entrepreneurs, go ahead and use this. It’s up to date, and very very profitable.)

But, How Do I Do It? Like, Step By Step?

This is what’s probably in most of your heads now, right?

Here ya go:

  1. Identify 5 people in your target market. If you already have paying customers, those are obviously the best choice.
  2. Ask them for a 20 min interview. Buy them coffee. It’s worth it.
  3. Interview them to get these results: wants, aspirations, frustrations, fears, personal identity. *
  4. Compile it… leave out those answers that are outliers. You want the ones that correspond highly with your other interviewees.
  5. Put all the negative answers on the left side. Put all the positive answers on the right. In between… is the problem gap. Imagine you’re your target persona, and feel the problem. You now understand your target market.
  6. Create marketing messages and products that solve these problems.
  7. Profit.

*E.g. of a want question — When it comes to being an entrepreneur, what do you wish you had?

*E.g. of a frustration question — When it comes to being an entrepreneur, what challenges do you face?

This was a really huge learning for me, and I’m really glad I got to learn it early on in my entrepreneurship journey. Please please please just do it. Just message those 5 people right now.

You can thank me on Facebook when this makes you money.

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