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Marketing 101 | Finding Your Client's Pain Points

How to tailor your self-promotions to target customer needs.

We live in an age where being the "best" at something is usually an objective opinion. You see commercials and advertisements all the time for the "world's best ___", with paid actors posing as real customers handing out praise without perspective.

It's hard to take a brand's word literally anymore, which is why reviews and testimonials on sites like Yahoo and Google are important to consumers. We want to know that we're making the right decision based on honest, unbiased fact and opinion.

One of the biggest mistakes that service-based businesses make in their self-promotions is focusing too much on themselves. That might sound counter-intuitive but the truth is that consumers don't want to know all about you - they want to know how you can help them.

Ilise Benun from HOW magazine says it like this:

"The easiest way to get the attention of your ideal clients is to focus first on their problems. Then you present your services as the solution. In other words, to get your ideal clients to respond, you need to know what keeps them up at night. That’s right. Your self-promotion should be rooted in the needs, problems and pain points of your ideal clients."

Part one of Benun's article above focuses on how to identify what those needs and problems are and, while she is mainly targeting creative professionals, it's good to think about self-promotion in terms of problem solving, rather than simply highlighting praise. Think of a major home repair or renovation - if you had no concept of what the before looked like, would the after still have the same impact?

However, it is part two of Benun's post that I think is the most interesting: Finding your ideal customer's pain points. She's not just focusing on how to find out what your prospects need - but where to find the best prospects by identifying where they look for their solutions, and putting your marketing focus there. She lists three examples, which we can extrapolate from to apply to more than just creative fields:

  1. Trade or Local Associations and Organizations - Community and local associations are a huge resource for connecting with other businesses and clients looking for particular services. Not only do they lend credibility, but they also foster networking and trade for services that can extend to a long term business relationship.
  2. Local and Industry-Specific Publications - Similar to association memberships, publication or advertisement in an industry or local publication can help build reputation and credibility. They can also serve to direct or dictate your marketing efforts, by highlighting the problems that customers might be looking for ways to solve.
  3. Conferences, Events and Trade Shows - Most people think of trade shows and other business events from a purely networking or educational standpoint, but they can also be a great way to learn how to position your business for success. You can see how other professionals are responding to client needs and adapt those into your own self-promotions.

So, what are you doing to grow your business? Are your self-promotion efforts focused on your business, or what you can do for your clients? How can you change your marketing to build better relationships with other businesses or customers? If you're not sure how to answer any of these questions, give AlphaGraphics a call today to help you get noticed and get business.

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