How Selling to Too Wide an Audience Can Make Your Clients Angry
Tuesday January 7, 2020
Happy New Year! As we start 2020, one way to set yourself up for success is to make sure you're marketing to the right people - and that you aren't marketing to people who will be justifiably angry with you if you sell them your product or services.
When I talk about marketing to the right people, I don't just mean picking a niche by age, gender, marital status, and whether or not they have kids. In this blog post, I'm going to share an example of how bad audience selection left me ticked off at a coach who'd enrolled me into his program, and how you can avoid making the same mistake while choosing your ideal clients and designing a group program for them.
At first, I thought I was part of this person's main target audience.
A few years before I started to study business marketing, I took a course that was designed to help people write and sell books. As a novelist, I wanted to get better at selling my works of fiction, and the sales page for this program specifically listed fiction authors as some of the people it could help.
As I went through the course, I became more and more concerned. I was learning all sorts of stuff about writing nonfiction, outsourcing the actual work of writing, how to market books with tangible benefits like improving people’s health, and choosing a niche and brand, but nothing about specifically marketing FICTION.
Even though the sales page had said the course could help me, I was having trouble figuring out how to get the teacher’s nonfiction marketing strategies to translate to selling fiction. Some of the training, such as getting other people to write your books for you, was not just hard to translate to fiction; it was completely inapplicable to a person who loved writing my own books.
To make matters worse, I was only allowed to access one module per week, and the deadline for requesting a refund occurred halfway through the course, as opposed to after the course ended. By the time I learned whether or not I would even be given the information I was promised, it would be too late to get a refund - never mind actually testing out the strategies I'd learned.
In the end, the course did give me SOME information about how to market works of fiction, but it still left me feeling ripped off.
Because as a novelist, I’d paid over $900 for MAYBE $300 worth of value. Some parts of the course were applicable to me, but most of it was stuff that, at the time, I had no reason to care about.
I didn’t want to know how to get people to write my novels for me – I just wanted more people to buy the novels I wrote!
How can you apply this to your marketing and program design?
Here are two things I wish this book coach had done, that you can do in your own business to attract more of the RIGHT customers:
1. Target people who can benefit from your WHOLE package, not just part of it.
Instead of trying to combine fiction marketing with a course that spent so much time talking about outsourcing, nonfiction, and the tangible benefits readers get from stuff like recipe books and how-to books, this coach should have turned his fiction-related training into a separate course with a MUCH lower price tag, then targeted fiction and nonfiction authors separately.
If 30% of your program is useful to a segment of your audience, but 70% of it isn't, that segment will conclude that 70% of their purchase price and the time they spent on the program was wasted, and they won't be inclined to work with you again or to recommend you to other people.
Because of this, it's important to target people who can use all, or at least most, of the material you share, and to avoid selling to people who don't realize that most of your package won't apply to them.
2. Don't bog down your program with bonuses your clients don't truly need.
If a bonus helps your client to get the result they want faster and more easily, or helps them get bigger and better results, by all means, include it!
But if your clients can't see the connection between the bonus and the outcome they want, they'll probably think it's a pointless extra that they'll be wasting money on, and they won't want to pay for it.
How do you choose the best clients for your package, and create the best package for your clients?
Try this 10-minute exercise:
Step 1: Make a list of all the things you can help your clients to do. For example, here's my list:
1. Describe your product or service in a way that laypeople can easily understand, and that makes them eager to buy it.
2. Figure out where your target audience is likely to be found, and devise a plan for getting their attention.
3. Design the content for a group program.
4. Use the technology required to deliver a group program.
5. Handle group coaching calls in an engaging and productive way that's tailored to your audience.
6. Use Group Marketing Messages to get more referrals and become more of an authority in your field.
Step 2: Determine who can use most or all of the services on that list.
For example, my ideal client is a coach in her thirties to fifties who's already good at one-on-one coaching, and who's already making enough money to easily cover her expenses, but whose impact and income are limited by the number of hours in a day. She wants to remove that limitation by serving more people at the same time, but she isn't sure how to translate her one-on-one coaching, which often depends partly on interactions with the client, into an effective and easy-to-follow curriculum.
Once she's increased the number of clients she can serve, she wants to attract more clients to her group program, but she isn't sure how to describe it in a way that gets potential clients and referral network members interested in it.
While reading the description, notice the things I focused on.
I mentioned the gender and age range that most of my clients have in common, but the main focus was on the reasons why they need my help. Their profession, their goals, their ability to afford my offer, and the challenges they face are what really define them as my ideal clients.
So ask yourself: what attributes indicate that someone needs your service or program? Out of the people who have those attributes, which ones do you understand and enjoy working with the most?
This will help you to choose the right audience for your coaching program, and to create the right program for your audience.
Time to share with the class!
Who are your ideal clients, what services are you currently offering them, and what makes them the ideal people to benefit from your services?