You could call it a blog but I prefer actionable advice for local business owners
As I was waiting for the train to pass yesterday, I small piece of metal outside my car window caught my eye.
I had a pretty good idea what it was, and just seeing it lying there on the ground made me feel a bit uneasy.
You're probably familiar with it too, and if you are, you also know what it does.
It's called a linchpin, and basically, it holds two things together - a latch to a door, a wheel to an axle, you get the idea.
I took a quick pic since I got lucky and was stopped at the very beginning of the 20 mile long train caravan and had more than enough time to kill.
Seeing this made me feel a bit unsettled because unless this fell out of the pocket of someone's jacket, there's a door or gate open or unsecured and something will probably be tumbling out of its holding container and on its way to dent my car.
But this got me thinking (as most small pieces of metal tend to do), who are the linchpins in small businesses? Can a person be a linchpin? Does this have anything to do with bowling?
OK, the last question is a bit dopey, but being a linchpin in business means being essential. Of course, a person can be essential. So this brings me to the Action Step for today: Find a way for you to be essential to your customers or clients.
This is especially relevant if you're a service provider like a plumber, chiropractor or landscaper.
How can you position yourself, so your customer NEEDS you? How can you make your service something worthy of coming back for more of...again...and again...and again?
When you can answer that question, you're put in a very valuable position.
It's going to take some strategic thinking, but that's what marketing is all about.
Go back to your USP, your unique selling proposition or unique selling point, and see how unique it really is.
If it is unique, how can you make your customers see this?
Once again, when you can answer this question, your business will never be the same.
One of the most basic (remedial, for those who prefer more substantial words) parts of starting and running a business is determining WHO your best customer is.
Now I say "best" customer because you deserve the best...nah, I'm kidding. I say best because best is another word for ideal and that's how you need to think, "Who is my ideal customer?" Now THAT is a good question!
When you determine this, you can then play part-time psychologist and dig deep into their persona. You can pinpoint who they really are:
When you do this you are creating the avatar of your perfect customer and if you know how your customer ticks, you can appeal to them in a way that no one else can - especially your competitions connect with them and they will feel like you GET them...because you do!
So the big question is, are you doing this? Do you know who your IDEAL customer is? Do they like the movie Avatar? Sorry, scratch that...or do...?
Now when you're creating marketing materials (ads, mail, social posts, etc.), think of them and ask yourself, "What would Neytiri think of this? Would this get her to buy?"
When you know this, you'll serve them better...and that's why we do this, isn't it?
The future of publishing is about having connections to readers and the knowledge of what those readers want. – Seth Godin