This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in business. YOU design your customer base. Sounds silly, right? How do you choose your customers? Believe it or not, the answer is simple.
When you are setting up your business, it’s important to keep your desired customer in mind. Who is your customer? Is it a single mom struggling to simplify her life? A sports fanatic who devotes their free time to indulging in their favorite pastime? Or is it a business entrepreneur with a high income and desire for luxury? The best way I can suggest to dive into this is by creating a customer profile and defining the details of your ideal customer.
Here’s a quick example of a customer profile for a high-end skincare line:
Customer: Cara CEO
Profession: Entrepreneur, Chief Position of a Corporate Business
Needs: Quick, uncomplicated, simplifying their lives
Wants: luxury, pampering
You can even dive in further, listing out styles they may like, other brands they may shop, etc. The more you get into this information, the more you’re able to plan out your business. Everything from price points to the style of marketing needs to cater to this customer profile. Does your customer need more automation or more one-on-one hand-holding? If you’re building out a brick-and-mortar location, be sure to keep your ideal customer in mind. You’re not going to decorate a salon designed for high-end beauty products with antlers and plaid, now are you? Really think about who will be buying from your business and tailor your marketing style, copy, logos, and overall appearance to them. This goes back to the concept of, “if you build it they will come.”
As you begin building out your business and thinking about your customer profile, you’ll be able to get into their heads a little more… and guess what? You’ll learn what they emotionally connect with! Work this into everything you - from packaging designs to the tone of your social media copy. Every ad, every video, every image released by your brand needs to target your ideal customer in order to create the emotional connection that they’ll need to buy your product or service.
See? I told you we’d circle back to emotional connection!
Now, another important factor to keep in mind when “designing your customer base” is how you train them. If you’re hungry for business and you’re constantly running sales to try to draw customers in, then you’re going to attract customers who are always looking for sales. These customers are likely to only buy when you’re running a deal or will be nagging you for even more discounts. They’re not going to appreciate you or your product/service and likely won’t be long-term, loyal customers. When the sales stop, they’ll disappear. And then, you’ll find yourself back at square one, running more sales to attract more customers - only to experience the same thing again. It’s an endless cycle - one you don’t want to get stuck in.
Now, please note that I’m not going to say NEVER run sales. You can do so, but be careful in when you do it. Space your sales out and always have a reason for it. For example, you can run an introductory rate of 10% off for the first week you’re open or do a bounce-back coupon for an upcoming holiday. Don’t fall into the trap of running a sale for every holiday, though, or you’ll train your customers to just wait for the next holiday.
Training your customers goes all the way through to your processes, too. Make sure your website, social media, and ads all funnel your customers to the right places. For example, if you have an online consultation form, don’t let the customer push you into handling a consult in your DMs. Keep your messaging simple, polite, and direct - but you control the narrative. Once you start to get in the bad habit of letting your processes slip just to snag a sale, you’re going to find yourself overwhelmed and stuck in the bad habit of not utilizing your processes!
The right customers will follow your processes and will even begin to coach new clients through the steps for you.