Are you satisfying your ideal client’s needs?
It seems like an obvious question but if you have a brand or a business, for it to be successful you need clients, a community, supporters and buyers. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who set up a business without first ensuing that their product or service is going to provide a solution to a problem that others are experiencing, or provide education, inspiration et al.
We’ve all seen nervous business owners on Dragons Den explaining just how brilliant their new invention is, whether it’s a widget or a new style of roller skate, we’ve seen lovely people display their tea towels printed with their poetry or offering the high net worth celebrities a teeny share in their distributer brand, when they don’t even own the IP! Obviously, they don’t get the investment… on a much smaller scale I’ve seen people launch into marketing their brand without first checking what ’need’ it provides.
At its most basic this is a case of doing some market research before you launch if possible, if you are intending to open up a sandwich shop in your locality, check first that there isn’t already four similar shops, or at the other extreme check that there is demand, if there are few businesses in the area, there may not be a need for takeaway food…
It seems obvious with the above example but not so clear for those working with their heart centred brand. Therapists, practitioners and life coaches would all do really well to ‘test’ their offerings before they invest in marketing. Ask your ‘followers’ whether they may be interested in a workshop with you BEFORE you invest in the expensive function rooms. Ask your colleagues and your social media network whether they would buy your online course BEFORE you film it and invest in paid marketing.
The big brands are good at this of course; some of the really big companies do extensive market research before a product launch to ensure they are meeting their customer’s needs. Big supermarkets discover that there are more people with allergies and so they introduce ‘Free From’ ranges. Amazon recognise that we want our goods practically instantly, so they offer same day delivery on many items… Apple are especially interesting as they created a whole raft of products that no-one even knew they ‘needed’ or wanted till they had been created… (and now few can live without them!).
You may be aware of Abraham Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. It’s a motivational theory in psychology which shows a five-tier model of human needs, usually depicted in the style of a pyramid. Maslow wanted to explore what motivates us, and found that some needs seem to take priority over others. Understandably our basic need for survival is at the bottom of the pyramid and then as the pyramid goes up we move past the basic needs (deficiency needs) into the areas of growth, where we look for self-fulfilment. Of course, we don’t look to ‘higher needs’ until our needs at the most basic level are satisfied.
It’s really worth asking yourself, what level are my ideal clients at? If you are working in the area of personal development, holistic health and wellbeing or spirituality, it’s likely that you will want to appeal to those people who generally have a satisfactory level of basic needs (apart from when life tips up of course and brings divorce, crisis, bankruptcy et al) and are moving into the territory of becoming ‘self-actualized:
- They have their biological needs met, so they have food, drink, warmth, shelter, sleep etc.
- Their safety needs are met, so they have stability, and don’t live in fear.
- Their need for love and ‘belonging’ are met, they have friendship, intimacy and can give and receive affection, they have a sense of community.
- Their ‘esteem’ needs are met, so they have self-respect and respect from others, in some cases they have made achievements, and have reached a certain status.
Only then do people move towards the ‘self-actualization’ needs to reach their personal potential, to seek personal growth, spiritual growth, to find meaning in their life etc.
You can read more about this in an excellent article from Simply Psychology.
The image below is from this article.
McLeod, S. A. (2016). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
Image featured on www.simplypsychology.org
In this article Saul McLeod states that…
‘Although we are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing, most of us will not do so, or only to a limited degree. Maslow (1970) estimated that only two percent of people would reach the state of self-actualization.’
How fascinating! I’m guessing that if you are reading this via my website you probably consider both yourself and your clients to be at the top of this pyramid, so it’s important to ask yourself where are your ‘ideal clients’? Who are the people that you are here to serve? How can your product or service best ‘satisfy’ the needs that those people have?
Check out Maslow’s theory in more detail and ensure you know what YOU want and need, and where you are at in the pyramid, and then get clarity on who you can help, who can you motivate? Who needs the skills you are offering to teach, or the treatments you can provide?
When you know, it will easier for you to find out where those people are, ask yourself what they are likely to be reading, where they are likely to be hanging out, then it’s easier to become more visible in the best arena for you.
So, I’ll tell you what I really really want. I want you to get more visibility for the excellent work that you do, don’t hide your light, make sure the people who need you know that you are there. If I can help you get your message out to wider audience, get in touch.
Thanks to McLeod, S. A. (2016). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html