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Follow this article and you’ll start collecting emails in 5 short days. That’s not a lot of time, right?!
Cause if you STOP over-complicating things? It’s an eternity.
QUESTION: If I were to ask you what you thought THE number one, most important pursuit of online business was...what would you say?
- Leads? Leads that flow freely like the salmon of Capistrano?
- Sales? ABC, mo-fo! (click here if you don’t get this reference)
- How about looking tough while sloppily weeping onto your keyboard when your first, second...third venture doesn’t pan out as you had hoped?
Of course, these are all important...but what if you had to PRIORITIZE?
Your time is limited and you can’t do it all. What then?
Well, you’ve got a few tough choices as to where to focus your attention.
Do I focus on my product? My marketing? What about the video? I should do more video. How about my logo? Do I need a VA? What if I started a FB group? You know what? I need a chatbot.
If I was in the room with you...I’d slap you. (out of love)
Snap out of it.
Let me tell you what to prioritize. Your email list.
You should focus on building your email list.
“OH but why, Josh?! My passion is selling cherry-flavored nasal inhalers to rave tweens on Shopify! I don’t need an email list!“
I beg to differ.
Everyone needs an email list. Because everyone is trying to get the same thing in the end.
Not so much orders. But RE-orders.
Re-orders come from a rock-solid customer fan base.
And your future raving customer fan base starts with a few rag-tag folks on a free MailChimp account (or whatever you use) who are simply looking for an answer to their problems.
After all...behind each email is a human being. A human with whom you’ve begun a relationship.
You build that relationship, you will build wealth. Simple as that.
Real world example, you ask?
I’ve taken one client from making $15-20k per month to just now over $400k per month (you don’t have to be a math whiz to understand what a game changer that is)....just by building relationships with her audience via email over 2 years.
Why does this work? Because you figure out that people need MORE than just a product. They need support in the ideas that revolve AROUND a product.
Another way to say it is this:
“People buy for the product/service, but stay for the community.”
Your community is your email list. So that list needs to be built. I’ll show you how to do it.
The very first thing that you need to understand is this:
Sound familiar? It shouldn’t...unless you’re a US Navy SEAL.
This is the 3-step framework the military uses to solve problems out in the field.
First, you identify your targets. Then, consider the weapons you have at your disposal to engage those targets.
Finally, decide what tactics make sense based on your weapon choice.
Now I’m NOT a Navy SEAL and we’re not at war, but the approach is exactly the same.
Identify the target customer and their problem, let that dictate what you use to help them, then let THAT dictate how you deliver that help.
Most people mistakenly skip RIGHT to the delivery and give very little thought to the first 2 topics.
That's dumb and you’re not most people.
Let’s walk through this framework together step-by-step.
Day 1 - TARGETS
Be the celebrity stalker your audience always wished they had.
When it comes to your audience, you need to go into stalker-mode. Full Shred.
Know who you're talking to, how they likely feel, and the specifics behind that person's identity and their characteristics.
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE TODAY...DO THIS. Read this section, then put it to work. I promise you, it will be the best thing you’ve done all week.
You may know a bit about your target customer. You may BE your own target customer (I know I was with my product, Funnel Mappy).
Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you may know absolutely nothing (that’s ok and why we’re here)
Either way, the first step is understanding who it is that you're talking to.
“That’s great, Josh” I hear you moan...”But you say ‘understand’... what does that actually mean?”
Good question. There are different levels of understanding.
For instance, I bet you have a general understanding of an atom. The building block of all matter.
Or, I bet that if I asked you “do you understand what aluminum is?” You would nod your head yes.
But how well do you know aluminum? Do you know it’s yield and breaking stress? Because those exist and are very important to certain people.
How about fatigue limits? Elemental properties? How it can be shaped, extruded, forged? It’s density? It’s specific gravity? It’s weldability?
Unless you’re a structural engineer, chances are you don’t know these things. HOWEVER, here’s my point.
If you were to replace the concept of “aluminum” with the concept of your “target customer,” guess what, genius??
You ARE the engineer. Better start acting like it.
“Put more glue on it,….over.”
Most folks when asked about their target customer, say:
“Well, I know OF them. I know they exist. I know they probably feel sad and frustrated.”
But that’s not going to cut it any more than letting that voice-cracking, pimple-faced high-school engineering student design your high-traffic, major metropolitan bridge.
With customers (as with aluminum), you must go deeper. Can you predict, play-by-play, their day for them? Can you both laugh at the problems only they have...as if it were an inside joke? Do you know their language? How they refer to things? What they secretly wish for? What they actually DO instead of simply what they SAY they do?
If not, finish reading this article and go find out. Seriously.
Because if you don’t...NOTHING that is coming, later on, will make sense. Your idea will not work. And you’ll mistakenly blame failures on anything and everything except the fact that you don’t know your audience.
Some people only learn this the hard way.
So how do you start to get to know your audience on a deeper level?
Glad you asked. Let’s talk strategy.
How To Research Your Audience Without Being A Pushy Creep Or Having To Actually Talk To Anyone.
Now let’s get something straight. Talking to people will be inevitable sooner or later.
The faster you can build the confidence to approach people and converse, the better off you’ll be.
But I’m not here to be your life coach. You can go manifest a crystal-sporting 20-year-old who will handle your feelings like fine China if you want that kind of support.
If you’re an introvert like me, however, here are some great ways to get what you need about the audience you want….today.
Whatever it is your selling? It’s been done. Maybe not YOUR way, but in A way. Amazon is a great way to find out what’s out there, similar to your product/service, in the form of books, products, audio, video...etc.
Read the reviews. And not just the good ones, either. People fake the good ones with flowery language and false praise some of the time. Maybe they’re paid to leave a good review. Use your brain and your discretion.
People can also fake the bad ones. Sometimes they don’t even purchase the product...it’s just a rant out of some feeling of skepticism or malice. Imposing their own problems on the product or service, rather than giving an unbiased review. These are your typical, hyper-negative 1-star reviews. Again, use discretion.
Instead, I suggest you focus on the 2-3 star reviews of verified purchasers. You’ll find that folks are pretty honest about what they like and what they don’t like.
The things they like? They’ll express them in a way you’ve never really thought of before. They’ll use language that makes sense to them. This is good. Copy and paste these and put them into a spreadsheet.
Conversely, they’ll also be clear about the things they don’t like.
“It doesn’t have XYZ, which was really important to me.”
“This book was just filler and no real substance...skip it…”
“The product works, but the handle digs into your skin when you use it...and after a long day of using it, your arms get tired…”
Copy and paste these into a spreadsheet as well. Then, next to where you’ve pasted it, write down what would need to happen to be the EXACT OPPOSITE of each negative review.
“I know XYZ is probably really important to you, so it is chock-full of XYZ”
“This book is ALL substance and real-world examples. Things you can use instantly. No filler content…”
“The product is SO easy to use, especially after using it for long periods of time. It doesn’t fatigue your muscles and the ergonomic grip just feels right in your hands.”
This is going to help you start identifying what your target audience wants, using a language they understand.
Don’t stop at Amazon.
Here’s my secret-weapon: ask.metafilter.com
This is one of the oldest public forums on the internet. Reddit before Reddit. It has a TON of amazing content on just about any topic.
Best of all, it’s genuine. There are no ulterior motives here because it’s not a high-visibility website. It’s just people truthfully weighing in on different subjects.
Do exactly what you did with the Amazon reviews.
Look for the unique ways people expressed their opinions on a certain topic. Some people are WAY better with words than others...those types of ideas will jump out at you. Copy and paste those into your spreadsheet or document.
Immerse yourself in their world.
Are they targetable on Facebook?
You can make Facebook ads as complicated or as simple as you want, and I’m not here writing an article on how to craft the perfect audience or ad. There’s tons of content already out there for you to gobble up.
If you’re using or planning on using FB ads, one smart thing you should ask yourself at this stage is…
“Is my target audience ‘targetable’ on Facebook?”
That is to say, can I easily identify characteristics of these folks that Facebook will allow me to specify?
If your target audience is doctors who like golf, this is targetable. It’s two big groups that are notably different, each with characteristics you can specify.
Doctors are interested in medical-related groups, pages, podcasts, etc. So you can specify that.
Golfers are interested in golf-related groups, pages, podcasts, etc. So you can specify that, too
Then, target a Facebook audience that MUST simultaneously like both of those things.
The more specific, the better results you’re going to get.
At the end of the day, here’s what you want to create.
A living, breathing document that contains strategic details about your target customer.
Maybe it’ll help you by organizing it into sections. That’s what I do.
Here are a few questions and sections that I’ve found helpful when doing my own avatar research. This is how I organize all the content I discover because it helps when writing copy or brainstorming ideas for helpful PDFs or guides.
I try to answer all these questions and more.
HOPES AND DESIRES
- What do they long for?
- How do they wish to feel?
- What are their dreams & goals in life? Who are their role models and who do they hope to become?
- What is their idea of success?
- Who do they want to become successful for?
FEARS AND PAINS
- What do they fear the most?
- What is their idea of failure?
- How many problems are faced with on a daily basis and what are they?
- What keeps them awake at night? What do they lack? How do they feel about it?
DOUBTS AND UNCERTAINTIES
- What are they skeptical of? Why? What makes the solutions so difficult or accessible for them?
- How do they feel in their heart about themselves?
- Do they doubt themselves or their abilities? Why?
- What do they feel they need to succeed?
DESCRIBE THEIR TYPICAL DAY
List as much detail as possible. Start when they wake up and pretend you're following them around with a camera, narrating the action as it happens.
WHAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW
List all the things that, if you knew them, it would make you better at your job.
List at least 10 things.
- I wish I knew what is holding them back from taking the next step.
- I wish I knew how they felt about...
- I wish I knew if ________ was important... I wish I knew if they've considered...
WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION TO THEIR PAIN?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO YOUR SOLUTION? How does it address their desires? How does it solve their burning pain?
WHY WOULDN'T SOMEONE LIKE THIS SOLUTION? What would be their objections? What would stop them?
I created a handy spreadsheet to get you started with all of this.
You can find it here for free.
I’ve created my document. Now what?
Create this document on day 1. Spend all day doing NOTHING but researching your audience. Ideas will spring from this research. Valuable ideas.
On day 2, we’re going to spend some time on the second part of our Navy SEAL mantra...Weapons.
Well, ok, not real weapons.
But assets. Assets that can be used as weapons in the fight for customer attention.
Don’t think about that now.
Just put the blinders on, go into stalker-mode, and begin creating and improving your avatar document. Stop getting distracted. This is the most important step...because if you get this wrong, you’ll have mistakenly wandered down a path that leads towards frustration and failure.
You don’t have to believe me.
Again, some people, usually stubborn, skip this entire step and learn this lesson the hard way.
Smart people, on the other hand, know that life is TOO short to make ALL your own mistakes.
Smart people listen and apply. Then, to the outside world, seem to excel much faster than their counterparts.
Is it luck? Is it just raw talent?
They just did what’s outlined in this article. Maybe not exactly, but in a way that makes sense for them.
See, we all know WHAT to do.
It’s just that some people have the focus to get it done, while others don’t.
The keys ---> Blinders. Avatar. Research.
Do the work that will make everything downstream easier.
Let the stubborn people skip all this and scratch their heads as to why no one wants to buy what they’re “passionate” about.
No one cares. People want what they want.
Smart entrepreneurs discover exactly what that is and how to say it.
Which are you?