The responsibility of being a business owner involves more than brand development and marketing strategies. To be successful at financial positioning, you have to know your audience and their needs. A business cannot sustain itself for free. There is a balance between sacrificing and gaining strength to achieve an ROI and growth.
Without a community of loyal fans you are essentially without a business. You can create a quality product but the user will determine your outcome. That’s why it is imperative to focus on the customers you are building a relationship with. If you want freedom to create your business you have to know how to serve people in order to help grow your business. There are a set up rules that apply to all businesses and solopreneurs, and I’m going to share those with you.
The Customer Is Always Right
I’ve had this conversation with many business owners and it always begins the same way. The owner thinks by giving their power away to the customer that they are losing money. In reality it’s the opposite. When you give the customer what they want, i.e., refund, new product, your promise, discount, etc., the customer is more likely to comeback. They are also likely to share their experience with the company to their friends. The best way to grow organically is word of mouth. Just like one great review can build your reputation a bad review can tarnish your brand. Think about the brands you are loyal to and why? Most likely it is because they offer a great product/service and an even more impeccable customer service. Your consumer is ultimately going to make or break your business so satisfy them before you think of ways to cut corners by saving that leave them unsatisfied.
Know Your (Loyal) Audience
I’ve heard it said before that more is better. When it comes to scaling a business that is not always true. Take Halston for example. At the top of his game he continually wanted more until he went titanically. While I think he is a true genius there is proof that too much may be, well, too much. If you are focusing on numbers it is difficult to provide an authentic brand for everyone. Simply because you are pulled into multiple directions at the same time. Which is why it is more rewarding to focus on analytics and what your audience is asking for. If you have engaged fans, consumers/and or a loyal audience those are the people you need to be targeting. If you listen to them they will tell you what they want and what they will buy. The more you grow your current audience the more they will expand and your business will grow. As long as you have an authentic representation of your brand and your products you are engaging the right audience by catering to those people who are already loyal to you. What happens when you are searching for quantity is you provide less value and overextend your brand. You just cannot market to everyone which is why it’s vital to know who you want to attract before you start a business, and remain consistent to the business you are growing by returning your loyalty to your (loyal) audience.
Give More Than You Receive
A lot of people reading this are going to argue with me on this one, but hear me out. You cannot expect someone to trust your brand the way you trust your brand. You have to give them a reason to trust your brand. That’s what I love about brands that offer 30-90 day guaranteed products/services or your money back. Within that time frame you should have a clear indication of if a product or service is working for you and if it is not return it for a full refund. That is great customer service. You have to trust your product/service enough to give it to your audience while fully backing the product/service. On the flip side of that you must also give things for free. To build your audience you have to plant seeds to build that relationship. This is true in many facets of business but especially in satisfying your audience. The more valuable tools you give them for free the more likely they are to invest when you are selling something. Whether that be a product, service, ebook, how to webinar, monthly membership, you have to build your brand loyalty. The more you give the more you will receive to sustain your business.
The most exciting thing about being a customer or follower is feeling valued when you provide feedback and/or support a brand. Your audience has the authority to build your brand without your company spending a dime on marketing. Which is why they are your number one asset. If your audience is engaging with you it is so important to engage back. People need to be heard. Also you never know who’s reading/listening. Where the next big opportunity or inspiration is going to come from. While I believe your mission should always be to add value to someone’s life in any business in order to be prosperous, it is crucial to take note of what your audience is saying, too. They can lead you down your next big venture or stop you from making brand mistakes. It is important to treat your audience like an extension of your brand because they are. They care about you and your success so care about their needs.
Always Serve First
Given the title of this article I will leave you with this: Serving is the overall service you can provide. With that, I specifically mean initiating the service. Don’t wait for your audience to tell you what they want — anticipate it. Which means knowing them inside and out. This goes back to loyalty and trust. When you establish a relationship that is based on a strong foundation you can build a business on that. Alway strive to exceed customer expectations. Give more than your competitors. Surprise your audience. There are lots of ways to give whether that be a giveaway, a thank you card, sample products, autographed copies — just make certain you serve, serve, serve. With all businesses you are in the business to serve. Give your audience/customer what they don’t even know that they need and let them appreciate you serving them.
Bottom line: The audience/customer is like a plant that has to be cared for. Much like a business, you have to water both if you want to grow. Define your business and humanize it by consistency and an honest portrayal of your business offering. There is more than just promoting and selling products. You are cultivating a lifestyle by the audience you are building.