No one wants more bland and boring blogs to read, inbox messages to avoid, or videos to watch in their lives.
What people want is their pain taken away.
To do this they need to find a solution and someone to help them.
This means that the content they read, the videos they watch and the emails they open have to be useful. The content needs to be full of information that enriches their life or business and is helpful, relevant, and solution minded.
Creating content that is such, is pretty darn hard if what you create is bland, boring and non-specific.
Inside Out Marketing™ vs Outside In Marketing™
When one decides to market their firm it is because there is a need to be more visible, build a brand and most importantly (and most often) to acquire clients.
This often leads to marketing created to benefit your firm, rather than your ideal avatar.
Here at TwentyTwo Agency, we call this Inside Out Marketing™.
This marketing is all about what content you want to create to try and persuade your prospect to buy from you. It is content that you create with the end goal of benefiting your firm.
The Inside Out approached is often used when you go networking. You go to networking events to try and sell your services. The main objective is to get clients. It’s all about you. It will often come across as salesy, slimy, boring and irrelevant.
The Inside Out Marketing™ approach rarely works. It may also quite damaging to your brand. You could be known as “that firm that always talks about themselves”.
But all is not lost.
The opposite of Inside Out Marketing ™ is Outside In Marketing™.
Outside In Marketing™ is where all focus is outside of your firm. The marketing you create is about your ideal client. What they need and how you can help them and enrich their life.
This attitude and approach to marketing transforms your firm’s success. It is also great for building your brand and getting you remembered and recommended.
Outside In Marketing™ is about understanding your ideal client so well that the information you put out in your marketing speaks to them. It is not viewed salesy, slimy, boring or irrelevant. It feels like you have turned up just at the right time.
Outside In Marketing™ feels serendipitous in nature.
To be able to approach your marketing from the outside in, you need to understand your ideal client better than they understand themselves.
We do this through creating a Client Avatar/Ideal Persona.
The creation of your Client Avatar benefits your business in the following ways:
- By creating your Client Avatar you will no longer be posting on social media and wondering why all you hear is crickets.
- You will no longer go to networking events and look like every other firm in the room.
- Your services will no longer be compared on price.
- Your services will no longer blend in, you will stand out.
- You will be speaking your ideal client’s language and they will resonate with what you have written and this, in turn, has them lining up to work with you.
The creation of your client avatar also makes the following marketing easier to write and more successful:
Copywriting For Your Home Page On Your Website.
Who are you writing for and what is the value proposition you are putting on the homepage? Knowing your avatar makes writing this a breeze.
A well-crafted sales page will take your avatar on an emotional journey. This will include highlighting their pains and providing a solution to overcome them. Knowing your avatar enables you to build trust.
What solutions is your avatar looking for? Again, the Outside In approach makes your services useful, which in turn gets the results that your avatar is looking for. Which leads to recommendations and referrals.
Advertising On Facebook/PPC Traffic
What platforms should you be using to target your avatar. It is easy to choose when you know where they are hanging out. Saving you time and money.
How will you segment your readers and create different marketing campaigns? Knowing this will increase your open and click through rates which will make more effective marketing.
How will your ideal client consume your information – blogging/videos/podcasts? Understanding the habits of your avatar will mean you are visible to them.
Outside In Marketing will improve your relationship with your Client Avatar every time they come into contact with your firm.
Let’s get clear on one thing. You don’t “do” marketing for the fun of it. Not unless you love marketing like we do.
Marketing for most is a necessity that costs time, money and effort. Which is why it is so often outsourced to an agency like us.
However, it is a necessity to build your brand, ensure you are visible, attract prospects and convert leads into clients. (Client Acquisition).
When you are clear on your client avatar your client acquisition goes up. This is because you are speaking to the right people, at the right time, with the right message.
You will be building relationships. And we all know that relationships are the backbone of any business success.
Relationships also have to be a win-win on both sides.
An Ideal Client Avatar/Buyer Persona that you create for your firm should capture the type of person with an undenying need for your services. A client who will remain loyal for years to come and pays you handsomely in return for the great value you provide.
They will recommend and refer you to their friends and colleagues and your business will thrive because of them.
Client Avatar/Buyer Personas – What To Include
There are certain things you need to include when creating your Client Avatar/Buyer Persona.
In some cases, you will need to speak with your existing clients to accurately create your client avatar.
In other cases, you will instinctively know and understand who they are. It may be the case that the Client Avatar you create is completely wrong. Don’t let this put you off though, write something down and tweak as you get feedback.
Let’s dive in.
If you can understand what your ideal client is worried about, what keeps them up at night and what frustrates them to the point of wanting to pull their hair out, you are on the right path.
This really is worth spending a few hours on if needed. As we said above once this clicks it will be easy for you to write copy for them and get their attention.
A good way to test this is to ask for feedback from someone who has no idea who your ideal client is.
Ask them: “Who do you think this is for?”
They should be able to say,
“This is for a construction worker.”
“This is for a plumber.”
“This is for a start-up tech business.”
If they can’t identify who is your ideal client, then you need to go back to the drawing board.
Where Do They Go For Help?
This is the section where you start to determine how they overcome their fears, frustrations, wants, and aspirations.
Before the internet we used to ask a friend or family member for advice. Now most people turn to social media or Google looking for a solution to their problem.
They will read an eBook, listen to a podcast, scan a blog or watch a webinar.
It is for this reason that we need to understand how and where your ideal client is searching to overcome their problems.
We need to understand this information so we can get your marketing in front of them to help them
What you are looking for is a “niche” place where you will hang out and share your content.
In this section, you are trying to understand the books they read. The associations they belong to. The magazines they browse. The blogs and websites they surf. The conferences they attend. The gurus they follow.
Niche Market – Hospitality Sector
Client Avatar – Manager Of A Gastro-Pub
If the avatar you are creating works in the hospitality sector, and more specifically runs a Gastro-Pub, he may be sourcing information in the follow ways:
Books: Good Beer Guide, Good Pub Guide, Eating Out In Pubs, The Good Food Guide, Michelin Eating Out In Pubs Guide.
Associations: Beer & Pub Assoc, British Institute Of InnKeeping.
Magazines: The Caterer, Morning Advertiser, Pub and Bar Magazine, Imbibe, Olive, The Publican.
Blogs/Websites: Big Hospitality, CAMRA, British Hospitality Assoc, Institute Of Hospitality.
Conferences: The Bar And Pub Show, The Restaurant Show.
Gurus: Phil Davison, Mark Daniels, Nigel Wakefield, Richard Webber.
Other: Peach Pubs, English Inns Pub Co.
The idea is to find a way to get your content and information on these platforms so you are visible and helping them.
Bringing Them To Life
Whilst the above information is essential, the following information will bring them to life.
When I run strategy sessions with clients I often get them to draw a picture of their ideal client avatar and have it hanging in their office. This way they are constantly front of mind and you can stay on track creating Outside In Marketing™.
When you look at who you want to serve best an ideal past client may pop into your mind. This is a great place to start when creating your demographics.
In this section, you will be looking at their age, marital status, job title etc.
Here is an example below:
Marital Status: Married
Age Of Children: 5-15, probably 2 of them
Occupation: Accountant/Tax Technician/Bookkeeper
Job title: Partner
Annual Turnover Of Company: £300,000-£2million
Annual Income: £80,000+
Other: Progressive thinking
Objections – Why Won’t They Buy From You
Knowing why someone will not want to buy from you is just as powerful as knowing why they would. There will be times when you will get objections to working with you. If you know the common objections you can create marketing content or FAQ’s to overcome them.
Understanding your avatars decision-making process is paramount to the success of your marketing.
Let’s use the example of the Gastropub Manager
Pain: Leaking Profit.
Fear: Cannot afford an expert accountant.
Bob, the Gastropub Manager is frustrated because they are fully booked with an excellent turnover, but have very little profit. They are seeking help from an expert accountant, but are worried about cash flow and believes that his establishment cannot afford this investment.
This fear can be overcome through one piece of content.
For example: “10 Ways Investing In A Specialist Accountant Will Increase Your Cashflow Within 6 Months”.
Pulling It All Together
Working through the five sections above will ensure that you are creating the right content for your ideal client. The Outside In approach to marketing will ensure you are creating content that helps your ideal client, rather than just adding to white noise that is already in the marketplace.
Having More Than One Avatar
Start by building one Avatar. Once you get the hang of it you can create new Avatars and new campaigns on a quarterly or yearly basis to open up more of a market for you.
But don’t diversify out too far. A profitable firm will have a specialist or niche market that they serve well, and can market to easily.
P.S. When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you with marketing and growing your accounting practice:
1. Grab free copy of my book
It’s the roadmap to attracting better prospects, signing higher value clients and scaling your accounting firm. – Click Here
2. Take the test.
It will benchmark your firms ability to effortlessly attract, connect with & convert high value clients using the Pioneering Practice Scorecard. – Click here
3. Join the tribe and connect with firms who are growing too.
It’s our new Facebook community where ambitious founders, owners, and partners learn to attract better prospects, sign higher value clients and scale their accounting firm. – Click here
Great tips Amanda. We hear this advice in so many business books from David J Schwartz, in ‘The Magic of thinking big’:
“To sell John Brown what John Brown buys, you’ve got to see things through John Brown’s eyes.”
To Dr Steven Covey in, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’:
“Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood”
What we don’t hear much about is the process of achieving it. Ideal client personas are a great way to build that understanding. Your excellent advice gives readers everything they need to make it happen.