Understanding your customer’s journey is the first step in knowing how to solve their problems or fulfil a need.
Here are 3 ways you can promote your product in a saturated market.
You have a great idea for a business. You spend hours doing your research, perfecting your product offering, putting together your website, and spending hours doing the social media grind to get your name out there. You spend so much time, money and effort on your business baby – a real labour of love – because you know what you have will truly benefit your potential customers. You launch your business to much excitement and encouragement and nothing but positive feedback from family and friends.
At first you make a few sales, mainly from said enthusiastic and supportive family and friends. Then as days and weeks go by, sales dwindle. Until you only make one or two a month. If you’re lucky.
What are you doing wrong? You may ask.
You’re probably not doing anything “wrong”.
Firstly, let me just say that building a business from scratch is incredibly hard work. The fact that you even got started on the hard slog of building your business is already a big deal. So you deserve a pat on the back.
I love this quote by Mark Twain which no doubt you’d have already heard:
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
So “yay!” to you for getting started!
Secondly, building a business takes time. Yes, it’s frustrating when you’ve poured countless hours on your amazing biz only to get hardly any responses. But I’m here to tell you:
“Don’t give up.”
You have an amazing business and amazing products (or service) to offer your customers, because after all, your family and friends raved about it, right? And they bought from you.
So don’t be discouraged because with the right know-how, tools, and the right people around you, you can create a profitable business where one day you will sell to many others, not just to your built-in fanbase (i.e. family and friends).
Here’s the thing – the key to converting leads to paying customers is to understand the customer journey. The customer journey is basically the ways in which a customer finds you, chooses you over competitors and buys from you. It requires a really good understanding of your customer.
Here’s my tip: visualise who your customer is, then sit down and list their journey.
- How will your customer find you?
- How will they interact with your website, your products, your photos?
- How will they feel about your service?
- What will set you apart from your competitors, in their eyes?
- Does your product or service answer their need or solve their problem?
- Will they find what they’re looking for with your website or online store?
- Is there enough info on your website to satisfy their uncertainties?
You get the idea. Brainstorm and list as many ways you can think of that your customer will interact with your brand.
Now that you have an idea about your customer’s journey, you are better equipped to solve their problems or fulfil their desires. Making sales is just the cherry on top, because the fulfilling part of business is being able to answer someone’s need or solve their problem.
Let’s say my customer is Dianne.
Dianne just bought a house and is looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork to display on her bare walls. She goes to Google and searches for “custom made wall art”.
After going through search results she’s frustrated because there’s too many irrelevant results and she can’t find what she’s looking for.
Tip 1: Make sure your website is lit
Make sure Dianne can find your website by optimising it. This means that the content on your website is engaging, relevant and answers her specific needs or problems.
You do this by:
- Having keywords in your website copy that Dianne would use to search for you in Google
- Having product descriptions that directly address her needs
- Having amazing photos of your wall art that Dianne can visualise on her own wall
- Having clear, accessible information on shipping, returns, contact email or number. Don’t make Dianne click around too much to find really important information
- Having a website that doesn’t take too long to load and is viewable on her mobile device (69.4% of online shoppers shop on their mobile phone)
Tip 2: Make use of review websites and testimonials
Customers like to know how others experience your product. This is called social proof. We humans are social creatures and whether we like it or not a lot of our decisions are influenced by other people’s opinions.
Dianne would like to know what others think of your product because she’s thinking if she buys that custom wall art, she’d want to impress her guests when she throws the long-awaited housewarming party after the long lockdown. If you have lots of people raving about your wall art, then she knows her guests would likely be impressed by it too.
So include testimonials in your website – you could increase your sales by 66%.
Tip 3: Appeal to desires and aspirations
In a saturated market you need to stand out from the crowd. I’m not talking about how amazing your wall art is. But what’s in it for Dianne? Will it evoke memories of a cherished holiday? Will it stir passion inside of her?
Make sure your product descriptions appeal to your customer’s desires, aspirations or needs. Don’t just describe your product as: “This 50cm x 90cm beautiful print comes framed in gold, printed on fine art paper and will make a stunning addition to your art collection.”
“Living in a highly urbanised world, many of us never get to stop and just look at the night sky anymore. This magical, starry night print is reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis, with its fairy tale twinkling lights and luminous gold detail. Let its beauty inspire you and make you feel like you’re part of a bigger scheme.”
Okay that’s melodramatic, but you get my drift. Make Dianne see herself with your product.
Bonus tip – offer exclusive discounts and promos for first time buyers, or returning customers
One other sweetener you could offer Dianne to convince her to buy would be to give a discount for her first purchase or a discount off her second purchase (in the form of a discount code they receive at checkout to use for their next purchase). This ensures she returns to your store again, or if she doesn’t need any more wall art, she may likely pass the discount code to her friends or family who might be interested.