How long did it take you to answer this question? In other words, do you already have a clear, definite idea of your key business objectives?
Many entrepreneurs don’t. Or, I should say – they don’t beyond “I need to make a living” or “I need to pay my bills.”
NOT a good business objective. One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Sonia Simone, Sr. Editor at Copyblogger.com. It goes:
If your business model is “I want to make money on the Internet,” you’re not going to get very far. The Internet is profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it.
I think we can safely take this a bit further. Not only is the Internet profoundly indifferent to your desire to make money with it – your intended customers – those all-important first-time visitors to your site – are actually resistant to it. More often than not, the money you are hoping to make will need to come out of their wallets – and believe me, they know this.
This explains why web surfers are such a skeptical bunch. It seems everywhere you turn, someone is trying to get some of your hard-earned money.
Of course, some online offers are legitimate and worthwhile. Others? Not so much.
Therefore, it’s very difficult to build a solid, sustainable business if your primary business objectives are focused solely on your wants and needs. First, you need to demonstrate that you can solve real problems and build a little trust and credibility with your audience. It takes more time to do this online than off – it is just the nature of the online beast – but it is possible to achieve by being consistent, honest and committed to providing value to your readers.
One great way you can speed up this process is to build/solidify your professional reputation as a go-to expert in your field. Your length of time in business and any professional awards, credentials or degrees you have obtained are definitely worth noting. In addition, writing insightful and beneficial articles and guest blog posts are great ways to accomplish this with content.
So, once again we are back to providing value to your readers and committing to the “give” side of the relationship. If you already have clear business objectives that keeps your customer in mind, kudos!
If not, this is a really important first step to not only identifying your ideal customer – but also will help clarify how to find more of those type of clients – and how to keep them happy and coming back for years to come.
Til Next Time,
PS Next week, I’ll continue this discussion by taking a look at specific ways to identify your ideal customer based on your overall business objectives, how to create customer profiles, and how to use content to drive this entire process. Be sure to sign up for our RSS feed (icon at the top of the page) to get the rest of the series!