Careful aim is vital when introducing your company to people who don’t yet know they need you.
You have basically 3 – 5 seconds for a potential customer to see your message online or in print,
discover who you are, what do you do, and decide you’re probably their best option.
Since you never get a second chance to make a good first impression (thanks, Will Rogers),
reject the urge to throw together your business and promotional pieces. Slow down a second.
Ask yourself these 5 key questions to identify your target, take aim, and focus your resources.
1 – Who is your customer?
(Newsflash – This copy isn’t for you, it may be by you, but it’s for your customer or prospect.)
Do you have a mental picture of your ideal customer?
When you can see your ideal client or customer as an individual, your writing takes aim on your readers’ needs and wants. Picture who you’re writing to as you craft your piece, considering customer age, gender, location/region, education level, corporate position, field of work, and so on.
2 – Why is this important to your readers?
You know why it’s important to you, but why is it important to THEM?
- What do they need to KNOW as a result of reading this?
- What do they need to, or do you want them to DO, when they finish?
- This is Your Call to Action. What do they need to FEEL to help them take action?
Now write to those ends.
3 – What are the 3 most important things they need to remember?
Don’t overload them with more than three. You may have 7 – 10 things you want to communicate, all of which are important to you, but identify the three things most important to your reader and stick to those.
Do they need to see something first? Second? Third? When you include those specifics in your plan, you’ll re-write less because you took aim on the bullseye at the outset.
4 – What are the physical dimensions and characteristics of the item you’re producing?
25 words on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet probably isn’t enough – unless it’s a poster you’re producing.
Neither is a post-grad manuscript crammed onto a tri-fold brochure. (OK, that’s hyperbole.)
Borrow the “Will Build to Suit” phrase you see on signs around town and apply it to the project before you.
5 – Should we outsource this one?
To ensure you have the time to do what you do best, it’s cost-effective to enlist trusted professionals to build your website, manage your social media, and craft your email campaigns. What is your time worth? Do you want to spend several hours on something you’re adequate at but maybe not that good? Do you really want to task someone you hired to do something else to take this on, leaving what they’re best at for several hours? I didn’t think so. Outsource the project to a pro who can produce the piece efficiently and accurately. You build the homes. Sell the cars. Create the masterpiece. We’ll come alongside and take care of the marketing for you.
When you work with a professional who knows you well and whose work you respect, you share the gratification of hitting the mark. It’s more than worth the expense!
One summer day a businessman noticed targets on the side of the barn as he drove by; with arrows in every bullseye. “Whoa! Who’s the marksman?!” he wondered. He turned around and went back, politely knocked on the farmhouse screen door. A pleasant woman answered the door, somewhat puzzled by the unannounced arrival of this stranger in shirt and tie. “Don’t be alarmed, Ma’am,” he quickly offered, “I’m not here to sell you anything. I couldn’t help but notice the bullseyes on your barn. I enjoy archery myself, so had to stop and ask, ‘Could I meet the marksman?’”
The woman smiled and stepped outside. “Let me show you something,” she responded, suppressing her smile a bit. “Come along. The marksman, as you say, is my Junior High son. He’s at school right now, or I’d introduce you. But …” she paused for effect, “a couple Saturdays ago he disappeared for most of the afternoon. When my husband checked on him, the boy had shot several arrows at the barn and …” she pointed to red paint where each arrow pierced the wood. “… and then he painted his targets around them!”
“Clever!” laughed the visitor, “Thanks for letting me in on his secret.”
“Enjoy the day!” she smiled, shaking her head as his car headed out the drive.
Don’t do it that way, identify your target first, and Take Aim! Like this: