I spend a lot of time listening to what businesses and entrepreneurs struggle with most, and the questions are remarkably similar across industries:
- How do you set yourself apart from others? How do you determine what makes you “different” from the competition?
- How do you deal with negative reviews, especially those that came from people who were never even customers?
- I’m trying to start some advertising; other than age and gender, how do I really target the people who are going to click and buy?
There’s nothing wrong or unusual about the questions, but there is something ironic about their solutions – they’re all the same! Social listening. It’s not a glamorous title, and that might be one of the reasons it gets little attention in business talk, but it really is the elephant in the room.
What’s the fastest way to figure out how you differ from the competition? Just listen! All the information about your competitors, that their customers see, is just as easy for you to pull up – whether it’s on Google, Facebook or any number of places. There are even some easy tricks to search people talking about the product or service that’s relevant to you and see what the customers are saying about those who sell them. Imagine how quickly you might notice what’s different between you and them.
The second point gets some attention, but only because “reputation management” is a slightly more popular subject. Business have at least come as far as knowing that reviews matter, but there are many who still “don’t know what they don’t know”. That means they also don’t know how much business they could be losing because of reviews they don’t know exist! Imagine, setting up a free, simple Google Alert could deliver you an email every day, letting you know who’s mentioned your brand and how.
Finding out how to define your target audience is an exercise that, for many, ends up in analysis paralysis. Chances are, you started selling products or services to these people because something clicked between them as customers and what you provide. Remember that, then get online and start listening. Most internet users are pretty straightforward when it comes to talking about what’s on their mind! When you’ve found the people who are talking about things that are relevant to your business, you’re getting warm. When you start seeing the commonalities among them, you’re getting hot!
The point is that it’s all there to see, clear as day, if you only get past the fear of “how” (if that’s a holdup) and take some easy steps to figure it all out – fast! I’m holding a free, 4-part mini-class short enough to hold any attention span, but informative enough to get you past that initial hurdle in what are probably the most important 3 questions you can ever ask in business. No sales pitches, no strings, just 4 short videos and probably a couple value-packed downloads to help you make the most of them and get your business branded well and targeting like a sniper!