In this week’s episode, we discuss how you can target our ideal audience for your project, course, or service business. Adrian, my co-host recently want to conference run by Dan Martell, who has built a reputation as one of the leading experts on identifying the best clients for your online business and also scaling your business effetely. In the second half of the show, we go on to discuss what are the practical ways you can market to this audience in 2019!
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP-Tonic Show. This is our Thanksgiving special. You will be listening to this after you stuffed yourself with Turkey and ham or whatever, and hopefully, you had a great time with your family. This is episode 451, it’s just going to be me and my great co-host and we’re going to be talking about a couple of fantastic topics. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to cover both. We’re going to start off with how to identify your perfect or your best clients for your [inaudible 00:58] or for your SAS or for your product, plug-in whatever it is you need to identify your ideal client base. And then after that, if we have time, we’re going to be talking about a subject that we talked a little bit with Brian Jackson or my co-hosted did, and that’s about content marketing in 2020, what will work, and what won’t work.
So before we go into the main part of the discussion, I want to talk about our major sponsor and that’s Kinsta Hosting. Kinsta Hosting, what can I say about Kinsta Hosting, which I haven’t said to you beloved listeners and viewers?
Adrian: Which is fantastic.
Jonathon: They are just fantastic. They’ve been hosting the WP-Tonic website for over two years. I’ve been so happy with their support. I’ve spoken to the key people, the founder and all the key people in Kinsta like Brian Jackson. They are a fantastic crowd. They’re top-notch people. Their support staffs are fantastic. And if you’re looking for some of the quickest hosting for your learning management system, your wooComerce or anything that needs a little bit about hosting. I would go over to Kinsta, even though they weren’t sponsoring the show, I would still purchase hosting from them. The support you get is fantastic. If that sounds interesting, go over to Kinsta. Look around, probably buy one of their packages, and please tell them that you heard about them on the WP-Tonic Show, so over to you Adrian.
Adrian: Yes, so this weekend I schlepped it out to Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital, where Justin Trudeau and the rest of parliament like to hang out. I went and got a couple of tours, and I went to go see the house of commons. That was pretty cool. They were actually having it in the courtyard because parliament is literally falling apart, but that’s beside the point. I went to go see Dan Martell. If you’re not familiar with Dan Martell, he’s actually coming on the show in 2020 in January, so that’s going to be exciting. But Dan is essentially built up a reputation like the SAS guy. If you’re trying to grow software as a service business, you can talk to Dan as he’s going to give you like the framework to grow it from a hundred people on your platform to a thousand to 10,000 to a hundred thousand all the way until your [inaudible 03:21].
Like that’s essentially what he’s training on. So I went to do his one-day power workshop in Ottawa. It was about a four-hour drive, and I learned a few things, a chief among, which was a couple of strategies which I’m about to share with you, number one, being able to really focus down and narrow your ideal client. A great man once said I don’t know who that man is, but it certainly wasn’t me. If you’re selling to everybody, you’re selling to nobody, right? That’s kind of like rule number one in marketing.
Jonathon: I agree with that, so it taught me, unfortunately, I’m a very slow learner, so it took me much too long to learn that but it’s so true, Adrian.
Adrian: You have to pick an audience, right? And then you have to serve that audience. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t sell to several different audiences. And by the way, I can’t take credit for anything in the show that I’m explaining. I am literally just going to reiterate the information that I learned so that you don’t have to go out and learn it from somewhere else. So I take credit for nothing on this particular show, but it’s not to say that you can’t go out and sell to other people. As you focus in on, really hone in what your ideal client is, all of the other groups that are like similarly related will be brought in by like a halo effect. Just by virtue of you serving that one target market really, really, really well, other target markets will fall in, and then you can still serve those markets.
But I’m from a marketing message and positioning standpoint, it’s really helpful to focus in on what that ideal client and I’ll use myself as an example about how you can go about doing this. So Groundhogg, which is my company, we’ve built CRM marketing automation tools for WordPress. We typically serve three different kinds of customers. We have DIY-ers, WordPress do it yourselfers. They learned about setting up a WordPress website, they’re following the blogs, they’re following the tutorials, they’re doing the DIY thing and it’s their side hustle. They’re starting their business. They’re starting the course, whatever it is, but they’re doing it themselves. That’s chief market number one.
Market number two is we serve as something or people called the switchers. Now the switchers are people who already have a business, already have all that stuff set up, but they’re on active campaign, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, and they’re not loyal and they’re just going from platform to platform trying out to find the best fit for their business. That’s market number two. Market number three which I actually chose as our ideal market for the purpose of the following exercise is agencies. Agencies are typically people who have a very high level of education when it comes to marketing. They are typically people who have a typically high level of credit on their credit card, so they are where the big bucks come from. And they also not only do implementation for themselves, but they do implementation for a variety of other clients who entrust with them the marketing, like Jonathan who does LMS.
So I chose to, for the purpose of the exercise to really focus down on the problems that agencies have. Now before I move forward. If you are struggling on actually picking that target market, and you have a product that could be used by a lot of people. It doesn’t matter if it can be used by a lot of people, go through your existing customer list and find either like the biggest demographic or the people that you’re just most happy to serve. That could be because they have the most money to spend. They have the least amount of support questions. For me, like most you spend, the least amount of support questions was like agencies for me, which is why I chose agencies. But it could be of various different amounts, if factors, and then I’m going to explain to you if you’re looking on YouTube and if you’re not, you should be. I am showing a workbook that I currently have on the camera and it is a way to narrow down the actual focus of your customer market.
So number one is you write down all of the things that your product does, your solution, the features that it has. For example, you can send emails, you can create funnels, pages, tracking, any of that stuff, whatever your solution or course has. So if it’s a course, you do videos, you do office hours; you do YouTube, whatever it is that you do for your course. If you’re doing a core-specific, its membership just laid on the features of your membership– Go ahead.
Jonathon: Can I just quickly interrupt. Is this the process that Dan kind of walked through with you?
Adrian: Absolutely. I am like, this is right here. If you’re looking on YouTube, you can look at it. So second, lay down the benefits of what your product or solution offers. So in my case, it allows you to save time, save time, implementing save money, where a less expensive solution than a lot of other software service platforms. We get to maximize your follow-up. So if you’re not doing any follow-up right now, we can help you achieve that. But you can, of course, modify these benefits to whatever your course provides. So if the benefit of your course is, you saved on taxes because your course is about doing taxes, then that is a great benefit. Number three, lay down any social proof that you have, reviews, testimonials, case studies and then really narrow down your price. If you don’t have a price yet, that’s okay, kind of just throw out a ballpark number, right? Because not all prices fit all target markets, you have to very much so tailor the price to your target market.
As an example, you wouldn’t expect to go to an enterprise company and say, we’re only $19 a month and you should buy us, right? An enterprise company is not going to take that seriously because they are used to spending $10,000 a month, if not more for software. So you have to make sure that whatever you end up choosing your price fits within that $19 a month would be more akin to small business. Or if you’re like a consumer product, focusing on selling to consumers, things like that. So number two and this comes in where I was talking about we have our three customer segments. You nail down your target markets. So if you have multiple, write them all down, so in my case, again, for the purpose of iteration, it was DIY-ers, we had switchers and we had agencies. Those were the three target markets that we know we serve and that we currently have in the client roster. And number three, this is where we really start to focus it down and you get to choose one. You don’t get to choose all because again, if you sell it to everybody, you sell to nobody, so you had to choose one.
Focus on an industry that you enjoy serving. So if you are a course creator, and let’s say you have a tax course, you get to learn how to do your taxes and save on your taxes. An industry that you could choose would be for e-commerce because e-commerce sites have to do a lot of different taxes in a lot of different States. And e-commerce taxes are becoming increasingly more difficult as legislation throughout the globe changes rapidly. So if you have a course I’m doing that messaged me because I will buy it, I would make a great customer for you. But you get to focus in on an industry that makes sense. Number two, I choose a revenue stream for you or a revenue percentage that your client has. So again, running through the tax e-commerce industry, your typical revenue-generating e-commerce business that has to pay taxes, it’s like a hundred thousand a year plus–
Jonathon: I think that’s extremely important actually and it’s a step that most people–
Adrian: Yes, we have to know how much our clients are making because we have to tailor our solution to the actual level of revenue that or the level of business that our clients are operating at. Or even if you’re a B to C customer, not necessarily a B to B business at least operating within framework that are the level of I don’t want to say intelligence, but kind of like, just the level that they’re operating within their daily lives and with their daily routines, and I dropped my workload. There we go. Okay, nail down any technology that they’re using. So if it is a B to B customer, analyze what technology they use because then you can go up to those technologies and see, Hey listen, is there an opportunity in order to like cross-promote work together?
Or at least you can self-identify, Hey listen, we’re going to train you on how to use this technology. And they’re like, I already use that technology, this is awesome, this must be a solution for me. And always remember to focus down on a pain that that segment or this profile, there’s a literal profile of the customer that we’re building out. Whatever their pain point is, is something that you can like latch onto and make hurt even more until they realize, I need your solution in order to help me satisfy or remove this pain from my business, from life whatever is it that you’re helping accomplish.
Jonathon: As you’ve been explaining this, I’ve been thinking, and I don’t know if you agree with this, it doesn’t happen all that often, but if I hit a website and its message is really honed in and it’s a product or service that I know I need, I might not know [inaudible 12:39], but if they offer like a monthly or a certain period where the trial period, I’ll go for it, I will buy it, or try out. I surprised myself. I think it’s really honing and having the marketing message that really resonates with your target audience, doesn’t it?
Adrian: There’s no question about it. If you go to a site and it says, this– I’ll give you an example. I actually wrote one down here. Alright, if you go to a site and their headline is “we help your business grow”. What does that, you know, immediately you think, well how do you know what my business is? How do you know where I’m at? What stage am I? What might be better, and what might resonate more with people or people visiting your website, potential customers is we help eCommerce businesses in between 10K and a hundred thousand K in revenue achieve X results, right? That is a lot more honed in and can immediately help you, as self identifies like, okay, I am your customer, right? We don’t need to tell people, our job as marketers and as business people is not to necessarily tell the customer that we’re the solution that they need. It’s for them to self-identify that we’re the solution they need. And we can do that by really focusing and really narrowing down who makes up the perfect client for us.
And I think if you don’t know, you can go like download the workbook that I’ve been working off is actually available online. It’s called–
Jonathon: You can get it off his website, can you?
14:32: Adrian: Yes, you can get it off his website. It’s a lead magnet that he provides. It’s called The Customer Niche Focuser. Okay, so for anybody who wants to write that down, that’s The Customer Niche Focuser; it’s the lead magnet that you can get; just Google it and you’ll see it come up.
Jonathon: I think he’s going at the Rocky demo builder, I’m not sure.
Adrian: Yes, that’s the one he’s currently doing. That’s not necessarily for everybody he actually, in the course we learned what the appropriate what he called a conversion tool is, so if you’re doing 10,000 or more in annual contract value, so if a customer’s paying you over $10,000 a year, then a demo would be the appropriate conversion tool. Anything under that is generally best served by a free trial because under a 10K and annual contract value is not exactly scalable. Because for that you need a sales team and it’s really hard to pay a sales team a fair amount when you’re doing less than 10 K in annual contract value. So that’s just something that if you’re kind of deciding on which conversion tool that you need for your business–
Jonathon: I better removes the demo off my Mail-Right, I going to do that. I think we’re going to wrap it up for this half of the show. We’re probably going to go on to the content marketing part in the second half. We’ll be back in a few moments folks..
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Jonathon: We’re coming back, after this I’m going skiing Adrian. I’ve got a couple of friends–
Adrian: Are you?
Jonathon: [Inaudible 16:37] and we were off to do our first couple of runs and then we’re off to have something to eat afterward.
Adrian: I use to be on the ski team in my high school, I never placed, but it was a fun trip.
Jonathon: We’re skiing at heavenly, so we’re going to heavenly. So onto content marketing, so did Don or I should say Don-Dane or Donny-Dane. Did he cover content marketing?
Adrian: He did. And what we were previously talking about ties into this very neatly. So pretty much everything in your business, all of your marketing, basically, every strategy that you’ll ever implement falls down from the target market that we’ve chosen to identify. We actually gave the, our target market and name; I came up with Digital Marketer Dave, is a big customer that I want to sell to because Digital Marketer, Dave works in an agency, he is the decision-maker, and he’s also an implementer. And that’s just anybody who’s been those three things in at least in my customer roster has just been an excellent customer for me. So I chose the five problems that Digital Marketer Dave has, so if you’re currently watching this, why don’t you, you can follow along. But give that person that we just discovered a name and let’s come up with five different pain points that they constantly suffer from. And Jonathan, you are by no doubt going to resonate with the five problems that I chose for Digital Marketer Dave.
Jonathon: Well, you’re to have a problem if I [inaudible 18:09]
Adrian: So number one, the first problem that came up is productization. Agencies always struggle to come up with productization efforts and they ended up sending the quote for like billed hourly and it’s usually a painful experience on the back-end. Some agencies are really good at doing it. I was never really good at doing it. So coming up with some sort of productized service has always been like at the forefront of the agency’s mind, which is something that never really materializes.
Jonathon: Well, I think one of the reasons for that, just quickly is that, if you’re a generalistic agency based on geography, most successful agencies are based on geography. What I mean by that is they’re based on the personal relationships that they develop over a number of years in their local communities. And then they have to take a very wide spectrum of different projects. If you can niche refining, which WP engine, oh dear I mention them, WP-Tonic; we specialize in learning management systems, that’s our gig, where it’s a lot easier if you got a specialization, isn’t it?
Adrian: Exactly, well, again, it’s all about niche refining, identifying your target market, and by identifying your target market and speaking directly to the pain points that your target market is feeling you can branch out beyond geography. And you can do cross border, you can do cross-state, you can do from Canada, the United States, really the possibility is that point at least it allows you to scale a lot more. But speaking of scaling, scaling was pain point number two. Talents scaling bringing, being able to bring on more customers because the 10 customers that you already have, their projects aren’t finished yet. So scaling is always a constant pain point for agencies. Implementation and execution some agencies have more problem with this than others, but it is kind of like most common denominator. Being able to actually launch your client’s projects on time efficiently with the least amount of resistance from the client is definitely an art form. A customer churn, again, some agencies more so than others, but a lot of customers or a lot of agencies experience churn and that is always something [inaudible 20:30].
Jonathon: I’ll give you an example of a number two. I’ve learnt the hard way for the two and a half years that I’ve been specializing in learning management system. If a client comes to me and they say, we want a full custom design, a full-service quotation from you, and they haven’t developed the content yet. Well, I won’t take them on unless they want, I can send them to a small group of partners that can do the videos for them and can help them write the content. The reason why I won’t take them on, well I will take them on, but I only take them on with the provisor that we provide a site with dummy content and then we get our final payment and then they finish it off.
Adrian: Otherwise it never finishes.
Jonathon: Well, it never finishes. They never get the content done in time. If they’ve got the content we give them two quotes. We’ll give them three quotes actually, but one of those quotes is the quote where they’ve put the content in and finished and then we launch, or a quote that we put the content that they’ve developed onto the website and that’s worked a lot better.
Adrian: Well, that’s productization right there, so you’re solving that pain point, but every unfinished client, right? Every non-launched project that an agency has, is it literal tax on the amount of new business that you can bring in and your daily energy to willingness to accomplish the existing projects. For every, and as they build up it becomes more and more and more taxing. So that is a literal, and probably the biggest pain point that I actually have on my sheet. And the last one, just to kind of wrap it up, is scope creep something that agencies always deal with. Now, the question at this point is what the hell do all of these things, these five pain points that I’ve listed out, what do any of those have to do with a digital marketing and email marketing product?
That’s the question and I can tie in the new wants of how it relates, but really the actual purpose of this exercise is not necessarily to establish your product is the right fit for your target market, but rather to establish you as an expert in the target market. I used to work in an agency, so I personally have experienced all of these physical pain points. And when I decided to write my content that speaks directly to agencies, I don’t necessarily need it to be super salesy and say, “listen, agencies need to buy my product because of X, X, X, X”. The content that I want to be producing is not necessarily to copy to sell my product, but just to identify myself as an expert ad agency, right? So for example, to identify productization, which is a big pain point, I would write an article, something like this, “learn how to produce the ultimate pricing table framework for agencies”, that has nothing to do with sending emails, but it at least establishes me as an expert in servicing agencies.
So, all of the content that you are writing, for whatever your particular course, your particular SAS business, your WordPress, your product business, or your agency, what you want to be doing is not necessarily just every time you write a blog post be like, Hey listen, you need to buy this product and here are the reasons why. It needs to be “Here is a pain point that you have, here is how we were able to solve it for ourselves, and here’s the framework that we used and here are the steps, but you need to go through to solve it for yourself”. The result of providing that level of value in the level of content is going to end up in your sales pipeline at some point.
Jonathon: So to summarize the concept which you’re just trying to outline it, is that you don’t necessarily; the posts that you write, it has to be in the confines of your target audience and have some linkage to the products. But it doesn’t have to have a direct linkage.
Adrian: It does not have to have a direct linkage. So, for example, I might be able to write as a kind of like indirect linkage is for the productization. One of the unique features of Groundhogg is you’re able to easily import and export your funnel templates. So you can just, and they’re very portable, you can move them from site to site. So if you’re an agency, what you might be able to do is create a black Friday template, and when Black Friday rolls around, you have a productized ready to go template that you can implement and sell to your existing client list. So the email might go out, it’s like, Hey, listen, client list, we developed this awesome Black Friday template. It worked really well for us last year and we’d love to share it with you. The price for implementing this per client is $1,000. Email us back if you want us to do that for you; you get the email back, et cetera.
So I might write an article explaining how to do this exact process. If you’re an agency, and you’re not doing Black Friday deals, you should absolutely be doing that. It’s a great way to increase your revenue in the month of November and December. What you need to do is you need to do the following steps. You need to create a template, whatever it is. It could be a Groundhogg funnel, it could be a page, it could be an active campaign, it could be whatever, but you get to choose. Then you get to sell you get to email your existing clients, say, “Hey listen, we have this funnel template we’d love to implement to you. Come up with a price of implementation”. If it takes a few hours, set it at like $1,500 and that’s how the blog article goes.
It’s just that step by step process regardless of the tech stack of the products that you’re using. Again, it’s all about establishing yourself as an expert in the target market. That will help them self-identify that your company, your brand, regardless of the solution is the right one, is something that they want to be around. It is something that they want to invest in as something that they want to be a part of and eventually that’s just going to result in them buying whatever it is that you have.
Jonathon: Yes, I can see it. Any other tips about content marketing that he provided that’s–?
Adrian: So if you’re struggling with actually coming up with a schedule for your content because writing content is a pretty daunting task, some people are really good at it. I personally am not, so I appreciate having frameworks and ways to actually [inaudible 27:07] which content to invest in.
Jonathon: I’ve actually got a writer that works with me and we work out; I do the SEO research and I contribute to the articles to some extent depending on the subject matter. But we are work out a six-month calendar, and then which I do the research beforehand and then we have a tutorial meeting, and we work out about two to three posts per month.
Adrian: That’s pretty impressive, but if you’re struggling to figure out the actual calendar itself, right? So you said that you have a calendar, you figure out the calendar, right? Not everybody knows how to actually create– alright, well, what content will actually be relevant to my target audience. So again, it all comes down from the target audience. So we laid out those five pain points. Again, for agencies as an example, it was scope creep productization scaling, implementation execution, and customer churn. So what should you do is, you write five articles for each one of those particular pain points. You don’t have to do them all at once. But let’s say you write one blog post or one piece of content. Could be YouTube video, could be a blog post, whatever type of content that you want to provide. It could be a lead magnet; it could be whatever, just one a week.
Week one, you write an article about productization, week two, scaling, week three, implementation execution, week four, customer churn, week five, scope creep, week seven, prioritization, again, and it just kind of like goes in a circular pattern. If you’re looking on YouTube, you can actually physically see what it looks like. It’s literally just a circle and you choose one and then you just keep going around and around. And that way you hit all five hotspots, the hot pain points, that agencies experience or whatever your product-market experience or target market, sorry. Whatever your target market experiences, and you just nail that in week after week after week and you’ll end up with like 50 articles, one for every week of the year.
Jonathon: Yes, that’s a good idea. I think we got to wrap it up now. So what’s the best way to learn more about you and what Groundhogg is up to?
Adrian: So if you’re interested, if you’re an agency and you’re like, “Wow, this guy’s an expert on agencies, he’s for me”, as I’ve tried to establish throughout this show, then you can head on over to groundhogg.io. And learn about how Groundhog will able to help you with those five pain points that we keep establishing over and over again. So again, that’s Groundhog with two g’s.IO, and if you’re interested in any of the frameworks, because again, none of this information is my own. I went to go like get this information from someone else. The guy who I got it from is Dan Martell. He’s really smart and he has most of these things, most of the frameworks that I talked about as lead magnets that you can go and get from his site.
Jonathon: Yes, I got to say I think I was looking over your site this morning actually, and I think you’ve improved it enormously. The kind of key messaging and just the general craftsmanship that’s shown on the pages, it’s improved.
Adrian: We’re probably going to go back.
Jonathon: [Inaudible 30:21]
Adrian: I mean, I just got back from like this thing, literally two days ago, and, or wait, today’s Wednesday. So yesterday I came back the day before yesterday, sorry. And now well, we’ve got to focus on agencies so I’m going to have to go back and I’m going to have to tailor the content to speak directly to, again, the five pain points that agencies constantly experienced and how we can help agencies launch projects faster because we do help agencies launch products faster. They don’t know none of the technical mumbo jumbo of integrating CRM to website and all of that stuff.
Jonathon: Alright, if you want to find out more about WP-Tonic, just go to the WP-Tonic website folks. If you really want to support the show, I’m going to have some hats done with WP-Tonic on them and they’re going to be available in the end of January. So I’ll be having a page where there’ll be about two different colors and it will have WP-Tonic on them. Anybody that goes to iTunes and leave us a review, just take a screenshot of the review, send it to us and then choose which hat you want, and I will send it to you probably at the end of January. So just send those screenshots of the iTunes reviews that you leave for us and you’d be able to keep your WP-Tonic hat sent to you.
Adrian: That’s very generous; I’m going to go leave a review because I want a hat.
Jonathon: You want a hat as well. I think it’s going to work out quite well, ain’t it? It’s a little reward for the people that do leave us a review, and Adrian I felt that would be a nice thing to do. We will be back next week with another great guest. We got some fantastic guests coming up in the next couple of months. We’ll see you soon folks, bye.
Adrian: Bye everybody.
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