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“Once entrepreneurs have correctly identified who their target customers are, it’s time to get down to work attracting them to your business,” says an Inc article written by Infusionsoft CEO, Clate Mask.

The article “5 Must-Know Ways To Attract Interest For Your Business In 2016” identifies 5 key areas businesses need to think about when it comes to attracting customers for their business. I’ve listed the 5 below and added a few of my own comments, along with some of Mask’s, to each item.

1. Think about location

Where are your prospects found, both online and offline? Where do you need to be to reach them?

Whether you have a store front location, a home-based office or a mobile office, knowing where your customers are hanging out, online and offline, and where you can reach them and attract them to your business, is important.

Are prospects looking for you online? Do you have a website? Are prospects active on social media? If so, which networks? Would your business benefit from advertising on search networks? Do they read the newspaper? Which ones? Online or print? Are your prospects at farmer’s markets? Trade shows? Chamber of Commerce events? Other community events?

If you want to reach potential customers you need to figure out where they are and find opportunities to reach/engage with them there.

2. Focus on problems

Market the solutions or benefits your product offers, or as Mask says, “You don’t need to be a marketer of your product as much as a marketer of the solutions or benefits your product offers.”

Everyone has problems. Every business, every individual. Knowing the solution you offer to the problems your potential customers have is important. How do you communicate the solutions or benefits your product offers to prospects?

The solutions or benefits your product offers to prospects should influence every area of your business activities. This includes your online presence. Your website content, search engine optimization of your website, your social networks and all of your marketing and advertising initiatives.

When the customers problems are the focus of your activities, and what you are doing is clearly to help them by providing solutions or benefits to their problems, this turns your marketing from being all about you (a focus on self-promotion) to being all about your customers and how your product or service can help them.

3. Figure out what you are known for

Figure out what you are best known for and then look for every opportunity and way to share this.

Mask shares this example of sharing, and thus reinforcing to prospects in a subtle but helpful way, what you are known for:

“For example, a local Italian restaurant could focus on fresh seafood and let that guide their unique identity in several ways. It could hold an event showcasing the fresh fish, capture video, and even explain how challenging it is to have that fresh seafood every day. In the meantime, that restaurant is setting itself apart from every other Italian food joint in town. They are solving the problem of: Where can I get fresh seafood?”

Facebook Screening Options4. Don’t hold information back

Prospects are looking for information online. Information that will help them make a decision about the products and services they are interested in. The majority of shoppers search online for information before purchasing today. The Inc. article includes a statistic from RetailNext that says “72% of your shoppers research online before purchasing.” And that number will only continue to grow!

This is one of the reasons success on social media business pages is tied to sharing content fans/followers and prospective fans/followers find valuable, interesting, helpful and/or motivational.

Marketing in a digital world has a new face from what it did even 10 years ago. Now, online prospects can easily tune your messages out with the click of a button. On Facebook, for instance, prospects can tell Facebook they aren’t interested in your posts by clicking a ‘hide post’, ‘unfollow (business name)’ or ‘Hide all from (business name)’ when they see anything that shows up from you in their timeline. This could be an ad, a promotional post or a regular post. The power is in the hands of your prospects, to engage, disengage or to stop seeing anything you post.

As Mask says, “Give prospects what they want, and they’re a lot more likely to reward you with their business.”

5.Be personal and authentic

“People want to do business with others they know, like and trust. If your brand voice is personal and authentic, that will shine through when a prospect starts interacting directly with a person at the company. There won’t be any surprises or any secrets,” says Mask.

The Inc. article wraps up with this comment, “In the end, for entrepreneurs to attract the right customers to their business, they need a combination of old-fashioned legwork and dedicated actions that speak to the problems of potential customers and how that aligns with what you offer. Finding that balance right away isn’t easy, but sticking to it will lead to more consistent sales and happier customers.”

As it always has been, it is all about the customer. Without them, we are out of business.

Click here to read the full article on Inc.

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