How to Find the Right Customers for Your Product - Lindsay Kirsch

How to Find the Right Customers for Your Product

In last week’s blog post, we talked about how that “there’s a lid for every pot,” meaning that there are customers looking for what you uniquely offer.

This week, we’re going to get clear on who your audience is and how you should approach them.

I Had the Right Idea, But Something Was Missing

When I left my corporate job last April, I had a game plan. I knew what I was going to do, how I was going to do it, and I expected stellar results.

And why wouldn’t I think this? It has always worked for me in corporate!

When I was in corporate, I set myself up for success. I learned the rules, what they wanted from me (usually in the form of a performance plan) and executed.

I was really good and determining the objectives, and strategizing how I would achieve them. I would set up systems and methods to get things done faster and better than ever before.

In fact, I even became a Six Sigma Greenbelt and saved my company half a million dollars because I was so good at streamlining processes!

I rocked my performance reviews… in fact, for multiple years in a row, I received the highest rating, which, according to my manager, most people never even received once in their time at the company.

Did I mention how when I left this job, they hired four people to replace me?

So, with a lot of confidence and drive, I began my journey as an entrepreneur. I created my first product. I blogged. I sold and marketed myself. I did all the things I thought you were supposed to do to be a successful entrepreneur.

I even kept track of my personal development. I worked through marketing, speaking, sales, and advertising courses. I made sure I was ALWAYS learning about my new trade.

But there were crickets. No one was interested in what I was selling.

People told me, “it looks like you are doing so great! Congratulations on your new company!”

But in reality, what I knew to do from my corporate career was not working in my entrepreneurial career.

It seemed like other people… folks who weren’t following the rules and were calling info products “training,”...were doing well, AND were successful.

This left me panicked, frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious… and even feeling very sad and depressed that I left a place where I was very successful… to one where I was sucking.

One one hand, people kept saying how great I looked on the outside… that I looked happier and my business appeared so successful.

On the other hand, inside I was freaking out. I was continuously going into more debt, pulling from my 401K and fearing that I would have to go back to the life that I left.

I wasn’t sleeping well… I’d wake up at 3am in a panic. I’d start making lists and lists of things I still had to do. I felt like I had to do everything this make this right.

I was compulsively researching, learning, trying to find out what the magic key would be to make myself successful.

My to-do list was insane, which only added to my anxiety. I was working more hours than ever before, and never taking a night or day off.

How could I not be getting this right? What was I missing?

I felt like an imposter.

Who Am I Really Talking To?

As it turns out, I really hadn’t done the work that I needed to do. I didn’t look into the current market at all. 

I didn’t know specifically who I was going to be working with. And as it turned out, I was talking to a broad audience, anyone that I thought wanted to listen, instead of my specific one.

Probably most importantly… I thought that my reputation would follow me. That because I rocked in one place, had a great network and people who wanted to work with me… that it would all just transfer over.

But the fact was, it didn’t. Corporate and entrepreneurship are two very different worlds… two very different galaxies, that are far, far away from each other. What you do in one, means nada in the other.

I was starting from scratch.

With my audience.

With my authority.

With basically everything I knew about myself.

Nobody knew who I was, and nobody gave a crap about me. Everything I had spent 12 years building, was gone again.

So here’s what I was missing: I was trying to sell my high-end products and services to people who couldn’t even afford it… or were even interested in buying…

Instead, I needed to find my audience and speak directly to them.

But the fact was, it didn’t. Corporate and entrepreneurship are two very different worlds… two very different galaxies, that are far, far away from each other. What you do in one, means nada in the other.

Make Your Audience Real

In last week’s blog post, we talked about looking for your niche [link] for your market, where you can stick out so your ideal audience can find you more easily.

Within your niche are the specific people you’re trying to reach. You’ve got to put in that market research work so you can target the right people.

So when it comes to standing out and reaching out, you need to be thinking about your audience, meeting them where they are at.

You should be thinking about what’s driving them, what their goals are, what problems they’re trying solve, where they live, and what industries they’re in.

When you keep these things in mind, this will help shape your communications with them. You have to find what makes your audience emotionally tick and speak to their specific experiences.

And remember, these are real people. After you’d done your research, one way to remember who you’re reaching is to create a buyer persona.

“Personas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.” (HubSpot)

In my case, being in corporate America is a different space than being an entrepreneur, and typically, the customers I served in my corporate job are different than the customers I serve now. So how I speak to my customers now is not the same. How I market to my customers now is not the same.

For example, in the corporate world, my customers were basically handed to me. “These people need training to do their job better.”

Now it didn’t mean they wanted or needed training, but the people were there and there was a mission that was identified for me. I just had to figure out how to validate and then solve the problem.

In entrepreneurship, I first had to find my mission. Then I had to find the people and find their missions. With my work now, I help them understand how our missions could cross paths.

In entrepreneurship, I first had to find my mission. Then I had to find the people and find their missions. With my work now, I help them understand how our missions could cross paths.

I really had to do the discovery work. I had to get on the phone with a lot of people and just talk to them. Learn about them… hear them out.

I had to learn about what is really bothering them at the core. And usually, it was much deeper than technology or putting together a curriculum. It was frustration around wanted to spread a message, and not feeling confidence on how to do so. (Exactly where I was a few months before!)

Having corporate experiences and wins definitely helped me some, but I had to dig a little deeper to connect with my audience--and so will you!

So it’s not just enough to find your niche. You have to find a way to uniquely and authentically connect with them. So make sure to make your audience real in your mind, and you’ll start to see things shift in your business.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Although you want to help as many people as possible with your info product, you have to come to accept that you really can’t help everyone. You won’t be making some cure-all. If you try to serve everyone, you end up serving far fewer people.

And then, all you’ll hear are crickets.

I don’t want that for you. I want you to find the right people for your course. I don’t want you to waste time and effort like I did. Being specific about your audience will get you the results you’re looking for.

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So what’s been your experience like finding your audience for your info product? Is there anywhere you’re getting stuck or have found some success? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.