How to Reach Your Perfect Customer

1) Figure out who you're trying to reach and what they need - what are their glaring problems that you can help with? What's keeping them from reaching their goal?

2) Figure out how you'd like to position yourself, your brand, in their eyes. Branding is hard, but it's simple - it's what people say about you when you're not in the room. Your reputation. List out all the adjectives that you'd like people to use to describe you.

3) Figure out how their needs and your branding intersect to create an unfair advantage. Are you the lowest cost? The fastest? The most fun? Do you get them there in a socially or environmentally conscious way? It isn't enough to define who you are and who they are. You have to answer the 'so what' question.

4) Figure out where your perfect customer spends their time - and then start spending your time there. Once your positioning is defined, interact, engage, add value, and start to act in all those ways you want to be perceived.

5) Figure out what you can offer them to make it a no-brainer for them to do business with you. Orthopedic surgeons don't spend time worrying about what color their add to cart button is. They don't set up complicated sales funnels or try to lure you in. When you have a broken arm, you go to them because they're the only ones who can fix your problem. That needs to be you.

6) Figure out how to deliver AWESOME service. Once people are doing business with you, amaze them with how much you help. Do the stuff that doesn't scale. Treat them like family. Give a shit.

Congratulations. You win now.

You Have Permission to Suck

It takes a lot of courage to be new. To be bad at it. To struggle, and keep struggling.

It takes patience, and it takes determination, and it will make you better.

It’s lonely, though, and frustrating, and awkward, and you just feel clueless.

So many new business owners (and established ones) avoid it. Avoid being bad at stuff. Avoid the hard parts where you’re running on wobbly legs.

So they don’t do the things they know they should do and they focus on the stuff that’s more fun, more interesting, easier to show off to the people who you want to pat you on the back.

They order a new book on Amazon because if they can just read ONE MORE book about how to do that one thing then that’s when everything will fall into place.

They make sure their fonts are right on their website and the blocky sans serif is just the right weight to complement the scripty serif that will really set things off. That’s what my customers have really been looking for, right?

They sign up for new subscription services or watch another YouTube video that tells them the same thing the last one did, which is what they should be doing, which is not complicated - but it is hard as hell.

They need to try to sell and be told no until they get told yes.

They need to help someone.

They need to get feedback that maybe they’re close to the perfect offering, the perfect service, the perfect product, but they’re not there yet.

Then they need to iterate. They need to refine. They need to try again.

But that’s hard and it’s painful and they’re going to take a few punches to the jaw before they get it right.

But more importantly than any of that is that it’s necessary.

You have to fail more times than the other people will even try.

And you don’t have to get it right the first time. You have lots of tries.

In fact, if you did nail it right away, you probably didn’t reach high enough.

Try again. Try better. Fail again. Fail better.

Allow yourself to be a beginner, and get to work.

Love you.

Hey. Have fun.

Have fun.

With your business.

With your friends.

With your customers.

With your ads.

With your weekends.

And your weekdays.

Have fun.

With your craft.

With your purpose.

The ones who are having the fun, who are unapologetically authentic, who don't take themselves too seriously.

They're the ones who get to play the long game.

They don't deal with the burnout.

They don't get caught up with hustle and grind.

They don't work 18 hour days.

They sleep at night.

They can't tell when work stops and play starts.

Because it all ends up looking about the same.

On Influencer Marketing

You move to a brand new city. You don’t know a soul, but you love rock climbing, so you decide to check out the rock climbing gym a couple blocks down the road.

While you’re there, you kind of keep to yourself because it’s your first time, you don’t know anyone, and you’re just trying to get in a good climb. But you need someone to secure your rope, so you walk up to someone you’ve seen who looks like they know what they’re doing, you introduce yourself and ask if you can work together for a little while.

This person holds the rope for you as you scale the wall, making the toughest wall in the place look easy.

As you come down, your new friend smiles at you and says, “Whoa! Great job! That’s a really tough wall - here, come meet some of my friends.”

They bring you over to a large group of people smiling, laughing, and having a great time enjoying their day in the climbing gym and introduce you to the group. As you shake hands and get to know these people, your partner from earlier walks behind the desk, answers the phone, and greets a new group of people walking in to climb -

“Oh man,” you realize. “that’s the owner of the gym.”

And the introduction that they made to the large group you’re now a part of is a phenomenon called social proof. They already had credibility in this group, and they let you borrow some of it.

So now, rather than having to look in from the outside or figure out what to say to get to know these people, you’re already in.

And the reason why is because you were good enough.

If you didn’t have a clue what to do when you were on the wall, the likelihood of getting that introduction in the first place is way lower. They may have helped you, maybe referred you to one of their coaches, maybe ignored you after holding the rope for you once or twice.

And that’s how influencer marketing works.

You’re intentionally looking for people who have a connection with a group that you want to connect with, and you’re demonstrating value to that person. It greases the grooves for them to show you off to their network, which is the network you want to be in too.

So influencer marketing requires a couple of things -

  1. The attention of an influencer: this can be gotten a number of ways - you can pay them for their time, you can be so good that they find out about you anyway, or you can play a numbers game and helpfully reach out until you get the attention of someone in your desired network who’s willing to give you a little time.

  2. The ability to deliver value: Maybe you aren’t the best rock climber in the world. Maybe you walk into the gym because you want to get to know people there and instead of showing off how awesome you are, you figure out a way to make their life easier by working for free on something or contributing in some other way. Maybe you can’t pay an influencer in the fashion space but you can take awesome photographs of their products for them to use on their feed for free. Figure out where the intersection of their needs and your skills is, and then leverage that.

If you can do those 2 things, influencer marketing can be the jet fuel that really kicks off your reputation and your network in any field. The gym is open. Go climb.

Also important to remember - there’s no one-size fits all solution for this kind of thing, so if you want to tell me a little more about your specific situation, I can help you build a custom plan that meets your needs. Schedule a call and let’s get to work.

The Stuff You Have to Do

How much time are you spending every day on stuff you “have to” do?

What if you didn’t?

What if you weren’t worried about what people thought or about those things you’re working so hard for?

What if you didn’t need them?

What if the journey and the process and the adventure of it all was the goal?

Then, as soon as you start, you win. You’ve made it. You get to enjoy it. Starting right at that exact moment.

And you get to get better at it. One day, one post, one customer at a time.

Because when it’s “as soon as…” or “once I get here I’ll…” you might as well stop.

Because those goalposts never stop moving. It’s the horizon you never reach.

But when it’s “let me tell you about…” or “today I get to…” and it’s the stuff that blows your hair back, that’s when you’re on the right track.

Because there’s always a way to monetize - that’s easy.

It’s listening to yourself and tuning out all the stuff that’s the really hard part.

The Kind of Marketing I Want to Do

I think a business is a really cool thing for someone to want to build.

And it takes guts and intelligence and a whole lot of grit to do it.

And most of the time good people start businesses because they see something wrong and they want to fix it.

And so helping good people build good businesses is, to me, a valuable thing, a worthy thing, to spend time on.

This means it’s really important that the companies I choose to work with are companies I admire, companies I really want to see succeed.

And it’s really important that the people who run those companies are talented and engaged and positive and give a shit about leaving the world a little better than they found it.

Because when they’re giving their whole self, I have no problem giving my whole self to see them succeed. I feel good about it, actually.

And the people who hold back and only check the boxes they have to check and only do the things they have to do make it feel gross and unfair and wrong when I give any more than that.

It’s important to do work that’s hard and that isn’t what you already know how to do. And that’s a little bit scary because as much as I like my comfort zone, I don’t want to spend a lot of time there.

It’s important to do work where the solution isn’t right in front of your eyes, or at least the best solution isn’t.

And that makes it fun to work with people who demand great solutions to big problems.

And I want those people who are fixing those big problems with their businesses to be doing it in a way that’s based on really delivering value and not just scamming people into the next transaction.

And all this stuff matters, or it should anyway, because it guides the critical decisions I make every day - who do I work with? What gets my attention? What gets my time, my effort?

I want to spend my hours, my days, my working life, helping people bring their visions to life. Visions that matter. That people rally around. Visions I can believe in too.

How to Grow Your Instagram Following

Instagram is basically human interaction distilled down to square image and video form.

I want you to imagine that you just moved to a new city where you don’t know a soul. You can sit in your house, look out your window, go shopping once a week, take your dog for a walk, keep your head down, watch what’s going on, and before long… you still won’t know anyone.

So if you want to make more friends, you need to be more friendly. That means having something to say (your posts and stories) in a way that’s compelling, interesting, inspiring, educational, whatever. And it means joining conversations in a meaningful way.

If you’re smart, teach people stuff.

If you’re funny, make them laugh.

If you’re uplifting, inspire them.

And then just like you would in any interpersonal relationship, ask questions, give feedback, respond when people ask you questions, and join conversations already taking place (by using relevant hashtags to find posts with high engagement and jumping into those conversations).

Last, you have to keep showing up. Show people you’re dependable. They can count on you to be where you said you’d be. If you drop off the face of the earth, you drop out of the conversation in their mind. They stop looking for you.

In terms of actual execution, plan your posts out, even if it’s just in the notes app on your phone - what’s your caption going to say? What’s the purpose, what are you trying to accomplish? What’s your picture going to look like? How will you convey your message visually?

But make your stories natural and spontaneous. When something interesting happens, record it, take a picture, and share your thoughts about it. When an idea strikes, record a story. When your dog does something funny, post it. All of those things humanize you in the eyes of your audience and build the relationship you’re trying to build.

Last, it’s worth asking what you’re trying to accomplish. Eyes for the sake of eyes on your content is essentially worthless. Are you trying to leverage your audience so that you become a go-to person in a particular niche? Your comments and posts need to stay primarily in that world. You can’t be everything to everybody and there’s no sense in building an audience just for the sake of building an audience.

Neighbors - Your Email List

When I was a kid, my family was really close with the family that lived next door. I played with their kids, our parents hung out together, and we generally spent a lot of time together. We were friends.

I remember being young and seeing a key on a hook in our house that had their last name written on it and I asked my mom if it was a key to their house. It was, and she explained that we needed it in case there was ever an emergency and that they had a key to our house too.

There was never an emergency that required that we go into their house like that, but the point was that we had mutual permission.

That’s how email marketing works.

We each had permission to go into the other’s space, and that’s what you have if someone subscribes to your email list. They’re in essence telling you, “If you need me, here’s the key. Come on in.”

Now, just like anything, we could have abused it in two opposite ways. We could have walked in uninvited every single day asking for stuff. After a few days of that, they’re going to ask for their key back.

Or we could have completely dropped off the face of the earth, stopped hanging out with them, and then barged in one day asking them to do something for us. Also probably not going to happen.

But by treating your email subscribers the way you treat the other important relationships in your life (and make no mistake, those subscribers are important relationships), you can gain, grow, and leverage the trust you’ve built.

Show up regularly to add value to their lives. Tell them about what’s going on in your world, share things that can help them, encourage them when they’re feeling down, check in on them when you haven’t heard from them in a while, and when you need something, you’ll have the capital built up in your relationship to ask for it and get it. That includes selling your new product, inviting them to come to your show, or asking them to introduce you to someone they’re connected with.

It works with neighbors and it works with your email list.

If you’re ready to start building your list or building your relationship with them, let’s schedule a call.

the RUCKUS framework

Hey you beautiful little unicorn. Here’s how to turn strangers into friends and friends into customers and customers into raving fans. This is the path to growing your business. To making a ruckus. And because I want to really hammer that point home, I give you...

the RUCKUS framework.

 

R - Reach

Customer Avatar, Branding, channels, etc.


This is how you introduce yourself to potential customers who don’t know anything about you. It’s the first impression - on both sides. It’s who you are and it’s who they are. What kinds of people are you trying to serve, and how would they describe you when they encounter you? When those questions have been answered, this phase is complete.


U - Understanding

Content, Before/After, Offers, Grunt Test, etc.


This is the phase where you demonstrate your expertise, or you entertain, or you inspire. It’s all the content that you put out on your social channels, your blog, your email series, your YouTube. In your customer’s mind, it answers the question, “how can this product or service fix my problem?” It lets them know what you do and what you offer them to take them where they want to go.


C - Conversion

Value Ladder, Offers, Sales Processes, Pricing, etc.


At this point, the customer is spending time or money with you. A fully fleshed out conversion plan will feature entry level offers that allow you to receive micro-commitments from your customers - from collecting their phone number and email address to small purchases that fundamentally change the relationship between you and your customer. In fact, this is when they move from just a friend (after engaging with your content in the last stage) to a customer. They’re making a commitment and investing in you.


K - Knockout Service

Connection Steps, Follow Up Processes, Service Deliverability, Customer Service, etc.


Price is the story we tell about how much value someone will receive from what we do. Basic pricing is simple - if people feel like they’re getting more out of a deal than they’re paying for it, they’ll take the deal. McDonalds would rather have the $3 than the hamburger because they create it for less than $3. You’d rather have the hamburger than the $3 because of what it provides in convenience, flavor, and overall experience. So they happily sell it and you happily buy it.

This is the phase where you actually deliver that value. You follow up, you deliver awesome customer service, you treat people the right way, you act with integrity, you follow through on your promises and your customers’ expectations, and you let them know that their business is important to you. When you do that consistently, the value you provide goes up, the price they’re willing to pay goes up, and everyone is happy about it.


U - Upgrades

Value Ladder, Sales Processes, Pricing (Basically Conversion 2.0)


You have permission to present someone a higher level offer when you’ve successfully converted them on a lower ticket offer and exceeded their expectations. The phrase to remember here is “if you liked that, you’re going to love this.” This could be a complementary product or service that enhances their experience with what they’ve already bought, it could be a higher level service that allows them to reach their desired end result faster or more easily or more reliably, or it could be a service that does the thing for them rather than just empowering them to do it. There are an almost infinite number of ways to add value to your service that makes you more money and makes your customers happier.


S - Spread the Word

Referrals, Affiliates, Surveys, Reviews, etc.


This part can happen naturally - when you provide an awesome service and people love you, they’re naturally going to talk about it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speed things along. Giving people incentives for telling their friends, affiliate programs to help your customers help you grow your business, and surveys to let them talk about your service and also help you refine what you do - all that stuff makes a big difference for starting this process all over. Because it very well may be that your customers talking about you is exactly the way you REACH the next customer whose life you’ll change. So make sure to make this part smooth.


Look. When it comes to building a plan for your business that turns strangers into raving fans, there’s no one size fits all solution. But if you’d like to talk a little more about your specific needs so we can customize a plan for your business to predictably and consistently bring you more customers and allow you to serve them better, schedule a call.

Share it All

They don’t give a shit about your resume. They want to see what you’ve created with your own little fingers.

To share your work with the world, even the stuff you don’t think anyone wants to see, (pro tip: they do. Someone does.) you have to take the scraps and the residue of your process and

Make something.

This is the number one question I get asked by people trying to launch, trying to get their thing in front of eyes - “what do I say? What do I put out there?”

You are your own documentarian. Share something every day.

Research

References

Drawings

Plans

Sketches

Notes

Diagrams

Video

Photos

Stories

Collections

Inspiration

Share it all.