Earlier this year when I decided to stop writing about the Mongolian Mining industry and start writing for clients who had brilliant, super duper services that actually made a difference to people’s lives, I decided I would have to seek out aforementioned cool people and let them know I wanted to help.
If you’re doing a “where’s my perfect customer” brainstorm right now, this cringe-worthy moment is my valuable lesson to you… without the embarassment.
To start with, here’s what did work:
List your cool services
Start the art of seducing your customers by brainstorming the great things that you love to do that you can do to help other people.
Mine included things like: web copy, sales copy, eBook writing, ghost-writing, article writing etc.
List customer qualities
Be specific as you can, it might be that you want them to have a sense of humour, you want them to be easy to get on with, hands off / hands on, it doesn’t matter. If you start off with perfect, even if you come close to finding (and securing) that customer you’re going to be pretty happy working with them.
So, I wanted someone who was passionate about their business, someone who knew how important their audience connection was to the success of their business, and someone who would be good fun. I also wanted someone who used a lot of quality content on their site.
(And here comes the mistake).
List ideal customers
One person on my list of people to approach was Johnny Truant. I whipped up a ghost-written post in his style of writing, all about the importance of creating an 80s montage in your business. I thought it rocked, I sent it over with a nice little email I thought he’d respond to, confident that the subject matter and style would suit him and his business like a velvet smoking jacket.
The title was this:
You don’t need to weld or dance in a tavern, but you have to move your ass if you want to hear Flashdance
(I still like that title and one day I might even publish the post) I waited a couple of days for him to say “Amy, please let me put my name to this, no wonder they call it ghost-writing because the way you’ve captured my style is both spooky and unprecedented”.
What I received back was:
I’ll be totally honest… this is very strange…
There was no criticism with the writing, and Johnny could see what I was trying to do, but I had completely missed the mark thinking he was my target market.
What I Forgot to Do
I forgot to ask the question: “Is there any obvious, blatantly staring you in your face reason why they WOULDN’T pay for your services?”
Why Johnny Said No
Johnny Truant LOVES to write.
Funnily enough, I’d even done my research and should have known this. I know he has an unpublished book in his closet that he takes out from time to time to read back to himself and he thinks it’s brilliant.
His response continued:
There’s nothing wrong with what you did, but writing is so personal to me that I’d never dream of having anything ghostwritten… If you’re pitching people like me to ghostwrite for, I think it may miss the mark because writing is something I’d NEVER outsource. It’s something I love and is very personal.
In hindsight, though I felt a bit silly at the time, I don’t think I’d have avoided writing and sending him the post because I got feedback pretty much straight away that I wasn’t on the right course, and I could make the changes in who I was checking out on Twitter or Listorious.
Your Free Lesson
- Think carefully about your target market
- Don’t let the thinking put you off taking action
- Get feedback from your prospects if possible
- Take notice of said feedback and change your course accordingly