Any starting business needs a market. Whether you’re selling wedding cakes or art supplies, fishing gear or children’s toys, you have a client you need to reach, and fast. But don’t choose speed over safety: finding a secure target audience and working with them is the first step to making your market your own.
Why You Should Frame Your Clients?
Think of yourself as an artist. You’ve put work into your creative process, coming up with concepts, putting them to canvas, using your technique and skill to bring the piece to life. This is the evolution of your business, from idea to reality. Now you’re ready to bring your product to the gallery – or in this case, the market.
This where you decide how you want your audience to see your product, so choosing the right frame is crucial. No matter the product, the spin you put on, it will decide your market. That spin can change according to the client you have in mind. To sell your product right, you need to get your client in the frame too.
Focus on their details. What do they do? What do they need? If you’re the wedding cake maker, you’re probably envisioning a couple anxious to find the perfect sweet treat for their special day. If you’re selling children’s toys, you can already see the kids’ faces in front of you, excited to take home their new set of building blocks or a favourite stuffed animal.
Now adjust your product’s frame to theirs: this is the sign you want your star-crossed lovers to see, these are the cakes you’ll put in your window display, this is the fluffy mascot you want outside your toy store, these are the colourful designs you wish around the doorway. All this is framing, and it’s your first step toward both more comprehensive and one-on-one communication with your client.
Work Inside the Frame to Reach Your Outer Audience
Once you’ve established your frame, you can work within it. A robust framework is there to guide you and give your business boundaries. You don’t want to overstretch yourself trying to reach clients who don’t suit your product. The frame isn’t there to keep you rigid or leave you stuck; in fact, it does the opposite. It will remind you to focus on your goals and continue working toward them.
Frame Your Industry Connections
Clients aren’t just the people who walk through your door, they’re also your producers and suppliers, the people you partner with behind the scenes to bring your product to the customer. These are business-to-business (B2B) relations, but another business is a client in itself. The relationship between two businesses needs to be strong enough to keep up a consistent long-term exchange.
B2B meetings can be tricky – you’re not just catering to a single customer’s needs, but the needs of an entire company. With a sturdy frame in place for how you want to sell your product, you can easily target what another business wants from you.
Start with some background
Other businesses, just like yours, will likely have some information available online. This is where you find out more about who they are, what they do, their vision and where they’re headed as a company. Now think back to your frame and imagine how your product can help them meet their goals.
Bring what you know to the table
When preparing for a meeting, review what you know about the company and set your agenda according to it. Don’t let yourself lose sight of what you’re there to achieve. Be ready to discuss your shared goals and implement a structure that will help both your side and their side measure success as you work together.
Make sure they know who you are
B2B marketing is a two-way street. If the people you’re meeting with haven’t put in the effort to get to know your aims, the partnership is already likely to fail. If they seem unprepared to do business with you, nudge them along with a few prompts of your own, giving them some information on what you’re looking to get out of working with them.
Tick your boxes
Identify your goals for the meeting well before you sit down. To build a strong foundation, start with an outline of the actions you’ll be taking, and ask the same of them. This clarity will lead to a better understanding between your side and theirs, letting you tick off your accomplishments on schedule further down the line.
Use the frame to refocus
With your frame firmly in place, you can refer to it anytime you like. If you or your client are losing track of the subject, remind yourself and them that you are there for a common goal; one you’ve already got outlined and ready to go.
Finding the Consumer
Your frame is equally important when it comes to consumer communication. While some businesses, like those mentioned above, have a distinct target audience, some can be a little harder to define. A coffee company can have many potential clients who might drink coffee for many different reasons. There are the connoisseurs, the amateur baristas, and the average person just looking for a hit of caffeine in the morning. Here is where you use your frame to find the perfect customer fit.
‘Anyone and everyone’ is not an option
Companies who overshoot by trying to sell to a massive market, end up floundering, not flying. While it’s great to be ambitious, marketing well means keeping your feet on the ground, so keep your vision realistic. With such a diverse world out there, marketing a one-size-fits-all product will only lead to client dissatisfaction. Trying to launch a broad-appeal product will never meet your customers’ specific needs.
Frame to avoid failure
To dodge falling into the hole of generic marketing, you need to find your target audience. These are your golden buyers, the ones who click with your vision and want exactly what you have to offer. Using your trusty business frame, identify what your client needs and how your service can fill that need. What is their biggest concern? How can you resolve it? Once you have this answered, your path is set to avoid the potholes in looking for widespread appeal. Helping you stay on top!
Find your demographic
Your target audience will fall under a broader demographic. Find out more about that group – their average age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, interests and location – so that you can hone your product to meet their needs. Use appropriate platforms to reach them, e.g. television, newspaper and radio advertising for an older audience vs YouTube sponsorships, Spotify and Instagram ads for a younger audience. Suppose many of them live in the same location, market locally by putting up posters or handing out flyers. If they fall in the same income bracket, adjust your pricing to suit them best.
Now you know your target audience a little better; it’s time to reach out and hear what they have to say. Using surveys and polls through various
platforms or even in-person is a great way to get feedback directly from your customer. You can use that information to track which groups are most likely to engage with your company in the future and become long-term clients. Throwing in a question about how they found your company is another excellent way to narrow down and focus on which of your marketing strategies are bringing in new customers.
Hearing what your customer has to say about you is crucial to running a successful business, but understanding what they have to say about your competitors is just as important. To stay on top of your game, tune in to your target audience’s engagement with other companies or within their wider social circles.
Does your demographic dislike a particular style of marketing? Do they feel exploited by this? Do they react positively to evolving products, or do they value consistency? Meet your target market’s needs by keeping up with their opinions, being up to date with news that might concern them, staying on top of their trends and following their conversations.
Watch the Fusion in Action
Running a successful business means being aware of who your client is, what they need, and how you can work to meet their needs. With your frameset and your target audience found, the fusion is all that’s left. This is where you and your customer come together, thanks to your hard work, attentiveness and a strong desire to deliver the best service you can.
When you keep your customer’s needs at the core of your business, you build a bond of trust, reliability and stability.
Keep putting in the effort, and that bond is tough to break.