“Okay, let’s go get ’em! All of ’em! All of those 20 – 60 somethings with a business degree and a steady income of $50,000 to $100,000.” ~ Said no smart marketer ever
Almost six years ago I was tossed into the world of business ownership. It was a world I always knew I wanted to live in, but was I ready? Nope. Not quite.
Yet there I was, sitting at my not-so-cozy kitchen table, staring at the television I had to force myself to keep turned off and out my back window into Arizona’s beautiful sunshine that was calling my name. I had to force myself to stay put, yoga pants and all, and to figure this thing out because money, baby, MONEY.
I started with a logical question – what am I good at? What gift can I give to the world?
It was here that I realized the only thing that ever made me happy – words. I loved how one phrase could light a little fire inside. I loved how an expression made me smile and hated when a handful of words hit so hard it felt like a sucker punch to the gut.
Yeah, words. Words get me excited (judge if you will).
So, from that kitchen table, I decided words were my gift. But they weren’t enough, so I thought about the world I’d just emerged from – the one that landed me at said table. Online marketing. And with that, the idea for Savvy Copywriters was born.
But it wasn’t enough.
I knew my talent but I didn’t know who needed it. I dabbled in some online job forums and found a few businesses looking for a writer. Great! I started there. Simultaneously, I wrote for the sake of writing. I created for the sake of putting something out there that’d *hopefully* attract people I loved working with. Sometimes it did (hello, current clients of mine) and some it didn’t (they aren’t reading this blog anymore, I’m sure).
Still, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the WHO. Ever struggled with that? I changed my audience about as often as I changed my website design. Nothing quite stuck. I turned the cogs in my head over and over again with different audiences but still fumbled. Until recently.
Fast forward to the time when I was sitting in my truck driving from Texas to Tucson and it hit me. The people I have had the most success helping are TRAILBLAZERS.
These are the people who love to turn tradition on on its head. They’re the ones who take ordinary and turn it into something so extraordinary that people can’t help but turn their heads. They have a work hard, play hard attitude and know that nothing can stop them from using their gift to do something spectacular.
I talked about one brand like this a few months ago called Black Rifle Coffee and I plan to shine the light on more bold companies like this in the future. Why? Because it’s brands like these who aren’t afraid to be different in marketing. They’re the ones who are making a difference in the world but they can’t be defined in the generic buyer persona we’re all taught to have.
Why Buyer Personas Are Terrible Marketing Tools (Yeah, I’m Saying It)
One of the reasons I struggled to define who I wanted to work with was because I myself was following terrible traditional marketing practices (sheesh, that’s hard to admit).
I was using the typical buyer persona. You know the type. It’s the one that outlines age, income level, education level, occupation, etc. etc. It’s filled with generic demographics that don’t tell a story. They’re superficial, which makes any kind of marketing message created surface level. There’s nothing deep about it. There’s nothing bold about it. And there’s truly no way to understand what the heck is happening in the person’s life you’re trying to target based on a few census-level statistics alone.
Where to Start *Really* Getting to Know Your Peeps
So, I started to dig into the person behind the companies I wanted to work with.
I considered what the person’s weekday looked like. Were they in an office? What’d that office look like?
I looked at what their weekends were like. Were they with family? Friends? Inside at a fancy-pants dinner party or outside exploring the mountains?
What were the holidays like for these people? Were they religious? Did they hang up Christmas lights or were they more of a scrooge? Did they say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
I dug into their commutes – the two times each day when they were completely alone. What was going through their mind?
And I thought about what happened before they even started that commute? Did their blood pressure spike as they tried to get two kids dressed and ready for daycare, and then out the door fast enough to make it in time?
I’m a storyteller at heart, so I used this talent to make up stories about my target audience. Soon, I was entrenched in their world and soon, I decided the message they (YOU) needed to hear.
It wasn’t the typical marketing advice. There was plenty of that out there already. I didn’t need to add to the noise. I needed to make new noise. Worthwhile noise. The kind of noise that wasn’t being made yet.
After all, that’s what they were doing in their industries.
What Kind of Noise Are You Making?
Are you shouting at meaningless statistical data? Or are you sparking conversation with the people who want to hear from you?
Are you another similar voice cluttering the newsfeeds? Or are you using your voice to blaze new trails and tell a new story?
The former is boring and looked over. The latter is what people are hungry to consume.
If you’re ready to start contributing to the greater good, you have to know who it is you’re talking to. Immerse yourself in their world and then speak to it. If you do, you’ll have a much easier time getting your message heard over all the noise.