Advice From a Business Scaling Expert
Tips on finding your ideal client and consumers in oversaturated industries – during a global pandemic
We all thought we were done with COVID-19: Masks mandates lifted, vaccines administered and businesses returning provided a certain sense of “normalcy” or, at least, our “new normal,” right? Wrong! Here’s comes the new Delta variant train coming to town, and by the looks of it, it’s here to party for a while.
Businesses may have found it difficult to try to manage increased expenses from exorbitant shipping costs, materials and overhead, with little to no foot traffic or online traffic to balance the scales. Add lack of employees and mandatory shutdowns, and it seems like a recipe for disaster.
All industries have felt the sting of COVID-19; however, it seems certain businesses were not only able to weather the storm, but have built the proverbial arc the size of the Titanic to accommodate their business’s continued growth and success during an otherwise detrimental global pandemic.
A Reshuffling in the Physical and Digital Worlds
So, how is it that some businesses scaled to Babylonian heights while others shuttered their doors forever? It’s something that makes you sit back and wonder. Was it luck, favor, blessings, strategy or plain ole voodoo? Well, depending on your foundational beliefs, you may believe it was a little of all the above, or maybe none.
As a business scaling expert and marketing specialist, I can tell you that it took way more than luck and a lot more than voodoo! To scale in this tumultuous season, it took reshuffling of both the physical and digital worlds, and if a business shuffled correctly, it saw show-stopping growth. If a business could not merge both the physical and online presence of their businesses, ultimately, failure was their destination. And, to successfully scale, businesses had to home in and focus on targeting their ideal clients that were stuck in front of televisions, tablets, phones and radios for more than a year.
Defining My Ideal Audience
Scaling businesses cannot be done without properly identifying your ideal client. To identify your ideal client, you must realistically map out who you are, what your brand/business represents and what problems you help to alleviate for your audience.
Too often, when meeting with my new clients (small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and organizational leaders), I learn that many of them are simply casting a wide net, “hoping” to catch the right consumers with their vague messaging, inconsistent branding, unorthodox systems and “undesirable” client experiences.
Does this sound like a business you’d be attracted to? I think not!
Your ideal audience is not simply those who can afford your products and/or services. It’s also not those who want to simply take you for a “test ride” (yeah, you know which clients/consumers I’m talking about).
To attract your ideal audience, you must “give them something to be attracted to.” You must utilize tools, resources and systems to help merge your business’ physical and digital presence while also focuses on the branding, systems and experience needed to attract your ideal client.
Suggestions for Attracting Your Ideal Audience
1. Double-down on your systems. Whether your audience engages with your brand online or in person, it is extremely important to incorporate workflows and automation to provide a seamless engagement and experience for your customers.
2. Fortify your client experience. Become a “secret shopper” in your business to embody the experience your consumers go through. Make tweaks and adjustments where needed. Consumers don’t just buy what they see. We buy with our ears, nose, eyes and ultimately, our feelings. Improve your experiences to improve the way your audience feels about your brand.
3. Invest in advertising. Many successful businesses don’t see advertising as an expense. We must understand advertising and marketing is an investment. It tells the world that you exist. And your ideal audience will need to see your brand at least five to seven times before they purchase your products and/or services. Side note: Social media is not the only form, nor should it be the only form of advertising for your business.
4. Hire a consultant. I understand it’s the last thing you want to do; however, investing in the right business, marketing or growth consultant can and will do wonders for your business. Make sure you vet them by understanding how they’ve assisted their previous clients and determine if they have the expertise to assist you within your industry.
Carrita Tanner-Cloud is the founder and owner of Creativity Justified, the largest black-owned, women-led advertising agency in Louisiana, as well as Carrita Cloud and Associates, a business growth consulting firm. Both are located on the Northshore in Slidell, Louisiana. Tanner-Cloud has been recognized as a 2021 Inc. 5000 business, noted as a Top Investor with the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized as a 2021 Woman to Watch.
By Carrita Tanner-Cloud