Know yourself, know your audience – and STAND for something

by gordon_mullan

I stumbled across a page today from an organisation called Natural News.  I know it’s American (which if you’re from the UK might be slightly off-putting – hey, I like Americans but I know there’s people out there that find them kinda ‘in your face’), but it’s a great example of ‘know your audience’.

I’m not making any judgements or comments about the advice they offer, but by heck – they lay out very clearly what their philosophy is.  If you’re in tune, you’re pretty much guaranteed to sign up for their mailing list and read their stuff.

They are passionate about what they do, even though they claim they’re not out to make money from it.

Here’s the question for you – do you make your position and your philosophy as clear as this to your customers?  If not, why not?

What really gets you fired up?  What issues and concerns of (or mistakes being made by) your market get you absolutely frothing at the mouth?  How you can help them with those issues, or stop making those mistakes?

You know my biggie – passionate small business owners who have websites, brochures and adverts that read like they’ve been written by a lobotomised corporate drone! 

People like you, who passionately care for the people they service, but seem terrified to stand up and say “This is who I am, this is what I do, and this is how (and why) I do it.  If you like it, I’d love to have you as a customer.  If you don’t, nice to meet you but move along please, to make room for the people who do.”

Here’s a quick (and not complete – you’ll discover more of them over time) list of a few other things that get me hopping mad:

  • Web designers who don’t have the first <bleep>ing clue about search engine optimisation but claim they do
  • Web designers who can create pretty graphics but who don’t have the first idea how to make a site that is actually usable from a navigation or content structure standpoint
  • Local printing firms that charge an absolute arm and a leg for doing stuff that you can get done for a fraction of the cost (full colour leaflets are just one example)
  • Marketing advice for small businesses from people who’ve never run one (and in case you didn’t know, my wife and I are both self-employed professionals, and we also own and run The Nightingale Clinic, which has been growing since we established it in June 2002)

If you’re a small business owner, you have to not only believe in your product or service, you have to believe in and know yourself, know your audience, and then explain your position to them, in simple words, without pretending to be anything that you’re not.

 As I’ve said before, and I’ll keep saying – BE YOU!!  It IS good enough.

Til next time – stand proud!

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