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Articles filed in: Marketing

On Finding The Right Customers


Building a sustainable and fulfilling business isn’t just about finding enough customers—it’s about finding enough of the right customers.

Here are ten questions you can ask yourself to guide your thinking about what kind of customers will enable you to do your best work.

10 Questions For Finding The Right Customers

1. If you could only work with a handful of customers, which would you choose?

2. Why are these customers ideal for you?

3. What do your ideal customers want from a service provider?

4. What do you want from your customers?

5. What story will you tell customers about why you are the best fit for them?

6. What story will you tell customers about why they are the best fit for you?

7. How will you price your products and services to attract only those ideal clients?

8. How many of these ‘right customers’ do you need to build a viable business?

9. Where will you find your ideal customers?

10. How will your ideal customers find you?

Customer-company fit is underrated.

Image by Cristina

Only Human


Today you and I will pay $4 for a coffee when we could have paid a dollar.

We will take vitamins it’s claimed will improve our health, even though we have no definitive proof that they do.

We will eat too much and exercise too little.

We will distract ourselves with non-urgent tasks and fail to do the one thing we promised ourselves we’d get done.

All because we are only human—beings, who as neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor says, are feeling creatures that think, not the thinking creatures who feel, we like to believe we are.

Despite knowing this, we will still try to convince our kids, our colleagues or our customers to change their minds with facts and rational arguments alone.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are neither all head or all heart and act accordingly.

Image by Shane Rounce

Believed In


The one thing all successful ideas have in common is that they spread. But why?

The essential ingredient for making ideas spread is trust.

We must trust something before we can believe in it.
When we believe in something, we stick with it and share it.

So the first question we must ask ourselves isn’t how to get our idea to spread—it’s how can we do or say something worth believing in.

*If you’d like to get your message believed, not just noticed, consider joining us for
The Story Skills Workshop today at the discounted rate for my blog subscribers. I’m looking forward to helping you to tell better stories.
Here is your link to join.

Image by Mike

The Story Advantage


How can we get more attention for our idea?
How can we increase brand awareness?
How can we make people notice our work?

These are the questions I am often asked by the people and companies in search of a message that will give them a competitive advantage.

I don’t need to tell you that getting more eyeballs on your work won’t get any easier. Every day new businesses are launched and more videos, podcasts, articles and books are published. There will never be less competition for people’s attention than there is today.

But I’d argue that getting attention and building awareness are misguided goals. Fulfilling careers and thriving businesses are built on more than being noticed. And that’s good news for all of us.

We don’t need to go in search of some elusive message that might gain fleeting awareness. We already have an inherent competitive advantage—our unique, true stories about our life and our work. Those stories, well told, enable us to share messages that build strong ties with the people we hope to serve.

Our goal must always be to do what it takes, not just to be seen—but to matter. We don’t have to manufacture a message to get more attention, we have to create more affinity by getting better at saying what’s true.

If you want to get better at telling your stories, please consider joining us for the upcoming Story Skills Workshop.

Image by Clem Onojeghuo

Storytelling Is A Skill You Can Learn


Do you remember the first time you rode a bike without training wheels? You might recall who taught you and the street you were on. The colour of the bike. The exact moment you took off. The wobbling, the delight, and cheering as you pedalled away.

One minute you couldn’t do it and the next minute you were off. You had acquired a new skill and the confidence to keep practising—so you got better and better at it.

Learning to tell your story is a lot like learning to ride a bike. There are basic principles and tools you can use to get started, and the more you practice the better you get. Story skills are essential for people like you who want to make their ideas matter.

That’s why I’ve been working with Seth Godin for almost a year to create a workshop that will help you to discover, craft and tell better stories.

The Story Skills Workshop launches next week.
Sign up here to be notified when registrations open.

Image by Eli Christman

The Value Of Discernment


Picture the scene. You’re at a networking event or a party. The room is buzzing—it’s packed full of people who you could strike up a conversation with.

Of course, you’ll never get around to speaking to everyone that evening. So you have to choose who to walk up to and introduce yourself. You don’t want to meet just anyone. You want to spend your time speaking to the people you can really connect with.

Now, picture that packed room as potential customers for your business. You can’t have a conversation with every one of those people. Who would you choose to speak to, and how will you know that person when you see them?

The better we are at discerning our right people the more shared value we can create.

Image by Railway Summit

Exactly Who Do You Serve?


The most successful restaurant on the shopping strip close to where I live is a vegan taco restaurant. Other restaurants come and go, but the taco place endures. Rain or shine, day in and day out they’re always busy.

As you can imagine, every time I walk past I wonder why. Why has the taco place succeeded where so many others with bigger marketing budgets, fancier fit-outs, and more extensive menus have failed?

I think it comes down to the fact that they know who they’re for.

They can describe their customer with such clarity that they don’t have to second guess their menu, decor and pricing.

It’s easier to make room at the table for the right people when you know who those people are.

Who, exactly are you in business to serve?

If you’re not sure, my Story Strategy Course will help you to answer that question.

Image by Vince Fleming

Effective Change

Even though nine of her children emigrated to England in the 1960s to find work, my grandmother never travelled outside Ireland.

She refused to taste cucumber, even though my English aunt insisted on making cucumber sandwiches whenever she came to visit.

Even after her doctor told her cigarettes were bad for her angina. Granny still smoked forty cigarettes a day, until the day she died of a massive heart attack.

My Granny didn’t see herself as the kind of person who would get on a boat or try food she’d never eaten. And her enjoyment of smoking outweighed the downsides in her eyes.

Changemaking isn’t as simple as taking someone on a journey to something different. Effective change engages someone in the act of being the kind of person they want to be.

When you know who your people want to become, you can tell a more relevant and resonant story.

Image by Tiago Murano

On Persuasion

Why are travellers paying to offset carbon emissions of their flights in record numbers?

Is it guilt that’s fueling this carbon offset boom?

It’s hard to persuade anyone to change their beliefs or behaviour.

But we all like to act in ways that feel consistent.

If we find ourselves liking a climate crisis Instagram post, or nodding when we hear Greta Thunberg speak, we’re more likely to pay to offset our emissions next time we fly.

Persuasion is less about making people have a complete change of heart and more about finding common ground.

The most persuasive people convince us incrementally—not by trying to change us, but by reminding us who we are.

Image by Li-An Lim

Faith Vs. Proof

In a digital world, where customers have infinite choices, and loyalty is precarious, it’s easy to believe the more information we give people, the better.

It turns out that the opposite is true. We’re more likely to retain customers, get repeat sales and be recommended by simplifying the decision process.

What people want is the quickest way to discern if they can trust us and our offering.

Our customers don’t always want more proof—often what they need from us is more faith—not just in us, but in themselves.

Image by Sam Wheeler

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