The 4 Most Important Steps to Finding Great Customers Online (#4 is My Favorite)

by Craig McBreen · 7 comments · Blogging, Content Marketing


The-4-Most-Important-Steps-to Finding-Great-Customers-OnlineI’m in love with Kim Kardashian.

Why?

Well, I sometimes watch Jimmy Kimmel, plus it’s kinda hard to skip the latest E-Network News when you’re waiting for an episode of Chelsea Lately, and I see that sweet, innocent face at the grocery checkout every time I go.

What’s a boy to do?

I also know all about that redneck duck clan, that the Twinnies were eliminated from The Amazing Race All Stars, and that Erin Andrews is actually getting along with everyone on Dancing with the Stars.

God help me.

So enough of this silly verbal pabulum, Craig … I want to know what this has to do with me?

If you’re a small business trying to stake your claim in the online space, all I’m asking is that you stay with me for a few more minutes, K?

The “stars” above will have a few moments of glory then … poof!

You do remember Chumbawamba, right?

Pop fame is usually a flash in the pan.

The social web? If I mentioned Chris Brogan or Brian Clark to my wife she might think I had some imaginary friends. (We call that a bubble).

a.) Fleeting “15-minute” pop fame and … b.) the insular social media world.

Two planets one in the same.

So, here, my dear friends is where we get back to you …

… finding great customers online. Don’t try to be the next big thing. No, in fact it’s better to start small, stop focusing on popularity, and put every ounce of your energy into delivering to a select audience.

The media stars AND businesses that survive and thrive do this. No ego-stroking needed, just practicing your craft and delivering the goods.

Today, do this:

Visualize a business or individual needing specific instruction, help, inspiration; you telling them how to take that next step.

This is how you build something of value.

Teach, motivate, entertain, but forget about your ambition for a split second. Don’t worry about generating massive traffic.

Building a quality list of people you can actually help is better in every way.

It’s like, “no duh,” right? But how many get hung up on meaningless metrics and Likes that don’t matter?

So, what is a better 4-step model that will start bringing in customers, not just visitors?

To … Help you find great customers online?

1. Stop Trying to Please the Masses (Focus on Your Dream Client).

I like what S. Anthony Iannarino wrote about this in my eBook:
“You share your best ideas with a community of people who care deeply about those ideas. You give away your insights, you share your knowledge, and you share the perspective you’ve gained through your experiences.

You give all of this away and, by doing so, you give your dream client the opportunity to understand how you create value and to experience your work. By doing so, you develop the kind of relationship on which an opportunity to work with your dream client can be built.”

Effective content marketing in a nutshell, nuff said.

2. Don’t be a Lazy Marketer.

Think beyond basic online marketing and numbers that don’t mean much.

Stop thinking about popularity and start thinking about customers.

“Today’s social web users are freely sharing their Likes, preferences, buying signals and, more importantly, who impacts them to make the decisions that matter – so why are we not using this data more?”

This is from someone who knows how to effectively build a brand and market online, Danny Brown. In my eBook, he clearly outlines steps you can take today to effectively utilize data and, wait for it … GROW your online business!

3. Realize Fans are Not Good for Business.

Here are two of my favorite quotes contained in that little red book …

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of building fans if your whole marketing strategy is writing a blog. You end up with a community that makes you feel good, but never buys anything.”
Amy Harrison

” … write about stuff that your clients want to know, NOT your buddies in the blogosphere (or industry you’re in).”
–Marcus Sheridan

Stop writing for fans (and people in your industry). Start writing for your ideal client.

4. Slow Down.

Work to build a long-lasting connection with your audience (read: potential customers).

So obvious, but many skip it for that first, hard kiss. Modern online marketing is about relationship-building. If you want your audience to like, know and trust you, you must court them over time and help them every step of the way.

They say patience is a virtue, right?

And you know this: True love doesn’t happen overnight. So, refocus and treat your online marketing approach as a long, drawn out love affair. This, dear friend will get you to third base and beyond. And best of all? It will be for all the right reasons.

“How do I become internet famous?”

Well, if you work like an over-caffeinated monkey and are blessed with a crap-ton of luck, it might just work for you.

But really, would you say the plan I outlined above is the better route to really make it in the online jungle? (I bet you would).

It rewards those who want what you have to offer and comes more naturally.

What could this approach do for your business?
Help it grow and grow and grow, by finding people that might love you for all the right reasons. Not fanboys, or passive readers, but people who buy from you, because they are so right for you and your business … Finding great customers online … time to get started.

Interested in learning more about my branding process? Jump on over to my email list

Click here for your own free copy of You Don’t Need Fans, You Need Customers.

Sign-up Today to Get Your FREE eBook.

I take your privacy very seriously

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark March 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Craig:

The advice you offer in this extremely thought provoking post, is definitely not for the faint of heart!

Strategy # three is a real shot in the heart! Especially if you’re striving to be accepted, instead of patron aged!

It’s far too easy (as you mentioned) to get caught up in all of the senseless metrics of social media, and lose track of your overall real goals!

Thanks for bringing clarity back into the whole social media marketing equation!
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Craig McBreen March 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks! I try my best ;)

You’re right about #3. I had this problem early on … I love, love comments, but that is not my #1 goal any longer. Kinda used to be I have to admit. But yes, stepping away from the meaningless numbers is a good start to a successful online business.

Thank you for stopping in and adding to the conversation.

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Tom Southern March 29, 2014 at 2:20 am

Chumbawamba! Gosh! Who knew – sharing a spot with Kim! Tub-thumping!

Anyway, I’m back. Interesting alternative take on growing fans ready and willing to share our stuff. Amy’s point is a show-stopper. Creating fans is so often pushed as the only way to make money online because fans will promote your work online that it’s interesting to note here. Thanks for making me rethink the whole fans thing.

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Craig McBreen March 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hey Tom,

Tub-thumping with Kim. Sounds intriguing ;) Strange how that rolls off the tongue.

Glad you’re back. Amy is spot-on with most of her stuff and I certainly agree … if you’re blogging for business, that is.

Thanks for stopping in.

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Worli March 31, 2014 at 5:07 am

Hello Craig!

Some great tips you have mentioned! But, i would like to say that online world is tricky place, what works for one might not works for others. Some do lots of research before being your client/buyer and some just get pleased by what you have to offer. I think its all depend on the kind of niche you are in. Every niche has different kind of audience and you have to plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
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Adrienne March 31, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hey Craig,

I’m learning more about this as I move forward this year. I love my blogging community and I appreciate all the good things they have to say about me but I need to take it beyond just that reach. That’s the one thing I feel I’m still missing which I had shared with you the other day. It’s all becoming a lot more clear to me now and I’m excited about putting some of these steps into play in the coming months.

Great share and I might have to grab your eBook. I’m sure it’s rockin with great tips.

Have a fabulous week.

~Adrienne
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Craig McBreen March 31, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Well I’ll be writing about it quite a bit more as I take a deep dive into this, for me and my clients.

When I first started blogging I was completely obsessed with metrics that don’t matter. Always checking comments, shares and hitting that analytics page one too many times (we’ve all been there, right?) Now it’s more about finding the right clients and helping others do the same with branding and content marketing goodness.

If you get the book, I would love to get your feedback!

You have a great week too!

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