The power of your customers discomfort

In business, we’re told to identify the problem we solve to appeal to the customers we serve. But focusing on the solution to the problem often results in skipping a crucial part of the sales process that makes your pitch more persuasive – letting your customer feel their pain.
 
In sales and marketing, we need to let our customers experience the pain and discomfort of the problem before we get them out of it. Why? Great question. Let’s look at the three reasons why discomfort is a key part of your sales process and your customers buying decision.
 

1. Discomfort tells your customer that they have a problem

 
While there is a select group of people that are highly motivated by pleasure and rewards, if we were to talk generally about the human race, most of us will move faster away from pain than towards pleasure. We don’t like to be in discomfort; in fact, we’ll do a lot to stay out of it. 
 
Emotional eating, retail therapy and big nights out are just a few of our methods of choice when it comes to numbing the pain and discomfort we feel. But to create change, to want a better way, we need to feel discomfort. Otherwise, we carry on in a blissful state of ignorance, unaware of a problem or unaware of how big it really is.
 
Discomfort is a key driver of change. It tells us something is wrong, and it needs to be fixed because this uncomfortable feeling has got to go. We don’t learn, grow, stretch or solve problems without dipping our toes into the pool of discomfort first. It gives us a reason for change and the motivation to make it.
 

2. Discomfort tells your customer that fixing this problem is a high priority 

 
Let’s get real here for a moment. There are loads of problems your customer faces daily. So, what makes the problem you solve more important than any other problem they are facing today? What makes your problem the problem they need to spend time, money and energy on right now?
 
Discomfort. Your customer’s level of discomfort is directly related to the level of priority they will place on their purchase decision. 
 
When your customer is in enough pain, they will come to you. Granted you need to do your marketing right so they can find you, but when they are in this state, they will be actively searching to resolve their issue. While this illustrates the need for discomfort in the buying process, these aren’t the customers we’re talking about right now.
 
We’re talking about the people who you want to buy your product or service that aren’t at that ‘please solve this painful problem for me right now’ buying stage. These are the customers you need to take supportively into a place of pain and discomfort, so they are motivated to get themselves out of it.
 

3. Discomfort makes your product or service a ‘want’ over a ‘need’

 
While having a product or service that is a ‘need’ sounds ideal, you actually want it to be a ‘want’. Think about it for a moment, you need water to hydrate your body, but you want that coffee to wake up. What is the stronger driver?
 
A ‘need’ is often born out of a sense of obligation, we know we need to do it, so we do it – or should I say eventually do it – and this is the key, there is rarely a sense of urgency with a ‘need’. A ‘want’ is born out of a desire to get closer to something or away from something. It is more time-sensitive, most times immediate, and there is a level of excitement or nervousness that drives you to act.
 

How to get your customer to feel discomfort – without shutting them down

 
There is a fine line between getting your customers to feel discomfort and pushing them into other big negative emotions like anger, guilt and shame, or negative thought patterns like I’m a failure. This is not the direction we want to take them in – nor is it a direction you want your brand to be associated with. 
 
I should also be clear that we don’t want to be unethical with this tactic or use it to manipulate people into buying. The art of persuasion, like many things, can be used for good or bad, so it is important to have the right intentions – and your customer’s best interests at heart.
 
What we want to do, as mentioned above, is to get your customers to a level of discomfort where they know that:
 
  1. There is a problem
  2. The problem needs to be fixed 
  3. They want to fix it
 
We do this by practising empathy, calling out the problem and vividly painting their current reality.
 
So, I want you to step into the shoes of your customer for a moment. For this exercise, imagine one specific client, it could be your ideal client or a past client you’ve loved to work with or that you felt was a great fit for your company, product or service. 
 
Now I want you to answer these questions with them in mind:
 
  • What is happening for your customer – or not happening for them? 
  • How is this problem hurting their life or business?
  • Where are their areas of frustration and inefficiency? 
  • What is this problem holding them back from being, doing or achieving?
  • What are the risks of leaving this problem unsolved? 
 
From these answers, you can now start to talk about the problem in a way your customer can relate. Be descriptive and practice emotional intelligence and compassion by calling out how it is likely making them feel – frustrated, tired, overwhelmed or concerned.
 
Now, I want you to notice that we’re not calling out those destructive, spiralling emotions mentioned earlier (anger, guilt or shame). The emotions I’ve mentioned are temporary emotional states that let us know a boundary has been pushed, that something isn’t right or that we are off-balance in an area of our life.
 
As a general rule, when I’m trying to get a customer to the state of discomfort we are talking about, I won’t talk about the problem longer than two paragraphs. These will be short paragraphs too – but persuasive ones. 
 
By the third paragraph, I transition into the ‘what if’ scenario or the ‘why you couldn’t resolve it before now’ approach to get the customer focusing on resolving the problem, not wallowing in it.
 
As you can see, getting your customer to a level of discomfort can be incredibly useful within sales and copywriting. But you do need to exercise caution. 
 
If you need help in bringing discomfort into your messaging, or you want us to look over how you’ve incorporated it into your marketing material, then get in touch, we’re always happy to help.

Four questions to ask before you rebrand

Whether you are considering making a small logo tweak or a complete personality change, here are four questions you should ask before you go down the road of rebranding.

What does rebranding mean to you?

A rebrand can mean many things to many people, so it is important you are clear on what you want and what it means to you. For some, it is a simple update to their logo and messaging, but for others, it is a complete brand change, that may include a new logo, brand personality and even business name.

As you can imagine there are significant differences in cost – and not all are financial. If you want to make a big brand change, and you have been operating for a while, there are a few more things you need to consider like:

  • What is the goodwill associated with your brand (your reputation and implied credibility)? 
  • How recognisable is your brand to your customers and potential customers?
  • Have you done a lot of work on SEO that you could lose should you change name and domain name? 

Why do you want to rebrand?

This is the most important question to answer when thinking about rebranding, and you need to answer it honestly. Is the rebrand because you want or need a change or is it because the customer you want to target is disconnected from your brand?

Doing a complete rebrand can be a big marketing task, and in many ways, you will be starting again so make sure it is for the right reasons. If the reason behind your rebrand is that you want or need a change to feel more energised in your business again, then look at a slight logo update or a change of messaging as opposed to a full rebrand.

Who are your customers and what do they want from your brand?

Your customers should always be at the forefront of any brand decision you make. After all, if they don’t feel connected with your brand they won’t buy from you, and that is a BIG problem! 

Look at who your customers are and what they are likely to respond to. Say for instance you want your favourite colour pink reflected in your logo, but your clients are mostly male, it may not be the wisest choice. While this is a basic example, the same applies to the rest of your brand. 

Don’t make the mistake of making your brand entirely about you. While you do need to have a connection to it for authenticity, and you may have even founded your company out of a personal need or frustration you are not your customer.

Where are you going?

Peek into the future, what do you want to achieve with your brand? What are the values, vision and mission of your business? What difference do you want to make in the lives of others? What do you want to be known for? What growth and innovation plans do you have? What goals do you want to achieve? Where do you want to be in three, five and ten years?

Now ask yourself, what kind of brand will get you there? What story do you need to tell and sell to capture the minds and hearts of customers and potential customers? 

That is the brand you need to create or keep.

Amanda 


Six ways to overcome creative blocks

In the age of innovation, creativity is essential for your business growth and survival. With creativity ideas are born, problems are solved, industries are disrupted, competitors are overturned and customers are engaged. Without it, you become stuck, stale and predictable. 

Your ability to think creatively and act fast is often the difference between being the disruptor or being the disrupted. 

To ensure you stay ahead of your industry and keep your creative juices flowing here are six ways to overcome creative blocks. 

1. Ask questions

Nothing kills creativity faster than accepting things the way they are. To find new ideas, create better products, develop faster processes and disrupt value chains you need to question everything

When you continually ask questions, you train your brain to keep searching for answers. This sparks your creativity and ensures you continue to find new, better, and faster ways of doing things.  

2. Create distance

Sometimes creativity needs space. Take a break, go for a walk, start another task or even take some time to productively procrastinate. 

When creative blocks are strong, distance gives you greater perspective and clarity, and it can also give you the time you need to replenish your creative juices and get out of your own way. 

3. Utilise high emotions 

While emotions can at times be a barrier to our creativity, high levels of emotion can often fuel it. 

Think about how creative and resourceful we can be in the fight-or-flight zone. We tend to have greater clarity, sharper problem-solving skills and find easier to think outside the box. When you are in a high emotional state, try to harness the passion and energy of the emotion and use it in into your creative process.  

4. Shift perspectives

Sometimes the key to giving your creativity a boost is to discover different perspectives. 

Approach the problem, solution, idea or opportunity at hand through someone else’s point of view. This process of role playing can often uncover issues or ideas that haven’t yet been considered. 

But don’t just limit yourself to the stakeholders involved in the issue at hand, also consider how your competitors or other entrepreneurs would think and act if they were in your shoes. 

5. Don’t edit your creativity

Perfection has no place in the creative process. When you are brainstorming or questioning, let no idea or thought be off limits.  

Lift the pressure of being right or wrong and qualify the ideas later. Great ideas have a habit of forming out of bad ones so let your creativity flow. 

6. Reign it in

Be specific, look at one problem, solution or idea at a time. Studies have consistently shown that we are more creative when we operate within boundaries. 

While you don’t want to put limits on your creative ideas, you do want to work within clear boundaries to get the greatest return.

Amanda


Copywriting tricks for more memorable marketing

Every day we are exposed to thousands of brands and marketing messages. Texts, emails, social media, television, radio, billboards, cars and buses all tell us what we need to be, do, have and buy. As a result, our customers have never been more savvy, or more immune to marketing messages as they are today.

For those of us who play in overcrowded market places or are busy creating new ones, the need to be different and memorable in our marketing has never been more important. Here are three copywriting tricks to help.

1. Metaphors

Never underestimate the power of a good metaphor. Metaphors compare two items that are seemingly unrelated, yet are similar in a way. Think Coco Pops’ ‘Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy’, or Butter Menthol’s ‘Like a comforting hug from Mum’.

Metaphors give you the opportunity to simplify complicated concepts or introduce new ideas and products in a simple, relatable way, allowing your potential customers and investors to understand the value in what you do.

Metaphors can also help you evoke emotion, quite quickly in fact. Get the right comparison and you can often transport your customers back to a time or situation that creates the right emotional response for them to see the need to buy your product or service.

2. Rhyming

I know rhyming has a bad rap in some circles (forgive the pun), but there is still benefit in using it. Not only does it make messages easier to remember, but research has also suggested that rhyming phrases are perceived to be more accurate and truthful.

I’m certainly not saying you need to go and make lyrical magic with every piece of marketing material you put out, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative.  Give rhyming a go on one of your calls to actions and test your results.

3. Play the role

As you develop your brand personality, it is important to identify the role you want to play with your customers. Your role or relationship to them can dramatically change the tone of voice and content you use in everything from a social media update to an ad campaign.

Do you want to be the older authoritative figure they listen to and admire? The quirky aunt they love?  The best friend they can’t live without? The older brother or sister who is looking out for them?

Find the role your customer needs that best matches your mission and why.  Not only will it make you more relatable and your tone and purpose clearer, but it can also help you build rapid rapport and loyalty simply by reminding them of someone who is important to them.

Amanda


40 Questions to Help You Develop Buyer Personas

When it comes to putting together a successful marketing campaign you need to know your market, but a general overview will only get you so far. To get that intimate voice in your copy where a potential customer wonders “are they reading my mind?” you need to get to know your buyer.

One of the best ways of doing this is to establish buyer personas, avatars that describe the people you want most as your customers. These avatars embody the demographics, characteristics and behaviours of your ideal customers, and give you a single person to direct your blog posts, social media updates, videos and sales copy to.

But where do you start? While ideally you want to interview your ideal customers to get it straight from their mouth, you can also start to establish personas by looking at past customers and who you want to work with. Here are some questions to ask to get you started.

Getting to know your buyer

The best place to get to know your buyer is by looking at their demographics and personal characteristics. This will give you clarity around the type of person you are targeting and the voice you need to use to communicate to them.

1. Are they male or female?
2. What is their age?
3. Where do they live?
4. What stage of life are they in?
5. Are they in a relationship or single?
6. Do they have children?
7. What level of education did they complete?
8. Did they attend a specific school or university?
9. Where do they work? 
10. How long have they worked there?
11. How much do they earn?
12. How much do they spend?

Uncovering your buyer’s pain points

Your buyer’s pain points can tell you a lot of information, from what problem you need to solve and product or service you need to lead with, to the messaging you need to use, objections you need to overcome and risks you need to minimise. 

13. What do they value?
14. What is important to them?
15. What do they need?
16. What concerns them?
17. What frustrates them?
18. What do they want from your product/service?
19. What don’t they want from your product/service?
20. What do they appreciate?
21. What don’t they appreciate?
22. What challenges are they experiencing?
23. Are they time-rich or time-poor? 
24. Are they more focused on price or value? 
25. Are they a leader or a follower?
26. Are they cautious or a risk taker?

Discovering ways to reach your buyer

By drilling down further you can also start to identify the best ways of reaching your buyer, what tactics to use in your marketing and who else you may need to market to get your buyer over the line. 

27. Where do they like to socialise?
28. Who do they like to socialise with?
29. Who’s opinion do they hold in high regard?
30. Who influences their buying decisions?
31. Who do they look up to and admire?
32. What are their interests?
33. How do they like to communicate?
34. What books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade publications, blogs and websites do they read?
35. What radio, television or YouTube channels do they listen to and watch?
36. What social media platforms are they most active on?
37. What social media influencers do they follow?
38. What events do they attend?
39. What places do they frequently visit?
40. What other brands do they use or are they loyal to? 

These are just some of the questions you can ask when establishing your buyer personas. When you have an avatar set for each of your target customers consider pinning their profiles up in your office so you and your team never lose sight of who you are talking to and serving.

Do you use buyer personas to help make your marketing more targeted and engaging?

Amanda

P.S. Need help developing your Buyer Personas? Give us a call on 07 3820 9810 or email info@velocitymedia.com.au


Six tips for more persuasive marketing

With customers bombarded with so many brands and advertisements each day, it is your job to make your marketing messages more persuasive and relevant to break through the noise.

But where do you start? Here are six tips to help you make your marketing messages more persuasive.

1. Know what your customers are buying

When your customers choose to buy from you, they are buying more than a product or service. They are buying the solution to their problem, the answer to their question, the feeling they’ve been missing or the convenience they’ve been wanting. 

When you uncover what your customers really want, you capture not only the attention of your customer but their heart as well.

2. Speak with authority

Every purchase requires your customer to trust you.  The higher the purchase price, the more trust your customer needs to have in you. 

To build trust, you need to speak with authority. Present yourself as the expert, share your knowledge, draw on your experiences, and tell stories about the value you have provided. Own your skills and expertise. Be confident in your abilities and bold in your belief that you can deliver. Confidence makes you more persuasive.

3. Leverage social proof

People follow people. People also want to be part of something – a movement, cause, group or community.  Social proof helps you to build this. 

When you share the experiences others have had with your products and services, you ease the concerns and minimise the risks for your customers. But more importantly, you create commonality among your customers, and that can be built into a sense of community.

4. Treat customers as ‘the one’

Do the unexpected. Go above and beyond. Be committed to doing the most you can do in your business. The more you can make your customers feel like they are the only one you are concerned about and the only one you are speaking to, the more powerful your message becomes. 

5. Keep it simple 

Our customers crave convenience, yet many of us have a tendency to overcomplicate our sales process. We give too many choices and price points, include too many steps and clicks and request too many details. 

Keep it simple. Don’t ask for every contact detail up front, make your website easy to navigate, ensure the next step is clear, and your calls to action are compelling and easy to follow. 

6. Create urgency

We are a competitive bunch. If we think we are going to miss out on something, we act faster.  So once you have established your value, create urgency through special edition products or services, time limited opportunities or bonuses open to limited people.

How can you be more persuasive in your marketing?

Amanda


Four questions you MUST ask to get to know your customers

Whether you are designing a product, developing a marketing strategy or writing a blog post having a thorough understanding of your target marketing is vital. 

But how do you get clear on who it is you are talking to and targeting? Here are four questions you MUST ask to get to know your customers – and why you need to ask them.

1. Who are my customers?

What types of people are your customers? Are they a business or consumer? Male or female? Older or younger? 

Do they have money, or are they buying on credit? Are they impulsive or considered? Are they well educated or uneducated? Are they fun or reserved? Daring or cautious? Kids or no kids? Happy or unhappy? Are they making ends meet or living the high life? Are they worried about what others think of them?

What is important to them? What do they value most? Who do they trust? What media do they consume? What social media do they use? 

By asking who your customers are, you will discover how to speak to them and where to find them.

2. What do my customers really want?

What does your customer want from you, do you know? 

While your customers may justify their purchases logically based on the features or inclusions you provide, they don’t tend to buy because of them. Your customers buy based on what your product or service will do for them, save them, make them feel, or make others think or feel about them. 

So again, I ask you, what do your customers really want from you?

Is it to save time or money? Is it to have a certain status or level of respect? Is it to be first and lead the way? Is it to make them feel more worthy, attractive or confident? Is it to alleviate guilt, stress or grief? Is it to live longer? Is it to be more successful, prosperous or influential? Is it to be a trendsetter or forward thinker? 

By identifying what your customers really want, you will uncover how to market to them and what you need to say.

3. How motivated are my customers?

How great are your customers’ needs, wants, frustrations or challenges? How motivated are your customers to buy from you? Do they need and want your product or service or just like the idea of it? Is your product or service an essential or luxury to them? Do your customers know and acknowledge they need your product or service? 

By asking how motivated your customers are you can determine if your product, service or market is viable. You will also be able to identify the level of education you will need to provide and what you will need to do to motivate them.

4. What is holding my customers back from buying?

What are the reasons your customers won’t buy from you? What are some of the reservations they have? 

Is it price or timing? Is it a lack of awareness or understanding? Is it a lack credibility or runs on the board? Is it that you are too new or too established? Is there too much risk involved? Do they need it but don’t want it? Is there not enough proof of your claims? Is there someone influencing their decision?

By finding out what is holding your customers back you can identify ways to build trust, and calm concerns, fears and objections through your marketing. You will also be able to uncover what influencers you need to market to and win over to get the sale.

Do you know your target market as well as you should?

Amanda


To niche or not to niche?

It’s an age-old question that many business owners struggle to answer. But the truth is if you want your marketing to be as effective as possible you need your target market to be an inch wide and a mile deep. 

When you try to be everything to everyone you risk appearing irrelevant to those customers who you want and need the most. 

Still not sure? Here are four opportunities you open up when you pick a niche. 

1. Become the go-to expert

When you zone in on a niche, you naturally become a go-to expert. You are assumed to have more knowledge on the industry, area or market than anyone else who is generalising. 

As a result, people who start to target a niche can end up with more leads and a bigger following than when they worked more broadly. It becomes easier to find you, and you are perceived to be more relevant and valuable to your potential customers. 

Let’s imagine for a moment you need a business coach. You search around and narrow it down to two coaches with the same qualifications and experience level, but one specialises purely in your industry. Who would you choose?

2. Generate more sales

Perhaps one of the biggest fears around choosing a niche is the chance it could reduce sales. But when done well it has the opposite effect. 

When you target a broad audience, your message needs to be broad to appeal to as many people as possible. While this can still generate results, you will get far better results when your market is specific. 

When you target fewer people with more in common, you can tell more relevant stories, address specific problems and appeal to the right emotions to make your customer feel as though you are talking directly to them. 

This approach increases your chances of speaking the right words to the right people at the right time, creating more sales and more raving fans.   

3. Get more bang for your marketing buck

There is no faster way to blow your marketing budget than to target anyone and everyone. The more specific your audience, the more strategic your campaign.

Opportunities, strategies, tactics and influencers can all be better qualified when you know who you need to reach. 

4. Gain more loyal customers

When you serve a niche, your customer can believe working with you will be easier. There’s less groundwork and explaining to do because you already know their problems, issues, frustrations and needs, and have had experience solving them. 

There is also a perception that you will look out for their best interests, and be able to give them ideas and guidance about best practices and produce more tailored products or services to get their desired results. 
 
Because of this (and providing you do a great job) your customers are more likely to be more loyal to you in the long term. 

Do you work within a niche or do you generalise?

Amanda 


Four marketing lessons your customers can teach you

Your customers are one of your most valuable assets in business. They not only provide the necessary income through sales to help your business survive, but they also provide valuable insight into your products and services, and the best way to market them. 

If you want to find out how to be more strategic in your marketing, spend your budget more wisely and attract more of the customers you want to work with, the answer lies in your existing customers. Here are four marketing lessons your customers can teach you.

1. They can tell you what customers to target

One of the best lessons your customers can teach you is who you do and don’t want to work with. Make a list of your most challenging customers. What made them challenging? Why did you not like working with them? Do they have any characteristics in common that may help you qualify potential customers better?

Now make a list of your top customers. What did you love most about working with them? What made them a great customer? Do you see any commonalities or patterns that will help you find and identify your top customers easily?

2. They can tell you where to find more customers

Once you have identified your top customers, look at where you found them or how they found you. Are there any commonalities or patterns here?

Did a particular advertisement, message, referral source, marketing activity, incentive, product or service, attract your top customers to you? Is there a particular social media platform, publication, website or influencer they were influenced by? 

If you can, also compare how your most challenging customers found you. This will allow you to qualify your sales and marketing efforts and ensure you attract more of your top customers into your business.

3. They can tell you what customers will love most about you

Often in our marketing we will pick out the features, benefits and solutions that we think will appeal most to our customers. 

While we can often be right, a customer can give you a more practical example or application that you or a potential customer may not have thought of. They can also find additional benefits or prioritise benefits differently to how you would have imagined. 

4. They can get new customers to trust you

Your current customers play a major part in your marketing and sales process; they minimise the risk of your new customers purchase decision. While you can address the frustrations of potential customers, offer solutions and provide an incentive, your existing customers provide the ‘proof’ that what you say or do works.

Without their stories, testimonials, case studies or referrals your sales are hinged on how much trust and rapport you or your sales people can build, or how competitive your pricing is.

What marketing lessons have your customers taught you?

Amanda


Why you need to ask questions in your sales and marketing

Questions are powerful in sales and marketing. When you use them right they uncover needs, challenge thought processes, demonstrate your uniqueness and increase conversions. 

If you aren’t convinced already, here are four reasons why you need to ask your potential customers more questions in your sales and marketing.

1. Questions engage

Questions draw readers into your words and make them involved. When a question is asked (a closed question in this case) we naturally answer it, we can’t help but agree, disagree or form an opinion.

When this happens, your potential customers are more likely to read on. Your potential customer will want to see if you share the same opinion, have an interesting point, or can provide the solution to the issue, problem or ‘what if’ scenario raised in the question.

2. Questions challenge beliefs

A well-posed question can help you challenge your potential customers beliefs, disrupt their thought process and help them uncover needs they don’t know they have so your message or point of view can pierce through. 

These piercing questions are particularly important when people have “heard it all before…” or when you are launching a new product, service or concept and need to educate people on why they need your business.

3. Questions break down perceptions

A lot of times potential customers bring perceptions to your business and industry. They make assumptions about what you do and how you do it based on their level of understanding and experience with competitors. 

While this can work in your favour (the education is done for you), it can also work against you and fuel their objections if they have had negative past experiences.

When you pose a question based on your point of difference or a failing in your industry (think “Tired of [insert point]?” “Sick of [insert point]?” or “Isn’t it time you [insert point]?”), it can change your potential customers perceptions of you, demonstrate your understanding of them and separate you from competitors.

4. Questions can make sales

Leading questions, where you ask your potential customer a series of questions you know they will say yes to, have been proven to increase sales conversions.

When you can get potential customers in the habit of saying “yes” when you ask them to act or buy they are more prone to say “yes” again. 

What questions could you ask to engage and convert your customers?

Amanda


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