Is the web making us all think more laterally?

I’ve been running some web content workshops recently, for lovely people with start-ups or who have established businesses with little web publishing.

Now if you’ve started a business, you’ll know that the most pressing concern to begin with is usually about ‘Heck, am I going to get enough trade to survive?’

And this can tempt us to say we’ll do almost anything connected with our business purpose to get cash flow. ‘Babysitting? Hell, yes… it’s quite close to a home catering service isn’t it…?’

But I’d like to suggest here that rather than travelling horizontally across all possibilities that even remotely connect with what you do, you take a vertical journey and focus on one happy customer.

If you investigate where your customer came from, why they’ve used your business, and where they’re going on from you, plus the story of their experience with you, you have detailed analysis to move forward. You have specific evidence to use in marketing. So rather than ‘we do everything and we’re incredibly helpful’ you’ve a ‘here is a one customer and how we satisfied their needs’. You are showing rather than telling…and just like in screenwriting, this works a treat.

This counters another tendency lots of us have – which is to imagine our customers are exactly like us. Whilst we may share much in common with them – especially love of our products or services – this is not always the case. If you do the exercises in the video above, you’ll work this one out.

Here’s a pdf to go with the exercises.

And it also prevents that feeling, several months in to your start-up of ‘Ok. We’re up and running with a few customers…but where do the rest come from? We don’t know anything about them…’

All this may take time when you’re in a hurry to get up and running, but it’s sound long term investment. As this research shows.

And you can impress family and friends with the statement ‘See you later. I’m off to verticalize now’….

By szcz

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