What dominates your thoughts when it comes to your business?
When you’re lying in bed awake, wondering if it’s considered rude to poke your snoring spouse to get him to roll over, what thoughts are keeping you up? When you’re jotting down your daily to-do list what’s driving your decisions?
Is it how to get more?
More customers, more email subscribers, more Instagram followers, more sales, more Facebook Live viewers, more Pinterest followers, more comments, more likes.
If so, I get it.
I fall down the more, more, more Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole on a regular basis. I make a lot of business decisions based on MORE.
What blog post topic will get more comments…what content upgrade will get more email subscribers…what Instagram Live topic will get more viewers.
This mindset isn’t nefarious. We need to think strategically about how to grow our businesses.
We need to write emails that will convert more of our subscribers into customers. We need to put out podcast episodes that will drive more listeners to sign up for our email lists. We need to create more eye-catching Facebook ads that get people to click on them to view our awesome landing pages.
But, in this ‘more more more’ state of mind, we lose sight of something critical.
We forget that we don’t actually need hundreds of thousands or millions of fans to take our families to Disney, order expensive wine when we eat out, buy professional grade watercolors and indulge in organic strawberries.
Most of us only need a core group of people who adore our brands to live the lives of our dreams and run the businesses that light our hearts on fire.
If you have 100 people who are so head over heels for your brand that they tell every neighbor, every store clerk and every unsuspecting dog walker about your products, then you’ve got a huge chance of success (whatever that means to you).
You don’t need 5,000 lukewarm customers who may never buy from you again and never recommend your products to anyone.
You need a couple hundred or one thousand people who love your business so much that they buy all your products and constantly recommend them to everyone in their lives.
These people post your products on Instagram.
These people buy your products for everyone in their families for Christmas.
These people recommend your products to their best friends so many times that their best friends give in and buy them.
These people unbox your products on a vlog on YouTube.
These people bounce with happiness and hang up on their moms when they see a package from you has arrived.
These people feel like they experienced a celebrity sighting when they see you in person.
These people watch all of your Instagram stories.
These people appreciate your products and would never ask you for a discount.
These people stop watching their favorite television shows when they notice you’re doing a Facebook Live.
These people sound pretty freaking great, don’t they?
They’re truly amazing. They make you feel outstanding every time you interact with them and they’re the customers that will always remind you why you’re doing what you do when you’re having a crap day.
These people are your ideal customers.
Now I’m going to tell you how to get these kinds of customers, because they do exist.
The good news is that it isn’t very hard to build a customer base that’s loyal and adores your brand, but almost every single small business is messing this part up. They don’t realize how valuable these customers are, because they’re constantly thinking about getting new customers and growing their followers.
The way you get these super fans is: you care about them, you make content for them, and you spend your marketing time on them.
When you get on Instagram Live, do you talk to people who are new to your brand or do you chat with the people who’ve bought all of your products? It’s a good idea to introduce yourself to people who have no idea who you are, but you should spend time connecting with your most loyal customers–the ones who stopped making dinner and painting their nails when they noticed you started an Instagram Live.
When you write a blog post, is it directed at your most loyal customers or is it directed at people who have no idea who you are? Are you writing a blog post in an attempt to gain new readers and followers or are you providing valuable content to the readers who’ve been around for months or years?
When you have money for marketing, do you spend some of it on treating your most loyal customers like VIPs? Maybe sending them a special thank you gift in the mail? Imagine if your favorite brand sent you a $50 gift card to spend in their shop. Think about how you’d feel if your favorite business noticed that you get a latte from Starbucks every morning (because they checked out your Instagram Stories) and sent you a gift card along with a note to enjoy a few lattes on them. You’d pretty much squeal like a four year old, wouldn’t you? That favorite brand would become an ultimate favorite that you never stopped talking about!
Think about all of the things you do within your business. Are they angled at growing your customer base? Do you spend any of the time and/or budget for those areas on your loyal customers?
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend any time growing your customer base or following. Of course you should. But, you should also remember how valuable your devoted customers are–they’re more valuable than Cindy or Stephanie who haven’t ever bought from you and may never buy from you.
What do you do to acknowledge the customers that have already bought from you?
If your answer is nothing, you’re doing things backwards. You need to work to retain those customers and treat them like the awesome people they are.
Instead of spending fifteen minutes on an email to someone who wants to know why she should spend more money on your organic shower gel when she could get three products for the same price at Bath and Body Works, send three thank you emails to loyal customers.
You probably won’t end up convincing that person to buy your shower gel whereas the three thank you emails will make a big impression.
Stop spending so much time on the people who don’t value your business and spend that time showing your appreciation for your biggest fans.