List Building Strategies that Grow Your Audience Part 1

List Building Strategies that Grow Your Audience Part 1: Create Customer-Focused Content

Written by: Zach Johnson

The most common question I get from business owners is, “how do I build my list?” This applies to everyone, from Mom & Pop shop owners to CEOs of major corporations. 

Building your list of leads is the key to increasing your customer base and growing your business. This is true whether you’re emailing and retargeting your list regularly, or you follow up in person.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you some list building strategies that you can implement at every stage in your lead generation funnel to improve conversion and grow your audience. 

You can use all of these strategies for your Facebook ads, landing pages, blog posts, website copy, whatever you’re doing to engage your customers.

Today, we’re going to start with customer-focused content. 

It’s Not About You – It’s About Your Customer

This is a mistake I see from businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Everything from their blog posts to their website copy is all about the company or the products.

Guess what?

Your potential customers don’t care about your company. They don’t care about your products either. They don’t want to know about all of the fancy features or how long it took you to develop this product.

They want to know what your product will do for them. 

They want to know how your product will help them solve their problem. They’re looking for the solution of their dreams. The product that will fix everything that’s going wrong with their lives.

Your job is to convince them that your product is the answer to their prayers.

Here are some simple ways you can do that: 

Always write in the 2nd person

Address your potential customer directly. Use “you” throughout your copy. (You’ll notice that I do this throughout this post.) This makes your prospective customer feel more welcome and comfortable. It also makes your company, and your product, more accessible.

Write to one person

The Internet is not a broadcast media, like television or radio. Not even on social media. You are having a conversation with your potential customer. You are not speaking to a large crowd. 

Write as though you’re chatting with someone in your store, or sitting with them at a table. The more personable you can be, the better. 

Remember, when someone sees your Facebook ad or visits your website, they’re usually alone, sitting in front of a computer, looking for a solution to their problems. The fact that they’re taking the time to read what you wrote means they’re interested in what you have to offer.

By ‘talking to’ your prospective customer the way you would talk to a friend, you are helping them to trust you more and guiding them toward becoming a lead, then a customer.

Keep your language conversational

You’re not just making a sale. You’re building a lasting relationship. You need to show that you understand your potential customer’s problem and you have a way to solve that problem.

If your potential customer walked into your store, you wouldn’t try to force your product on them. You’d ask them why they came in today or what they were looking for. You’d help them find the solution that’s right for them.

You need to treat your potential customers with the same respect and care on your website. I realize it’s not a brick-and-mortar business, but you can use the same language and the same attitude in your writing.

Keep your message simple

I don’t care how intelligent or educated your prospective customers are. If you use big words and try to sound “sophisticated,” you risk making people scroll past your Facebook ad or click away from your site and move on to your competitors.

Keep your words, your ideas and your message simple.

You’re not “talking down” to your prospective customers. Again, write like you’re having a conversation with a friend. You know this person. You understand what they’re going through or what they want. Meet them at their level.

If your customers use certain phrases, go ahead and incorporate those occasionally. If there are specific terms used in your industry, use those as well.

Explain complicated concepts on as basic a level as possible. I realize this will be difficult if your customers are nuclear physicists or lawyers. Try anyway.

Remember, there will always be people visiting your website that won’t understand the advanced concepts in your industry. You’re doing them a favor by clueing them in on something they’ve missed, while you’re educating them about your product.

Write out acronyms once, then put the acronym in parenthesis, like this: click thru rate (CTR). You can just use the acronym after that. This helps your readers clarify or remember what your acronyms mean. It’s also good for search engine optimization (SEO). (See what I did there?)

Sell the benefits of your product, not the features

No one wants to know about how strong a seatbelt is, or whether it passed all the required safety tests with flying colors. They want to know that the seatbelt will keep them and their family safe if they’re in an accident.

Show the benefit of your product to your customer by describing what a feature will do to help them. Here’s the question that’s always on your customer’s mind: “What’s in it for me?” Answer that, and you’ll be selling the benefits of your product.

Start with the immediate benefits, then go to the deeper, emotional benefits.

I’ll use the seatbelt example again: “Your car comes equipped with seatbelts that have been specially designed to keep you and your family safe. That way, if the worst happens to your car, you and your family will make it home, unharmed.” 

The immediate benefit is that the seatbelt keeps your family safe. The deeper benefit is, if you end up in accident, you and your family will be unharmed. No trauma, no hospitalization, no expensive medical bills, everyone will be okay.

(Obviously, there is no guarantee of the family being absolutely safe, but you get the idea of immediate and deeper benefits.)

Understand your prospective customer

You need to know who you’re writing to. Where do they live? Who do they live with? What do they do for a living? What brought them to your website?

There’s a lot that goes into this process. You need to start by creating a customer avatar or profile. That will give you the basic demographics and psychographics about your prospective customer. 

(I could write an entire post, just about this. Perhaps I will eventually. For now, search for “customer avatar” and you’ll find the information you’re looking for.)

Many companies and marketers do this research, but they don’t go deep enough to really know their customers. They put together a quick profile and call it good.

Do the research. Talk to your current customers. Learn from your leads. Send them surveys or ask questions on follow-up calls. The more information you can get, the better you’ll understand who you’re writing to.

You also need to understand your prospective customer’s problem. This is also commonly referred to as their “pain point.” By the way, this could also be a desire. People looking for jewelry don’t always have a “pain point.” They may be looking for a gift or something pretty for themselves.

Be sympathetic and empathetic in your copy. Talk to your customer about their emotions surrounding your product. Make it clear that you “get them” and you want to help.

Use emotional language in your copy

As much as we’d all like to believe otherwise, people make purchases based on an emotional reaction, then rationalize it to themselves.You’re allowed to play on this. It’s the key to good marketing.

I’ve talked about using emotional language in your copy throughout this post. My point is, you want to connect with your prospective customer. Appealing to their emotions is an effective way to do this.

It works in short copy, like Facebook ads, and long copy, like landing or sales pages.

Tying All of This Together

A lot of these methods overlap. For instance, you should use emotional language when you’re showing the benefits of your product, and when you’re commiserating with them about their pain point. Conversational language automatically includes the word “you” and makes it easy to write to a single person.

I broke all of them out for you so you think about all of them as you’re writing copy for your next Facebook ad, landing page or blog post. 

To help you make sure you’re using these methods in your copy, I’ve created a Customer-Focused Content Checklist for you. Click on the button below to download your copy.

How Does FunnelDash Play into All of This?

You can use FunnelDash to track how your customers are reacting to your customer-focused content when you run Facebook ads to your landing pages, blog posts or website.

FunnelDash pulls all of your campaign data from Facebook Business Manager and puts it into easy-to-understand dashboards. This gives you a fast and simple way to see which ads are performing best and which should be switched off, which can save you time and money.

If you're testing copy by running multiple ad variations to the same landing page, you’ll have a much clearer view on which copy is converting best. This will help you hone your messaging at every stage of your funnel, so it resonates with your potential customers and converts them into paying customers.

Do You Use Customer-Focused Content in Your Lead Generation Funnel?

Tell me what strategies you use to engage your prospective customers in the comments.

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