Viral is not the goal. Instead, serve the smallest possible audience insanely well.

For most of us, when we sit down to write a blog post or post on social media, the tendency is to think about how or what can we say that’s so clever and attractive that multitudes of people will want to read, share, laugh, interact and otherwise send our posts into the stratosphere of Internet stardom resulting in advertisers, celebrities, and customers banging down the door waving cash. Right?

Not really. Think about it this way. To produce something that goes viral, it must be so watered down and appealing to the lowest common denominator that it can’t be content that’s particularly useful to anyone. Think cat videos. Need I say more? You don’t need to worry about producing content that is viral-worthy. Why?

Because the paradigm of marketing is changing. No longer is the most effective marketing – particularly for small businesses – focused on the ‘mass market’ or capturing the widest net of potential customers. The most successful marketing – thanks to the Internet and social media – is focused on serving the smallest group insanely well and growing your business and following based on deeper, more quality relationships. Doing so makes your marketing and sales efforts more efficient and more affordable. And it will help you and your content stand out from all the noise out there. So how do you make your marketing more personal?

Know who your customer is

You need to know who your ideal customer or client is, as a person, in detail. Even if you sell business-to-business, you are selling and marketing to a person, the decision-maker. So, think of your ideal client and answer the following questions: What are their goals and values? Where do they go for information (books, magazines, online, etc)? What are their challenges, pain points? What is their gender, age, marital status, family status? Where do they live? What’s their job title? Annual income? Education level? What’s their personal motto or favorite quote? Finally, I encourage you to name this person. My ideal client’s name is Rachel, so in all my posts and communications I always ask myself, why would Rachel care? How will this make Rachel’s life better?

Know what is insanely useful to them

Once you have an intimate portrait of your ideal client, you can present them with content, blogs, and social media posts that lets them know that “yes, I get you. I know what your concerns are, your goals, your values, and what makes you smile. I know how to be helpful to you with my expertise.” This intimate portrait can also be used when targeting ads on social media and drilling down to your ideal audience.

Serve them in everything you do

When your messaging is focused on your client, on serving them and their specific needs – and not how great you are and the features and benefits you are selling – you will develop a greater relationship with them, they will champion you and your business will grow. Remember, your customer is the hero, you are the guide in their story. When you approach marketing in this way, not only will you attract more customers, you will attract your ideal customers.

As people, we want to be needed, seen, heard, acknowledged, important to someone. And we almost cannot help but be attracted to businesses that we feel understand us as an individual, not just as a dollar bill or a quick sale. So, the companies that can connect personally with their customers will always have an easier time building their businesses. However, the work can challenging on the front end.

If you could use some guidance in painting the portrait of your ideal client, please let me know. I’d love to help! I’ve walked through this process with all of my clients and we’ve seen amazing results in the effectiveness of their marketing, simply by getting to know their ideal client.



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