What it REALLY Takes to Put Your Customers First

To be honest, I’ve struggled figuring out where take SPURstartups content. How am I going to stand out to my audience, who’s bombarded with content every time they hop online?

Trendy blog content is laced with promises like, the “Do this ONE thing and you’ll be successful.” I was tired of reading post after post of empty promises and quick fixes. I thought, am I the only reader who feels like bloggers have completely forgotten about their reader? Since when was quantity better than quality?

That’s why when I heard about ConvertKit’s new Netflix-style blog structure, I had to reach out and thank them for bringing sustenance back into blogging.

ConvertKit publishes content in the form of magazine-style issues once a month. That content is launched Netflix-style in the middle of each month, every month. “Too many blogs are written for search engines, not humans. They lack focus on the reader, lack originality in the content, and generally leave something to be desired in the overall experience,” said the ConvertKit team.

I had an opportunity to pick the brain of Barrett Brooks, ConvertKit’s Director of Marketing. Not only did he give me some great advice for blogging, but also shared wisdom for being a successful business owner.

When I asked Barrett how to stand out in the digital marketplace and position yourself for long term success, his answer was simple: take time to understand what your customers want & tailor your content and product around that.

Easier said than done.

Here’s three takeaways from our conversation to remind you how to stay focused on what matters most in your business: your customers.

 

1. Stop thinking about yourself

You’ll naturally stand out to your customers if you are truly solving their needs, not your ideas about what they need. To do this, you have to stop putting yourself first.

“Part of what’s wrong with making digital products, what makes me sad about this industry, is that too many people just care about making money,” he said.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s important to know why you do what you do. How will starting a business change your life? How does your work connect to your own sense of purpose and meaning? What are your goals for your family and how will the business serve those goals? But your customers won’t buy from you because you want to put your kid through college. They won’t buy what you sell just because you love sports and decided to start a business around sports.”

 

2. Prioritize the outcome for the customer over the outcome for yourself convertkit-image-1

In college, one of my Entrepreneurship professors taught me that your bottom line mattered more than your customer’s experience. He believed that sacrificing customer service was worth it push came to shove for profitability. Something about that lecture was unsettling to me, and Barrett showed me how my professors theory couldn’t be more wrong.

He said, “If you’re so focused on you, you’re never going to make things that your customers benefit from. Think about how your customers want their lives to change and less about how you want your life to change. The outcome for the customer is more important than the outcome for you.”

“Yes, have goals for your life and your business. But don’t expect anyone to buy from you just because you want a better life. They’ll buy from you if you help them live a better life…The only thing that matters is what your customers want and need,” said Barrett

 

3. Know that success takes time, and that’s okay. 

Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight, or in a week, or a month. It can take years. Just remember that making progress on a small scale is the first step to making progress on a giant one.

Barrett reminded me that I can only move one step at a time. “You’ve got to get to 10 people before you get to one million. Before you can be the best in your state, you’ve got to be the best in your town,” he said.

Barrett’s mindset is what makes ConvertKit’s blog so fantastic. It and what inspires me to make our blog better than ever. They’ve taken a risk to change the way people interact with blog content. But that risk revolves around what they believed their customers wanted. Only time will tell if this strategy will work, but something inside me says it’s already a success.

Ready to start putting your customers first? Check out ConvertKit’s blog here and email marketing tools, here.

 

 

So, your brand walks into a bar…

By now, you’ve already heard how important your brand is to your startup.  It’s what defines you.  It’s what you stand behind. It’s the fuel that feeds the beast.

But where do you start when you begin to develop your brand? I have a fun way to define what your brand stands for. Ask your team, “If our brand walked into a bar, what would it look like?  How would it act?  How would it sound?”

Let’s look at a couple of examples and give them a name:

Veronica

via GIPHY

Veronica is the girl that only goes to the most high-end bars in town and never pays for her own drinks. She’s dressed in a sleek dress, high heels, and hair that’s defying gravity. This chick drinks cranberry and vodkas and marches to the beat of her own drum.

Example Brands:  Aston Martin, Christian Louboutin

Brian

via GIPHY

Brian is like your drunk uncle who loves forcing having conversations with anybody and everybody in the bar. He’s dressed in a t-shirt with moccasins that barely pass as loafers. If a conversation goes on for long enough, he will likely buy the whole group a round of shots. Brian wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time and that he comes off as very accommodating.

 Example Brands:  Amazon, Zappos

Charles

via GIPHY

Charles is the typical humble bragger who can kind of get away with it. He’s dressed in a perfectly tailored suit, drinks scotch, and kicks back in the cigar lounge. Charles only wants to have conversations with people that are “on the same level” as him when it comes to sophistication and educational background.

 Example Brands: Jaguar, Louis Vuitton

This is always a fun whiteboard session with the team. This will help the entire team get on the same page and help you when determining where to position your brand in the marketplace.

This is always a fun whiteboard session with the team. This will help the entire team get on the same page and help you when determining where to position your brand in the marketplace. Ready to define your brand? Click CLICK HERE to download our brand persona worksheet and share your results in our community!