Updated: Nov 12, 2020
#2020. If you’ve seen it online once, you’ve seen it a thousand times.
You’ve probably even caught yourself muttering it under your breath and shaking your head whenever something goes wrong - from shattering your phone screen to missing that critical Zoom meeting because of multitasking drama.
Here’s the thing about 2020 though. For all its flaws and unpredictability, it’s given us time to step back, take a look at our business models, and create more sustainable long-term plans. 2020 has given us the opportunity to pivot, reimagine, and rebuild, so we can be even stronger in 2021.
And that’s where the 4 Cs come into play.
If your focus is to build a business that can withstand anything and that has all the earmarks of long-term success, you need to take some time and make sure your efforts are effective and beneficial. We use these 4Cs to make sure marketing programs are strategically aligned, so our clients get the greatest value from their marketing expenditures.
The catch is all about awareness. It's making sure that people are finding you and that when they do come across you, they’re impressed, attracted, or intrigued enough to want to learn more.
Think about dating, for example. The catch is the way you get someone’s attention - a clever Tinder heading, a funny (but keep it respectful!) pick up line, a glowing introduction from a friend. Just like in dating, the catch can happen in different ways depending on your ideal customer base, where they tend to hang out, and how they make decisions.
For example, if your ideal customer is an Instagram browser who likes to figure out what’s trendy and make decisions there, you need to look at your opportunities to attract them there.
Maybe it’s doing organic outreach, making connections, and creating a slew of great content (by the way, no matter which channels you’re using, this approach is never going to go out of style!).
Maybe it’s buying ads to lookalike audiences so you can get your most-actionable offers in front of them.
Maybe it’s adjusting your ad content to make sure the message is really resonating.
Maybe it’s partnering with influencers in your niche and getting their feedback about what’s working, then doing paid partnerships to forge a connection with their audiences.
The whole goal of the catch is to gain awareness and visibility that gets you in front of and engaged with the right people, so don’t be afraid to adjust your approach depending on your audience. For example, if you’re a coach who works with both individuals and corporations, you’ll want to follow some of the guidelines above to connect with B2C prospects, but also take additional measures to get your services in front of corporate leaders, like:
Sales outreach messaging directly to your target audience
Networking and using referrals to your advantage
Doing newsworthy things and promoting them through press releases and interviews
The best way to optimize your catch process for 2021 is to get a deeper understanding of your ideal customer. Invest time in creating buyer personas, using a combination of research and data to understand what they’re looking for and how they make choices.
Ask your existing customers where they heard about you and what was most appealing to them. Figure out which channels are most effective - traditional advertising, networking, social selling, content marketing, social ads - and prioritize your expenditures to allocate more to the most successful channels.
Once you connect, the best-case scenario is that your ideal customer immediately makes a purchase and you make money! However, that’s not always the way things shake out.
In the connect stage, you build a relationship, keep your potential buyer interested, and continue to reveal your brand’s value to them. This is the point where you have an opportunity to show them value - to highlight that you understand their problems and that you provide a solution that will work for them.
Take time to evaluate engagement. When you’re posting on social media, are your buyers and fans talking back to you? Are you getting likes? Are your posts actionable and are you seeing traffic flow over to your website? If you’re not sure what your audience wants/likes/needs, don’t hesitate to just ask them.
The goal here is to build a connection and an ongoing conversation. Finding out what interests them, then focusing some of your bandwidth there can ensure they’ll be more likely to talk with you and to stay connected with your brand.
Way too many business owners skip or downplay the connect step. They expect that they’ll pour a lot of money into direct advertising, then have their buyer make a choice immediately.
Advertising is undeniably still important and a key component of attracting new business. However, as you’re planning for the new year, spend some time mapping out your connection and the journey your buyer goes through to decide whether to choose you.
Are they reading blog articles? Make sure you’re answering their questions, responding to comments, and nudging them toward a decision.
Are you seeing that you’re coming up more frequently for certain search terms? Make sure you have content on your site that specifically addresses questions that your potential buyers are asking Google.
Are you hearing great feedback? Use an email campaign to ask buyers to leave positive reviews online. Those reviews can be a huge asset when you’re building connections with other potential buyers; in fact, 82 percent of shoppers read reviews when they’re deciding whether to do business with a company.
You’ve heard of the ABCs of sales - Always Be Closing?
It’s true. If you want to get that money, you need to always think about the ways that you’re making it easy for the buyer to choose you and to make that purchase decision.
The close seems like it’d be the most about the handshake, the seal-the-deal process, right? It is.
But, because so many of us work in a digitally-driven business environment, the close is often a virtual process. To make it work, you need to make sure your tech is all in place and your calls to action (CTAs) are on point.
Invest some time and some research in reviewing this last leg of the buyer journey. What does the process look like when your buyer wants to make a purchase?
Is your website clear and easy to use? Consider applying tracking software like Hotjar to your site to better understand your consumers’ behaviors and decision-making processes. And, make purchases easy and second nature with online payment processing.
Are you following up if they seem like they’re in the market but then switch gears? Dubsado workflows make it so much easier to keep connected and reignite the spark with prospects who show interest, then go off the radar.
Are you reaching out and reconnecting when you haven’t heard from them in a while? Typically you should put about 70 percent of your resources toward connection and 30 percent toward closing, so consider options to re-engage them and regain their interest, then gently reminding them about your offers.
Are you adding a personal touch to nudge your customer towards completing their purchase? Depending on the scale of your operations and the size of the deals that you want to close, it may make sense to pick up the phone and make a call to try to close the deal. Prepare well and be ready to persuade, not push. Remember to keep the relationship in mind at this stage as well; if they’re not ready to buy now, you don’t want to alienate them so they hesitate before buying later or move on to another option altogether.
Just because you make that sale, that doesn’t mean your work is over.
Instead, you have a new fledgling relationship just waiting to be nurtured and turned into long-term loyalty.
Why does loyalty matter? Companies termed “loyalty leaders” grow their revenues 2.5 faster than their industry peers.
If your customers feel loyal to you, they’re more likely to buy from you again when they need products/services you offer. They’re more likely to write glowing reviews about you. They’re more likely to provide referrals that send other customers your way.
And it costs you less to keep a robust customer base too. If you’ve already proven your value to a customer, you don’t have to put in that initial work of attracting and catching them.
Instead, you can invest more into the connection and the re-closing cycle as you engage, retain, and upsell them.
How do you move people from customers to advocates? You need to understand what makes them tick and to have a deep comprehension of the problems you’re solving for them.
The best way to do this is to ask them. Really, just ask.
Request feedback from both your best customers and from the customers who are just out there - the ones that maybe buy your product but aren’t raving about you on review sites or sending you referrals every month.
Send emails and ask for their feedback. You can easily set up a survey to capture their thoughts on your products, pricing, and service.
And you can offer them a reward for taking the time to share their thoughts. A discount code or coupon can make them feel good about their efforts in sharing information and it brings them back to your site, both of which are wins for you.
Don’t focus all your attention only on the customers who are lukewarm toward you. You can’t take your most ardent supporters for granted.
If you have customers who love you, make sure you add a little delight to their relationship with you. If you see them giving you great online reviews, send them a little something to make their day.
It doesn’t have to be expensive - a small product, a promotional item, a promo code, a handwritten note. When you go out of your way to recognize them for the love they’re showing you, that’s when you turn them from fans to advocates and life-long loyal partners.
It’s worth it for them and it’s worth it for you. The word of mouth marketing they’re giving you is more valuable (4x more valuable according to some research) than any advertising campaign you could whip up because people trust people.
To make 2021 the best year for your business, you need to focus your efforts not on what you want to sell but on what your customers want and need to stay extremely loyal, connected, and vocal. You need to make your clients feel so incredibly seen, felt, heard, and supported that they can't get enough of you and what you are offering.
What’s my number one, best piece of advice for you as you work to optimize your business for 2021? Keep people at the center of your value proposition.
Your potential customers have access to a million different product options thanks to the Internet. The way you set yourself apart isn’t just through a unique and superior product - it’s through the way you tell their story, the way you position your company and your product as a solution to their problems and the roadblocks they face.
We’re all hoping for a little bit easier 2021. Let your brand be one of the reasons your customers feel supported as they head into a new year.