Yeah, you... Who do you think you're talking to?

I mean it... Who?

Don't worry, this isn't a threat - it's a genuine question. Let me explain what I mean...

The biggest mistake I see people make with marketing is not understanding who they're trying to speak to. This makes their message bland and weak... It's just never going to get any traction.

If you don't understand who exactly you are trying to reach with your message, then you can't understand what problem you can solve for them... And that's all business is, getting paid to solve some kind of problem - That's how I look at it, anyway.

So, what can you do to fix this?

Well, I advise my clients to take some time to really think about who their target customer is.

A great exercise is to give this person a name. Then think about how old they are and then start writing as much detail about them, their lives and their interests... Build up a vivid picture of what they are like, what motivates them and then try to think about how you can frame your messages in this way.

Show them their problems, then explain how you can make them go away. Once you frame your messages in this way, in terms of how your actual customer sees the world, your audience will feel like what you offer is tailor made for them.

They'll see you as a solution to their problem, an investment rather than an expense. Nobody minds spending money if it takes away their pain, or moves them towards pleasure... This applies to as much to business purchases as well as consumer ones.

Your goal is to make people curious about what you do, and how your product or service can enhance their life.

Once you do this, you'll create a community who will not only buy from you, but they'll be happy to share your content (extending your reach) and they may even refer business to you.

All you need to do is narrow your focus to a specific demographic with specific needs.

Don't try to target everyone, when you do this, you'll be boring and generic, just like most other companies.

The best place to start is to clearly define who you're targetting. Write a character profile and keep this in mind whenever you are reaching out to your community.

The key to marketing is understanding your audience and their needs. Get this right, and the rest should fall into place nicely.