July 4, 2013

helpYou might think that the best way to gain and retain customers is by offering the best product, at the lowest price, with the best customer service. You’d be wrong. The best way to gain and retain customers is by solving problems in those customers’ lives. The good news for Internet marketers is that the problems you’re solving do not necessarily need to be solved by your products.

Find out what problems your customers have

Figuring out what common problems are shared by your customers may involve creating personas for your ideal customers, or listening to your customers on various social media platforms. Don’t limit your thinking to problems that your products can address. Find out all of their problems, whether it is finding a good school for their kids, the best restaurants for important business dinners, or a way to stop the neighbour’s dog from barking.

How can you be uniquely useful?

Once you figure out what problems your customers have, you need to determine what solutions are already available to them. Consider an Internet marketer whose products appeal to business people who work from home. Some of their customers’ problems might be finding professional locations to hold business meetings, keeping their work life and home life separate, and reducing distractions to allow them to work effectively. Solutions already available for these problems include virtual office space providers, organizational specialists, and noise cancelling headphones. A uniquely useful solution might be a series of articles describing how to choose and engage the best virtual office provider, with a forum for customers to relate their own trials and tribulations. Notice how once the first solution is offered, the usefulness is compounded by learning additional problems and their solutions from your customers.

Other aspects of usefulness

In addition to being uniquely useful, you need to ensure that your usefulness continues as the needs and concerns of your customers change with time. If you are providing a rating service of some sort, you need to ensure that new products or venues are added to the list, and defunct ones removed. If you are offering how-to information, you need to make sure that your instructions work with new versions of software. You should also make sure that it is clear how your usefulness relates to your overall business. Therefore, if you review anything, state whether you purchased the item at retail or were given it for free in exchange for your review. Clearly state whenever the thing you are reviewing or recommending comes from one of your advertisers or business partners. Do not give anyone reason to question the usefulness of your offering due to bias or a secret intent to make sales. And on those occasions when you actually do have a product or service that can solve your customers’ problems, by all means mention it!





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy



(Image: Morguefile)

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