“It’s great to know marketing, but it’s more important to know a market” – Pam Underdown
The single biggest lesson I have learned when it comes to finding clients is that you need to understand your target market with such empathy that when you reach out to them they feel completely understood very quickly (i.e. within a sentence or paragraph).
If you can truly master this, then you can actually screw up a lot of other things in business and still succeed!
To have an intimate understanding of your target market you need to have at least walked in their shoes or felt their pain at some point in your life. Empathy is one of the most important concepts in marketing. People make the strongest bonds with each other with respect to the things that hurt them the most. For example, I know lots of people today who work for a company or boss that is very unpleasant, but they have compensated for that unpleasantness by building great friendships with their colleagues – they had to in order to survive!
In marketing, your empathy for the other person’s situation and the simple fact that you understand what they feel like, and what they’re going through, is the biggest factor in your success. And that also means that one of the greatest indicators of a good target market or a bad market is how much pain and suffering there is that people are trying to get rid of. If people don’t really have a big aching, screaming problem they’re not going to pay much money to get it fixed. However, if somebody is having a heart attack on the street they’ll pay any amount of money for someone to get them to the hospital right away, they don’t care!
Sadly, there are of course many opportunities to exploit people on this basis, and that’s why we live in such a cynical world, but if you truly do know how to solve a problem then you owe it to your market to connect with where they hurt so they can begin to feel understood and hence trust you enough to let you help them solve their problem. In fact, the best markets to target are those that are feeling tremendous aches and pains to the extent that it actually keeps them awake at night.
This strategy is particularly relevant to the UK market; we British, as a people, tend to be much more interested in moving away from pain and misery as opposed to moving towards pleasure and success. But most practice owners by default are driven by the latter, so they get very excited about their products and treatments and write about all the amazing virtues in their sales copy and totally forget to highlight the deep routed, fundamental pains and problems they will solve. So take a look at the content of your website and promotional copy and ask, ‘what fundamental emotion are we appealing to?’ If your content is all about how wonderful a product, treatment or service is then re-write it in terms of how awful the alternative is (i.e. continuing to live in pain)
For your target market, the possibility of moving away from pain is most influential in the first sale, in the first time patient acquisition when they first buy from you. However, the second time they consider buying from you they will be more than likely motivated by opportunity of gain and moving towards re-experiencing the pleasure they felt previously, so make sure you adjust your sales copy accordingly for existing patients.
If you’re serious about growing a highly profitable and successful aesthetic practice filled with your ideal patients, you’re in the right place.
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