About two years ago, I delved into making Ankara customised fashion accessories. In fact, I fell so much in love with what my craft, I thought that others would love it too. They loved it. People admired accessories and souvenirs adorned with the contemporary African fabric.
Guess what? My bubbles were burst when no one bought from me. Why? I could not understand at that moment. People said that my stuff were neat and nice. They even wanted it dashed out to them, but they did not buy. Only a few friends purchased just to encourage me. Someone from jiji.ng marketplace wanted to make an order for 200 ankara-crafted keyholders, I was excited. She later called to cancel the order for reasons she said was best known to her.
Overtime, I met with the right people and joined certain online groups. I realised that I did lots of stuff wrongly. If I were to do these things right, I needed to go back to master the principles of MMM- Message, Market, Media.
Awww! So, you thought I was going to talk about MMM (Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox) Ponzi scheme? Not at all dear. This is a more efficient MMM that can never crash.
First, I was trying to be and do all things. I wanted to learn to sew, to make home crafts, to learn interior décor and catering. At the same time, I wrote poems (inspirational and spiritual poems) and spared sometime doing network marketing. I did not mention that I also practiced in my core area: Medical Laboratory Sciences.
So, I was all things to all men; different things to different men. If these men were put together in a conference room to discuss my person, they would contradict themselves. This meant that, I would be termed as unserious or crazy.
‘This one good! That one good!’ Na im dey make mad man carry load.
To succeed in business it is necessary to possess and master a strong message of who you are and what you are about. One can be good at several different things, but you must master the talent that meets with great business opportunities. I am mastering storytelling and creative freelance writing. What about you?
Tell them who you are, what you do and why you do what you do.
Choose your most profitable offering/gift. Do not try to sell everything. Give the relevant messages that appeals to the needs of your audience.
Audience? Yes, they are your ideal clients who would buy from you.
I learnt, through understanding my market, that your business is not about you. If it was so, then it would be just a glorified hobby: no need exchanging it for revenue. A good business is never selfish.
I just told you about your ideal audience. This is the market where you sell your gifts to people who need to benefit from them.
A lot of things are necessary to discover you will buy from you. They are summed up as geographics, psychographics and demographics.
In my Ankara business, I thought it would be nice for everyone: old, young, boy, man, girl, woman and hermaphrodite. I. Was. So. Wrong. A little girl loved my stuff but could not afford it.
It is necessary to have an ideal customer avartar. Who should buy from you? What is this person’s name, age, gender, income and employment status?
This is necessary to note so that you don’t end up trying to sell sanitary towels in a boys’ school.
What are they interested in? What do they love? What’s their lifestyle, beliefs, hobbies, buying history, culture, interests? What are their pains and pleasures?
Why would you market pork meat to a muslim? Or meat to a vegetarian?
Customers found my crafts as nice to have but not a must have. So they ended up checking out everything in my craft bag without exchanging anyone for coolcash. My product was not going to solve a need for them at that point in time.
Imagine that the pork meat seller decides to move his business to Zamfara or Katsina? No amount of olive oil or holy water is going to make him enough profits compared to when he establishes it South Eastern Nigeria.
So, where can your customers be found?
On social media, churches, community gatherings? What groups exactly?
You cannot be searching for fresh waters in the desert all the time. Concentrate on where they can be found and listen to what they talk about. Your photography business works better on Instagram than on Twitter alone.
Go there and connect with them.
The people you are looking for are also looking (waiting) for you.
You may think that this topic is the same as geographics. But whilst geographics talks about finding your client, media talks about how to engage and convert them to be faithful followers of your brand.
Word-of-mouth, newspaper, television, radio and social media are avenues to how you can tell your story. The purpose is to connect and befriend and convert through useful posts that educate your audience and helps you build authority in your field of industry.
Does your business have a social profile?
Is your business on social media?
As a creative freelance writer and story strategist, I encourage brands to start with where they can easily be found. Your ideal clients are already on social media. All you need do is put out the right content that will make you easily come to their minds when it comes to solving a problem. Let them know, like and trust you enough to remember to buy from you or refer people to buy from you.
Go on master your MMM and begin to build a profitable business today.