Last week I talked a bit about using personas to make better marketing decisions to reach your target audience. However, there is another side to the coin.
What is your business persona?
Your business persona is the face you put forward to your potential customers. Who are you? What do you value? What makes you unique? Who do you help? How do you help them?
While you need to fulfill your customer’s expectations, do not create a persona you can’t maintain. Marketing is a lot like dating in many respects. You are hoping to fill someone’s needs but if you bluff your way to a date…well, think Cyrano De Bergerac. The truth always comes out in the end. Do not put your integrity at risk.
When you set up your business and prepare your marketing plan, take care with the image you create.
Part of my own business development and growth involves taking part in a strategic marketing think tank. All the experts I have talked with agree; everything about your business should be consistent and relevant not only to the industry but also to your personal and corporate strengths. Your print, online and in person image should match each other and most importantly match your company’s personality.
If you are a small business owner, this is doubly important because your business is YOU. Don’t create expectations you have no hope of filling.
If you read my blogs and view my web site, you will not be surprised when you meet me in person. Just like Popeye said, “I am what I am.” I’m easily recoginable from my photo. My speech pattern reflects my personality. I am easy going, casual, friendly and like to help. Oh yeah, and I have it on good authority I’m pretty smart too.
How many times have you heard a friend talk about finally meeting someone they’d been talking to through a dating service or a mutual friend?
At first they’d been skeptical. Then they saw a picture, sent an email and maybe talked on the phone. Then they started to get excited. Maybe they’d found what they’d been looking for.
The profile said athletic and tall, the picture showed a full head of hair and a flat stomach. Yet the person who walked in was 5’6”, sporting a comb-over and a keg instead of a six-pack.
At that point, it no longer matters how great their personality was or how enjoyable their conversation had been.
The fact they lied screams out until everything else is lost. Which makes you, the datee/potential customer wonder. What else are they lying about? What will they fib about in the future?
I cannot stress this enough, make sure your marketing accurately portrays your business.
More-so than ever before, being in business is all about establishing and nurturing relationships. Be honest and true to yourself when you create your business persona. If you don’t, it will come back to bite you where it hurts (your wallet!)