For instance, there’s Jeff Daigle, owner of a plumbing and heating business; Jeff Daigle, the dentist; and there’s Jeff Daigle, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Cambodia. All of us Jeff Daigles are different people who have accomplished different things, but to Google we’re not that different.
The same goes for your business and all of the other people out there making the same things that you do, but you have something that nobody else does: your story, and sharing that story is how to find your most valuable customer.
Trash into Treasure: An Example of a Powerful Story
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Thomas Althaus of Canned Goods in his garage-studio. Thomas hand-makes beautiful jewelry out of used food cans. The idea first came to him when he was trying to think of a simple but meaningful gift for his wife on their 10th anniversary. Since the 10th is the “Tin” anniversary, he had the inspiration to make something for her out of a used tin food can.
Well, not only were the resulting earrings and bracelet a hit with his wife, they were a hit with his wife’s friends, their family, and everyone else who saw them. As he began making more and more pieces, he had another brainstorm: why not “close the loop” and donate a can of food to charity for every piece of jewelry sold?
Every piece Thomas makes keeps a can out of the trash and helps keep people from growing hungry. Now just a few years later his jewelry is in a dozen stores in Denver and he’s selling them all over the country through his website. See how much of an advantage an authentic story can be?
Telling the story behind the why and what of your business will help you stand out from your competition, keep your customers from hitting the back button when they visit your site, and it will get you in touch with your most valuable customers.
Your story should be reflected in everything about your business design—your business model, your products, your marketing, your website, your positioning statement. It will help your customers remember you, and help you to remember yourself.
Free Worksheet: Defining Your Positioning and Ideal Customer
The most powerful piece of information any business owner can have is exactly who their ideal customer is. Knowing that helps you decide where you should be selling, what your price points should be, and where your should be marketing. This worksheet will help you clarify your market niche and zero in on your ideal customer.
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Using Your Story to Find your Most Valuable Customer
One other way that your story will help your business is that it will help you communicate more directly with your chosen Niche. Your niche is the group of people described by your most valuable customer, and they will be far and away your biggest fans.
Because you are making your product just for them, they will be more likely to buy your product or services and more likely to talk about them to their friends. They’re the passionate “influencers” who post photos of your wares on Pinterest and Instagram and tell everyone on Facebook how great you are.
How do you find your most valuable customers? That’s right, with your story.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here: I am most definitely not saying that you should make something up about your products saving baby rock snails from rubber cement truck spills, or some other insincere tear-jerker. Get back to basics: your why and your what.
I guarantee that your story is more than interesting enough, even if to you it seems like it’s “just” your every day life. The fact that you started your own business selling products or a service that you make yourself is already an amazing story—so many people dream of doing that but so few actually make the leap.
And don’t be afraid of sharing the more personal reasons you have for doing what you do. You’ll find your most valuable customers are drawn to that authenticity, and if your story resonates with them you’ll become more than just a maker, artist, or business to them—you’ll become a real person who they support.