The Essence of Kathleen, Part 1: Services & Segments
Being a solopreneur (that’s an entrepreneur with one person) is mostly about selling yourself. And a website is a great selling tool. It’s low cost. It’s cheap advertising. It’s colorful and you can elaborate as much as you want. And even one person can design a kick-ass website for themselves these days. The tools are out there.
So you build a website.
So you spend time reading up on building websites. Perhaps you try to hire someone to do it – a friend, or some trade work with a ‘graphics guy’. Perhaps you even have something up and running. But no one comments. And no one cares.
So, what’s wrong?
Time and time again I see where sole proprietors go wrong. They talk services, not benefits. They focus on selling to everyone instead of selling only to the people that need their services.
I remember that stage in my life – scrambling for business, talking to as many people as I could stuff into my phone plan. And nothing really came of it except a headache and a buzzing in my right ear. Thankfully, those days are over.
Every sole proprietor should back-the-hell-up-a-step and look at who they should be selling to.
If you know WHO you’re selling to, THEN you can build an effective website.
Your segments = Your website. What is a segment? A segment is a percentage of your potential market. That segment has certain characteristics, like where they work, what they drive, what they wear, how much money they make – whatever.
As a solopreneur, your website has 3 primary reasons for existing:
- Capture the essence of working with you (or buying your very personalized product)
- Show off your expertise (your services)
- Speak to customer’s benefit of working with you.
So, the whole purpose of this 2-part article is to merge these 3 things, together:
This leads to 6 mind maps during the ideation process.
- Your services
- Your future segments that you’re targeting
- Your current segments that’s you’re working with already
- Your website goals
- Your visitor’s goals when visiting the website
- And finally, you.
Of these 3 things, the most difficult to capture is what matters to customers; you know who you are, and you know what you sell. But you don’t necessarily, right off the bat, know what matters to customers.
Why? Because what matters to customers relies upon what type of customers you’re trying to attract. And that means you have to understand your segments, before you begin to build your website. So, for Part 1 of The Essence of Kathleen, let’s focus on services & segmentation.
Part 1: Services & Segments.
Part 1 will focus on the first 3 mind maps; they seem to go together, nicely. I started consulting from the perspective what Kathleen did as a service, which led to why we’re talking in the first place (market to future segments), which led to current segments she’s been successful with so far.
Kathleen is a sole-proprietor that wants to build a website for marketing and selling her yoga services (among others). She has taught yoga for years, but not as a primary occupation. Her previous clients usually came through a yoga studio or private instruction. Her time in the corporate world has unveiled a new market that she believes is a winner.
Her goal: build a website that works for both her current and future customers, based on new markets. She also wants her website to reflect who she is (yogis are wise, many say). Yoga is not her only skill as a healer, but her primary one.
1. Kathleen’s services.
Kathleen first has to determine if all of her services she can offer are good for her website. Sometimes, certain services are not good if displayed with other services.
In this case, the ‘total services’ of Kathleen might not be suitable – they might frame Kathleen as too ‘astral’ to work with (especially with future corporate clients) – so we concentrated on yoga.
The vote is still out on whether we’re using all the services on the website, or just yoga. Time will tell.
2. Kathleen’s future segments.
Future segments of Kathleen’s business is where she is putting her marketing efforts into, right now. If we built a website with only the services that she performs now, we’re not going to attract the new type of customer to the website.
Most of her future focus is on groups, like corporate groups. But I also identified that there is a retreat-like element to yoga, and group yoga instruction in a retreat-like setting is totally viable.
Another focus of Kathleen, which I think is brilliant, is schools. Not just for students, but for teachers. The gods know that if yoga can help you relax and focus, schools are a great way to ‘set the pattern’ early in life for children. In our fast-paced, anxiety-ridden civilization? I think there is a connection there.
And of course, children have parents. Which is a great way to market – through children. I can say that because I’m a marketer – and therefore a digital mercenary.
The emphasis on groups is strategic in nature; it elevates Kathleen to another level of consulting and interaction. Groups and larger businesses have larger purses, and that means a more sustainable business future.
The trick here for Kathleen is to marry her current skills (yoga) with the needs of corporations and larger business. And that, of course, requires a knowledge of the problems that larger businesses face.
One potential ‘speak to benefit’ for Kathleen is that larger business have many employees, and that means large health insurance bills that the company must absorb. If yoga can reduce health risk, then the benefit is there. Yoga increases flexibility, which could reduce injuries, which could in turn reduce premiums or co-pays or whatnot.
3. Kathleen’s current segments.
Current segments allow Kathleen to identify where she’s made her money in the past, and why.
Most of Kathleen’s money currently comes from fitness clubs (no surprise) since yoga is seen more these days as fitness. But Kathleen’s going to change all that – because she see yoga as a way to concentrate, relax, lower blood pressure, reduce injuries, feel good, reduce wear-and-tear on the body, and about 300 more things. Plus, the competition is high for fitness clubs. Forget it, it’s a dead-end.
But I always throw in there a section called Unconventional Wins, that ‘catches’ any segments out there that Kathleen might not realize she’s the perfect solution for. In this case, both groups were over 10 in number, were mostly or all women, and both groups are supportive groups, one for business, and one for family.
There’s a pattern here that we’re going to use to mine for customers in the future. It certainly tells her who her initial contact is most likely going to be: adult women groups. This won’t be the only segment she attacks, but it’s a great place to start (which is the hardest step).
Much of a website’s development revolves around identifying the right customers for future growth. Your customers are limited by your services, and how those services are used by your future target segments.
By identifying your skills, your past customers, and your future targets, you can discover quite a bit of information on how to sell to them. It’s half of the web development puzzle, and a great place to start when dreaming of a major purpose of websites; speaking to the customer’s benefit of working with you.
In part 2 of The Essence of Kathleen…
We’ll focus on those other 3 mind maps in Part 2, we’ll focus on Kathleen, her website, and how her customer perceives it. This will draw all the pieces together and ensure a website build that grow with her business, by focusing on goals, and the essence of Kathleen. Stay tuned!