Who Are Your Customers?
This is NOT such an easy question in TE Land. If you own a restaurant, the customer base is pretty easy to define. Likewise a landscape service. It’s easy to know who butters your bread in the brick and mortar world.
Depends on what you do. If you are a TE owner, it is obviously your surfers AND your advertisers. If you are an affiliate, it would be your downline(s). If you own a program, it is members. Paid and free.
Why Does it Matter?
Well, aside from the obvious, unless you are giving away $100 bills it’s hard to get customers. As an affiliate, there is promotion and cost for each and every reference. As a TE owner you probably have to advertise and run specials. Unless of course, you have a couple of tons of $100 bills waiting. As a program owner there is heavy and continuous promotion.
As it happens, I have a dollar value for everyone of my referrals. Once I have that in hand, it’s pretty easy to decide what and where to promote. I also have a cost per member at my membership site and a profit per member number, too. If the second number isn’t higher than the first it is only a hobby.
Or is it? You see, my membership and my referrals are also my list. These are the people that like and support me and my programs. If done correctly, these are the people that will tell their friends about my site, about my blog, about how I help them out whenever they ask. There isn’t really a value you can put on that, but it is significant in the long run.
You see, customers are more than just bulging wallets to me, they ARE my business. How they feel about me and my business is the single most important item IN my business. All the great content, all the pretty frills, all the hard work mean nothing without people that are a responsive part of my business. They are the business, I am simply the curator and administrator of that business.
It is the reason I prefer the word stakeholders to customers. These are the people that buy things from me and through me, who use my products and give me feedback that can lead to a better product, who read my blog. The stakeholders actually own a piece of the action in that they ARE the action. If I have done it just right, these are the people that drive my train.
If I haven’t done it just right, many of them will wait patiently for me to do so. If I service their needs well enough while they wait, if I value their stake in my business.
If I were an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) sort of guy, I would look back over this post and use people for my keyword. It is in this article so many times because they ARE people, not statistics, not values, not variables. People. Stakeholders.
I’m just sayin’