Creating a business start up is no easy thing. There are endless different aspects to worry about, from coming up with an original idea or spotting a gap in the market, to finding funding, premises and staff. Inevitably, you will be working long hours, probably seven days a week, putting your family, your relationships and even yourself on the back burner. In many cases, you will be risking everything by leaving your job, re-mortgaging your house and calling in every favour you’ve ever been owed.

All of this will make your business feel very important and very personal to you, which makes it all the harder to remember that most of your potential customers simply don’t care. Your story may be inspiring and incredible, and your success may be a real against-the-odds, one-in-a-million victory, but all that people really care about is what is in it for them, and you must never forget that.

Whether you are using your technology to start a new online casino or a new bank, whether you are writing a PR piece or getting started with a blog, the main thing people want to know is what is in it for them. No matter how inspiring your story may be, if they can get the same product or service for less somewhere else, or get more for the same money, they will do. So instead of giving them your life story, you need to give them something that is meaningful to them, like free spins on slots at your casino, or a better rate on their account at your bank. There are many ways to stay focused on what your customers want, so let’s look at two of the simplest and most successful.

With all the project planning, it’s easy to forget your customers’ perspective

Who, what and why?

There are the three fundamental questions behind any marketing strategy, whether it is a blog or a full-scale client pitch, a radio ad or a social media outreach. Who are you talking to, what do you want them to do and why should they do it? You need to identify your target audience as accurately as you can and talk to them in their language about their lives or businesses.

The clearer you can be about exactly what you want customers to do – such as call, email, buy, subscribe, find out more – the greater the chance that they will do it. Conversely, if you don’t tell them how you want them to respond, how can you possibly expect them to do so?

If you want your marketing to work, you need to ask some fundamental questions

By far the most important of the three questions is why. Why should the people you are talking to do the thing you want them to do? You need to identify what really motivates them and focus on that, be it price, quality, service or a genuinely unique offering or special deal.

Give your marketing WHAM!

To stay customer focused, you also need to put everything you say about your company through the WHAM filter. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and ask yourself ‘Why and How does this Affect Me?’. When you do this, you’ll soon see how true it is that your customers don’t care about your struggle or your inspiring story, because it simply doesn’t affect them. What affects them is the quality and reliability of the products or services you can supply and the price you can supply them at. They are only interested in things that affect their daily lives, their own business or their bottom line. The rest is just irrelevant window dressing.

Be passionate but practical

It’s all down to balancing your passion for your business with a practical understanding of what matters to your customers. By keeping in mind the who, why what of your marketing campaign, and always using the WHAM filter to make sure what you are saying is relevant, you can make sure you always engage them on a level that is personal to them, not personal to you. That’s how you turn prospects into clients, browsers into buyers and a great idea into a huge success.