I was reflecting this morning at recent conversations about upcoming economy struggles. I was thinking; what does the average person do to combat this? I remembered a saying I once heard that goes something like this: When business is going well people party and when it’s struggling people ponder. It really should be the other way around.

When a business is doing well, they should be considering if they need to double down and gain more customers/fan base. I say fan base because the right customers will stick with you through thick and thin.

So how does someone gain more customers or grow their fan base?

To answer that question is different for every business.

Now there is so much push with online and social as the way to get leads and grow a business. That’s true, but it’s not the only avenue or method to do that. To grow your business, you need to understand your customer segments.

A customer segment is just a group within your customers… For example, retired people may be one segment and 20-somethings may be a separate one for you. Both of those groups may benefit from your products, but they’ll each have different reasons why.

Once you know your customer segments, it puts you in the driver’s seat to communicate with them in a way they prefer. If your audience is retired people they may read the newspaper every day, so that may be the best way to reach them.

On the flip side 20-somethings aren’t usually reading papers. Maybe the best way you can reach them is on social media.

Although I am all about business growth and finding your best avenues, my company Kick Ass Media is focused on live events. Live events or trade shows are just another avenue to get in front of customers. If you’re a wedding photographer it would make sense to be at a wedding show… obviously.

Regardless of the avenue, what most businesses miss is how to properly set up a sales pipeline to nurture the leads that they come in contact with. We so often focus on the ones ready to buy now and put the others on the back burner. This can be damaging to your business if you’re not maintaining relationships.

That’s a whole other conversation…for now the focus is understanding who your ideal segment is. Yes, the ideal. So many businesses say their customer is everyone. But when you communicate with everyone in the same way, you aren’t properly communicating with anyone.

In order to communicate with your segments properly, grow your fan base, grow your brand and secure yourself for economic struggles, you have to get clear on how that looks.

Remember this first step before you create any marketing to your potential audience.

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