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Followers are not always customers. Know the difference

Every week, at least one person sends me a message or email asking me what they can do to grow their follower base on social media. When I ask why they want more followers, their response often revolves around this statement:

“I want more followers so I can make more sales.”

This “high follower = high sales” misconception is one of the most significant digital misconceptions.

Over 95% of the people who follow you may never buy from you; sorry to burst your bubble. This number could get as high as 99%.

Ripping this band-aid off early on helps you understand your followers’ role and how it can eventually help you focus on building a quality follower base instead of focusing on just growing your followers at any cost.

When you realize that your follower base’s quality is more important than the quantity, your strategy changes; buying followers stops being an option. Following and unfollowing for page growth ceases to be an option. Instead, you focus on building a quality fan base or community.

Suppose 95%+ of your followers will never buy from you. You need to figure out how to put that 95% to fair use. But, to do that, you must first understand the difference between your followers and your customers?

Your followers are your audience—people who need your product or service. The need qualifies them to be members of your audience. You can go ahead to be a little more specific and insist on these people’s demographic, economic, and psychographic class to help filter them. This specificity in filtering will ensure that your audience experiences a connection based on shared goals, pain points, age group, or something else that transcends their needs.

However, your customer has the need but is also willing and able to buy your solution more than once. The customer has to tick all three boxes to qualify as a customer. Simply put, your customer is a member of your audience who is willing and able to buy your product or service more than once.

So if someone who needs your product tells you, “I really need it, but it’s too expensive,” that person may not be your potential customer yet. That person is still in the audience phase because they lack purchasing power.

So when specifying the qualities of your target customer, think deeply about these three factors. It is the reason why Dangote (the richest man in Africa) has the capacity to pay for pure water (water in a sachet instead of a bottle), but because he is not willing to pay, he is not the target customer of pure water. And targeting him might be a waste of the marketing budget.

Oxygen is free but will you pay for it? Nope! Why? Because you do not have a problem that needs it. However, people in the hospital who are on life support and cannot breathe by themselves will willingly pay for the oxygen tanks at whatever price tag. NASA cannot go to space (yet) without oxygen, so for now, they will pay for oxygen tanks, no matter the cost.

You need to be able to define your customer and audience based on their:

● Demography: Location, age, gender

● Economy: Their earning and spending power –

● Psychography: Challenges, behavior, inspiration/motivation, goals, doubts, and reason to believe

Then separate them into two groups – audience and potential customers.

However, don’t discard your audience even though they may not directly pay you; you can leverage them. Your audience is an excellent marketing tool to help you attract your customers. While 95% of them may never buy from you, if you show up for them in ways that temporarily soothe their need, they’ll be great evangelists for you.

All you have to do is create content and resources amazing enough to impact their lives, temporarily soothe their pain, and make them feel the nudge to share your brand’s resource or experience with their community.

Find moments to tell them your story, your offerings, and how you can help them. They’ll recognize that they are not willing or able to pay, but they’ll share, using statements like “I can’t believe this resource is free.”

“I read this ebook by Blessing Abeng, and it changed my life completely. I can’t imagine what a 1-hour consultation with her would do for me.”

As they share, they’ll attract more quality audience members and potential customers as well. Give them information that transforms their lives or arm them with resources that have the potential to change their lives.

So the magic question is – How do you build a quality audience?

You build a quality audience by focusing on the power of one.

Don’t try to appease everyone at the same time. Start with one. Start with your smallest possible audience. Be the best you can be for that viable-niched audience and grow from there. Read more tips here.

Need help figuring out your audience? Get this guide.

My question for you today is simple: What are you going to do differently now that you know that your followers are not always your customers?

Have any questions or challenges you are facing? Please write me an email telling me your story, stating your challenges and asking me your question – I’ll answer the top 3 every last Monday of the month.

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