3 Surprising Similararities Between Building A Business and Playing With Legos
Ever wonder how you could reach a lot of people online very quickly?
That’s what this article is about, but first, a very serious question: How much did you love Legos as a kid?
Walk down memory lane with me for a moment.
Legos are a part of most people’s childhood. I know I had the giant bin growing up.
I’d build for hours on end, trying to make something as cool as it could possibly be.
My friends would buy Legos one box, one kit at a time. There was a picture on the outside, and a plan on the inside, giving detailed, piece-by-piece instructions on how to build the greatest pirate ship, battle cruiser, castle, or space station.
For me, the aim was just to build, with or without guidelines, finding what worked best to create the coolest thing possible.
Often times, I would start by building it their way, then modify the design and make it my way.
My way was always cooler.
But now you’re a grown up.
You have loftier goals in mind.
You have a real business (or at least a real plan for a real business) and to keep with the Lego metaphor, the picture on the box looks pretty sweet.
The castle is big, the ships have cannons, the islands have trees… pick your own lego set to describe your business plans, whatever they are. They’re detailed, they’re impressive, and this time around, they don’t have instructions.
You know you need to reach potential customers in order to grow. You know you need to find your ideal target market. You have a limited budget for advertising, and frankly, the thought of a hail-Mary advertising campaign is just no way to make the most of your time and money.
What do Legos and marketing have in common?
It’s all in the details.
Just like you might sit at a huge tub of Legos and hope to build the best-ever pirate ship, you’re now sitting in front of a blank screen with a blinking cursor mocking you. Knowing the whole wide internet is out there, and praying that whatever you write will help you build the best client base for your business.
Doing this is just like sitting in front of a giant tub of legos and only having the picture on the box telling you how to build your business.
If you want to reach your clients, if you want to find them and learn about them, you have to do what you did as a kid and start at the beginning.
Step one: Gather your Legos.
The selection process for picking out the Legos for your pirate ship wouldn’t be a free-for-all where you dive in with both hands.
You consider color, shape, size, and available options before you ever begin to build.
You also eliminate the pieces you know you won’t need. Some are too big. Some too small. Or the wrong color or shape.
Similarly, you need to gather intel on your target market to determine out how to reach them and build your customer base.
If your target market is 40-60 year old housewives, for example, you eliminate advertising targeted to men or children. But to reach your ideal target market, you have to dig deeper in the bin to find the exact pieces to build your masterpiece.
Put yourself into the shoes of your customer for awhile.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s their primary form of entertainment?
- Do they share a common interest?
- What do they watch on television?
- What kind of music do they like?
- Are they religious?
- Are generally up on current political events, or are they more focused on pop culture?
To know where to spend your time crafting killer content takes research.
“Gather your Legos” by getting into the mind of your customer.
Research blogs, magazines, and available entertainment directed to your target market to learn who exactly is out there.
This isn’t a quick five-minute exercise
So unless your product or service is intended to have broad appeal across various demographic groups, take some time.
Make some assumptions.
Only once you’ve learned too much about them can you decide what is and is not valuable.
When you’ve amassed enough information and are ready to start putting your money where your mouth is, move to…
Step two: Start Building
Once you’ve gathered all of the potentially useful legos and eliminated the ones that won’t work, it’s time to start building.
Pick out keywords that describe your target market, and craft content that mimics the style.
For Example: If you’ve determined your target market enjoy’s Steven King, add elements of intrigue, mystery and suspense to the content you create.
Everything from their preferred restaurants to the musicians they favor, tells you how create content specifically for them.
Doing this helps you to stand out in their minds, so you can ultimately they will spend money with you, without ever consciously realizing why.
If you really wanted to turbo charge your growth, using an ad platform like Facebook also allows you target individuals by their likes and interests, so you can use these keywords to reach a very specific group.
Step Three: Refine What You’ve Built
Because I only had a limited amount of Legos as a child, often times I would deconstruct my favorite creations in order to build new ones.
Your content isn’t much different than this. The only difference is you don’t always have to tear everything apart and start from scratch.
With an advertisement, landing page, or anything that uses the written word to communicate really, it’s often the most simple tweak of punctuation, or tense of a word that can make all the difference.
Split test your emails, tweak your headlines, strengthen your call to action to see what’s going to work the best.
Don’t have a high click through when you tweet out an article?
Wait a little while and test a different headline. If that gets more clicks, switch it.
Don’t get a lot of comments on your posts?
Try using a stronger closing on your next article.
Taking the time to plan ahead on who you’re communicating with is no different than picking your pieces wisely.
Word by word, line by line, you will build masterful content people will love interacting with, just like you built the coolest pirate ships and space stations as a child.
The only difference is, you won’t run out of pieces, and your creation will make you money.
Pretty sweet deal right?
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