Seven years ago, I learned a lesson that absolutely changed the way that I build businesses, and I'm hoping it'll help you advertise your business online better too. It's the secret of "Buyer Stages."
I first discovered it back in 2009. I was reading a book that had already been published for probably six or seven years. This book talked about the stages of the buyer journey and gave you a roadmap to how quickly somebody will pull out their credit card and purchase something from you.
Now, it might sound kind of crazy, but it was a book on the fundamentals of how to advertise your business online, through Pay-Per-Click Google Ads (in the early, early days!).
Basically, the lesson was this.
The 3 Buyer Stages
There are three stages of buyers. Each of the stages is broken down into how quickly somebody will make a buying decision with you.
Stage One Buyer
Stage One, the first buyer stage is the person who knows they need something, but they aren't sure what yet. They are interested, they have a nagging feeling or passion that they want to explore more.
They're really not even a buyer. They are, but the educational and learning curve that you need to put them through sometimes is months and years away. This is somebody who, if you're able to attract them, you can make a lot of money from this person because you are their expert...
But, you will make a lot of money from this person like two years down the road. If you're looking for a quick way to advertise your business online, you need to make sure you give this person enough time to pay off.
The investment on your part in this person is very, very high. If you need to generate revenue now, then this is not the person you go after. If you're looking to build a platform and an audience that you can monetize way down the road, this is your person you go after. If you have huge ambitions for your company that are five and ten years out, then looking at a Stage One Buyer and planning and marketing, then going after them is a good investment in your time, resources, and energy.
Stage Two Buyer
Now, your Stage Two Buyer. In terms of buyer stages, they still are not ready to buy yet. They're not ready to pull out their credit card and pay you money online just yet. But what they do know is that they are interested in the thing that you do.
Let's say you're a business consultant and this new lead has a startup business - your ideal client!. They've already made moves and created their products, and have a website. They know that they need to get more help with something - let's say search engine optimization - so they start looking for search engine optimization tips. They start researching the industry, the collective niche. They start digging through the pile of search engine articles to find who are the experts in that niche who can help them do what they need to do.
Narrowing Your Funnel
Often times in terms of advertising your business online, the Stage One Buyers represent the top end of your sales funnel. It's a huge pool of people who think they may be interested in something. And then you step down to a smaller subsegment of the people who say, "Yes, I'm interested in this thing and I'm looking for the person or company or product that can help. "Who can I follow to get to know a little bit more before purchasing..."
Stage Three Buyer
Then you have your Stage Three Buyer. Your Stage Three Buyer says, "I am interested in growing my business. I am ready to make an investment and I've narrowed it down to a couple of people. Furthermore, I have the person or the company that I'm looking to make that investment with."
That is your hottest, most actionable buyer stage. This is the person who will convert, giving you money the fastest.
When you're advertising your business, you, of course, want to target this Stage Three Buyer. This is the person who is already interested, they've already shown that they're interested in you, and have consumed some (or all) of your content. They are ready to make a buying decision with you.
Your Stage Two Buyer is a bit premature. At Stage Two, in terms of your marketing funnel, you're attracting them. Maybe they've watched a video, but they haven't signed up for your email list. They know who you are, they follow you lightly, but they haven't necessarily committed to following every word that you publish.
Your Stage One Buyer... They're the person still hanging out in Google trying to find relevant information on what they're interested in. They're looking for a rabbit hole to follow.
Advertise Your Business Online The Smart Way
My point is, when you're looking at building a marketing campaign and a platform online, you need to understand those three buyer types.
- The Stage One Buyer is the person who will find you and they may or may not progress to the next level.
- The Stage Two Buyer knows they're interested in something, they're looking for their expert. That expert may be (I hope) is you.
- Your Stage Three Buyer already has identified you as an expert. They are looking to buy your thing, they're just looking for the right offer.
If you'd like to talk a little bit more about setting up marketing campaigns or putting a plan together to advertise your business online, click the button below, set up an action plan call with us, and we'll get you taken care of.