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Customer Awareness Exercise

Lesson 18 from: Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

18. Customer Awareness Exercise

Lesson Info

Customer Awareness Exercise

All right Michelle, why don't you tell everybody who you are and what you do. And then we'll start talking about the next offer you're gonna run a marketing campaign for. Awesome. So I'm Michelle Mazur. My company's called Communication Rebel. You can find us at and basically we help speakers, entrepreneurs, emerging thought leaders, package their body of work into a speech and to other trainings and help them build their speaking business, find gigs and all that good stuff. Excellent. And what is your next marketing campaign for? My next marketing campaign is for my one-on-one work for Speak for Impact, the coaching intensive. And that's a three month program-ish, sometimes six months. All right. I ruined the first Sharpie already. One-to-one Speak for Impact coaching. So if we're gonna talk solution-aware, what they need to be aware of is what? That you offer speaking coaching. Yes, that I offer speaking coaching or a form of it. (laughs) And not only ...

that, but it's speaking coaching to get the gig and package your body of work. Right? (marker squeaking) So if this is the solution. Woops, actually, sorry. This is the product. Oh, I hate when I make mistakes. This is the product. (laughs) What is the solution? The solution is to have a compelling message that makes people want to hire you as a speaker. Yes. Which is not what they think the solution is. (laughs) How about makes you get hired. Close enough, you guys don't wanna watch me write. And I should say so I'm working backwards. We know what it is that we wanna sell, often it's very difficult to work forwards. In other words, I can't make Keynote do what I would normally do so you saw me progress forwards. That's not the way I actually do it. I do it like this. (laughing) So I'm gonna start with my product. What is it that I'm trying to make them aware of and what is the real solution that I'm offering in that product? So someone else could offer this. Someone else could say I'll teach you how to make a compelling message that gets you hired for speaking, but Michelle offers speak For Impact coaching, that's the product. So that's the solution you need to make them aware of. What's the real problem? So many different things, (Tara laughs) but there is that I don't know how to book speaking gigs or get hired for speaking gigs, I can't find speaking gigs. Oh my gosh, sometimes it's like I don't know what to say (chuckles) to get a speaking gig. But it's all around. It's a lack of speaking gigs. Lack of gigs. Or a lack of paid gigs. 'cause you can speak for free for a very long time, but if you don't have a plan to get paid, that's a whole other thing. All right, perfect. So you don't know how to find paid gigs, you have a lack of paid gigs. The reason you have a lack of paid gigs is because you need a compelling message that makes you get hired, that happens to be what Michelle does. So unaware. If they're not even aware, woops,(chuckles) they're not even aware that they can't find paid speaking gigs. What's this step before that? What's the itch? I think there can be two different types of itch. There's the itch of I have something awesome that I do or I have an awesome story to share and I don't know how to share it. Or they've been at events where they see speakers or maybe they're watching CreativeLive and they're like I wanna do what Tara does. And they're like how do I do that? How do I do that? It's almost likes there's a little bit of envy going on with that one. Like how do I actually get to be that person, be that speaker? Yeah, so here the itch is that envy. Here it's almost like a mission itch. So this is a good pain point actually as an example, because this is that lack of the thing we desire. The people who are unaware know that they want to share their story, they have a mission, they have a purpose behind that story or that idea, but they don't have it. So the lack of having it is the itch they're trying to scratch. And they're looking at all the options. What are some of the other options they might actually look at? So this as been an interesting trend in my business is I've been getting more people who have take a speaker marketing course, because they think oh I just need to get in front of more people. So if I market myself, that's gonna be awesome, I'll get in front of people. So they'll look at that. They might look at storytelling coaching or how to tell a better story, read books like Made to Stick on messaging. Yeah, they might also think towards writing a book. Yeah, writing a book. So the reason I ask that question is 'cause I want you to see there's actually lots of places that this can diverge. And so you may start at the same unaware place that a lot of other people start, but their path looks different than your path. Or their path might all be the same until you get down to product. So like I said, there could be all sorts of other speaking coaches out there. I don't know who they are, that's why I like Michelle. (Michelle laughs) That's why I hired Micelle. But they could all have the same journey. They could say this is solution that I offer, but they all have different products. Make sense? Whereas we started with this unaware point, she's got her journey, but then I might say to this person I have a class on CreativeLive about teaching you how to write a book. And so I might take this same exact unaware point, the same exact itch, and take them on a different journey where I present the problem being well, you don't have a book. No one knows your idea exists, because no one can get it because you don't have any distribution. A book is the easiest way to do that and so you should take my CreativeLive class. The truth is you should do both. (laughing) But that's what I want you to see, because so often people are like I solve the same problem as everybody else or I scratch the same itch everybody else solves. And that's fine. That's not a problem. The point is not to differentiate yourself here. The point is to differentiate yourself here or here. So again, from what Lacy does, helping people with content marketing, helping people really have a whole plan behind their content marketing. The unaware piece could be that they don't have enough customers. Well how many people's itch or that unaware part of their segment is where they don't have enough customers? But there are so many different journeys that you could take people on to solve that same itch. So that's what I wanna make really clear here. Because so many times when I say hey, you gotta meet your customers where you're at, you gotta speak their language, you've gotta use the words they use, you have to talk about the things they're talking about at first. The pushback I get on that, the objection I get on that, is that's what everybody else is talking about. And you're right, that is what everybody else is talking about because that's what people want to hear. Your job is to get them in the door with what everybody else is talking about and then blow their minds when you offer a different solution, when you help them identify a different core problem, when you give them a different way to think about what they really need. So I wanna make sure that that is crystal clear. Is that crystal clear? Yes. Cool. So let's actually use this to come up with some content ideas. I wanna take this a couple steps further. So let's start with product-aware again. And most aware in this case is just that Michelle is awesome and Tara hired her so you should totally hire her. (Michelle laughs) That's good enough for me. Give her all your money. What's the headline of your speaking page right now? I can't remember, but I know the headline if you land on my page it says be the speaker everyone's talking about. Be the speaker everyone is talking about. Okay, great. So that's the product. The product tie-in is to be the speaker everyone is talking about and hire Michelle. Hire Michelle. That's Mazur, M-A-Z-U-R. (laughing) At So what is a way that you are generating leads for this be the speaker everyone is talking about page? Right now my best lead is my podcast. So I offer a free strategy session. Free strategy session. Free strategy session. So what's the call to action on the free strategy session? How do you present that? Usually it's seeded with whatever the content is for that day. So the content kind of sets up a problem (chuckles) and then one of the solutions to it is have a strategy session with me and we can figure out what your biggest struggle is, develop an action plan, and I can show you how I can help. An action plan to do what? To book more speaking gigs. Book more speaking gigs. And the reason it's book more speaking gigs and not book a strategy session with me is because the solution they want is more speaking gigs. And the strategy session is gonna be the how. And we'll talk more about this in upcoming lessons, but for it to be real, true lead generation, it has to be someone raising their hand and saying I need the solution or I have this problem. So that's why the podcast is great for getting people to leads, but it's the strategy session that's actually lead generation. So what are some of the underlying problems? Because if you're using your podcast to generate leads for the strategy session, I'm going to assume that there are actually multiple problems that you're addressing on the podcast. Yes. I address everything from not knowing what to say when you pitch, like when you send out that pitch letter that could be compelling, to why your website sucks. (laughs) That was just one I recorded. Like people land on your speaking website and they're not finding what they need and that goes also back to your messaging. I just recorded a bunch of podcasts so this should be top of mind. No, no, these are both great. So you would say these are both core problems. Like not knowing how to pitch is a core problem or is it unaware? I think they know how to pitch, they don't know what to say. So for instance I got a question on a webinar where she was like I don't know what my topic is, but I wanna pitch for speaking gigs, what should I say? And I'm like you might wanna work on that topic piece. That makes me think about this compelling message piece. So I wonder if a lot of the podcast episodes that you do come down to a lacking, and we're coming back to that word lack, lacking a compelling message. 'cause if you had a compelling message, if you had a compelling message you would know what to say in your pitch. Your audience needs X, Y, Z, my compelling message. Yes. You would know what results you produce and what to put on your website and what to say in a pitch letter and how to market yourself. 'cause that's where people get stuck and they go to marketing and they're like oh, I don't have a message. Hey, look at that. And would your website suck if you had a compelling message? No. Probably not. There might be things you could do to make it better, to make it more effective, but the core of it would be pretty solid if you had a compelling message. So this is a great example, because these pieces are actually unaware. And what's so great about this it shows that the vast majority of your content and the reason your podcast is working so well for you is because it's actually aimed at this giant unaware audience. And in the course of each of your podcast episodes I bet at least somewhere you're bringing it back to lacking a compelling message, which is the core problem. The solution for that is, well actually, is that the solution for that? Maybe we're finding someplace where there's a disconnect here. Lacking a compelling message, booking more speaking gigs. So I've been saying lately is that marketing is easy, pitching is easy, it's the message that's the hard part. And so that's how I've been bridging the gap. So maybe it's just book more speaking gigs with a compelling message, it's just the flip. Okay, perfect. So Michelle is tackling a huge unaware audience with each podcast episode. Each podcast episode you're answering a different question that is literally an itch someone is trying to scratch. Because it sounds like you're getting ideas from your audience members, from their questions. Yes. Beautiful, thank you for being such a lovely example. That's exactly what you want to do. (Michelle laughs) The questions that you get 99 times out of 100, they're not real problems, they're itches. They're that pain. People are in pain and they don't know why. People are itching, but they don't know what the root cause is. Your job is every time you answer a question, every time you scratch that itch, you have to bring it back to the real problem. Because until you and your audience can agree on what the real problem is, you can't agree on a solution. Because just like I said, oh wait, we're missing a connection here, that's what they're saying. When you're saying okay this is your problem, this is the solution, and those two things are not connected, they're not gonna jump. But when every single podcast episode is coming back to you're lacking a compelling message, you're lacking a compelling message, and then the call to action at the end is I would love to help you create a compelling message. We could do that or we can take the first step when you book a strategy session, here's where to go do that. Make sense? And then from there they become product-aware, because in that strategy session you tell them about working with you, right? Oh, of course. Okay, good. (laughs} of course. Of course. Any questions about this from you? No. Any questions about this from you? No, does it all make sense? Is it clarifying some places there might have been holes in your marketing thus far? Yeah. So just to know that I make sure I understand, so here what we have like the how to pitch and then your website sucks, that's the unaware, that's what she's offering the unaware people. They're not saying I don't know how to pitch. Well somebody did. Yeah, I don't know how to pitch myself. So sometimes, (sighs) yes, so in this case unaware, well really for each of these segments, it has to be what's top of mind for them. And just because I also get a lot of these kinds of questions, I can tell you there are a lot of people out there that are like I can only get more speaking gigs if I just knew how to pitch better. I'm like well, not really. (laughing) So this is an actual itch that they're trying to scratch, but they don't have the knowledge they need to actually solve the problem. They could learn how to better write a pitch email, but what's gonna be in it? And they're still gonna be stuck. So all of these are about identifying, so taking the listening and the research that we did in the previous lesson and kind of farming it out to where it needs to go in this journey. So that if in your audience the vast majority of people are talking about a particular solution, and this does happen in some markets like I've often used email marketing as an example for this, I don't know why I started using that example but I did, and a lot of times in a market like that with email marketing, there's a huge group of people that are solution-aware. They know they need an email marketing provider. And then it's up to the mail chimps and the convert kits and the infusionsofts and the constant contacts to duke it out in the evaluation phase making people product-aware. But you're listening for okay what is it that people are saying and where does that put them on this journey so I can move them to the next phase? And for the vast majority of your businesses people are in the unaware phase and you need to walk them through step by step. Now, we've gone over this a little bit, I wanna make sure this is all very clear here. So in the unaware phase, that could be general content of any kind, it's those podcast episodes, it's the blog post, it's those long Facebook posts you're making. Maybe it's beautifully styled posts on Instagram where you're kind of generating people's interest by hitting their pain points. That's the unaware piece of the puzzle. problem-aware, the kind of content you want to be putting out, is a blog post, again, could be any kind of content, but it could also start venturing into that lead generation territory. You might have a landing page or a webinar that's geared toward that problem-aware audience. You might have a free consultation that's geared toward that problem-aware audience. For Michelle that's another option here to is that maybe she moves this up so that the book more sessions call to action is focused much more on the problem than on a particular solution. And then she can present Speak For Impact as the solution as opposed to trying to present create a compelling message. Solution-aware, that could be something like a demo. Again, a webinar, a free course, a consultation, again it's lead generation if you're talking about a solution. Because they're gonna use that solution-aware phase to evaluate what all their options are for particular solutions, i.e. your product, your service, your program, your offer. And so at the product-aware phase that's gonna be your sales page, a sales call, a follow-up, and close. And then at the most aware stage you're often gonna be upselling, you're gonna be offering an add-on, or you're gonna be asking for referrals. So again content marketing, so their customer awareness is gonna help you plan out your content marketing by giving you a step by step by step path you need to take your customers down. Now just because there are five segments of customer awareness, does not mean you need five pieces of content for your campaign. You might do 20 podcast episodes here and one piece here. Or maybe you do 40 podcast episodes that are both unaware and problem-aware and then you have one lead generating offer and then you have one sales page and then you have an add-on offer. So it is not boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, it's something that happens over time, sometimes it takes a very long time. It's very slow, there's a lot that needs to be talked about and explained. Sometimes it's much, much quicker, but I just wanna make sure you know it's not five and done. (laughs) It may be many, it may be a couple, and then a few. Questions on customer awareness in general? I'm a little confused between the problem-aware and the solution-aware, because sometimes can the solution ever be to avoid something? Or are you talking about the thing they're getting without naming the actual detailed solution? Does that make any sense? I guess sometimes those two blend for me quite a bit, because it's not how to avoid and then how to get. So what is the method for avoiding? The method is the solution. The problem is what they're trying to avoid. Got it, okay. So the solution is getting more into methodology. It's approach, it's methodology, it's unique perspective, it's a certain process that you use. And you're alluding to the product. Obviously you're starting to get down to the details. Yes, but the solution is not necessarily unique to your company, the product is. Solution could be offered, Michelle, there could be many other speaking coaches that have a similar methodology, a similar solution to Michelle's, but it's her product that's unique to her. Make sense? Yep. And one quick one. Also I do feel that I err on too much of the problem-aware sometimes when I think that a lot of people are coming to me for a solution and so are there cases where you'd wanna be more solution-oriented more quickly? So that's maybe marketing, but maybe moving people through the leads faster. Yes. If people are solution-aware and the solution they're to you is in fact the solution that you offer and not actually something that's an itch, then yeah, you can move leads through your process really fast. 'cause you don't have to mess with unaware, you don't mess with problem-aware, you get very direct and you say this is what I provide. What you're looking for is what I provide, here's why you should choose me. And so yeah, you can truncate that whole process and just focus on those last couple steps. You're gonna get leads very quickly and those leads are gonna turn into clients very, very quickly. So for me as a business coach and strategist a lot of people search for those terms, so they might not be problem-aware, but they're solution-aware, but they still don't know what their problem is. And so this is where I'm always confused, I know this is a little beyond marketing, but I'm always trying to figure out am I telling them what their problem is and I am the person for you because I understand things so well or am I just getting to the unique solution faster? And so maybe that's the part I never know how much time. 'cause they're kind of solution-aware I need a coach, but they don't really know who and why. So in that case, yes, if you're talking general business coaching, I would say I need a business coach is actually an itch and not a real solution. Whereas if it's I need a Facebook Ads expert, I need someone to run my Facebook Ads campaigns, that's solution-aware. There's a provider who does Facebook advertising, that's solution, then I'm going to evaluate which one I need. And yeah, I might get into specifically this is my particular problem or my particular niche and I'm looking for someone specific in there, but that's still all very solution oriented. What you are identifying is an itch and you've got to help people discern whether the problem they actually have is the problem you solve or not. Or a problem you can help them solve. Like you may actually have numerous problems that you help people with, numerous real problems, you might actually have numerous solutions that you offer to that that still may come back to business coaching. But yes, so you need to take them from in this case so you need a business coach, but do you know why? (laughs) Do you know why, yeah. No, I think that's probably right. So it's still problem-aware, I need to educate them more on their problem to prove the value in making this decision. And the fact that they're looking for what it is that you do could actually help you move them through that cycle very quickly. It may be something where it's just like great, you're looking for a business coach, I'm a business coach, book a free consultation and that's when we'll and then that's where you actually take them down the full path. What are the problems that you think you have? Here's the problem that I'm actually diagnosing for you, here's how I solve that problem, here's why you should hire me. So it's still that step by step process. Oh, I love it so much. (laughing) It's like it's sort of clear, so it's like move them quickly to that. Which I do and that really works, but it's also the still addressing a little bit the unique things that I know about that I've been trained on that I think is important. So that does have to come out a little bit. Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, thank you. Yeah, great question. Then we have an online question, we're gonna bring that up. Tors says, hey Tors, he says if you have different services slash products that speak to different pain points, would you create multiple education spectrums to take people from unaware to very aware? Yes, absolutely. So this is what we're really talking about when we're talking about crafting different campaigns. Each of your campaigns might move people from a particular point of being unaware, multiple points of being unaware, to being problem-aware, solution-aware, product-aware, and then finally closing the deal. So each campaign may have a different step by step process here. So yes, you're exactly right. And you wanna make sure that it's as clear for each of those campaigns as possible. The less that runs together, the more distinct each of your campaigns will be. The more the right people will actually pay attention, which means the more people buy in the end. So if you are reaching out to cold traffic and they're unaware and you take them pretty quickly, so they sign up for like a webinar we're you're bringing them into the problem-aware, solution-aware place, I can imagine that there might be some quick start people who say oh yeah, I'm ready to go for that one-on-one consultation. But I imagine that there are some not quick start people who will take a little longer to get to that aware place. So do you have any guidance as to specific nurturing those people who've you've gotten them to a certain amount of awareness and then you wanna bring them over? Is it just the whole process of the blogs and you're just giving them a ton of information? Is there a shortcut to that? Or is it just giving them the information? (chuckles) yes and no. In the exact scenario that you offered up, which is a pretty common scenario. I've got new people who are brand new to me, in a webinar you can take people through that spectrum really quickly and get them to a point where there's some people that are willing to take fast action. They're gonna book with you right on that webinar. And then what I see happen is nothing. (laughing) Where people are like oh that was a bummer, I got three consultations or I got three good leads from that, but it was a failure. No, it wasn't. You need to follow up. And so you wanna craft a follow=up strategy that's gonna reinforce that journey that you've already taken them on. So maybe you share some case studies, you share an FAQ email, you share your personal story that reinforces what you explain to them in that webinar in terms of working them from what their itch is to what the problem is to what the solution is to hiring you. That's one piece. So that's the shortcut. The long cut (chuckles) is yes taking them back sort of to the brand awareness stage. By the end of a webinar they've gone from brand awareness to lead generation to conversion. And so you may need to pull back out for all the people who don't book during the follow-up time, back to the brand awareness stage. And you kind of start over again and you go a little bit more slowly. They may just need more reinforcement, they may need more examples, they may need more of your perspective. But then the process is gonna look very similar, it's just gonna go more slowly for those folks. Okay, I appreciate that, because I think after the webinar I would've put all those people back in the newsletter or whatever instead of the follow-up nurturing that I would need to have. Yes, and that is like a number one mistake and oh boy I've got some numbers for you on that tomorrow (laughing) and how that can really just change your life when you start actually following up with people. I know it sounds really silly, but it really can change your life.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Tara Gentile - 12 Month Marketing Calendar
Tara Gentile - Implementation Month

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Tara Gentile - Campaign Building Blocks
Tara Gentile - Create a Marketing Plan Workbook
Tara Gentile - E-mail Marketing Templates
Tara Gentile - Sales Page Templates

Ratings and Reviews


Tara, the information you delivered in this class is invaluable. I am in the launching stage of my business, and I know I need to market my business and services and I know I need to write a plan, but I didn't know how to do it. Instagram, content upgrades, Facebook, email marketing, webinars, blogging, etc. etc., I know it all. But I just couldn't get my head around how to truly use marketing campaigns for my business, and especially for my services, to reach my ideal client, help my ideal client and to reach my ideal income. You explained the why behind marketing campaigns and you showed us how to create a marketing campaign from A to Z. The whole sha-bang! You gave me the knowledge and inspiration in how to market my services, how many people I ideally want to reach and above all, a framework I can use time and time again to create a marketing campaign. I purchased the class right after seeing the live broadcast so I can use this class for planning all my next marketing campaigns. You clarified a lot and I am much more confident (and so much more less stressed haha) in creating a marketing campaign plan that works for my business and services. I learned a lot! Thank you! P.S. Love the hot seats.

Susan Best Jones

Tara, I love your creative live events I always learn so much and this time was the same. Perfect timing on this info, it is exactly what I need right now and I feel confident that I can do it! I joined CoCommercial and am excited about that. Thank you, Tara.


This class is well worth the time! Tara does an excellent job of not only providing a step by step system for creating a marketing campaign, but she provides clear context and insights along the way. This is important so that you're not just going through the motions and crossing your fingers that your marketing will work. She helps you understand the strategy behind the scenes so you can get the most out of the work you put in. I highly recommend this course to anyone considering doing their own marketing, or people who are already doing their own marketing and want to feel more empowered and get better results.

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