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What's a Client Life Cycle? (aka - Buyer's Journey)
A Client Life Cycle (also known as Buyer’s Journey) is what the business world uses to describe the stages of the purchasing process. It’s vital to identify which part of the process your business is stronger in and which is needing attention so you don’t waste resources and time on platforms that won’t perform for your business goals.
Ideally, a business has clients in every stage of the process at all times….but if you’ve been in small business longer than 5 seconds, you’ll know that’s not always the case!
Now depending on who you ask, there’s a few different stages. For argument’s sake, let’s just simplify this down to four stages.
OK, so the million dollar question: When do we use which platform?
Which platform when?
In the awareness stage, potential clients don’t know anything about your business. Potential clients in this stage recognise they have a problem and need a solution. If you have a well-targeted awareness campaign, the right client will be shown your business and find the solution they need.
For this stage, the best platforms are social media sites (eg – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc). Potential audiences are on these platforms without any specific goals or agenda. Social media users are killing time looking for entertainment and connection (being informed also definitely happens, but this is often secondary goal on social media).
Please, please, please make sure you design an awareness campaign that is not interrupting anyone’s social experience! Potential clients are on social media to be connected, entertained and secondarily informed.
Don’t interrupt potential clients’ downtime on social media – they are not on there to be sold to.
If you are going to do an awareness campaign, be clever! Make the content interesting and appropriate for the social media platform you are on.
This is the research part of the process. This phase has a potential client moving from not knowing to knowing of your business. They want to take action and start to make things happen. They now know there are solutions available for their problem and want to find out the best way to move forward. Researching clients are asking specific questions towards their purchase.
So, where does one go to look at this part of the process? Google!
Combining solid SEO on your website, targeting choice keywords and a few other clever tricks (we know some people who can hook you up!) means you can be in front of a researching potential client. Investing in a targeted campaign means potential clients have your website presented to them when they are somewhat aware of you and your competitors.
This stage is an obvious goal!
BUT – before you get too excited, take a moment to note that immediately before a client makes a purchasing decision, they will likely look up your business on social platforms and look for reviews and recommendations for your business.
As they narrow down their research, they’ll look at your profile, when you last posted and any reviews on your business. Just before they decide, they’ll want to see social proof of the quality of your business.
It’s vital that this part of your business is sturdy and shows a high standard in order to win over their purchase.
My favourite part of the Client Lifecycle!!
As an industry leader, you give your client a positive experience (of course!). These clients are then so excited about this experience, they can’t help but tell all their family and friends about it! 🙂
OK – I may be a little idealistic about this being the case EVERY time! However, there are those amazing clients who will continually be loyal to you – especially in places like Toowoomba – when you continue to deliver with excellence.
Advocacy is an excellent source for feeding back into your Awareness stage of the lifecycle. It also builds your client-business relationship and connection, which makes a solid foundation for you to springboard from for your reputation and future dealings.
Where to from here?
Like we said before, in an ideal world, small businesses would have all the budget in the world to invest in each step of the Client Lifecycle. However, the reality of the the ebbs and flows of a small business usually means that there are certain parts of the cycle that need to be prioritised.
We get it – we’ve been there. The above info can help prioritise where and when to invest the marketing and PR budget.
Any questions? Email us – we’d be so happy to help!