To grow, you need new customers. This might seem obvious, but it’s not. Try this: when you peel back the marketing project list and see what everyone is working on, how much of it turns out to be about retention, up-selling, email lists, merch, newsletters, listening to regulars, fundraising, event planning, or developing a “content calendar” for organic social media posts on InstaTwitTokBook? None of those are growth strategies. You want to think they are. They aren’t.
As a local business owner, you’re often so enamored with the input, thoughts, and opinions of the people you already know that you forget you only grow by finding people you don’t know.
The path to growth is not what your family thinks, nor what your regulars think, nor what your colleagues in the industry think. These people’s opinions are valuable in other areas, but not to growth…because they no longer think about your business like new customers. They can’t think like strangers. To grow, you need to care how strangers think.
So...how do strangers think about you? They don’t. That’s the point.
Even in a small city, and no matter how long you’ve been there, thousands of people have never heard of you, have no idea what you do, and absolutely do not care. And yes, this includes locals who have lived there all their life, not to mention the hundreds of new people who move to town every year. You are not even the slightest blip on their radar. And yet, reaching these totally apathetic, disinterested newbs is your only ticket to growth.
Seem complicated? Actually, it’s super easy. Barely an inconvenience.
3 Truths About Strangers
Strangers Don’t Think About You. At all. Because this is true, how much time and attention do you think strangers have for you? You’re not still writing 60-second radio ads, are you?
Sleep is the Enemy, and He Attacks Nightly: Strangers already don’t think, nor care, about you, and then every night the eraser comes and threatens whatever miniscule progress you might have made. All the work you did goes poof on the pillow.
Strangers Like What They Buy, They Don’t Buy What They Like: Understanding this counterintuitive truth is the key to unlocking (and uncomplicating) your growth. Strangers don’t need (nor have time for, nor pay attention to) your long-winded attempts at persuasion and education.
Your growth problem isn’t that “people just don’t know enough” or that you “haven’t given them a good reason” to choose you. Your growth problem is that strangers don’t care, they forget everything you told them every night, and they’re gonna try you before they like you anyway. JoshuaOneNine understands how the implications of these truths relate to your growth.