Your Ideal Customers

October 9, 2022

Yesterday I was working in my favorite café, planning my next YouTube video. I glanced over to my right and noticed a woman looking at a Notion page on her laptop. The page was titled “Q4 goals”.

Because I do most of my productivity teaching online, I often enjoy chatting with people in real life about how they use their apps. Actual human connection and all that. Anyway, I introduced myself to the woman and asked how she uses Notion. She walked me through her setup and it was pretty neat. She had several database tables connected to each other with some nice dashboards. I thought: I wouldn’t set things up this way myself, but she has clearly put thought into this.

I also thought: she would make a very bad customer for me.

I’ve been making and selling productivity courses for 3.5 years now and have had many students give me feedback. Usually the feedback is positive: this was very helpful and you’re a great teacher, thanks! Sometimes it is very positive: whoah, this completely changed my life! Occasionally, it is not so positive: I knew all this already! I didn’t learn anything! I was hoping to learn super advanced techniques!

When I receive negative feedback like that, I think “meh, those people were bad customers for my course”. They’re not bad people, but the product-customer fit was bad. Those people are task management connoisseurs. They have tried all the apps and all the techniques. The reason they are still not productive is… well, I don’t know, but it’s something other than task management. Relationship problems, maybe. A midlife crisis. Who knows. I try to tell people who’ve already tried all the apps and all the workflows to stay away from my courses, but that message doesn’t always come through. 🤷🏻‍♂️

By contrast, my ideal customers are the complete newbies. Not the ones who are using Notion in a coffee house, but the ones who are clearly swamped with work and whose “to-do list” is which emails are marked as unread.

Such people are my ideal customers because they have the most to gain and are the easiest to teach. Because they can benefit so much from my ideas, they almost always feel like they got their money’s worth.

This is partly why I’m quite focused on my YouTube channel these days: I can reach lots of people who have lots to gain from my teaching. I can create lots of impact.

Who are your ideal customers? Who needs you the most? Who could get the most value from your work? If you have a job rather than a business, your “customers” could be literal customers, but you can also consider which other managers or teams within your company could get more value from what you’re good at. Or whether you could deliver more value at a different company.

Regardless, life gets a lot easier (and you make more money) when you focus on your ideal customers, rather than trying to help people who don’t have much to gain from your work.

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