Episode 3 – Repelling Customers with Martin Sully

a man on a navy background with the words level up podcast written on it

Ready to repel customers you don't want?

The first of a 2-part series introducing you to finding your ideal customers.

First, you have to work out how to not attract the wrong customers to your business.

There's a 3 step strategy to this:

  1. Stand for something, people who don't align with your beliefs and values won't be inclined to make a purchase
  2. Get to know what your ideal customers love and think
  3. Set expectations, so if someone comes to you for one thing, they get just that, and nothing more. You can then build value into that.

The Transcription of Episode 3 - The art of Repelling Customers


This is the hot metal brand podcast. I'm your host Martin Sully, founder of snapper studio, a brand strategy and visual design studio in the heart of Newcastle Australia. And I'm on a mission to help you gain clarity in your brand and confidence in what you are. Brand thoughtful, empowering brand strategies to defining powerful visual stories. I'll arm you with bite-size branding tools to help you grow your brand and leave your own unique mark.


Good morning, afternoon, evening, weekend, holiday time. We are back. We are gonna be talking all about target markets and specifically today we're gonna be talking about the art of repelling customers. Now this is the first of a two part series. Let's go. This is not in a way to, yeah. To help you lose customers. It's in the art of knowing who your customers are and who your customers aren't. So today I'm sitting here with a lunchtime drink. Cold pressed beetroot, pear and a few other bits and pieces. Most people would be like 'oh, liquid beetroot? No thanks. Not for me.'.


But anyway, I, I actually genuine think I'm gonna take a sip now because I'm actually quite parched. Um, but yeah, for most people, this isn't gonna be something they're gonna be interested in drinking and that's okay. I'm happy to live with that. To me, it tastes, yeah. I quite like the earthiness and the, you can really taste the beetroot. So getting into today's podcast. I'm gonna try and cover off, uh, few of the bits and pieces that I feel kind of, kind of get missed and that a lot of people are literally just looking at yeah. Making, making everyone their ideal customer, which is yeah. Kind of, not the way the right way to think about it.


There definitely are gonna be some people in there, that you don't fit. You are not the right fit for everyone. And that's okay because there's a little portion of people that are just absolutely perfect for you, that you can turn into your raving super fans, which is kind of, kind of the idea of branding. So let's take it back a few steps. I'm gonna outline three steps today that are gonna help you find your ideal customers and repel the ones that you don't wanna work with. The ones that you don't want buying from you, the ones that are not gonna be thrilled by your end product. It can be really disheartening and frustrating when something like that happens.


But in reality, it's fully in your control because you have control over your branding and the message that you are giving people. Yeah. It's time to take responsibility for your part in attracting those non ideal customers. Um, I've said in the past, I've said yes to projects that haven't been the right fit for me, but sometimes yeah, we, we all make those choices. Uh, and I just wanna make sure that you don't get caught in that same trap of waiting for customers to come to you. Uh, so that you're not super desperate and end up just saying yes to any project, at any cost. There's a fine line to be drawn, but I think actually these three steps can kind of put you in that position where you can make the right decisions to start with


Number one, stand for something


Like attracts like – they say to hang around with people that are likeminded. People that have similar values to you, it's kind of that basis of making friendships. Isn't it? You know, you have similar interests saying I go to the gym, I make friendships with other people that go to the gym. you don't expect to make friendships with other people that aren't interested in the same thing as you is it, it gives us those warm little feelings inside. When brands don't take a stand for something or lack originality personality. It makes really hard for customers to relate to you and find a connection and say, "Ooh, I like those things too." On the flip side, we might end up attracting customers who don't share our values and aren't the right fit. So I guess the takeaway for that one is decide what you stand for, what you do, who you serve and how you do it – to the exclusion of everything else.


Once you've got those little boundaries outlined, they are like your. Yeah. The, those things that like, does that person tick that box? No, not quite. Okay. So move on to the next thing. If you can set yourself outlines, people will also see those outlines and come to you because you actually, they are. What makes your brand, your brand there? Ah, you know, Martin, he stands up for, you know, ethical brands. He wants to work with ethical brands. So then there's that whole connection of there are. So if he works with ethical brands, does he work with coal mining and that sort of sector? Probably not. So I'm not gonna be a fit for that sector.


And naturally that'll just repel those customers.


Moving on to number two, we need to get to know our ideal customer. It's taken me and it takes most businesses, a lot of missteps and every project that you work on or every, uh, customer you work with brings you a little bit closer to knowing who your ideal customer is and the ones you really enjoy working with, you know, projects where you just can't do enough to satisfy the brief where you can't wait to deliver as much value as you can. And projects that just get you excited. And , this is a, this is a funny one. Because there's a lot of archetypes and a lot of people in branding and marketing will talk about personas and archetypes and building those customer personas. I, I love personas because you can really fine tune it and get down into the nitty gritty of your characters that you are working with.


What they're like, what they dislike. Whereas I look at archetypes and archetypes are like a really old concept of they date back, like a hundred plus years. And there are things like the Sage and, um, the creator and like, there's nothing wrong with those archetypes. But based on the fact that, you know, they were thought about a hundred years ago, How relevant are they today? Yes. Some of the characteristics can be pulled in and can be used. But when you are getting to know your ideal customer, something that happened a hundred years ago, isn't happening today, or has developed into something even bigger, something that's completely different, the internet and everything. None of this was a thing there's a whole world of online connection that's happening. That didn't exist. So how can they be relevant in a way.


Once you you're building out your surface level attributes of your personas, you know, things, there might be things that you spot in a LinkedIn profile and other little places that you might just bump into customers. There's, there's a lot of places that you can kind of start and getting to know your real customers. Even just by having conversations with them as well. And people you feel are aligned with your brand, would be interested in working with you. Uh, they're an amazing place to start. So add in those quirky character traits and beliefs


All these little facts will help you understand what types of content you need to produce, where you should be promoting your offerings and the types of companies you are already working with who are your ideal customers? Those little information nuggets will form the basis of a strategy to target your ideal customers and get them coming back. And attracts ones that are similar. That's the main goal of number two. Number three is to set expectations of what services you offer and what you don't offer. Let's say, for instance, if you are into plant sales or plants, indoor plants, let's say you're a hire company that specialises in indoor plants.


Now that's very specific. You have a huge expertise in looking after and care of indoor plants. What you're not gonna have, and what people won't come to you for is looking after outdoor plants, because the two of them whilst interconnected, and you may know some useful information on it. That's not your expertise, but you may be able to say to people, "okay, look I don't, I'm not absolutely sure." But setting expectations allows you to save everyone's time by being completely transparent and setting expectations up front.


That is, yeah, that's a great thing. And that'll definitely repel some people and it's definitely gonna attract some people. Okay. So just to wrap it up, this is not an airtight solution and your non-ideal customers may still leak through, but being aware of the customers that are right for you will help you spot them before you sign them up to a new project or to a new service. So that the next time you're having a hard time with a customer or, you're feeling a little bit frustrated or helpless. Start thinking about how you can do a better job of setting expectations and refining your ideal customer persona in the future.


Decide what you stand for, what you do, who you serve and how you do it and stick to it. No matter how hard it is to say no. If you need a hand defining your brand, including who you, who you serve, what your product is, what makes you unique? Don't be a stranger reach out to me on my website, on my emails. Follow me on Instagram. If you search for snapper.studio, you'll find me there and hopefully you can start following along the journey and seeing how I can help you guys get more awesome with your brands.