Does Your Business Have Clients or Customers?

ComputerManQuestionMarkAre the people who purchase your products or services your clients or your customers? Is there a difference between the two? While it may not seem so, the difference lies in the type of product or service, and especially in the kind of relationship developed between you and the purchaser.

Both clients and customers are persons who purchases products or services, but a customer is traditionally considered a person who only purchases goods or services from another person or company. A “customer” can also be called a “buyer” or a “patron”, and the term implies a short-term, one-time, and primarily economic relationship. The company that sells the product or service is primarily focused on “selling” an item, and also on obtaining as many different customers and selling as many individual items as possible in a period of time.

A “client” on the other hand, is generally understood to be not only a person who purchases good or services, but additionally engages and employs the professional advice and knowledge of another person. Having a client, as opposed to a customer, also implies a long-term, and often protective and loyal relationship, not just a “sale”. While businesses that primarily sell products want repeat customers, businesses that sell services generally want the same client to realize longer-term benefits and a longer and more personalized relationship.

Client or Customer? Your creative business can have either or both. If your business is primarily a services company, you have clients. If your business is primarily a retail company, you have customers. Both are important and both are needed by a business; one is not “better” than the other; they are just different.

Your Business Your Brand Creatively (“YB2C”) helps creative professionals turn their art into a business; specializing in branding and marketing training and consulting. We would love to work with you. Please contact us here.

Posted by Pamela Hilliard Owens  |  0 Comment  |  in branding, consulting, ideas, marketing

Branding: What is it really about?

Graphic Credit: Nigel Temple

Graphic Credit: Nigel Temple

 

“Branding.” You’ve heard that phrase repeatedly as you plan, develop, and grow your creative or professional services business, but what does branding it mean, and how can you begin to brand yourself and your business to stand out from everyone else?

The most important thing to remember is that your prospects and clients aren’t thinking about you so much, but about what you can do for them. I’ve seen many websites and other informational materials from people and companies that talk about themselves, instead of what they can do for the client.

Speaking of “the client”, do you really know who your client is? Really? Taking the time to think about and define—in writing—your ideal client or customer will go a long way in helping you to define your brand from the point of view of your ideal client.

Many people mistakenly think that their “brand” is their logo, and try to develop their logo first, before they’ve done the hard work of finding out what differentiates them from their competitors and then defining their ideal client/customer. Actually, it is the other way around. Differentiate yourself and define your client first—in writing, and then have your logo—the visual—designed based on that information.

Next is your positioning statement. What are your values? Where are you in your market and what is unique about you and your business? When you understand where you are now, you should next clearly communicate (to yourself and to your prospects and clients) where you want to be in the near and far future. Where are you now and where are you going? 

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Now that you have grounded yourself in “knowing” yourself , your business, and your clients/customers, it’s time to work on your messaging. Your core message always stays the same, but from there, messages for different audiences for your business change depending on the target. 

We will talk about that in a future post.

Pamela Hilliard Owens is the founder and CEO of three separate, but related writing, editing, and marketing businesses: Writing It Right For You for business writing, editing, marketing, and social media (WIRFY: http://writingitrightforyou.com), Detroit Ink Publishing for ghostwriting, manuscript preparation, and book publishing (DIP: http://detroitinkpublishing.com), and Your Business Your Brand Creatively for branding and marketing training and consulting for creative professionals (YB2C: http://yb2csystem.com). To find out more and schedule a free 30-minute consultation, please visit any of the websites and fill out the respective contact form. I look forward to hearing from you, and especially I look forward to working with you to help you to achieve your communication goals.

Posted by Pamela Hilliard Owens  |  0 Comment  |  in branding, consulting, ideas