Sell More: Know Your Customers | Liz Scully | Skillshare
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9 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Why do the research?

    • 3. Demographics

    • 4. Ask customers directly

    • 5. Research on social media

    • 6. Are you the avatar?

    • 7. Create what they want

    • 8. Use the information

    • 9. What next?

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About This Class

Running a business? Want more customers?

The way to grow your business - whether it's online or in-person - is to know more about your customer and customers. When you've got a clear understanding of exactly who your customers are then you can speak more directly to them, tailor new products for them and find more of them.

It's easy to skip this research, but when you have a deep awareness of exactly who you're serving you're business shifts into another, more professional gear. In this course, I'll show you how to do the research that will take you beyond boring demographics (age, income, location) and into the deeper elements that lead them to buy one thing over another. 

What you'll learn in this class:

  • Exactly what questions to ask your current customers to learn more (and get honest answers)
  • Where to research online if you've not got any customers yet
  • What to do with the research you've gathered
  • Why skipping this research doesn't serve you or your customers

Spending even a little time really working out who your ideal customers are will make it easier to increase sales. When we can picture one person as our perfect avatar, that illusive ideal customer - you'll find it easier to create products they love.

Use your research to:

  • write blogs that are exactly what they want to read
  • videos that solve their problems or fascinate
  • create new products they'll fall in love with
  • discover what else they're buying and so who to collaborate with
  • set up Facebook ads

This course is suitable for makers and service providers, even if you've not actually sold anything yet.

Download the class worksheet and guide under the 'your project' tab

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Liz Scully

Business Strategist for Entrepreneurs


Business Strategist - Masterminder - Cake Connoisseur - Stationery obsessive

I worked for 20 years in film, broadcast and commercials. I had lots of success there (won an Emmy, my work was multi-Oscar nominated) and now I work with entrepreneurs helping them work less and earn more while having more fun.

I teach Marketing, Sales and how to run fabulous Mastermind groups in my company Rethink Central. (Masterminds are small coach-led groups that accelerate growth -they're ace). I work directly with clients to help them shift their businesses into high gear. I'm all about simple, practical steps that break the big work down so it's easy to implement.

In the last 5 years, I've worked with some of the best known coaches in the world - Kathy Caprino, Julia Pimsleur, Tim... See full profile

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1. Introduction: the more you understand your clients and customers, the more you can tailor products and services to their exact needs. Understanding exactly who your ideal customer is is by far and away the quickest way to grow your business. My name is Liz Skelly, and I'm a business strategist. But before I became exactly this incarnation of my business, I worked for 20 years in film and commercials, So I'm used to being freelance. I'm used to tailoring my products, and more importantly, I'm used to knowing exactly what my clients, customers and the market want and getting the most out of my business. And in this class, I'm going to show you how to do the research and have to find out more about what your clients are crying out for, so that you can tailor products directly toe what they want and need. It's a short class, but you will find that each concept allows you to step further into learning more about who you're serving and how you conserve them better 2. Why do the research?: researching your ideal client can be time consuming and feel like it's a waste of time. I am here to assure you it absolutely isn't off the hundreds of businesses I've worked with , possibly thousands of businesses. The absolute, most successful people are very clear about exactly how their product fits into what their client needs. Now, this work can be quite time consuming to do, though it doesn't have to be. I'm gonna give you some short shortcuts for that, but it is so worth doing. However, skimping on this step or skipping it completely so that you go straight to creating products that you want to sell to people means that you'll end up in a place where you've made things that no one wants to buy. So it's really worth doing this on the MAWR. You look into exactly what the mind of your buyer is thinking at the moment when they buy or when they don't buy. More importantly, the more you can work on ways to get people over that buying hump. This is the difference between a business that is doing okay on a business that is just a hobby on when it's doing OK, you can make it do amazingly well being clear on who, who and how you're serving them. So research is the key, and we're going to go into a lot of detail and help to do it. 3. Demographics: So what kind of information are you trying to find out about your customers and clients? Well, it's nothing really secret or scary. You want to know more about them? You want to know some basic demographic stuff. Who are they? Where do they live? What kind of life do they lead? Are they? Are they working? Do they have kids? Are they married? They single. Do they have a cat? Are they Are they dog people? These are things that will affect how you talk to them and also depending on your product. Actually make yourself dog colors on their only other cat people. Well, that's not really gonna go too far. So you want to know that basic stuff? Where do they live? Who are they? Are they working? How old are they? That kind of stuff. But you also want to go deeper and find out. What do they want to be? You know where they going, what are their secret fears? What's holding them back? What do they lie awake in the middle of the night worrying about? And those are the things that you might find out when we do more deep research. But start with demographics that that simple. Who are they? Where are where do they live? Where do they hang out? What blog's air they reading? What podcasts are they listening to? If you already have clients, just look at the range. Look a as many as you have and just see what similarities you see there. Are they all women in their thirties? Are they all men in their fifties? Are they all people living and Botswana? Whatever it is, look for similarities. If you don't have clients yet, think about who you want to know who you want to sell to, who you think it's going toe be most useful for now. It's very easy at the beginning to think, but my my product, my thing, would go for anyone. But at this point, we're actually looking to narrow down, because if you could be specific toe one or two people, you can talk to them directly to a copy and advertising and products exactly what they are burning tohave. And that's the secret of a successful business. You start super targeted on what you've really got going. Then you open it up to more people. It feels frustrating and weird and limiting when you only down to one or two people. But it is the way to grow your business. I'm a business coat and I see this over and over again, and it truly is the way to grow your business. I know it feels counterintuitive, but it really makes a difference. 4. Ask customers directly: so the very easiest way to do research is if you already have clients, is toe, ask them what's going on with them now. You could survey them. That's good, although people aren't always able to fill in the surveys the way you want or interested in really giving you the truth. So the very best way is to pick some of your clients and speak to them directly. Hop on a call with them, have a coffee with, um those and ask the questions that will open them up. Ask them what's working. What could be better on Bear in mind that most people don't want to be offensive? Are they worried that you might take things the wrong way, so make it a very safe space for them? As they ask these, Aziz, you ask these questions, allow them to be tentative at first to not how everything's fine. Everything's fine, but make it clear that helping you make the product better for the service better is a hugely helpful thing, and to find the negatives in any of our business is it's very hard to do. We can't see the floors in our own business and toe actually have someone telling you things that are hard to hear. It's helping you massively. I always find when I speak to clients about this, I encourage them right the way through. Tell me more what's working. What would you do better? What? What do you feel? Where could we improve? Don't say What are we doing wrong? Because that implies that there's something wrong. Ask on as they answer, encourage them. This is great. This is wonderful. I'm so it's so hard to get this information because people are naturally worried that you're going to get a bit defensive. And of course, this only works if you're not defensive. If you've ever been to art school, you know that the way your work improves is through crypts, criticism where people pile into your work and can be very, very harsh. But you let you learn. But to be critical of the work is not critical of you, Andi. This is an essential skill for business. People couldn't like you very, very much and still think that maybe your and on your hats off quite the right size or your coaching service could be a little bit better. These are the things that you need to know it is. That is the buying experience. Good. Did you follow up? Enough is that is the presentation what they wanted. Ask these questions and then you're really begin to learn. Also, ask people very direct questions instead of saying so you're developing a new product. Don't ask them. Do you think other people will pay for this? Because privately, we all assume that everyone else is maybe more like, more profligate with their money than they are. Then you are yourself. So if you say show someone in New Hatton So do you think people would would pay for this? That would be gonna go. Oh, yeah. I'm sure someone would don't ask them. That question asked them specifically. Would you pay for it? And what would you pay for? I learned this the hard way. By showing right at the beginning of my coaching business, I set up a retreat set up on Bond. I did massive amount of research, but I asked, Do you think people will pay for us? Do you think these prices affair? I felt like I was doing great research, but I was asking the wrong question the question I should have asked was, Would you pay these fees on the answer went from Yeah, yeah, yeah, to hell, though it's far too expensive, so learn from my mistakes, asked what they would do and what they would improve and also asked them if you ran this business, what would you change? You don't have to do anything with this information but encourage people to give it to you . You don't have to act. They might be wrong, but have the information to find out what the experiences of working with you and your company. 5. Research on social media: Now, of course, we're not always in a position where we already have clients for a new thing that we're launching. Or maybe we're just bang straight out of college and we're starting out. So if you haven't got clients that already exists and bought your service, that you can ask directly, there are other just is good ways. And even if you have clients, you should be doing this research as well because it's so illuminating. Here are places that you could get fantastic extra information. Now social media is fabulous for this stuff. Looking Facebook groups find out places where your client is congregating and just look at what the conversation is. What do they want? What are they complaining about? What, what services are working? What products do they love? What do they hate? So Facebook groups a really good read. It's really good. Look on medium. Look on quarrel. These are all places where people congregate, toe, ask questions and to bitch and whine about stuff that isn't working. One of my favorite places to look for more information is on Amazon. Find a book about your service or your product for your area and just see what people are saying. If there are 200 reviews on and I know this 35 star ones and 31 store ones, check those out, actually, even more so if you've got 205 star reviews and 31 star reviews, just look at a sampling of the five star ones. See what people complaining about. So this is you know, I thought, I love this. It's like so and so's work. I love this. It helped me do this. That's really useful information. But one star reviews are people who are really pissed off, and those are even more illuminating because they're going to tell you what is really irking them. What do they expect it to do that it doesn't do what is? An often you'll see, things like this is nowhere near as good as so and so So I really hoped it would answer this problem, and it just didn't. This is gold because this tells you what people are really looking for. And more importantly, it uses the exact language that they also note that because if you use that in your copy word for word, you don't wanna be making this stuff up, You want to be using exactly the wording that people are looking at. It's worth spending a couple of days really immersed in this to learn as much as you can about what makes your client tick. What do they get upset about? What are they loving? Who do they also look at? Because the more information you have, the more you can learn on when we know lots of our avatar, we can create exactly what they want and fix the problems that perhaps they're not even telling you about. Research is great for any business. And don't do it once and done. Just check in every six months or so. See what's happened. See what's changed. This is the essence of really understanding your clients. Do it and you'll see huge results, right? Huge results 6. Are you the avatar?: So perhaps when you're doing your research, you realize that you are your main ideal client. Maybe you already knew that, but still do the research because one of the problems is that when we are perfect clients, we believe that all of our opinions are what all of our ideal clients believe. And maybe you are exactly the perfect archetype of all of your clients. But you do have idiosyncratic thoughts that don't really fit in what everyone else is looking at. So use yourself as a template if that's your you are your ideal client. But also check still do the research. It's very tempting to think, Well, I am my own avatar and my own ideal client. But if you if you put everything just is you, you are not getting the benefit out of doing this research. It's so easy to skimp on this. It's often required because it takes quite a lot of time. But do it well and it really changes stuff, so don't skimp on this 7. Create what they want: doing this kind of research can be quite tiring, and it's very tempting to skimp or to skip it completely. But as I said, the most successful businesses really do this. But there is also another massive advantage when we are creating things. Either we do it because we want to. It doesn't necessarily mean that anyone's going to buy it or we do it because we know that's what our clients and customers need now creating what people need. But they're not actually looking for means that you're still not going to get any sales. So by doing this some kind of research, you can create what they're actively already looking for, which means once they've got that resolved, you can then move on to the next step. So perhaps you want to make. I know very complex health drinks because you know it's gonna help. People have shiny hair and clear a skin, but what people are, that's what they need. What they're actually looking for right now is a way to feel full and skipper meal and thus reduce the amount of calories that in tech now you might not want to start with calorie drinks, but Perhaps that's what you would do that would be more useful for your business. It's a sort of entry point to something else. So look at what people are actively searching for, and you could do keyword research on Google or many of the other key word things. That's part of the discovery and research part. But don't make what people need that you know they need. Because if you push it on people and they're not looking, they won't want it. Start with where they are into the conversation they've got already on social media. Start with the words and the language they're looking for, and your stuff will sell like hotcakes, and that's what we all want. 8. Use the information: So where do you use this information? Well, there's lots of places, obviously. What? You're very, very clear on exactly who your ideal customer is. You'll know where to find more of them. You'll know what books they're reading, what Facebook groups there in. And it's great for Facebook ads as well and instagram ads, because you can target exactly if you know that your clients are mostly 35 year old women who live in Canada. There's no point targeting the 56 year old men in Australia because you've got that demographic. You know who your people are. You know who you're selling to so you can target your ads better. You can target your copy that the wording that you use on your website or your Etsy site or the Facebook ads you can target them using the language that you learned in your research and discovery phase. Use the exact words of your clients you can also, if when you did the Amazon research, you discovered that many people have the same problem that is not being resolved by the things that they're buying, you can might block posts about it. You can write, um, either for your own site or go into other people's sites. Guest postal medium post on. Then, as those people search for an answer to their problems, they'll find your blood post and then they'll buy more from you so you can use it for advertising. Use it for blogging. You can use it just to develop the wrecked products exactly what people are looking for on , and you can use it to tweak the products that you already have that perhaps not selling as well as you'd like. You can also use it for where you might want to develop a masterclass or training that will help people get over that buying hump. So before we buy often, there's a moment where you haven't quite made the decision to buy whatever it is from a wooly hat to a photography class. If you're if you have a lot of clients who get all the way here but don't buy, what could you help them with at that point? And if you have lots of clients on this side, but still one more than what training can you give them? A. This point, how can you help people get the absolute most out of your products and services? 9. What next?: So my invitation to you is to do some of this research. That's the homework from this class. Download the worksheet and do some research Do. Initially, I would suggest that you set aside four or five hours a long afternoon to do the research. Now, when we do social media research, it's very easy to fall down the rabbit hole and you start off very diligently looking in Facebook groups and learning mawr, or you start on Facebook or you're looking in Amazon on Before you know it, you're not diligently doing research. You're just shopping or reading or looking at interesting pictures of cats. Now it's so easy to do. But if you can resist it and really keep focusing, just Danley, bring your mind back over and over again to your ideal customer, your avatar, and see exactly what they're doing. Even four or five hours will make the difference in your business. Now you might become particularly interested in this. One of the things that I particularly work with clients on is now you know your client better. Why are they not buying what know what needs to happen? How could we get them over that little hump, that little stopping point in their buying journey, and I'm going to go into a lot more detail on that. So look for my other courses. But let's start with Download the worksheet. Do four or five hours on. Please share your results in the community area of this course, because what you learn other people will find useful. I'm sure there's gonna be lots of cross pollination, and the more we learn together, the more we know, the more all of our products and services are going to sell better. But remember what other people are learning about their avatar. Their ideal client might not fit your business, but perhaps you have this really great way to search and find out more information, and that will help other people and vice versa. So I'll see you in the community area. This is something I'm passionate about on. If you stick with it, you will really shift your business