“Target audience”? You’re not shooting at them. You’re inviting them.

‘Target audience’ is one of those marketing phrases which gets used without a great deal of thought. Yes, you could also say ‘ideal audience’ or ‘client avatar’ or some other official sounding phrase, but as with all marketing terminology I prefer to question everything.

Target. Why target? Where does that come from?

A target is something you shoot at. A bow and arrow, a target with a red circle in the middle. You eye the target…you draw back…you take a deep breath…you release…BAM! Got it! Sharp arrow piercing the target right in the middle! Nailed it!

When I think about how I and our business communicate with the type of clients, the type of PEOPLE we want to work with, this visual does not work.

I don’t want to shoot at them. I don’t want to eye them and squint to see how I can stab them with an arrow. Actually it’s not about me doing all the work anyway: it’s about being present and available and holding to our values and expressing who we truly are, and welcoming them to come be a part of it.

It’s an invitation.

An invitation is much different. It’s beautiful. Maybe handwritten, certainly crafted to be welcoming and appealing. You get one and think “ooooh, this looks nice!” (Or you get one and think “I’m not going to that event no matter what”, but that’s also okay.)

The point is with an invitation, the invited client gets to decide. Do they want to work with you? Is it possible you could help them? Are you their kind of people? It’s all very pleasant and welcoming and patient. They can take their time: whether that’s one day to make up their mind, or a month, or six months, or three years. They can keep coming, and coming back, taking in your content and watching your videos and connecting with you as a human until they believe you are someone who can help them with the problem weighing on them.

Content marketing is such a beautiful way to invite people to consider working with you. Writing blogs and articles, sharing photos and videos on social, holding live events, giving insights into what you know and how it can help them. Sharing expertise. It takes time because all good relationships take time. The right way is the long way.

At PF, we’ve slowly begun moving away from using the term ‘target audience’ (even internally, as we talk about who we want to work with), and more towards words like perfect client. Ideal client. Accountants we love. We’ve even been using the word “people” instead of “clients”. What kind of PERSON (who happens to be an accountant) do we love to work with? What can we share with that human person which will answer their questions and address their fears and doubts and help them make a decision which is best for them?

Changing your terminology could seem like it doesn’t matter too much. Who cares if you say “target audience” or “perfect client”? Who cares if you have a “buyer avatar” or a “client characteristics” list?

The words you use reflect the way you think about things. And people. In a past Note, I shared why and how I began to remove the word “should” from my vocabulary, and what that has done for me personally as well as my business.

Words matter. The way you approach marketing, and clients, and people, matters. If your marketing is feeling a bit harsh, or official, or even boring, it might be you’ve stopped thinking about future clients as human people. People with questions and concerns and families and trips they’d like to take and food they love to eat and problems in their business they don’t know how to solve. They aren’t targets. The next person who fills in a form on your website is not a target. They’re real, and they’re worth getting to know, so you both can decide whether this is the relationship to put time and money and care into.

What kind of words do you use for the clients you love to work with?

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Popped into a fave local coffee shop in York this week and this was the mug they gave me. ❤️✨

Wasn’t feeling so superwomanny when I got it - this week was very full, plus period cramps and multiple migraines and my ankle being wonky and more travel than I’ve done in a while. I had intended to get coffee but the cramps were so bad I had to go for mint tea and just sit until they faded enough for me to walk again. 

At the same time, I also had an amazing time during this week with the @weare_pf Board meeting in person for the first time. Getting to know each other better as humans and sharing ideas and making plans and most of all appreciating that the weight of all the business decisions doesn’t rest solely on my shoulders. 

This is just one of your reminders that being a superwoman looks different at different times, and whether you’re striding along strongly or sitting weakly with mint tea, your superwoman status still applies. 

#justkeepgoing #superwoman #muglife #wegotthis #onedayatatime
Every single time I go sailing past this lighthouse on the mull-to-Oban ferry I think “this time I’ll just watch it and not take any pictures” 

And then something wild happens like A SAILBOAT GOES BY and of course I have to capture that, surely I haven’t taken that photo before (spoiler: I have), and then I have about seventeen lighthouse photos to add to my collection of seven thousand lighthouse photos from the last twenty years. 

But, I figure, what’s the harm anyway. It’s my photos and my memories and it brings me joy. I love the lighthouse as a visual of my journey from the mainland to the island (or a reminder I’ll be back soon). 

So, see you soon lighthouse. Thanks for standing there. 

#lismorelighthouse #eileanmusdile #lighthouse #lighthousesofinstagram #oban #ferry #calmac #isleofmull #sailaway #sailboat #scotland #travelscotland
I read. A lot. My list of “books to read” has over 100 titles listed, and every time I mention a book I’ve appreciated, I get another recommendation of a new one and the list gets longer. 

One of the books recommended to me years ago was “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”. She mentioned it had some helpful principles about how we navigate life - and whether you’re a buddhist or not, there are principles you can learn from and apply in life.

I wrote it down, forgot about it, and moved on with life. Read lots of other books.

And then when I broke my ankle, and was sitting and resting a LOT, with loads of time for reading, I went back to my list and started reconsidering some of the titles on it.

When I looked up “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”, the subtitle was “A Handbook for Happiness”, and that struck me.

Dealing with an injury is difficult. Sad. Wearying. It can be hard to find happiness and every day feels about the same. (Very Groundhog Day.)

So I bought the book, and put it by my bed. I started getting into a pattern of reading a chapter every morning with my coffee.

I thought I’d share some of the principles I appreciated and which are already helping me as I continue to navigate my life right now: 

[the full post on these is too long for an Insta post so click the link in bio or story if u want to read more!]

Thank the spoon - a spoon stirs up the mud in what had appeared to be clear water. Same with life: hard things stir up what you haven’t dealt with yet. So you thank them. “Thank you, spoon”

The Fundamental darkness (FD) - the “Survival Obsessed Self” who responds in a way based on survival but not growth

There’s a gift in the struggle - He describes it visually as “the lotus flower in the muddy pond”. You can focus on the mud, or on the flower, but they’re both there.

Nam - myo - ho - renge - kyo : The happiness soundtrack - I pulled out the core concepts of each of these words as they applied to me, and they are: 

Bloom in the struggle
Flow of life

#karensnotes #buddhainmebuddhainyou #books #reading #happysaturday 

[full note link in bio!]
The snow is swirling the wind is howling IT’S FROZEN OUT THERE 
#snowing #happyspringeveryone #inlikealion