Johan Broddfelt
/* Comments on code */

Are you targeting the wrong market?

I have been fascinated about marketing for a long time and tried many different things the last couple of years. Every summer I take the time to reflect over what I'm doing and how I can change to be more productive. This summer I realized that, maybe I have been targeting the wrong audience...

The intention

I'm a consultant that help businesses structure their processes and information, mostly using it-systems that I build. In order to reach my customers, I have posted blogposts as a portfolio of what I can do. Sharing my knowledge in the hope that business leaders and middle management executives should notice my skills and hire me.
What has happened instead is that other developers find their way to my content and start to ask questions and asking for help on different topics I have written about. Don't get me wrong here, I love to share my knowledge and I have no problem talking to developers, aiming to help them achieve their goals. But that was not the consequence I had hoped for.

The question

One of my biggest problems I have been trying to figure out, when it comes to finding new clients is that I know that I can build almost any kind of system solving what ever problem the customer throws at me in regards to manipulating and managing information using computers. And I know that there are a large amount of businesses facing these problems. The problem I had, and that was the seed that resulted in me writing a book about how to build a business, was that they might not consider a new it-system. They need a new bookshelf for next years invoices to be stored, or a paper form that everyone in sales should fill out when talking to customers. You name it but it certainly was not going on google, looking for a guy that can write a great php-framework, write code in DataFlex or build a neural network in JavaScript that can beat you at "Rock, Scissor, Paper"...
The question then become. What do business leaders search for on google and how do I serve them so that they not only find me, but also know when to call me?

The competition

Short disclaimer... now I not only write about tips on how to write code, I'm also going to help the developer (my competitors) how to find customers? As I see it there is plenty of work going around and I do not have time to help all the businesses out there that need help. So, I have no problem sharing what I know on this topic either.

The solution

First, I need to figure out what my ideal customer is thinking about all day. What are their biggest problems? If I write answers to those problems, they would perhaps find me. The problem with that is that I'm probably not an expert in most of the things my potential clients need help with. So, I need to write more things that I know that my existing customers see as problems when they call me for help.

Usually that is that their current system is not flexible enough and since it is a standard solution it will either cost a small fortune or they must wait for years before their change requests are realized. Sometimes they have issues with excel or an access database created by some employee and now they need more features or they need multiple excel sheets to send data back and forth and it requires weeks of education to make sure that new employees do not type the wrong thing in the wrong cell. In some cases, they even have a process on paper where they must look through piles of paper to manually manage all the information.

The difference between a not so good and a slightly better system for managing information in a team or a business can easily increase the performance by ten times. Just the time it takes to figure out where things went wrong can take days if you do it manually, but using a good system you will get a warning as you do the mistake and the customer will never notice, never get annoyed, never threaten to change supplier... you get the gist. There is an entire chain of issued that creep up around the systems you use.

Before the data even get into the system, the process in the system and what happens to the data as it leaves the system. The way your team feel as they work with the system. If they get stressed because the system is hard to understand and is slow or even shuts down. If you as a manager can get the information you need to make the right decisions from the system at the right time and the list goes on and on.

This is probably things that I should spend more time writing about in my blog, since those are the problems, I spend my time solving for my clients. Yes, I write code, but I provide solutions to completely different problems using that skill. Come to think of it, perhaps I should even write less code and focus more on helping developers write great application for businesses in need. But I do love to code and helping businesses with information management, large and small brings me much joy. So, I think I will continue a little while more.

Thank you for your time and attention!

- marketing, audiens, target

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