Too many entrepreneurs say, “the whole world needs me!”
No, they don’t. The reality is, you most likely don’t have Proctor & Gamble’s marketing budget, which can reach 100s of millions of people in a 20 second Super Bowl ad.
By focusing on a niche, you can talk to a small and targeted audience who already gets you, trusts you and likes you. As soon as you show up and explain what you do, they say, “I get it.” You should be addressing some of their challenges, and your marketing should speak to them.
When I first started, I said, “Corporations need me! Business people need me.”
Those are both big audiences. I would go on television and talk about how people could look fashionable so that they can be taken seriously. Why do people need to be taken seriously? Who wants to be taken seriously? Those are questions that I needed to answer.
The more I got involved in the process, I started to see who is responding.
I saw that I got more traction when I started to speak more specifically to human resource and talent managers at companies. These professionals were interested in training and development programs for their companies employees. It was also small business owners and people at senior or officer-level positions at companies that saw my content and said, ‘this is perfect.’
By focusing on an audience, you have the ability to truly understand their challenge and how your service can resolve their problems.
When I started out, I also thought I also wanted to serve ‘women’. I love working with women and supporting their success, as the proud graduate of a women’s college (go Wellesley!). But which women and from what life experiences? Women are at different stages of life. There is the 22-year old coming out of college, whose needs are different from the 30-year-old who is entering adulthood and buying a house. That’s also different from a 40-something who already has a house and is preparing to send her first born to college.
People’s lives are always at different stages, and women, in my experience, are less likely to make big investments in their own development in their 30’s because they’re getting married, having kids and buying houses. Their focus is not on themselves.
I would’ve been smarter if I’d focused on women in their mid to late 40’s, which is primarily my clients demographic today. Many of those women mirror my experiences: they work in the corporate sphere, influence a lot of people in their own organizations, and are in revenue generating departments of companies.
Once I started zeroing in on these people, my marketing and services became a lot more specific, and hence, valuable to my clients.
So be smarter and wiser than me. Look around you and be honest about who gets you. Among your champions and cheerleaders, which individuals have similar life experiences with you? The irony is the more you know yourself the easier it will be to identify your people.