Narrow Your Market to Find an Audience

Image by Tiero
Image by Tiero

When you find your passion and develop your product and/or service, you may be so excited that you fall into the trap of trying to sell to everyone. You think you have the greatest new idea ever and believe that everyone is going to want what you have to offer. This is NOT A GOOD IDEA – and is a common mistake made by new business owners – on and offline – that often leads to disaster. Narrow your market to succeed.

Inexperienced business owners do this because they believe if they sell to the mass market, they will sell more. They are afraid that if they narrow their marketing efforts, they will lose sales. Even though it may be counter-intuitive to the newbie, the reality is:  the narrower the market – the better.

For example:
Recently, I joined a local Chamber of Commerce Networking Group. Each meeting begins  with the individual members presenting their 30-second elevator speech. The purpose is to get the word out about each person’s business and what they offer. The goal is to generate referrals.

The vast majority say something like, “At XYC Sales, we offer wonder widgets. Our widgets are perfect for almost everyone, everywhere. Tell your friends so we can help them out.”

That is useless information. Essentially, the business person is saying, we can help everyone, any age, anywhere  – the only requirement is that they are breathing. The networking group has no idea who would be a good customer is for this business, they can’t focus on a particular friend and think, “Wow, that is a great match for my neighbor, Tom. I will tell him about this product.” Consequently, there will be no referrals.

Fortunately, there are two or three who understand how the process works and they deliver very specific messages, such as: “ABC Cleaning Products, is a wholesale cleaning products company. A good client for me would be anyone who works in the home cleaning or industrial cleaning industry or janitorial services.” These types of messages get referrals, the others do not.

Online businesses are exactly the same. When your marketing messages are clear and specific, aimed at a targeted market, you will have much greater success than if you try to market to everyone.

You can only attract customers who identify with your message. Potential buyers must immediately see themselves using your product or service. If they do not, they will quickly pass you by.

Speak directly to your potential customers. A prospective buyer may need your product, but is not aware that it exists.  You must get his/her attention in order for him/her to buy from you.

The only way you can get my attention is to SPEAK TO ME.  I am not “anybody” or “everybody.” I am unique – I am me, living my life with my specific, personal set of problems.

I am a member of many groups . . . I am a woman, a mother, a daughter, a small-business owner, an American Citizen, etc., but in those groups I am just one among many.

I also have a home-based business, enjoy swimming and tennis, and battle tennis elbow. These are more specific groups and a particular problem that I can identify with.

If you say your product works for women who have a home-based business and  play tennis for relaxation, but struggle with tennis elbow, you will get my attention. I am primed to buy because you have just described Me.

Seth Godin the author of TRIBES states,

…the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change.”

He urges us to be leaders. If you can solve a problem for a group of people; or lead people in a thought process around specific ideas, you will quickly build your audience (tribe) and become their leader.

If you spend your time and energy trying to sell to everybody, chances are you may end up selling to nobody.  In fact, the more precise you can be in describing your customers, the more you will connect with them. They will trust you and like you because they believe you understand them. People always have – and always will – buy from people they know, like, and trust.

©Blurtigo Holdings, LLC

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