In business, we often think that the bigger the market you are working with, the more profitable you will be. Well, that cannot be further from the truth. When I ask other entrepreneurs who their market is, many times I get the answer “everyone.”
How is that possible? Does everyone need what you are offering? Is there anything in this amazing world that everyone needs? The truth of the matter is that in business, size does matter, and experts have said, the smaller the niche, the more profitable you are. So, let’s take a look at how that really works.
You have to ask yourself who is it that you can really help – that actually needs your help. This is the double whammy. You have to want them and they have to need you. There is nothing worse than realizing that your market is “just not into you.”
However, knowing your target is important because it will not only help you better define your features and benefits, it will also let you design your message to answer the needs of a specific group – your group.
n my business, I thought I had it all figured out, but in reality, my market was too large. It was women. Now, I truthfully had eliminated 50 percent of the workforce, but it was still not streamlined enough. All the while I had this silly message playing in my head that I am sure, many of you have experienced as well. “If I eliminate this group or that group, then I am eliminating the chance to help more people.” The truth of the matter is that you can’t help everyone.
Women sometimes struggle with this more than men because we want to help everyone and not leave anyone out. The bottom line is that not everyone needs what you have, so you need to get focused on your target. Sometimes writing down what your target looks like (NOT their height, weight, hair or eye color!) will give you some insight into who your niche really is. Wouldn’t you like it if the people you talk to or market to are actually the ones that are raising their hands to work with you?
Here are some reasons why concentrating on your market can benefit your bottom line:
- A smaller group has very specific and unique needs that you can cater to.
- When people know exactly who you work with, you will get more referrals because they know what your specialty is and who to send to you.
- Working with a specific market will open up potential strategic partnerships that are already serving that market in a complimentary way.
- Being laser-focused on your target takes the guesswork and added expenses out of marketing.
- You will be positioned as the expert in that market, which will add to your creditability. People prefer to work with and recommend an expert so be prepared to be asked to speak to groups, write articles, and be called upon for your opinion.
Knowing the reasons for identifying your target audience is important. How you find them is another story. I have always been told to do what you know. This is true when you write a book, or build a business, or anything that requires using your skill set. You need to be able to identify – and I mean really identify – who your target audience is. Describe who or what it is in great detail. Ask yourself these three simple questions:
- What are the demographics of your target audience?
- Where do they hang out both online and offline?
- What are their day-to-day concerns?
You can’t help everyone, and if you can’t identify your target, how will your walking ambassadors be able to refer people to you? This is where niche marketing comes in. Wouldn’t it be great if you were “THE” annuities person in your area? Or you were “THE” Senior Market guru? Your uniqueness and brilliance shines and people look at you for solutions and share you with their friends and colleagues – those very expensive, free leads, also known as referrals.
So, how can you help them? Once you know who your market is, what they look like, where they hang out and what they need and want, you are ready to make things happen. Your goal is to make sure you are aiming directly at your target. With that direct aim, you are sure to create multiple bulls-eyes. Remember, your market is qualifying themselves for you when you let them know you are seeking them out.
Should You Ever Change Your Target?
There is always a burning question that comes up about owning your space and that is if you can, should or ever change your target? My answer is simple…for me, my audience has been adjusted a bit depending on the needs and wants of my market, the economy or just outside influences.
One thing should remain clear – your message. My message has never changed: it is all about communication for me. While my aim shifted or redefined slightly, my message remained solid. In other words, I did start to color outside the original box, but I stayed on the same page.