It’s business 101, and if you’ve taken any kind of marketing course, you’ll know what I’m about to say next: it’s all about your ideal client avatar.
Before you groan too hard, remember that this is a critical thing. You can’t be everything to everyone. Imagine if a diaper company decided to market to everyone… it would make no sense at all. They would be dismissed out of hand as irrelevant and even a waste of time by anyone who doesn’t have small children in their lives.
No matter what your business is, you have an audience that will respond to what you sell, teach, make and a larger one that won’t. It’s far, far easier to sell to people and businesses that already want what you have.
Makes sense, right?
But maybe we should also go a step back. Not just including who you’re here for, but what problem you’re solving.
An auto repair shop run by women, for example, not only fixes vehicles, they specifically fix them for women who might have had bad experiences in the past with other auto repair shops. They are solving problems, namely: vehicles than need some TLC, and women who don’t feel comfortable going to traditional repair shops. And the audience would be women who own vehicles, have money to pay for repairs, and need to trust the people doing the work.
So let’s take this further, if you’re a business mentor, who are you for? For example: do you help newbies at setting up and running their business? Do you help 6 figure business owners scale up their businesses? Do you focus on specific industries?
See how the who you help and what problem you focus on can go hand in hand?
I personally like to focus on people who have been in business for a while. They’ve been in the trenches for a bit, but now want to scale up. Their businesses don’t work if they aren’t directly working in and on them.
At a certain point, your business should be working for you even if you take a day or a week off! No one starts a business thinking, “Hey, working 40 hours a week is for sissies. Let’s just make it double and do that for years.”
But the reality is, if you don’t plan on growth, scalability and futureproof your business, that 80 hour work week can be the reality and it’s most definitely not sustainable. Income that depends on your presence and action taking, is precarious income and can be toppled by accident, illness and even vacation.
Ok so how do we start this? Easy, who do you like to work with and what problem are you solving for them?
Defining your audience won’t immediately limit your audience, but it does ensure that the people who will resonate with your message, will actually resonate with your message. They’ll see that you’re speaking their language, that you understand them and their issues, and that you are for them. Plus, you can use industry specific language and know that you’re sifting and sorting out the people who your business won’t be for. It makes it easier to write, speak and market when you niche down.
So let’s get going on this
- what industry do you serve?
- what problems are you solving?
- who is your ideal client? Who do you love working with? And get specific right down to age, gender (or not), education, income and the whole 9 yards).
The three most simple and yet critical questions you can ask. Ideally, you’d do this right at the beginning and then tweak as you go, but if you haven’t done it already, then do it now. Right now. And watch the response to your marketing change for the better.
Confused clients don’t buy, and this one simple exercise creates clarity in your business for you and for them.