I’m writing this for my dad. And everyone else like him. For intelligent, small-business owners everywhere who have made the leap from a high-level professional career into running their own business.
Marketing isn’t their expertise, and nor should it be. But, my dad (and everyone in his position) deserve to have the most clear-cut and candid advice about marketing.
That’s why, small-business owners, I’m telling you that the first step you need to take with your marketing is to REALLY figure out your target market.
This may seem like an obvious first step, but believe me, it isn’t.
Many of you have probably read that and said to yourselves “But, Rhiannon, I already know my target market… It’s everyone in my industry within 100kms of my area.”
Well, I’m giving you permission to re-think that and to start again. This time, try coming up with an exact niche you want to target.
But, think about businesses like:
Nerd Fitness – they’ve really nailed down their niche and become extremely profitable.
Ladypreneur – just from their name you can see the exact niche they’re targeting.
This may be scary, because I know you want to cast a wide net to attract the highest number of potential clients. But, here’s why you shouldn’t do that.
Your marketing efforts will be made at least 10x easier.
By sticking with a broad niche, you might think that you’re casting a wider net which means more fish. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
By niching down, you make your marketing efforts easier. You know your exact niche, you know where to find them (online and in person), and you can spend your time targeting them where you know they’re going to be. But, most of all, you know what type of marketing is actually going to resonate with them and compel them to buy from you.
If you had target market that was too broad, you’d have to spend 10x the amount of time doing the same marketing task, because the broader your audience is, the more research you have to do, and the harder it is to reach them in an effective and meaningful way.
You will know exactly how/where to spend your marketing budget.
Take the example of if you choose the target market of ‘health professionals in XYZ location’. The brutal truth is that you’re going to run into problems.
The vague group of ‘health professionals’ can be broken up into demographics (young, old, male or female) and also specialisation (physiotherapists, general practitioners etc). Your marketing will not be effective for all of these groups – that’s why you need to niche down further and choose exactly who it is you want to target… and go after them.
Imagine, you’ve niched down from ‘health professionals’ (bad) to ‘young physiotherapists in XYZ location that need help with XYZ problem’ (great!). Now you can focus on finding those exact people and getting your brand messaging in front of them – instead of wasting time trying to reach everyone.
You will be attracting the right type of clients for you.
The nightmare of starting a business, especially after you’ve been in your industry for so long, is that sometimes you feel forced to take on clients that you know aren’t right for you.
Whether it’s a client that pays too little, quibbles over the bill or has unrealistic expectations of what you can really do for them. These are mostly problems that can be avoided by niching down properly at the beginning of your marketing phase.
By niching down correctly, you will give yourself the chance to understand the general price bracket that your market is comfortable with, whether they have a willingness to pay (Ramit Sethi over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich has a GREAT article that touches on this), and whether they will fit with what your business is trying to achieve.
By now you’re probably thinking that this all sounds well and good, but you’re still not sure exactly how to do it. Right? Well, check out these articles that show you exactly how it’s done:
Crazy Egg: Find Your Target Market
Medium (Kristine Berth) – How To Define Your Target Market
So, are you going to niche down your target market? If you have already, how has it worked out for you? Let me know in the comments!