Over these past couple weeks, I’ve been conducting quite a few Business Breakthrough Strategy Sessions*. It seems like most people I talk to these days are of the mindset that everyone is their client.
This is the sort of thinking that can get your business into trouble…and leave you not only with a hectic and unpredictable up and down income stream, but it can quickly lead to burnout and frustration. And more than likely, a loss of passion and excitement for your business.
You see, everyone is not your client.
Yes, many people can benefit from what you do. And many people might be willing pay you for your knowledge, your expertise and your life experiences. But no matter how you slice it…everyone is not your client.
Any time a new product, new movie, new book, new anything comes out, a particular person is in mind when it’s being created and when it’s being advertised. And there’s HUGE business and big money in identifying and marketing to the right audience (well hello, market researchers!)
For example…not every movie is for everyone to see and enjoy.
That’s why we have different genres (comedy, drama, horror, animated, etc). Completely disregarding the more obvious fact that the audience for a children’s movie isn’t the same as one for, say anything with an R-rating, but the same audience that might be interested in seeing The Help, is probably not the same audience that you’d find at Final Destination.
Will there be crossover? Yes. But they’re mostly outliers (or in the case of children’s movies…the adults that brought their kids to the movie or in the case of The Help and Final Destination…those that had no say in the movie they’re watching — like on a date, or because you take turns picking the movie, etc.).
The same goes for the many different television channels.
For example, my husband won’t be caught dead watching Lifetime or anything on O.W.N. That doesn’t mean he won’t sit in the same room with me while I watch Drop Dead Dive or Oprah Behind the Scenes (I happen to love them both!). But it’s not something that he’d search out on his own to watch…even if he was flipping channels and nothing else was on (that’s when he ends up watching the news channels).
Neither of those channels were created with him in mind. He was not and is not their target audience.
Same can be said for Mtv. While 30 years ago when it first came out, I was indeed their target audience, this is no longer the case.
Now let’s look at beauty products…
Do women wear make up? Yes. Do all women wear make up? No.
And of those women that do wear make up, do they all wear the same brands of make up, the same products, the same colors, etc.? No.
You see, the make up one wears at 40+ is not the same make up that one wears when they’re 13-17. This isn’t 100% true of everyone (again with the contradictions that prove the very point I’m trying to make here). There are always out outliers – and Lord knows how loyal women can be to some of their favorite brands (I’m thinking of a certain yellow department store lotion and a certain pink-packaged drugstore mascara).
Now let’s talk about lipstick. If you were to design a new lipstick, would every woman be your ideal client?
Maybe, like Poppy King, your lipstick is geared to those that prefer matte lips in classic, vintage colors that cater to fair-skinned women. Or maybe like Urban Decay, you’re lipsticks are for the mid-20 to early-30 year-old that likes funky or bold colors and lots of shine.
Notice how those two lipsticks and markets are similar: they’re both are for lips, both are for women.
Now notice how they’re different: the women are from different age ranges (and probably different income levels when you get down to it and dig a little deeper), and they’re looking for two completely different kinds of lip products – matte vs shine – and two completely different color ranges – classic vs trendy.
So more than likely, you won’t be selling the same products to both sets of women.
You see, you can’t please everyone.
And if you try, you’ll end up going crazy and overwhelmed with products, services and price points.
Now let’s look at your business…
Maybe you’re an organizer. Can everyone benefit from your expertise and services? Maybe. But maybe upon closer look, stay at home moms with toddlers are better suited to your particular skill set. Or maybe you work better (or have a particular passion for) mompreneurs of school-aged kids with home-based offices. They’re both moms, but they both have completely different lifestyles and more importantly, different challenges and needs.
Can you work with both? Yes. But when you come down to it, are you an expert at both? Or are you more qualified to work with one over the other? Do they both have the same needs and challenges and are they looking for similar solutions? Can you cater to those differences? Do they both have the same time constraints and/or money available to pay and make time in their busy (for different reasons) days for you to come into their lives and help.
And let’s be honest, are you excited and passionate about working with both? And do you have equal access to both kinds of clients?
It’s all about finding your niche.
Not only do you need to know what makes you an expert, and what skills you bring to the table. But you also need to know where your passions lie.
And just as importantly, you need to figure out who your ideal client is. And you need to get specific…really specific. What do they do, what are their problems, how much money do they have, where can you find them, how much access do you have to reaching them, what kind of time commitment will the job entail, etc.
The more you know about your ideal client, the easier it will be to recognize them when you talk with them. And the easier your client will recognize themselves in your voice, your services, your article and your website copy.
If narrowing down your niche and your market is one of your challenges, drop me a line and we can talk. I love helping people think outside the box to name it, claim it and use it…and make it work for YOU!
* Learn how you can get your own Business Breakthrough Strategy Session HERE