It takes work, but force yourself to identify who you love to serve.
We say it a lot to our clients – “Everyone is not your customer.”
Though we say this, it is hard to adhere to. In a twisted scarcity mindset, we want to keep our options open to work with anyone and everyone. And, by approaching a saturated marketplace this way, we dilute ourselves.
The key question is to figure out who specifically is ideal to work with. You may have this information already from a rich working relationship with a current customers. In this case, get real and honest to ask:
- What makes me like my customer so much?
- Who are other people like them?
- Where do they hang out online?
- Where do they hand out in person?
- What are they attracted to in a vendor?
Simple questions like this can help you focus your approach and help you design signals and positioning to attract more ideal customers.
Of course, it can be a luxury to have a business of completely perfect customers. Who has this? There’s always a mixed bag and you can simply ask any businessperson or salesperson about their worst customers to find out the headaches looming under the surface.
But, if you can filter your audience and attract the right people it will be because you did your homework of positioning your message, content and stories around who you want to work with.
You can notice this when you show up for lunch at a nice upscale restaurant. You will not see average dressed people there. The signals and positioning deter such casual diners from even stepping foot into the place. The story that customers see helps them self-select and come as a patron that fits the narrative or don’t come at all.
When we position our clients and build content assets for them, we push to get narrower and focused. This way you stand out and there is not a confusion about what you do and who you work with.
This means you may have to let go of parts of your identity or get specific when it is tempting to remain vague. Push yourself to continually refine and it will send the right signal to the marketplace for your expertise and focus.
A good way to determine if you have become well positioned is if you can claim leadership in that specific niche and show it. If you are the leading software specifically for accountants that work on insurance policies, that is much narrower and specialized. It will entrust you to an entire tight network of industry professionals.
If you find yourself with a couple of areas of focus, then your positioning may need to have separate narrow promotion channels in the form of separate brands. This is how our minds naturally work. We connote a brand with a position, not two or more separate positions. For example, Coke means soda and Xerox means copiers. They don’t mean milkshakes and computers, respectively.
You have to mean something distinct in the mind of the buyers. For us, The Dalrymple Group means content strategy. We got there over time and determining what we do extremely well compared to anyone else and who we worked with well.
You may not end up with your definition of who to work with readily. But pushing yourself continually to refine the message you are putting out to the marketplace has to be a key step you are committed to. It will directly coordinate with your revenue.