Even though I have been practicing as a marketer for over 20 years it has taken me a while to really value the benefit of not trying to be all things to many people. In marketing the key objective is to provide a product and or service to a particular person. The more specific you can be about this marriage then the more successful you will be in business. A simple premise, yes? However most of us who start small businesses are so scared by saying no to customers that we bend, flex, and chase potential customers that we are just not well placed to service and who probably cost us precious time and money. Why then do we not focus on a select few?
Not sure who your ideal customer is? You’re not alone.
When I started my small marketing consulting business I did not have a really defined view of who my ideal customer was. Sure, I knew they needed marketing assistance, but that was about it. This approach saw me traveling all over Melbourne and meeting with all sorts of people. I remember one day going to Footscray to visit a tattooist who wanted help to market her business. I went in and did a consultation, spoke about their website, their signage, how to use local businesses and cross promotions other ideas. After the consultation I sent them my account. They decided not to pay it. This was a big lesson for me. She was totally the wrong customer. In fact it was the best lesson. Since that day I have been very careful about who I take on as a client and make sure we are a match.
I have even gone further. I have profiled my ideal customer. Where they are based (South Easter Suburbs). How much turnover they have, staff and more particularly if they are interested in marketing as a lead generation tool or a one off task. You see it is only by profiling my ideal customers that I can find them. It is only by writing a list of who aren’t ideal that I can narrow my focus.
Not only is this a more profitable way to work, it is more enjoyable. I only want to give my services to those who are particularly seeking them out and that is just not everyone.
How to profile your ideal customer?
So how do you narrow your focus to an ideal customer? It is really a simple exercise. Think about that customer that loves your service or product. The one that is happy to pay and raves about you. For me this is Manager in a professional service business that really wants to take a proactive approach to sales and marketing and wants a system in place long term They are generally not technically savvy but know they need to do some online marketing.
Questions should fall into some categories:
- Who they are? Demographics
- How they think? Psycho graphics
- What they do? Behavioral
- Where they are? Environmental
Go Deep into a Segment
This year I started my business Beautybizmarketing.com.au. I knew I loved to work with businesses in the beauty industry. Salons, spas, hairdresser. This is a certain niche. The more I began to focus my efforts in this niche and finding out how to serve them best the more they sought me out. Now I have several clients from this segment and it is my most enjoyable work. There is also less competition in this segment because it is focused. This means I can maintain my pricing and value because I am an expert.
Is there a particular segment you like working with? Is it big enough to be the focus of your business? If so I encourage you to put your efforts there. It will make your marketing more affordable and effective and your business hard to replicate easily.
Look at my ideal customer template for tips on how to start marketing strategically and focus your efforts on your ideal customers not everyone with a pulse.