If you are a seasoned business owner you are not new to terms like Avatar, Persona, Audience, Niche, and Target Market – but no matter what term you use, the concept comes down to understanding who your true customer is.
When we start out as new business owners, especially as solo-preneurs, we get excited and want to share our “stuff” with everyone. So we start by having lots of services because we’re afraid of excluding someone or leaving out a potential client.
Does this sound familiar at all?
I can easily say I had a broad list of services starting out and I know plenty of fellow entrepreneurs who have done the same. The problem is, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice and making it difficult for your potential customers.
Allow me to explain: Initially pin-pointing your niche offering can be conflicting and confusing.
When I started in May of 2015, I met many other start-ups as I attended networking event after networking event. I joined business associations in my community like Centre for Women in Business, Digital Nova Scotia, and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
I met so many great people; some became clients and others became friends.
I collected my fair share of business cards, too. (Truth be told, I love a great business card.) So many business cards. Some were fancy, pretty, shiny, others were flimsy, busy, and confusing.
I recently pulled out my very first business card I used for SmartCat. I had a list of five services on the back of my card. All marketing related but not a specialization. Nothing to help me stand out in the crowd.
Your Offer includes the kitchen sink
I think we all start out with large offerings. We’ll list everything and the kitchen sink because we want everyone to know all the things we can do. We want to cast the net as wide as we can to catch as many fish as possible. As we move forward, we learn that offering things outside the norm of what you do will simply muddy up your value.
Finding potential clients goes beyond passing out business cards. Writing a strategic business plan is at the top of the list and will help you with actionable steps to building and growing your business. Researching who your target is essential but not as easy at it sounds.
There is a basic question to ask yourself – dig deep. Uncovering your true value and understanding how that impacts your client will help your “claim to fame”.
Why are you important to the people you serve?
Clearly state the uniqueness of doing business with you and the services you offer. How can you help them complete a task or solve a problem? Can you reduce stress and time?
— What is in it for the client? Be client centric. Don’t be product centric.
Once you figure out what makes you unique, create a selling proposition that no one can say no to, you’ll notice a difference in how your target audience responds to you.
If there’s one thing I can tell you, it’s to stay focused on one niche. They are your ideal client, the group of folks who you serve well. Create clear messaging around this group of people and you will soon discover what you really love to do, what you do exceptionally well, and what you don’t like to do. I know I did.
A niche is deeper than a simple buyer persona
Your niche is who you’re meant to serve. Deeper connections are formed, you share common behaviour, and probably have general demographics in common. Your niche also craves the encouragement, support, and help you can give them.
“These are people who are bonded to you by common traits and who seek the answer to a problem that you have learned to solve.”
Narrowing down your true niche is essential if you want to meet them on an emotional level.
Because people buy on emotion. Period.
At the end of the day, it’s about how you make them feel. If you can truly help them, then that will be what makes the difference between a NO THANKS and the YES you so desire.
A niche is not only your crew of clients
It can also refer to the group of people who support you, work alongside you, and cheer you on.
Collaboration is at the heart of SmartCat Marketing. I do this with the wonderful people in my circle. I believe in working with other ambitious, hardworking entrepreneurs. We have so much to learn from one another.
I’ll leave you to think about, who’s in your circle and how have they helped and supported you?