Not Everyone Is Your Customer And Why That's Better Than Okay

There's a problem that most entrepreneurs face every day.

"How do I get more customers?"

Or

"How do I get my company in front of the right people?"

Same coin. Different sides.

There are variances of course. But for the most part you're all looking for an audience.

In the past, someone would likely advise you to advertise to a large audience in T.V. in the "right time slot" or a "good demographic". Perhaps it was placing an ad in the yellow pages or the newspaper.

But you can't do that anymore and expect great results. Because those mediums speak to the masses. And your product or service doesn't.

No matter what you think or what anybody's told you NOT EVERYONE IS YOUR CUSTOMER.

I repeat this because it's important.

Your product, your service, your business isn't for everyone.

And that's okay. In fact, it's better than okay. It's perfect.

Because when you try to please everyone you please no one. Not even Wal-Mart markets to everyone. Neither does Coca-Cola. Looking for smaller examples? Fine. Paypal doesn't do it. Neither does Square. Or Starbucks. Or Whole Foods. Or Bob's Better Burger. Sprinkles.

Think of your favorite product. Their parent company doesn't market to everyone. They market to you.

You.

That's the key. We, as a people, are a different breed of consumers and our attention is all over the place.

The value of popularity is changing. Niche is in. Small is the new big.

The nerds and geeks now rule the world. What ever happened to the prom queen? Who cares?

The beauty of realizing that you have a niche business with a specific audience is that you're much closer to realizing a better return on your money when you put it towards targeted marketing.

Wouldn't you rather invest $5000 to a highly targeted audience who is already part of the conversation around your product than to throw that money on an ad where they give you vague demographics?

That's where smart targeting comes in. That's where engaging online, in social media, on niche websites, and creating content tailored to that audience comes in.

Content marketing. Engagement marketing. Social Media marketing. It all points back to ensuring that the people who are interested in your business can find you. Your product has a place in the larger picture of the audience online.

I bring this up because I run into startup founders or small business owners who still don't fully understand.

One of the first questions I ask during a meeting is "Who is your product/service/business for?" or some similar question that helps me locate their niche.

Too many times I run into the answer "Everyone".

Or maybe they've whittled it down a tiny bit. "Everyone who uses ______" or "People who live in ______".

But that's not small enough. It doesn't help to think that your product has to be popular with the masses.

It only has to be popular in your small niche. Then you have the chance to be the authority of that niche. You can control the conversation around that topic. Your business becomes synonymous with that engaged and passionate community.

That's how today's small businesses thrive. That's how today's startups get their fist 10,000 customers. By going hard after their niche. But doing it in a way that engages with humanity and empathy.

Boil down who your product is really for. You can't be everything to everyone.

Never Use Absolutes Online. Ever.

I used to have this bad habit of using absolutes. All. The. Time. I would tell people what to always do or what to never do.

  • Everyone's target market is online.
  • Always be transparent.
  • Never take the first offer.
  • There's a price for everything.

Then I started listening to myself. I went back and read some old posts on ancient websites and thought "what an ass!" because who the hell talks like that?

So I adjusted. I started saying things like "mostly" and "often" and "very likely". 

I started leaving wiggle room for exceptions.

Because the Interwebs don't forget. And people take things literally. People will call you out when you're wrong and point out exceptions. 

There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule.

But here's the problem with "wiggle room". It leaves ROOM for lots of things. Like doubt. And excuses. 

Especially excuses. 

I was speaking to a small business owner who contacted me for marketing consulting and we were discussing Facebook as part of his strategy. He didn't want to do it. He had a friend, in a completely unrelated industry, who was doing their own marketing and skipping Facebook. And they were doing well enough. They were concentrating on LinkedIn and it made sense for that B2B industry.

I still think his friend could add Facebook to their marketing strategy but I can see their logic.

My prospective client had found the exception to the rule that allowed him to ignore a huge potential boon to his business. His potential clients ARE on Facebook. Not just because "everyone is on Facebook" but because his demographic data screamed it at us. 

He's going to miss out big time if another marketing consultant isn't able to convince him that Facebook is a solid strategy for him. Maybe it takes some testing or some other type of convincing but it's not going to be me. And that's okay. Because he's not ready. Not yet.

Some people will never be convinced.

EVERYONE is NOT your customer. THAT is ALWAYS true.

So where do we live between those walls of absolutism and "wiggle room". How do we make our decisions? Do we follow the guidance of the gurus to the letter? Or do we look for all of those exceptions to the rules to guide us?

Do we live by the data or do we die by our gut?

What about you? Do you follow all rules or find the ways to break them? Do you look for exceptions or excuses?

How Lack of Trust Can Negatively Effect Your Search Engine Ranking

How Lack of Trust Can Negatively Effect Your Search Engine Ranking

Marketing your small business is rooted in creating lasting and trusting relationships with your prospects and customers. Google understands this. Bing understands this. Do you?

The Triple Threat: Search, Social, and Engagment

Change. Innovation. Speed.

That's how the internet works now.   

Remember when everything was linear? There was a beginning, middle, end.

Now content flows in every direction. And it comes in a larger variety of formats and platforms than we ever dared to dream possible.  

Social media and mobile usage are only going to grow and evolve. The mass adoption is going to continue. And people are going to adjust their online publishing as we adapt to all these new behaviors. 

Most people still think of search as our default discovery tool for information. For many it's true. Google still rules the online world. Bing is still making their search better. They're both evolving as they add more information coming from social media. 

If you have a reasonable idea of what you're looking for you head to your search toolbar or search engine of choice. You type in a query and off you go. Into the land of discovery. You're in search of the best answer for whatever you need.

How does the future look for search? What are teens doing? Kids?  

Do they think of it as "Googling" something or is it all just the "internet"?  

As more people adopt behavior patterns presented by browsers such as Chrome doesn't it just become content?

 It melds. It's the same. You type something into the address bar whether it's a website or query. It's just content.

For the future there isn't anything "magical" about this. Nothing special. And it certainly isn't limited to her computer. 

Content, or information, transcends devices and lives wherever they live. It's on their iPads. It's on their phones. It's on their Xboxs and is invading every other aspect of their lives.  

Information is ubiquitous

They're growing up digital. And we all have to keep this in mind as we move forward in our efforts to capture our audience. We connect and engage where they live.  

The revolution is global. And search is important in how and why we connect. What type of content we create. How we put it out there.  

Social and search are synergistic now more than ever and that isn't going to change.  

Are you ready?