There's a problem that most entrepreneurs face every day.
"How do I get more customers?"
"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.
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.