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?"


"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.

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?

Why Passion Sells Better Than Sex

Here's something we don't talk about enough in social media marketing: Passion.

Digital marketers will drone on and on about metrics and about community and about strategy and tactics but they don't talk about passion enough.

We don't discuss why we do what we do. The best people in their industry (regardless of the industry) are at the top because they have passion. It can be passion about the product. Passion about the service. It can be passion about the company. For some, it's passion about the process. 

You can't do it without passion.

If you work in the arts you should already know this. You will not make it in this industry if you don't have passion.

Make products you would use. Create services you wish you had when you were starting out. Know that what you are creating is helping someone be better at what they do.

When you can wrap your product or service around a big pretty bow of passion then you can market it with an enthusiasm that will sell it to your clients. 

It's way better than "sex sells".

Do You Have A WOW Product?

When I take on a client in the art industry I bring more than just my expertise on digital marketing for small businesses. I bring a passion that's been burning inside of me for decades. When I talk, or write, about cameras and photography I do so with more heart and more knowledge than if I were writing a marketing piece on plumbing or law.

Are You Building A Tribe?

"A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea." - Seth Godin Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Building a "tribe" is becoming more and more essential for many small and mid-sized businesses. The old ways of advertising and marketing are changing too rapidly to be able to rely on traditional marketing alone.


Adulation by Today is a good day - CC

Social media and digital marketing are where smart companies are putting their effort towards building their business. This is true whether their needs are for client acquisition or through reputation management. It's how they turn clients and customers into raving fans. It's how they build a tribe.

Are you listening to your clients?

Do you know what your customers really think about you?

Today it's easy enough to gather that kind of knowledge by leveraging social media, email, and other two way communications.

Open up your business to the online world and you'll see improvements in brand recognition and reputation management. Be savvy and nimble.

Your competitors are.

Your competitors are building tribes. Are you?

They are building a base of followers, fans, and friends online that are current customers or soon-to-be customers. They are listening to the good and bad things that are being said about them online and are able to work at changing perceptions or fixing issues that can help propel their business to the next level.

This is true whether you're a plumber or a fortune 500 company.

Finding a the right digital marketing plan or social media strategy can mean the difference between being #1 in your industry and region or being that other company.

Do you have the leadership capabilities to spearhead a new initiative like that? Do you have personnel in the company who can utilize their social networking skills to bring in new clients?

Are you building a tribe? What are you waiting for?