There are two predictable things that new entrepreneurs experience:
1) they hear from every guru, business book, course and program “The first things you have to do is identify your ideal client and decide on the niche solution that you will be offering that ideal client.
2) they promptly decide that is a load of BS that doesn’t apply to them; everyone is their potential client and they have far too many gifts to share to narrow it just down to one core thing.
Here’s a challenge to test that ‘everyone is my potential client’:
Look at the image at the top of this article and formulate the sales pitch that sells every one of those women on a single product or service, excluding water and oxygen.
(NOTE: if you are able to come up with that pitch, stop reading now; the biggest advertising agencies in the world have been looking for you.) (Also: I want to be your first client!)
If the challenge gave you pause, don’t give up! But in the meantime, you might want to think about answering these 2 fundamental business questions:
1) what am I selling? What is my topic? my service? my product? What is the specific solution I offer?
2) who is my audience? My ideal client, my avatar, my target market, whatever term you want to use for it; who am I selling too? Who is that unique persona?
One Person’s Treasure
Most of us believe deeply in what we offer – we’re passionate about it. Truth be told, the rest of the world isn’t on the same page yet.
You are going to have to persuade people to be as excited as you. The easiest people to do that with are those that are already half-way there. They have the problem you solve, they are determined to fix it and are ready to pay someone to be rid of this problem, even before you show up. For those people, you are like a dream come true.
The Cost of Not Knowing – 10 Compelling Price Tags
If you’re still in need of persuasion, consider that there are actually a long list of costs involved in NOT being crystal-clear on your target audience and what that incredibly valuable thing it is you are able to offer them.
Here’s where the cost lies:
- in your personal energy – the sales process takes energy and enthusiasm. Not being met with a matching level of enthusiasm by someone recognizes the great benefit you are going to be in their life is a drain on your personal energy reserves. Your entire business (not to mention your personal relationships and health) runs on your personal energy. We can’t afford to squander it.
- in your daily fulfillment – working with someone who is not your ideal client means mutual excitement is highly unlikely. Instead of working with clients that you look forward to talking to and that fill you up, client work is a depleting chore.
- in your momentum – halting, difficult sales processes can really suck the wind out of your sales. Of course, not every sales call will end in a sale but you should tip the scales in your favor by ensuring the people you engage with ‘get’ what you have and are ready to buy the solution you offer.
- in your reputation – if you are working with people who are not perfect for you and value what you offer, they will not have the truly stellar experience you can offer the right client. For them, not valuing what you do, the experience does not spark the glowing testimonial your product or service deserves. Testimonials are important ‘social proof’ to build your reputation and facilitate more sales.
- in your current annual revenue – the longer it takes you to woo a client, the less money you are making this year. It’s as simple – and as painful – as that.
- in your future income levels – raving fans are going to keep working with you and they are going to tell friends about you – repeat business and additional business via referrals. It is estimated that it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current customer. The probability of making a sale with a brand new customer is 5-20%, the number jumps to 60-70% for repeat sales with existing customers. This only rings true, however, when those customers are your ideal customer that need and appreciate the actual value you gave.
- in your valuable time – not knowing who you are looking for means you don’t know where to look to find the right leads for your business. You are using up this precious commodity guessing what marketing content you need to produce, where you need to publish it, and you’re working to learn and stay current on a wide variety of platforms to promote your business
- in your finances – scattershot marketing is going to cost you big for a smaller return on your investment. Multiple versions of promotion to try to appeal to various audiences instead of one strong and rewarding focus of your marketing budget will keep your business struggling.
- in your self-esteem – selling to and working with people who don’t ‘get’ the value of what you do will undermine your own sub-conscious estimation of your value,
- your mental health – spending your days working for and with people who are difficult or negative can have a serious deleterious effect on your mental health, even your physical health. Just like a toxic work environment can have a huge impact on your well-being, so can having clients that just are not a good fit for you. You need to choose your clients wisely and that means knowing what the ‘right’ client looks like!
Weighing these up, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to pay this price to stay ambiguous on your ideal client and the optimum solution you provide?
All this is not to say you can’t have multiple audiences eventually.
That takes a lot of effort, planning, and people power. It requires separate campaigns with distinctive wording, visuals and online positioning, each with it own advertising campaign and accompanying budget.
Right now, when you are at the initial stages of your online business, your goal should be sales and revenue. The fastest way to achieve that is to sell the yummiest thing you offer to the people who are actively looking for it for the highest price the market will bear.
To do that, you need to have your Who and your What dialed in and on lock. It is so worth it.
Hi – I’m September Smith
With 15+ years experience with online tech & tools, audio/video media, and growing your business, I help entrepreneurs learn how to use media opportunities like podcast guesting to rapidly build their brand.
Whether it’s to grow your speaking career, to get more widely known, or to better position yourself as the authority you really are – strategic podcast guesting is a savvy move. I can help you figure out your best strategy and get you rapidly and effectively launched leveraging this powerful medium.