If there is one basic rule of marketing that I have seen proven to work repeatedly it is the rule about defining your niche. This can consist of two things: defining WHAT you do, and defining WHO you do it with.
I’ll use my business as an example. WHAT do I do? Well, I help entrepreneurs market themselves or their business…but so do millions of other people, and many of them do so exceptionally well. So if I tell you that I teach entrepreneurs how to market themselves or their businesses without spending a cent, doesn’t that sound a little more compelling?
But let’s break it down even further. WHO do I teach to market their businesses without spending a cent? Entrepreneurs, right – I gave the answer away in the previous paragraph!!! It’s more than that. I specialise in working with professionals and professional bodies. This starts to narrow my target market.
In other words, the people that I would be aiming my message at would be accountants, lawyers, professional coaches, people in the “helping professions” and so on. This doesn’t mean that I turn business away if it falls outside these parameters. Not at all! However, in terms of my own continuing professional development and learning, I have a particular focus rather than a shotgun approach because of my area of specialisation. I can concentrate my networking strategically and manage my time effectively. I can make sure that I become an acknowledged subject matter expert within my specialised field, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
I read an article some time ago on the internet and – to my frustration – didn’t save the source somewhere where I’d be able to find it again easily and be able to reference it. However, the author had a very stiking message about being able encapsulate the essence of one’s marketing message or business proposition on the back of a matchbox. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and challenge you to try this exercise. Would YOU be able to fit what you do onto the back of matchbox? Mine’s easy: I teach people how to market themselves without spending a cent. Let me know how you go…