As winter drags on, are you starting to plan for your summer vacation? Or, did I just hear a sarcastic laugh? I did get a winter break and I will have summer break too. How you ask — well, if you want to play hard, you need to work smarter. Notice, I did not say work harder, I said work smarter.
And, here’s my number one tip for working smarter… wait for it:
The riches are in the niches
In fact, if you are a solopreneur, it’s possible your very survival is in the niches. Here’s why: your most finite resource is not money, it is your time. As the leader of your organization, you need to focus on driving revenue. And, you need to focus on driving the right revenue, from the right clients.
There are so many ways you can market your business – direct mail, print advertising, online advertising, social media, networking events, trade shows, meet ups, content marketing, speaking, writing – it goes on and on. If you are like many entrepreneurs, you often fall prey to the shiny object syndrome which just dilutes your results. You end up doing too many things, not very well at all thinking you can “sell to anyone”. Well maybe you can, but there’s a better way!
- Niche marketing is focus
- Niche marketing is the scalpel of entrepreneurship
- Niche marketing is the shortest path to thought leadership
- Niche marketing is the path to the riches
So, how do you determine your target market(s)? Your niche market(s)? And then…how do you build a strategy of not only marketing to your niche, but marketing to the referral sources who can bring you recurring business from that niche market? This, my fellow entrepreneur, is the yellow brick road to cash… lots of it!
How you ask? I believe it’s a few simple, but not easy, steps that you must continually work on.
Track your clients and projects to determine what type they are:
- Dream clients/projects – a handful more of these and you would grow in leaps and bounds.
- Enjoyable clients/projects – likely your bread and butter, cash flow clients who have the potential to become dream clients/projects.
- Frustrating clients/projects – the ones you wished you said no to — the high touch, low profit clients.
Plot this information on a spread sheet. Gather demographic (what/who), psychographic (why/how) and emotional (fear/pain/dreams/hopes) information. This spreadsheet should be a living document and should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. Continue to update it. You may add columns as you learn to ask better questions.
Once you get clear on a target market, perhaps a few verticals to focus on – take it up a notch, what activities will get you in front of who’s already in front of those people. For example, we provide bookkeeping and CFO/Controller wrap around services to our client base of business owners of creative and professional service firms, in the B2B arena, who are typically 45 and older, and have been in business for 3+ years. We strategically seek reciprocal referral partnerships with accountants who don’t provide bookkeeping services. They are the trusted advisor in front of the business owner who sees the need for professional help and can refer us.
Simple right? Yes, but, perhaps not so easy. Track this data over time, it will provide you with valuable information to help you develop profitable niche markets, messaging and strategies that produce results and allow you to build a business that fuels the life of your dreams (from wherever that might be).