Do you still cater to the mass market? i.e. the hundreds if not thousands of people out there who are all constantly bombarded by mass media on their TVs, their daily drive, and even their phones?
It’s time to stop worrying about them and spending your precious marketing dollars in a way that broadcasts to such a wide audience. I love this idea by Seth Godin, my favourite marketing guru. He says “The mass market is no longer important – the edges are what’s most important.” What does this mean?
For me personally, what it meant is that when I started my business, I was a general creative, meaning anyone who happened upon my website or was referred to me was business. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and business was steady but pretty competitive as there were many other “general” designers out there who, on the face of things, looked and operated very similarly.
But once I thought about what business I really enjoyed, it tended to be a few specific areas. So I streamlined my website portfolio and used my social media accounts to highlight branding & marketing in these sectors. Of course, this is a scary step as potential clients in other industries may take a look and see that I am not for them.
…I hear this from new businesses all the time when I ask them their target demographic: “Oh, it’s everyone! Man or woman, aged 20-70, anyone really!” They are hesitant to narrow the demographic down as this might mean saying no to potential income. But actually, the reverse is completely true! The people who DO identify within your demographic will see your branding and your messaging and see that it is speaking directly to THEM, unlike all of the other marketing messages they see and hear throughout their day. They will come straight to you, and no one else, because you “get” them. You’ve probably heard all about your brand’s “tribe”, and this is the tribe you should be seeking to build.
This worked for me, too! Of course, I still get new work outside my target industries through word of mouth, and I’m happy to do those projects as referrals are generally great people to work with. But all my new work is (wonderfully) generally within my target industries, and so I can offer even more value as I understand the industry based on my previous experience with it.
So find your “edge” – embrace it, and then find those people who are just as excited about it as your are.