“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby
To attract clients consistently and with little effort, your marketing message must be clear and it must stand out. There’s no way around it. If what you say about your business and what prospects read about it isn’t sounding irresistible to them, they’ll move on to the next person. Guaranteed.
So, your task is to stand out from the pack and to make prospects really stand up and listen to what you have to offer. In my opinion, standing out from the pack is easiest if you have an expertise or a niche. (But you knew that already.) So, what’s stopping you? Well, after having worked with thousands of people on this issue, I’ve come up with 2 reasons why most people don’t niche:
They believe they’ll turn away opportunities if they go too narrow. They wouldn’t even know where to start (and most are going about it the WRONG way). Let’s start with the first point.
Believing that you’ll turn away clients and opportunities if you niche is actually completely and utterly invalid. It comes from a “lack” mindset, one based in fear. Ironically, the exact opposite is true. When you niche properly, you get more clients and Client Attraction becomes SO much easier:
Your marketing message becomes crystal clear. Your marketing plan is SO much easier (and less costly). People perceive you as an expert (clients seek out experts). You get a lot more referrals than generalists do. Strategic alliances seek YOU out. You can charge more because you know more. You get sought out by the media (the media loves experts).
Once you get clear that it’s of absolute benefit to you to niche, your job is to do just that. And that’s usually the daunting part. There are many ways of creating a niche. Solopreneurs often don’t know where to start and if you ask me, people go about it in the wrong way (that’s probably why it’s so frustrating and why they’ve even stopped trying to niche). Here’s where they’re making a mistake.
Most people look on the OUTSIDE for a niche, when they should be looking on the INSIDE. Instead of TRYING to find a demographic that is more affluent, or more likely to work with you and forcing yourself into a particular niche, just because the numbers look good on paper, look for a situation or type of person you have an AFFINITY with, who can recognize that working with you is essential.
Hint: your niche is usually someone like you, who is in the “before” stage of YOUR own “before-and-after” story. This is really important. When someone is looking to hire someone in your industry, they’re looking for a SOLUTION to their biggest problem. Not only that, they’re also looking for reassurance it will work and their mo-ney will be well spent.
Essentially, many will come to you and pay you (well) to have you show them how to get to the “after” part of the story. That’s when using your Compelling Story in your marketing begins to REALLY make a difference in your Client Attraction. When you can tell your story, show your struggles, what you did to get over those, and what your situation is like now (and that you can help them do the exact same thing and, oh, you’ve actually got a Proprietary System that will walk them through it easily) they’re SOLD.
Right there, on the spot, they will choose to be your client. And you haven’t even opened your mouth yet! Your marketing message and materials did all the work for you. How cool is that?
Instead of looking on the OUTSIDE for your niche, look for it on the INSIDE. Your best clients may just be the person experiencing the “before” part of your “before and after” story. A person in that position will look to you for the solutions they need and will probably do anything and pay relatively anything to work with you to get out of their situation. They’ll trust you faster than they would the average Joe and will look to you as their problem solver before anyone else.
Use your compelling story to pinpoint your niche. It can be either a type of SITUATION you’re solving or a type of PERSON you work with. Or it can be both, it doesn’t matter. They key is to have such clarity in your marketing (a niche) that clients and customers self-select and pre-qualify themselves to be your client, with little or no effort on your part. Then, they reach out to you without you having to do anything. Can you now see how much easier it is to have a niche? Good. This may just be the start of a whole new business and in-come level for you.
Copyright (c) 2007 Fabienne Fredrickson