When they are first starting out, many entrepreneurs try to attract anyone and everyone they can to get their business. They think that in order to grow their business and bring in money, they need to take on every client and project that comes their way.
In fact, I once did a small branding project for a woman who stated that “anyone and everyone” was her ideal audience. Needless to say, that made completing her branding very difficult!
When I’m completing a new visual brand identity, I always keep the ideal audience in mind. I want the branding to be a reflection of the business and brand, of course, but the branding needs to do some seriously heavy lifting in terms of attracting the ideal audience!
And if you’re attracting the right people, you should also be repelling the wrong people.
Think about it – is it actually possible to serve “anyone and everyone” with your offer? If you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your niche, the answer is NO!
The more specific your ideal audience is, the more likely it is that you will be able to speak directly to them with your branding, content, and marketing.
Our goal is for your ideal audience to land on your website or social media pages and say a huge “HELL YES!” to working with you!
Positioning Yourself as the Go-To Expert
Think about this in terms of looking for someone to hire for yourself.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking for a branding photographer to take beautiful, curated photos of you in your workspace that you can use within your marketing.
Now, imagine that you have two photographers to choose from. Both have similar styles and price points, but one is a general photographer who often posts pictures of newborn photo shoots, wedding shoots, senior photo shoots, and landscape shots along with a few branding photoshoots sprinkled in here and there.
The other is strictly a branding photographer, whose entire website and social media presence is dedicated to photos of her branding photography clients.
Which one are you more likely to choose?
Or, imagine that you’re looking for a new web designer to revamp your WordPress site. You come across two different web designers who match your style and price point. One specializes in WordPress and knows it inside and out, while the other offers WordPress, Squarespace, and Showit websites.
Which one is more likely to get your business? I’m willing to bet that in both cases, you would choose to hand your money over to the person who specializes in the specific thing that you’re looking for.
Master of None
While it might seem tempting to be a jack of all trades to attract a wider audience, remember that the full quote is jack of all trades, master of none. You want to be seen as an expert in your specific niche, not just someone who dabbles in many different aspects of your general field.
It can definitely be scary to market to only one type of client. I struggled with this a ton when I was povoting my business! At first, I was happy to provide branding for anyone and everyone. Since I didn’t feel confident in myself and my abilities, I initially thought I wanted to work with new service providers (who wouldn’t expect a lot from me). Then, I had a few virtual assistant clients so I thought I only wanted to work with VAs. Then, I thought I wanted to work with only coaches.
Now, my ideal audience is specifically already-established service-based entrepreneurs who are growing and pivoting their businesses and need beautiful and cohesive branding to keep attracting the right people.
Because of this, my content and pricing are designed to attract those specific people and repel those brand-new entrepreneurs who aren’t ready to invest in my branding services.
Is it hard to turn people away, knowing that they could benefit from my help? Of course! But, I’m not here to serve them, and that’s okay.
So, now that we have established that you need to position yourself as the expert in your specific niche to your specific audience, what are your next steps?
First, I highly recommend honing in on exactly who your ideal audience is. The best way to do that is to reverse-engineer it.
Think about the specific service that you offer. Think about who could benefit the most from it. Get as specific as you can! Then, figure out where that ideal client hangs out and how you can reach her. What form of content is she most likely to consume – video? audio? long-form copy? Instagram photos? And once you have that figured out, go there and begin serving her!