Most Personal Brands are marketed to domains – spheres of influence. And this target marketing, or niche marketing, isn’t a sacrifice. It’s an asset. You can use it to work with the clients you want, and effectively bypass the clients you don’t want.
Niche for Growth
Want proof that target marketing works? Look no further than Steven Wolfe, a Registered Investment Advisor based in Orange County, California. Wolfe expects his business to grow more than 400% over the next three years, from 35 clients to more than 150. What’s more remarkable than his growth rate is how he’s achieved it: by marketing his Personal Brand specifically to families who own automotive dealerships.
“I have immersed myself in their world, and I know their potential financial pitfalls better than they do,” Wolfe says. He directs all his resources to this market segment, or “niche,” using such methods as exhibiting at the National Automotive Dealers Assn. trade show, advertising in the industry magazine Automotive News, and allying with more than 60 CPA firms and law firms specializing in auto dealers.
Wolfe offers a select menu of services: succession planning, investment management, estate tax planning and trust agreements. Through research, tailored marketing messages, and a constantly promoted Personal Brand, he’s built a thriving practice with few competitors. It’s a perfect example of successful target marketing.
What Is Target Marketing?
Your target marketing should be a tightly focused Personal Marketing effort, using messages directed at a specific domain. Alas, many independent professionals use the “trawl net” method of marketing: they drag their “net” over a huge area and hope they catch someone – anyone. Sadly, casting a huge net takes a lot of money, and the catch is usually bottom-feeders, not trophy fish.
Choose Your Audience
To target market, you must reject the “all things to all people” model and narrow the scope of your prospecting. You must instead market your Personal Brand only to those people, companies and organizations likely to value your leading attribute. With consistent effort and quality tools, you can get most – if not all – of your business within this domain.
The concept of target marketing is often met with protests from independent professionals who are confused or fearful. Here are a few of the most common objections, and why they’re faulty:
- Objection: “If I market to a small group of hundreds of potential clients, I might be overlooking hundreds of other potential clients.” True. However, the reality is that you can’t possibly service even a tiny percentage of all of the people who could potentially become your clients. It’s far better to brand and market yourself to your sphere of influence, not the world – it saves you from worrying about people who probably won’t become your clients anyway.
- Objection: “I don’t know what my domain would be.” It’s easy: ask yourself in what arena you want to achieve your goals.
- Objection: “How can I make the income I need from a small group of prospects?” Don’t settle for an undersized domain. Define your domain based on its ability to generate the income you need.
- Objection: “Target marketing defies logic.” Well, it defies sales logic – and that’s not surprising, because marketing isn’t sales. The idea of excluding large groups of people from a sales effort seems counterintuitive. However, target marketing is a very effective scalpel – not a net, not a sledgehammer. There’s no need to expend great effort for meager results. The effort is precise and controlled, and the results are what you intend.
Target marketing is a cornerstone of Personal Branding. If you scratch your niche effectively, you can also take your business to the next level and avoid embarrassing mistakes.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya