We are all hard wired with a fear of missing opportunity. Sometimes it sounds easier to try to go after everything versus specializing in one thing.
When I started my web design business, I wanted to work with anyone that would come to my door. Each new project brought new opportunity to learn a whole new type of business or organization.
What I ended up doing was re-inventing the wheel a lot. But it’s not just that.
I wasn’t able to become a true expert in any single type of business. Which left me only scratching the surface on each project that I won.
Early on in my business, I didn’t really know what to do to get customers. Granted, I had not defined a lick of what my ideal customer looked like, but I was searching for opportunities nonetheless. Without a clear, focused definition, I took any ol’ opportunity that came knocking.
This practice inherently limited my options.
I remember going to random networking events thinking, “everyone in this room could potentially be my client.” And so I chased them all.
Eventually I realized I was wasting a lot of time and resources and learned there was a better way.
An area that I earned early respect and notoriety in was the restaurant market in Denver. I got lucky with a couple of random deals going in my favor. But I liked what I was doing. So instead of attending random events, I attended restaurant related events.
I hosted specific workshops for restaurant owners. I networked with my existing restaurant clients to get introductions to other owners. It turned out that restaurants wanted to work with someone that really understood their needs.
Not only was it easier for me to be in front of these types of customers because I knew who I wanted to work with, but I had significantly stronger credibility because of my focus.
I could rattle off a typical restaurant website sitemap without thinking. I knew the POS brands. I had contacts at OpenTable for integration and daily deal sites for promotions.
I would get calls where clients were ready to move forward instantly because of our work with another restaurant brand. Sales got easier. Marketing got easier.
Sure, I was passing up other opportunities by getting so specific, but I was able to get more customers for higher value and faster by narrowing my focus.
Do you know who your ideal customer is? You should.
But if you don’t, now is a good time to write it on a napkin. Then, and only then, will you get clear about your marketing strategies, tactics, and sales activities.
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