Ah, how cute and naïve we were when we first started our new business. Dreaming about how it would change our lives AND the world. It was so exciting because we would be able to help so many people!!
But we didn't realize yet that we were making a BIG mistake. But I'm not talking about the fact of starting a business, that takes courage and a huge leap of faith!
The biggest mistake I made and which I see many others make, even when they've been in business for a couple of years, is not niching down until it hurts.
You know, the part where you trying to figure out who your target audience will be, your ideal customer, your avatar, your next love,... Ok, the last one might be foolish, but you get the point.
But why, you might ask, why is that so important?
Find Your Starving Crowd
As Alex Hormozi stated beautifully in his book $100M Offers, you need to find a starving crowd and put the right offer in front of them. He used the analogy of setting up a hamburger stand after a football match. Even with half decent offer, you'll be able to sell a lot to thousands of fans that wanna grab a quick bite.
I'm not saying you should start selling hamburgers of course. But you need to think about whom you're gonna sell to.
If you're a mindset coach, you might think that you can have everyone as a customer. And you're right, but how will you make sure you stand out? If you're just gonna shout that you help people with their mindset, I'm pretty sure that no one will care about it.
But if you do some research and you find out that there are a lot of corporate professionals that experience lots of issues with coming out on the work floor, then that specific group of people might be a good "target" for your offer. And you can go even further and target only Transgender people.
Think about it, how many mindset coaches are focusing on just that?
Operating in a market that has a lot of competition can be hard. In an ideal world, you would have no competitors and be the only one that people turn to to get help.
Well, what are you waiting for??
Become unique in your space so that your potential customers have nothing or no one to compare with, making you competitors. But hold on, it's not just about selecting a very specific audience to serve, it's also the offer that needs to be unique.
Let's say you're a full-service marketing agency. Being LGBTQ+ owned is already something that makes you unique for sure, but that's not what I mean here. Now, your agency could be specialized in helping healthcare professionals. And as good students, you've listened to my advice and niched down further to physiotherapists.
The next step is to make your offer more unique, so let's offer FB advertising. And even just lead generation as a focus. Adding another layer to your audience (only sports-focused therapists) can make it so specific that it's hard to find others that do the same.
By now you should get the point that you need to find not just a specific audience but also a specific offer to avoid being a commodity.
You can have something brilliant for an audience that isn’t being served right now, but if they don’t want it, it’s going to be hard to build a business out of it.
Find Your Match
Don't be fooled, you still need to match your perfect offer with your perfect audience. It's sometimes sad to see how Out & Proud Entrepreneurs keep trying to sell their offer to an audience that just doesn't want it.
But, Stefaan, how do we know what they want??
It's all about talking to your ideal customers, every single day. And testing out different messaging based on the feedback that you get. So once you have somewhat of an offer, start reaching out to people you already know. Not friends or family, but actual prospects that you have talked to before.
Get into their DM's and say something like: "Hey Nick, I've been brainstorming on something new and had our earlier conversation in mind. I believe this is something that could help you out with XYZ. Would love your opinion about it if you're open to it?"
Use the feedback to keep improving the offer, until you have found the interest you're looking for. Only then actively start promoting the whole offer to "everyone".
I'm speaking from my experience that niching down is scary and it hurts. Because you don't want to exclude anybody. And you shouldn't. If someone comes along your path and wants to work with you, you always have the choice to accept them as clients or not.
The point is that you will make it super clear for everyone whom you WANT to work with in the first place. This will attract better, higher-quality potential customers. And they will already be sold on the idea of working with someone like you because they can RELATE to the message you're bringing.
Within our new Out & Proud Business Lounge, which launches on October 1st, it's one of the first things we'll help you with, making sure you're crystal clear on your niche so you can attract the ideal dream customers you've always wanted from day one!
Check out the "Niche or Die" podcast episode where we talked more in-depth about this: