Bring in More $$ by Marketing to Fewer People

Yes, you read the title correct.  You can actually make MORE money by marketing to fewer people.  This is the premise behind narrowing your focus or niching.

Humans want specific solutions.  To help a headache they want headache medicine and not general pain medicine.Pain Medicine

Think about pain medication. Huge market. If you have a headache, are you going to buy the general pain medicine or the pain medicine specifically for headaches?  The outside package for both OTCs is different, one niches and the other is a generalist trying to cover a broad market, and the actual products are identical.

Research shows marketing as a headache medicine produces tons more sales.

Humans like to be specific. We like to buy things that address our specific needs, not general “fix everything” type of approaches.

Just like fitness and exercise can be narrowed to fitness and exercise for women. You can narrow this further to fitness and exercise for women over the age of forty, and now you have a product that is “Fit Over Forty“.  You will have more sales, thus more profit with this narrow focus than just marketing as a fitness and exercise expert.

Niche Work

There are several ways to define a niche. But your first step needs to come from within. Who do you want to spend your time working with? What kinds of people do you enjoy helping? What kinds of people do you care deeply about and want to help grow and prosper?

Remember, you’ll be building your business around your niche, so you don’t want to build it around a niche you don’t like. These next four questions to ask are key for assuring your niche is profitable – you can make a living.

1. Does your niche group have a strong emotionally compelling problem or issue that you can help with?
2. Is your niche group looking for a solution to their problem – seeking help?  It is much tougher to market a service or product for a problem the target market does not even know they need.
3. Will the help you provide either make your niche group feel much better or solve a big problem for them?  I like to say you want your help to give them better sleep at night.
4. Lastly, is the niche group willing to pay for the benefits they will receive because they see the value to their life, business and/or happiness? What you are digging at here is whether the niche group ranks the solution to their problem high enough to pay for help.

These questions are aiming to prevent you from setting up your business around a need a market is not seeking a solution for nor is willing to pay for  These are tough challenges to overcome even with an outstanding brand and clever marketing campaign.

What this means is it is going to be super challenging to find a product or service to offer for the niche group women 30 – 40 years old that are successful, happy, have little stress and are practicing preventative care that they will pay for.

First, she doesn’t have an  emotionally compelling problem. She feels good now. Second, there is no big difficulty to solve in order for her to feel the immediate benefits, even if she might feel a sense of peace knowing she was preventing problems.

Lastly, she might pay for this kind of preventative help as long as she had the extra money because she knows it is a good idea. However, it will likely be a lower priority which will take more effort on your part to prompt her to action.

Tweak to a Profitable Niche

With a little tweaking you could niche successfully to 30-40 year old women who get chronic debilitating headaches. The headaches zap her energy, wear her out, she is unable to be in a good mood around her children, she feels grumpy and isn’t enjoying life. She now has an emotionally compelling problem you can help with.

Increase your sales and profit by narrowing your focus

She wants to feel good, have the pain go away and have more energy and focus for her kids.

She is definitely willing to pay for this because she wants relief and feels desperate. Your help will change her life for the better.

Now you have a niche that allows you to work with your ideal client and make a living from helping them.

 

 

How a Niche Expands Your Reach

The hardest part of niching for business owners to understand is that by narrowing and solving your problem for your target market – over the top happy clients, you will begin to expand your reach outside of your narrow niche without having to market that broad.

So lets say you have seen 10 ideal clients and resolved their headaches and brought peace back into their life through a meditation focus.  Now, your estatic clients will bring in their husband or their kids or their mom or friend because she knows you, likes you and feels a connection with you.  Her enthusiastic recommendation for you attracts others to go to you for their problems, even non-headache problems.

Now your niche business is growing, even outside your niche. The key is to stay focused on your niche as the ‘headache healer.’  This narrow niching brings in more business in the long term.  With this niche you solve an emotionally compelling problem for a narrow group of people that are willing to pay to gain the positive result you will bring.

Your approach (meditation focus in this example) while solving the problem and your achievement of the desired result can broaden your reach beyond your niche without having to market more.

Entrepreneurs that go too broad (are generalists) struggle with their marketing as they feel they need to include 5 or more different problems they solve in each of their marketing pieces.  The trouble with this is none of their marketing pieces compel their ideal target market to act, to buy – in branding we say this is a weak marketing piece.

To build a successful business, you must find a way to compel people to buy.   Lack of a narrow focus is a top reason businesses struggle to inspire their market to act, to buy.

Being Proper is Out – Being Yourself is In!

I grew up in a generation that placed a lot of value in doing things ‘correctly.’  This has made adding in my personality into everything I do awkward the first couple of times.

Are You Being Proper?

Let me give you two examples.  How many voicemail messages start: “You have reached Jane Doe and I have stepped away from the office or on the phone with someone … at the sound of the beep leave your…”

What about a website about page that goes something like: “Jane is an award winning speaker, writer, consultant…  She writes for … and consults with clients like … She graduated from … with two degrees in …  and is a member of the associations …”

Being Proper Does Not Get You Standing Out

But if you are committed to being authentic and getting seen by those who need your help, you must drop the urge to follow the template of being proper and instead, get used to interjecting your uniqueness.

Personality in Your Offerings

I ask my clients, think about what if your competition copied you – they offered all the same services as you, and offered it at the same price as you and graduated from top universities and programs?  Why would people go with you?  How will you attract ideal clients? The reason people are drawn to you is because of YOU, your personality, your brand, your unique approach, your passions.

Think about the elements that are unique to who you are – experiences, skills, maybe you are passionate about music that your audience can relate to.  Or maybe you lighten conversations with humor, have a unique area of interest, or relate your work to your traveling experiences throughout the world.

Online Businesses that Stand Out Because of Brand

Some fun examples of authentic online businesses with lots of uniqueness in their brand, their personality, and passion about what they do are:

 

Mari Smith - upbeat, gracious and friendly Top Social Media GuruMari Smith –  she is an upbeat, smiling social media expert with a soft Canadian/Scottish accent that understands the small business entrepreneur and is passionate about seeing them succeed.  She gives generously of herself and advice often answering posts herself even though she has a team of assistants. There are thousands, probably millions of social media deemed experts but she is in the top 10 lists consistently in the past two years because of her brand, her personality, her generous ability to draw people to her with her upstanding values and compassion for the little guy.

 

Marie Forleo Hip Hop Dancer Now Small Business Guru
Marie Forleo – is an witty dancing machine that inspires women entrepreneurs to go for their big dreams.  She incorporates her background as a hip hop dancer and choreographer for MTV into her videos.  There are other great programs out there but women (and some men) are drawn to her program for its fun dance element, inspirational “I can” attitude, and her sassy voice both on and off screen.

 

 

Danny Iny - down to earth guy that breaks up complex marketing into bite size steps
Danny Iny – is a down to earth, common guy that shares his life openly in his posts and resources on successful online marketing for the beginner.  His draw is in his non-slick, step-by-step approach where you really feel like he is rooting for and believes in you.

 

Who Are You?

Take a moment to ask yourself if you have held back in any way because it has been engrained in you to do things the ‘proper’ way.  If your answer is ‘yes’, time to step out and let the world get to know the brilliant you.

What about you can breathe life and sparkle into your website about page, blog posts, marketing pieces, voicemail and more?  Is it some fun personality quirk like a witty humor, southern belle charm, or zippy one-liners that catch people off guard?

It could be a passion for your dogs, eating chocolate (that’s me), or obsession with magic.  Find at least one and maybe two or three unique characteristics of you that are personal but not private that you are willing to share with the world so they get to know you which leads to liking you.  It can be as simple as taking the high-road consistently, a serious Scrabble player, compassion for children everywhere,  or celebration of being a present day geek.

Goal All Along

The aim here is to be genuine in attracting people to you so they follow you.  Over time they will get to know, like and trust you.  Once someone knows-likes-trusts you, then they are ready to buy from you.

This is part of the process of building a community, attracting people that believe in what you do, building a lasting relationship with people that are in harmony with you.

This coming week as you go throughout all your daily activities – let your personality shine through loud and clear to attract more clients.

 

What’s Your Legacy: How will others describe you?

Do you ever think about how you want to be remembered?

How do you want to be remembered?  What will people say about you?  Test of authentic personal brand. Recently a mom of one of my childhood friends passed away.  Her write up submitted by her family in the local paper was breath-taking.  It reminded me that the true test of our personal brand – the images and words others have in their mind to describe us, is how we are described once we are gone.

Legacy

Here are some key phrases from my friend’s mom’s obituary:

“Betty was a class act. She loved unconditionally and encouraged everyone to always be the best person they could be.  She was a fierce advocate for her children and grandchildren and always made sure they knew how to take the high road — knowing at times the high road is a difficult one. ”

Now move to 40, 50 or 70 years out when you may be near the end of your life.  What would people write up about you? What will your legacy be?

Raving Testimonials

An activity I do with clients often is to have them write up a testimonial they would love for a client to say about them.  What would be the biggest compliment from a client?  What would make your day, week or month to hear? For me, this would be something like:

“Teresa inspired me to think uber- positively about myself and the gifts I have been blessed with.  She gave me the tools to attract the people I love working with and now have triple the clients I did a year ago. I am so thankful Teresa got my attention.”

Your Turn

Take two minute now to think about how you want to be remembered, today, tomorrow and decades from now?  What do you want people to say about you when you are not in the room or gone?  Write up your ultimate testimonial from a client.

Be sure to include references to specific values or beliefs that you are passionate about.  You also want it to include a sense of how you impacted the person – results you helped them achieve.

Make It Happen

What one action can you do today to powerfully tell the world how you want to be remembered?  The clearer you are on how you want your legacy to be, the easier it is to fulfill.

Go out and make a difference in others’ lives.  You are blessed with unique gifts that others need your help with.

Stand Out! Brand Actions in Social Media So You Are the Only Choice

How do you get noticed?  You are outstanding at what you do.  You know what you offer is way better than the competition.  But how do you get heard above the noise?

Stand out from the herd like this pink zebra doesI’d like to share with you a worksheet I use with my clients on actions to take in 3 of the major social media platforms for standing out, purposely branding themselves so they become the only choice in their area of specialty.

Daily, Monthly Social Media Actions to Stand Out

These are meant as guidelines, starting places.  Like everything I do, I tell clients they can ignore or delete anything they don’t want to do or doesn’t feel like it fits them.

WIIFM

These actions will over time accomplish the following for you and your business:

  • become irresistible to your target market by uncovering your distinct personality
  • attract your ideal customers so they keep coming back for more
  • differentiate your brand so your customers choose you over everybody else

I love this photo of a zebra herd.  The idea is if you look closely each zebra is different – unique set of stripes.  Your ideal target market does not have time though to look this closely at all their options when looking for someone to help them.  This is why even though you are already unique, you need to take actions to stand out like the pink zebra to your ideal target market.

 

Make These Actions Your Own

I get that the entire social media landscape can be overwhelming and it is easiest to be told what to do rather than educating yourself on everything.  Please take time to edit this list to make it your own.  Add in other actions, take off some you don’t think will help you reach your goals, and change any actions so they are doable for you.

Often with clients I will create a weekly and monthly schedule with them so they build up the habit of doing these actions regularly.  Once actions become habit, they don’t feel as overwhelming.

 

Favor

Lastly, I have a favor, email me any actions you want to understand better or maybe a short tutorial on how best to do to teresa@teresapangan.com.  This is an overview sheet and does not include specific how to steps.  I want to know where you want more help.  I would love to hear feedback on if you found this helpful and anything I can do to improve on it. Email me at teresa@teresapangan.com.  Here is the worksheet again Daily, Monthly Social Media Actions to Stand Out.

 

Acting on Authenticity

What Is Authenticity?

Authenticity sounds simple, however, I find for myself it is an evolving journey and not black and white. A definition I use for authenticity is being faithful to one’s true personality, spirit, values, beliefs and character, despite external pressures.  It requires listening and acting on internal rather than external thoughts.

My Eight-Year Old

I get the opportunity to discuss listening to internal cues with my eight-year old boy often…  After he makes a poor choice we discuss whether he had a gut feeling that what he was about to do was wrong.  Fortunately, his answer is “yes” he did feel something in his stomach that he ignored. He did not listen to his inner voice.

Inner Voice

Do you every ignore your inner voice?  What do your internal cues tell you?  A client recently was in a position to leverage a great opportunity that could propel her career.  Her dilemma was the company has been asking her to do things outside her contract and have been stalling on giving her answers on her attempts to communicate her concerns.  She wanted direction on what to do.  Her inner voice was conflicted with what she was being asked to do.

My advice to her was never sacrifice yourself in order to be part of what appears to be a big opportunity.  You teach people how to treat yourself and if a company gets away with it once, chances are stacked in favor of them doing it again.

I realize we all are asked to do things we may not like to do or are not in our strengths, however, we never should sacrifice our authenticity in order to be part of something that looks to be big.

Live authentically so you can blossom into full bloomActing authentically means at some point saying “no” to something that others have assumed you would do.  This is the blossoming part of your personal brand – when you start to fully get who you authentically are and back it up with your actions, listening to your inner voice.

You are moving from a bud that lacked the energy to bloom, to a fully blossomed flower that is one-of-a-kind extraordinaire YOU.

Living authentically is acting in line with your true personality, spirit, beliefs, character and values – what an awesome feeling. Your new, genuine self will attract new people into your life and put off others.

Attracting People That Believe in You

This is the goal all along.  You will be lifted up by those that believe in you –  in your beliefs and values.  These are the people you want to do business with – to work with, become your next client or customer, or develop a lasting, supportive relationship with.

Pause and listen to your inner voice, what is it telling you?  Are you on the right path? You are now!  Blossom and let others enjoy all of you – your beliefs, your values, your character, your personality and very importantly your spirit! Live out your authentic personal brand!

You Don’t Own Your Brand – Others Do

I realize this is a bold statement – you don’t own your brand.  Think for a moment about the definition for brand.  A personal brand is the images, words, thoughts and feelings that come to mind when someone thinks about you or interacts with you personally or professionally.

So your brand is how others describe you based on their own experiences with you, social proof they have read and judgements they make on your intentions.  Brand then is in other people’s minds.

What may be confusing is the word “branding,” which refers to the actions you take at your touchpoints to mold the brand image people have in their minds of you.

Increase Your Brand Value

So to increase your brand value, you must take time and energy to create purposeful and authentic experiences at all your touchpoints.  Your touchpoints are your branding opportunities and this is where most professionals totally miss out.

Typical branding pieces professionals focus on - unfortunately they miss out on many opportunitiesMost people have an understanding of the importance of branding in:

  • brochures
  • logo
  • tag line
  • business cards
  • website
  • social media
  • banners
  • letterhead
  • email signature
  • invoices
  • snail mail
  • waiting room decor

Missed Opportunities

Keep in mind your opportunity to strengthen your brand is at every point a potential customer or past customer has an interaction with your business.  The more often forgotten touchpoints are:

  • voicemail message
  • message you leave when person calling is not available
  • meetings
  • member organizations
  • staff greeting
  • online forums
  • client referrals
  • returning/refunds
  • birthday messages
  • LinkedIn invitation acceptance messages
  • message to new Facebook fans
  • thanks to new Twitter followers
  • shipping boxes
  • shopping bags
  • packaging
  • thank you cards
  • clothing
  • charity events
  • email subject
  • e-books

Each of these touchpoints are opportunities to inspire your prospective customer to buy from you.  What kind of impression are you leaving?  Often simple, inexpensive changes can make a world of difference.  Start with a touchpoint that has minimal investment with maximal impact. What stands out for your business?  What other ones did I miss?

 

Please tell me your brand is not doing this?!

Part of the goal of your brand whether we are talking about your brand or your businesses’ brand is to stand out.  Agreed?!  You want to be heard above the noise, you want your customers to see you and select you above the others out there.  This means distinguishing yourself, being unique in ways that make you stand out.

Dress different than your industry's line of work default brandDefault Brand

So why would anyone want to be like the default brand?  The default brand is a term I first heard of from branding guru David Tyreman who wrote a book “World Famous: How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identity.”  A default brand is how most people in that industry act and even possibly look.

Let me give you an example, when I say the word plumber, what comes to mind?

Does the picture of jeans drooping down in a less than flattering look on their backside when they are working under a sink come to mind?  What comes to mind when you hear the word accountant?  Or dentist?  Or dietitian?  Or realtor? Or nurse? Picture your industry, what images come to mind, what behaviors, what actions?  Do you emulate these pretty much?  I am crossing my fingers that your answer is a solid “no.”

The more you look and act like everyone else who does what you do the more invisible you become. It’s like dressing in camouflage and then wondering why no one can see you.

Going Too Far

A common concern is how do I know if I am going too far with how I am standing out? Good question.  The answer is you are too far if the actions, the outfit, or  behaviors are not authentic, they are not YOU.  People will see through fakeness.  Don’t do things just for the sake of standing out.  Your actions and dress are meant to inspire others to do business with you.

What if a plumber showed up with a sport coat and then when he went to work took it off to show a pair of jeans with a collared shirt that was smartly tucked in and everything covered no matter how far under the sink he worked?  That would make them memorable.  They also would need to interact in an inspiring way and get your problem fixed to truly brand themselves memorable.

Your Line of Work

How can you be yourself and standout in actions?  For your clothes, if everyone in your line of work looks similar, than there is a default brand look.   No need to go out and get a new wardrobe.   The goal is not to stand out on the street to everyone – purple hair, or too short skirt.  The goal is to ask yourself “Are you invisible in your line of work?”  Even if you are great at what you do, which I know you are, that is not enough to stand out.  You need to act and possibly dress differently than those in your line of work to stand out.

Thinking Your Own Brand

Part of my own brand is gratitude.  To stand out in my line of work,  I took an opportunity to advertise my business and instead  thanked several people that were inspirational in my career, people that I am thankful to have helped me and inspired me along my career path.  The thank you did not include anything promotional.  It was a thank you card that was seen by thousands of my target audience.  Did I get new business from the action?  Yes.  Was it memorable in the minds of my ideal target market?  Yes.

What actions in line with your brand can you take to stand out?  If dress is part of the default brand in your line of work, how can you change things up and still be you?

Please share your ideas and anything you have done to stand out while being authentically you.

Best Online Weapon Exposed!

I love spy shows.  James Bond movies are thoroughly entertaining with all their gadgets and adrenaline pumping scenes.

The goal of James Bond movies is to catch the bad guys while using an array of fun and surprising gadgets with the occasional display of gun powder.

James Bond is British Intelligence's secret weapon, email is online secret weaponIf we are talking about a business that is online, the goal is to create relationships.  You may be saying, no, the goal is to sell a product or service.  Agreed, but better than this is cultivating a relationship.

Building Know-Like-Trust

Before successful selling of a product or service can occur you have to build  know-like-trust.  And then after selling, you still want know-like-trust.  Most online gurus will tell you that the truly successful businesses do not aim for one sale but for multiple sales from a customer.  Some times this is referred to as a lifetime customer.

How can you build know-like-trust before and after the sale online?  Sounds like it involves a lot of time and money.  Yes, there is time involved but not as much as you may be envisioning and money, none beyond the website.

Secret Weapon

The secret weapon for British Intelligence is James Bond in the Bond movies.  He captures the bad guy every time in the so far 23 movies.

The best way to capture know-like-trust of your online audience is through email.  You may be thinking, it can’t be that simple.  Pretty much yes.

The big picture is you attract people to sign-up for your email list by thinking like them and offering something that can’t refuse – a report or video  or recorded webinar that shows them how to get results on a problem they have been struggling with.  You send them an email with a link to your offering but this is only the beginning.  You immediately start to send them an email with no promotion, but reaching out to them on a personal level, offering to help.  Then a couple days later you share a bit about yourself that shows your humanness – some call if vulnerability.  Nothing long or detailed but has your voice, your brand in it.  Along the way you also share some other valuable tips and resources that help them more with their struggles.

After two weeks of this process of personal, short and branded emails you then introduce your offer for your product or service if they want to solve more of their stuggles.  For the prior two weeks you have built up know-like-trust so you can guess their answer – in most cases yes.  The conversion rate into a sale with this process is 60% and more.  The term for this online relationship building process is email relationship marketing.

Business Model

There is no mind game involved, it is old fashioned helping, helping, helping and then asking for a favor in the form of a sale.  Sound familiar?  Yes, this is also called the NPR (National Public Radio) model where they offer free, high qualify radio programming and then a couple times a year run pledge drives to cover the costs of the broadcasts.  Die-hard listeners are happy at this point to contribute monetarily as they received a huge amount of benefit from the free programming.

Remember, before and after the sale.  So after the sale you continue to connect with them with personal, branded and valuable emails.  The focus on relationships building and strengthening in this model is critical.  Does this work?  Is it worth the time?  Here are some businesses that are extremely successful with this model: Copyblogger, Guest Blogging with Jon Morrow, Johnny B. Truant, Mari Smith, Firepole Marketing

Here is a really tough question for you? Which of the Bond movies was your favorite? Mine – For Your Eyes Only with Roger Moore as James Bond.

Would you rather ask someone for a date cold turkey or based on a friend’s referral?

I am going to revert back to dating days for a moment, kind of scary.  Were you ever with a bunch of your friends and a brave soul, a Work on what is right in front of you - your fans and customers/clientsstranger,  walked up and asked you or your friend out?  What normally happened?  What if they said they “were awesome” and you should give them a chance?  Very bold!  Most likely they would get a cold or hot drink in their lap.

Now, what if your friend tells you the guy is a great guy and you both would be a great couple?  What then?  Would you get the nerves up and ask him out?

I am not sure I would have been brave enough to ask him out right then, but I would be open to him approaching me and maybe later I would get the courage up to ask him out.

Seeing Past What Is Right In Front of You

My point is in your business you may be seeing right past what is in front of you – what you already have.  Do you have at least 5 Facebook likes on your page?  Have you sent them a personal thank you?  For your email list, it doesn’t matter how many you have, instead, honor the followers you do have.  Are you sending them valuable resources regularly?  Getting feedback on what their struggles are? Nurture what you have, the number you have is not important. This attention to the relationship is what converts them into future customers.

It is easy to get carried away with all the hype in the online media and focus on getting more and more traffic, higher numbers.  However, don’t forget about your existing customers/clients and fans.  When is the last time you checked in with past customers?  Call 3 today and ask how they are doing.  Just check-in, no selling.

Follow-Up

Follow-up on leads that you have, even if they aren’t yet customers, follow-up is critical.  For many successful businesses their number one tactic for gaining new customers is follow-up.  Follow-up for warm leads, past clients and referrals.  Keep a list of them in an easy to refer to format and track your check-ins.

Remember the example at the start with the guy asking someone out for a date cold turkey or after a friend recommends them – if someone refers you your chances of getting ‘in’ go way up.  Don’t waste this no-cost tactic that works.

Recognize what you are sitting on right now.  Start-ups fail because they forget about their customers and are focused heavily on growth. Wow those that already know you some.  They easily will be your next customer, repeat customer or refer others to you.

Who can you WOW today?

Bring Your Helpful Nature Out to Gain Clients

I have no doubt you are in your chosen professional area because you want to help others.

Before prospects will call you up to book an appointment or add to cart one of your products, they need to trust and like you. One of the easiest ways to gain this trust is share one or more valuable resources. The key here is to focus valuable around your target audience.

 

Pink Spoon

The resource is sometimes called a pink spoon – named after the pink spoon Baskin Robbins uses to give out tasters with. Once someone gets a taste, exactly, they want more!! You get the idea.

Mother Helping Daughter so she can be Successful at BakingRight now I am narrowing down many resources I want to create for you shortly. I have to be careful to not just offer something I am excited about, but instead, offer something that I have passion for AND will help you in some way. I have to get into your shoes and ask myself what are you struggling with? Is there anything I can do to help you sleep more soundly at night?

Go through these same steps for your audience, your ideal client. Get inside their lives and find out their struggles. What can you offer that can even a little bit resolve a major struggle they are having?  How can you HELP your clients be SUCCESSFUL?

 

Value to Customer is Key

Another critical element is whatever you give away needs to go beyond offering tips or be interesting, it needs to help.

It isn’t a replacement for you, but it gives your audience a glimpse of how you work, thus they begin to like, respect and trust you. Often, people will understand more clearly how you can fully help them and pick up the phone. Some may not immediately pick up the phone after reading/viewing your resource, but they will store you in a good place in their mind and when they need help in your area of expertise, they will remember — they will ask for your help.

 

Your Turn

Now, take some time to think about the most pressing problem(s) your ideal clients are faced with. Get into their shoes. Write some notes about what steps they need to take to solve these problems. Set a date for coming up with a ebook, screencast showing them steps for something, webinar, podcast… to share with your audience to gain trust, to gain clients.

When you’re in it to help people and are constantly providing value that speaks to your target market, it won’t be long before you have a waiting list of ideal clients.