SCORE Small Business Blog

Marketing: The Smaller the Niche…

The Ideal Client

I once heard someone say, The smaller the niche, the more you get rich”. Sounds weird, doesn’t it, but it proves to be true. The first thing I ask my SCORE marketing clients is, “who is your customer?” You’d be surprised by 80% of the clients who answer, ‘everyone’.

Everyone is not an ideal client. Everyone is not someone to which you can direct your marketing. Everyone doesn’t exist. When you take time to define who is your ideal client – age, lifestyle, buying habits, economic level, etc. – you can narrow down your marketing to where they live and work directing your time, talents and money only toward qualified prospects. This is especially true now when the the majority of successful marketing is done either online or in physical networking.

What blogs are your clients reading and are you considered an expert on those blogs? Knowing what web sites they use for reference tells you what sites are good links for you. If you know what networking groups they belong to, you can join those groups, also. By identifying your strategic partners you help your partners, yourself and your client.

Start with the biggest problem you can solve and then determine in great detail who has that problem. Of course, the chain doesn’t stop there as now that you know who they are you have make yourself known, build their trust and develop a strong relationship. Sounds like a lot of work, well, it is, but well worth it. If you are reading this you are probably already on your way to successfully knowing your client. Congratulations.

Tell me more – how did you figure out your client niche? Does this rule work for you? Did for me. Wish I had known it sooner.

Betty Otte, SCORE Orange County
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Discussion (6) Comment

  1. BettyVisitor

    Hi, love it — didn’t know there was a So. CA Shooting Range.
    Don’ t know what I would do there — probably shoot the wrong person!
    Good point about the scarcity. Another point is that it extorts confidence.
    Good hearing from you.

  2. Betty, I thought you were taking my rifle/shotgun metaphor a bit far when you sent me to – Southern California Shooting Range, then I noticed you said .org, not .com!

    I think stating what you can’t do for your clients does 2 things: 1) gets noticed, 2) creates scarcity which make those prospective clients want you more!

  3. BettyVisitor

    Hi, don’t know if you are serious or not, but would be an interesting point to do negative advertising. Not sure you ever want to tell people you can’t help them, tho. But it is important to put those precious marketing dollars where they will touch the most likely prospects. I like your comment about using the rifle approach rather than the shotgun approach. Totally agree — especially if you are looking for direct response. Image advertising is good if you are Coke or McDonalds, but even then they pretty much aim at direct response. Check out the web site for cyber counseling if you have marketing questions – lots of counselors in that area.

    Good comment.

  4. BettyVisitor

    Hi, Paula: thank you for your comment. Sounds like you have a good handle on your niche. When I was in business, I used a map with a pin in the location and a circle with a 5 mile radius figuring that is the client base. Sounds like you have approximately the same situation. Don’t give up with your belief, as you say, the important ones are coming around — albeit it when you need more space. Hopefully with their new mindset, the new location will be easier to obtain.
    If you need some help thinking it through, find your local SCORE office and check out someone with moving retail locations expertise.
    Good luck

  5. PaulaVisitor

    Funnily enough, I’m very sure of my niche and my ideal client. However, as I’m trying to expand my fitness business, it’s very difficult to convince others of my needs, and my client’s demands. They won’t drive more than 5 minutes farther to get to me. We need a certain amount of space, including ceiling height, per person. And so on. Realtors, bankers etc., think they have a ‘good enough’ idea of what I need and often try to push it, regardless of what I tell them! It’s taken a year, but the important ones are starting to come around… just as I really start to outgrow my space.

  6. Hmmm you’ve inspired me. I think I’m going to change my home page to say “If you are x or y or z, then go elsewhere, I can’t help you”.

    It’s so tempting to “target” the masses isn’t it?

    I’m a big fan of the “rifle” approach rather than the “shotgun” approach.


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