Back in times of yore, over the course of a typical day you might receive a couple of letters, read the newspaper, tune in for the news on the wireless and enjoy a quick chat over the garden fence with Mrs Miggins. And, these activities might form the entire range of your possible daily exposure to marketing messages.
Nowadays, most people are up and scrolling before they’ve had their morning brew. We’ve got the radio or TV on in the background, and we’re hit by ads on almost every flat surface we pass. The world is noisy. All. The. Time.
This means that we consume tens of thousands of marketing messages every single day. Adverts, news, scare stories, politics, advice, COVID, COVID, COVID. It’s a huge challenge getting any message through to your target audience with all of this other noise going on.
Coupled with this, if you’re a coach or consultant, trying to get the attention of your dream client alongside bigger businesses, they’re likely to eat up the available bandwidth of Google searches and online advertising pretty quickly. We find that whenever Amy Porterfield is in the middle of a campaign to promote a course, Facebook ads are suddenly more expensive and less effective.
Perhaps the challenge to stand out amongst all this noise is also compounded by the fear that the services you’re offering are too similar to those of your competitors. Ever worried that, in the uninformed eyes of your ideal client, you seem like an identikit version of the other service providers in the market? Does it feel impossible to create a message that’s distinct, unique and attractive?
But, it’s critical that you do make your message and your business distinct from your competition. Making your business unique is one of the very few ways to get the attention of your dream client, that you actually have any control over. You certainly can’t turn off the noise. And, to quote Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
If making yourself different from your competitors is so important, what are some ways that you can do that?
It takes a bit of a mindset shift to get your head around what’s needed here.
We typically tend to think about marketing in terms of ‘baiting a hook’, sending out a line, and hoping to bag the right fish. We think it’s better to drop this idea, and instead imagine making your business shine, in such an intense way that it becomes like a lighthouse, which is particularly visible to your ideal clients.
The marketing jargon for doing this to get the attention of your dream client is ‘differentiation’. Our marketing strategy process includes helping our clients to define what’s different and special about their business, and shining a light on the business features that make them most attractive to their chosen ‘niche’ of clients.
No doubt you’ve heard of niching. Most business owners understand it to mean choosing a vertical industry segment to go after, such as a social media manager who only works with restaurants. But, when we work with clients, we work through 7 potential differentiation factors, we call them ‘The Magnificent 7’.
Here they are, to help you figure out a unique market position for your business.
You could choose to create a niche for your business by:
- As above, industry sector – be THE go-to person for a particular industry.
- Customer type – for B2B markets (i.e. your clients are other businesses), you could define your ideal client by the size of businesses that you work with, or their growth stage, for B2C service-providers (this is you if your clients are consumers),, you might choose gender, age, interest or life stage. For example, you might be an HR consultant who only works with start-ups or a hairdresser who only cuts children’s hair.
- Geography – this is an easy one, choose a local area and be the provider of choice in that place.
- The problems or challenges your target clients are experiencing. For example, you could be a parenting coach who helps worried parents with children who are picky eaters.
- The way you deliver your service – This is for you if you offer a similar service to competitors, but the way that you provide it is unusual. For example, if you’re a beauty salon that sends therapists to the client’s own house, instead of hosting them in a salon.
- The quality of your service. You might choose to niche by how high the quality of your offering is, or by taking a ‘no frills’ approach. This often applies to travel agents and hotels, but how could it work for your business?
- Brand – this is when you create a brand identity for your business that is unique and appeals to a particular segment of the market. A good example is Innocent smoothies, whose quirky brand appeals to some people, while others prefer a more conservative brand – the drinks inside the bottle are often exactly the same!
One thing that you shouldn’t be worried about is ‘turning off’ parts of your market by going down one particular route. First of all, in most markets there is plenty of business to go around.
Secondly, just because you’re choosing to appeal to one type of client, it doesn’t mean that you will automatically repel all the others. It just means you’ll be creating a unique presence that attracts a strong following and makes you memorable.
And that really will give Mrs Miggins something to talk about.
Need help to get the attention of your dream client? Book a quick, no-obligation chat with us, and we’ll let you know how we could help!