Copyright 2006 Sandra P. Martini
Someone once said that you can?t be all things to everyone. What is true in our personal life is equally true in business.
While it may seem counterintuitive to specialize and consciously limit the scope of your target market, it?s actually a very wise marketing strategy.
A niche consists of defining the target audience for your business and the more defined your niche, the more specific your audience, the easier and more cost effective your marketing will be.
For example, a virtual assistant who advertises that she can do just about anything for just about anyone, if she is good, will get some clients from referrals, but will likely not get all the clients she otherwise could have if she had a defined target audience and targeted marketing.
It is far more effective to develop a campaign and strategy aimed at coaches (or any market subset) than it is to scatter marketing over the internet with the hopes that you will find someone who is interested in your services.
?Why it pays to have a defined target audience.?
The simplest way to explain this is by illustration. Compare the following:
A generic brochure-style website for a virtual assistant which portrays her as being all things to everyone, a ?jack of all trades? if you will ? she is, for all intensive purposes, a generalist.
A tailored website for the same virtual assistant which portrays her specialization in working with coaches ? she has tailored the language on her site to be ?their? language, she addresses ?their? needs and she focuses on ?their? goals.
The first, ?I can do anything and everything? type of website, tends to invite skepticism. It creates a ?too good to be true? feeling from your reader and, more often than not, leaves an uneasy feeling in your prospect?s mind. After all, how can anyone do **everything** and do it ALL well for multiple clients?
The second website, however, gives you a more comfortable ?right at home? feeling of security. You know you will be taken care of here. She has listed her strengths and they don?t include everything plus the kitchen sink; she?s told you that if she can?t help you, she has recommendations on who can; and overall the site has a higher level of professionalism. The second site doesn?t mean that she doesn?t accept other, non-coach clients, just that she has focused her marketing on one specific group; she can still be of great benefit to you.
“There?s riches in niches.?
Specializing in a certain area or ?niche? is a path to increased revenue. The more specialized your niche, the more the potential. A virtual assistant who specializes in working with coaches or entrepreneurs or golf pros or widget makers will have more clients, recognize greater efficiencies and make more money than one who works with everyone. Similar to how a brain surgeon makes more money than a primary care physician and yet both are ?doctors?.
Because the goals are distinct and, practice makes perfect, the specialized service provider is more able to take advantage of efficiencies born of niching her clientele. Increased efficiencies lead to increased profits as well as a more effective working environment.
While this article has used virtual assistants as an example, specializing is appropriate for most professions. The efficiencies that you, the service provider, gain are too great to ignore and the benefits that you can offer your clients make it far easier to attract clients.
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