Are you alienating your potential clients?

alienating your potential clients

A huge challenge for any small business is to get clear on exactly who they are helping.

There is often the fear that if you get too specific you’ll miss out on a whole bunch of other people.

What if I told you that the more specific you got on who you are helping the more likely you are to be successful?

Yes, let’s tighten things up!

So, how to you make sure you aren’t alienating your potential clients?

1. Forget about being something to everyone.

You cannot have everyone love you.

Trying to offer something to everyone leaves you appealing to no one. {click to tweet}

Realising that you don’t have to offer something to every person on the planet means that you can get clear on who you do want to sell to.

2. Get clear on what your business goal is.

(Please tell me you have a goal)

If you are a product based business your goal is to SELL your products.

If you are a service based business your goal is to SELL your services.

Got it? That’s WHAT you do – and it’s important.

But not as important as WHY you are doing it.

When establishing your WHY you need to ask yourself these simple, yet challenging questions:

  • What are your reasons for creating your products/services?
  • What problems do they solve for your potential client?

For example, my business was born because I felt that there was another way to help small business with their marketing by doing things differently (with a focus on eliminating jargon and a heavy emphasis on visual communication).

Once you’ve answered these questions you need to focus on your WHY by talking to your potential client and how you can help them.

All too often people talk about themselves way too much – it’s not about you.

3. Be clear on who you are selling to.

Getting clear on who you want to work with and sell to is incredibly important.

9 times out of 10 you are selling to someone just like you. So run with it.

Contrary to what you may think, narrowing down your focus actually widens up your target market.

How? Your communication is clear and focused, you start addressing the needs of specific people, and then they respond.

For example, my target audience is women entrepreneurs who want to be the leading edge in their industry. They are busy, they don’t have time for beating around the bush and need straight up brutally honest advice.

Now, does that mean I don’t work with men? No. Not at all.

Focusing in on your target audience, and having a clear profile of your ideal client will not alienate those who fall out of that profile.

Quite the opposite. When you are clear on who you are serving your communication becomes crystal clear. That clarity then, in turn, becomes a delicious offering.

You become an authority versus a wishy-washy version of who you should be.

Need help to make sure you aren’t alienating your potential clients? Get in touch!

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14 Responses to Are you alienating your potential clients?

  1. This post reminded me of the time I finally sat down and decided to really narrow down my writing niche. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the clients I’d be losing if I stated out right that I only did these kind of freelance writing.

    In the end though, I made the plunge. I figured I could be happy doing the kind of writing I love, or I could try and do it all and let the quality of my work suffer.

    So now I’m a freelance blogger and ebook writer.

    I learned that when you specialize, raising your rates doesn’t seem all that scary either!

    • Thanks for sharing Samar – you are SOOO right about the pricing side of things too! It’s true – because you get known for a few things vs. a whole catalogue of stuff. Help you communicate your value to those who need it most!

  2. This makes so much sense Ameena but it’s so painful to put into action. My natural reaction is that i feel like i’m leaving so much on the table by alienating a bunch of people.

    I recently narrowed my potential client down but i think i’m going to narrow it down even more and see what happens. I’ve noticed that each time i narrow my scope, I get more clarity. This surprised me.

    • I don’t know what business you’re in, but when I have spent a lot of time with a “Known-Non-Ideal Client” I end up with nothing and really begin to doubt what I am even doing. 🙂 GO for it!

    • Great Annie! Always good to hear that, when put into practice, that what I say works, especially across industries.

      Glad to hear that the more focused you’re getting the larger the clarity! Keep it up!

  3. Hi Ameena,

    Great post! Intuitively I know that I work best with certain people and can pretty clearly define who they are. I’m starting over selling real estate in a new area and the energy of scarcity keeps creeping in. I love helping people find homes and I am creating a heart centered real estate practice. I have found when I am working out of my “ideal client comfort-zone” the results are not as effective.

    Thanks~ Nicole

    • Hi Nicole – love the way you named that feeling “ideal client comfort zone” SPOT on. It’s so interesting to see how it makes you feel when you are working with people you shouldn’t be isn’t it?

      Thanks for sharing and hope to see you here again soon!

  4. Hey Ameena,

    Came here through John’s tweet a few minutes ago, and I have to say, this is exactly what I have been working on the last couple of weeks. In my business it is so easy to think big just offer services to ANYONE, but the reality is, I target a particular market (I come from a real estate/building background, so I speak their language) then I can increase my business.

    And like you point out in your article, it doesn’t mean I can’t work with other clients too (I have restaurants, jet ski rentals, pet stores, etc..) because what I do for builders/realtors can be replicated in any business.

    Good Stuff!

    • Thanks Keith – all too often the fear of missing out actually makes you miss out. It’s almost like you channel that fear into making it a reality – having the confidence to step out of that vicious circle and say YOU are my client and go after it is easier said than done but oh so important!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

  5. I have searched for an answer and it seems no one is talking about it. So when a person finds their niche- in my case military spouses, do they center their web copy around the niche or do they make a general industry site but maybe center their keyword and blog posts around the niche? Like Keith. He does real estate stuff but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t work with jet ski rental businesses. Would his website be centered around the real estate stuff or a generic I do this this and this.

    How does that work?

    • You usually focus in on your primary niche which would be, in your case, military spouses. Just because you have a niche doesn’t mean you can’t work with other people who don’t necessarily fall into that category.

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