Have you noticed that a well-known brand of painkillers now has a version for migraine, a version for headaches, a version for backache, and so on? Underneath, they have exactly the SAME ingredients, but we are attracted to something that appears to target our precise problem.
Focus, focus, focus
When I was first building my business, I remember being told that trying to appeal to everybody was a waste of time. In fact, it’s worse than that. It actually pushes potential clients away.
The reason is this. When you’re trying to find a service or product, you want to feel that it’s exactly what you need.
Now here’s the bizarre thing: when you pinpoint your ideal client, and speak to them, you’ll automatically attract others.
I had a first hand experience of this last week. As you probably know if you’ve been with me for a while, over the course of the last year I’ve been gradually narrowing my focus, stripping away the work that doesn’t resonate with me and homing in on the work that does.
I now exclusively target people like you, people who run a small business, probably with 0-5 employees. My expertise lies in helping those small business owners to grow their business and run it better, via my jargon-free coaching and half-day workshops.
Last week I was a contacted by someone who I’d worked with in the past. They reached out to me for coaching, remembering that they had liked my style of coaching and felt it was what they needed. They don’t run a business of any size – in fact they’ve just been offered a new job. They didn’t even want help deciding whether or not to take the job, or in negotiating their new package.
No, they wanted help to sort their life out, and build a better relationship with their children.
Now my first instinct was to turn this work away. I’m not, and never have been, a life coach. I don’t feel drawn to that kind of work and I know there are lots of excellent life coaches out there who are perfectly suited to it.
And then I thought,”Hang on a minute. This person knows who I am and what I do. They know my skills and strengths. I know that they know lots of other coaches. Yet they’ve CHOSEN me.”
So I did two things.
I told them honestly where my focus now lies (and that I didn’t see myself as a life coach).
I told them my prices
and then I said that if they still wanted me as their coach, I’d be delighted to do it.
With focus comes clarity and confidence
I’m convinced that the increased clarity I’d gained from identifying my ideal clients, and working effectively with them, enabled me to respond confidently and positively to this enquiry.
Result? They hired me! We had our first session on Friday, and it was WONDERFUL.
Does this mean I now want to change my focus, or broaden it? No it doesn’t. I am still 100% committed to helping small businesses. It does mean that even when we have a very clear focus, we may find that others are attracted, and provided we can meet their needs, that’s great!
Are you afraid that you will miss out on work you could do if you pinpoint your ideal client and speak only to them? I’m living proof that the opposite is true. When you speak really clearly and coherently to your target audience, your sincerity and expertise shine out like a candle in the dark, attracting others to your flame.