As heart-centered, purpose-driven entrepreneurs, we want to help everyone. It’s in our nature and it’s what we do. And you have to market your business if you want people to hire you so you can help them!
The key to effective marketing is to know who you’re talking to. You must have a clear idea of who you’re talking to, what their problem is, and how your solution is the answer to that problem. So you may be wondering how to focus your marketing message, especially if you can help everyone (with unique problems) with your service.
Some of you may know Chrstine Kane (and already know the quote I’m going to share) – “You can serve everyone, but you can’t market to all of them.” And that’s true, especially if you’re in the beginning or early growth stages of your business.
The worst thing is to try to market to everyone all at once because your message will end up sounding generic and be confusing. People won’t know how you and your solution will help them solve their problem. If you aren’t specific enough about the problem your products or services solve, your customer won’t buy from you. They’ll look for someone who can directly help them.
Let’s say you have the problem that your window broke and you’re searching for pros to help you replace it. The general problem is that your house is cold and you’re running the risk of canceling your home insurance if you don’t fix the window, but your real problem is that the window is broken and the solution is that you need someone to replace it.
Would you hire the person who says, “If your home is cold, it could be for a number of reasons. Have you checked your insulation lately? It could be that you need a new roof! Maybe your doors have a gap under them. Or your windows don’t close tightly. We’ll come figure it out and tell you what to do.”
Heck no! That’s incredibly confusing and doesn’t directly solve the problem you have. You’d look for the professional who clearly states on their website, “If your window broke, we will replace it for you.”
Your customers are doing the same thing. They’re looking to hire the person who directly talks to their problem so they can find relief. That’s why it’s so important to know your customer and the exact things they struggle with.
Now that we’re clear on why you need to focus your marketing message to effectively market your business, here are three things you can do to share the word about your business, especially if you could help everyone with your solutions.
Yes, we’re talking about looking at your Ideal Client Avatar (or ICA for short). I am a big fan of simplifying and creating a very strong foundation before you begin growing. By making sure you know the ins and outs of your primary audience, you’ll be able to create messaging that talks to those specific pain points first and foremost.
(There is the very good possibility that those pain points will also talk to other audiences, so you’re not “cutting them out,” but you’re also not directly addressing them.)
When you get clear on who you’re marketing your business to, you’ll be able to think of stories and other messages that will make them say, “OMG, that’s totally my problem!” and they’ll be inspired to buy your services. Why? They trust you because you’re seeing them, talking to their specific problem, and offering the solution to help them.
Have you heard of the Hero’s Journey? It’s a fairly popular storytelling device. Just about every story follows that arc. I won’t get into all the pieces of it (you can Google more if you want to or if you’re in my Business Baseline Group, had to the module on messaging!) but today, I will say this:
You are not the hero of the story.
When you’re marketing your business, you are not the hero. That designation is reserved for your customers. And this is great news because it helps you hone your messaging so you’re talking to just one type of audience.
Every story has a quest and every story has just one hero who can complete it. Indiana Jones is the only one who can get the grail. Luke Skywalker is the only one who can help the Rebel Alliance. Only Ethan Hunt can prove his innocence.
Okay, you get it. The common thread is that they are focused on one thing. They’re not saying, “I have a bunch of problems, I need someone to help me with them.” They’re intent on their singular mission.
Bottom line: Your audience has one mission – and your product or service is the one thing that can help them.
It’s okay that your product or service solves more than one problem, but you don’t want to be highlighting those problems at once. Think back to the window repair example. Highlighting all problems is confusing. If they’re not invested or even know why they want to buy it, they won’t buy it.
Get clear on the one problem you solve and make sure your messaging talks about that one problem and sells the resolution to that one problem with your product or service. You don’t have to create shame, just lead customers to see that you have the solution (and you’re the guide with the exact plan) who can help them.
Back to that quote from Christine Kane: “You can serve everyone, but you can’t market to all of them.” As I said, if you’re just starting out, yes. Market to just one type of person!
As you get further along in your business, I’d update that quote to say: “You can market to different groups but not at the same time or in the same way.”
Different groups have different problems. And since your messaging is all about being clear in the one problem you solve, you can only market to one hero right now. In the future when you have the bandwidth, you can absolutely serve all of those different heroes, but know that you will have to market to them separately!
You, as heart-centered service providers cannot shame or trick someone into buying your solutions. You simply can’t because you’re not that kind of person. You have good intentions in your heart.
You can show people that you know what you’re talking about and that your solution produces results the more you talk about your core message of what you do, why you do it, and how you can help.
And it is up to them to agree to work with you or buy your solutions. You cannot make them do anything. So please, don’t be afraid to talk about your business and what you do! I promise you, people are looking for exactly what you have! You can help so many people if you honor that and claim it in your messaging as you’re marketing your business!