You may not know that Philadelphia’s slogan is “The City That Loves You Back.” Until 1997 we were the “City Of Brotherly Love,” based on the city’s Quaker heritage.
The slogan has been very successful for Philly. And it’s a nice reminder that a relationship – even a short one, even with an abstract entity – goes two ways.
When you’re starting out or when you pivot your business, you’ll be encouraged to evaluate your niche. You’ll be encouraged to ask questions like, “Are they hungry? Can they afford to pay?” But rarely are we asked if that market is going to love us back.
First, there’s a simple way to define your niche in a way that helps you create successful marketing campaigns. Successful marketing strategies begin with niches defined by a market’s pain or problem. What’s keeping your audience members from doing, being, and having what they want? Why do they call you? Why now?
— Financial planners: People aged 35-50 who want to get out of debt, deal with the consequences of identity theft and plan for sending the kids to college.
— Life coaches: Mid-career executives who just can’t bear to spend another day in a job they hate.
— Fitness professionals: Women (and some men) who can’t stand being out of shape for bathing suit season.
— Dog trainers: Dog owners who just lost a pair of $20 socks or $200 loafers to a strong set of canine teeth.
Of course, markets can be hungry for good things, too. When you’ve worked hard and succeeded, you want to reward yourself. Think of massages, good coffee, jewelry, theatre tickets and chocolate.
But niche-finding is just the first step. You have to decide if you will be viewed as likeable, credible and knowledgeable to your target market.
When I work with clients, especially when we develop websites, this idea often seems new. They’ve spent a lot of time identifying who they want to serve, but not asking, “Will this market accept someone like me?” and, “Will I be unique so clients insist on working with me?” and, “Can I stand out from the crowd in a meaningful way?”
The truth is, when you have a market that meets the “ability and willingness to buy” test — and you are uniquely fit to serve that market, you’ve got a “knock it out of the park” combination. When you meet people who benefit from almost any marketing coach they work with, who can use any tactics, and who seem to move effortlessly, you can be sure they’ve assembled both ingredients: they’ve identified a hungry market and they’ve nailed the know-like-trust factor with that target market.
As an extreme example, I don’t think I’d be viewed as knowledgeable if I started promoting myself as a fashion expert. I doubt that anyone would trust my views on fashion and lots of people would probably be annoyed with me for wasting their time.
For some good examples:
A marketing coach who targets women has a style of being warm, friendly and approachable. Women in this market often feel overwhelmed and intimidated by their mentors; she makes them feel comfortable. She’s totally genuine: nobody else can copy this.
A CPA who targets small business owners combines an aggressive tax preparation style with warm, friendly communications. People tell him they’ve looked everywhere for a CPA who actually listens. He’s there for informal questions and at times can be a business consultant and advocate.
A fitness trainer served in a Special Forces military unit and then got a degree in exercise physiology and a host of certifications. He’s also very creative about developing training programs and he’s soft-spoken and friend. He has a special niche of clients who want to train for Navy Seals and fire departments, but he’s also got a following among ordinary people who value his knowledge and like to brag about their tough trainer. Boot camps? He’s the real deal.
What’s common to these stories?
Well, they can’t be faked. No personality transplants!
Their styles show in their words and actions. They resonate on a thoughtful as well as emotional level with their markets. And they’re highly successful, despite working in competitive marketplaces.
Free – Nail your target market by finding their backstory. Click here.
If you’d like to talk more about this, check out my Strategic Intensive. You’ll not only find why you’re special: you’ll communicate your standout signature with compelling copy that engages your audience.