Minimalist Marketing: A Good Lead For Me Is The Planet Earth…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

Have you ever attended a networking session, and encountered this scenario? Say a mechanic gets up to speak, and he says “A good lead for me today is anyone you know who owns a car or truck.”

What the?

Hearing this is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I have a feeling this guy is thinking this is good for him, in that he is casting a wide net to catch ALL fish.

But sadly, this is a sign of a completely LAZY marketer. Someone taking the easy way out. And my guess is his business is struggling. I mean, seriously. What does he think I am going to do, give him my entire rolodex?

In fact, this mechanic is doing the exact opposite of what he should do to grow his business, and find MORE customers. He needs to do what will feel quite counter-intuitive to him – laser focus on one specific niche.

What happens when you cast too wide a net? You find very few clients.  And what happens then? You take on TOO MANY of the wrong clients. And then you are overwhelmed with too much “bad” work, and probably for too small a fee.

Either way, applying some minimalist principles to your targeting process will pay big dividends to your marketing program.

Focus on ONE type of prospect. Just one. In the case of the mechanic? Don’t narrow your focus to Fords. Narrow your focus to Ford pick-ups.

[This doesn't mean the mechanic can't help fix a Chevy should it pull into the garage - it just means his marketing focus should be on Ford pick-ups...ONLY.]

But this only works under two conditions:

One, that you become the best in the market at fixing Ford pick-ups. You should become known as the go-to guy in the event anyone’s Ford pick-up needs servicing. I mean it…the best in your market.

And two, you are going to have to adjust your marketing program to target owners of Ford pick-ups. This is easier than casting a large net, I promise. But it does require some creative thinking, some strategy, and a sustained effort over time to reach out and build real relationships with owners of Ford pick-ups.

The other minimalist impact on your marketing as a result of narrowing your focus? You then also simplify your marketing message. What you say to Ford pick-up owners is different than if you had to speak to ALL car and truck owners. [And if you don't understand this concept...call me. We need to talk.] But if you are targeting too many people, you probably have too many marketing messages. As a result, your message is muddled, and your marketing suffers…

Narrowing your focus to a specific niche simplifies your marketing, and makes it less complicated. Selling is hard enough. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

What do you think?

[See the original post that inspired the Minimalist Marketing series]
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  • http://mystorybooklady.com Betty Miller

    Great article Todd! You are right on with this marketing strategy!

  • http://ypsgroup.com/ Todd Youngblood

    Todd,

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s also important to be aware of the more insidious message that the “widely cast net” delivers all to loudly. When a marketer says, “ALL owners of any type of car and truck,” the prospects hear, “I’m so freaking desperate for any business at all that I’m willing to take on anything.”

    You can bet your bottom dollar that when a customer senses any hint of desperation on your part, you’re dead meat.

    TY

  • Rick Howe

    Good points most forget when marketing themselves and their services.The jack of all trades and master of none mentality seems to come out during desperate times.

  • http://www.projectauthenticity.com Robyn

    I think your post is right on! I heard someone say recently in an economy like this you need to be a laser focused specialist, and it better times a generalist. It’s counter intuitive I know but I see specialists gaining ground daily.