Size matters – and the smaller, the better
Yes, you read that right! When it comes to marketing yourself and your services, the best way to do it is to narrow your focus and dive deeply into a niche market. This is a difficult move for many, because they ascribe to the ‘cast a wide net’ thinking. I have specifically noticed this is the mentality if you work in a small town or city – you feel it’s the only way to keep yourself busy. This mentality needs to be retired because, in today’s digital world, clients have a plethora of options and they are looking for an advisor that specialises in exactly what they need. In fact, it has been proven that attempting to be a jack-of-all-trades leaves you looking like you are an expert of none. There is nothing more damaging on a website or in a pitch meeting than saying, “I do a little bit of everything.” Clients want to know that you are an expert in exactly what they want.
When describing the importance of niche marketing, some will say you need to ‘find your niche,’ but in fact, that thinking is flawed. You need to create your niche. In order to do that you need to identify two key elements:
- What is your expertise? For this, you’ll have to think outside of the box. What are you well-versed in? This could be a particular focus you had at uni, an intense interest or hobby of yours, or an area where you have done the most work. What is the angle that no one has come up with yet? An accountant I know loved camping. He travelled Australia and got the know tourist park owners. Before long, her had built a stable of tourist park clients – he did their accounting, tax planning, performance management, family business advice etc etc. No-one knew more about tourist parks than him – and travelling for work was obviously a thrill! Think about the market, and then think about the untapped potential. Where can you highlight your own expertise and how can you become the authority on that topic? Clients want to know they are dealing with the best for them, in any given field, so think about what you have that sets you apart from the pack, and double down on it.
- Who is your ideal client? Before you can develop a marketing campaign around your niche, you need to think about who it is that you are marketing to. Sit down and make a list of your ideal clients. What do they want? Describe their values. What exactly would make them refer you to someone else? Think about the ideal project they would ask you to complete that would highlight your skills. Map out and plan a proposal for them to really visualise their needs. You need to have that perfect client in mind before you create a plan to attract them to you, as their advisor.
In the end, casting a wide net might get you some small fish, but if you want the big fish, you need to develop a specifically targeted plan that highlights your niche and markets directly to your ideal client. By targeting a particular client in a specific niche, you can allow your expertise to shine.