I just read about this today on the Well-Fed Writer blog (seems appropriate, doesn’t it).
The salad dressing rule means that when you’re marketing salad dressing, you look for people who already like and appreciate a fresh, crisp salad.
You ignore those who hate salad and would much rather eat a Big Mac and fries.
Market to the people who want you
Spending a lot of time and effort selling snowshoes to Arabian desert dwellers is a waste of effort.
Selling design services or writing to people who don’t see the value in those things is also a waste of time and effort.
Instead, focus on those who do appreciate (and understand) the value that strong writing skills brings to a project – sometimes literally. If you write strong ad copy for example, your architect client may earn more money from her ad than if she wrote it herself.
Why your dressing is the best (for them)
Once you find people who already like salad, then you have to make it clear why they should buy your dressing, rather than someone else’s dressing. Think about the benefits of your service (dressing). Is it made daily? Organic? Why do your current clients buy from you? If you’re not sure, sit down and think about it and write it down. If you’re still not sure, ask them.
Then, go have a nice salad.