Can Your Niche Afford to Pay You?

I hear this a lot, “My target audience can’t afford to pay me.” I even fell into the trap myself. Then I realized what I was doing, smacked myself in the head, and fixed it.

An essential part of marketing is to make sure you’re looking for people who can afford to pay for your solution.

A 60″ inch sealed-burner Viking stove for $12,659 (yes, that’s a real price, I looked it up) may be the greatest cooking tool ever — but small mom and pop diners won’t be able to afford to buy one.

So, either you need a new ideal customer, or you need to change your strategy.

Create a Ladder

What’s the level of trust they’ll have with you? If they do have $12,000, can they spare it for a super-powered stove? Or, would you have better luck offering a more affordable solution?

Instead of heading straight for the top-of-the-line bells, whistles, fireworks, and party hat solution, try something small first. Products that offer repeatable solutions to recurring problems.

First Rung

Offer some free information. A blog. Free reports. A free newsletter.

Second Rung

Offer a $7 ebook. Or, a $17 workbook. Something that’s low-risk.

Third Rung

Then, create slightly higher options.

Bundle the ebook and the workbook together for $20. Or, add a how-to video for $5 more.

Fourth Rung

Then, add an hour of consulting. Or a personalized design review.

Got a ladder yourself?  How many rungs does it have?  What are they?

Image thanks to: myklroventine

Is Your Marketing Missing Its Target?

missed target

I got an odd email a few days ago. It was from a star copywriter (and a rare error). The subject line said, “Read this only if you are over 50.” Well, I’m not. Since it wasn’t relevant, I didn’t care what it was. So, I didn’t open it, didn’t read it, and it went straight to the trash.

During the baseball World Series, (YAY YANKEES!) the games were full of ads for light beer, car insurance, and er, male products.

The companies running these ads spent millions and millions of dollars on advertising.

All of it irrelevant to me. I don’t drink light beer (ick!), don’t own a car (I’m not nuts, I live in a big city, where cars are unnecessary), and I’m not an older man. They can spend all they like, I still won’t buy their products.

Big companies can afford to waste their money. Small businesses can’t. Find people who want what you’re offering and talk to them. Pick a niche. It’s a lot better than spraying and praying, hoping to hit something.

Image Jay Lopez

How to Narrow Your Marketing and Improve Your Results

milk jugsA client told me that his wife often sends him to the store to buy groceries. Seems simple, right? But, there’s a hitch. She says “dairy,” when what she really wants is:

½ gallon 2% milk
1 pint whole milk
1 dozen eggs
1 lb. unsalted butter

If he comes home with just the milk, or only one kind of milk, and no eggs, he’s in trouble. Not knowing what groceries you really want can annoy your spouse, not knowing who your customers are can jeopardize your business.

When going shopping, you need a list of what you want to buy. When looking for customers, you need a list that describes your ideal customer.

To avoid problems at home (and at work), decide what you’re selling, what problem it solves, and who you want to sell it to.

Who are your ideal customers?

Can you describe them? Build a picture in your head. Are they companies? Consumers? What kind of people? Men? Women? Executives? Plumbers?

What problem do they have?

Poor replacement pipes? Accounting software that takes five hours to run payroll for 100 people?

How can you solve the problem?

A lightweight exhibit design that cuts shipping costs in half? A payroll system that runs the same report in 10 minutes?

Where are they?

Worldwide? Next door?

Can they afford your services?

Do they have money allocated to buy what you’re selling? Is your offer appealing to them? Does it save them time or money or both?

When you know who you’re looking for, and what they’re looking for, it will be much easier to find them, and find more of them.

(I gave this same advice to someone recently, telling him to focus on a niche. He took down his general marketing message, re-focused on a specific industry, added appropriate content and keywords, and his traffic went up!).

Photo: LFL16