Why Ker-chunk Needs to Proceed Ker-ching
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Why Ker-chunk Needs to Proceed Ker-ching
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This morning I was working with a client who was feeling
some frustration around defining the niche for their
business: "Why is picking a niche so hard?" my client
wanted to know.
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Distribution Date and Time: 2010-08-03 12:15:00
Written By: Judy Murdoch
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Why Ker-chunk Needs to Proceed Ker-ching
Copyright (c) 2010 Judy Murdoch
Highly Contagious Marketing
This morning I was working with a client who was feeling some
frustration around defining the niche for their business:
* it started as "small business coaching"...
* got a little more specific as "small 'green' business
* took a 180-degree turn to non-profit organization coaching...
* and turn another 180-degrees back to "small business coaching
"Why is picking a niche so hard?" my client wanted to know.
Choosing a Niche for Your Business Can Be Really Hard
My client isn't alone. In fact she has excellent company: like
Yes, even marketing "experts" like yours truly can struggle
with saying who they help.
In my case, selecting a niche has been an 8-year process and in
all honesty I still squirm a little when I have to tell people
who I work with.
For a long time I told people I was a "small business marketing
coach." More often then not this would get a response like "So
what is it that you do?"
And I'd babble on and on about developing marketing messages and
setting up marketing systems and revenue streams and so on.
If the other person was polite they'd try to figure out whether
what I was talking about would be helpful to them in some way. If
the other person was not so polite, they were already getting a
drink at the bar.
Being a marketing person you'd think I'd know better. You'd
think I would know that the first step for effective marketing is
to choose a niche.
But I just couldn't do it even as I told my clients that's what
they needed to do.
What Enabled Me to Finally Step Forward
A couple years ago, I was attending a business seminar to learn
about how to put the pieces in place needed to create a
sustainably profitable business.
We were doing a role play in which we were have a challenging
conversation with another person. The idea was to use what we had
learned about ourselves and our business as a foundation to deal
with difficult situations.
My dreaded situation was when someone would ask "So what is it
exactly that you do?" And my partner looked me in the eye and
asked me "So Judy, what exactly is it that you do."
I paused for a second and listened to my heart and blurted out,
"I love you and your business so that your customers can know
about you and love you too."
Inelegant, not your typical 60-second elevator pitch but my
partner smiled at me and said, "Wow, I really felt that. I
wouldn't hesitate to hire you."
That was when things went "Ker-chunk" for me and for
Because the truth of the matter is, for me, marketing is about
love. More specifically, marketing is about communicating what
you love to do and how you love to help people because when your
ideal customers feel that sincerity in their hearts --- it's
easy to say "yes."
Customers saying, "yes" is the Ker-ching.
Keys for Getting to Ker-chunk
Knowing how tricky it is to name your niche, here are some keys
to make the process easier.
#1. Manage the Risk
One thing we forget is that no one is carving your niche
definition in stone.
There's no rule saying Thou shalt not change thy niche.
You can change your niche.
But I'm going to qualify this by saying, you must make some kind
of commitment around how long you'll work in your niche. A
commitment of six months to a year.
Again, not carved in stone. But it's a long enough time to know
whether it feels like the right place for your business.
#2. Make Sure Your Heart Has a Say in Selecting Your Niche
For all of us, myself included, we tend to approach business
decisions very logically. There are programs and spreadsheets
where you can put in the pros and cons and get a recommendation
for what to do.
I'm going to suggest you use your reasoning abilities as one
source of information and let your heart make the final vote.
Why? Because I have made many, many business decisions in my
career. When I based my decision purely on rational factors and
my heart was waving a red flag that read, "Something about this
doesn't feel right" I nearly always regretted my decision.
Listen to your heart and your intuition. Take a break if you need
to and quiet your thoughts. And then ask your heart, "is this
true to my highest intentions?"
Then listen and be willing to be surprised.
#3. Your Niche Definition Has to Be Specific Enough for Customers
to Know You're Talking to Them
Another thing that makes business owners nervous is around
specificity: how specific does their definition need to be?
It feels like every qualifier you add: age, gender, attitudes,
and so on is yet another obstacle to finding customers.
My teacher, Mark Silver, has a great way to address this. He
says, "your definition only needs to be specific enough so that
your ideal customers recognize themselves when you tell people
who you work with.
I love Mark's definition of who he works with: "small business
owners who want to make a difference and need to make a profit."
It's simple and yet anyone who is an ideal customer for Mark
immediately feels like he's talking to them.
Being specific is scary because it means taking a stand for what
you do. And when you take a stand, sometimes people push back;
they don't like your decision for whatever reason.
But when you do articulate who you help and do so in a heart-felt
way you allow customers to connect from a place of trust. You
create a space for their hearts to settle into and to receive
your support. Ker-chunk!
And when the "ker-chunk" happens, prospective customers can
open up and say, "Hey, I'm feeling like you can really help me
with this problem. I'd like to hire you."
Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost,
effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals,
guerrilla marketing activities, and selected strategic alliances.
To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt?
Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers
Crazy!" go to http://www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm
You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or judy@...
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