I was reminded of a vital lesson by a business ghostwriter I spoke with at a recent networking event. We were discussing focus and he told me how most of his writing is about identifying those key ideas that are the core of a successful business.  All too often, he said, his clients got distracted. Like the underwater world, the business world is full of interesting stuff that can attract your focus and dilute your efforts and your message.  

Diving with my son on a recent vacation, even at a shallow 25 feet, Scuba Divermeans you have to be mindful of breathing evenly, always know where you are, and where your guide is, in relation to base. Only then can you relax and enjoy the scenery.  Don’t wander too far, distracted by some fleeting marvel.  Many divers have paid a high price for a lack of focus on those vital indicators; running out of air or some other catastrophic mistake.  Like business, it really is all about focusing on your mission.

It brings to mind epiphany number 5 of my white paper 7 ‘Epiphany Moments of Business Growth’. This is; “Don’t try to be all things to all people; target some of the people, ALL of the time.” It’s about focusing on your target customer and very clearly defining their business persona and needs. This insight sees right through the business myth that goes like this: “If I too narrowly define my target market, I will miss out on a lot of great opportunities.”  

The Truth is Very Different.

  • Narrowing down your niche actually builds business. Define exactly who you are speaking to. This is especially important in a business to business blog. Are your products bought by individual consumers or individuals within businesses? How old are they? Male or female? Married or single? Location and social/ethnicity status? Income level? What do they read/watch/listen to etc.? What are their hobbies, activities, interests and where do they live? What are their needs? What causes them pain?
  • The more relevant your marketing communications,
    the more your customers listen and take action.
    Listening to Customer's Needs
    When you become the niche expert the more value you can bring to them and the more revenue that comes your way. If your marketing message is an unfocused, “I have a great service you should buy it,” you are unlikely to have great success.  Who would buy it? Who would even notice it among the estimated 3000 marketing messages we each get, every day?
  • Focus on benefits. When your messages are clearly written to reveal benefits to a specific target customer, you are saying “Got an itch on your elbow? We have just the salve for you.” Customers that identify with your message are much more likely to respond. When your business to business blog speaks directly to your customer persona, you have your customers voluntarily coming to you, because you are exceeding their expectations.
  • I challenge you to objectively assess your business focus.  Are you diluting your efforts and drowning in the clutter?  Would you be able to charge more if you were more focused? Could you make more money with less effort, making life easier for yourself and your staff?  Focus on your work and trust your capabilities and keep your guide close at hand.  

 

“Jumpstart Your Business Brain”

We at PBC see a lot of the marketing materials of many different enterprises. While they may paint a detailed picture of your business, they rarely follow the 3 simple rules in Doug Hall’s book, “Jumpstart Your Business Brain.” His 3 ‘Laws of Marketing Physics’ are: 1) Overt Benefit, 2) Real Reason to Believe, 3) Dramatic Difference. The revenue stream from any marketing message can be raised, by improving any or all of these dimensions.  Self-assess your marketing material, with our ‘Marketing Message Self-Evaluation’ form.

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Then seek out your guide. We are always on the other end of a phone line. Just a few thoughts from 25 feet below.

 

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This originally appeared in my May 2013 Newsletter.