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Standing out from the (small) crowd

You totally want to be different, even if you’re just one lightbulb in a row of other lightbulbs. Your business needs to stand out from the crowd, to be the one with the different angle. You want recognition for your product or service: You want it all, and you want it now. You’d like to be the brightest lamp in the row and have everyone recognize that your company is special. Ideally ‘everyone’ means the whole wide world, but you’re kinda realistic, and you’ll settle for – oh, say half of the 8 billion people on the planet.
These are not realistic goals. Sorry.

Unrealistic goals

Standing out from the enormous, worldwide crowd is a virtual impossibility, and if you think about it for just a few moments you’ll see that this goal is unrealistic. The key to understanding this fact of life comes in always being aware of who your audience is: Are they teenagers, middle-aged, male or female, living in Africa or Europe, tech-savvy, health-aware… Or any of thousands of other demographic and social brackets that we can use to define an audience.
Clearly a Chinese teenager will have different interests and income to an Australian pensioner, along with entirely different needs. So when you look at it that way, is it possible to appeal to everyone? – Of course not!
However many startups begin with the hope of becoming ‘world famous’, without ever thinking this through. How will they stand out from the crowd when the crowd consists of the whole world? That’s a rhetorical question, because the answer is that it’s an impossibility. The Crowd is never the place to start your campaign. You must instead isolate the smallest, most concentrated group you can, and then nurture them like your life depends on it. Which in fact, it more or less does. Certainly your success will depend on it.

Getting intimate with your audience

So if you are Serious About Success, then you’ll follow my 6 Steps process and get ever-closer to your ideal target audience. You’ll get to know people on a really precise and intimate level. You won’t even be talking niche, you’ll be talking niche of niche, and believe me, that’s all you need to start the fire. If you identify and communicate only with your niche audience it means you can be very much more targeted, and more rapidly move through your educational marketing program. I use the word ‘educational’, because that’s what all niche audiences demand. Satisfy that demand and they will stay with you, and not wander off to listen to someone offering a better educational program.

Educating the elite

Education means starting a dialog around subjects that your audience really wants to know about. The more you dialog, the more you get to understand what it is that your audience wishes to see and hear. The more you feed this desire, the better an educator you will be. People love to learn, most especially when they know that they are part of a small and elite group. That’s the point when they convert into your fans, and fans then do a great deal of the work for you – by spreading the word.
An important part of this whole approach is that your dialog is initially always about the problems faced by your target audience. Your solutions to these problems only come later in the educational program. And again, let me remind you that Chinese teenagers and Australian pensioners definitely have different problems, so the chances that your solution will suit both is about a zillion-to-one. Don’t pretend that you have the one size fits all answer to all the world’s problems. You don’t, and you can’t, so get real about who your audience really is. Dig down until you find them, then nurture them.

Think big, but act small. Identify the smallest and most unique niche you can, then develop your audience. It’s obvious really – it’s so much easier to stand out in a small crowd.

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