Professional service providers must understand that sending common, general vanilla messages will not help them to attract business…if all the messages remain the same (i.e. “high-level strategic planning for middle market businesses…”) then how do you stand out from your competition? You don’t.
In today’s marketplace, you will find yourself sitting across from a more sophisticated buyer than ever before. Company presidents, CEOs and CFOs are able to discern whether or not you are an expert in their industry and have more access to a larger circle of potential service providers. We have found that in order to win these prospects over, you must be able to establish yourself as an expert – an expert in providing the types of services they require AND someone who is intimately familiar with their business – the issues and challenges they face. Having a team of professionals that has resources that can serve a particular niche or industry above and beyond the general practitioner is a powerful way to generate higher dollar revenues for your firm (after all, experts can charge more) and you can increase your productivity by repeating specialized services and projects for many of the same type of client.
The many benefits of long-term planning that a niche-focused marketing plan provides which will help you to easily track your efforts, manage seasonal workloads, ensure effective time management and accurately plan your marketing budget. Marketing plans that focus on a small group of consistent professionals who are dedicated to a specific industry has proven to yield the most results with less effort in recent years. Although you have heard this term for years now, it’s time you learn how to apply this concept at your firm. Let us teach you the secrets of niche-focused success!
Common Obstacle #1 “I will not be pigeon-holed into serving one type of client.”
Everyone has preferred clients where they work with issues where they’re most comfortable, and people they have the best contacts with. So in that sense, everybody has a niche. The question is whether it’s intentional, and you use it to drive your coaching business to the success you want. Niche-focused marketing is courting or attracting that type of client – so that’s how you’ll spend your time, energy and money. It doesn’t mean that you’ll stop taking all the other clients that call or walk in the door.
Common Obstacle #2 “I don’t want to alienate other clients I serve outside this group.”
It’s also perfectly okay to have multiple niches. That’s where the rest of the firm comes in. Just recognize that the more niches you are involved with, the less time you’ll be able to spend marketing to each. Delegation will be the key here.
Common Obstacle #3 “I don’t really know that much about this area/niche.”
It is true that there should be an element of continued education are the hot issues and current concerns that these particular types of clients are facing. In other words, if you are targeting women-owned businesses, you might be expected to stay abreast of issues like government grants that are available, or specialized tax cuts. Knowledge outside the traditional scope of accounting and legal services will help to demonstrate value and also make meaningful introductions on behalf of your clients. It’s worth the investment of staying abreast of one or two target groups, instead of reacting to a whole bunch of varied requests from a diverse group of clients or prospects. Also, performing customized or specialized consulting engagements can be offered to the entire clientele – performing similar engagements for similar clients is easier (and more profitable) than re-inventing the wheel with each engagement.
More Benefits of Targeting a Specific Niche
Knowing these clients’ top issues and hot buttons will result in your being well-poised as an expert in this field – and able to generate the highest dollar. Because you will have selected the right niche – meaning you have experience in serving this client, and you enjoy doing so – you should feel more comfortable around this group of individuals. You will have access to success stories to sprinkle into conversation and will evoke genuine confidence because you are familiar with their business.
Marketing to a targeted audience is also easier when crafting a value proposition (what you do, for whom you do it and why). It’s important to have a specific target in mind when crafting your message so you use the right tone – i.e. “customer”, “clients” or “patients” etc.
Selecting the Perfect Niche for You
Experience – You have worked with several (at least one!) of these types of clients before
Motivation – You genuinely LIKE working with these types of clients as well as the types of people that they choose to associate themselves with (other service providers, their professionals, other colleagues)
Potential for $$ – There are other services that your firm provides which can benefit them
Marketplace – This industry is projected to continue to thrive in your geographic marketplace
We will use a proprietary questionnaire to quickly obtain the information we need, along with interviews of key personnel and, after we conduct some independent research, we will submit a comprehensive niche-focused marketing plan for your approval, which will include a clear focus around the five key areas for every successful niche-focused marketing plan.