Build a Fence around Your Business

Are you planning to rebrand your business to narrow the target market you serve? This is where the use of marketing analytics comes into play, as you need a way to monitor projects and show that they have value. You also get to see the bigger picture of your business.

Or are you afraid you’re going to overlook a really great market?

Looking for a narrow niche is a successful marketing strategy for just about any business, magazine and even a blog.

Trying to be all things to all people means you become nothing to everyone. I always cringe when I hear a very earnest entrepreneur describe their new product’s target market as “every household in the US…. if I can just get 1% of that market I will….” While we’re on the topic of marketing, no matter what industry you’re in, if you are serious about creating a strong brand, whether it is in the food industry or a law firm, you’ll find that there are solutions sch as an all inclusive plan to help you find ways of outperforming your competitors and make a name for yourself. It is also important to remember that although we have the internet that can help you in the process of starting a business, the use of Digital Printing Services In London (if you live in this area of the UK) can assist with printing business cards, leaflets, brochures and much more. This shows even more commitment to creating a successful business.

I’m reminded that even blogs need a narrow focus to help keep their identity. Even when people outside the target find the blog interesting, helpful and relevant. Take eMom’s for example. Wendy Piersall is awesome — I met her at a conference in Chicago and was awed by her personal magnetism, marketing ideas and sheer honesty with her new group of blogger friends.

Wendy has toyed with the idea of rebranding her blog, but was hit with such a deluge of differing opinions, she’s ready to throw in the towel and rebrand the whole thing as a “can of worms.” Hang in there Wendy. We all face this temptation to go too broad.

Jim Collins in Good to Great describes the Hedgehog principle, where the hedgehog curls in a ball, getting back to basics and hides its soft underbelly, exposing only the quills on its back. Your hedgehog position is where 3 key elements intersect: 1) Passion 2) Economics 3) Skill.

John Jantsch, in the first page of his Small Business Marketing Guide ebook, has RULE NUMBER 1: NARROW YOUR FOCUS. Go here to read his 7 steps to Small Business Marketing Success — you get the expanded version with 17 pages of very practical, useful next steps as a reward for registering on his website to get his newsletter.

You’ve heard this before — maybe stated like this:

  • Define your uniqueness
  • What is the differentiator in your business?
  • What sets you apart from all your competitors?
  • What’s your: USP (Unique Selling Prosposition)
  • CCA: Compelling Competitive Advantage
  • Your Niche
  • Your Sandbox
  • Your playing field

Draw the line in the sand. Put a fence around your business to define your target market. Otherwise, how will you know when you’ve found your best customers? And how will they know that they have found you?

Maybe it is an underground “electric fence” that just hums in your mind when the right customer walks in. Even that will help you to identify the right prospect. Otherwise ‘everyone’ is your prospect… and you know where I’m going with that!!

What does the RIGHT customer look like to you?

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

7 thoughts on “Build a Fence around Your Business”

  1. It’s funny, I was just blogging about this on my company’s blog,, last week but more from a blogging perspective. I love the phrase “a jack of all trades is a master of none”. If you are using your corporate blog as a lead generation tool, you are better off finding a niche that differentiates you from your competition. All lead generation efforts should be targeted and your blog shouldn’t be any different. It shouldn’t be about having the most readers it should be about having the right readers.

  2. Even as one of John Jantsch’s authorized Duct Tape Marketing coaches, I find it a challenge to narrow – there’s that human marketing instinct that fears narrowing is going to result in fewer options for customers (“let’s instead throw our nets far and wide to see how many fish we might catch”). But the narrowing is really more about focusing your marketing on your ideal client. Then it makes sense and brings results!

  3. hi chris,

    thanks for swinging by my blog, and for leaving a comment.

    it’s important to differentiate our unique selling proposition (USP) – in corporate blogging, and in using blogs as a marketing tool, it is important that our write ups cater to a certain niche – something that people would define with and would lead them as regular readers.

    in creating a blog niche, putting a tagline is helpful as well to determine the USP…the tagline is something that catches an online visitor’s attention in a split second.

  4. Great read. Expanding on it further, we have a motto that we ask in our company: How can you use the resources that you have to provide the best possible value to the customer? That really gets you moving toward directions where you can be the greatest asset to your customers.

  5. Ben’s “question” is just a definition of “marketing” and too many people who call themselves marketers don’t get this. Overall though Chris, what you are talking about here is creating a brand model and understanding that brands are like people and nobody is universally loved. You get the friends/customers you deserve by being the genuine article.

  6. Ben – you’re so right… company’s need to focus on the value they provide, not what they make & do. It’s the benefits vs just features.

    Phil – Finding a niche that makes sense for a business can be harder than it seems. The owner may see the business one way, the employees another… and the customers… well, they are really the ones who count, right? Being genuine isn’t enough. Being focused matters.

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