So you want to be an entrepreneur?
You know you have something useful to share with the world, and that you can make a difference.
Your steps are filled with purpose. You have chosen that ‘can do’ mindset. You are ready and willing to give whatever it takes to get your success.
Done wondering if you are marvelous or mad, you have searched deep inside yourself asking – is this really possible for me?
And you have come through with a ‘yes!’ Sure you’ve hit a few snags along the way but you are still feeling that resounding ‘yes!’
But with your early failures behind you, it’s time for that turn in the road. It’s time to head in the direction of your business dream.
All you have to do now is find your target market and begin to build your tribe.
Simple, yes? And yet, right now, it feels just about impossible.
When Did This All Get So Hard?
You have accepted and know that your niche is the cornerstone of your business. And so far, despite all your hard work, you can’t seem to figure it out.
How are you supposed to move forward, when you can’t even get this first step right?
After months of hard work, the vision of your successful business hasn’t materialized.
And worse than that, in the fuzzy haze of misadventure your confidence has evaporated, your energy has dissipated, and the money you had set aside to take you through the startup phase of your business is spent.
So, while not making any significant progress towards your dream is bad, your situation is even worse: your head is now filled with doubts.
You begin to ask questions like:
What was I thinking? I must be crazy to believe I could run my own business?
Who am I to think I have anything to offer to anyone else?
And from there you find yourself quickly moving to:
What’s the point? I might as well go and find a job.
So what is the REAL problem here?
Chances are, you, like so many other new entrepreneurs, have made one or more of the following (all too common) mistakes.
Mistake #1 – You Don’t Have a Clear Audience
You know your solution is going to be a game changer for sooooo many people. You know other people have solutions that just fit a few, but yours is different. Your solution is useful for everyone.When you decide that your audience is everyone… then you serve no one.Click To Tweet
Think about this for a minute.
If I am over 55, and I need to lose weight but I am sensitive about going to a gym would I choose someone who specialized in weight loss for the over 55 crowd, or someone who deals in weight loss for everyone?
Am I more likely to trust person X or person Y.
Person X tells me they specialize in helping the over 55s stay in shape. Person Y, on the other hand has a broader reach and says they can help everyone including teenagers, sports professionals, business professionals, and of course the over 50s.
I will most likely gravitate towards person X who specializes in weight loss for the clear target audience of people over 55 because one, I feel more comfortable with someone who obviously targets the group I am in. And two, I will most likely see this person as the real expert I want.
Not expressing a clear idea of exactly WHO your solution is for causes many people to look elsewhere to find the person for whom they are the obvious audience.
Mistake #2 – You Don’t Have a Clear Offer
When you decide you can offer almost anything then you have a problem, because neither you nor anyone else knows exactly what solution you are offering to them.
While you may say things like, “I can offer coaching” or “I can offer online training, to help you grow personally and improve your life in any way you want” – it amounts to a confusing offer.
And as Tad Hargrave says, “The confused mind says NO.”
People must have a clear idea of WHAT you are offering.
A specific solution to a specific problem allows people to self-identify as your customer with a confident YES!
If your potential client is left thinking “maybe” then they are less likely to give you their money.
Mistake #3 – You Don’t Have a Clear Outcome
People need to get the point of the solution – they need to understand the ‘what for?’ This then becomes the reason WHY they must choose you.
Let’s take weight loss as an example.
What is the benefit of weight loss? You might think it’s so obvious that it doesn’t need an explanation.
But wait! It may not be obvious to the person you are targeting. You need to sell them the benefits.
Think about it this way. There are lots of overweight people out there. This tells you that up until now nothing has presented itself to help them change, or nothing they have tried has worked.
So what might you ‘sell’ them as an outcome that they can expect if they invest in your weight loss program? The list of benefits could include things like:
- attracting a life partner
- wearing a bikini on the beach
- being able to bend over to play with grandchildren
Any one of these benefits is more attractive than just the idea of losing weight.
The one you would choose as a winning benefit depends on what you know about your target market, and which benefits would be the most valuable for them.
It Doesn’t Have to Be That Challenging
Now that you’ve identified the mistakes that have been holding you back, it’s time to start moving forward again.
There are 3 steps that you can take to avoid the mistakes we covered above, and to move you forward toward building that business you’ve been dreaming of.
Step 1: Create a Clearly Defined, Narrow Target Audience
What is a target market/audience? Loosely defined, it is a group of people.
What’s an example of a target market? Let’s start with people who would identify themselves as “Moms.” For your purposes, a narrow target audience is a group of people seeking a solution you can provide.
For example: “Moms of small children looking to lose the baby weight.”
When thinking about a target audience, you want a precisely defined group. And, you want to trigger instant recognition of membership in that group – of being an ‘us’ rather than a ‘them’.
‘That’s me, count me in!’ is the response you are looking for from those you want in your tribe. When they know who they are, and you know who they are, then the engagement can begin.
Step 2: Create a Clearly Defined, Specific and Timely Solution
Once you know the problem you want to solve, then you want to make a specific offer that is easily understood and appropriate for your tribe.
Imagine your tribe suffers from feeling tired and sluggish in the afternoons due to overwork. You could create solutions that help them to work less.
However, while it might be true that they are working too hard, they may not be ready to invest in working less. Instead what they may be ready for is a pick me up in the form of a vanilla latte to get them through the afternoon.
So, while you have found that the root cause of their problem is overwork, you still have to figure out whether they want to fix this issue now or fix the problems this issue is causing them.
Usually, people just want the symptoms solved initially; it is the symptoms that are bothering them the most.
Which is why your audience may be more ready to buy a vanilla latte with extra caffeine than to buy a way to change their work patterns. This will better help you decide what your offer should be.
Also… be specific.
While it can be tempting to offer an audience a vaguely defined solution to generally improve something, this is typically not appealing either. If your audience doesn’t know exactly what you are offering then they will not want to commit to buying.
If your audience knows what you are selling and it meets a need they recognize now, then they will most likely buy.
Step 3: Create a Clearly Defined Benefit Your Audience Will Want
To sell your tribe on investing in your solution, you’ll want to find a clearly defined benefit to promote.
So, outline a benefit that your group is attracted to, and one that is easy to understand. To accomplish this, you need to know what your target audience cares about – what they want.
Back to the weight loss idea – the young mom may not be that bothered about her extra weight until you remind her she wants to wear her bikini on the beach.
So there needs to be a clearly stated benefit – even for weight loss.
There needs to be a big WHAT FOR to be gained by our tribe when they invest in what we do.
Connecting the Dots, The ABC Way
Now you know how to avoid the 3 common mistakes that most everyone makes when first starting out.
If you have avoided those 3 mistakes then you have the ABCs on which to build your business.
Fill in your A, B and C below:
WHO – I work with A [fill in your narrow target market group of people]
WHAT – to give them B [fill in your specific and timely solution]
WHAT FOR – so that C occurs [fill in your benefit that this target niche group wants]
Now it’s time to validate your idea and start to move forward towards your business dreams!
Put like that – what is the ABC for your business? And which of those letters was the hardest to get in place for you? Let us know in the comments below.