The Moment You Speak To The World, You Speak to No One

You Speak To The World, You Speak to No One

Posted Jan 27, 2011

Why would you target a microcosm, when the world is your market?

Oy, I've heard this so many times from small-business owners and bloggers. Folks who want to cast their nets as wide as humanly possible, so that they can reach the greatest number of people, solve their problems and turn them into readers, customers and evangelists.

Only problem with that is, its a recipe for disaster!

For you to succeed in business...

You've got to be be able to solve a very specific problem for a very specific person.

You may pile on more problems, more solutions and more types of people after the first one, but you never do it all at once.

And, you need to be able to communicate your solution in the most compelling possible way.

The best way to do that is to create an avatar, a detailed persona of the person who's problem you can solve. What do they look like, where do they live, how old are they, what sex are they, are they having sex, what are their hopes, fears, desires, challenges, daily experiences, dramas, elations, yadda, yadda, yadda?

Start with their psyche, then build out their world.

Give that person a name. Reginald sounds good to me. Maybe even a telephone number and an address. Then, and only then, are you ready to begin trying to figure out how to communicate to Reginald how seriously you get his life. How much you know his struggles, his quirks, his hobbies and secret desires. How insanely better you can make his life.

And, when you create your message, you speak only to Reginald.

Because, in doing so, you can get so specific, go so deep into his specific mindset, life and emotions that you become monumentally more effective at making him your customer, client or reader. And maybe even turning him into one big, bad basket of evangelical goo!

But, and yes, here's the big BUT...in making such a targeted bee-line into Reginald's psyche, you've got to accept another fact.

You're NOT going to be talking to a boatload of other people.

Folks who might be potential clients, but aren't nearly as well qualified for your help or in nearly as much pain as Reginald is. Hell, to really hit a homerun, you're going to have to get so specific with Reg that you may even end up alienating a whole lot of non-Reggies.

And, that freaks people out a bit.

Because we all want everyone to love us all the time. We want everyone to buy our stuff. We don't want to lose a single potential customer, no matter how poorly qualified, tangentially interested or barely in-need that potential client might be.

So, instead of writing to Reginald, and ONLY Reginald, we attempt to speak to every conceivable person who might in some way be interested on even the remotest level. Every conceivable persona, world-view, pain-point and emotional trigger, no matter how weak the connection might be.

And, the problem with that is...

The moment you speak to the world, you speak to no one.

Because, when you try to make EVERYONE happy, you give up your laser focus on Reginald. You water down your rapport, your promises and your level of engagement with the one person who's most in need. You build a sea of noise around the previously laser-targeted signal, then transmit the whole morass to the single most qualified, single most pained, single most in-need person...and expect your message to still resonate.

But, in doing so, you lose the person you're most there to help...and most likely to sell.

So, when you're looking to solve problems. When you're looking to build a business around a remarkable solution. Don't make the mistake of trying to speak to, engage, tantalize, solve for and sell to the world. Identify that one dream person. The one most in need. The one who's already out there looking desperately for what you've created.

Go deep into that person's world.

Understand the conversation that's already going on in her head.

Then, enter that conversation.

Speak to that one exquisite seeker and nobody else.

Put on blinders.

But, before you do that, do one more thing...

Do not EVER launch or build a business UNTIL you've done the work needed to make sure there are enough Reginalds out there to keep you in business for years to come.

So, what about you?

Who's the dream persona for your business?

Who are you writing to in your marketing, blogging and beyond?

The world...or them?

Jonathan Fields is the author of Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.  He writes and speaks on meaningful work, being a lifestyle entrepreneur and creativity at JonathanFields.com and is a twitter heavy-user at @jonathanfields