If there is one basic rule of marketing that I have seen proven to work repeatedly it is the rule about defining your niche.  This can consist of two things: defining WHAT you do, and defining WHO you do it with.

I’ll use my business as an example.  WHAT do I do?  Well, I help entrepreneurs market themselves or their business…but so do millions of other people, and many of them do so exceptionally well.  So if I tell you that I teach entrepreneurs how to market themselves or their businesses without spending a cent, doesn’t that sound a little more compelling?

But let’s break it down even further.  WHO do I teach to market their businesses without spending a cent?  Entrepreneurs, right – I  gave the answer away in the previous paragraph!!!  It’s more than that.  I specialise in working with professionals and professional bodies.  This starts to narrow my target market.

In other words, the people that I would be aiming my message at would be accountants, lawyers, professional coaches, people in the “helping professions” and so on.  This doesn’t mean that I turn business away if it falls outside these parameters.  Not at all!  However, in terms of my own continuing professional development and learning, I have a particular focus rather than a shotgun approach because of my area of specialisation.  I can concentrate my networking strategically and manage my time effectively.  I can make sure that I become an acknowledged subject matter expert within my specialised field, rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

I read an article some time ago on the internet and – to my frustration – didn’t save the source somewhere where I’d be able to find it again easily and be able to reference it.  However, the author had a very stiking message about being able encapsulate the essence of one’s marketing message or business proposition on the back of a matchbox.  I thought it was a brilliant idea, and challenge you to try this exercise.  Would YOU be able to fit what you do onto the back of  matchbox?  Mine’s easy: I teach people how to market themselves without spending a cent.  Let me know how you go…

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