You’ve heard the old adage, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” yet as an entrepreneur who is struggling to grow your business this is likely what you’ve done.
When you put all of your eggs in one basket, you set yourself up for disappointment because if something happens to the basket, it’s like being up the creek without a paddle.
Okay, so I feel the need to clarify… I’m referring to focusing on serving just one type of client. Now, let me explain so that you don’t think I’m talking out of both sides of my face. Yes, I believe that you need to get clear on your ideal client by creating your Audience of One™ profile. And yes, an Audience of One™ is based on determining one specific type of client with one specific type of problem that you provide one specific and robust solution to. But I never said you could only have one type of client.
Nope I didn’t.
Now, let me also clarify that while you can have as many types of clients as you’d like, (in fact, I highly recommend that you do diversify your client mix) you will need to market to them differently. Remember marketing is a conversation with one audience at a time.
I say one audience at a time because trying to talk to people with a multitude of issues when you only are talking about one solution is chaotic at best. And it won’t give you the traction that you want because they won’t get you. It will be like the peanuts cartoons “womp, womp womp.”
So at the end of the day, my recommendation is this: diversify your client pool by having multiple types of clients that can all be served through the solutions you offer to the problems that they encounter and are actively seeking solutions to.
Whew, that was a mouthful.
Let me demonstrate by talking about my company. At IOE, we have several company divisions – Speaking, Coaching/Mentor (both business and executive/corporate), Consulting and Training and Development. Each division serves different Audiences of One™. They each have their own websites and marketing messages (but you can get to them all from our main company website). By creating client diversification, we are able to serve many types of clients and more importantly get paid by many. And the best part about the diversification is that it creates a steady influx of cash into our business because the more clients you have, the more money you will make because your eggs are not all in one type of basket.
When you can only count on one population to pay you, you run the risk of not getting paid when they can’t pay. Let’s face it; stuff happens and if they (your client) have to choose between paying you and keeping their lights on, well, you know the answer to that one. By having entrepreneurs, executives, corporations and government agencies and colleges and universities as clients, we can always count on income coming in.
So, now let’s shift the conversation to you in the form of these questions:
- What is the problem that you solve?
- Who do you currently solve this problem for? List your current client types.
- Brainstorm who else could be helped by your solution. Another way to ask this: what other types of clients could you help with your current catalog of products and services? How would you help them?
- What ancillary services or product lines could you easily create in order to allow your company to serve more types of clients? Allow me to be your example again for a second. By offering coaching, consulting and training and development, we can serve many types of industries and types of clients including entrepreneurs, colleges and universities, corporations and governmental agencies, we have tons of clients to choose from when we are creating marketing campaigns.
- How will you attract the attention of your newly found client groups?
By answering these five questions, you will begin to develop your client diversification plan.