Understanding markets is important. Big trends. Overall pictures. What clients want generally. Where to position your firm to hit a “sweet spot”.
But when you're communicating, you must speak to clients, not markets.
Markets don't hire you, clients do. Markets don't build relationships with you, clients do.
Is that just a semantic difference? Fiddling with words?
I don't think so. Because it affects our psychology.
When we think and talk markets we think of groups, averages, generalisations.
When we think and talk of clients – or better yet, client – we think of individuals and details.
Too much market-think and our communications become generic and wishy-washy. We try to talk to everyone in the market and end up connecting deeply with no one.
Write with one specific client in mind – your ideal client, your “most likely to buy” client, your “I'd really love to work with” client – and your words have depth and meaning. You can write details. And you can connect.
Many marketers shy away from this – frightened that they're being too narrow and they'll miss out on the broader market.
That rarely turns out to be true. Not unless you're a huge megafirm that needs to be all things to all people to maintain your size.
How many clients do you really need to build a thriving business? For most of us it's a tiny percentage of the “market”. If you think about a good client and the business you get from them over a year, then for many of us the number of that sort of client we need often doesn't hit double figures.
We don't need to appeal to a broad market. We need to connect deeply with a small number of perfect clients.
So stop thinking about markets – and start thinking about those individual clients.