I’ve struggled with this too. The desire to want to be all things for all people and the fear that if you don’t help everyone, you’re not going to make any money.
Fear is the number one driving factor for NOT having a target audience, however in your desperate attempt to reach everyone it actually paralyzes you from truly reaching anyone, because you’re not speaking directly to them.
People want to be known, understood and listened to. If you’re attempting to be all things to all people, your audience won’t feel heard or understood. They’ll see your business as a generic ______fill in your service or product here_____, and they’ll also miss YOU entirely.
Confessions of a former People Pleaser:
Hi, my name is Brianne and I’m a people pleaser. I want my business to be for all people so I don’t leave anyone out. This makes me feel secure, because I’m afraid… You see, I need clients in order to make money and if I leave people out, I may not get clients.
Do you enjoy your work?
Yes! Well, most of the time...well, sometimes it’s really hard.
What makes it hard?
I get really frustrated because the people I work with aren’t happy with my work or they don’t understand the value I’m bringing.
How does that make you feel?
Rotten. It makes me feel like I’m not doing a good job or I’m bad at what I do. But I’m not bad at what I do!
When do you love your job?
When I work with clients who just get it. They love my help and see my value and they’re always my best referrals.
List the traits of those awesome clients.
Usually Female, independent and creative business owners, ages vary from 30-50 ish and they’ve saved or set aside money to work with me (so thusly planners). They’re always driven to succeed with an open mind to try new things and take action to achieve their goals. They love encouraging and supporting others and they’re often really involved in their community. I have FUN when I work with them because we can chat about life as well as business and joke with each other.
What if you only worked with those people?
That would be a dream! But I don’t want to leave anyone out…
Why not leave everyone else out?
Because then I’m afraid I won’t get business, and you know make money...so I can live and that kind of important stuff.
Do those clients who you don’t enjoy working with as much usually refer you?
I hope you enjoyed my self-interview-confession. It’s no lie! I truly felt this way when I first started. In fact, my fear was SO great that I couldn’t commit to any particular target audience and I said yes to almost everyone who inquired to work with me, whether I was the right fit for them or not.
I was paralyzed and that also paralyzed my audience.
I finally became brave enough to ask someone if they could take a look at my site and tell me what they thought. Did they feel confused? Was it clear what I was offering?
The feedback I received was hard to hear, but incredibly helpful. They let me know it was a bit confusing. I had a very girly and feminine brand myself, but I was displaying masculine designs. They said my copy felt really generic and they weren’t convinced about my services, they felt a little bored looking through my site.
Like I said, I’m not a copywriting genius, I’m still working on my skills, but the critique that stood out the most to me was, “it sounds generic”. That’s because I was being generic. Without having a particular person in mind that I was talking to, no one felt inclined to keep reading. I wasn’t talking to them, I was talking at them and everyone else. They wanted to feel understood and enticed to keep reading…
This is why you’re not for everyone, and it’s okay.
In fact, it’s better than okay. You’re not for everyone and it’s brilliant!
Story time with Brianne:
I want you to listen in to something I recorded for you. It’ll help you feel confident in choosing and working with a specific audience... Click to listen.
When you give yourself permission to focus on a particular and specific audience, all of a sudden there’s a weight lifted. You know who you’re talking to now and it becomes easy to talk to them.
And you want to know what the best part is?
- They feel heard.
- They feel understood.
- They feel invested in.
- They want to work with you now!
- And they’re the ones who will refer you anyway…
I don’t see a negative here, do you?
No more fear! Give yourself permission today to get specific on who your audience is. Take action!
P.S. Yes, you can do this, and No, you won’t lose money...you’ll be pleasantly surprised to actually make more money. ;)