The ability to easily build a targeted list is a key test of whether or not your positioning is narrow enough. When your target market is anyone who needs creative services, then practically anyone could be added to your list. And when everyone is a target, no one is—at least as far as building an actionable list goes.
Marketing is an uphill battle. It starts with the sheer cliff of adopting a narrow marketing positioning statement, followed by the steep and steady climb of content creation, and then, having reached a summitt, you have to cross the gorge of getting your message out. You can dedicate yourself to all the hard work of positioning and crafting messages, but if you don’t finish that last mile, unless you get your refined message out in front of the right audience, it can all be for nought.
So how do you get your message in front of the people who can benefit from your creative services? There are so many channels these days, and any and all of them may be ones for you to explore, but before you identify channels, you first need to identify the specific prospects you’ll attempt to reach through those channels. And so you need to start billing a list.
The ability to easily build a targeted list is a key test of whether or not your positioning statement is narrow enough (or if it’s too narrow, which is rarely the case). When your target market is anyone who needs creative services, of just about any kind, then practically anyone could be added to your list. And when everyone is a target, no one is—at least as far as building an actionable list goes.
But if, as we imagined last week, we had the positioning of a photography studio that specialised in shooting consumer food products, we know that we need to reach out to product managers, or marketing managers at food manufacturing companies.
And finding such prospects is easier now than it ever has been. When I was marketing my first company, the only way to build a list was to order expensive industry directories and manually work through these phonebook-sized tomes, identifying potential prospects. Then you had to type in all their contact information—rarely would you find an email address—and then set yourself to mailing and cold calling your list. Building a prospect list was a manual, time-consuming, and expensive process.
But today building a list is as easy as buying a subscription to Linkedin Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator allows you to identify leads using all manner of filters such as industry, title, geography, seniority level, company size, and more. And when you identify prospects you can tag them, and save them to lists.
Not only does Linkedin make it easy to find leads, it also makes it easy to reach out to them. And here’s a pro tip. You can filter any list based on the degree of connection you have to your prospects. First degree means you’re already connected. Second degree means you have at least one other connection in common, and third means you have no common connections. But as you reach out to these prospects with appropriate connection requests, each time someone accepts a request your second degree network grows. And if you are connecting to people within a specific industry, those connections can multiply quickly, expanding your network rapidly.
Now when you are prospecting on Linkedin you need to be respectful. Make sure that any follow up is clearly targeted to their interests. Of course Linkedin is not the only platform, or channel for reaching out, but it is the best platform for identifying your prospects in the first place. It sure beats long days of data entry from printed directories, followed by hours of licking stamps!
Next week I’ll share some additional tools you might need as you begin to reach out to prospects.