This is a really interesting question I’ve heard a few times since the book came out.
I love it because I have some great personal experience in this area.
First, the space that I came up in, residential real estate coaching, I have multiple clients who run 7 figure businesses in a market where the total universe of people who can pay $500 a month or more for any kind of service is around 10k. MAYBE 15k in a good year.
Very small market.
Then there’s a great example I give in the MicroFamous book. Brandiose is a branding and design agency that specialized in major league baseball. In the last couple of years, they just started expanding to other minor league sports based on the rock-solid reputation they built.
Because they were so focused on their target market, they came up with a brilliant idea, what I would call a Clear & Compelling Idea, that spoke deeply to those minor league sports teams. But that idea doesn’t apply to any other business that might want branding and design.
But the founders of Brandiose knew who they wanted to work with, targeted them specifically, and as a result, we’re able to uncover a Clear & Compelling Idea that spoke deeply to those ideal clients. In a world of agencies that build websites and do design and branding, can you how painful it would be for most agencies owners to limit themselves to one type of client? But it worked.
I think we wildly over-estimate how big a market we need to build a 6 or 7 figure business.
So let’s dig into 3 questions and 3 benefits of going Micro.
- 1. How small a market can support a multi-6 or 7 figure thought leadership business?
I can tell you by experience that just 5-10k people can support multi 6 and 7 figure businesses. Obviously, you might have to build an audience larger than that over the long haul because you’ll attract people that will never be a good fit.
But the more refined and razor-sharp your Clear & Compelling Idea is, the more you’ll attract the right people and repel everyone else, happily and gladly.
So if you are strongly attracting the right people, and strongly repelling everyone else, you don’t need a huge audience.
2. If you built the #1 thought leadership business a particular niche, is that niche profitable enough?
Just by talking to the influential people in that space goes a long way toward knowing how much money is floating around a particular niche. When you get to know their problems, and you understand their business models, you’ll get a pretty good sense of the ROI they would get in return from having a specific problem solved in their business. That gives you an idea of how valuable their problem is.
You can also look at how many events, trade associations, and industry groups are active in that space. Look at the coaching and consulting programs that are for sale in that space, how expensive are they? Look at the structure of how people get paid in that space, do they get paid in large chunks?
This is how real estate, franchise consulting, executive recruiting and a bunch of other industries works. If that’s the case, even if there’s not a ton of TOTAL profit floating around in the space, if your average prospect gets paid in chunks, chances are they’re willing to invest part of that chunk in services or programs that promise more big chunk paychecks.
3. If you dominated that niche, would you ever need to leave that niche?
As thought leaders, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of sameness because we just don’t want to specialize. We can envision impacting many different types of people, many industries, and niches, and we want to flex our creative muscles solving many different types of problems.
But the thought leaders who dominate their space don’t dabble. They don’t confuse the market. They don’t dilute their power by spreading themselves thin.
That’s what I see many thought leaders doing.
Because their business isn’t growing as fast as they want, they expand their offerings, they expand their market, and they expand their marketing message.
All this does is make the core Idea of their business LESS clear and LESS compelling. Often this guarantees that they never cut through the noise, and ironically, causes the business to attract even fewer ideal clients. Especially in a hyper-competitive online environment.
When you have a Clear & Compelling Idea, it cuts through the Noise online and gets the attention of the right people. Once they’ve heard that Clear & Compelling Idea, they can’t un-hear it.
Everything we do to dilute and water down that Idea in order to appeal to more people, the more power our Idea loses. The more it gets drowned out by all the Noise online.
So because you expand out of your target niche, ask yourself if you really dominated that niche, would you ever need to leave it? Because if you’re looking to break out of your current niche because you’re not growing as fast as you want, expanding your offerings, expanding your market, and expanding your marketing message may not be the answer you think it is.
Now let’s shift gears and look at the Benefits of Going Micro…
- 1. It’s easier to appear to be “everywhere” to the right people.
This is what I hear the most from prospects. I don’t always hear that they came across me on a specific podcast, or a specific referral source, it’s more like “I see you everywhere.”
And it’s not because I’m active everywhere, because I definitely am not. It’s because I focus my efforts and concentrate my energy on the places where my ideal clients are paying attention.
This effect is amplified when we have a very Clear & Compelling Idea that speaks deeply to our ideal client, and we drive that Idea home in our marketing over and over and over again.
Not only does that cut through the Noise faster, but it grabs attention and stays in the minds of our ideal clients. Once they hear that Clear & Compelling Idea, they can’t un-hear it. The cat is out of the bag. And then they start to see us in all the places and online platforms they hang out it, it makes it feels like we’re “everywhere” when we really aren’t.
2. Instant credibility from your client roster, testimonials, and success stories.
If a prospect goes to your website and sees your testimonials or your client list, and they don’t recognize any of the people, you might be playing in too big a niche.
Especially when you and your business are first breaking into the market, going “micro” gives you instant credibility because once you get your very first well-known, influential client, they open doors to more. Other people in that niche know them, respect them, look up to them. That makes the next round of sales even easier.
3. As you repeat this process, you end up building a Home Base of influential, affluent, respected clients with success stories that speak deeply to your ideal client.
That Home Base is a powerful asset in the long-term growth of your thought leadership business. It gives you all kinds of options for growth, without putting the core of your business at risk.
It gives you back profits in every form – cash, time, and energy – that you can draw on to decide how to grow from that Home Base. It’s like having a Home Base halfway up the mountain you’re climbing. It makes everything easier.
For example, when you have a solid Home Base, it opens up your creative mind to new solutions, new directions, new strategies you’d never think of otherwise. You make choices from a position of strength, not desperation.
So those are the 3 benefits, and that’s just scratching the surface. We talked a little about the Clear & Compelling Idea, and how that gave Brandiose such a huge advantage in their market.
There’s a great solo episode of the podcast where I dug deep into the Clear & Compelling Idea, or you can pick up a copy of the book at MicroFamousBook.com.
Thanks for listening, sharing, engaging, replying, and all the kind words about the book. We’ll see you soon!
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