Self-professed thought leaders and entrepreneurial gurus lecture about this ad nauseum: define your ideal client, then find unique ways to get your services in front of them. (Maybe it just seems “ad nauseum” to me because I ghostwrite a lot of business content and I see it taught over and over.)
It’s solid advice, of course. However, there’s a missing element — a “blank” that a lot of business owners struggle to fill in.
Where is my ideal client? How can I get my services seen by him/her?
Or perhaps the more challenging question is:
I won’t spend time advising you on how to sketch out your ideal client, because there’s no shortage of teaching resources on that point.
However, today in my LinkedIn news feed, I saw a post by Daniel T. Russell that offered a refreshing, novel example of connecting with one’s target market. And sometimes, a strong example conveys more than didactic words can. That’s why I’m sharing it.
Russell is a CPA in Baltimore, Maryland.
Russell’s LinkedIn post showed him at the Miami Boat Show, offering consultation on the tax advantages of owning a yacht in partnership with a company offering yacht charters.
This accounting professional found a way to get his services in front of a largely affluent crowd — which I’m guessing is a market for which he’s angling.
Additionally, this approach is unique compared to more common, run-of-the-mill tactics like direct mail, advertising, free webinars, speaking at the Rotary Club and so on. Unique is important because it either:
- a) gets you noticed above the competition; or
- b) puts you in a place where your competition isn’t even present.
This example also hints at the potential power of collaboration between two very different businesses. Too often entrepreneurs fail to recognize the benefits of partnering with a non-competing business with the same target market. At the very least, collaborating businesses can boost their marketing ROI just by sharing expenses. And by co-promoting to a combined mailing list, each business instantly gains exposure to target prospects. And where “two heads are better than one,” both parties can benefit from brainstorming together. Other resources can be shared, too, such as skill sets, know-how, connections, tools and more.
Finally, what’s most brilliant to me about this idea (and perhaps it was accidental) is that the tax consulting was being done in a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which enthusiasts were surrounded by something they love, putting them in a receptive frame of mind.
Rather than feeling pressured and “sold to”, which might’ve put them on their guard, prospects were already chilled out and happy, and more likely to receive a subtle pitch. Plus, that good-time feeling is something those prospects will now forever associate with Russell and practice. Not a bad way to begin a potential business relationship.
I hope Russell’s example will get your wheels turning about different ways to reach the people with whom you want to do business. Maybe you’ll consider ways to partner with other businesses for your mutual benefit. Maybe you’ll find ways to appeal to your prospect that pair your name and offerings with positive emotions.
If you create a marketing initiative that’s truly out-of-the-ordinary and would like to share, feel free to reach out to me here on LinkedIn. I might write about you and shine a spotlight on your inventiveness.