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Got a fantastic question from Sam yesterday.
It covers a few issues and thought processes really slow you down.
I've seen a LOT of people with these types of mindset issues so listen up.
"I'm just starting out with PPC management (for local service businesses) and trying to get my first client. I know it's better to target just one niche and tailor messaging towards them...and I know lawyers and cosmetic dentists are probably the biggest adwords spenders...but it's also a lot harder to find out who the business owner/decision maker is at these larger businesses/practices...and I want to validate to myself that I can make money from this ASAP.
So I'm thinking about making a list of 100 small trade business owners first (i.e. roofers, builders, landscape gardeners) and target them first (I will only pick businesses already spending on adwords or SEO). This way I can hopefully get one or two clients to build up my confidence...
IS THIS A BAD IDEA?!"
But maybe not in the way you think.
Let me explain:
First up, you're already niching yourself around PPC management. So there's probably no need to also niche around a particular industry. There are exceptions, but in most cases this just needlessly limits your ability to scale and introduces all sorts of competitive issues between your clients.
Now you might want to target your marketing to specific industries such as roofers or builders or whatever, and that's smart, but it's very different to niching your entire business around them. Don't confuse the two.
Next let's take a look at the idea of confidence building and validation.
You *might* be able to get some fast results with your list of 100 "easy" targets. Maybe.
What most people find is it's harder than they originally thought. In fact, it's just as much work going after these guys as anyone else. Before you know it you're a month or two down the track of validating your easy market and still have nothing to show for it.
And when you get one as a client?
You sell a $500 package with no profit, generate no real results, and get no meaningful case study.
All you've done is validated you can get a crappy client.
You end up working your tail off and getting no where for six months and then don't have the time or mental capacity to focus on the clients you really want.
Very little confidence-boosting going on.
The idea it's harder to find a decision maker at a larger business is a limiting belief. Get rid of it. Even if it was true it's not something you want to make high level big impact business decisions on. It's a minor factor at best. Much more important to look at the bigger picture and factor in the big issues.
Things such as:
How much are they spending on marketing?
What problems have they got that you can help them solve and what are they worth?
How much do you have to charge to make a real business out of this?
Where do you want to be in 6 months? A year? Three? (Start with the end in mind.)
In most cases the numbers just don't add up with small fee clients.
(Some people need to learn this lesson the hard way and bang their head against that wall for a few months before they get it. That in itself is a good lesson but it's the slow and painful way to do things.)
You don't have to go after big league markets like lawyers or cosmetic surgeons -- but think bigger than small local businesses who are only spending a few hundred bucks a month on marketing.