Cezar asked the following in response to the email about how being ultra-specific is a good form of proof:
While it makes a lot of sense to do so (be very specific), the big question is, how would those 10 companies find me? How would I market to a niche that small?
Great question. There are several ways you could market to those 10 companies (really it will end being more than 10 companies that resonate with your marketing message, but for now let’s assume that it’s actually only 10 companies that meet your narrow criteria). Below are the ways I would suggest to a participant in my mentoring program or a client:
“Lumpy Envelope Campaign”
Use LinkedIn and any other data sources you can find to put together a list of those 10 companies and the people at those 10 companies you think are the right people to put a marketing message in front of. If you don’t know the right job role to approach, do some research first. You’ll want to find an email address and mailing address for each of these 10 people. Note: most people find this list-building research NOT FUN. Do it anyway. 🙂 You’ll learn a ton, and after all you’re only building a list of 10 people!
Next, put together 6 months worth of marketing outreach to send these 10 people. This will literally be physical, printed media like letters or postcards. You will send them something once a month until they ask you to stop. Unless you’re only doing microscopic software projects, you could send these letters or postcards via FedEx overnight delivery (or your country’s equivalent) and your marketing spend would be a tiny, tiny fraction of the client’s LTV.
I would not make your call to action (CTA) for this campaign to be hiring you. Instead I’d offer some trust-building education, an executive briefing, or a free strategy session consultation.
Check out Jake Jorgovan at Outbound Creative for more info on this.
Now that you’ve got a list of the right people’s email address, see if you can retarget ads to those people on Facebook. I’m not 100% sure Facebook will allow a retargeting audience this small. But if they do, retargeting is one small way you can start to “be everywhere” for those 10 people. They’ll be receiving your mailed packages. If you’re using FedEx, they will definitely be opening them. And now they can start seeing you in their Facebook feed. You’re starting to show up in more than 1 place for your prospects, which increases your visibility “surface area”.
If you can find a niche email list that you are reasonably confident your prospects subscribe to, then see about buying ad space in that email list.
Again, don’t sell your services in those ads–try to sell attending a webinar, booking a free consultation/strategy session, or downloading some piece of content so you have permission to continue marketing to them over email.
Mojca Mars at Super Spicy Media is a great resource to check for more info on this.
Ask For Introductions
Use LinkedIn to see if you have any connections to those 10 ideal clients. If you do, ask your connection (and follow up as necessary) for an introduction. Have a plan for your introduction (like to invite your ideal client to an invitation-only webinar, ask for a meeting, etc.).
See Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath for more info on this (even if you’re not selling to a big company the info in this book is awesome 🙂 ).
With the right kind of 10 ideal clients, doing a talk is an unbeatable way to build trust and increase their interest in hiring you all at the same time. For this to work you really need to have a unique or fresh take on some problem that’s an urgent, painful, or costly problem for them. And your talk needs to happen in front of the right audience. This is an excellent lead-generation technique, but there are a lot of “if’s” that need to check out, and that’s why I put it towards the bottom of this list.
Check out Matt Krause and his company Doppler Communications for more on speaking as lead-gen.
What About Content Marketing?
You should do this too, but I’d take your first 30 or 30 hours of writing effort and use it to put together a presentation that could be a live talk or a live webinar. Then I’d pull out certain pieces of it to use as written content marketing on your site. I think you’ll get the most benefit from proceeding in that order.
Need support with marketing your software development business? Start with http://thepositioningmanual.com.
The wheels on the proof train start turning again next time. Looks like the “97-pound weakling” car is up next,