A couple of interesting streams of thought crashed together loudly recently. I had a coaching client could not identify his target company. His job search marketing plan until this point consisted exclusively of responding to job ads. Needless to say, not much was happening.
At the same time I participated in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) sponsored by my alma mater, Northwestern University, on creating strategic online social media content. Odd to think these two concepts collided but they did. Let me explain.
The first step in any social media campaign is to identify your target audience. You can’t just say “everyone can use my product”. Usually it is not true because each individual audience member requires a slightly different approach. This is called “niche marketing”.
When I started The Interview Doctor business in 2005 my coach, Sherry, kept asking me, “Who is your audience?” I kept responding, “anyone can use this service”. My logic was that everyone knows someone who is out of work or trying to change careers or even someone who wants to advance their career. Any of those people could use my services. Sherry knew that was just not true. But I did not understand. I put out information in a broad peanut butter spread hoping that my material would magically fall into the hands of someone who could use it.
Wrong. This is not the correct approach. Or rather, this approach is less effective. This approach makes you a small fish in a huge pond. You will get overlooked.
The better approach, according to the smart marketing folks at Northwestern University, is to think long and hard about your audience. What do they look like? What do they do? Who are they exactly? Then you can tailor your message to the specific people who will value what you have to offer.
It might be counterintuitive that by tailoring to a specific audience your outreach will be more likely to reach the intended audience than a peanut butter spread message across the masses. It is easy to think that hitting as many people as possible will increase your chances for success.
But actually niches are riches. Being more specific makes you a bigger fish in a smaller pond.
This absolutely applies directly to the job search. My client was directing his message (his marketing) to a huge audience. He received no response. When he more specifically identified his niche (specific jobs, people and companies) marketing became easier. Social networking became easier to do. The people and companies he needed to target became more obvious to him and he became more appealing to his focused audience. He made himself more visible when he was not a small fish in a big pond.
Niche marketing allows you to focus your job search and your message to the intended audience that can actually respond to your message. This saves you time and increases the leverage you get from your effort.