Everyone is Not Your Customer

In a recent Ask Leo! on Business post I discussed several reasons that people avoid writing content for their websites. One of those reasons I’ll refer to here as the fear of not being able to please everyone.

The problem is simply failing to realize that everyone is not your customer.

I suspect most have heard the adage “you can’t please everyone”. And yet, in our personal lives as well as in business we try very hard to get everyone to like us. (In the case of social media that can even be taken literally.)

That path leads to madness. Or at least frustration. Not everyone will like us. To be honest, not everyone should; we’re all too different from one another.

And yet, business after business tries to attract any and every warm body that might conceivably have an interest, whether or not they ever really would.

On the surface this wouldn’t seem to be too huge an issue. What’s wrong with attempting to attract too large an audience?

What’s wrong with fishing in the largest possible pool?

Even fishermen target their catch. The best don’t just drop a line anywhere, they fish where the specific fish they’re looking for happen to be swimming on that day. They don’t use just any bait, they tailor it to their target. They use the skills and techniques they’ve developed for that specific fish.

When you target any customer, you lose the opportunity to focus on your ideal customer. By “focusing on everything”, you focus on nothing.

Be like those fishermen. Play to your strengths to attract a better crowd – the crowd you’re looking for, and the crowd that’s looking for you.

And when you’re writing, write for them. Don’t let the ones you actually don’t care about serve as an excuse to hold back.