Arguably one of the greatest copywriters that ever lived (certainly one of the highest paid) was a chap named Gary Halbert.
He famously challenged his students one day by asking them “If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who would sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side?”
Of course he got varying answers about what his students though they’d need to outsell Gary.
‘The best beef’ was one of the answers.
‘The freshest produce’ was another.
‘The best location’ seemed like a winner.
Then Gary would check-mate all of them by saying that the one advantage that he’d want is a STARVING CROWD.
And it makes total sense… after all you’d be hard pressed to get someone who’s feeling full to pay even half price for the finest meal.
But if someone’s hungry, they’ll happily pay for something that stops their belly rumbling, even if it’s overpriced, not that healthy for them or particularly fresh.
This is because they have a need… a problem that they need to solve. Now.
The problem we’re going to look to solve with this article is that most people promoting a business online are doing the equivalent of worrying about how tasty their burger looks, without giving more than a passing thought for how to find their own starving crowd.
Helping people to get totally clear on their niche and their messaging as well as identifying their ideal target audience has become something of a speciality of mine as I’ve hosted hundreds of deep dive coaching sessions lasting many hours that cover exactly how to do this.
Let’s dig in and break down how you can get totally clear on how to attract your own ravenous tribe and give yourself the best chance of success.
Sorry to start with a negative but if you’ve gone all in with selling a product and you’re leading with the product benefits and not focusing on the problem(s) that your market need help solving, then you’re going to have to play a little catch-up.
The reason that I say that is because 90%+ of home business owners typically see a product that they think people will want to buy because they like it themselves and get to work telling everyone why THEY like it, without really asking themselves ‘who else specifically needs this?”
Very few approach this from the perspective of ‘what big ass problem are people likely to pay me to solve for them?’
And here’s the night and day difference between most folks that are product centric vs those that are problem centric.
If you ask someone who is passionate about a product what they do, they’ll usually go straight to talking about the product, not so much about why you need it.
The product might be awesome, but if you’re pitching it to people who don’t have the problem that your product solves to begin with… or you suck at explaining what that problem is and why it needs to be solved, you’re probably going to struggle.
When you ask someone who’s passionate about solving a big ass problem for people, they’ll explain the concept around how most people are doing things a certain way that’s keeping them stuck, and how they can show people a better way.
Their messaging is then based on a powerful concept, not just a quick sales pitch.
People buy into concepts.
This is known in marketing vernacular as ‘your big idea’.
The most powerful movements of our time were built around ‘big ideas’.
Whole civilisations march to them.
The power of a ‘big idea’ can, and probably has, changed your life.
It probably just wasn’t YOUR big idea…yet!
Incidentally, if you ever apply to do a TED or a TED X talk, they’ll ask you to answer three questions, such is the power of this.
1, What is your big idea worth sharing?
2, What are you helping people to do… what’s your USP? (unique selling point)
3, What are the most relevant things you’ve done recently?
I’m pretty sure it was Russell Brunson (one of the founders of Clickfunnels) that defined marketing as ‘The breaking down of a false belief that your market has about a subject, and re-building that belief in a way that supports your cause’… or something along those lines ☺️
To illustrate, here’s Russell’s big idea that he used to promote Clickfunnels:
Websites are dead, and if you’re still using a website to try to make sales then your business is as good as dead too.
Websites don’t work anymore because they place too many obstacles and distractions in the way of the sale.
What you need is a sales funnel.
Sales funnels remove all the distraction and lead people right to the offer… not only that but you can stack your offers.
In order to build a funnel, you need Clickfunnels software (which Russell just happens to be a part of).
Do you see how he re-wires the belief from ‘I need a website’ to ‘I need a funnel’.
Once people are on board with that concept the next logical step is for them to buy Clickfunnels.
I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point.
Russell knew that a big problem people wanted solved is the ability to easily build sales funnels that would convert better than dusty old websites so he created a solution and put it squarely in the laps of his starving crowd, the online entrepreneur who hates building complicated websites and wants to sell more stuff… AKA you and me!
Did it work?
Well, Russel will charge $10,000 for you to take him to lunch for an hour… and you’ve gotta do it in his home town of Boise.
He’s a big shot now.
I’d say it paid off for him 😄
So what about you, do you have your big idea?
If not, let’s get to work figuring out what it’s going to be.
So, let me lay out a scenario for you.
Say a law was passed tomorrow, that stated that you could only get paid AFTER you’d actually helped someone to get a result with something.
What would that result be?
In other words, what do you actually help people to do?
And remember, you have to actually GET THEM A RESULT that helps them in some way, otherwise no bling-bling for you!
Here are the broad strokes of what actually makes people buy stuff.
Do you help people:
Make Life Easier / Simpler
Elevate Their Social Status
Remove Physical / Psychological Pain
Move Toward Pleasure / Impulse Buy
Now I refer to this as the broad strokes because, believe it or not, just about everything any online entrepreneur does fits into one of these categories.
This is something that I first heard from a guy called Don Miller of Storybrand and it’s something that we all need to consider when trying to nail our niche and our messaging.
There are two levels of what’s going on when someone’s thinking about buying something that they need (actually there’s three, but let’s focus on the first two for now).
Firstly there’s the external issue.
This may be someone telling themselves that they have to get a new lawnmower because their grass is getting too long.
Then there’s the internal issue.
This is the voice that’s going off inside their head saying ‘My neighbours must think I’m a total slob for letting my grass get this bad… If I don’t want to be seen as the street slob I’s better do something about it’
By buying a mower and cutting their grass, they’re actually elevating their social status and feeling like they’re a valuable and upstanding part of the community.
So there’s always a reason WHY people will look to buy your product or service.
Our job as marketers is to understand exactly what that reason is and to promote our product or service as the solution.
So, as you’re reading this article, I’d ask you to be thinking about what category your offer fits into… what do you actually do for people.
For us, we’re firmly placed in the ‘make money’ category by offering our Tribegeeks Academy membership.
Everything in there is geared around helping our members earn more money.
We may talk about engagement or growing your tribe, but ultimately it’s all leading to earning more money and having more freedom.
If you’re in the weight loss niche, what you’re actually doing is helping someone get out of physical or psychological pain.
Let’s use the internal and external approach again to illustrate that.
Externally someone might be saying ‘I really need to get in shape’ and you’d think that just recommending your new diet supplement would be enough to see them scrambling for their credit card.
But there are a million diet supplements out there, and 99% of them never address the internal issues that someone is having.
Internally someone is probably saying to themselves:
If I don’t get in shape, I’m worried that I’m taking years off of my life, or
I can’t be seen looking like this at that party… my outfit doesn’t even fit,
I’m sick of struggling up a simple flight of stairs and getting breathless,
I really want to be able to play with my kids without nearly dying!
And so on… and so on, the list is endless, but these are all huge pain points that are problems that your target market probably has, that makes a proposition far more powerful by talking to what’s going on internally.
So, when I posed the question ‘What do you actually do for people… what result do you get them?’
Let’s use weight loss as an example, because I know a lot of people reading this will relate to this niche.
Option A: You could say ‘I promote an amazing supplement that helps you lose weight and it’s got the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and essential micronutrients.’ (And yes, I pinched that straight off the website of one of the biggest weight loss/nutrition companies out there)
Option B: You could say ‘I help struggling busy Mums get back to their pre- baby weight…
And here’s the magic ingredient…
I want you to add ‘so they can’ and fill in the blank.
So they can keep up with the kids and still have their partner look at them ‘that way :)’
So they can enjoy their kids while they’re young and build great memories
So they can be Super-mum to their kids and still get everything else done.
Whatever you feel makes the most compelling message for your audience.
The thing is, by digging that bit deeper into what we actually do, we’re able to turn things into a concept and a powerful message.
Powerful messages build followings.
Nobody is going to champion you and see you as the go-to person because you preached… ‘Feel better, look better and live better with our range of healthy weight solutions. Our weight loss and weight management products are underpinned by science, tailored to help you reach your goals and reap the benefits of a balanced nutrition.’
I’m probably going to get killed because, again, I literally lifted that straight from a huge nutrition company website…
If instead you preach something like…’ Your kids are only young once and I believe it’s something Mums everywhere will regret forever if they’re not able to get the best out of those ‘once in a lifetime’ years over something as manageable as shedding some weight and getting in shape… that’s where I come in.
Now you have a concept and a message that Mums everywhere can get behind.
Your ‘big idea’ could be that there are a million diet supplements out there, people aren’t out of shape and unfit because they need more supplements.
They’re out of shape because they don’t have the secret sauce that you bring to the table… your XYZ system for success.
Now you have a TON of content you can create around your message.
Your story of how you did things when your kids were small and how you’d do it differently now.
Your Facebook group would be a place that out of shape busy Mums would see as a godsend where they could all interact and get advice from each other as well as just know that they’re not the only Mum in the world that wants to scream into a pillow at times 🙂
All because you evolved your message from just talking about the product to talking about the issues that people in your target audience actually want help with.
There’s really no way around it… you’re going to have to do some research.
Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as painful as it sounds 🙂
While we’re on the subject, let’s also tackle the other question that often pops up when we’re talking about nailing our niche…
The short answer to that question is no, you shouldn’t, as long as you feel that you’ve got value to add and you can differentiate what you do in some way.
Again this leans on you having a strong message that people can get behind that makes you stand out in the crowd.
But you DO want there to be a crowd.
Do you remember how we started this article, with Gary Halbert saying that the one thing he valued above all else was a starving crowd for his offer?
Well in this day of highly competitive online selling and marketing there are few, if any good sized starving crowds that aren’t being pursued by a TON of marketers.
The good news is, most of them suck at marketing… thank goodness!
Most people are waving their company banner or listing the ingredients of their latest doo-dad just hoping and praying that somebody bites.
Very few are well versed in what their audience actually wants and focusses on how to solve the problem(s) that their market is struggling with.
A river that flows 24/7/365.
All the traffic in the world is already flowing in that river.
Our job as marketers isn’t to create a new river.
No, our job is to find out where that river is flowing and jump in and get as wet as we can!
In other words, find out where your ideal buyers are already spending their money and divert some of that flow of money in your direction.
A literal ‘income stream’.
So in order to do this we need to know a few things.
1, Who are we looking to attract and what are the issues that these folks are struggling with?
2, Who are our competition in this niche?
3, What are our competition doing well that’s working?
4, What are they doing badly that we could do much better?
This means doing the dreaded research in order to come up with a plan of action for our business.
Now many marketers will recommend coming up with a huge and detailed customer avatar at this point where you list out all of the details of your perfect client, how many kids they have and all of their demographic and psychographic information.
And that’s fine if that’s the way you like to work.
I like to keep things simple so I’m going to ask you to answer just two questions.
1, Who can you help?
2, What do they want… and why? (OK, technically that’s three questions😄)
Let’s say you want to look for people who’ve bought a puppy during lockdown (impulse buy) and now they’re struggling.
You don’t need to know everything about them at this point, age, income bracket etc are going to be varied and somewhat irrelevant for this exercise.
They have a puppy and they’re struggling.
What do they want and why?
They want to be able to stop the puppy from chewing their house to splinters now they’re back at work. (Physical/psychological pain)
They want the dog to come back when it’s called so they look like a good dog owner instead of a beetroot faced maniac shouting at a puppy in public.(status)
They want to be able to take the puppy out with them and have it trained not to freak out and run away. (make life simpler)
We could go on for days… 🙂 But if you’d like some resources to see what people are asking for help with around your given area of expertise, here are a few great resources.
(See the image below with returns of questions and content ideas related to ‘puppy training’)
Another great strategy is to physically interview members of your existing audience if you have one.
This is something that I did in the days when we getting started in our niche.
I reached out to a few highly engaged group members and asked them if they’d be Ok to hop on a Zoom call with me, and I’d give the 20 minutes of free coaching where they could ask me anything, if I could have 20 minutes to pick their brain.
Nobody said no.
I’d ask them questions like:
What was the main problem you were looking to solve by joining our group?
What’s helped you the most to solve that problem?
What do you feel is the main thing holding you back from getting the thing you want?
What do you think we could do better?
What do you love the most about the group?
If you could have absolutely anything (perfect case scenario) to help you with what you want to do, what would that look like?
It gave us a TON of information about what our audience are struggling with and what they want in a real world sense.
It also gave us insight into the kind of language our audience are actually using so we could tune our messaging into their frequency even more.
Use whatever methods suit you the best but you’ll need to get a good understanding of who you’re looking to serve and what you need to create in order to serve them effectively.
If you’re not talking about the thing your audience want when they first discover you, chances are you’ll get ignored.
So we need to know what that looks like.
Next we need to know what else is out there.
There are two sure-fire ways to do this.
Number one way to do this is to turn to our old friend Google.
Go to google.com and type in the terms that you think your ideal audience would be looking for and:
A, See what suggestions Google throws up in the search box as you’re typing (these are all questions that have been asked of Google recently) and
B, Check out the top sites that are listed and look at how they’re structured.
Take a look at the language that they’re using on their website.
What does their offer look like and how are they leading people to it?
Are they using a lead magnet to tempt people onto their email list?
Is it a good looking lead magnet?
If they have an email opt-in, I’d recommend jumping on their list and looking at what kind of emails they’re sending out.
When are they making their offers?
What kind of offers are they?
How much value are they providing?
You’ll want t o arm yourself with as much information about what these sites are doing as possible.
*Note. In no way am I endorsing copying anyone’s content and trying to pass their ideas and content off as yours.
What I am advising you to do is recon the competition to look for areas that you could improve on to give you the edge in your marketing.
The second way to see what’s working for our competition in our niche is to check out who’s running ads.
We want there to be ads.
If people are running ads in your niche, it means that there’s money already being spent there.
Ads are expensive and if they weren’t fruitful then the people running them would stop doing it.
Again, check to see the results that Google returned. The results at the very top were likely ads (if your niche is a good one) and will have the word Ad next to it on the left.
Next we’re going to head over to Facebook to see who’s running ads to what there.
To do this, go to: https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/
Select your territory by region and ad category (all ads) in the drop down menus and enter the search term you’d like to check to see who’s running ads for.
As we can see, Facebook has returned around 1500 ads on this search (obviously I Couldn’t show them all here!) that we can go in and examine to see what messages are being used, where people are being sent to from the ads, how many ads the creatives are being used for (an indicator of a well performing ad) and the language and vibe that the competition are employing.
This should give us plenty of ideas on what we could and should be doing to target our ideal clients and customers based on what’s already working for others as well as what our group members have already told us they want.
There are basically two motivators in life and certainly it’s true of marketing.
There’s the carrot…
Then there’s the stick!
In other words people are motivated to either move toward pleasure or to move away from pain.
It’s a simple matter of fact that, of these two motivators, the stick is far greater persuader.
This is why most people will do little more than bare minimum to make their dreams and desires a reality, whereas, conversely most people will do absolutely anything to make something that’s torturing them stop.
So with that in mind it’s a good idea to do a bit of gentle knife twisting and causing a bit of pain (in a nice way because we know it’s in our prospects best interest 😉).
The way we do that is to shine a light on what it’s costing our ideal buyers to NOT have the thing they want right now.
For example, if you know you have an offer that could see your prospects generating 10 leads per day, every month that goes by, they just missed out on 300 potential leads.
If they wait a year, that 3600 leads that they could have potentially been promoting offers to, over and over again to make more sales.
So in order to make your message even more compelling, ask yourself.
What’s it costing your clients right now to NOT have the result that you can provide them with?
And how can you communicate that in a way that motivates them to take action NOW?
Be gentle though, we don’t want our audience to think we’re using bullying tactics to force them to buy.
We’re more like the concerned friend who’s saying to their pal ‘come on take your medicine… how else can you expect to get better? You don’t want to be ill do you?’
Doing this can add a TON of extra weigh t to your message and make it more compelling for your audience.
So let’s have a little re-cap shall we?
We’ve highlighted the need to clarify exactly what our niche is and how important it is to have a compelling ‘big idea’ for people to rally behind (and they will) as well as how to research what others are doing inside our niche to help us come up with a TON of content and marketing ideas.
Probably one of the most asked questions that we get is ‘how can I make more sales?’ And it’s a completely understandable question.
The thing is that most people think that making sales comes down to doing one of two things better.
They think that either there’s some deep, dark secret that the guru’s aren’t telling them and once they learn what it is, money will rain down from the skies and champagne will flow like water 😆
I can tell you will 100% certainty, there is no secret and there never has been.
It’s all a rouse to keep you stuck and buying courses.
Secondly they think that they just need to get their product in front of enough people to be successful.
It’s just all about numbers.
This is flawed thinking.
If you show your product to 100 people and they don’t buy is it logical to expect different results if you show it to 1000 people?
Your problem isn’t that you’re not showing your product to enough people, it’s just that the people don’t have a relationship with you and they don’t view you as the go-to person to help them get what they want yet.
There’s little or no KLT… or know, like and trust.
THE best way to generate massive amounts or credibility as well as a strong relationship with your tribe is to invite them into a Facebook group.
If you practice adding value to your tribe as well as mentioning your big idea and how you can help them get the thing they want often, sales will follow.
To wrap this article up, I’d implore you to take some time to really dig into your niche and you messaging and make it the backbone of what you do online.
Build a tribe around it, add a TON of value by creating helpful content that positions you as an expert and the go-to person who can show them how to get what they want and make offers to help them get there faster with less stress.
If you’re looking for help doing this you’re going to want to check out the Tribegeeks Academy.
You can get a 14 day trial for just £1 right now and you get to literally get access to everything that a Facebook genius and marketing obsessed nerd know about how to build your business.
Or you can keep trying to figure it all out on your own.
I’m sure you’re not losing a TON of time and money trying to put all the pieces together yourself 😉
I help home business owners and online experts build their Facebook tribe, dial in their message and automate their sales process using organic methods so they never have to beg people to buy.
With online false claims and under-delivery of promised results becoming the norm for many right now, I believe that honest, relationship based business promotion is the way forward for anyone looking to build an online brand.
I’ve worked with thousands of business owners to help them ‘find their voice’ to clarify their message, as well as show them how to make offers in the most natural and efficient way.