At the beginning of every new copywriting project I take on, I conduct an interview with the client to learn more about who they are, what they do, what makes their company unique, who their target audience is, and so on. It’s a thorough brand analysis that is essential for creating copy that truly captures the essence of their brand.
But one of the hardest parts about the interview process is getting clients to focus on who their target audience is. I always ask who their ideal customer is, and a great number of them try to take the “we’re all things to all people” approach.
And I hate it.
Trying to be all things to all people is almost always a terrible marketing strategy. It’s how you end up attracting unprofitable clients, and it’s how you end up blending in with a huge crowd of competitors, making your company just another in a huge sea of copycats.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with eliminating entire groups of people from your marketing messages. In fact, that’s a good thing.
Suppose you’re a residential contractor who does high-end remodeling and construction work on multi-million dollar homes. You might be tempted to also try to appeal to clients with small budgets and small homes, but trying to be all things to all people could end up causing you to take on unprofitable jobs or too unintentionally reposition your brand, causing you to lose out on the high-end jobs you once enjoyed.
What you need to do is spend some time thinking about the characteristics your favorite customers share. Do they tend to come from a specific demographic? Do they share a certain problem? Identify the traits of your best customers and go after other customers just like them. It will be far more profitable and enjoyable than trying to be all things to all people.