A while back, C.J. Hayden, who contributes to Rain Today, wrote a wonderful article entitled “Are You Marketing the Right Stuff?”

Ms. Hayden believes that many struggling business owners may not be selling what people—or at least what their ideal customer—want to buy. She presents the example of a graphic designer who marketed identity packages to small, new businesses but discovered that they weren’t sophisticated enough to appreciate high-quality creative work. They were, instead, in search of the lowest price. When she shifted her focus to offering the types of services that larger, established companies needed—such as annual report design and customer/employee communications —her business grew fast and profitably. She also differentiated herself from her competitors.

In this and two other worth-reading vignettes, Ms. Hayden notes that the business owners who applied this principle successfully continued to use the skills they had developed. They continued to attend the same networking events, continued to meet with the same people for coffee, and in other ways, did pretty much the same things they had been doing. What changed was what they were marketing.

In her words:

“Maybe it’s time to re-examine not how you are marketing, but what you are marketing. Marketing the right stuff can allow you to find better clients with less effort. What’s the stuff that your ideal clients really want to have?”

I leave you with that thought, but I’m really curious to know how you’ve applied this idea to your business.

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