I am going to share with you a new social media tool that is coming on the market soon. I was lucky enough to get my hands on it early.
But first, a little story.
Anyone with even a smidgen of business savvy or experience knows you need to focus on your target market. You simply can’t be all things to all people.
When I started my consulting business I had two target markets (that I thought were related enough to work).
The first was chamber of commerce professionals. I was a chamber President/CEO for four years, after being a member, board member, and chairman, so that was a natural to me. I had gone through one of the chamber industries established training programs, served on the state association, and was pretty well known in the industry, especially on the West Coast. I loved to serve chamber pros and the industry.
That was target market #1.
The second target market was their small business members. This is were I got into a little bit of trouble. My thinking was that I would serve the chambers and the chambers would be a natural conduit to serve their members, millions of them.
But here’s the thing, in a chamber’s membership you will find doctors, lawyers, mechanics, plumbers, politicians, and everything in between. Most chambers have several hundred to several thousand members, 90% of which are small businesses.
All of them have unique needs. In some ways, the small business market isn’t a market at all. It is massive and diverse crowd.
You Must Focus and Deliver Value
In this day of specialization and micro-niches you simply can’t breakthrough the clutter to reach and serve that broad of an audience. You can’t specialize enough in every category to be the best (which is a requirement today, to be the best in the world at your niche in your target market).
But, as you can guess, even though I knew better, I just couldn’t help but create my content and try to build relationships with Chamber Professionals AND THEIR MEMBERS from all over the country and world.
This was a huge mistake that probably set me back a year or 18 months in growing my business.
I was constantly in this internal tug of war, creating content and training programs for Chamber Pros (who have one set of problems) and for their members (which was not focusing on anyone’s specific problem at all).
Then I found this Social CRM (customer relationship manager) called Nimble that promised to help organize and facilitate the relationship building phase of the social media funnel. It did that and more.
Here is the way of it. One of the first things you do with Nimble is import all your social media contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, Google+, Foursquare, etc. Nimble then organizes all these relationships visually and gives you tools to nurture your business relationships so they lead to deals.
WOW. What an eye opener it was when Nimble showed me who I was really engaging with and where I was truly focused.
My list of recently contacted people included almost no true prospects, just contacts. I was busy, busy, busy online but my focus was so scattered that I wasn’t moving people through the new funnel from Awareness to Relationship Building to Conversion. Too much of my time and energy was being spent creating content for and nurturing relationships with people that weren’t in my pipeline and never would be.
It was an epiphany. Right then I knew I had to focus on one niche (Chamber Professionals) and deliver immense value only to them (at least at first, you can branch out later). The results were almost immediate.
I invested time and energy in cleaning up my contact list, through Nimble, so that I was truly focused on my target market. I started adding more and more targeted contacts to Nimble every chance I had, eventually building up a very solid database of people (probably the largest in my industry) in my target market. That translated to me serving them better and more consistently. It allowed me to quickly position myself as the very best in the industry at what I do.
I highly recommend that you download and give Nimble a try. They have a free trial.
Exciting News – Nimble is releasing a Chrome browser extension that allows you to import contacts from pretty much any site on the internet. Just highlight their name and right click. All sorts of publicly available info will be surfaced that will help you nurture your relationships and get more conversions.
And, if the person (or company) that you highlighted isn’t already in your Nimble database, they will be added. Just like that. No data entry. No upkeep on your part. Your contacts do the upkeep because this is a social CRM, not an old school management CRM.
This is very powerful and potentially game changing stuff. If you are struggling to be the king of your niche and target market (or even if your not), I suggest you give Nimble and their new Chrome extension a try.
If you run a chamber of commerce or do sales, you will want to use Nimble to relationship build with each and every business owner in your market. There really isn’t an excuse to not have the members and not-yet-members in your database.
Warning: The Nimble Chrome extension is a bit addicting. Every time you see a name of someone that should be in your database, you will be tempted to right click and let Nimble do its thing.
I am told the phone app isn’t too far behind.
Disclaimer: I am a customer of Nimble but do not have a financial relationship with them at this time. I may in the future because I love teaching chamber pros how to grow their chambers through social media and digital marketing. I might even tell their members about it : )
Join the conversation about Nimble in the Chamber Pros Forum.