How Do You Know Whom You Serve?



How will you better clarify whom you serve and what you do for them in 2016?
~Chris Brogan

Who is your target market? What is your niche? These are the questions that marketing experts typically use to get businesses to think about their customer base. The prompt from Chris Brogan seems on first glance to be asking that question.

And that question has an answer.

My clients are intelligent, emotionally aware polymaths between 30 and 60 (mostly in their 40s and 50s) who have the logistics of adult life covered but have unexpressed parts of themselves they want to make room for. They are creative and independent at heart though they may struggle to express that. They want to balance their dreams and their adult reality in a healthy and mature way. I help them move forward despite their fears.

But the focus of Brogan’s prompt is slightly different. How will I better clarify who I serve? How will I engage with this question of service, this question which is related to marketing but is bigger than that.

My business serves many people.

Firstly, it serves me. It provides me income and a meaningful connection with people in which I can be part of bringing good into the world.

Secondly, it serves my clients. I help people take powerful actions in service of their dreams. These actions serve my clients and in many cases the people their lives touch. This is the part of the work that marketers are getting at. These clients are the target market.

Thirdly, it serves my family. My income becomes a conduit to supporting my kids. With money earned through my business, I give them food and shelter and activities that expand their minds and develop their skills. Doing good work and connecting with clients in ways that transform their lives brings me joy and satisfaction that I bring back to my children in the form of presence, attention, and fun.

How can I better clarify who I serve and what I do for them?

I can tell stories about how my work has served people in the past. I can tell stories of how I envision people being helped by my work.

I can ask my current clients what sort of people they would refer to me and for what sort of challenges.

I can contact my current and past clients and ask them specific questions about the outcomes from working with me.

I can make lists of activities I would like to do with my kids that require me to have income from the business.

I can make lists of things I want that I can afford with income from my business.

The wider I can cast the net of what I do for people and who I do it for, and the deeper I envision the impact I have in the world, the stronger my energy grows for the detailed logistics of marketing.

I must go wide to go deep.

I must explore the full realms of people I serve through my work, not just my clients. I must remember the people who do not become my clients who are inspired by the way I show up in a meeting or two words of wisdom I share in a brief conversation.

I must clarify whom I serve for financial gain and whom I serve for free. I must look, even, at who I am able to serve because of the time I spend working.

How will I do this?

I will brainstorm and mind map and finger paint and journal. I will dance and move with the questions: Whom do I serve and what do I do for them?

I will look at the question from multiple perspectives, through the traditional marketing lens, but also through my body, my heart, and my imagination.

I will be open to what I discover and I will step bravely into providing what I can.

This prompt is Chris Brogan’s contribution to Quest2016. Chris Brogan explores how people use content and community to build marketplaces around areas of belonging. He is CEO of Owner Media Group , providing simple plans and projects for business success.

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