Local Marketers: My Biggest Mistake…
And What You Can Learn From It!
Written by Mike Cooch

This post will be a bit of a rant…but a really important one!

I’m going to tell you the single most important strategy decision I made at Kutenda, my Local Marketing Agency, that allowed me to grow to a multi-million dollar business in just 18 months.

THE. SINGLE. MOST. IMPORTANT. THING.

Hopefully that has your attention!

The mistake of not taking action on this strategy is costing Local Marketers so much time and money, while also making their lives so much harder and more frustrating, that I can’t stand to watch it any more!

But before I tell you what the strategy is, I want you to promise me something:

I want you to promise me that you actually take action on what I am going to tell you today.

You see, I know that most of you already know what I’m about to tell you, but I also know that the far majority of you aren’t taking action on what you know.

Which frustrates the heck out of me! Thus, the ‘rant’.

So before I tell you the thing I’m going to tell you, let me tell you the incredibly benefits you and your business will achieve by taking action on this insight.

Benefit #1 – More Response to Your Marketing Message

When you act on the this strategy, your marketing messages will be more targeted to your ideal audience, and therefore the response will go through the roof.

Benefit #2 – The Ability to Charge Premium Prices

Your ideal prospects will see you as an expert in the things that are most important to them. 

Because of this positioning, you will be able to command higher prices than your competitors all day long, with very little resistance.

Benefit #3 – Faster Sales Cycles

Because of your expert positioning and increased effectiveness and awareness of your marketing, prospects will come to you ready to buy. 

The time it takes to land a deal will shrink by as much as 67%.

Benefit #4 – More Efficient Service Delivery

You will no longer have to create new service packages every time you speak to a prospect. Instead, you’ll be offering the same package of service to all of your prospects, making your service delivery very standardized and efficient.

Benefit #5 – Dramatically Increased Profitability

When you add everything from the list above together, the profitability of your business soars. You experience efficiencies throughout your business that, when combined with premium prices, give you a financial advantage over your competitors that almost seems unfair.

How’s that for a list?

The reality is that the list goes on and on…more than I can cover in a single blog post. But those are the biggies!

Ok, what is this major strategy that I’m referring to?

Here it is…

Picking an Industry Niche and Focusing Like Heck on It!

You’ve heard that before, haven’t you?

I’m sure you have, because I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops in this industry for the last four years.

But…and it’s a BIG BUT…most of you still aren’t following the advice, and it’s making me crazy.

It’s so painful to watch the struggle that comes from watching you try to compete in a very competitive marketplace as an ‘undifferentiated generalist’, which is what most of you are doing!

Your marketing pitch has no differentiation.

Your prospects can’t tell you from your competition.

You have a ‘spray and pray’ sales approach, trying to sell to every small business under the sun (expensive and impossible!).

Your life is harder than it needs to be.

It makes no sense! Stop it!

Everything Changed for Me

Everything changed for me when I transitioned from my IT Services business, Everon, which was selling to small businesses in general, and I started Kutenda, which was focused on one industry niche.

Everon was a great business, but sales were always so tough to come by. The painful thing was that for years we knew why, but didn’t do anything about (I HATE to admit that!).

When we started Kutenda, I swore I wouldn’t make the same mistake. I picked one industry and locked onto it. 

And guess what happened?

Sales went through the roof!

It turns out old Dan Kennedy was right. Making your marketing message specific to an industry niche was the simplest, most effective change I could make at my business to explode my sales and profitability.

If I could only get all of those years of struggle at Everon back….uggggggghhh.

Don’t repeat my mistakes…please.

What to Do Next

Picking a niche does not have to be that hard. The short and dirty version is this:

  1. Look at your existing customers and determine if you have momentum in a particular niche already, or…
  2. Look at what other successful Local Marketing Agencies (start with ReachLocal and Yodle) are doing, and pick one of their niches…they are pursuing them because they’ve found them to be lucrative
  3. Based on what you’ve found, pick a niche that is interesting to you, you have some particular background in, or ideally both.
  4. Customize your sales and marketing message to speak to them directly.
  5. Stop selling to anybody else but the vertical you chose.
  6. Stick with it!

Admittedly, that’s a rough list. But it’s better than doing nothing.

I hope you enjoy, and most importantly, follow my advice and focus on a niche!

All the best,

Mike Cooch and the Local Sales Lab Team

Mike Cooch

Mike generates 6-7 big ideas before breakfast (conservative estimate). LocalSalesLab.com CEO & founder is a “serial entrepreneur” with Texas-sized passion for sales & marketing, business development, and technology. He is an expert in local and digital marketing. His businesses have been named to the INC Magazine List of Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row, and were also nominated as a Best Place to Work in their respective cities. He is married with three children, and is learning to surf in his new hometown of San Diego (lifestyle design, baby!).

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