Most people encounter resistance to change at some level, but how much it hurts us (and potentially our business outcomes) depends on the individual. Before you think to yourself, this doesn’t apply to me, resistance to change can be present even when you are clear on the benefits of a given change.
To give you an example, I have had a number of clients who tell me that they want to focus on “affluent women” as their ideal client profile, though experience hesitancy to sharing their specific, narrowed focus with clients and professional referral sources, as well as in declaring that niche in their marketing collateral. They voice a desire in narrowing their niche in their marketing efforts, but are afraid of missing other opportunities outside of their niche.
Would you like to know if resistance to change is affecting your marketing plan and business results? I invite you to ask yourself these questions:
- Are you clear about your ideal client and what needs to happen to attract the number of those ideal clients that you truly want?
- Are you clear on what you need to do differently in order to support that goal of attracting this new ideal client?
- Are you willing to do what you know you need to do differently in order to attract this new ideal client?
These questions get to the heart of the challenges that people go through as they attempt to shift direction in their marketing efforts or business focus. This resistance to change can ultimately affect the results of your marketing efforts in myriad ways.
For one, successful professionals are often so busy that they do not (or cannot) carve out the time to fully think through the process, let alone act on it in a consistent way. Unfortunately, simply having a desire to change doesn’t produce new results on its own. (If only, right?)
In order to successfully make a change of substantial scale, such as the types of changes often required in order to optimize a marketing plan, your entire mindset needs to be aligned with why and how you’ll do it before any follow through can be effective. Oftentimes it takes outside input and guidance to maintain accountability and sustained effort in order to follow through and complete transitions successfully.
Another example I’d like to share with you involves a previous client who belonged to a formal networking group. The networking group was made up of very nice people who occasionally referred her business, but not her ideal clients. Despite this reality, she did not want to stop going, because she was getting some personal needs met since she enjoyed interacting with the members of the networking group. However through our work together she realized that this was marketing time and money being spent in the wrong pond. She stopped attending the networking group, though continued friendships with several of the members.
Say you’ve been interested in narrowing your niche, but have not fully completed the transition and continue networking with people outside of your ideal client group. Lackluster results might leave you thinking that narrowing your focus doesn’t work, though in a situation like this, the undesired outcome would more likely be a result of not having gone far enough to think through how your marketing efforts need to reinforce and set you up for your desired results.
If you’re shifting gears from a generalist focus to a narrowed focus around your ideal client, it might take some time to build momentum as you shift gears — though that rate at which you make the transition is up to you. It could be fast, or never happen at all depending on how quickly you are able to change the avenues through which you attract your ideal clients.
Think about this scenario and being faced with two choices. You’ve decided you would like to work with, say, affluent women, and are considering where your marketing efforts should go. You have a certain budget of time and money for marketing no matter which choice you make.
In one scenario, you spend the amount of money and energy with a general marketing focus, haphazardly mentioning your ideal client to professional referral sources, and perhaps hoping that affluent women magically appear on your doorstep. In the other, you can easily spend your marketing time, energy, and dollars in the pond where you actually want to catch a fish. In this scenario you would network where affluent women would show up like a country club or luxury travel destinations, with those professional referral sources who also work with affluent women to let them know about your specialty, and advertise in publications that affluent women might read, etc. It’s pretty obvious which scenario will produce better results, right?
If you’re ready to optimize your marketing efforts and want support making the transition quickly and successfully, I can help. Reach out to me today and we can discuss a support structure for your desired results: firstname.lastname@example.org.