People all around the world are staying at home as much as possible. For the foreseeable future, live networking events and introductory meetings are a no-go. Now that it’s not possible to connect with others in more traditional settings, Microsoft partners will need to double down on effective online marketing – that is, if they want to keep growing their business in these uncertain times. But pitfalls are lurking on the world wide web, one of the most common being the notion that ‘the world is your stage.’ While it’s true that in theory, you can reach everyone from your home office, the reality is different: those who aim to turn everyone into customers won’t reach anyone.

The importance of being picky

You will need to be picky: if you want prospects to actually hear you, you should communicate with a select group of people rather than everyone who can read. Defining your target audience might seem like a scary thing to do, but remember you’re not necessarily excluding people – you’re simply deciding which people you want to reach most.

The more specific you are, the more tailored your message will be – and the bigger the chance it will appeal to your target audience, so you’ll become top of mind and they’ll think of you when they set out to look for a solution to their problem. Here’s the thing: if you want to be chosen, you’ll need to choose.

Help! How to choose? A 3-filter approach

  1. Filter 1: Determine the types of customers you prefer to work with. Be as specific as you can. Jot down their job title, level of education, the type of organization they work for, the type of car they drive, and the social media channels they use, among other things.
  2. Filter 2: Have a look at the industries your favorite customers work for and find out which type of business is looking for your product or service. Your list may contain two amazing shipbuilding companies, but if the industry in question doesn’t offer much potential beyond that, you might want to target a different audience.
  3. Filter 3: Figure out which challenges your target audience is facing and connect these to your product or service. How can you help them solve the problems that keep them up at night? The answer to that question forms the foundation for your online marketing strategy!

Would you like to get more advice on growing your business? Our expert, Youri Kuper, saves a couple of slots every month to discuss growth with business owners and other business builders at Microsoft partner companies. If you need to lay out some clear next steps, schedule your session with Youri now.