Have you ever committed a public faux pas? Tripped up on the street or said hello to a complete stranger thinking it was a colleague or friend?
Have you been in public with your zip down?
It’s totally embarrassing. Sometimes it is just our own embarrassment but it can also be added to if we know someone else, even a complete stranger, saw us make our slip up.
Why do we care if we embarrass ourselves in front of a complete stranger?
In our early years of education, we are taught a lot of things both academic and behavioural which have little value in adult life. It’s implicit in the education system to teach us to conform to the crowd. I have been taught things I have never needed, like working out angles on triangles and understanding how a frog works. In the classroom and in the playground we are taught conformity is the path to follow.
Despite what I was taught about grades and certificates, I have never needed my qualification certificates. Every job or role I have taken has been about the client or employers belief in my ability to do the job. I have never needed my certificates. I am sure you need them for certain professions but for me, they were never relevant.
For your goals, business or life some opinions are not important. Some people are not important. Conformity doesn’t work.
In order to achieve my goals, I don’t need 7 billion people to know or understand me, I don’t even need 7 million people like me. I need a few thousand. I need a tiny percentage to love me.
If 97% of people never read this article that is OK with me. If 10% think it is crap, that is ok too. I am just looking for 3% to love it.
97% of the industry, population, market may never know you exist. What is important is that the right 3% love you.
That’s it. 3%. Why not 1% or 2% or 5%.
For me, 3% embodies what I do. In marketing and sales, if you achieve a 3% response rate or 3 % conversion rate you are doing a good job.
If you are making generic widgets and your company is The Generic Widget Co. Why not become the leading widget company for the aviation industry…. oh and you still sell them to other industries too but you’re focused on selling widgets into aviation.
3% is about perfecting your style, format or process.
3% is about getting clear communication to the right people.
3% is building expertise in a specific area.
If 3% love you, you have a loyal client base, strong relationships and a thriving business.
If you’re a local retailer, if 3% of the population within 20 minutes of your store love you, you have a great business.
If you’re B2B and 3% of your target audience love you, you have hundreds, if not thousands of loyal customers.
So much of our thinking is dominated by the 97% but in reality, it should be all about loving back, delivering and connecting with the 3%.
When your 97% focused you have to play safe and messages become generic, you cannot showcase yourself in all your glory.
Some people will never know you and worse, no matter what you do some people will never like you either. You may even be lucky and find some people hate you. That is ok as long as 3% love you.
Politicians have to appeal to the 97%, their job is tough. They need a large portion of people to love them enough to vote for them to win. They also need to make sure don’t have too many people dislike them either. To get broad appeal you need to be broad and generalised.
To get the 3% you need to focus a very specific group of people with very specific things.
By focusing on your 3% you can become a trusted partner. 3% is where you can deliver the most value.
This is why we will pay more for a service that does the job exactly as we want and expect to pay less for something which is more generic.
From a cost point of view focusing on the majority is expensive. It’s also frustrating and unproductive. It makes you bland, uninteresting and generic. Nobody likes generic unless it’s cheap and easy.
Get specific. Find and focus on the 3% who will love you.