If you’re building a business, it’s helpful to concentrate your efforts on the smallest possible audience you can serve. To get realllyyyyy specific.
This is hard for most of us. We want to be liked, and we have this idea that being liked means being liked by everyone rather than by 1,000 true fans. It’s hard to hear that someone doesn’t enjoy your work and say to yourself, “It’s OK, it’s not for them”.
We also believe that to make enough* money we need a big audience. So we go straight for the masses, we play to the middle in an attempt to appeal to everyone. We file down our edges because we don’t think we can afford to turn people away.
The irony, of course, is that the more we appeal to the masses the less appealing we become.
Better to focus on your long tail, the smallest possible audience you can serve. Who are those people? Where are they? What do they believe? What can you offer them that no one else can? What can you promise them?
Great, now go prove it.
Spotted as part of the display at The Irish Design House in Riverdale (typewriters certainly aren’t for everyone in 2020…), who are a great example of finding your long tail. Aside from owner Sinéad’s local fashion label, they only carry handmade Irish crafts. Not European crafts, not craft from anywhere, but a small and curated collection of handmade Irish goods for the people who are looking for exactly that.
*arbitrary metric alert