Captain’s log, stardate 20170803
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Outreach prep steps 1 & 2 complete!
Sent by Jonathan Stark on August 3rd, 2017
Brace yourself for a data dump... A couple days ago, I outlined my outreach plan for my mobile consulting business. Today, I’m going to share the results of the first two steps of prep work.
Step 1 - Make a list of “non-stop” cities
I want to focus on credit unions that are headquartered in cities that are exactly one flight away from me. There are 8 cities that my local airport (PVD) serves non-stop:
- Fort Lauderdale
Step 2 - Make a list of 100 Credit Unions in my “non-stop” cites
Credit unions headquartered in my “non-stop” cities:
- 1st Choice
- Atlanta Credit Union
- Atlanta Postal
- Atlanta Teachers
- B.O.N.D. Community
- Big Bethel AME Church
- Chevron Southern
- Credit Union of Atlanta
- Delta Community
- Georgia Department of Public Safety
- Georgia Power
- Georgia State University
- Georgia’s Own
- Human Services Employees’
- Mead Employees’
- Mutual Savings
- Piedmont Hospital
- State Employees
- The Thrift
- 74th Street Depot
- 77th Street Depot
- Archer Heights
- Bethel AME Church
- Beverly Bus Garage
- Chicago Area Office
- Chicago Avenue Garage
- Chicago Firefighters Association
- Chicago Fireman’s Association
- Chicago Lee
- Chicago Municipal Employees’
- Chicago Patrolmans
- College and University
- Commanding Officers and Sergeants
- Corey Steel Employees
- CTA C and M
- CTA South
- Ethicon Suture
- Fellowship Baptist Church
- First Northern
- Greater Institutional AME Church
- Health Care Associations
- Israel Methcomm
- Kenzie Avenue Depot
- Limits Depot
- MWPH Grand Lodge of Illinois
- Maroon Financial
- Metro Fellowship
- MWRD Employees
- North Side Community
- Noth Side L
- Park Manor Christians Church
- Pilgrim Baptist
- Resurrection Lutheran
- Selfreliance Ukrainian American
- Shiloh Englewood
- Southwest Chicago Chapter
- St Elizabeth’s
- St Gregory Parish
- St Helena Parish
- St Jude
- St Mark
- St Martin De Porres Parish
- Sweetheart Cup
- Synergy Partners
- Trinity UCC
- US Employees
- Unified Homeowners of Illinois
- UPWA District 1 Area 5
- Win-Hood Coop
Okay okay... that’s enough for now.
Atlanta and Chicago combined have 87 credit unions within the city limits. I stopped there to have a clean break between cities.
If these mostly all turn out to be duds, I could move on to Charlotte and the other non-stop cities.
While doing this research, it occurred to me that I have tons of friends in Atlanta and Chicago and almost no friends in the other non-stop cities. So if I have to expand my search, I’ll probably move to the surrounding areas of these two cities rather than move on to other cities where I have hardly any connections.
A number of questions surfaced in my mind while I was making this list of credit unions:
- What does AME stand for?
- I need to research field of membership for each of these. My hypothesis is that employee-based CUs are going to care less about acquiring new members because they’re the defacto banking institution for whoever gets hired (i.e. a captive audience, of sorts). In contrast, I betcha community-based CUs like church and neighborhood types are in competition with normal banks (and each other) for new members. I wonder where college and university CUs figure into this dynamic?
- What are these “depot” ones?
- Some of these have extremely similar names. Find out if they are related vs unrelated vs competitors?
Note how incredibly specific these questions are to my chosen target market. Knowing the answers will almost surely differentiate me from my competitors once I begin talking with prospects.
Immediate Next Steps
- Answer questions above.
- Look for newer government data than the 2010 PDF I have now
- Add all of these CUs to a spreadsheet.
- Add Assets, Employee, and Membership numbers to spreadsheet.
- Find contact info for senior marketing employees at each of the 87 CUs (using LinkedIn, Google, and Email Hunter). If I can’t find a senior marketing employee, grab contact info for President, CEO, or Chairman of the Board. If I can’t find any senior leadership, cross the CU off the list.
I think I can tackle all of this in time for my next message. Cross your fingers! :-)
If you have picked a target market, this kind of research is not hard or time-consuming. It’s just a little boring and unfamiliar if you’re used to (and enjoy) coding all day.
If you’re considering picking a target market and doing some research, I would urge you to resist the temptation to outsource to a VA or something, at least at first.
Digging through data like this is a good way to deepen your understanding of your chosen market fairly quickly. Think of it as training your gut instincts. At some point, it’ll become rote and you can outsource it if you like.
Stay tuned for more outreach!
P.S. Not sure how to research (or even pick!) a target market? Apply for a 1-on-1 coaching call and I’ll walk you through it -> https://jonathanstark.com/call
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