September 24, 2017

Reader question: “Can I target two markets?”

Reader Alexander Feil wrote in to ask (shared with permission):

Hey Jonathan,

I have a quick question regarding the LFPS… I understand that to market myself as a generalist is a bad idea. So, the LFPS needs to be really laser focused on one target audience. Is it possible to market myself with different LFPS to different target audiences? How would that look on a homepage?


— Alexander

Thanks for sharing, Alexander!

Short answer:

Pick one audience.

Long answer:

Marketing to one audience takes a fair amount of effort. Marketing to two audiences would be overwhelming for most people.

And here’s the thing:

You don’t need two audiences. One vertical market is almost certainly enough to keep you booked solid for the rest of your natural life.

The impulse to target two audiences is almost always specialization resistance in disguise. You’re trying to still kinda be a generalist. To hedge your bets by not making a decision.

Do as I say, not as I do

Long time readers will be quick to point out that I’m breaking my own advice by targeting two audiences:

Yes, this is 100% true.

And guess what?

It’s a ton of work.

I have to maintain two different websites, two different styles of marketing, and to a certain extent, two different personas.

Some days, I feel positively schizophrenic.

The only reason I’m able to pull it off at all is that one of the businesses has been around for over a decade and can be left on autopilot for extended periods. If I was just starting out with both, it’d be impossible.

Of course there are always exceptions, but my general advice to you is to pick one target market and give it your all for a few months to see if you can get any traction.

If you have to work with folks outside your target market in the meantime to keep the lights on, that’s fine - as long as you leave yourself at least five hours per week to devote to marketing to your chosen vertical.