Seth Godin, in his book “This Is Marketing” frames the question of who you want your customers to be as:
Who are you seeking to change?
He goes on to advocate going after a corner of the market, that you can “overwhelm” with your help:
Foscus all our energy on this group of people. Ignore everyone else. Instead, fosuc on building and living a story that will resonate with the culture we are seeking to change.
That’s how we make change, by caring enough to want to change a culture, and by being brave enough to pick just one.
He’s advocating identifying your “smallest viable market“, and serving them.
Case in point
At Bitesize Irish we have long served a particular group of people: mostly Irish-Americans, looking to connect with their Irish heritage. That cross-section that feels so deeply about their heritage that they want to learn to speak the Irish language. And not just that, our core audience identify themselves as “language people” (which surprised me).
Perhaps this is just an excuse for my lack of skills, but that group of people is too small for a sustainable multi-person business.
Who do I want to change? Who do I want to help? Honestly, the future of the Irish language is still focuesed on people in Ireland. Parents of kids are pivotal.
We’re left with this tension of a demographic who has sought out Bitesize, and a demographic in another culture who I’d love to help more.
Seth recommends grouping people by psychographics, potentially by worldview. This may indeed be the glue that we can use to speak to our audience as one, even though they come from different countries (cultures). We have a worldview that the Irish language is extremely important for keeping us grounded to what has come before, and that has an effect on what will come in the future. That half of the world’s languages will die in the next couple of generations, and that Irish is under extreme pressue. A worldview that despite that fear, there is hope. There is energy. There can be community, and helping eachother. A worldview that practicing the language with others is the most constructive action one can take to promote these beliefs.