Have you ever felt like you’re straddling two different markets? Are you fearful of choosing one market over another?
Basically, do you feel like if you do choose one you are going to miss out on another market?
The reality is most of us only have the ability to focus on one market at a time. One niche at a time. And if we don’t, we lose out on “old mo,” AKA momentum. Not losing out on old mo’ is something my football coach always talked about. Of course, I mostly just sat on the bench, but I still remember him saying that nonetheless. Because it so often applies to life and to business.
At Think Digital, we’ve been experiencing the tension between being in the church market and wanting to move into the entrepreneur/small business market. I used to believe that church folk would buy from business people, but business people wouldn’t buy from church folk. I no longer believe that.
As it is, we have two client bases. One is the product side, the other is the services side. The services side is where a lot of our agency work is; where we do social media management, social media content creation, blog post creation, website development, graphic design. All of the things you associate with an agency are done on the services side.
This side of the business is open to all who come! We specialize in book launches and working with publishers and also with large non-profits. It also includes small businesses, educational institutions, anybody and everybody comes through the services side.
Our other side is the product side. Our brand for churches specifically is known as Social Church. This brand was created off of the message of my book. We use that brand to serve churches specifically on the digital products side. This product side has served small businesses also, but we have reassessed.
We’ve made a decision that we are going to focus the product side of our business, the Social Church side, on churches for the rest of 2015. There is huge opportunity here because there is huge need here.
We want as much momentum in business as possible. So Think Digital is focusing on services, but digital products are being focused under Social Church. We aren’t abandoning everyone, though. We’re pulling a Taylor Swift.
How is That Like Taylor Swift?!
Taylor Swift was the belle of the country music ball. She started her career in 2006. She dominated the charts, quickly rose to fame; everybody loved T Swift. Eventually, you could not step into the country music circle and not see or hear Taylor or her influence.
She won every award that you could win, completely dominated the country music charts, and seemingly had no where else to go in country music.
And so, in 2014, she made the decision to become a crossover artist, moving completely from country to pop. She switched genres, much to the delight and to the dismay of many country music fans.
Since switching genres she has done much the same in the pop world as she did in country; dominating charts, snagging scores of raging fans (Swifties as they’re known), selling out stadiums and generally doing whatever in the world she wants to do when it comes to music.
How Crossovers Succeed
Now the switch was successful for one main reason: she had a system.
Taylor Swift had a music system that she developed in the country music world. That was, to put it in a relational metaphor, her first true love.
As is true with most first true loves, the audience was much more forgiving and open to the flaws, faults, and foibles that she brought to the table. So she could hone her craft, she could become comfortable with who she was, she could get to know her strengths and weaknesses and correct them and really put together an operating system of sorts that was untouchable in the world of music.
When she had completely exhausted what she felt was her potential in the country music world, she could have either:
- A) Chosen to be a big fish in a little pond.
- B) Taken a risk, capitalize on the momentum of her country music system, and catapult it into the much larger niche of pop music.
Obviously the latter is what she did, but it wasn’t without first perfecting her system which allowed her to get a standard set of blueprints for operation. She took what she learned in the country music world and applied it to the pop music world and the rest, as they say, is history.
Moral of the Story
Things are working for Taylor Swift. The same system that worked in country music is now working for her in the pop world. There’s a lot to learn from this.
We as a business are choosing to hone our craft in the industry that we know best: churches. Now, I firmly believe that the systems and processes and blueprints that we’re putting into place business-wise are definitely working in the church world. But I also believe that they will work in the larger niche of entrepreneurship and small businesses.
Remember, Taylor Swift did not go straight to pop. We have no way of saying what would have happened if she would have, but, I doubt she would’ve found the same success. Would she have been successful? Probably. She’s talented, she’s hungry, and people love her.
She would likely have succeeded. But I don’t think she would’ve been as successful as she is now simply because of all of the other voices and noise in pop music. She could really hone her craft in a tighter knit community that knew her and loved her and was way more forgiving than the pop world would have been.
The same holds true for us. My desire and goal is to take what we’re learning as a business and teach it to entrepreneurs of all sorts and shapes and sizes. In order to do that, first we need to ground ourselves in rock solid principles.
Because of the network and skillset and opportunities that surround us, specifically in the faith-based space, we are choosing to start there and really serve that market well. To really understand who they are and what their needs are and to develop a system specifically for them.
Then and only then, once we feel like it is not only helpful to the faith based community but can also provide value to the larger entrepreneurial community, will we make that transition.
As you are growing your business, embrace the opportunities and the network that are sitting right in front of you.
Instead of aspiring to be something else, be who you are right now. Certainly plot a path towards your future and build yourself a roadmap. But don’t make the mistake I was in danger of making! Do not overlook the overwhelming abundance of opportunities that are staring you in the face.