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Specificity makes success

Jeanna Kadlec

"When you’re starting out, it can be tempting to try to bring as many people into the top of the funnel as possible. But the thing is, quantity is never as valuable as quality.

Trying to appeal to too many people often backfires. Don't be afraid to turn people off with specificity. That's a scary thought, thinking that the more specific you get, the more niche you go, you might actually turn some people away. But specificity is what makes success.

I speak from experience. Before I was writing full time, before I'd even started looking into astrology for myself, I was a graduate student trying to leave my English Lit Ph.D. program. I stumbled onto the idea of starting a lingerie boutique geared to the LGBTQIA+ community, and — because I am quite stubborn and have too much follow through, even on ideas I should let go of — carried this one through. The idea *seemed* specific enough. But in purchasing inventory and creating imagery, I tried to appeal to everyone. I tried to cover all my bases. I opened the store with an absolutely ridiculous size range and an array of styles that had other boutique owners shaking their heads. Inclusivity was a good goal, but in trying to appeal to every single person in my community, I had spread myself — not to mention my incredibly limited funds — far too thin.

You don't have to be working with physical products to know that time and money spent on one area of your business is, inherently, taking it away from another. When you're in the growth stage, knowing where to put your focus is important. Don't be afraid to use language in your marketing that might not be for everyone but *is* exactly for the kind of audience you are trying to bring in.

Know that you will never please everyone and that "everyone" is not a potential customer. Stay focused on the folks who are, and you'll be on the path to success."

Advice Contributor

Jeanna Kadlec

Jeanna Kadlec is a writer, an astrologer, and a teacher. She has written about culture, faith, and astrology for publications across the internet, from ELLE to Longreads to LitHub to the New York Times.

See Jeanna's Site