We’ve all heard the saying: “You can’t please everyone.”
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, how many of us are still stuck fighting the uphill battle of trying to please everyone?
Before we dive into today’s topic, I want you to ask yourself a question:
When’s the last time you said “no” to a new opportunity?
Really think about this.
Then, ask yourself why you said no. Was it because you were just too busy? Because you were tired or stressed? Or was it because you thought about it and make a conscious decision that it wasn’t in alignment with what you wanted in your career?
These questions aren’t meant to make you feel guilty. Not at all. But they do help shine a light on where some of our feelings of overwhelm and burnout come from.
Early on, when we don’t know what we want, we take every opportunity that comes our way. And for a time, if that helps us figure out what we really want out of our careers, that’s perfectly fine. It helps us experiment until we find what we really enjoy.
But as we “grow up” in our careers, we don’t always allow our mindsets and the ways we manage our careers to grow up, too. And when we keep our “student” or “starving artist” mindset, there’s one thing in particular that often holds us back.
It’s the belief that we can be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. That if we work hard enough…try hard enough…be broad enough…that we can make everyone happy.
When we try to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one.
Yep, you heard me right. You can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t even try to.
This is true in life. It’s true in developing your business model. And it’s especially true in your marketing.
Here’s why: When you say “no” to the wrong people and opportunities, you’re able to say “yes” to the best people and opportunities.
And you know what that does? It allows you to make an even bigger impact!
- With the RIGHT students
- With the RIGHT ensembles
- At the RIGHT events
- At the RIGHT time
Now, as a recovering people pleaser myself, I have to admit that what I’m talking about today used to feel counter intuitive to me.
I thought that if I went too narrow in who I work with, too deep in the topics I work/teach on and consciously excluded people and projects that didn’t fit the bill that it would be a huge risk.
(And I don’t know about you, but especially when it comes to my livelihood, huge risks make me nervous.)
However, I can look back and see so many examples of how saying “no” really did help me grow.
After I said no to an ensemble that was eating up my evening schedule, I was able to say yes to two more dream students. After I said no to a new marketing client in the real estate industry, I was able to say yes to working with five wonderful musicians to help them build their brand, website and marketing plan. I could go on and on with both personal and professional examples. Perhaps you can think of some of your own examples, as well.
So, how does all this tie into your marketing strategy?
It starts with getting super clear on your ideal audience (think: students, people who hire you for gigs, customers, etc.).
Because when you can paint a clear picture of who you best work with, then you’ll get better at knowing when a new student or opportunity might be coloring a bit too far outside of the lines. (Or when it’s a no-brainer “YES” decision!)
We want to help you in your first steps of painting YOUR “ideal audience” picture so you, too, can have the courage and confidence to say “no.”
To help jumpstart your audience research, we’ve created The Audience Deep Dive Checklist as a helpful free resource.
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