Why Selling to Everyone is a Huge Confusing Mistake

by | Aug 24, 2020 | Solopreneurship

Have you ever heard the saying, “if your selling to everybody, you’re selling to nobody?

It didn’t make a lot of sense when I heard it the first time a few years ago. Figured if Billy Bob wanted to buy my widget, sure, I’ll take his cash.

But what I didn’t realize is the person doing the physical buying wasn’t the issue. It’s the person I’m trying to attract as a customer…that’s where I was successfully failing.

Here is an example:

  • you sell ergonomic scissors that are super comfortable and have a really nice soft cushion grip which makes them easy to use for long cutting sessions
  • the scissors are made with industrial-strength high carbon steel construction which is stronger, harder and stays sharp longer vs standard stainless steel
  • they can be resharpened professionally or with a special sharpening stone that’s $30
  • they are priced at $80
  • only available in 3 colours, pink, white and gold
  • only in one size – adult
ideal customer profile for scissors

Who do you think would buy these scissors? Anyone that needs sharp scissors right?

How would you go about writing content for:

  • Social media posts
  • Blog posts
  • Product description
  • Content for your home page

If you had the mindset that you’ll sell these scissors to anyone that will buy them, imagine how hard it would be to write your content if the following people landed on your home page:

  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Chef
  • Seamstress
  • Floral designer
  • Crafter
  • Interior designer
  • Visual artist

Of course, they would benefit from using your scissors. But with all the noise out on the Internet, how can you write content for your website that attracts all these people?

ideal customer profile for scissors

You can’t if you want your message to be clear and concise. But if you visualize the person you want to attract as a client, the message is clear and is so much easier to write.

If you’re still thinking that you can market to all these people, let’s try this a different way. 

Who do you NOT want to sell to?

  • You don’t want to sell to people that do all their buying at dollar stores because their mindset would be dollar store pricing vs paying $80 for a pair of scissors
  • You don’t want to sell to a machinist who needs shears to cut sheet metal for something he’s making.
  • You don’t really want to sell to a sous chef, because these are not poultry shears, but if it’s a pastry chef, she might like using these scissors when having to cut 100 sheets of parchment paper for her signature pie.

Get where I’m going here?

I’m not saying you can’t sell to all these people, heck if they add to your cart and checkout, yeah!  What I’m saying is writing one piece of marketing material (whether it’s a blog post, social media post, video or podcast) that addresses all these people, your message would be so generalized it wouldn’t stand out.

So choose the one person you would most likely want to attract and create that content just for that person.

In this case, I picture a seamstress.

  • She’s cutting fabric for long periods of time
  • She has mild arthritis
  • She loves colour
  • Her scissors must be sharp all the time
  • She doesn’t care how much the scissors are if she’s able to cut fabric pain-free.

So you would write your marketing message for this person.  Visualize this seamstress landing on the home page of your website and seeing website copy that looks like it was written just for her.“Can you imagine walking into your sewing room and laying out all the fabric for the alternative wedding dress you’re making (which has a white leather bolero jacket) and having to stop 3 minutes into the cutting stage because your scissors are making your fingers hurt so badly and making a mess of the leather and lace. Now imagine being able to cut all that fabric and trim without painful hands and being able to enjoy the creation process instead of popping some Ibuprophen and saving time not having to sharpen your scissors every 15 minutes.”

Now visualize your home page with website copy that was so generalized because you’re trying to attract all these people.

Side note: BTW, this copy is taken from an actual product description I found on Amazon.“Best for any use, including household, office, school student, tailor, art, craft, embroidery, quilting, dressmaking, sewing and upholstery. You’ll thank us later for the pleasure of cutting paper, fabric, patterns, alterations, denim, leather and more with ease for all your DIY needs.”

Which do you think would make the better sale?  The first example focuses on one person and the other is so generalized.

It’s so much easier when you know who you’re writing for. Things become clear and you have a better understanding of who you want to connect with.

If you’d like to learn more about this, check back in with me tomorrow where you’ll learn how, but in the meantime, in the comments below, please share the main product or service you offer and who you picture as the perfect customer.


  1. Michael Fitzgerald

    I’m not selling quite yet but when I do It’ll be drawing tutorials and storage ideas. My ICP is my step daughter who want to learn to draw.

    • Gisèle

      I love the link between your art lessons and storage ideas, especially since creativity can be fueled by the space around us.


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