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The Lones Group, Inc.


I was speaking at a marketing conference last weekend in Costa Mesa, CA and I was struck by how many business owners were unable to tell me exactly what it is they do.

Many of these people have wonderful business ideas but are having problems bringing them to market.


They are too “wide angle.”  They’re trying to solve everybody’s problems and be everything to everyone.  It’s like they’re afraid of losing business by leaving somebody out so they try to appeal to the widest demographic possible.

In marketing—whether you’re selling real estate or computer chips or hamburgers—in order to truly dominate your marketplace, the more you “zoom your lens” for a close-up of your clearly defined target prospects, the more successful your marketing. 

For example, at the convention I spoke with a very nice lady who calls herself a “psychic healer.”  Well, that’s a pretty broad term.  What do you heal?  Who are you healing?  How does it work?

“I’m a…” is a disempowering way to begin a sentence, especially a description of what you do.  We humans have a habit of “labeling” ourselves—labels that can hurt us.  The very phrase “psychic healer” is a red flag to many people and as soon as they hear it, they run.  Same for “attorney,” “banker,” and yes…even “real estate agent.”  By labeling ourselves, we may actually be repelling business.  Instead, we need to zoom in on exactly who we help, what we help them do, and how we help them.

When I’m asked what I do, I don’t label myself as a “speaker” or “trainer” or “consultant.” My “zoomed” answer is: “I help business owners increase their income and take business to the next level with visual marketing.”

A “zoomed” answer for the psychic healer would be: “I help people who are financially rich but emotionally bankrupt ‘get it together’.” This is much more succinct: The focused database is “financially rich.”  The focused problem is “emotionally bankrupt.”  The focused solution is “get it together.” 

Is this a smaller target base?  You bet!  Do you have a higher chance of reaching someone?  You bet!  When you clearly define your target audience (and yes…you’re going to have to leave somebody out…take a deep breath…it’s okay), you become infinitely more appealing to the exact people who are willing to hire you.

This is a troubling concept for many business owners who feel that by leaving somebody out, they’re going to miss out on business.  It’s just not true.  Practitioners in every field under the sun have proven it over and over—the more you specialize, the more business you get.

So let’s start your own “zooming in” process.  Ask yourself these five questions: 

  1. What is it I really do?

Think beyond “real estate agent” or business owner .  How do you help people?

  1. What segment of my market do I really like to work with?

Be specific.  Business owners?  First-time home buyers?  Divorced moms?  Your extended Greek community?  (That was mine when I first started out.) 

  1. How do I really like to serve them?

What do you do best?  How do you do it?

  1. If I were to tell somebody what I do, how would I explain it?

Here are some examples:

“I help newly married couples become financially wealthy through real estate.”

Or, “I work with recent retirees to help them transition into a new home.”

Or, “I help real estate investors find income-producing properties.”

Aren’t these better than “I’m a real estate agent”?

  1. Does my visual image match my target audience?

If your targets are millionaires, you’d better have marketing materials that appeal to millionaires.  If your target is single moms, you’d better have marketing materials that appeal to single moms.

This includes your headlines, your tone, your graphic images, and your colors.  Most people neglect to match the photos they will use to the overall marketing feel.

So there you have it.  Zoom in, throw away your wide-angle lens, and get more business!

Denise Lones

Denise Lones CSP, MIRM The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things “real estate”.

Denise’s background in residential real estate sales and management includes an impressive list of awards. Using custom marketing campaigns and business development systems she personally created, she was consistently among the highest producing Realtors® in a marketplace of 3,000+ agents. Denise was the only agent in the State of Washington to be awarded the esteemed MIRM designation – the top national achievement for new home marketing. In 2004, Denise was awarded the prestigious Hugh Hawkins Instructor of the Year Award by the Washington Association of Realtors.

As a columnist for isucceed.com, Realty Times, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Washington Association of Realtors, Denise has a strong “voice” in the real estate community.

Denise is a certified instructor for many prominent trade groups and educational institutions, including the Washington Association of Realtors, Master Builders Association, iSucceed.com, Washington State Department of Licensing, Windermere Real Estate, and the Washington State Housing and Finance Committee

With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.


The Lones Group, Inc.

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