Focusing on Your Marketing Sweet Spot The Hedgehog Concept

jim collins good to great hedgehog concept sweet spot imageIs your marketing sweet spot out of focus?  Do you feel like you’re going through all the marketing motions but not accelerating your success?  You may not be focusing on your “hedgehog concept.”

Many of you have probably heard the phrase “unable to see the forest for the trees,” which basically means that you can’t see the big picture because you’re focused on all the details.

Although I started 2011 off strong, I have been distracted and working out of my sweet spot for the last couple of months. For me being outside of my sweet spot looks like getting lost in all the details and too much focusing on myself and what I have to do. I’ve got to do this, do that, market here, promote there, and before I know it I’ve lost sight of the big picture; my marketing sweet spot.

Getting Re-focused on The Hedgehog Concept:

I’ve taken over a week off of my marketing, blogging, and building my business because of a nasty sinus infection that had me down for the count.  The time away has given me a better view of the big picture and a whole new perspective on my hedgehog concept, AKA: marketing sweet spot…the center of my skills, my passions, and what I can make money doing.

Check out Jim Collins’ Good To Great book if you want more information on this topic. But it’s an illustration based on the behaviors of a hedgehog and a fox.  A fox is cunning and sly, and will try to out-smart the competition by doing something different every time, but it’s no match for the hedgehog who has one awesome skill, rolling into a ball to protect itself.

Relating to your business, your hedgehog concept is that one thing you do that is aligned with your passions, your skills,and your ability to make money.  You can do it over and over again, and always get positive results.  The Hedgehog ConceptFinding your hedgehog concept isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can take years to zero in on your true hedgehog.  However, losing sight of your hedge hog is easy when the distractions and details get in the way.  So in today’s post I’m going to share with you how I continue to refine my hedgehog concept and where I’ve lost sight of it along my journey in hopes that maybe you can avoid the same mistakes.

Hedgehog Concept Sweet Spot Blockers:

I have let my passion for helping others go too far;  to the point that I ended up using it as an excuse to avoid facing the responsibility of achieving my own dreams and goals.  Ouch…that hurts to admit and say out loud, but it’s so true!

  • I’ve chosen to play small, play it safe, and get distracted by the details because I didn’t want to feel “pushy” by promoting myself and my passions too much.
  • I didn’t want to promote affiliate products to my list because I didn’t want to sound “sales-y” even if they’re great products that would be helpful to my readers.
  • I dragged my feet when it came to creating information products because I might sound like a “guru,” and of course I don’t know everything yet, so I really should take this next course first.
  • I lost sight of my niche and my ideal client and tired to be everything to everybody.
  • I stopped asking myself’ “what is my goal for this action page, post, tweet and facebook update?”
  • I also tried to do too much, taking on additional projects that were similar but not exactly a match which left me to become totally unbalanced in my priorities, spread thin, and run down.
  • And I let my comfort zone get too comfortable again.

The Hedgehog Concept Blockers Part 1: Your Passions

  • Not being clear on what your passions are.
  • Giving passions more attention than the other areas of your business.
  • Letting your passions keep you from doing what you need to do in other areas of your life and business.
  • Playing down your passions to others because you don’t want to sound pushy.
  • Focusing on the wrong passions because they seem noble or honorable.

The Hedgehog Concept Blockers Part 2: Your Skills

What can you be the best in the world at is an intimidating thought.  I know I have struggled with the feeling of responsibility and commitment that being the best in the world at something might impose upon me.  “The more successful I become, the more thinly I will be spread.”

There is also a strong tendency for entrepreneurs to suffer from the impostor syndrome when it comes to embracing their gifts and being the best in their field.

  • Being afraid to try something because the thought of being the best in the world at it, intimidates you.
  • Failing to acknowledge what you’re great at
  • Overlooking the fact that what comes easily to you might not come easily to others.
  • Feeling like people will discover you’re a “fake” if you achieve the best in the world status.

The Hedgehog Concept Blockers Part 3: Economic Engine:

  • Competing commitments, i.e. you don’t want to sound pushy, when it comes to the money making part of your business.
  • Failure to see the value in your knowledge, skills, and experiences.
  • Failure to sell yourself because you don’t want to sound sales-y?
  • Avoiding packaging your skills, knowledge, and experience.
  • Shying away from conversations and opportunities to share your results and the results you’ve helped others achieve.

How to Find Your Hedgehog Concept Sweet Spot:

This past week, with a full head, miserable headache, and an overwhelmed feeling of having so much I should be doing, but didn’t feel like doing, I finally stopped took a deep breath and gave myself permission to just breathe.  The gift I received was an entirely new perspective of my business.  The hedgehog concept sweet spot of my strengths, passions, and ability to make money became clear to me once again.

If you’re hedgehog concept is a bit out of focus, here’s how to zero in on it:

  1. You MUST step away from your business.
  2. List your passions, the things you love to do, the things you lose track of time doing.
  3. Spend some time getting very clear on who is your niche, target market and ideal client.  If you’ve already done this, do it again. Mine has changed in the last couple of months and yours could have too!
  4. Make a list of all the things you do and are good at.  What things people ask you, what you help people with, etc.
  5. Outline some ways you can package your knowledge, skills, and experiences for others.  Can you create information products, host live trainings, write a book, entertain others, create resources, etc?
  6. Redefine your marketing message.  What do you do or offer exactly, and how is that different from what your competition does?
  7. Map out your marketing funnel: Your marketing message, your free offer, your products and services.
  8. Create a marketing plan: How are you going to put your home business products/services in front of the ideal people you are meant to serve?

While it may be uncomfortable going through the process of finding it, working in our sweet spot will feel great.

  • Knowing your hedgehog concept will allow you to find the people you were meant to serve.
  • You will know how to create marketing materials and content that will speak to their exact hot buttons and help them solve their problems.
  • You will have a clear method and system of helping them.
  • You will be able to clearly describe what we do to others and they will know how to refer you to others.
  • You will be able to make money doing what you are great at and enjoy.

You’re going to be seeing a lot of changes around Clever Marketer in the next few months as I pull together the loose ends of things I’ve let slide and implement the projects I’ve planned.

Those of you who I’m meant to serve, you will love what I have in store for you!  Together, we’re going to build or boost your marketing blog that puts you and your home business products/services in front of the ideal people you are meant to serve, who are searching for what you offer, and who can’t wait to do business with you!

Please share your hedgehog concept in the comments below and share this post with your friends!

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  1. Great post! I wrote something similar before but this is much more in depth. A great resource for choosing a market and deciding on what kind of business you should run. I’ll send people here as a reference if they ask in the future. 🙂

    • Hey there Eugene,

      Thanks so much for the compliment and your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      What’s your hedgehog concept sweet spot? Have you discovered it?

      Happy marketing,

  2. If I understood it correctly, the hedgehog concept should make us aware of our passions, skills and commmitments. It seems to me that it has great vaue, as it can focus us on relevant matters and put back on track!

    • Hi Kristina,

      Yes, you are correct. Making a list of your passions, skills, and the ways you can use those to make an income will help you find your hedgehog concept.

      Staying focused on it will definitely help you stay on track with your business, although I know that our hedgehog concept can change and evolve as our skills, and passions grow. 🙂

      Good luck and thanks for the comment!


  3. Nice post i totally agreed with your view which type of business we should do and how to run it and get destination.

    • Thanks Rocky,

      What is your hedgehog concept sweet spot for your business? What are your passions, skills, and how do you use them to earn a living?


  4. Haven’t found it quite yet. Still working on somethings and looking for it. Soon enough though 🙂

    • Good luck to you, Eugene! I know that it’s been an evolving process for me, and I’m sure that’s the way for many. If there’s anything I can help you with, please let me know. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. You are a sweet spot in the online world Heather. Your blog looks great, nice work. Joanie McMahon

  6. Hi Heather,

    I can definitely relate to you. Imposter syndrome, not wanting to sound sales-y etc are all what I am feeling.

    I am now slowly getting used to promoting affiliate products and feel that as long as I am sincere and authentic I will be comfortable with this 🙂

    I am also more than happy to click on affiliate links now. However, if every newsletter is promoting a product, then that gets old. I have recently seen a post that promoted 5 affiliate products and I am not sure if I am comfortable with taking it that far.

    You have so much to share Heather and I look up to you! So thanks for putting yourself out there. You have made a difference 🙂

  7. My focus is to forget the pain of life. Forget the pain, mock the pain, reduce it. And laugh.Thanks for sharing wonderful post.

  8. thanks for giving me the link to this arricle.

    i agree with that it may take years to make the ‘hedgehog concept’ work, as it requires skills (and you may get them only when some time passes). this is really a great post. once i heard that if you want to save your time, then sit down and think. this concept really makes you think, and i believe this article will help others to save their time (of course if they follow these tips and think about what and how they are going to market).

  9. i agree with that it may take years to make the ‘hedgehog concept’ work, as it requires skills (and you may get them only when some time passes).You post an nice blog…

  10. By reading your this post I have concluded that you are marketing guru.

  11. I am in the process of launching my first ebook and I have to admit “my hedgehog concept” is getting lost in all the marketing hoopla.

    Essentially I want to help (and teach) new blog owners how to take their blogs higher and make them profitable projects. In other words, to treat it like a business and not an old school diary.

    Wow! That sounds like a good mission statement, might use the above on some marketing copy. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. It’s really nice to know the idea presented on this post. Marketing sweet spot is a must to know for aspiring marketer who want to success in the field of IM.


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