Find Your Patient Zero

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To market to your niche, start with “patient zero.” Here is how to identify and work with someone who can help drive your firm’s viral growth.

You’ve decided to focus your business on a niche. But now what? How do you get the word to spread?

While there are many options for generating awareness about your business, one quick way is to find your patient zero. What’s a patient zero? It’s “a person identified as the first to become infected with an illness or disease in an outbreak.” Usually, having a patient zero is a negative, but it is a positive in your case. Every business would love to have viral growth. This rapid growth starts with “infecting” one person who will then spread their enthusiasm about your work.

Who is the one person you know that is well-connected to your niche? Who is the person who will make introductions to others in your niche to jump-start your growth?

I recently spoke with an advisor whose patient zero was a friend and client who was a partner at a prominent consulting firm. This person loved what the advisor was doing for him and introduced him to a few colleagues. This started the ball rolling with this niche. After working with three or four more partners from the consulting firm, the advisor wrote a white paper specific to their needs and shared it with these clients. And those people shared it with their colleagues. Business took off from there, and the advisor has struggled to keep up with demand ever since – with very little additional marketing.