Let's face it: every business needs clients to survive. When I was creating my initial marketing plan, a great mentor told me something very Zen, 'Every business needs clients but not every client is right for your business.' Wait, what? It's not possible for a client to not be the right fit, is it?
Well, yes, it is possible -- and highly likely -- that clients will NOT be a good fit for your business. And that's OK.
One of the most difficult aspects of developing an effective marketing strategy is identifying exactly WHO is your target audience. Here are a few questions to help you out:
Choose a target audience you can relate to
These are great target markets because you are part of the bigger subset. Clients are drawn to businesses they can relate to so be that company. A fantastic example of this concept is Universal Standard, a size-inclusive clothing company which began when two friends were frustrated that they could not shop in the same stores.
Identify the needs and problems of your target audience
Think about why you started your business. Did you wish some product existed that you could never find so you just created it? What about a clothing company that left out your size so you learned how to sew your own designs? Identifying the need and running with the concept is key.
Create a client avatar
Look at your existing customers. If you've been in business a while you've more than likely built a small loyal client base. Look at them from an outsiders perspective: what do they have in common? How are they relating to you and your brand? Where are they located? Once you've identified some commonalities, design a targeted marketing plan around your new 'ideal client'.
Once you've answered these three seemingly simple questions, creating your business's imaging brand should be the next step. In my next blog, I'll discuss creating images that enhance your company's perception within the marketplace