A classic mistake that new business owners make is using a scattershot approach. You may have a product/service that could benefit everybody – but thinking your target market is “people” or “women” is guaranteed to leave you frustrated and exhausted.
Why? You don’t know where to focus your marketing efforts. And small businesses are frequently short of resources and money. Your time can be your most precious commodity.
People are everywhere and you can’t get your message out to everyone. Instead, get very clear about your ideal client – and focus your efforts on marketing your products/services only to your ideal client.
Does that mean that you can’t sell to other types of clients or customers? Absolutely not. Others may want to buy from you, but those folks will just be a bonus.
Your time, energy, and marketing dollars should be spent addressing the problem that your ideal clients want solved, and finding where your ideal clients naturally congregate so you can easily get your message in front of them.
Work on developing a crystal clear picture of your who your ideal client is. I work with executive-level professionals out of financial services, professional services, and technology. Is that clear? I think so. I can tell within a minute or two if someone would be a good prospect for me.
Because I am clear, I know what networking events I should attend, and I know what organizations I should pitch for speaking gigs. I walk away from opportunities that don’t fit exactly (even though I might have been able to get a client).
Let’s walk through an example of some questions you might want to ask yourself:
I have one former client who I consider my ideal client. When I write anything or think about developing new products or services, I ask myself what she would want to buy. I use her as the lens through which I see my business. You might want to try this.
Some people call this the ideal client avatar exercise. It takes a little time – but it’s definitely worth it. Give it a try!