When it comes to bringing in new clients, the biggest mistake I see people make over and over again is that they don’t target their marketing. They tend to go after EVERYBODY’S business instead of going after the business of the people who might actually be prepared to purchase their product or service.
The end result is that many of their marketing efforts are diluted and many of their marketing dollars are wasted. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, think Madison Avenue.
Do you think it’s just sheer luck that you don’t see a beer commercial during Sesame Street or an ad for skin cream during wrestling matches? Trust me, luck has nothing to do with it.
Advertising agencies are charged with the responsibility of spending their clients’ money for the print ads and TV and radio spots that are going to bring them the biggest bang for their buck.
They want to make sure people interested in what their clients have to offer are qualified to buy and are going to see their marketing messages. That’s why the Madison Avenue folks look at demographics.
The demographics tell the media buyer who is watching the program or reading the print media where the ads will be placed. Women 18-49? Men 18-34? Children?
Okay, so you may be small potatoes compared to the clients of the big ad agencies, but doesn’t it make sense for you to follow their lead and stop marketing to everybody and start marketing to your ideal client?
Ah, but who is your ideal client and how do you find them?
You can easily figure that out by creating an “Ideal Client Profile” in which you ask yourself questions about who is the best candidate to purchase your product or to engage your professional services.
Look at things like gender, age, occupation, level of education, income, marital status, geographic location, hobbies, children, and reading habits,
Think about what they spend money on and what other professional services they use. What speakers or classes appeal to them? What do they read? What clubs or associations do they belong to?
Anytime you think of something that is important, write it down. Get as specific as possible. Dig deep. Really deep. You’ll notice a common thread begin to emerge about the demographics of people whose business you’ll want to pursue.
Next look at yourself and your own needs. It’s not all about making money, you know. You’ve got to enjoy the people you work with and get your needs met in order to feel really satisfied and fulfilled.
And guess what? Once your needs are met and you’re building YOUR business on YOUR terms, you’ll probably wind up making more money as a result. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?
Start thinking about the clients you have now and determine which ones you really enjoy working with. Figure out why. What is it about them that just sings to you?
Now look at the ones who make you tense up whenever you see them or hear their voices. Who are you finding more challenging and less fulfilling to work with? How come? What’s going on there?
Take the time to figure it out. Look at things like what values of yours are being trampled on, where you’re jumping through unnecessary hoops, and what kind of boundaries you neglected to set.
Next take a piece of paper and write “IDEAL CLIENT QUALITIES” on the top. Draw a line down the middle. On the left hand side write “Must Have.” On the right hand side write “Absolutely Not.”
On the left, list the characteristics that your future clients must have in order for you to enjoy working with them. Now think of your worst client nightmares, and on the right, list qualities that were revealed in those situations that enflamed you, that made you want to pull your hair out, and that you never EVER want to deal with again.
Take your time. Be thorough.
Take a long, hard look at your completed Ideal Client Profile and your Ideal Client Qualities Sheet. What will emerge is a clear picture of the type of person on whom you should be spending your marketing efforts and with whom you will want to be networking.
THESE are the people who will help you grow your business. THESE are the people you should be targeting. THESE are the people who will become your best and most rewarding clients. And…THESE are the people who will send you referral after referral, after referral.