So I saw this question fly by in my Google Alerts:
“I am still working on getting my business off the ground and feel like I’m still spinning my wheels. I need to get clients so that I can invest in more learning and certifications and such. I keep researching, but I’m starting to come to the point that I don’t know what I’m looking for anymore. What daily tasks should I be doing every day???”
One of the most common problems in getting clients that I see in our industry is that people jump into business without doing any of the necessary business planning and foundation work that is key to moving forward smoothly and successfully.
They slap up a website (or worse, a mere Facebook page or LinkedIn profile) thinking clients are going to magically rain from the sky.
They then proceed to go about things as if they were looking for a job.
That’s simply not going to get you clients. That’s not how business works.
I mean, sure, if they’re lucky, they might get some nibbles here and there. But generally speaking, they only ever earn spare change from those types of prospects.
Getting clients — real, honest-to-goodness clients willing to pay the kind of real bones you can actually live on — requires more methodical and intentioned approach and set-up.
You simply can’t skip the parts in-between.
If you do, and you happen to hit upon a piece of real business, you aren’t going to be set up with the proper infrastructure to keep that business.
That’s why one of the most important steps in your business planning is deciding on a target market.
(For those who are confused, a target market is simply an industry/field/profession that you cater your administrative support to.)
This question about what they should be doing every day wouldn’t even arise if this person had a specific target market to give direction to her actions and thought processes.
That’s what a target market does: it gives you direction for your message and marketing efforts, and informs all your next steps accordingly.
If someone asks where should they look to find clients, the answer is “Well, where is your target market?”
When you know who your target market is, you can then research where they hang out online and off and go to those places and get active and involved.
If they ask what they should write about, again, you look to the target market.
What are your target market’s common pains, challenges and interests? What problems can you help them solve? What questions do they commonly ask? What can you educate and inform them about related to these things?
When you know who your target market is, you can more easily identify those things and then speak to and write about them.
If you don’t know who you’re writing for, it’s much more difficult to figure out what to write about because your looking at some nameless, faceless void.
Every single question you have in your business can be answered if you first decide on who you intend to cater your administrative support to (i.e., a target market).
Here is a list of how a target market can help you establish your business and get clients more quickly and easily:
- A target market simplifies and streamlines everything in your business: operations, marketing, administration, work processes, billing structures, policies… everything!
- It’s much easier to systemize and manage your business when you cater to a specific clientele.
- Your expertise in serving that market increases, allowing you to command higher fees, work with fewer clients and make more money.
- When you know who you’re concentrating on, it’s easier to learn everything you can about a particular market and its common needs, goals and challenges.
- When you know who you are talking to, you can create a message that will be music to their ears.
- You’ll be able to tailor your solutions in ways that are more attractive and meaningful.
- When you have direction, it’s far easier to identify what marketing actions to take and where.
- It’s easier to find your would-be clients, online and off.
- With a target market, you can extend your reach beyond the local/in-person market.
- Instead of trying to be everywhere, talking to everyone (and reaching and resonating with no one), you can focus your efforts on just those places where your target market is found (online and off).
- In turn, you’ll have far more time and energy for actually working with clients once they start coming through your doors.
- You’ll get more and better referrals because people find it much easier to send business your way when they know who you specialize in supporting.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to download our free guide on How to Choose Your Target Market