One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when developing their business plan is not understanding who the ideal client is. You simply can’t be everything to everyone. This is especially true when you start to brand yourself.
When building your personal brand strategy, the quality of your clients is more than the quantity. Your goal is to fill the pipeline with profitable and appreciative clients. You want to design your marketing strategy to attract the kinds of clients who you want to work with, that in turn will increase your income while reducing your work hours.
To get those clients, you need to know who your best clients are, and then focus your efforts on a common profitable niche. When you focus your business on a niche or a specialty, you have a greater chance of being remembered for future on-going business. When clients view you as an expert in a specific niche, they will assume you have unique knowledge, understanding and expertise that others in your field do not. So your messages have more impact. Targeting messages to specific groups increases your power to influence.
How to begin:
1. Identify your best clients, what are the top four characteristics that define your “best” clients? Think about your existing clients. Decide what you want in a client, and don’t limit yourself to monetary considerations. If a client generates a lot of income but you dread working with him/her, is he/she the client you really want?
2. Can you name the clients who fit the above criteria? Write down your top six now, and expand this to your top 25-30 later.
3. Looking at your lists of your “best” clients, determine what they have in common. Do you have 5 electricians, small business owners, large corporations? List the characteristics along with any other points in common.
You are probably starting to notice a natural focus. By looking at your best clients, you can identify some strong niche candidates to build on. Keep the following in mind:
Your niche should be identifiable – You have to be able to locate and prospect your niche.
Your niche must be profitable – The key to making a niche profitable is defining it narrowly enough to ensure that you’re getting to the right prospects.
Your niche should play to your strengths – A good niche should highlight your natural abilities and interests.
4. What sorts of natural niches or target markets do you already have?
When you focus on who you want to reach and how you want to be thought of, you can then package and promote yourself to accomplish your goals. This predisposes your audience by capturing the essence of what you have to offer, creating interest and enthusiasm for it and enhancing your image for differentiating yourself in business.
For more tips on branding yourself check out the Personal Branding and You e-book on www.mindmasters.comto
The Challenge: Begin to identify your best clients. Do you know their common characteristics?