Recently I read, "Marketing begins and ends with your clients." I understand the message - without clients you have no business - but I disagree with the statement. When planning to market, you need to start with "You" - who you are, your knowledge, skills, expertise, strengths, personality, what you can offer, what you care about! For more information about how to define "You," see "Your Marketing Circle Starts with 'You!'"
Now it's time to continue to map your Marketing Circle by defining your "Client."
Begin with simple demographics. Do you work with businesses? What size businesses? Are they small, mid-sized or Fortune 500's? Do you work with one or more industries? What are they? Are your clients international, national, regional? Within the business, who's your buyer? Is it the CEO, owner, COO, CFO, GC, HR? Or do you work B2C, rather than B2B? Define and refine your target client demographics as fully and clearly as you can.
Next consider the psychographics, i.e. the attitudes, interests, opinions, values (and more) of your ideal clients. Psychographics are most often used when marketing to consumers, but organizational cultures have shared attitudes, opinions, values, interests, too, as well as common personalities. As you refine your definition of your "Client," also consider the attitudes, values and personalities of people within your organizational targets to identify those who will be attracted to you and your offering, based on your own psychographics. If all that sounds like jargon, just ask yourself, "What kind of people do I connect with?"
What are your clients' wants and needs? Do they need M&A expertise? Employment advice? Legal or financial help with a business formation? An estate plan? A divorce? In what format do they want/need your expertise, i.e. do they need a full litigation team to defend them against a lawsuit? Do they want a business transaction attorney to supplement their own in-house capabilities? Or do they simply want online templates and minimal advice to start a small business? If the wants and needs of your "Client" don't meet the offerings you defined earlier in "Your Marketing Circle Starts with 'You!'" you'll need to 1) 'tweak' your offerings to match your clients' wants and needs or 2) significantly change either your offerings or your preferred clients. We'll address this more as we continue with "Your Marketing Circle: Messaging and Feedback."
In closing, marketing specialist Veronika Noize shared the following description of "perfect clients:"
- They need what you have to offer,
- They know they need what you have to offer,
- They need it now, not 2 years from now,
- They are able and willing to pay for your offer,
- They want to work with you [because they know, like and trust you],
- They'll talk among their colleagues and community about you, leading to more perfect clients.
Watch for more to follow in "Your Marketing Circle: Messaging and Feedback."