Everywhere you look, you may be seeing prospects and future clients around every corner. How do you get in front of them? How do you land a meeting with a decision maker? Would they be a good fit for your services?

The first challenge is to focus on a specific target market, one that you have a track record of success with, one that you’ve been proven to be a great match for time and time again. So let’s dig in.

When you look through your client list, begin by answering the following questions. Think about the business as a whole, and if the question applies to the makeup of your business, also think in terms of clients managed by individuals within your business.

  • What are the industries and demographics that you see high volumes of?
  • Are you serving a lot of clients in the retail sector, farming and agriculture, hospitality, or healthcare?
  • Do you have a defined niche? Multiple niches?
  • Do you have a strong presence in specific towns?
  • Have you saturated your local market?
  • Is there more opportunity in the surrounding regions?
  • Are your clients typically younger or older?

As you work through answering these questions, guess what? You’re digging into market analysis! Looking inward has the potential to yield a treasure trove of information and is critically important. What are you exceptionally good at? Whom do you and the staff easily and meaningfully connect with? Many times our niches develop out of organic and unintentional growth. Before you know it, you’ve developed little pockets of industry expertise. The more specific you are in defining who makes up your current client base, or audience, the more effective your efforts will be in growing that specific niche.

Really think about who you’re targeting. It is very common in professional services to fall into the trap of throwing a very broad and generic net, trying to reel in any and all businesses or customers within your geographic footprint. Resist this temptation. When you direct your marketing at everyone, you run the risk of connecting with very few. When your creative materials are designed to appeal to a very specific group, you set targeting parameters, and your ad placement goes directly to members of your identified audiences, you will see results.

Here is a list of questions that will help you narrow in on a very specific client persona. Start with identifying only a couple of target personas. Beginning with a very narrow and specific target audience will keep you focused.

  1. Are they male or female?
  2. How old are they?
  3. What is their typical job title?
  4. Do they stay at home or work in a business?
  5. Are they married? Do they have children?
  6. Do they have a college education?
  7. Do they play a sport? What sport? Did they play a sport in high school?
  8. Do their children play sports?
  9. Do they frequent local entertainment venues (stadiums, ballfields, golf courses)?
  10. Do they frequent the local arts scene (galleries, museums, theaters, concert halls)?
  11. Do they like to socialize, or do they prefer staying in?
  12. Do they like to go shopping or do they prefer buying items online?
  13. Do they like to travel?
  14. Do they use public transportation, or do they always drive themselves?
  15. Do they own their own home?
  16. Do they save for retirement?

These questions may seem pretty specific, but this level of detail will help you find and connect with people you’ve identified as the ideal target audience for your business. If you serve both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) clients, identify a persona for each target.