Before you can have clients, you need to have prospects -- that's what marketing is all about. If your marketing isn't attracting the kind of people you'd like to be working with, it's like pushing a rope -- you are trying to sell them something they don't need, and they are looking for something you don't offer. A little fine-tuning of your marketing plan can make the difference between a solo business that lurches and stalls, and a business that runs smoothly and is fun to operate.

Your Four-Point Marketing Tune-Up Checklist:

Understand the difference between your Target Market and your Niche. A target market has distinguishing demographic characteristics; for example, recently widowed working women under 50. A niche gets more specific in characteristics that might not be as easily identifiable as demographics; using the previous example, you could further narrow your target market by including only women who want to remarry and don’t know how to meet suitable men.

Make sure your Niche is focused enough. Think of all the people who might fit in your niche. Imagine them all in a room at a business or social event. Would you find them all interesting and enjoy talking to them? If you cringe at the thought of meeting some of the people in that imaginary room, note what it is about them that you’d like to avoid – and re-define your niche to exclude them.

Perhaps you want to coach women who will be patient in their search for a spouse -- not desperate! If your marketing message implies easy, immediate results, you'll be attracting the wrong prospects. Fine-tune your language so it is clear that your solutions may take time to be successful. You won’t be eliminating potential customers – you’ll be saving yourself time wasted on less-than-ideal prospects. And you’ll find yourself more effortlessly attracting clients in the heart of your niche market.

Choose marketing techniques that fit your strengths. Just because every other relationship coach has written a book, doesn’t mean you have to! If the whole publishing and book promotion exercise sounds like torture, don’t waste your time. Maybe writing a Dear Abby type of newspaper column is more your style. If you find dealing with your website to be confusing, but are good at speaking to small groups, ignore the advice to do a lot of online marketing and instead look for opportunities to speak at senior centers.

Be authentic – be yourself. Building an image that isn’t who you are is a setup for disaster, especially for the self employed. You’ll be exhausted keeping up the façade…and potential clients will sense the lack of integrity. If you yourself are recently widowed and learning how to meet the right kind of men, don't try to imply that you are an expert. Your personal dating stories can be a great way to establish a relationship with a potential client, who can see themselves in you. Clients want someone they can trust -- it is more important than all the credentials in the world.

Author's Bio: 

Terri Zwierzynski, the Solo-CEO, is a self employed business strategist and marketing consultant to solo entrepreneurs, and a grassroots promoter of the solo entrepreneur lifestyle. She runs, the self employment resource website which attracts thousands of solo entrepreneurs and home business owners monthly from over 100 countries on six continents (2007 finalist for “Website of the Year” in the 4th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business). Visit and get our new ebook, “25 Surefire Ways to Capture More Clients, Get More Done in Less Time, and Make More Money—in 90 Days or Less.”