Regardless of how much or how little marketing knowledge you have, it is essential to always know who your market is and is not. It’s also important to accept that your marketing strategy should change as your business changes. And of course you must know your limitations in terms of budget, time, and resources.

When I started my business in 1994, I dealt primarily with a corporate client base. Today I work primarily with solopreneurs and microbusinesses. Although the essence of how I market is strikingly similar to what it was in the nineties, the message is different.

Who do you want to do business with, and who wants to do business with you? What sets you apart from your competition? What is your unique selling proposition? These elements of your market should be continually reevaluated.

What motivates your market to take action? In most cases it boils down to four primary motivations: increasing revenues, increasing productivity, decreasing costs, and/or increasing the quality of their personal or professional life.

I offer my high-end clients a VIP Day. The client and I spend a full day together developing a strategy for their business. I begin the process by having them identify their goals for the day. This can include things like developing a plan, identifying products they can take to market, clarifying their message, and determining what can be outsourced.

In a recent VIP Day, my client said she wanted to be able to have a good night’s sleep. I knew that if we were able to identify some essential aspects of her business and what she could immediately do to generate revenue she would sleep better. A couple of days later she called to say, “I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long, long time.” Although I didn’t directly give her a better night’s sleep, by virtue of what we were able to identify for her business, much of the pressure was lifted, resulting in better sleep.

The better you can pinpoint specifically what your clients want, need, and are willing to pay for, the easier the job of developing and delivering your product becomes.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

Without a clear understanding of your market and what you have to offer them, you may make some of the common mistakes inherent in running a business. Targeting the wrong market can make you come across as interested only in the sale rather than in your customer’s needs. You might appear desperate by not being willing to let go of a potential or existing client when the fit is incompatible. And you might be unprepared when an opportunity to motivate your ideal customer presents itself.

Take time upfront to identify key aspects of your ideal client. The payoff in the long run will be well worth it.

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast.