A common desire of small business owners and solopreneurs is to find new clients. This is a noble and essential goal. But it’s more likely a symptomatic result of doing some other things first.

Specifically, I would urge anyone seeking to find and develop new clients to be very clear about three things:

  1. Ideal client / Target Market
  2. Value Proposition
  3. Competitive Position

Ideal Client / Target Market
A man once offered $50,000 to the first worker who could go out and return with a Rippitz. All the workers were excited at the prospect of making $50,000 and ran out of the office.  Suddenly, one asked, “Hey, what IS a ‘Rippitz’, anyway?”

The problem with not being crystal clear about WHO you want as a client is that your marketing will only be as effective as your profile of an ideal client or target market is accurate.  Clarity is key.  And muddle is trouble!

Value Proposition
What is it that you do FOR your prospective client?  What’s the ‘beneficial difference’ you can create in the life of your client?  Is that what they say they’re seeking . . . but haven’t found?

If you’re not conveying the benefit you offer a qualified individual, why would someone respond to you and your marketing?  They won’t!  And here’s a secret . . . your value is not described in terms of how you do what you do.  It’s all about what you do for someone that they want, don’t have and haven’t a clue how to get.  Get focused on that and you’ll really have something valuable.

Competitive Position
Most professionals and other service providers are not truly different in terms of their professional abilities.  True, there are variations but they’re effectively irrelevant. Afterall, earning your CPA or JD or MD or DC, etc. and being licensed by the jurisdiction in which you practice is viewed by most consumers (prospects) as evidence of your ‘acceptable competency’.

So how do you ‘stand out’ from a crowd of ‘equally good’ options or alternatives?  THAT . . . is what a good ‘position’ will do for you!

Years ago, AVIS rental cars said, “We’re #2.  We (have to) try harder”.  Their main competitor was Hertz.  Hertz was #1 in terms of everything.  Avis had to position itself relative to its main competitor (Hertz) to help prospects see them as a viable alternative.  Did Avis become #1?  No.  But by positioning itself as an underdog (#2), Avis gave prospects a way to see it as both beneficial (they try harder) and distinctive (they’re not the biggest rental car company but they’ve got a scrappy attitude).   Sometimes, that’s all you need . . . a way to help your ideal clients (prospects!) to see you in a way that gives you an edge, however slight, in a competitive situation.

SUMMARY IDEA:

These three elements . . .

  1. a clearly defined Ideal Client / Target Market,
  2. a potent Value Proposition, and
  3. a competitive Position

form the foundation for what your marketing is supposed to be . . . effective!

For more information on developing your ‘Foundation’ . . . check out The Marketing Club™ . . . a simple, effective and affordable way to gain the skills and support you want to make your marketing . . . and you . . . very successful.

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