Archive | April 5, 2011

Defining Your Market a Key for Business Success

I’m a DUI lawyer, and though this post isn’t necessarily specifically geared to attorneys specifically, I’m going to use it as an example to prove my point, that defining your market is a very important factor for business success.

Defining your market is the process of figuring out exactly who your ideal client is. It seems like it’s pretty easy to do at first blush, but it really takes some drilling down, some time, and some effort, to get it right. And getting right is critical. If you define your market incorrectly there is a high probability that your business isn’t going to see the success that it could.

For example, let’s say you are a Seattle DUI lawyer who has just decided to go out on your own. At first glance, you may think to yourself, “my target market is easy – everyone who is charged with DUI.” Fine, then tell me how you are going to find those people. Where will they be looking for help? How will they contact you? If your target market is potentially everyone, then you’ve better have a pretty big budget.

The key to defining your target market is to think about who your ideal client is. Going further with this example, this is how I would drill it down. First, there are certain things every DUI lawyer in Seattle probably wants in a client, and first and foremost is the ability to pay. That means you are looking for someone that has a job. Congratulations, you have just narrowed the market significantly.

Second, I want someone that is relatively educated. I’m also looking for a bit of a younger crowd (because my office, my style, and my marketing is geared toward that market). I’ve now significantly limited my ideal client, but in doing so I can now focus on those people that are my actual client prospects.

Once you’ve determined the ideal market for your services you can begin to formulate your marketing plan around reaching those people. To wind up with just one example of how this works, with my market, I’ve been able to completely ignore yellow pages advertising – I know my ideal clients won’t be looking for my services there. And knowing that is a big key to business success.

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