When you’re in business you need customers (or clients). Without them your business will fail. That means that you need to put your message in front of people who need what you’re offering.

Before you rush off to write a new website or launch a PR campaign, stop.

You don’t take a bow and arrow and fire arrows off willy-nilly. It doesn’t win you any prizes – and could hurt someone. You aim at a target and, ideally, want to get a bullseye. So what is the business equivalent of your target?:

Your ideal customer

Any marketer worth their salt will ask you a long string of questions to find out exactly who it is you want to reach. They’re aiming to create an avatar that identifies exactly who your ideal customer is – industry, job title, size of business, number of staff, turnover, personal style, age, gender (perhaps) – and what their problems are.

A detailed profile of your ideal customer will be a massive leap closer to your target. Instead of trying to hit a metre-wide target from a kilometre away, you’re now a mere 100 metres off.

Where to find them

When you know who you’re looking for it’s a lot easier to work out where they hang out. Are they Facebook fans or chatting in a LinkedIn group? Are they Instagram mad or Pinterest fanatics?

Are they in your local Chamber of Commerce meeting, in a weekly networking group or the local branch of a professional institute or association?

When you’ve tracked your audience down you’ve got the bullseye in your sights.

Craft your message

You know what you want to say, but do you know what they want to hear? Getting out of your business and seeing it from the customer’s perspective is essential to create a message that will engage them. Address their problems and outline the benefits they’ll experience – not what you do and how good you are.

Getting your message right will send your arrow flying right at the gold.