Business owners oftentimes feel like they are a chicken running around without a head. They spend 24+ hours a day trying to make their business a success. In today’s tough economic climate and with the “new” consumer prototype, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to keep ahead of the game.

What can the business owner do?

First and foremost, stop and breathe or you will just be chasing your tail. There are so many options available on the Internet, too many social networking sites, forums, blog sites, groups, etc. – that as you try to stay on-top of your competition and current with your industry, you might end up forgetting what your original plan is – if you have one.

Understanding exactly who and what you are (your brand) and exactly who your potential customer is (your target market) is crucial if you want to be successful.

There are many business owners who have difficulty clearly identifying their brand and target market, but who rush onto the Internet scrambling to get involved in as much as they can in as short a time as they can. This is a big mistake.

How can you select your keywords and optimize your website if you are not clear in what you are trying to sell and who you are trying to sell to?

Businesses that sell services have even a more difficult time honing in on their exact offerings than product-oriented companies. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done – it just means it will require a little more effort. Once you have clearly identified your brand identity and your customer base, you will be heading in the right direction and will be on the right path.

Do you have a Digital Marketing plan? If you don’t, you need one. But you also have to realize that your plan is dynamic and will constantly be changing as technology changes and as you access and evaluate the effectiveness of each step.

Do you have trouble identifying your target market?

Try writing down a description of your ideal customer. Once you have created this profile, you can tailor your marketing message to this specific niche. Pretend you are your own potential customer. What would make you stop and listen to what you have to say? What would make you think you “need” your own product or service? Put yourself in their shoes and market to yourself.

A very good way to help you identify your target market is to look at your existing client base.

Analyze them to get a better idea of who they are and what they like. Do a survey with probing questions to find out more about what they like about your brand, what they don’t like about your brand and even why they chose your brand. There is no better way to characterize your potential customer than by analyzing your current customer.

A word of caution – the response rate on surveys is quite low. People don’t want to be bothered so it might be helpful to give away something small or perhaps a discount on future business – something to use as incentive for them to answer your survey.

Don’t skimp on your marketing initiatives. The Internet offers you access to a huge pool of potential customers at negligible costs. Make use of these resources but remember to stop, breathe and plan.


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