You can never be all things to all people. It’s important to recognize your target market and make THEM your focus.

This week we asked: My target market:

1. Is abundantly clear – 53%

2. Is somewhat clear – 47%

3. Is not clear to me at all – 0%

My Thoughts: It’s great that over half of you have a clearly defined target market. That’s a huge step in making sense of your personal brand. For the rest of you, take some time to look over your client list… then make a list of the dream clients you want to have. Market to them. In simple terms: market to what you want, not what you have.

Identifying your target market is an extremely important step in not only building your brand, but in all aspects of your marketing and business development. Here’s why: Once you’ve defined your market it makes it easier to speak to them. You can focus on what THEY want, what THEY value, what THEY look for in an attorney. Once you’ve identified those things you are better able to speak to them in their own language. Don’t tell them what you want to say… tell them what they want to know.

Some great advice from my friend Patrick Mead of Carter Newell

Differentiate yourself through specialization and expertise. This takes time–be prepared to invest time in building your own sphere of excellence and then do the same things well over and over and over.

Black Pearl: Defining a target market is a basic principle of smart marketing. Here are two great pieces that focus on non-law firm examples… but do a great job of illustrating its importance. The first discusses the now-famous Apple iPad and its search for a target market; while the second is from Business Week and looks at an equally important group: the clients your firm DOESN’T want.