I remember when I started my practice as a business coach, I didn't have a clear idea who I wanted to serve. "Come one, come all" was my motto. I was open to helping anyone with their business as long as they were willing to pay me. Sound familiar?

However, what I found over time is that I actually did have preferences, and that I couldn't help any and all small business owners. I also learned that it was impossible to formulate my marketing message because I simply didn't know to whom I was speaking. And last but not least, there really wasn't anything that set me apart from other women coaches or made me more client attractive to prospects.

It wasn't long before it became clear that I needed to narrow my focus and choose a target if I wanted to find clients more easily.

Here are 5 strategies to finding your ideal market and filling your practice:

Define Your Niche

A niche is a cross section between a targeted segmentation of a particular market and your specialty. For example, if small business owners were your overall market, a segment of this population could be service solo entrepreneurs.

A more targeted audience could be beginner women solo-entrepreneurs. From there you could target only new women coaches, or consultants, or speakers, etc.

Your specialty, is a blend of your expertise and what you do to help your clients. So in a nutshell your niche could be: a systems business consultant who helps new women coaches automate their business to run independently.

Focus on Demographics

All targeted audiences have specific characteristics that define who they are. Demographics such as age, gender, income level, marital status, wants/needs/desires, and lifestyle choices are the first level of consideration. It is also important to understand what weighs on their heart and mind (e.g. what they value most, what keeps them up at night). In so doing, you will be able to formulate a compelling marketing message that illustrates your keen understanding of their unique issues and concerns.

Answer the question, "Does it hurt enough?"

As an entrepreneur, you are in business to make money. So the question of whether your targeted audience has the ability to pay must factor into the equation. When you provide solutions at different price points for prospects, it's easier to convert them into becoming a client or customer. However, in the end if your offer doesn't address a great enough need or benefit, they simply won't invest in your services or your products.

Determine whether your audience is within reach

The ideal audience would be one you could reach relatively easily and inexpensively. Otherwise, it may be difficult to keep the pipeline full of prospects and clients. Sometimes it pays to break ground in untapped or "unknown" markets; it can give you unique positioning, and immediate expert status. The risk involved, is not yielding the results you are looking for after investing lots of money, time and energy.

Choose a market that knows they have a problem

One of the biggest mistakes new marketers make is going after a viable market with a solution they are not seeking. Your marketing efforts shouldn't center around convincing others to take action. Instead focus your energies toward making an authentic connection with your audience and communicate effectively how you relieve them of the pain or frustration they are experiencing and looking to resolve.

These 5 strategies are essential to move from appearing as a "jack of all trades and master of none," to becoming client specific and targeted. Once you get clear about your audience, marketing will become easier and you will be able to fill your practice with all the clients you will ever need.

Author's Bio: 

Zenobia Garrison is the business success coach for women & CEO of Success Transitions. She assists professional women launch a new solo business while they work. If you are looking for more strategies to research and choose viable markets, obtain your free small report, Niche Research Return, at http://www.successtransitions.com/niche-research-gift