There is no question that the online marketplace has changed the way consumers shop throughout the world. Great marketing isn’t about appealing to the masses. It’s about appealing to the right clients.

Finding the right clients is critical to your success. The right clients will value your product or service and be willing to pay what it’s worth. They will remain loyal, adapt as your business grows, and refer other great clients to you. They are the life-blood of your business, and as such, they should make up your target audience.

So how do you reach these clients?

Before you can reach them, you must define who they are. To do this, you must put some thought into two areas.

First, try to imagine who will get the most out of the specific benefits your product or service offers. Who is most likely to buy or use it? Who will appreciate it the most? Be specific. Think about gender, age range, profession, income, and lifestyle.

Second, think about the type of client you would most like to work with. Do you envision an upscale clientele? Do you want to work with creative professionals? Children? People with pampered pets?

Once you have determined your target audience, do some research. Study the market for your product or service, including buying trends, demographics, and pricing. Study your target market. Find out where they shop, what products they like, and what their lifestyle needs and wants might be. Give surveys. Talk to current clients that fit your ideal client profile, and find out what you’re doing right, and what you could be doing better.

Once you have gathered your information, you’ll have a larger, more detailed picture of who your target market is and what they need. Then you can work on your message.

Your message should be tailored specifically to your target market. It should speak directly to their needs and wants. It should reflect your brand and your overall goals. And it should be a running theme that threads everything in your business together, from your website, to your business cards, to your print media.

Next, take your message to your target market. Thanks to your research, you’ll know the best places and ways to access the attention of potential clients. You’ll know where to advertise, which providers and associates to partner with, and how to beat the competition.

Backed up with great customer care and a great product, you’ll have no problem reaching–and keeping–your ideal clients.