Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who Am I?

I'm in the process of compartmentalizing my business. I'm separating part what I do -- the actual hands-on writing for clients (and, on occasion, for myself) -- from the educational offerings that apply to many writers in many situations.

To that end, I'm readying Muse Ink, a writer's service site offering coaching, educational tools, free information, workshop classes, and personal advice to writers. I have big plans for it. I'd like to see it grow to include several "writing muses" -- professionals in the industry -- who will speak, educate, and inspire writers on a variety of subjects from screenwriting to agent acquisition, from fiction to non-fiction.

I don't want to launch the site, however, before it's ready. I'm pleased with the numbers of people visiting my webpage every month. I want to make sure that if I send a considerable percent of those people to the Muse Ink site, it's worth their while to go.

I also want to take care to develop a site and business necessities (business cards, logo, one-sheets, and other promotional materials) that can grow along with the business, instead of needing revamping every time a new wrinkle is added.

And so, I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about things like:

* Who are my ideal clients?
* What questions do they have, and how I can best answer them?
* Where do these people go for information?
* How much disposable time do they have?
* What is their attitude toward continuing their education or acquiring a new skill?
* How do they learn best?
* What do they value most?
* Why should they come to me?
* What do they need to learn from me, in order to do what they need to do?

Not surprisingly, though the questions are rather straightforward, answering them took quite a little bit of time. I "know" who my clients are, but I wanted to make sure that I had considered my business from their perspective first, instead of concretizing it to fit my interests.

If you are in a business you would like to grow, to attract new clientele, or to take in a new direction, it might be worth your while to ask yourself "Who Am I?" Then answer the question from your Ideal Client's point of view.

You need to know what keywords the IC will type when looking for something you can deliver. You need to know how much disposable time and income your IC has -- and then tailor your services to match the IC's resources. And you need to know what you have to offer.

I guess the point really is: Know Thyself. And be able to articulate that knowledge so your clients can find you.

More thoughts on the subject on Thursday...