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The first question most business owners ask themselves is, “If the key to building my company requires working with clients that I have great relationships with, how can I get the business from more of those kinds of clients?”



The secret is in identifying a target market that resonates with you and your business style and going after them to get the business. To help you figure this out, complete the following exercise:

  1. On a sheet of paper list your current clients down the left side.
  2. Then across the top list the kinds of project you do.
  3. Put an X wherever the client and the type of project coincide.

Here’s one I did for my company to give you an example:


Download a pdf and AI version of the above form.

Notice that Client #5 uses almost every service that my firm offers. (BTW, all of the above are real clients.) Client #5, a manufacturing company, is clearly the type of client that will generate the most business for us. In addition, though websites top the list, advertising and brochures have substantial numbers too. This indicates that my firm has a strong affinity with clients who want websites, but from experience, I would market to clients who need all three if for no other reason than websites tend to be one-of projects whereas ads and brochures are constantly changing in a growing company such as Client #5.

Target your best prospects through research

Now that you’ve done the above exercise, you’ll have a good idea of your best types of clients and you’ll know what business segments to target where you’ll find your greatest success. Now you can go after your ideal clients and focus your advertising to them. In other words, you can now do Focused Targeted Marketing.

Here are some online resources for finding lists of viable prospects:

Business Mailing Lists
The Business Journals
Your local chamber of commerce

What’s Next?

We recommend a 1-2 punch: A phone call followed by an email if you have the email address. Don’t take the easy way out and just email everyone or you’ll end up like the 50 to 100 solicitations that I receive every week… deleted without being read. Some years ago I had lunch with the creative director for DirecTV when they were still based here in Southern California. He made a comment that I’ll never forget. He said, “Do you know why I’m having lunch with you instead of any of the hundreds that are emailing me weekly soliciting my business?” I shook my head “No.” He responded, “It’s because you’re the only one who calls me to check in every couple of months.” That said, let’s move on to point #1 below:

1. Make a phone call to each prospect. And repeat this every 6 to 8 weeks with the most viable. Chances are when you call, you’ll be transferred to their voice mail. If so, leave a message like this:

Hello Bob. This is Will Sherwood calling from The Sherwood Group, Graphic Design and Web Design. We work with Iris Diagnostics and Advance Bionics, and as you may know, they do similar work as your company. I’m calling today to ask if you might have any projects in the works that we could estimate for you.

Since I have your email, I’ll send you a note in case it’s easier for you, but if you’d like to call me, my number, I’ll say it twice: 661-904-9977.

Thank you and I look forward to working with you in the future.

2. Send them an email with essentially the same message:

Hello Bob,

Sorry I missed you when I called today. You’ll recall that we work with Iris Diagnostics and Advance Bionics, and as you may know, they do similar work as your company. I wanted to ask if you might have any projects in the works that we could estimate for you?

Alternatively, might you have a few minutes when we could brainstorm ideas for your company’s success?

Thank you and I look forward to the possibility of working with you in the future.

Best regards,
Will Sherwood

Are You  Living the Good Life?

Every now and then we all get stuck in a rut. Generating the business you want involves some effort and time. More importantly, it involves working with people outside of your comfort zone. However, it’s worth it. So, pick up the phone and make those calls!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Email Marketing Trends for 2014
Five Marketing Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
Ideas for Growing Your Business Through Instagram
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook


This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out the social media marketing and website design packages from The Sherwood Group. We’ll help you capture new business and achieve your goals.

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