People ask me all the time “where should I advertise”? The key to advertising effectively comes down to one word – targeting. You need to know your client base, know who you want to get in front of and then do the research in advance. Who is your ideal client?

A good way to think of it is to think of a water ballon fight. You can take one of two approaches. You can either fill up one or two water balloons open your eyes and throw them directly at your friend or you can take the time to fill up twenty balloons and then close your eyes and throw them all to the other end of the court.

The problem with the second scenario is that you’ve now taken 10x more time to fill up extra water balloons, paid for the extra balloons and water and there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually hit the target. The bigger problem is that your competition has only filled up two balloons has not paid for all the extra balloons or the water and most importantly they hit their target on the first shot while you were still standing at the hose filling up.

So here’s where you start:
1. Who are your clients?
a. Where are they location?
b. What industry are they in?
c. Which level within the firm are you trying to hit?

Once you have this information pulled together you’ll be able to get a better idea as to where you should be advertising. You’ll want to focus on the various associations, organizations and newspapers and magazines within that specific industry group. Mostly associations and organizations will have a magazine associated with them that go out to the membership. This a great place to start.

It’s also a matter of placement and timing. You don’t need to have a full-page ad in every single issue in order to get your ideal client’s attention. Contact the organizations or the magazine and ask for media plan. It will give you an idea as to when their specialty issues will come out. You want to focus in those areas that will be of interest to your “ideal client”. Remember you need to focus these ads as well as when and where you place them on what the ‘client’ wants. What you want is not what’s relevant here. I want to repeat that again, these ads are not about what you can sell to them. It’s about what you can do to help them. What will be of interest to your client? Why will they read your ad? Why will they be interested in calling you? Why will they be looking in the magazine? If you focus on the specific areas that are of interest to your “ideal client” then that have a greater response.


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