Begin At The Beginning
First things first...if you're trying to reach new markets, step back and begin by first identifying exactly "WHO" your current and potential customers are, and then make a list of your customer "Personas".
It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood...Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Next, take the time during this discovery phase, to "become each Persona" and enter their online "Neighborhood". Find out where they hang-out online, the ways in which they interact with each other, the things that are most important to them, the language they use to talk to each other (most important!) and use this information to create a "Master Keyword List" for each "Persona".
Just Hangin' Out!
In addition, make lists for each Persona of their favorite Hang-Outs, for future reference, which will prove invaluable when you begin initiating your first contact with potential strategic partners.
Now that you think you know who you're trying to bring into your site or your client's site, you have a working list of potential ways to draw them in.
Think of online marketing as you would "Fishing".
The "Fish" are your various "Customer Personas". The "Lures" are the keywords and keyword phrases they favor most.
Now the fun begins...no really!
A VERY Competitive Sport
Just like "Fishing" in the real world, SEO is a competitive sport and only those who practice their Art daily will win for their clients or their own site.
The reason for this fast pace is that just as you are working hard to bring in the "Big Fish", so are your savvy competitors, who may have just hired someone just like you who knows how to engage in "Competitive SEO".
Some online marketers may find this exhausting...but if you have even a tiny shred of competitiveness hidden deep down in your personality, you'll end up loving the daily challenge.
David Beats Goliath
And what could be better than to run your Keyword Tests and find that you have just trounced a BIG company with a major budget, just by identifying your consumers' interests and creating content that resonates with the inner persona of your potential customers.
But be forewarned...this victory dance will not last.
Tomorrow...Tomorrow...I Love You Tomorrow...You're Only A Day Away!
Tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow you must begin again to out-think, out-smart and out-last the competition.
Enjoy the Game & Play To Win!