How to Choose your Target Market
Whether you started your business deliberately, or it just evolved from a side hustle, at some point, you’ve probably sat down and thought to yourself “how do I attract more clients?”.
There are literally thousands of different ways you can attract more paying customers to your website, but what all those “marketing experts” out there tend to skip over, is that those tips and tactics won’t get you very far if you’re aiming them at the wrong target market.
Target Market: Defined
Your target market, at its most basic definition, is the group of people to whom you are marketing your products.
Technically this definition could apply to the whole world for a lot of people and, on its own doesn’t lend much help to all of us trying to land on a marketing strategy that delivers clients.
Let’s get real for a minute. Your target market should serve you in someway, more than academic knowledge.
Practically, your target market is the segment of people that fall in the overlap of “people you want to work with”, “people who have a pain you can alleviate”, and “people who can access your solution”.
How does a perfect target market help?
So you’ve heard all about how much you need to perfect your target market, but what does this actually do for you?
Well, despite the convoluted reputation, the answer to this question is pretty simple. A perfect target market saves you time and energy by allowing you to devote your sales efforts to people who might actually become customers, rather than those people who just never will.
Here is a little example to help illustrate this point.
You write blog posts about the color red to attract people to your website. The people that read your blog post naturally like the color red, and would be interested in buying a product that is red. Unfortunately, you forgot about this when you were putting up your product page which clearly states your product is blue.
Obviously that example is a little oversimplified, but you get the point.
Know your customers so that you can produce content that actually attracts them.
Do it right, and your content can even filter out people that can’t afford your product, and can even upsell for you.
Ok... but where to start?
The most frustrating part of this whole topic, is the information that’s already available out there. If you do a quick Google search for “How to choose a target market” you get a ton of information telling you to sift through your purchase history, dig into your analytics, interview past customers, blah blah bla.
Well what if you’re just getting started? What if you’re starting over?
A target market is even more important for you if you’re brand new. Don’t get discouraged with the mountains of less than useful info out there. I got you.
Work with People You Like
If you’re trying to monetize a blog or thinking about starting a new business, momentum is what’s important.
Think about the type of people you want to work with. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your clients, they better be the kind of people you’d like to hang out with.
Use clients that inspire you to build momentum and give you the validation to want to move forward.
By choosing a target market you have something in common with, you can create content and messaging that connects with them easily. Success in business, whether you’re a content marketer or a direct salesperson, is all about relationships. A market you know, that you identify with, that you believe in, will be easier to foster relationships with.
Ponder the Pain Point
It’s time to get seriously objective about your offer. What problem or need does your offer solve? Think about the pain point your product/service addresses and who exactly can claim that pain as their own.
People have some simple physical and psychological needs which must be fulfilled. If you strip away all the fluff, your product probably meets at least one of them. Which is it?
Your perfect target audience will be those that can identify with this pain point. They have spent time considering a solution, and now they are actively looking to invest in a fix.
Narrow your Focus
Once you’ve established the basics, it’s time to start editing. I’m sure you heard the phrase “If you attempt to please everyone, you will please no one”. I’m pretty sure that whole concept was invented just for this topic.
If you’re listing your target market as “men and women between 18 and 55 who own a cell phone” you need to narrow your focus.
Sure, your product might work for everybody, but you need to choose a specific set. Men and women don’t respond the same way to content. Millenials and Babyboomers don’t react the same way to pop culture references. People who swear by the iphone have a different set of priorities than those who remain loyal to android. To try an satisfy all those people with same content is literally impossible.
Break your market down into 1 narrow focus that you deeply understand and can create content that gets them excited.
My own target market has been whittled down to focus on 1, very clear group. I aim to attract social media savvy mompreneurs who have a bold and feminine aesthetic, total intolerance for bullshit, and want to build an empire around a blog and awesome content marketing.
Start as narrow as you can go, and don’t let the fear of “excluding possible customers” derail your efforts. Broad, nonspecific content will always cost you more customers than a focused market.
Segment, Segment, Segment
After you chop out all the unnecessary additions to your market, it’s time to narrow even further.
Break up your market into segments based on the needs they are seeking to fill.
When women come to my site, they are looking to increase their sales, grow their email list, launch a blog, or increase revenue from affiliate sales. I have unique segments for each of those needs, and I’ve created content that supports each.
Breaking down your market into segments based on their unique needs can help shorten your sales cycle and start converting clients into customers faster.
Selecting your target market, even before you make your first sale, is a little bit art and a little bit science. The most important factor to consider is your own willingness to work with these people as clients. If you love what you do, who you do it for, and why you’re doing it, you will kill it.
Olivia Derby is a blogging and branding coach for women entrepreneurs. After spending 10 years working in digital marketing for brands like Google, Yahoo, Audi, and Citi Group, she left the corporate world to help other #mompreneurs build empires that change the world. Olivia hosts a free Facebook group where #mompreneurs can find daily challenges to build their business. Get access to the group by signing up for the newsletter here: http://www.oliviaderby.com/#newsletter