In the words of the late, great Steve Jobs, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.” He wasn’t exactly talking about your target market but it’s great to know for business in general. Plus, I’ve just been obsessed with ice cream my whole life.
What is your target market ?
First off, before anything else, you have to know what a target market is. So boom, Investopedia defines a target market as “a group of potential customers whom a company wants to sell its products and services.” Easy peasy. Knowing who these people are enables you to maximize your profit by advertising to people who are most likely to buy your products or book your services.
Trying to sell to everyone is, in effect, selling to no one. So it’s super vital to your success to narrow down who you plan on placing your brand in front of. Here’s how to figure out who those people are !
Who is your target market ?
A great first step, if you’re already in business, is to analyze who is already giving you their money. How old are they ? What gender do they identify with ? Where do they live ? What language do they speak ? How much do they spend per order on average ?
If you haven’t been keeping track of information on your customers don’t fret. Just start now. Answer those questions based on assumptions. (I will almost never tell you to assume things.) After a month or so, go back and see what the actual data says. If you use social media though, you definitely have this information on your page. Take a look at your insights. If you’re a business that serves other businesses, these questions will look a little different. We’ll get to that in a later article.
You can also just decide who you want your target market to be. This may result in you changing your products or services a little bit to match but it’s still worth it. Either way, it’s super likely that some type of change will be made. If you like to live a life of luxury or you have 10 kids for example, you might decide that you’re going to target people who are willing to spend a lot of money at once as long as they don’t have to do a lot of work on their part. Then you can research what kind of people usually do this and go from there.
What value do you bring your target market ?
Okay, second step. Be clear about the value of your product or service. Listing specs and features don’t really woo the average customer. Despite what they say, science shows that people don’t buy products. They buy solutions. Your value lies in whatever issue you’re solving. Be clear on this and assess what type of people have the related issue. Then make sure your copywriting clearly states how they’ll benefit from what you have more than what your competitor has.
For example, if you’re selling motorcycles you’re not really selling a mode of transportation. When people need transportation they buy cars. When you sell motorcycles you’re selling an alternate persona. You’re solving the problem of people thinking they need something tangible to spice up their life. So your target market may include people possible going through a midlife crisis or that are generally bored with their day to day.
Another example is maybe selling hair extension services. A lot of people do their hair at home or go to keke’s house around the corner. So you’re not exactly selling sew-ins. Especially if you’re selling that service at the price you deserve to be selling it at. Because, quick digression, when I was an in-salon cosmetologist I really hated doing sewins because it takes forever to wash then blow dry their hair, braid it up, sew the extensions in and then still have to style it ! It creates so much wear and tear on the body and it takes a lot of time and still most people really wanted it to cost under $200. Girl bye !
So if you’re in a salon and you’re offering this luxury service, it’s most likely that what you’re truly selling is CONFIDENCE ! So your selling point can be more about how good they’ll feel and how when people are confident in themselves they tend to have a more positive life experience all together. Especially if you’re serving clients with cancer or alopecia. Again, make sure you’re focusing way more on exactly what they’re benefiting from you specifically.
Find your “target market statement”
Last, come up with a target marketing statement and test it out. This statement should have at least 4 parts. It will be pretty similar to your mission statement. Who are you selling to and what are you selling ? Why are you selling it and what will they benefit if they purchase or invest in it ? Check out ZipCars:
“To urban-dwelling, educated, techno-savvy consumers who worry about the environment that future generations will inherit, Zipcar is the car-sharing service that lets you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, making you feel you’ve made a smart, responsible choice that demonstrates your commitment to protecting the environment.”
You can clearly see they’re not trying to sell to everyone. They markey their services to people who 1) live in urban areas, 2) have some type of formal education, 3) are comfy with the tech world and 4) are concerned about the environment.
Put It All Together
So we know that trying to sell to all humans on earth just doesn’t work. You can either look at your data or just simply decide who you want to sell to based on your own needs. The best way to do this is through a little trial and error and tweak as you go until you feel solid. Focusing on the offer itself won’t get you far. You have to, instead, focus on how they’ll be benefiting from coming to you over anyone else. You can keep it tight and keep it right by writing out a clear statement with your intentions and keeping that to the forefront of your mind !
Still confused ? Or does this seem like it’s just way too much brain energy ? That’s what I’m here for baby ! Schedule a consultation with me either in person or over the phone and I’ll get you all the way together.
I write and teach about how you can set yourself up to make some money doing what you love for a living and how to keep your life in order to make it all go as smooth as possible. Join the other thousand people and subscribe right meow !