How to Define Your Target Market
You may think "my product or service will work for everyone”. If you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one.
Many entrepreneurs skip or they do a very poor job of defining their target market because they simply don’t understand the importance of it and the risks of not doing a good job at this stage.
Also, I will say there is a lot of misleading information on how to define a target market and many times I find a lot of people make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Having a very clear picture of your target market is going to save you time, money, and a great deal of frustration later on.
When my clients tell me they need more clients, we often go back to exploring their target market, and it becomes clear that they never clarified their target market, and they have spent thousands of dollars marketing to no one.
You may think "my product or service will work for everyone” and you don’t want to leave anyone behind and you believe your product or service can help everybody.
Most of the entrepreneurs that I have worked with want to make their market bigger because they are afraid if they get too specific, they are missing out on potential clients, and they really do want to help as many people as possible.
Unfortunately, when you don’t clarify a target market or you choose to stay very broad for fear of not having enough clients, you end up spending a lot of money on marketing that likely does not return on your investment.
Let’s clarify what happens when you don’t have a clear target market:
If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one;
In a world of infinite choices when you see something that is not directly for you, you stop listening and move on;
You’ll be writing vague copy on your website that doesn’t really speak to anyone specifically;
You won’t really gain anyone’s attention;
The ultimate result is low to no sales, and without sales, you don’t have a business.
As you can surely admit there is a huge downside to not defining a clear target market.
Now there is a significant upside to having a deep understanding of your ideal customer - let’s review just a few benefits of knowing your audience.
Allows you to build a focused and targeted message that can cut through the huge amount of noise in the market;
You can deliver your ideal client greater value;
You can “filter out” unwanted clients, saving time and money;
You can focus your sales and marketing efforts on generating high-quality leads.
So now that you understand the importance of defining a target market let’s review how to go about doing just that.
You have to get really good at understanding who exactly you’re talking to and, more importantly, what are the results that they’re trying to get.
When people are committed to getting a particular result, they are happy to invest in someone who can deliver specific results.
You need to know:
Who are your potential customers?
What do they want?
Why do they want it?
Getting started in defining your target market is often the hardest part. Mostly because there is so much pressure to get it right.
Let me put your mind at ease.
What you come up with within the explore phase is not set in stone.
Do your best to choose an ideal target market for your product or service, then test it, socialize and explore interest for your product or service in that market.
If your product or service does not resonate with the target market you first decided on, don’t panic.
That is why you are exploring it now, so you can adjust, make changes, test again, and be better prepared for market launch.
Even when you launch to the market, you will make adjustments to the target market as you get more and more data to work with.
The point I am trying to make is - don’t get overwhelmed by this task and then skip it altogether.
You don’t have to hit a home run the first time. You will continue to improve to get better and better at defining your most ideal target market.
Let’s go right to step 1 of researching your target market.
STEP 1 – Identify the demographics - Who are they? Who are you targeting?
The most common demographics are:
# of Children.
Age, Gender, and Location are the most common demographics. If you are overwhelmed with where to start to define your demographics, focus at least on the most common demographics.
When it comes time for you to create ads for your product or service, you will be asked to specify your demographics.
STEP 2 – Find out the psychographics - what do they want and why do they want it?
Demographics will tell you who is most likely to buy; psychographics will tell you why they buy.
Psychographics are what motivates the buyer to take action. You will need this information to write your copy and speak the language that evokes emotion and creates the desire to purchase.
Without diminishing the importance of demographics, I want to stress that psychographics are vital to creating marketing that will get you sales.
To research the psychographics of your audience, you want to find out their hopes, fears and dreams.
Psychographic profiling can be challenging because it requires you to immerse yourself in the market’s inner psychology.
Let’s review the elements you need to consider to define psychographics.
You will want to research:
STEP 3 – Clarify your value - How does your product or service help your target market?
You’ll need to determine two main things:
What are their biggest problems or their greatest desires at the moment?
How can you help solve their problems or help satisfy their desires?
To answer the first one, think about what their biggest dreams and aspirations could be, and what’s stopping them from achieving those? What results are they looking for?
There is only so much you can do to answer these questions by researching on the internet; you will need to get out and ask questions of the target market you identified in step 1 and 2.
For example, my ideal client is an aspiring or new entrepreneur who wants to own their time and create financial stability on their terms. Their biggest obstacle is that they don’t have clarity where to start, how to build a sustainable business, and they don’t have the confidence they can do it.
The way I help my clients is I created a system that takes them from idea to launch and gives them the step by step clarity on how to build a sustainable business by putting in place all the necessary foundation and I give them the confidence to know they can do it with personal development strategies and tools to get them passed the fear, overwhelm and self doubt.
Now, I didn’t figure that out on my own by sitting at my desk and researching on my computer. I asked current clients questions, and I listened carefully to the words they used when they answered my questions.
I reached out to people that fit my target market in terms of demographics and psychographics, and I invited them to coffee or lunch or a zoom call, and I asked more questions, and I listened to their words.
Step 4: Know who IS NOT your target
This step may surprise you.
Now that you have a better idea of how to define your target audience, you also need to know whom to exclude.
You need to weed out potential customers who don’t fall within your target audience description.
Determine who doesn’t deserve your time and attention.
For instance, maybe you’re marketing exclusively to women. That cuts out roughly half the population right there.
Or maybe it’s that you’re not catering to consumers over age 50.
This step may be confusing you, and you could be asking…
Why do I want to exclude people? I want to make as much money as possible.
Try not to think of keeping a targeted profile as excluding anyone, but rather keeping your messaging focused on the people who you can make the most impact on. Trust that everyone else that is for you will follow once you made an impression with your core target market.
Once you have your demographics, psychographics and you know your value and whom you are not targeting, you are well on your way to creating sales success.
If you have started to define your target market, what was the most surprising thing you found in your research?
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Wishing you love, joy and peace,