When I started my company, I had zero business background. No MBA, I’d never taken a business class – never even did the whole lemonade stand thing. So, if you’re like me, you probably found that there’s a bit of a learning curve when starting a business. I want to help you out with one of the biggest tips I could give that will save you time, money, and headaches! You’ve got to define your target market…
We’re talking about determining who those people are who want to buy from you. How old are they? What are their interests? Are they a Consumer or a Business? and so on.
It’s about getting specific. Many business owners I speak to say they are trying to reach everybody, so they don’t take this step seriously. So what they end up doing is aiming at everything, and hitting nothing!
If you haven’t taken this crucial step yet for your business—or if you’ve only done a half-baked version of it—I’m going to give you 4 reasons why you absolutely need to now!
4 Reasons Why You Need to Define Your Target Market
1. Never need to cold-call
Cold-calling sucks! I know very few people who enjoy it. I did it as a door-to-door salesman, and as a call-center rep, and I hated it. Sure, some people are good at it and make a lot of money this way, BUT if you’re like me, I’m sure you’d like to know a better way. What if there’s a way you can get your message in front of the people who really care about it?
When you narrow down your target demographic, you’ll never have to deal with cold leads again. The key is what you do with that information. From knowing that “avatar” of your target customer, you can determine where these people congregate.
For example, if you’re a health and fitness coach, and your target demographic is stay-at-home moms who want to lose weight, you need to find out where those women congregate. Maybe you find out that there is a local book club where stay-at-home moms meet weekly. That is where you need to be – you need to join that club and get to know those women. Inevitably, at least one of those women will learn about what you do, and hire you for your services.
See? No cold calling necessary – just relationship building. But it wouldn’t be possible without taking the time to define your target market.
There are so many ways you can apply this principle. If your audience is on Twitter, you can find your target market through commonly used hashtags by that demographic. You can find Facebook groups or online forums to join where your demographic congregates online. You can advertise on popular blogs that your demographic reads. With the internet, it’s easier than ever to reach those warm or hot leads.
2. Spend less on ads
Again, the internet has opened up amazing opportunities for marketing that were never available to anyone before. With services like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, you can target specific types of people by interests, location, profession, and more. Once you’ve learned your client avatar, it’s just a matter of targeting them through these amazing tools.
Not only that, but when you’re creating the graphics and copy for these ads, you have the ability to shape them to the language and look that would appeal to your target market.
All of this saves you a ton of money because you end up paying way less for those click-throughs and impressions.
3. Avoid burnout
Eventually, you may reach a certain point in your business like I did, where you find that you’re not enjoying your work anymore. I’m a graphic designer, and for a while, I was just taking any and every project that came my way. But there came a point when I had dealt with “one difficult client too many”, and it left me hating the job that I used to love.
I’m a perfectionist, so I generally want to please all my clients; but as you may have already discovered, this is not always possible. Sometimes you get those occasional clients who are just plain difficult – their expectations are unrealistic, they don’t communicate well what they want, or whatever it is.
Also, as a designer, I found that there is nothing that sucks the life out of me more than when I design a beautiful logo or website, and the client wants me to make changes that I know will look awful and I know will not benefit their brand.
I decided enough was enough – I was burning out quickly by working on projects that didn’t bring me joy.
So, I sat down and wrote out a list of characteristics of who I would want as an ideal client. I realized I wanted to work with small business owners who have achieved enough success that they could actually pay me a fair rate. I also wanted to work with clients who valued the design and marketing expertise that I bring to the table.
This is an important thing to note here: determining your target market is not just about discovering who wants to buy from you. You also have the opportunity to shape who you want to work with.
Take it from me, you don’t necessarily want to work with everybody. Trying to make an extra buck is not even worth the emotional toll that can come when working with a difficult client.
And the thing is, you don’t need to work with everybody! There are plenty people out there who will actually value you or your product, pay you for what you’re worth, and treat you fairly. So what you need to do is shape your target demographic in such a way to reach only those ideal clients. Then, when you do that initial consultation, you can ask yourself, “Does this person fit the profile of my ideal client?”
(Granted, you can’t completely cut out difficult clients, but this will help significantly!)
4. Create marketing material that’s actually effective
Once you’ve determined who you are marketing to, it should affect your entire brand. That includes all the marketing material you put out: your website, your social media posts, your business cards, your blog topics, and more.
When you know your target market, you’re not guessing anymore. You actually know that your marketing material is working for you. Instead of grasping at straws, you are attracting those ideal clients.
Now, whether I’m designing for myself or for another business owner, I’m always considering the target demographic. It’s one of the first things I discuss with new design clients because it affects everything. The colors, the images, the messaging – I’m thinking about each one and how they will relate to their client avatar.
So, I hope I’ve drilled into you the urgency of defining your target market, and why you can’t afford to put it off any longer!
I’ve explained why it’s important, but maybe you don’t know where to start. Check out this post where I discuss 5 simple steps of how to define your target market for your business.