Message from Michelle
Along with the hot, hot temperature outside, things are really heating up this month around the office. I’m so excited about my major website changes, new clients, and the launch of a new marketing campaign.
I’m not the only one working to increase my online presence. I’ve had an influx of companies contacting me looking for help with their web copy and search engine optimization campaigns. A handful in the past week alone. These companies all express the same concern: their website isn’t getting them the site traffic and conversion rates they want.
There are a variety of reasons for this–the keywords are too vague, the design is distracting from the message, or the copy doesn’t provide the target market with information they want and need to know. Whatever the case, the underlying problem is that these companies are not speaking to their target market.
In this issue, we take a look at why it’s important to identify your target market and to understand what they want.
Attract the Clients You Want: Know Your Target Market
Defining and understanding one’s target market is critical to a successful business. There is plenty of information out there on this topic, yet with this wealth of information, how many businesses fail to do the required work?
Identifying and knowing a target market–inside and out–requires us to look at ourselves, at our company, and look into whom we serve and why. Too many companies have a general idea. Some have no idea at all.
The key is to get specific.
Stating a target as “anybody who needs my product” won’t cut it. Defining your target as “people in the medical field” won’t help much either. Trying to be everything to everyone isn’t going to get you the sales you want.
If you want more customers, you have to know whom you are selling to. And you should know as much about them as you can.
The more you know, the better you can target the group, speak their language, and give them what they want. If you speak to them specifically, create desire, and offer something they need or want, you will gain clients.
Speak to everyone, and you’re likely to get no one.
4 steps to defining your target market . . .
1. Identify your target: know whom you are selling to or serving
Let’s say you own a high-end clothing boutique. You sell products to women, but identifying your target as “all women” is much too vague because most of your inventory is designed for a younger crowd. Look closely at your clientele, and you may find most of your patrons are between 24 and 35. Look even closer, and you may uncover a majority of your clients are young professionals who make over $60,000 a year.
2. Understand your target: get specific
Now that you’ve identified your target, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and brainstorm. Make a list of questions you’d like to know about your target, then answer the questions to the best of your ability. You want to define their lifestyle, hobbies, profession, anything you can that will help you speak to their needs and wants.
Ask questions. Where do they shop, dine, drink? What do they read? Did they graduate from college, have a bachelor or master’s? Are they active in their community? Do they bike on weekends, or do they spend time with family? Don’t limit yourself. Keep asking questions until you feel you know these people.
The more specific you are, the better you will be able to speak to your target market.
3. Know what your target wants
Once you know whom you are talking to, you need to understand exactly what they want. Don’t assume your target knows what service you offer or product(s) you sell.
How do you know what your target wants? It’s simple: ask them. Send out a survey, interview current clients, or post questions on your blog.
Once you know what they want, not what you think they want, then give it to them. Create services and products to meet their needs. If you can figure out what your target really wants, you’ll attract all the clients you want. You will tap into that sweet spot that will keep them coming back for more.
4. Research your competition
You aren’t the only company trying to attract your target market. Researching your competition will help you discover what methods the competition is using to attract this group. Study the competition’s website, research their keywords, subscribe to their ezines, and study their advertisements and sales copy.
Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s blog, Sumer Blog.
Tip of the Month
Anyone who owns his or her own business should make it a point to read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. The book changed the way I do business. And for the better.
The E-Myth Revisited is an eye-opening read into the myths surrounding starting and owning your own business. Not only did it show me the difference between working on my business and working in my business, but it also helped me to create systems that allow me to have more free time and work less. Gerber explains, through specific examples, the pitfalls owners find themselves in and presents the solution to the problem in a positive way.
Read more about The E-Myth Revisited here