First of all, you need to have clear in mind what you are selling, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your product or service?
- What makes it better than what your competitors have to offer?
- What are its unique features?
- How can your client/customer buy your product?
You will need these answers, so you can better understand who your target audience is from your point of view. Some things might be obvious – for instance, if you sell working outfits for women, you are most certainly dealing with an audience of females from 18 to 65 years old. But other essential points might be really tricky, so be aware to not stereotype.
WHAT IS YOUR NICHE?
Take a step back and evaluate what you’re really good at. There are a million people out there who can do mediocre work in all areas of business. But if you can specialise in something and just go for it, that will set you apart and make you shine when approaching potential clients.
WHO ACTUALLY NEEDS WHAT YOUR ARE OFFERING?
No matter how much you wish to have a popular product, it won’t happen if it is too expensive for your target audience. There a few ways to find out more about your real target audience, but the most used are benchmarking and research. By benchmarking, we are talking about checking what our competitors are up to. Who do you think is their target audience? It might not take more than reading their About Us or Clients section on their website to figure this out, as their clients might be explicitly mentioned there.
Research is a must here! You should always make time for research to get to know your target audience. This can be done by putting together questionnaires or surveys and by checking out their social media pages to see what they talk about and where they visit, what they wear, etc.
DESCRIBE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND THEIR MOTIVATIONS
As mentioned by Jayson DeMers, you need to be able to describe not only the basics about your target audience but also their motivations. To accomplish it, you will need to ask yourself (and them) about what makes them buy your product or service, which problem they want to see solved.
HOW TO FIND WHERE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS
Next, you need to find your target audience and figure out if there are enough of them to keep you in business. Don’t think about who your audience is, think about where they hang out. See the below examples:
Health food industry – the gym
Children’s clothes – Target audience: mothers – where they hang out: nursery’s and child play centres, baby groups, toddler groups, gym
Graphic designer – target audience startups – where they hang out: networking events, facebook groups, workshops/talks | target audience: startup salons – where they hang out: hairdressing supply stores, Facebook, fashion shows
Home organising – target audience: women wanting to declutter to de-stress – where they hang out: yoga, spas, book shops (anywhere where they can de-stress!), organising Facebook groups
Make a note of where they spend time online, what advertisements reach them the best (newspapers, community newsletters, forums, social media) and then get involved in those spaces.
Just because you’ve defined your target audience doesn’t mean you can NEVER accept work from anyone else. At the end of the day, money is money and work is work.
But you’ll find you’re spending your time and money more effectively if you focus your marketing efforts solely on your target audience.
Sure, you’ll get spill over. But focus on your target.
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