If you market to everyone, you market to no one!

Too many times when I ask my clients, “Who is your target market?” they say “Everyone can use my products/services”.  But, when you really ask the right questions, you quickly find out not everyone is your target market.

Sometimes small businesses may be afraid to narrow down their target market.  They might worry they will lose out on business because they are only speaking to one specific audience on their website or marketing materials.  I would challenge them to think this way: “if you speak to everyone, you speak to no one”.  And, if you speak to “no one”, you may not even convert those who are your target market.

Ask yourself:

  1. What are the characteristics of my ideal client?  Good communicators, want to educated, are respectful, value your product/service, decisive, collaborative, etc.  Whatever fits in your case, write these descriptors down.
     
  2. What are the warning signals of clients who may not be the best to work? You have a bad gut feeling, they lack communication during the discovery and proposal process, they are late to appointments, are indecisive, etc.  Whatever fits in your case, write these descriptors down.
     
  3. What is the geographic target market I want to serve?  Ask yourself what will most people want to travel to get my products or services?  How far to I want to travel to provide my products or services?  Some people tell me they already have clients all over the state or Metro Denver.  But, on a small marketing budget, you cannot market effectively to everyone in the whole state or possibly even Denver metro.  Look at where the majority of your existing clients are coming from to help determine the geography in which you should market your products/services.
     
  4. What is the demographic of my target market?  Look at your current clientele and see if there are any common denominators on what there gender is, age, income level, marital status, home owners vs. renter, education level, career level, etc.   Are a certain demographic more likely to buy your products or services?
     
  5. What is the psychographic of your target market?  What would motivate them to use your products/services?  What are their conscious and unconscious needs in relation to your product/service?  Try to think like them and note any characteristics that make your target market tick.

When you write blogs or copy on your website or marketing materials, think about those personas you are trying to attract.  Don’t be afraid to target them.  Speak to them and build a relationship online or in print with them, so they know you know who they are and what they need.
 

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