Unless you’re Google, you don’t serve everyone, and even Google doesn’t serve everyone. People who don’t have computers, don’t use Google. (Yes, those people do exist).
Yet, it is the one thing I hear from business owners all the time. When I ask them to describe their target market, here’s what they say:
Here’s the challenge, let’s assume you serve the US Market:
- Everyone is approximately 330 million people.
- Entrepreneurs represent 27 million according to Inc.
- Corporate isn’t a person; it’s a thing.
- Women represent a little less than half the 330 million citizens.
- Men represent a little over half of the 330 million citizens.
Those are huge markets, and while you may think that represents opportunities galore, it actually does not. Here’s why. Most of you reading this article are not mass marketers with giant marketing budgets like McDonald’s, Ford, and Comcast. Even the big companies segment their audiences so the right people know they are talking directly to them. For example:
- McDonalds has an advertising campaign for moms who want to give their kids something healthier than their normal french fries and a burger, like apples, juice and milk. They have another campaign for the breakfast market, and yet another for the traditional fast food consumer.
- Ford advertises trucks to rugged men, mini vans to soccer moms, and lower priced cars to younger consumers.
- Comcast advertises their sports packages to men, and movies and HGTV to stay-at-home moms.
Opportunity is not in the masses when it comes to marketing yourself as a small business. The opportunity is in your specialty, your expertise, and your niche.
- How do you determine what your target market should be? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Who do I love working with that makes me feel passionate about what I do? Think of all of the people you have worked with. Make a list so you can see the names and organizations. Read through the list. Who makes you excited and puts a smile on your face? Who makes you frown? This should be the first and most important part of your choice.
- Who is willing to pay for my services or products? Now take a look at what you’ve sold. Where are most of your sales coming from? Who sees the value in what you do? Who is asking you to do it for free? Who is paying a premium? Who is buying more than one service or product from you?
- How many people do I have influence with in any particular niche now? Sometimes the answers are right in front of your face. If I asked you, describe who you are already helping, and you wrote that out, is the answer right there?
- What is the value I bring to my customers? You can find this by reading any testimonials that you’ve received. If you don’t have any, do market research. Call 20 of your past or current customers and ask them what they’ve learned from you or what they liked about working with you. They’ll tell you what value you offer.
- Where are they hanging out? This is an important question because to grow your business, you need to know where your prospects are at so you can message them. It may be they are actively using social media, or they are big in-person net workers, or they like to support a particular charity.
It is very important to find a slice of the pie you can super serve. Trying to serve too many people will only leave your ideal customers confused and not sure if you are the right match for them. I’m not sure who said it, but it’s true “a confused mind doesn’t buy.” Once you hyper-focus, your life will become easier. The words you use for marketing will flow. Where you spend your time will be clear. The programs and offerings you have will expand. You’ll find the right tribe for you, and you will get referrals so they’ll be finding you too.
Want help identifying your target market? Send an email to Jennifer@JenniferDarlingSpeaks.com. Enter: Target Market in the Header and describe your target in the body. I’ll write back and let you know if it’s clear (or not).
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About the author: Jennifer Darling is your Positively Successful Sales Coach. She has worked with 1,000s of businesses in strategic planning to increase their revenue. She provides sales, marketing, personal development and business consulting for small to medium businesses, corporations, nonprofits, and groups. Jennifer possesses 20 years experience for companies such as NBC, CBS, FOX, and Comcast. She holds a Master’s Degree in Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising & Promotion. Learn about upcoming events on her website.