Ahhh, buzzwords. They are all over the web. Authenticity, niche, and target market. And as much as we love to hate buzzwords, there is a reason that they end up on everyone’s lips or blogs. They matter. And while it might seem cheesy to say (thanks buzzwords), taking the time and figuring out your target market is super duper important. And the reason for this is simply that the more people you try to appeal to, the more that you are going to find yourself not appealing to anyone. This might sound dramatic, but I’m just being real here. Finding your target market can be a serious game changer if you take the time to a) do it and b) take your time with it. So let’s chat about that for a moment.
What a Target Market Is
How it’s used in your business: Having a target market gives you a direction to focus your efforts in. Instead of getting on your platforms, clearing your throat, and shouting with everyone else, gearing your content, your services, your products, and your business as a whole toward a specific group of people will catch the eye of the people that really matter; The people who are going to use your content, products and services.
What a Target Market Is Not
Exactly the same as your “competitors.” Cyber stalking the people in the same business as you is actually good business, but thinking that you can get the attention of the same exact people can be a real fool’s gambit. While you may be focusing on the same kinds of people, realistically, you’re not going to jive with everyone because, simply put, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. And this might sound super duper harsh, but really, it is a fact and that fact is amazing. That weeds people out. Don’t like someone’s tone? Don’t read them. Don’t like someone’s style? Don’t hire them. The beauty of the online space is that our options are endless. When someone signs on with you, they are there because they want to be, not because you’re the only one doing your thing on the web. So let Miss Thing over there doing her thing on her website have her people. Find your own.
Always who you think it is. I like mexican food, horror movies, and not wearing pants. Those are some basic things about me that most of the people who know me know. And as a business owner, I could reach out into the web and find people who also like mexican food, horror movies, and pantslessness. But are those the people that I can serve best? Just because you would get along with someone does not mean that they are your target market. They may like thai food, romcoms, and all the pants. But they see the value in what you have to offer and how that can benefit them. Hey! That’s something ya’ll have in common. Go with that. Just because you have stuff in common with someone doesn’t make them a good potential client. A good business bestie maybe, but not always a good client fit.
- Set in stone. One of the best things about being a small business owner is being able to pivot on a moment's notice. This agility is what keeps our businesses alive. You stagnate, you die. So when you are making any kind of transition, such as 1-to-1 to 1-to-many in your business model, you may have to rethink who it is that you can serve best. If you take a one on one client that is a lawyer, will that same lawyer benefit from a “grow your business on Pinterest” course? Probably not. Readdressing your target market as your business grows and evolves keeps you talking to the right people, no matter what you are selling.
The Two Stat Categories That Will Rock Your World
Demographics: Relating to the structure of populations.A particular sector of a population.
This is the Uncle Sam stuff. Race, gender, age, socioeconomic stuff, and basically anything that people can’t legally hold against you in a job interview is a demographic. These are the answers that describe us as physical people. It’s all very social security office.
Psychographics: the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.
This is where we get away from race, gender, and stuff and start getting to the meat of the thing. Everything that makes you you on a mental level is a psychographic. I’ll run through why each of the categories are important in a moment, but I’m going to take one more scoop at psychographics first.
Why these matter:
Personality: Have you ever met someone that just rubs you wrong? They have something about them that you can’t put your finger on, but it’s there, gnawing at you. Compatibility encourages trust. Simple as that. You’re not going to trust someone that you on a base level don’t like.
Values: These don’t have to be the super defining values like religion, but more along the lines of integrity (your client will pay you) and understanding (your grandmother passed? Don’t worry about the deadline. We’ll work it out.)
Opinions: It’s ok to swear. It’s not ok to swear. Being down with the fact that your emotions run on a scale of “okey dokey” to “HOLY MOTHER F YES!” That’s important stuff.
Well you get the gist. This is the core of who we are as people and it is valuable to know.
Why You Need Both
While demographics are pretty run of the mill type information to have in a marketing strategy, the real value comes from the psychographics in small business. This is the part of you and your target market that have values and opinions that align. This is where the trust is built. And without trust, there is no way you’re going to sell anything. Period.
In short, your target market is what is going to drive your sales. No single handedly, of course. You have to work hard, provide value, all the stuff that makes a business a good one. But having defined knowledge of who you are speaking to, selling to, and interacting with is a big chunk of the battle. Without this, no matter how amazing you are (and you are, boo) you’re just adding to the noise.
So think it over. Really go through the demographics and the psychographics of the people that you want to sell too. Then take it a step further and ask the number one question that you need to answer; How can I best serve this group of people?