When you own a small business, it’s easy to lose site of who your business is meant to serve. It’s easy to think that your target market is EVERYONE just because you are eager to grow your business. But let’s think about this: If you are an insurance agent, is your target market 12-year-olds? If you are selling the latest urban fashion trends, is your target market my grandma? If you own a lawn care company, is your target market an apartment dweller?
You get the point. Target markets matter. But how can you get to that elusive target market? Ask yourself these questions:
- Who are my favorite customers to work with?
- Which customers are the most profitable for my business?
- How can my product be repositioned to reach a new audience?
Once you’ve identified your target markets, create some buyer personas. Basically, these are fake or real people who you help you talk more directly to your customers. I like to name these personas and give them a photo to make it more personal and real.
Here are some questions to ask for your buyer personas:
- What is the person’s age, occupation, education level, area of residence?
- What motivates them?
- What problems do they have that your product/service can help them overcome?
- How do they make decisions?
Take these questions and create a profile of your customer. Most businesses need multiple buyer personas. How can you find the answers to these questions? You can either ask your customers directly or you can talk to people you know outside of your business to get to know these aspects of their lives. Most can be discovered by simply listening to people share their stories about life, family, and customer service experiences.
These buyer personas help inform your marketing decisions. The client who wants to reach women who are raising kids is going to use Facebook, while the client who wants to reach men over 60 may use an advertisement on the local coffee shop placemat. Find people where they are and talk to them at that point.
Go to your audience rather than expect them to come to you. They’re waiting to hear from you, but they want the message to be something that resonates with them. Take a little time and think about ways to connect. You’ll be glad you did.