I love it when I ask my clients who their target market is and they give me an answer like “anyone with a small business who works from home.” I used to give the same kind of answer. I didn’t even see the problem with it, and nor do they … yet.
Narrowing down your target market may be the hardest part of getting the marketing right in a new service-based business.
First, because we don’t even get why we should narrow it – don’t we want a bigger market so we can get a bigger piece of the pie? No. And I’ll tell you why in a minute.
And second, because coaches, consultants and advisors, and lots of other product and service providers are givers. We don’t want to exclude anyone! We want everyone to like us!
Why wouldn’t they? We’re offering them something awesome! At least, we think so, but if we aren’t able to communicate that in terms that mean something to them, then very few people will buy.
In the early years of a business, assuming that EVERYONE is your target market is a fatal error that many of us make. The simplest explanation is that the larger your target market, the more work (time and money) you have to put in to attract them. Why? Because your actual target – that person who already wants and needs what you have and just doesn’t know it yet – is an individual. And they want to be treated as such.
If you are trying to appeal to EVERYONE, then you are speaking directly to NO ONE. Don’t sacrifice the opportunity to give people that warm and fuzzy feeling that happens when they believe you are talking directly to them! Watered down messaging won’t help you or them when it comes time for them to make a decision to buy.
So, first you have to narrow down your market … like really, really narrow it down. I use the avatar worksheets from Digital Marketer. You’ll see you can get super specific about every little detail, and then I go the distance and give my avatar a human name. Now when I’m writing my content – emails, blogs, social media posts – I write as if I’m speaking directly to that person.
The second critical piece is to identify a very specific problem that your avatar(s) has and make sure the solution you are offering is a perfect fit! Think about how the person might describe the problem in their own words. If you can actually describe it better than they can, they immediately relate and know that what you’re offering is for them.
Don’t worry about excluding people – they can still hire you. If you want to expand your marketing to new demographics later when you have more money and more time, great! But your marketing has to be very targeted at the beginning if you are going to get the most traction for the least input.
Boom. There it is. For the time being, anyway. Once you know who your target market is, you can easily figure out where to find them, and how to talk to them. And when you customize your language to appeal to those exact people, they will more easily be able to find you!
See how easy that was? Don’t be a generalist. Being general is boring. Find your niche and nurture them. They will love you for it!
Need help narrowing your niche? Email me at megan (at) hereandnowcoach.com. I’d be happy to help you with it, free of charge. (Call me crazy but yes, I think this stuff is fun.)