Too many times when someone is asked, “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 their 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.

Additionally, not every business has the money to market to everyone!

Ask yourself:

  • What are the characteristics of my ideal client? For example, for SHE Leads Group, we are looking for established businesses who are professional and provide a top-quality product or service, provide customers with exceptional customer service, are not start-ups or MLM's. We are looking for members who do not have a poor online reputation. Our members have a mindset of being givers, not takers. They want to be educated in the area of business development. They network and are well-connected. Whatever fits in your case, write down those descriptors.

  • What are the warning signals of clients who may not be the best to work? You have a bad gut feeling, they are pushy, they lack communication during the discovery and proposal process, maybe they don't respond promptly, or don't answer all the questions posed in email communication. They might be late to appointments, miss deadlines, are indecisive, etc. Whatever fits in your case, write down those descriptors. Sometimes when you write these down, you will think of more characteristics of your ideal client.

  • 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 do 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.

  • 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, occupation, marital status, home owners vs. renter, education level, career level, etc. Are a certain demographic more likely to buy your products or services?

  • 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.

Working on who is your target market and even coming up with a niche, can help brand your business in such a way that will resonate with them. Just remember trying to market your product or service to everyone, will not be effective. One final note, you must know who your target market is to determine who your direct competition is.

SHE Leads Group, offers a one-day class on how to write your DIY marketing plan. To get on our next class wait list, contact us. Doing your target market review is one step in the marketing planning process. We welcome you to visit a sampling of the business development training that is provided to members at meetings and on the back end of our website. Visit a SHE Leads Group chapter near you, where your business category is not already occupied and experience the SHE difference.

About the author

Beth Boen, Founder of SHE Leads Group

Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.

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