Defining your target audience can be one of the most difficult things to do when you're building your business, but it can also be the most detrimental thing to your business if you don't. One of the most common mistakes new business owners make is not knowing who their target audience is or the fear of excluding people. I promise you, you will work twice as hard at what you do & come up with lesser results if you do not narrow down your target audience & gear your marketing & advertising strategies towards them. I am going to outline some pointers you will need to know on how to define whom your target audience is.
WHO? Ask yourself, "Who is my ideal customer?" Put yourself inside their head. If you were searching for your product, what would you be looking for? What words would you use to search for what you make/provide (this is also a good rule of thumb for SEO)? What would your interests be? What would make you buy your product? What is your ideal customers average income? Do they shop high end? Retail? Department store?
WHERE? Where does your ideal customer live? Are they in a particular city, state, country, countries, or can you cater to them worldwide? Do they live in upscale areas or is your item/ service something more for money saving middle classer's on a budget? Do you offer extremely discounted items that would help with the lesser fortunate? If so, where are they located geographically? Define your WHERE.
AGE? How old is your target audience? This one is probably the trickiest one. I'm guilty of this when I first started out. I wanted to appeal to everyone, BUT you're not going to, so realize that now. If you have a unique product & you market it right- you don't have to appeal to everyone to be successful. Just stay focused. Take myself, for example. Sure there are 17-21 year olds having babies and going to baby showers, but do they have jobs or are they still in school? Are they more likely to buy my unique, handmade (in the USA) product or are they more likely to run by the nearest Wal-Mart & grab a cheap-o pack of baby bodysuits, most likely made in a sweatshop in China? You probably guessed Wal-Mart & for most you're probably right. Therefore, my target audience starts at 23.
My business is an online based business so I rely on customers that are savvy with the internet. Sure, there are many 50?'s and up that are amazing with their internet navigation & may even be more social media literate than myself, BUT chances are, where my baby and maternity items are concerned, my target audience cuts off at around 50. My crop top & tank top apparel probably cuts off around age 40.
GENDER? This one can be super easy for some & some not. Take jewelry, for example. As a person that doesn't make/sell jewelry I would automatically assume that the target audience were female - and IT IS. Where business owners get lost is thinking they should appeal to men as well because, "What if they're shopping for a gift for their wife or girlfriend?" We aren't talking "what ifs" in defining your target audience, we are talking "most likelys". Chances are if a female wants a certain ring, necklace, bracelet, etc.- she's already got it picked out for herself & she'll send her guy in that direction. I had a hard time with this because I do make Men's t shirts as well, but after tracking my analytics & stats, I was able to see that women are most likely to buy for their men than men were to actually be searching.
Remember: LESS>MORE. Less is more & it couldn't be truer in defining your target audience and figuring out where to gear your advertisements. Being in front of 5 of the right people is better than being in front of 100 of the wrong people.
How did you define your target audience? Tell us in the comments below!
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Keywords: Small business, Etsy, Online business, Handmade, How to be a successful small business, Defining your target audience, Knowing your target market, advertising, marketing, Liv & Co.
Proud Mom of 3 beautiful children. Creator, designer, & owner of Liv & Co.
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