Today, I’m starting a series of blog posts on how to market yourself.
The first step in any marketing program is to define your target audience. (Unless you’re still not clear on what business you want to start, in which case you might enjoy my story on how I got clear on that very subject at the About Janet page.)
Think this topic is too easy? Think again.
As a copywriter, when told I should define my target audience, I thought “This is great. I write copy for businesses. Every business needs copy. So my target audience is any business.”
Sounds like I hit the jackpot, doesn’t it?
Sure, I was willing to write copy for any business. But I couldn’t effectively market myself unless I narrowed my focus on who my market was.
Otherwise, I’d be a small fish, swimming in a sea full of everything from whales to guppies.
So when I became a life coach, and again was told to define my niche, I wasn’t so quick to make my target audience “anyone who wants a life coach.”
Instead I chose work-at-home moms. Over time, I shifted a little into creative solopreneurs who struggle with marketing.
How do you choose your own target audience?
First, consider who your ideal client would be. Who would most benefit from your services? Who would you most like to work with?
Consider factors like age, gender, and income. Are they parents? Are they individuals, businesses, or both?
Think too about who you are and what you bring to your work that’s unique. For example, my own experience in marketing, working with children, and being a work-at-home mom, made WAHMs an ideal target audience for me.
1. An acupuncturist finds that most of her patients are middle-aged women with back pain or headaches. She happens to have great skill in healing headaches in particular. As a result, she might choose middle-aged women with headaches as her target audience.
2. A Reiki practitioner might choose to target highly stressed groups, such as moms, office workers, law students, or medical students. He could narrow down this audience by choosing the group he can best relate to. If he was an office worker before he became a Reiki practitioner, he might choose to market to office workers, especially since he knows what it feels like to be stressed from sitting in front of a computer all day.
You do need to be practical. If you choose a group that’s too small, doesn’t have enough income, or isn’t highly motivated to use your product or service, it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed, unless there are other factors working in your favor.
How do you figure out whether or not a particular group has an interest in what you offer? I wrote a couple of articles on using keyword search tools to determine your target audience on another of my websites. Although the articles are geared towards building a website, they can be used to find strong markets.
Here’s a link to those articles:
It can be difficult to find a good niche using the keyword technique, but it’s worth checking out. If you do find a good niche that way, do use your keyword on your website (and do some research on how to do that effectively).
If you need help choosing a target audience, feel free to book a complimentary session with me.