If you are an entrepreneur, one of the words you’ll hear most often in relation to your business is your target market. I recently looked up the definition of target market and here’s what I found:
Target Market: A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services
If you’ve taken any courses on growing your business, chances are that the course talked about finding your ideal client or your target market. But, if you’re like many entrepreneurs, this is one of the major sources of confusion for you. You might be asking yourself: How do you find your target market? How do you know who your target market is? How do you get to know your target market? How do you define your target market? What is a target market?
And because one of the questions that I get most often at Launch Grow Joy is “How do I know who my target market is?” I thought I would write a post about it to clear any confusion you might have around this topic.
Here’s a simple, two step process to help you determine how to define your target market:
- Who is actually buying your products now?
If you already have a business that has sales, set some time aside to get to know your current clients and customers. Send them a quick survey and ask them things like their age, their gender, where they live, what publications they read, what websites they visit, what products they use, what their interests are, etc., so you can get to know them better. This will give you an idea of who they are so you know where to find them. A sample size of at least 100 responses will give you a good overview of your clients. I’ve done this once per year with all of my businesses and I’ve gotten some great insight into who is actually buying my products. With my t-shirt business, I found that over half of my customers read Food & Wine magazine. I would have never known this if I hadn’t asked them (and what that meant for me is that I started connecting with them on the Food & Wine Facebook page, reached out to Food & Wine editors to see if they would feature my products and wrote some blog posts about food & wine topics). And here’s a quick tip: offer your customers something in return for their time (a substantial discount on their next order, free shipping, a free gift, etc.).
- Who do you actually enjoy connecting with?The second thing that comes into play when defining your target market is to look at who you actually enjoy marketing to (and by “marketing to” I mean “connecting with.”) I knew that one of the audiences that I really love working with and connecting with are yoga studios and people who do yoga. So, with both my t-shirt line and my organic soap business, I included this group in my target market. When it came time to reach out to retail stores, the first group of retailers that i reached out to was yoga studios. And when it came to pitching my products for publicity, once again yoga magazines were on my list. Is there a group of people that you enjoy being around and doing business with? If so, make sure to include them in your target market.
It’s ok to have more than one target market, especially as your business grows, but I always recommend starting out with ONE first and making sure that you completely understand that market before reaching out to others.
Do you have a clear idea of who your target market is? I’d love to know how you came to define them. Leave a comment below and let me know!