One of the things local businesses find most challenging is pinpointing their target market.
Fortunately, geography provides assistance in starting the process. For a local business, getting a general idea of how far potential clients are willing to travel for a service provider is easy. Simply asking colleagues in your business or profession is a good place to start. For an established location, current customer or client records can help determine where clients or customers travel from. For a new business, trade associations and industry groups are a good resource for demographic information.
After you have determined where the people you can help are located, you’ll know where to start connecting with them. Next, you can start to drill down and find out who you are addressing your marketing communication to. That is the first step in crafting messages that will connect you to clients and customers. To do that, you have to see them as real people with real lives, real hopes and dreams. In the marketing profession, this is frequently referred to as creating a customer avatar or customer persona.
Imagine who your ideal client is.
What did he or she have for breakfast this morning. A bagel with cream cheese? A green vegan smoothie? A scone and coffee from the Starbucks drive-thru? Each of these breakfast menus indicate something important about your client or customer. The choices they make on a daily basis, the path they travel in their life and their potential destination will decide if their journey eventually leads your door. Crafting the client avatar in as much detail as possible will allow you to really visualize and create a “person” that you can relate to.
Why go through this exercise?
Because sales and marketing communication is only effective if it is targeted to a specific individual. The reason that the response rate to mass advertising is so low is that while many people hear the message, it is of value to only a few. The more specific a message, the more impact it has. By creating a message that is designed to resonate with your target client, and determining where to connect with that client, you can generate a marketing effort that will produce the results you need to grow your business.
The details you discover about your client will help you know where to find them and how to connect. The more you know about your client, the more effective you will be in all your marketing efforts.
It is especially important to zero in on a specific target when you are in a highly competitive profession. When you craft a target market that is tailored to your experience and expertise, the is no competition. There is only one you! A good exercise to start homing in on a target market is listing specific experiences, whether from business or personal life, that make you the ideal service provider for your ideal client. Your specific skills and experiences will help you craft your ideal client avatar and determine who really needs you instead of the other choices that your potential customer or client will be offered.
Quantify and qualify your ideal client.
As you really specify what you do for your clients, the client avatar will come into sharper focus. Keep doing this work until you have a clear idea of who you are talking to. Everything you do, from creating a Facebook post to writing a sales page to creating a video for your YouTube channel will be directed at this specific person.
What you are really doing is a process of elimination. You are slowly eliminating people from your potential client universe. It might feel scary, but it is really a good thing. Due to the constraints of time, space and budget, you really can’t serve everyone. Specifically targeting your customer means you are specifically targeting the money you spend on marketing. That’s how you really product the type of return on investment that you need on your marketing dollars.
That is how I have earned the reputation as the Results, Returned marketer. By carefully crafting a marketing message and delivering it with a narrow focus, you will connect with an attract your highest value client. A high value client is one who will return again and again, principally because you have the value to deliver. It is a mutually symbiotic relationship that will grow over time.