OK, so if you've read any of my Facebook posts or even some of my emails you should know by now that it's so, so, so important to know your Target Market. Sometimes I think it's more important then knowing your product. That's not really true, but it's sort of a give and take. If the market your targeting isn't the one that needs, wants, or is willing to pay for your product or service then you need to adjust one or the other so that they are a match. Otherwise, you're not going to get very far. It doesn't matter what you do.
What that means is that as business owners we should have an idea of what are target market is and what are product or service is, but now we need to take some steps to make them gel. Be prepared to make changes to either one of these or both until you find the perfect connection.
Step 1 - Given the product or service you are planning on selling, and thinking about your target market as if it was one or two actual people, what do you know about them? Here you're starting to create your Target Avatar (you know like the video games). So get out your pen and paper and get to creating. Here are some questions to get you started:
What does this person look like?
Are they male or female?
What level of education do they have?
Where do they live?
How much money do they make?
How old are they?
What kind of work do they do?
Do they have a family, a relationship, or are they single?
What do they like to read, where do they shop and visit?
What groups or clubs are they part of?
You get the idea. This is more then an overview. Dig down into what this person does and where you find them.
Step 2 - Once you know who your are looking for, you need to see if people are looking for you and what you're selling. You don't need to have all of these, to validate your idea, but having a few that can give you that feeling of justification of your business idea and will really help you figure out your target market.
2a - Look for where you're product or service is being sold and see if you can find any evidence that people are buying it. For a digital course it might mean going to www.Teachable.com and checking out what kind of classes are available and how much much they are sell and at what price points. Or you can look in Facebook groups or at comments on these sales pages. You might find that similar classes are being sold for higher dollar amounts, indicating that your target market has bigger bucks to spend. Reading the comments will help you understand what your target market's biggest pain points are too.
2b - Check www.Amazon.com. When you go on to Amazon, people share what they liked and didn't like about the media and books they buy. Try to find a few with high sales and check out what the reviews are saying. What can you take away from this research? This time with your target markets pain points you can fine tune your product, as needed, or come to the realization that your target market might not be who you thought and then choose to tweak it.
2c - Check Alltop.com for all the top blogs in a particular industry/category. Find blogs with Facebook pages associated them and check the audience insights inside your page ad manager. Here you'll learn more about the followers of a particular company (one that is similar to what you're aiming to be). It's not cheating! It's research.
3. Lastly, to find out more about your target market. Ask! You can join Facebook or networking groups and ask people what they think about what your offering or planing to offer. Some people will be willing to fill out a quick thoughtful survey of have a 5 -15 minute phone call, especially if they are part of your target market. Ask them everything you can and once you have done all 3 steps you will have a pretty solid understanding of who your target market is.
Once you do, don't forget to write it up and add it to you marketing plan. You're so close to having a killer marketing plan that gives you the confidence that you need to make the right decisions for your business.