Think You’re ready to launch your business? But have no clue who your target audience is? Slow down. You don’t want to miss this important, and overlooked step selling your products or services.
It should be one of the first things to consider when starting your biz.

“Defining your target market is one of a marketer’s most important tasks. It’s the foundation of all elements of your marketing strategy, from how you develop and name your products or services right through to the marketing channels you use to promote them.” Christina Newberry, Hootsuite.

You wouldn’t fire a gun without aiming at your target. It’s the same way with distinguishing your target audience. It’s impossible to appeal to everyone, and if you try to please everyone, you’ll waste valuable time and money.
Invest some time honing in on who you think would be your typical customer using your products or services. As you get a clearer picture of who your target audience is, you’ll find an increase in your conversion rate.

So how do I determine who my target audience is?

Break it down to these demographics:

  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Job description
  • Location

For example, say you are a massage therapist, consider a typical client. A middle-aged (40-50 age range) divorced woman who works full time as an RN, has grown children, loves to scrapbook and lives in the suburbs of Toronto.
Get super detailed about these characteristics. The more you know your audience, the better you will be in tailoring your marketing campaigns to appeal to them.

Once you’ve established these characteristics, identify his or her pain points.

There’s a good chance she deals with pressure and emotional stress working in the medical field. She works long hours, is on her feet all day and suffers from back pain with the constant bending over and lifting she does for her patients.
She would be the perfect candidate for a 60-minute deep tissue massage.

The next step is determining what will convince this person to buy from you.

This middle-aged nurse, we’ll call her Diana, already has a massage therapist she has been going to for years. What do you have to offer that the current massage therapist lacks? Your competitor is a massage therapist who works at a spa, 10 miles away from Diana’s house. Diana often misses her massage appointments with her busy schedule. But you provide in-home massages at an affordable price. Diana saves both time and money by choosing you to meet her therapy needs. This scenario is one specific example of your target audience. You may have many niche markets. Now that you know your individual strengths, your next step is getting them in front of you.

Determine what marketing strategies you will use to persuade people to try your services.

Maybe you will send out coupon mailers, build a following on your Facebook business page, or focus on an effective landing page with a compelling call to action. There are many approaches to reach your customers and you will likely use many facets of marketing. Let’s say you are targeting college students. You may find more success in focusing on digital marketing efforts like your website or social media versus a mailer that is trashed at first glance.

Like any successful business, it’s trial and error that will lead you to the best methods. But by identifying your target audience ahead of time, it will narrow down those approaches to what is appropriate for your future consumers.