Defining your target market as narrowly as possible is a key strategy for your company’s success.
Recently, I had a chance to speak to a trio of web developers and later, a group of investment advisors.
I asked one web developer, “Who is your target market?” He answered, “Anyone who needs a website.”
Likewise, I asked an investment advisor, “Who is your target clientele?” He answered, “Anyone who has money.”
In both cases, I challenged the professional service provider to more clearly define their ideal potential client. A target market definition that starts with the word “anyone” is not a target market definition at all. Every company needs a website and lots of people have money. Realistically, you aren’t the answer for all of them.
In marketing terms, it’s the equivalent of throwing mud on the wall and hoping something sticks.
An “anyone” analysis is too broad for you to create a marketing strategy that will effectively communicate with your potential clients.
If, as a service provider, you find yourself marketing consistently and not seeing results, it may be you have not identified to whom you should be marketing or developed a streamlined strategy around that.
With a clearly defined target market, you’ll have an easier time finding opportunities to connect with that market — industry related or demographic specific magazines, blogs, websites and events provide easily identifiable opportunities.
There is a saying in the consulting world — you’ll be defined as much by the clients you turn away as by the clients you take. If you genuinely have your client’s best interest in mind, then you know that you, as one person, can’t service everyone for every need.
You may ask, how, when you’re just getting started, can you eliminate a portion of the population who could potentially buy from you?
The reality is, the portion of the population who doesn’t fit in your natural target won’t likely buy from you anyway. So why waste precious resources trying to convince them?
The more you hone your service offering and your niche market, the clearer it will become as to who can benefit from your service the most and subsequently who will have the best service experience when choosing to work with you. The more focused your niche, the more referrals you’ll receive and the easier it will be to raise your profile in the smaller pond.
With the web developers I met, one was a man with thirty years’ experience in the automotive industry with a flair for marketing and improving websites. The other was a female in her twenties who liked to create websites from scratch. Can you see the difference as to whom each would appeal? Both are not able to service “anyone who needs a website”. Clearly their markets are different.
The summer is a perfect time to hone your target market. Consider your favourite and least favourite clients. What defines them? Is it the project or the personality that determines a good work environment for you? Is there a theme? Which clients aren’t just a “good fit” but are the “best fit?”
Define your parameters, focus on connecting with those people and your business will soar.