Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding Your Target Market

Who are you selling to? Better yet, who are you hoping to sell to?

I bet you just thought "Everyone! Duh!", didn't you? (It's ok if you did, so don't be afraid to admit it! I used to say that, too!)

Unfortunately, the idea of selling to "everyone" is a pipe dream that will lead you in a very bad direction. I know, I know... ideally everyone would see our products and want to own them. But let's face it: that is just not a realistic goal. Even if we could find some way to get our studios seen by everyone, not everyone has the need or the means to buy our products.

This is why it is vitally important that you figure out who your target market is. If we don't make this an active part of our business strategies, then we will spend untold amounts of time, energy and resources trying build our customer base.

Basically, you need to determine a few key elements about your product/service and then decide who will most benefit from what you are offering. Here's how you do that:

1. Decide which of the basic 3 needs your product meets. Does it satisfy a basic need? Does it make people feel good? Does it solve a problem or fill a void? (ALL products fit into one of these categories, some may fit into more)

2. Look at your product. Ask yourself "Who can I see using this?" Ask your friends the same thing. Write down all the answers you get. Don't try to do this all in one day either. Start one day, write it all down, and then sleep on it. You may wake up thinking of a lot more things you forgot to add the day before!

3. Take another look at what you're selling. Get a pen and paper out and write down all the benefits you can think of that your product provides. Write down all the potential uses of your product, and be specific. For instance, instead of writing "gift", write "mother's day", "birthday" and "anniversary"

4. Determine the demographics of your customers. Find out (as best you can) what age, gender, economic class, etc your customer base falls into. Look at your past sales and see what they say to you. Do you usually sell to teenagers? Write that down! (Think outside the box a bit here, too. Perhaps you have you noticed that you sell to more single people than married... If so, that's important! Write it down!)

5. Take all the lists you've written and really look at them. You should see a pattern emerging. If you don't, ask someone else to look with you. If you still don't see any real pattern, it may mean that you've been "being too broad" all along. (This isn't a bad thing, it just means you need to start focusing a bit more.)

6. Make a list of all the people that fit with your above answers. For instance, if you find that your lists have a lot of answers referring to children, then write down all the people you can think of who deal with children. (Meaning, you'd put mothers, babysitters, fathers, teachers, etc...) Again, use your imagination a bit when you make this last list. The more unique answers you get now (that are also valid answers) the better off you will be when we put these to use!

* Btw, all of these things will work even if you've never sold a single thing. Just ask yourself the questions based on who you want to sell to. *

Okay, that's a good place to stop for now... It is by no means all we need, but it's enough to keep us all busy for a bit. Go ahead and answer these questions, and then check back next week. I'll tell you what to do with all this information.. I promise!

p.s. I'm going to be making my lists this week as well. I will post my answers next week, so if you get stuck or it's not making sense, maybe seeing it in practice will help! (You can also contact me if you want help before then. I won't mind a bit!)


Brandy April 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Great help! I definitely need to do this. I'll be back to check on the next step!

Ninja Jenn April 7, 2009 at 5:44 AM  

i need to do it myself... thought while i was working on it i may as well ramble about it, right? LOL


Creations With Heart April 8, 2009 at 7:44 PM  

I am starting my list! I'll be back! Thanks for all of your helpful info! :)

jinx1764 April 15, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

I'll start working on my answers!

Ninja Jenn™ April 15, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

i'm working on mine, too! (this is harder than i thought it would be... never done these things for my artisan business before! LOL)


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