If you are a service professional or a freelancer, you may have thought some or all of the following:
- I can serve everyone.
- If I narrow my market, I will lose business opportunities.
- Anyone can use my services – why not market and sell to all of them?
- I can’t possibly narrow my market to only ONE group.
- The more people I market to, the more clients I’ll get.
I get it. Figuring out your target market is hard, scary, and counterintuitive. However, “everyone” in the word is a demographic, not a target market. Here are three reasons you have to choose – really:
- You will know where to find them. Building a business one potential client at a time is not only exhausting. It’s impossible. Instead, if you identify your target market, you can find where your potential clients hang out. You can locate their professional groups, select magazines and journals to write for, and groups you can speak to.
- You will discover their networks. All target markets have a structure for communication. Your target market gathers at events, social clubs, meet up groups, professional associations and networking groups. These are perfect venues where it is a lot easier for them to talk about you. (In a good way).
- Your target market will know you are committed to working with them. In our last post, we talked about identifying your ideal client. Now you can offer your services to a group of people who already need your services. They get excited because you understand what they need and are providing the results they are seeking.
Let’s dig a little deeper. You are a copywriter. Attorneys are your target market. When your writing samples demonstrate the results you can provide, your potential client will feel confident about being in the right place. If you are working as a consultant specializing in providing sales training to professional salespeople, you can speak their language and showcase the results you provide. I could go on and on. But I won’t because I know you get the concept. Your potential clients want to know that you are passionate about solving their problems (rather than trying to be everything to everyone).
Here is the good news. If you want to get booked solid as quickly as possible chose a very specific target market and stay with it until you have all of the clients you want. Then you can move into another market if you like, or stay where you are and expand your services.
Ready to get started? Here the steps to follow:
- Think about the different groups of people who use the services you provide.
- Which of these groups energize and inspires you? Which one would you get excited to work with?
- Which group(s) do you have current clients? Or at least know people?
- What group do you have the most knowledge about?
- Or maybe, if you don’t have a lot of knowledge, which group would you like to learn more about.
Once you have identified potential groups, identify what you are passionate about, where your talents are and what you want to learn more about:
- When you think about your work, what are you most excited about?
- We all have one thing we are meant to do – that natural talent or ability. What is yours?
- What do you know the most about as it relates to your work?
- Do you have any particular interests that might connect you to your target market?
- Is there anything in your life or experience that might create a strong connection with your target market?
Here are some examples. If you are a makeup artist who used to be a stay at home mom, that might be a market you could relate to and have fun working with. Perhaps you are a 50-year-old personal trainer who got into fitness in the last 5 years and want to help people your age become more fit. You may be a business coach with a history of starting successful businesses which specializes in marketing and wants to work with other serial entrepreneurs. You could even be a closet artist who wants to help creatives develop content as part of their marketing efforts. Your natural talents and interests will help you get booked solid more quickly because you will resonate with your target market.
Select one target market that is wildly exciting to you. Listen to your heart as well as your mind. Too many of my clients have selected the group they think they “should” serve. Don’t be like them. Instead, choose your target market because you absolutely can’t wait to work with them.