Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Developing Your Target Market (and a Challenge!)


How many of you spend more time than you'd like promoting your shop and your products?  

Most crafters and artists I know, myself included, would rather spend more time creating and less time promoting.  In my ideal world, I would just be able to make new pieces, and buy new tools, and shop for great supplies, and my product would just sell itself.  The reality is that if we don't promote our stuff, people won't see it.  And if people don't see it, they don't know it exists.  And if they don't know it exists...can you see where I'm gong with this?

I am always looking for better, more efficient ways to promote my work.  It's the reason I joined The PromotionalFrenzy Team in the first place, because promoting on my own wasn't getting me very far.  I've also been working lately to define (and refine) who I think my target and niche markets are.

Target and niche markets are really the cornerstone of efficient marketing.  If you don't know who you're selling to, or who's buying your stuff, you'll spend a lot of time promoting with very little return.  For example, if you send out a coupon code to 1,000 random Twitter followers, you might (stress on might) see a sale, maybe 2, and a little bump in traffic.  But if you send that same coupon code out to 100 targeted customers, people you know are looking for what you offer, your chance of sales goes way up.  Less work, more sales?  It sounds like magic, right?  So let's talk about how it works.

First, some definitions:

Target Market: A group of potential customers who have a common trait or characteristic.  For example, a bead supplier's target audience might be jewelry makers.

Niche Market: A more focused group within a target market.  For example, "jewelry makers who buy and sell on Etsy, ages 20-40, and live in the Southeast" is a much more defined sub-group of the target market referenced above.  Your niche market is made up of people similar to your ideal customer, which we'll talk about in a moment.

Off the top of your head, can you say who your niche market is right this moment?  If your anything like me, maybe you have a general idea somewhere in the back of your mind, but it's pretty vague and you probably couldn't put it down on paper, were you asked to.   This probably means that you're promoting everything to anyone who will listen, which is exhausting and time consuming, and not at all engaging.

Developing your target and niche markets changes that.  If you know that your target market is a group of women between the ages of 20 and 35 living in the Midwest and working from home, you can tailor your marketing efforts to target them.   

You can also tailor your products to suit them, addressing their specific needs.  Maybe your niche market is made up of stay at home mommies who need jewelry that is toddler proof.  Or maybe they have a lot of stress in their lives, and loves to burn scented candles in the evening while unwinding with a bottle of wine.  Once you get to know your ideal customer, everything you do can be addressed to them.

When you write your item descriptions, you can tell your niche market why your item is perfect for them and how it fits in their lives.  When you engage your niche market via social media, you can share things  that are relevant to them, and therefore interesting.  You can tailor your shop policies to cater to your niche market, you can use language that your niche market is comfortable with, you can run ad campaigns that catch their eye….the list goes on. 

So, how does one go about finding their target/niche market?  Etsy just recently published a blog post  with lots of helpful tips.  Included in their article was a link to a download-able worksheet that I think is a huge help in defining your ideal customer.  Up above, I mentioned that your niche market is made up of people similar to your ideal customer.  Your ideal customer is a fictional character with all the traits of your niche market, who is also your biggest fan.  Getting to know your ideal customer is a great way to personalize your target market, giving a face to that impersonal list of characteristics. 

I really encourage each of you to sit down with a pen and paper and fill out the worksheet.  Actually force yourself to write out answers, don't just think about it.  By actually writing something down, not only are your forcing yourself to develop a concrete idea of who your ideal customer and niche market might be, but you're also creating something to reference later as you continue to develop your brand.
I actually think filling out this worksheet is so important that I decided to create this blog challenge around it.  Follow the instructions below, and enter by June 11th, 2013 for a chance to win a special team blog feature! 

To enter:
  1. Visit and read the Etsy Blog post titled "How to Find your Target Market" [http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/how-to-find-your-target-market/]
  1. Download the PDF worksheet [http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/files/2013/04/Define-Your-Ideal-Customer-Worksheet.pdf]
  1. Spend some time filling out the worksheet.  Use extra paper if you need it, and really get to know your ideal customer. 
  1. Leave a comment below answering the following four questions about your ideal customer:
    1. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    2. List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    3. What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    1. Briefly describe how your products meet that need. 

Once you've entered, I really encourage you to take your new found insight about your ideal customer and re-examine your marketing and promoting efforts, as well as your shop in general.  Are you reaching your target and niche markets?  If you're not, brainstorm some ideas on how you might better target them.  Don't be afraid to experiment with your marketing and promoting strategies.  Remember, it only takes one view to get a sale. 

Thanks for reading!  I can't wait to "meet" everyone's ideal customers.

Until next time,
Happy Sales!!

**Brought to you by Heather of Little Hill Jewelry**

31 comments:

  1. Wonderful article, Heather!
    Thanks so much for coming up with this Challenge idea ... and running with it!!!

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  2. Great post Heather, this really gets one thinking about their business.

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  3. Fantastic article, Heather. Well worth reading and great food for thought.

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  4. Off to go grab that worksheet. Thanks Heather for another relevant post!

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  5. Wow, this is fantastic!!!! I really really need to get a handle on my ideal customer. Can't wait to complete this, and meet my 'customer'

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  6. Some fab ideas to work with on how to understand your ideal customer. Sue (SunnyCrystals)

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  7. A great blog post. Will be back with my answers. Thanks for the challenge.

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  8. Great article! I will be checking out the blog and downloading the worksheet. Thanks!

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  9. Great article and I love the challenge! I'll have to work on it :)

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  10. Great info - I will go and take a look at the worksheet!

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  11. I was siting here wondering WHO are my ideal customers. I have a variety of items in my shop. I don't think I focus on ONE certain type per se. Of course I would love to get my flowers selling.. You have definitely got my brain churning.

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  12. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    I don't watch movies really so I'm not entirely sure but I'm thinking my customers like to go to the theatre and watch what ever is #1 in the box office.

    List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    Shopping :) and anything social - parties etc.

    What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    To be different and trendsetting, make a statement.

    Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    My jewelry is very unique yet young and trendy. Sophisticated enough for professionals yet playful enough for young fashionistas.

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  13. Awesome Post and challenge !So much wonderful information here..Thanks Heather for sharing !

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  14. I always feel a little strange posting a comment when I wrote the article lol ;) I'm so excited to see what everyone comes up with for the challenge! Don't forget guys, just because you're putting pen to paper to figure out your markets doesn't mean they're set in stone. You can define, and refine as many times as you need/want :))

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  15. Great insight and info! Thanks you for writing about this! I will be trying out the challenge myself! :D

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  16. Okay, this is easy for me, since I have already made a business plan for my store :D So enter me in!!!

    Here are my answers :D

    What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    Comedies and love stories. For example, the new movies the Great Gatsy, or the Hangover III. Older movies would be You've got Mail.

    List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    Socializing and shopping. So going out for drinks, meeting friends, shopping, wanting to look good and classy.


    What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?

    Needs to look fashionable and elegant.

    Briefly describe how your products meet that need.

    My products use sterling silver or 24K gold, which meets the quality needs of the client while using fun and classy designs that keep up with the current trends.

    Thanks you for this post, was fun!

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  17. A terrific article!! Thank you for all the insight - very thought provoking.

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  18. Great information! Thank you! I'm always looking for ways to narrow my marketing scope.

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  19. Fantastic! Will do the exercise and get promo efforts more targeted! thanks!

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  20. Good article and extremely well written. Be back later with my answers!

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  21. Enter me as well!

    What is your ideal customer's favorite movie.
    Action/comedies/love/drama (ie - One for the Money, if she's watching with a guy, then Hangover I, II, and III)

    List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    *Lunch/dinner dates or happy hour meet-up with friends (she can be with her husband or boyfriend as well as well as meeting up with her gal pals).
    *Shopping with her gal pals and may have a coffee stop involved as well to end their day on a good note

    What is one need of your ideal customer?
    She will choose an outfit for her outing, which will be stylish, and needs to have a clutch to hold her contents and essentials that matches her outfit.

    Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    My fold over clutch will meet that need as it is roomy to hold her contents and essentials. Best of all, it is secured with a zipper so its contents are sure to be secured. The fold over clutches are handcrafted with high quality cotton fabric that will be sure to complement with current fashion trends.

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  22. Great article. I'll have to give the challenge some serious thought.

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  23. a. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    • The Devil Wears Prada

    b. List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    • religiously follows the top fashion blogs
    • haunts upscale consignment shops

    c. What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    • needs to stand out in a crowd as a "class act"

    d. Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    • Very high quality gemstones utilized in designs that are classic ... with an edge.

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  24. a. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    Anything sci-fi or fantasy

    b. List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    Geeking out and surfing the web.

    c. What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    Unique items to reflect their personalities and interests

    d. Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    I have a wide range of items, many of which can customized.

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  25. Heather, thank you for this inspirational blog, I will definitely think about this and write it down.

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  26. a.. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    • Marley and Me

    b. List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    • Going to the Dog Park
    • Going to Crafts and Arts Fairs looking for Doggie Accessories

    c. What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    • They have always wanted a Portrait of their Dog!

    d. Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    I can paint the perfect Dog portrait focusing on their dogs personality in a fun and whimsical style!

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  27. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    I don't keep up with movies...so I have no idea.

    List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
    Crafting/creating of some sort
    Home decorating

    What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    Professional product photography

    Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    My photography will not only give my customer great photos to list their product online, it will also give them more time to create as they don't have to worry about photographing what they have made.

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  28. What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
    Not 100% sure, but romantic comedies and visually fun movies.

    List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies. Cooking and seeing plays.

    What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
    A beautiful wire kippah or jewelry design that is unique to a special occasion, like a Wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

    Briefly describe how your products meet that need.
    Beaded wire kippot for women are unique, and can be customized to match the event's colors or to match an outfit.

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  29. Great tips! As you've said, the challenge here is to promote better and more efficiently so you can devote more time and energy to your products. If you've got a smart marketing tactic, you attract more potential customers without wasting your time. Developing your niche is one of the first steps to do it.

    Premier Marketing Solutions & Networking, LLC

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  30. Marketing is essential for all business to make brand awareness in people and increase business very fast. In this there are so many of businessman prefer to use different marketing strategy to increase business growth. Internet marketing is the best marketing tool in this day to start business promotional globally and increase business very fast. wordpress best themes

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