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!
- 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/]
- Download the PDF worksheet [http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/files/2013/04/Define-Your-Ideal-Customer-Worksheet.pdf]
- Spend some time filling out the worksheet. Use extra paper if you need it, and really get to know your ideal customer.
- Leave a comment below answering the following four questions about your ideal customer:
- What is your ideal customer's favorite movie?
- List two (2) of your ideal customer's hobbies.
- What is one (1) need of your ideal customer?
- 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,
**Brought to you by Heather of Little Hill Jewelry**
**Brought to you by Heather of Little Hill Jewelry**