Find and serve a target market that loves you.

Marketing your business is a lot like dating. You know that you have something to offer that will make another person thrilled to have met you, but first, you have to find where that ideal person might be. Otherwise, you are sending your message to an audience that may not appreciate what you offer. And we know how that ends up. Neither person is happy. You want to connect to your target market, the people who need and want your solution.

Who are the right people?

Your target market is someone who will respect your expertise, value what you offer, and be willing to pay you with money, not affection. (We’re talking business here, not dating.) You can easily find people who will match any of these three categories; however, it is vital to your success that your ideal clients or customers match all three.

 R-E-S-P-E-C-T

You are an expert. Now say it out loud, “I am an expert.” Try that again and say it like you really mean it. “I AM AN EXPERT!”  Very nice. Let’s continue.

As an expert in your field, whether you are making barbeque sauce or building code for rocket ships, your clients come to you because you know things that they don’t. And you have a solution they need. Your ideal client will recognize and appreciate your knowledge. They will rely on you to help them understand the solution you offer. They will be so proud to know you that they will tell other people about you and how you made their life better.

VALUE is Emotional.

Your product or service has magical value because it solves your client’s problem. Consider Grilling Juice*, a small-batch, locally made barbecue sauce that is not sold in grocery stores.

The ideal client for Grilling Juice is a person who takes barbecue very seriously and wants the distinction of using a specialty sauce. They value the product for the way it makes their food taste, as much as they value it for being exclusive. The solution this client needs has to include the emotional boost of serving their family and friends something extra special. That’s why they are committed to this brand.

Now, let’s look at a service business. Neat & Speedy Painters* specializes in quick, one-day, no-elevation interior painting. Their target market calls when they need the bedroom painted because their in-laws or grandkids are coming to visit. Neat & Speedy’s value is that they can make a homely room look great, and their clients’ guests will feel like royalty because of the fresh paint.

*This is not a real company. I invented the name.  

The Bottom Line

Your ideal client will have no problem paying you what you feel you are worth. Yep, you get to decide what your products and services are worth.  

Grilling Juice sells a 16-ounce jar for the premium price of $10, while the grocery store sells national brands for a couple of bucks.  Of course, there are people who would say that is an outrageous price for barbecue sauce! That’s because it is not the solution they need. The ideal client for Grilling Juice respects and values the product for what it does for them and is happy to pay for it.

Neat & Speedy charges a premium to paint a room because they handle the details. They move and cover the furniture and replace it when they’re done, plus they rehang the pictures. They will do the job in one day. Not everyone needs that level of service, but the ones who do never balk at the fee.

Make the Connection

Your job is to clearly identify who you want to claim as your ideal client and determine where to find them. 

Imagine the Grilling Juice customer is an outdoorsy person with disposable income who prefers high service to low prices. They can be found at local hardware stores and sporting goods shops, as well as at Chamber of Commerce events and craft beer breweries.

Clients who need Neat & Speedy Painters are likely seniors who can’t physically do the work themselves or homeowners with kids who do not have the time or energy to paint a room.  They can be found at the grocery store (think shopping cart ads), at the library, and at the neighborhood coffee shop.  

Your Turn

Take the time to sketch out your ideal client. Think about who you love to work with and who loves working with you. Then, figure out where they are lurking and deliver your marketing messages so that it absolutely sings to them. Your siren song will bring them to you, and soon, you will be providing products and services to people who can’t live without you.