I know, I know, you’ve probably heard it before: You need to know who you’re marketing your stuff to. A section about finding and knowing your target audience can be found in almost every book written about product development, and every business and marketing blog on the net. While you may already have this concept nailed down for your next product or service launch, you’d be surprised how many established entrepreneurs still try and reach too broad of an audience, which directly impacts the potential number of products they sell.
The secret to selling more stuff isn’t creating for the hottest trending topic (a short-lived money-making scheme at best) or having a stellar marketing plan. While those strategies can definitely help, if you don’t know exactly who you’re creating the product(s) for, you can have the best marketing plan in the world and customers still won’t buy. People are looking for products they are interested in—stuff created specifically for them. The fact is, humananity’s favorite subject is themselves, so cater to their wants and desires, not only for your own. Think of your customer as being extremely self-centered and keep that one ideal person in mind as you create and market your next product, and you’ll find your sales naturally increase over time.
By targeting just one specific person, you’ll find all your marketing efforts (online and offline) to be much more highly successful. Think of a funnel. The funnel is skinny at the bottom, with a broad opening at the top. While many people will fall into the funnel at the top (and continue down through), your target is the one single person who will fit through the hole on the bottom.
One of the authors I coached, Stephanie Fritz, discovered target marketing to work amazingly well for her book, Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies. Stephanie emailed me about two weeks before I wrote this article and informed me as to how many books she’s sold so far. My jaw dropped. Before I share her astounding number with you, look closely at her book title. Not only is she targeting new and soon-to-be mothers, but her niche is made even more narrow by the holistic market of women searching for natural childbirth methods and holistic medicine. Talk about a target audience! And here’s where it gets really awesome. Her book isn’t even available on Kindle or e-formats. As of the writing of this article, it’s available in paperback only.
Now, taking into consideration the fact that the average self-published book sells a mere 75 copies in it’s entire lifetime, and the fact that paper is supposed to be dead, and add to that the fact that the number she gave me didn’t even include sales she made through Amazon or other online distribution channels, but only books she ordered and sold directly herself, your jaw should be dropping at this number, too. She told me she’s sold 12,000 copies of her book since its release only two years ago. Twelve thousand! Of course that got me super excited. And what worked best for her was narrowing her target audience to people searching for a specific solution… and providing that solution directly to them.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about that one person you should be marketing to:
- Age—What’s the age range of your target audience? Are they in college? Baby boomers? If you had to pick one person who would most benefit from your product, how old would that person be?
- Nationality—I’ve worked on books targeted to the African American community, Hispanics, Canadians, etc. In which part of the world does your target audience live? Hint: You can probably rule out Antarctica unless you’re marketing to penguins or scientists studying the affects of sub-zero temperatures on fungi.
- Sex—Is your target audience male or female? While you may target both, your products will tend to lean in one direction more than the other. Or you may have created an inspirational product for women, in which case your target audience should be pretty clear.
- Occupation—Where does your target market work? If they’re working at a place they don’t necessarily like, what would be your customer’s dream job? Or are they in transition? Seeking a new career?
- Beliefs—Is your customer religious? Are they Atheist? Do they consider themselves spiritual? What belief system do they hold? Most human beings have some sort of belief system. Depending on the type of product you’re creating, knowing this about your audience may make or break your sales.
- Hobbies and Interests—What does your target customer like to do in their free time? Are they into fixing cars or are they foodies? Everyone has an interest of some sort. Even if your product isn’t hobby-specific, knowing this information can help you relate better to them in your sales copy by citing examples they can understand.
- Travel—Does your customer like to travel? If so, what are his or her favorite destinations? Or do they prefer to stay at home and watch Netflix?
You can get even more specific with your list. Think about physical traits such as hair and eye color. Think about emotional traits like personality types. As you answer these and more questions you may come up with about your target customer, you’ll be that much closer to getting your stuff noticed by the right people.