You’ve gotten through the startup phase and now it’s time to connect with clients or customers. You’ve read a ton of stuff on the internet, so you know you need to build a mailing list and create a newsletter. You also have chosen a social media platform or two to be active on. You’ve even started writing a few blog posts on your awesome website. You’ve done all of this with your target market in mind. So why are all of your newsletters, posts, and campaigns met with silence? It may be that you don’t really know who your target market is.
Nine times out of ten home business owners think they know who they are marketing to, but, they’ve chosen a large group of people rather than pinpointing just who their products or services are for. In the marketing world, it’s a well-known fact that to create content and campaigns that get responses you must get specific about the person that needs or wants what you have to offer.
Yes, I said ‘person’. As in one individual.
When asked who their target market is, many home business owners say something like “small business owners” or “busy, working women”. The problem is, that those groups are so huge that it’s extremely difficult to create a marketing message that speaks to the individuals in those groups. The result is the silence you’re greeted with every time you send out a post, a newsletter, or even a tweet.
The solution? Get to know one individual from that group you’ve chosen.
How do you do that?
Get to know your target market by creating an Ideal Client Character Profile.
An Ideal Client Character Profile is a way of getting to truly know your target market. By asking and answering some questions you create a persona, an example of the person who needs whatever it is that you are offering. It’s so detailed that it allows you to create your content as if you’re speaking directly to one individual and addressing their personal concerns and needs.
So instead of writing generally to include all busy, working women, you write to “Jill, a divorced, 34-year-old executive assistant and mother of two school-aged children; Pete and Sarah.
Sarah is a freshman in high school. Pete is in 4th grade at the local elementary school. Pete plays soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the spring, both of which have practices 3 times a week and games on Saturdays. Sarah takes jazz dance two nights a week and cheers for the high school JV team. Jill juggles her workday with shuttling the kids to practices, school activities, and friends’ houses. Half the time, her kids have friends over for sleepovers and play dates, which means making sure the meals planned fit those friends’ dietary needs and restrictions. The kids’ sports teams also require her to work in the concession stand once a month and then there is the cost of all the uniforms, costumes, and equipment needed.
For Jill, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and she struggles to find time for self-care. She definitely hasn’t made any time for dating since her divorce. She’s exhausted, discouraged, and burnt out. Her bosses haven’t given her a raise in 4 years even though they’ve increased her responsibilities, and she is often asked to take work home because she can’t stay as late as some of her co-workers because she has to be home for the kids.
When she asked her boss if she could split her time between the office and working remotely from home, she was told the job couldn’t be done remotely, even though she’s already taking work home many nights and during the COVID-19 lockdown she did everything from home. Her frustration level is through the roof, her ex is living in another state so she gets no help there, and most days it’s a challenge to just get out of bed.
There is a huge difference between communicating with some vague, shadowy busy working mother and communicating with ‘Jill’. Here is an example:
Your home business offers pre-made meals that can just be popped in the oven for a quick and easy meal. When you try marketing to all busy, working women your pitch is going to be very broad, a wide sales pitch that probably talks about saving them time. But when you create a pitch for Jill you can mention that your meals only take 30 minutes to bake, giving her plenty of time to feed the kids before heading off for practices. You can talk about the options for special dietary restrictions for Pete and Sarah’s gluten-free and dairy-free friends that visit. You can stress that buying your pre-made meals is a form of self-care, freeing Jill up from not only meal prep, but meal planning as well. All of these things are going to get Jill’s attention.
Do you see why knowing ‘Jill’ helps you create a sales pitch that gets responses? It lets you address specific pain points. Pain points that get people to take action.
If you’re marketing is falling on deaf ears, it very well could be that you haven’t really figured out who your target market is. By taking the time and effort to know your target market, you increase your chances of getting the desired responses instead of hearing crickets.
Wondering how to create that Ideal Client Character Profile?
I’ve just released a brand new Home Business Jumpstart workbook, Discover Your Target Market, that will take you through the process step by step. Not only that, but it has sections on getting to know your own business so that you can highlight why they should do business with you and a section on crafting a value proposition so that you can make sure your marketing materials are focusing on the pain points that will get your ideal client/customer to take action. Right now, during the workbook launch, you can get 70% off the regular price.
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