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Define your target market and ideal client

So many of our clients tell us their target market or ideal client is everyone. In reality, it's not everyone and in trying to be everything to everyone you appeal to no-one. You only want to attract the people who have the means and motivation to purchase from you, so make sure you are targeting those people with your marketing and branding.

A great example is a client we have who makes cupcake toppers. When I asked her to tell me about her target market, she told me it was everyone. I had to be a bit harsh and point out that it wasn’t everyone – my husband for one will never be interested in purchasing cupcake toppers, that’s if he even knows what they are. In fact, my daughters are more likely to be the ones more interested in cupcake toppers and even then, only around the times of their birthdays.

With a bit more prodding everyone was narrowed down to professional cake bakers, mums who bake and have children aged 0-16, mums who do themed birthday parties, tweens and teens with upcoming birthdays, South Island location due to freight costs and her ability to be at markets and events local to her and families with a bit of extra income to spend on party extras. That then gave us both something to work with when it came to how she was going to reach those people and what messaging and visual branding was going to appeal best.

It often just takes a few questions for someone to start narrowing down who their ideal client is. We can start with the obvious: gender, age, occupation, income bracket, location, interests and then move on to behaviours – where do they shop, what do they read, where do they hang out online, what do they listen to, where do they get their information from.

Always have in mind the key question “what challenges, concerns or problems does your ideal client face and how does your product or service help them?” I also recommend thinking about the type of people you like working with and how they treat you and respect your business and including that in your ideal client description. Remember you deserve to work with people who value your time and appreciate what you do.