If you hire a group of marketing experts to build a marketing campaign, they will likely give you a document that includes a description of your marketing personas.
A marketing persona attempts to describe who you are going to reach with your marketing content. To make this description memorable, we often write up a full biography of the different personas including background, a cutsie name, and statistics. It’s almost like a roll playing game.
A Defined Persona Is a Waste of Time for Many Small Businesses
I have never met a small business owner who only has one roll in their business or a well-defined job description. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, just that the type of person who needs a named persona to target with content and advertisements is not usually the person who decides to throw common sense to the wind and start a small business.
The type of person who gets a defined job that uses a named persona usually works in marketing for much larger businesses than our local coffee shops, home cleaners and plumbers, artists and doctors.
In other words, if you have a business, you already know your target market. If you haven’t sold anything yet, then you should not spend a minute more reading this. Go out and start selling your idea, your product, your service and come back when you are able to tell me about your 3 best customers and your 3 worst customers.
A Simple Way to Identify Your Target Market
It seems to easy, but if you can tell any content creator about your 3 best customers and your 3 worst customers, we will be able to craft content that speaks to them.
For a small business owner, this is often difficult because our customers (both good and bad) are people we know, sometimes they’re friends, sometimes they’re family.
Facing facts is essential if you are going to be successful in business. When I think about my best customers, I easily see the identifying characteristics of my ideal client, my customer avatar.
Then I create content to speak to that client.
If you think through your best and worst customers, notice the similarities and differences. If 2 or more of your best customers have a trait that 2 or more of your worst customers are lacking, this is something to consider in how you market and even what product lines you market in your business.
For example, I was working with a house cleaner who loved working with retired couples, providing regular cleaning. And she had several bad reviews from young families. I recommended that she stop doing services that target families, like in-depth house cleaning and focus on a monthly service plan that targeted retired people.
For myself, I love working with small businesses who need to have regular small amounts of work. I define this further when I am doing my own planning but the nature of my ideal customer means that I should not advertise website design. The type of customer who can afford a high-end website is not my ideal client.
For my ideal client, a website design is actually a walk-through tutorial on how to build their own website on their platform.
Or even better, they outsource the website to me as part of a managed marketing plan.
In neither of these will the website be more than $500 in cost to my final client.
Web designers who market higher end websites have to find the ideal clients who will pay over $10,000 for a website.
As you see, a different target market means you need to offer different products/services and different marketing.
It is pretty simple to define your target market, and if you need help picking your target market, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), give me a call (704-286-2118) or comment below if you’re comfortable letting your question be seen by the whole wide world.