When you’re working on marketing writing and starting with your target market, it is key to sharply define who you want to attract as prospects and convert into clients. Before you can write business materials, or engage in marketing activities that have the potential to deliver the desired clientele, you must know exactly who you intend to work with. It’s tempting to gloss over this task and ignore the discipline of defining your market. That’s a mistake though that will cost your business dearly.
Here are a few ideas that will help you sharply define your target market.
1. If you have trouble with this part of your marketing writing, start by jotting down all the characteristics that you know you don’t want to work with.
Sometimes it’s easier to start this way and the negatives are quite clear. Then, take each of these negative characteristics and derive a positive version that you would want to work with. It’s not always easy to do this “flip” to the positive characterization, but be patient with it. Keep working on it and you’ll arrive at a fairly good outline of what you do want.
2. Put this description through a “reality filter”.
How realistic are the criteria you came up with? Are there parts of your description that are more fantasy than reality? What is realistic and what is not? Be sure that your target market description describes real people. Your criteria must be recognizable or your target will not be viable and profitable.
3. What do you know about this target market and what do you need to learn about them?
It’s a mistake to believe that you’ll be effective at attracting a market you don’t care enough about to get to know deeply and thoroughly. You must like, respect and empathize with them and understand their needs.
4. Be sure you know the feelings and emotions of your market, especially how they suffer from the problems that you can solve.
What is it like to struggle with the problem? What do they think and say about those struggles and feelings? How do they describe their situation?
5. You should know and understand your market enough to know where and how you can access them.
If you don’t know this, you haven’t yet defined the market sharply enough. Where are they? What activities do they participate in? How can you affiliate with them and what are the ways that you can meet them?
6. What results is your target market seeking?
This is not about what solution you offer, but is truly about what your market desires. If you don’t know this, you don’t know your market. If you don’t clearly understand everything that your target market wants, you’re targeting the wrong market. Either change your market, or get out there and find out what they do want – and how to provide it.
7. Test with your target market.
Experiment with words, phrases, and concepts. Observe the kinds of reactions you get from members of your target market. If you get an excited and positive response and inquiries for more information, you’ve hit marketing gold. If you get bored, tepid or non-committal responses, you’ll know that you should strike those ideas from your target market description.
Use these ideas to sharply define your target market. That is the key to successful marketing writing.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.