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How to Define Your Target Market

A photo of white and blue target boards and one target board in the right side has arrows on it

Identifying your target market is critical to your online business success.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks people encounter when they try to do their own marketing is that they don’t know where to start.

The first step to marketing your business is knowing who you want to reach

It’s simple, really. Start by gaining a deep understanding of the people you want to reach — define your target market.

That information must come first. Before you write your tagline, choose your colors, or start to look at fonts, you must know who you’re aiming for.

Because if you don’t, your marketing will be scattered.

One piece may hit your target, but another will be way off.

And, more importantly, your ideal customer won’t know your business has a solution for them. Because your marketing won’t reach them.

Don’t spin your wheels — time is too precious!

Watch the video above and discover how to hone your ideal customer description. And read on to learn more about how to define your target market!

Is this a once-and-done deal?

Wouldn’t it be nice to think through your ideal customer avatar once and be done with it? But alas, that’s not the way it works.

In the early days, you may not have any real customers. If that’s your situation, you’ll need to make an educated guess about who will be most interested in what you plan to offer.

Get to know this “invisible customer” as well as you can. Then, stay curious.

In the future, as real, live customers show up and start interacting with your business, you can allow your perception of your ideal customer to grow and change.

And ideal customer description that’s based on actual customers will always be more accurate and helpful than one that’s based on a dream!

Reach your target market with beautiful branded images

The internet has become a visual medium. Images cut through the noise and communicate directly to your target market.

Branded images are more than just beautiful — good design is effective. Branded images help your prospective customer recognize you.

Images are processed faster than words in the human brain. You can make connections faster when you incorporate images in your online marketing strategy.

Check out my Image Resource Library for more free articles to help you create branded images.

The video above is part of my Classics: The Design 101 Series on my YouTube channel. Check out the whole playlist to help you with design.

While you’re there, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of the new videos I’m creating to help you grow your online business!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.

16 thoughts on “How to Define Your Target Market”

  1. I think this is one of the hardest aspects of small biz marketing to master, truly. Heck, even I struggle with it when it morphs or evolves, and I help other people find theirs as part of my work with Stage Presence. This is really helpful, Pamela.

    • The funny thing about this concept is that it’s not a “once and done” thing (as much as we’d like it to be!).

      Our market does morph and evolve, so these are important questions to ask over the lifetime of your business, because the answers are always changing.

  2. My ideal customer is a woman who wants to have an effective website on a budget — and wants to be a WordPress Ninja of sorts. She’s courageous, a mover/shaker, isn’t afraid to tackle new things and is looking to make a difference in this world.

    After coaching with you, it was apparent that what would best serve my business model and financial goals was to refine of my ideal customer. I made some design and language tweaks to reflect that. It was extremely helpful to remember to have intimate knowledge of who my ideal customer is today — and that serving them still brings me that same joy!! {And it does!}

    Thanks Pamela. Excellent post — as always. {Just watched the Serena critique from the Mastery Program — really great!}

    • Good to see you here, Lee!

      It’s amazing how simple tweaks can make a big difference. And the beauty of websites is we can keep tweaking over time as our offer changes. Love that.

  3. Great video, poignantly illustrating an issue critically important to all small businesses.

    I work with many local oriented businesses and professional services providers still laboring under the “build it and they will come” misconception.

    It’s not enough to hang your shingle or build a website or launch a Facebook page — you have to locate your ideal customers and connect with them on their terms, where they live.

    Excellent work Pamela, many thanks!

    • It’s an essential first step in my book. Otherwise you might end up taking a big detour and spending time and money creating a lot of marketing materials that don’t reach the customers you want.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. Pamela, you’re so right that identifying a target market is not a “once and done” thing. I’ve realized that while the characteristics of my ideal client haven’t changed much over the years, my understanding of my ideal client has. As my depth of understanding grows, so has my ability to attract great clients and successfully structure the services and products I offer.

  5. Good read Pamela. Your articles are always inspiring and find me looking forward to read your stuff. Marketing, rather successful marketing is the key to the growth of any business. Loved watching the video and I like what you say about daydreaming about your audience. What a nice way to put it.

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