I talked about defining your ideal client here. Identifying your target market is similar, but it’s the bigger picture. Your ideal client should be within your target market. If you think of it as your marketing efforts being an umbrella that reach your target market, your ideal client will be one individual within that umbrella.
According to Entrepreneur a target market is “a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services”.
When you first start developing your marketing plan, identifying your target market should be one of the first things you do. This is a list or picture of who would benefit from your product or service. This is the big picture. With your marketing efforts, you’re likely not just going to be marketing to one specific type of person - rather you’re going to market towards a larger audience that includes your ideal client.
From there you can narrow it down to who your ideal client would be - the person who is most likely to purchase from you and you would likely most enjoy working with.
This article from Marketing Systems by Designs recommends creating your target market profile by thinking about: your description of your ideal client, their goals, how they will find you, and how you can cater to them.
Things to consider (you’ll notice some of these are the same as the list for your ideal client and some are different to get a bigger picture):
- What is their gender?
- How old are they?
- What are their interests?
- What marketing platforms would reach them? Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat?
- Is geography an important factor? If so, where do they live?
- What’s their socioeconomic status?
Real world examples:
For someone who is a copywriter. Their target market is likely a small business owner that has their own website. Likely being on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn would be beneficial for them as these are all platforms where they can showcase their writing. Their ideal client might then be a small business owner, in the creative industry, who is looking for help with their sales copy.
However, for someone who is selling graphic tee’s - their target market will be different. They likely wouldn’t find the same benefit from being on LinkedIn as the copywriter in the example above would. Instead, their target market might be teenagers. Their ideal client might be between the ages of 16-19, who are interested in top 20 bands, and are located in larger cities where their stores are located. They might find it beneficial to be on Snapchat because it’s often a popular platform with teenagers.
This article provides a good overview of the difference between Target Market and Ideal Client/Target Customer.
What’s your target market? How are you working to reach them?