Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Business Building - Finding Your Target Market

Hello, today is the next instalment of our Business Building topic, and today we're going to talk about your Target Market!


Do you know who your customers are? If you are going to build a successful shop it's essential that you know who you are trying to sell to and what kind of things they want to buy.

Broad Idea:

You may have quite a broad idea at the moment, for example, you might know your target market is women aged 18 - 50 who like jewellery. This is a great start, but it's not enough to help you find them to advertise to them and develop the products that they really want.

Specific Customer:

You should end up with a more specific customer profile - e.g. a 40-50 year old woman, who appreciates handmade items but also shops at high street stores like Next, their favourite magazine is woman & home, they prefer subtle colours rather than bold, they eat out several times a week, and only look at Instagram and Facebook a couple of times a week.

How This Can Help You:

Creating a specific customer profile DOES NOT mean you are shutting everyone else out. You aren't narrowing your market to only sell to this one type of woman. But having a specific profile helps you to think about what places to promote your items - for example if your target market doesn't go on Instagram much, then it might be worth advertising more locally or in magazines.

You can have more than one customer profile - write down several if you sell to a variety of age ranges or sell a range of different products.

How To Find Out What Your Customer Likes:

If you are worried because you have no idea what magazines your customer reads or whether they use Instagram, then it's time to do some research!

1. Start by looking at your shop stats. Click on the 'customers' tab of your stats and look at where your customers live, what device they are using (if more are using mobile devices then it's more likely they also use social media apps too, if your customers mostly use desktop they might not use social media as much), and look at the 'other searches'. Looking at what other phrases your customers are searching for will help you understand what their other interests are, and maybe help you come up with more product ideas!

2. Jump onto social media. Look at the profiles of your followers - what kind of pictures are they sharing, does it say what their interests are in their profile, what other accounts are they following? You might, for example, find that a lot of them are following a certain celebrity - could you see if you could send a freebie to the celeb who might wear / use the item on their social media? If you are looking on Facebook you can see who has 'liked' your page by going to 'settings' and then 'people and other pages'. Click on one of the names to go to their profile, and under their cover photo there should be a button that says 'more' - click on this and then 'groups' - now you can see what Facebook groups they belong to and decide whether it's worth you trying to join and network in some of those groups!

3. Ask questions. On your social media don't just show off your new items, ask questions too - e.g. mention what you are having for dinner and ask what other people are going to be eating, ask customers what their favourite holiday destinations are etc. It all helps you to build a picture of what they are like.

4. Check out your conversations and reviews. If customers are asking questions through conversations does it help you get ideas on who they are buying for and what would be the perfect product for them? In reviews do customers mention loving the item themselves or did they give it as a gift - and if it was a gift do they mention how they gave it as 'part' of a gift (you might be able to make other things to go with it if so)?

5. Sell at a real-life fair / market. If you are selling at the upcoming Dorset Team Spring Fair then make sure you listen to what people say about your items. Are they drawn to certain ones - if so make sure your photos for these are great online and consider making some more similar items. Do they ask if you have something which they can't see - this might help you come up with a new product, or it might just help you add to the interest lists for your target market.

More Information:

You can see more about targeting your market on these two Etsy articles: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/the-essentials-of-marketing-your/22452932254 and https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/5-savvy-market-research-methods/22450352625

Put it into practice:

Collate the information you've gathered and make a plan for how you can use this to promote your items. You don't have to do everything at once! Pick one social media to start with, and think carefully about how to use hashtags or what colours / props to use in photos so that they will appeal to your customers. Then move onto another social media or advertise in a magazine or on a blog that you think your customers read. It isn't going to be an exact science but if you keep working on it you will find the right people and make more sales!

Remember you can come and ask questions in the team forum (https://www.etsy.com/uk/teams/14319/dorset-etsy-team), or join our Twitter chats on Tuesday nights (7.30pm - 8.30pm #DorsetTeam) if you need more help!

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