Finding Your Target Market

Achieving sales is probably the biggest challenge a web business owner has. It requires a balanced mix of the right products, competitive pricing, optimal web design, aggressive advertising and attracting the right online visitors.

While all of the above are equally important in achieving abundant sales, none of them will work at all if you don’t target the people that are most likely to buy your products or services. These people are known as your target or niche market. Focusing in on your niche market will allow you to find only those that are ready, willing and able to buy what you have to offer.

Your niche market provides you the competitive edge over larger corporations because larger companies tend to market to a much broader range of people. Their promotions are more generalized and less focused. For them, the smaller markets are not worth bothering with. This now becomes your opportunity to capture those highly defined niche markets that they left behind.

Defining your Market

In order to find these people you must first determine who they are. This might sound like a simple or perhaps insignificant question at first but it can possibly make or break the success of your sales if you don’t give it some serious thought. Here’s how to get started.

Think about the following and jot down all those that might apply to people interested in your products or services. Don’t rule out any category completely. Think about each group of people and how they might apply.

Age Group:

infants, Children, teens, young adults, baby boomers, middle aged, elderly or all.

Gender:

Male, female or both

Marital status:

single, married, divorced, widowed or all

Ethnic or religious backgrounds

Occupations:

Executives, doctors, lawyers, housewives, business owners, teachers, blue collar, white collar, students, out of work, etc.

Health Status:

healthy, diseased, home bound, active, sedentary, etc.

Interests:

sports, hiking, music, arts, computers, reading television, animals, home decorating, cars, walking, running, relaxation, health conscious, age conscious, physical fitness, etc.

Income status:

low income, middle income, high income, no income.

Education:

high school dropout, high school, college, MBA PHD, hates school, loves school, etc.

Certainly all categories are not listed above, however these can get you started on thinking about all the possibilities.

Next, it’s important to determine what benefits you are offering. Examine your products or services carefully listing all the benefits that you can think of. Perhaps take a poll of your existing customers and ask them what it is they like about your products or services. What benefits them the most.

Once you have a listed all of the benefits, think about what people would be interested in these benefits based on your list above. Then put them together to assist you in reaching a market that will bring you sales.

Reaching Your Target Market

Search engines are the best way of finding a targeted market because those searching on the web can type in exactly what they are searching for and receive the targeted traffic the search engines so proudly advertise.

But attaining good placement on the search engines is often difficult and time consuming.

Ezines and newsletters are a very effective alternative.

Most ezines cover specific subjects such as finance, marketing, health, internet, etc. Your job will be to find an ezine whose topic matches your target market. To do this you must locate an ezine directory. Directories usually list contact information, advertising rates, and circulation. Once you find a targeted ezine then place your ad. Be sure your ad includes as many of your product benefits as the ad will allow.

Five Steps to a Web Site That Sells

I’m always amazed that people would spend months to develop their web site, pay thousands of dollars to have it put together and then… they just let it sit in the cyber space without generating any new leads.

Listen, if you hired a sales person for your business and they didn’t perform what would you do? You would fire them faster then they could say “but, I tried”, wouldn’t you? So why do you put up with a web site that doesn’t sell?

Right now I can hear you scream “but I don’t know what to do!” Let me share with you five simple tweaks you can do today to make your web site give your more bang for your buck.

1. COLLECT CONTACT INFORMATION

Typically, when I meet potential new clients within the first 30 seconds they spontaneously whip out their wallets, hold up their check books and yell out “I want to buy your stuff right now!” Then I usually wake up! In real life it takes multiple contacts to entice someone to give me some of their hard earned dough! But how can you contact them if you don’t know who they are?

Use your prime “cyber real estate” (the top part of your web site people see before they even scroll down) to convince your visitors to willingly give you their name and email address. Call your web person right now and tell them to place a “sign-up” form of some sort on your home page. (OK, wait till you finish reading this article – so you can take care of all the changes with one call.)

2. MAKE YOUR SITE LOAD FASTER

Do you have a lot of flashing buttons, rotating graphics, or worse – do you still have that “cool” flash intro guarding access to your web site? Hey there is a place for all this stuff on the internet – but it’s not on your web site. Most people will only wait a few seconds for your web site to display on their screen. If it doesn’t – they will move on and never come back!

Unless the graphics communicate an important point about your product or service – get rid of them. And listen – the nineties are gone – step into the 21st century and kill your “cool” flash intro.

3. USE EFFECTIVE PAGE TITLES

Are you speaking in riddles? Unless you’re trying to compete with Harry Potter open each web page with headlines that entice visitors to take the time to read more.

Here are a couple of examples. Would you rather read “about our services” or how “an ex-baker turned millionaire reveals his marketing secrets”? How about this – which headline would pick your interest more – “collateral design” or “does your marketing material communicate your message”?

Don’t make people guess what they are about to read – believe me, they won’t take the time. Say it in simple language. Take a look at your web site – does each page have an effective headline? If not – fix it.

4. DON’T HIDE THE GOODIES!

The famous WIIFM (what’s in it for me) has become such a cliché but it’s so true! Recently a Japanese publisher of a man’s magazine produced an entire issue using only photographs of attractive women and “blah, blah, blah” as a text for all the titles and articles.

What’s the point? Come on, do you think guys buy those magazines for the deep, thought provoking articles? Conversely, do you think your potential clients come to your web site to read your dissertation about “what is coaching” or “our consulting philosophy”?

Your web visitors want to know how they can solve their problems and if you can help them do it. Don’t hide this stuff where no one can find it. Highlight the benefits your product or service offers. Make it easy to find your informative articles. Present case studies. Allow them to download simple guides, forms or assessments. Provide links to more resources. Make yourself useful and they will reward you with their business.

5. BUILD CREDIBILITY

We all like to do business with people we know, like and trust. So how do you do make people feel like they know you and can trust you just by visiting your web site? Here are a few things that will give your credibility a boost:

– Use testimonials. When you tout your own horn people question your information. But a positive comment from a past client can instantly build your credibility.

– Display your contact information on every page. Don’t hide behind an email address. Tell people where and how to find you. List your address and phone number. People are more likely to do business with you if they know how to find you if something goes wrong.

– Display case studies and articles. They provide useful information and build you up as an authority on the subject.

– Post pictures of you and your key team members. You can post your bio but looking at your picture makes people feel like they actually know you. I can’t tell you how many times I run into people whom I’ve never met before and they feel like they’ve known me for years – because they’ve seen me on my web site.

There is a lot more tweaking that could turn your web site into a marketing magnet. But these five will give you a good start.
OK, now you can call your web person!