There’s a lot of information out there about building You, Inc. and developing a brand online. But, at the end of the day, I think the basics of You, Inc. can be boiled down to 10 Commandments. I’ll be posting articles that explore each of these commandments in depth.
- Know thy Target Market/Avatar
- Know thy USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
- Thou shalt establish and promote thy brand
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s (or thy company’s) list
- Thou shalt be transparent
- Thou shall give value unto others before asking for something in return
- Thou shalt not SPAM thy list
- Thou shalt not leave money on the table
- Honor Thy Customer
- Honor Thy Government’s Rules & Regulations
Commandment #1: Know Thy Target Market/Avatar
After coaching and consulting with clients, I’ve noticed a startling trend. Most people do not know who their target market is, or worse- they tell me that EVERYONE is their target market.
I think this comes from a scarcity mentality that if the net isn’t cast “wide enough” they’ll miss someone. Don’t fall into this trap!
It’s much better to big a BIG fish in a small pond when you’re starting out. Once you dominate a “micro-niche” then you can expand (or go to a bigger pond).
To be honest, there’s just TOO much information out there on the Internet. As a solo entrepreneur you’re going to get lost in the crowd if you don’t define your Target Market early in the game.
Another big mistake that I see many new (and even more advanced) marketers making is what market they are targeting. If your goal is to sell stuff, then you need to ensure that your target market has, ummm….. money.
No brainer, right?
You would be amazing at the number of people who are targeting people without money. Sure, some of those people may be able to work their way up and out of their situation, but do you really want to have to mess with all of that?
Perhaps if you have a lot of time you need to fill. But if you’re looking for quicker results, going to an empty well isn’t going to give you the water you need.
So how do you go about determining your Target Market? Start with your Avatar.
Know Thy Avatar
What is an avatar?
Well, I’m not talking about those blue people…. I’m talking about the personification of your ideal customer.
Who is your ideal customer? If you’re like many internet marketers, you’re response is:
“I have no idea”
That’s ok. Here’s how you create your avatar:
You need to make some decisions about who you are trying to “attract” to your website. Who is the ideal purchaser of your product or service?
– Is it a man or a woman?
– How old are they? (College Student, Baby Boomer, etc.)
– Are they Single or married?
– Children or no children?
– What is their level of education? (High School, College, Graduate Degree, etc.)
– What does that person do for a living? Are they employed or retired?
– What are their hobbies and other interests?
– What is their income level. (If the answer is ZERO and you’re selling something, you may want to re-draw your avatar) : )
– What are their problems? What do they need help with?
Also you’ll want to begin thinking about how YOU can solve their problems (more on this when I discuss Commandment #2: Know Thy USP.
Once you’ve drawn out your Avatar, put it in a safe place. You’ll want to refer back to it frequently. Your blog/website’s design and color; the tone you use in your autoresponder messages; the products you sell; the content you put on your website; the places where you choose to promote your website/blog all depend on you knowing who you are speaking to. If you don’t know your audience, you’re playing pin-the-tail on the donkey, you aren’t being a strategic marketer.
To succeed in marketing online, you must think strategically about how you are marketing. So, once you figure out your avatar, do some research on your avatar. Where do they “hang out’ online? Are they participating in forums? Do they gravitate towards a particular website or blog?
Once you know where to find them, you know where you need to be focusing your marketing efforts.
When you’re ready…head over to Commandment #2: Know Thy USP.
In the meantime….do you have any other tips to share on defining your avatar? Did you find this article helpful? Let me know by commenting below!
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