As a freelancer, knowing how to hit your target market is a vital part of reaching potential clients and growing your client base as quickly as possible. So how do you go about doing this when you’re just starting out?
This blog provides information and suggestions on what you should know to get started with market research and developing target market strategies to find those future clients ASAP!
What is Your Target Market?
Your target market is your future clients, fitting a defined demographic, geographic, behavioral, or psychographic segment of the population, or businesses, who are interested in what you are selling.
If you’re a graphic designer, you might be looking for businesses who want a new logo as part of rebranding, unique graphics and icons for advertising, or a custom look for their website.
But we can dig even deeper by developing a niche.
For example, you may choose to specialize in eBook covers because there’s a new book (or more) being published almost every day on a digital platform. If you find a writer who is producing a series of eBooks, then you can stay busy for quite some time.
Depending on how fast you work, you could take on three fiction writers doing Young Adult series, for example, and make a reasonable living out of the eBook cover genre.
You might even have more than one target market demographic.
If you are a freelance photographer and you specialize in weddings, your target market may not just be brides and grooms at the wedding ceremony, but also wedding planners, bridal stores, florist shops, wedding venues, churches, and more.
Once you define what you are offering to your future clients, then it’s time to determine exactly who those clients are. So, let’s get started with defining what your target market looks like!
How To Define Your Target Market
The key to defining your target market is by first conducting in-depth Market research. If you have already worked with clients in the past and still have connections with them, then you may already have a good idea of their persona profiles. Think about whether they were your ideal client.
Consider who your ideal client base is. What is their gender, age, and political orientation? What do they do for fun, and what do they do for a living? What are their beliefs, morals, and standards? Think about where they come from, where they’re located, where they hang out, and even how they speak.
So, let’s look at that example of a wedding photographer again. Your target market is likely going to be men and women, most likely in early to mid-life. But from there, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper.
Your niche could fall anywhere from traditional and rustic to modern and extravagant weddings. So, is your target market schoolteachers and mechanics who want to say “I Do” at the local Baptist church they visit every Sunday, or are they bartenders and retailers who fell in love at a rock concert and want to celebrate their devotion at a casino? Or maybe they’re lawyers and doctors who want to impress family and friends at an extravagant
vineyard. Each one of these audiences will require an entirely different approach to reaching them.
Get inside the heads of your audience and you’ll unleash incredible power and potential.
To help you with this, take advantage of businesses that offer you overviews of segments of the marketplace relevant to your business and industry. One such business is Sparktoro which provides audience research and customer insights and does it quickly.
Where to Find Your Target Market
Think about where your target market is hanging out. For example, are they mostly online or in-person? Are they in bars or staying at home with kids? Are they all-nighters or early-risers?
One of the easiest ways to get quick answers to these questions is to look at competitor pages on social media and see who follows them. Check out their posts and observe interactions between the competitor and viewers to get a feel for who these followers are.
You can also join online social media groups and engage with members, so they get to know you through discussions. Ask questions, get answers, and even make connections by answering questions yourself! Some great places to do this are on Reddit and Medium.
Target Market Strategies for Attracting New Clients
Once you know where your target market is “hanging out,” consider the ways you can engage with them. It’s important that you are seen as often as possible and remembered for the information you provide. Here are a few ways to do this.
Take Advantage of Social Media
The more you share information, the more you are likely to be noticed by the platform’s algorithm and made more visible to other members. As you make posts, pay attention to responses.
Your social media platforms will have an administrator’s view where you can see daily changes in metrics showing when you pick up new followers, how many interact with your posts, and always respond to viewers if they ask you questions. Monitor negative comments and respond respectfully.
Create or Update Your Website
Create or update your website so it functions well and captures viewer interest when they click on your website link. If you are using landing pages to sell your products and services, make sure they are compelling.
If you have enough funding set aside for paid ads. Social media is a great place to put them. Take advantage of defining your audience by demographics (age, gender, location, interests in your service) so the platform selects the right members to post your ad in their feed.
You can also place ads in trade/industry magazines and publications. That is a great way to offer discounts for membership subscriptions, a new
product or service launch, or just to have viewers subscribe to your weekly newsletter. It is also great for collecting new potential clients who want to know more about you and your business.
Offer Free Content
The easiest place to get information out there is on your website as a blog. Then you can share it on all social media platforms where you have a presence and feature it in ads, too. Decide how often you want to post a blog and share it across all your social media channels. If you can keep a regular schedule, then viewers will expect to see and look forward to viewing your content.
If you’re really feeling confident, write an article, have it edited by a professional editor, and query/submit it to trade magazines and/or industry publications relevant to your business. If accepted, it’s an excellent way to get your name out there.
Once you’ve defined your target market and implemented these strategies for reaching them, it’s time to get rolling. Take a breath, don’t be afraid, and enjoy the ride!
Now, go get them!