I have mentioned the importance of knowing your target market in a few of my previous posts, but I have never given any details on how to go about doing it. So I have finally decided to share how I found my target market in hopes that it would inspire you to find yours.
Your target market is the group of potential buyers who will benefit from purchasing your handmade items.
When I first started out in business, I was told it is best practice to find a need and meet it or find a problem and solve it. That is great advice if you are running a typical business, but in the world of handmade that isn’t always the case. I believe many of us handmade sellers create first and then try to find a need or problem our handmade will solve.
When I first started out I put the cart before the horse so to speak. I started creating without considering what need my handmade would meet or problem it would solve.
I eventually found a need my designs met and thus my target audience was identified.
The Need My Designs Met: affordable, professional business graphics
My Target Market: Small Business Owners
However, if I was going to be successful at generating a steady stream of sales and income it was not enough to just identify my target market. I needed to narrow it down and so I started defining my niche markets. Notice I said “markets” with an “s”. Yes, it is possible to have more than one, just be careful not to have too many. Too many could lead to confusion and hinder your marketing efforts.
A niche market is a highly defined, specific target market. Knowing my niche markets has helped me to better focus my marketing efforts.
One Of My Niche Markets: A handmade business owner who is a married female, age 30-45, married with 1-2 children. She is new to selling online, is not very tech savvy and uses Etsy.com as her primary online store.
Once I identified a niche market, I created an idea buyer story. I recommend creating an idea buyer profile or story and imagine yourself talking to them when you are creating your content. It is much easier to talk to one person instead of many.
Meet Mary, My Idea Buyer: Mary is 35 years old and is married with two children. She is new to selling on Etsy and is not very tech savvy. When Mary isn’t caring for her family, she spends her time creating handmade items and managing her Etsy shop. She is a straightforward person and likes learning how to grow her handmade business and improve sales. She is driven and ambitious. She takes great pride in selling her handmade and she wants to make sure her shop reflects this.
Using profiles or stories like Mary has helped me to better target my marketing efforts and blog content.
As your business grows and evolves, so will your ideal buyer. You need to make identifying your target market part of your regular routine.
To help you find your Niche Market, I have created a helpful worksheet “Finding Your Idea Buyer or Niche Market”.
Finding my target audience is perhaps one of the most difficult business tasks I have encountered, but it is worth doing. If you find this task a bit challenging or overwhelming too, just know you are not alone and try your best to not get discouraged or frustrated. Remember, it is an ongoing process that will take time.