Before we proceed with this series, I wanted to offer some clarification about the terms Target Audience & Dream Client.
Defining your dream client does not mean that just because you sell to people in their twenties AND their seventies that you would no longer be selling to them - it means that you are identifying the class, personality & interests of the people you want to buy from you, people who are influential about products similar to yours, so that you can maximize your marketing to bring in even more sales beyond the sales you are already generating. If you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one - if you are speaking to just the right people, in just the right way, at just the right time, your business can only thrive! That is what identifying & marketing to your dream client is all about!
For instance, I make toy storage solutions and plush toys. I could ask all my friends to like my Facebook page & follow me on Twitter & Instagram, but let's be real - do I really think that my husband's 24 year old brother or people that are his age/gender has any interest in my products & would buy them regularly & share them with their friends? What about my single friends who have no desire to have children? Or what about all those people in the craft forums I'm a part of? Do you really think that other crafters are my target audience for handmade toys? Do you really think if I get them to like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram it will result in more sales? A few, perhaps. But not as many as if I was marketing to specifically to moms, don't ya think?
Another point of view - if you make jewelry, then obviously networking in jewelry groups won't result in many sales - the other members make similar items, therefore they aren't as likely to need or want to purchase what you are offering. Marketing to single men wouldn't be beneficial for jewelry designers, either. Fashion bloggers, on the other hand.... Make sense?
It is not a numbers game. You could have 10,000 Facebook fans but it doesn't matter if they aren't your target audience. Your social media presence should be filled only with people who have an organic interest in your products - your dream clients! And the goal of this series is to help you identify them & find out where they are hanging out at online. when they are online & how to approach them!
Now we are going to explore how to use this information so that we can assess where online & offline our dream clients are hanging out! I will be sharing my responses along with some ideas of how to use this information to find your dream clients.
My advice: take an afternoon, curl up with a cup of coffee or tea & your favorite notebook & really think about where your dream clients are online.
Here is the low down on my dream client for luanded.com, using the worksheet from last week:
My dream clients live in the suburbs in a house. They would use a Mon-stor in their kid's room for fun & convenient storage. Their decorating style is eclectic, colorful & fun, most pieces probably upcycled, so they are probably attracted to my products because they are bright, functional and made with upcycled materials!
My dream client likes kids fashion, coffee, natural parenting & Instagram-ing all the cute stuff their kiddos do, so they probably also breastfeed and cloth diaper & like blogging, sharing brands they like on social media, & baby wearing. If they live in a house in the suburbs they probably like to shop at Target & thrift stores. They are probably total Starbucks-aholics or drink lots of coffee at home.
They probably follow BabyJives, BabiekinsMag & ThreeLittleNumbers because their photos are so beautifully styled & reminiscent of a beautiful childhood & gentle parenting. They share their content because they are influential in the baby/kid industry & want to be a part of that brand's community, like a brand rep.
Let's explore my dream clients - they are natural parents with eclectic style. So they probably frequent parenting forums, breastfeeding advocacy blogs, cloth diaper supplier websites, local parenting blogs/publications & event guides, natural living and unschooling/homeschooling forums/blog/websites.
Acknowledging my dream client's natural parenting interests helps me know I need focus my social media campaign to focus on the ecofriendly aspect of my products; it also is beneficial for many other reasons, including deciding which blogs & brand reps to partner with, which stores my products would be best represented in & where I should invest my hard earned marketing dollars to the get most bang for my buck. Using the information from last week's worksheet, here is 5 ways I could reach my dream clients where they are:
- Paid ads on popular sites my dream clients frequent.
- Guest posting on blogs my dream clients read.
- Offering products for reviews on natural parenting blogs.
- Sponsoring giveaways that these sites host on social media.
- Become an active member of the forums & network with fellow parents.
Since I know my dream clients are into Instagram-ing every cute thing their kiddo does, I know where I need to focus the majority of my social media efforts in order to get the best impact, too! I also know that they love beautiful, well lit, clutter free images & gentle marketing tactics based on where they shop & who they follow on social media.
Below, I have one case study for an entirely different dream client. Shawna from Scrawny Girl was sweet enough to send me a photo of her completed worksheet & I thought that this case study may help you decipher where to find your own dream clients.
Just going from what I see here, I have thought up three places Shawna can find her dream clients:
Her dream client loves fashion, blogging & all things cute & would probably shop at Modcloth and Antropologie - odds are she would be able to connect with them & build a great foundation for future business & new exposure to people like her dream client by leaving meaningful comments on fashion blogs & sharing their content via social media. She could also join forums & groups for eclectic fashion bloggers to network & share her outfits of the day paired with her art brooches, like above, as a method of gentle marketing.
Her dream client enjoys DIY projects & thrifting - given the eclectic & colorful nature of Shawna's shop, I think that she could definitely captivate her dream clients & drive them to her shop by guest posting a kitschy & colorful upcycling tutorial with her art prints hanging in the background or maybe a smash book tutorial using her stickers & perhaps offering a free printable on a popular lifestyle blog, raising brand awareness while at the same time demonstrating how her kawaii stickers fits into the lives of her dream clients.
By knowing who your dream client is & what their interests and hobbies are, you are able to organically connect with your target audience in what I like to call their "natural environment". This means that the exposure to your products is not forced, IE you are not actively sharing a link to purchase with your dream clients but rather speaking to them about their interests. The difference is "This pencil case is perfect for back to school! *link*" versus "How I stay organized for college" with a photo of your backpack, pencil case, folders & other accessories.
We will cover this in further detail in our fifth & final installment of this series, but next week we are going to be discussing using information from the past three weeks to determine when our dream clients are online!
Using information from the previous two posts, share in the comments where you think you can find your dream clients online!