By Jim Cathcart
A market is a group of people who have enough in common with each other that you can establish a reputation among them.
Think of marketing as if your target audience were inside a circle. Then perform four steps:
1. Isolate the market. Put a name of your target audience inside a circle.
2. Surround the market. Start showing up everywhere they look in blogs, podcasts, events, conventions, expositions.
3. Penetrate the market. Get one customer, even a tiny one, in this group. Get inside the circle by having a client who can help you know the market better.
4. Permeate the market. Build referrals from one to the next until everyone in that market knows about you and what you can do for them.
There are three types of markets.
Your Natural Market – People you already have access to
A natural market is one you don’t have to go looking for. It’s the people you know and know about. These can be geographic: the people near your shop, near your home, from your school or club; or they can be affiliations: people in your professional association, your church, or any group where you are already connected.
This also includes your friends, neighbors and family members.
Here is a compelling question: How many of the people who you know well; family, close friends, etc., could accurately describe what it is that you do for a living? Chances are good that most of them don’t really know. They might know your title or place of work but it’s doubtful they could accurately describe how much you can help your customers and in what ways.
That is an opportunity just waiting to be fulfilled.
Your Ideal Market – People you dream of getting business from
Think of your perfect customers. Who would that be? I mean truly the perfect, dream customers that you would awaken each day eager to work with. Forget what’s realistic, just write a description of your dream customers. It could be movie stars, race drivers, wealthy people, Olympic athletes, sports icons, grandparents, CPAs, police officers, or motorcycle enthusiasts. You get to choose.
Once you isolate them by writing them down, you can begin to find a path to serving them. But nothing happens until you start the process. Dream it, write it, achieve it.
Your Chosen Market – People you intend to become known and accepted among.
You might have a natural market among schoolteachers but find that they don’t have big enough needs or frequency of buying that would meet your goals. So, instead of focusing on teachers, you can direct your efforts toward the best opportunities.
You might have an auto repair shop and a love of car shows and racing. If so, maybe you could cultivate a base of clients among show car owners and collectors. Perhaps you could meet the pros at some of the racing events you attend and provide a service to them. The more you connect with them the more contacts you make. And it only takes one good contact to open an entire market to you.
The author: Jim Cathcart is a professional Mentor and Hall of Fame inductee in Sales & Marketing plus Professional Speaking. Contact him at jimcathcart.com.