Where do the people in your target market hang out? That’s a question you’ll want to answer in order to grow your business quickly. Online or offline, people with similar buying habits tend to read, join and discuss in the same places. By doing some research, and creating a list of established points of connection, you can affordably reach more people in your target audience.
Where Do Your Target Prospects Flock Together?
The old saying about “birds of a feather” really applies when it comes to people likely to buy your product. They probably read the same publications, hang out on the same websites and belong to the same associations. What’s more, they’re likely hanging out together in significant numbers.
This is where good research pays off. Once you learn where your target prospects congregate, you can find ways to leverage relationships other people have with them.
For example, if they’ve paid to subscribe to a magazine, there’s a relationship established with that publication. Someone else might already be selling their products regularly to the same group of people. Many members of your audience targeting may also belong to the same trade associations.
The point is, any way you might be able to connect with your audience through an existing connection should be added to your list. Media contacts, possible joint venture partners, associations, and online discussion groups are all valuable assets to be leveraged while growing your list.
If this sounds like a lot of legwork, there’s some good news. Once you begin to find these places where your target audience congregates, a snowball effect will kick in. You’ll talk to one or two people, and then learn of more and more connections. Rather than painstakingly tracking down each place, your new prospects will begin to show them to you.
Find common connections between the people in a specific market. Look for books and publications which give lists of trade magazines or associations.
Ways to Reach Your Market
Remember, the key is to gather information on your list that allows you to reach your market. That means not starting from scratch trying to sell to your audience if there’s another way in.
You might choose to advertise in that magazine your target audience likes to read, or submit some editorials. As you research your list make notes about who accepts advertising, articles or editorials.
A joint venture with a company already selling products to your intended market is another good way to break in. Look online at companies you might once have considered your competitors. If your products complement theirs, a joint venture could benefit you both.
Another possibility is to offer to give talks to the groups you find your market tends to join. Keep notes on who needs guest speakers, how often they meet and whether you can sell from the back of the room.
Again, all this will take some research on your part. Even if someone else could tell you exactly where members of your target audience hang out, they don’t know your product like you do, so do your own homework.
A final tip about reaching your audience: don’t waste your money trying to reach your market through large publications. The expense to advertise in national, regional or even large local publications is enormous, and you’ll be paying for circulation beyond your audience. Target niche magazines and newsletters, instead; your return will be much more profitable.
Devote some time to researching where your target market hangs out and keep your eyes open for opportunities to leverage existing relationships. Expanding your list of marketing prospects will become much easier once you multiply your impact through these avenues.