Shannon Fable by Shannon Fable

Whether you plan to market yourself via social media, traditional advertising or word of mouth, you must be able to answer these three questions to get noticed:

  1. Who is your target market?
  2. What are their urgent needs and compelling desires?
  3. Why did you choose this work?

Who Is Your Target Market? 

A target market, loosely defined, is a particular group of consumers at which you aim your product or service. A target market has a built-in communications network, places where they naturally gather and referral networks, which help spread your message. Your target market should consist of specific demographics (e.g., age range, gender identification, marital status, work status, etc.). The psychographics (innate traits such as values, attitudes, and interests) provide a filter to identify ideal clients with whom you do your best work. 

Determining your target market is essential and should happen before defining your products and services. Instead of creating products and services and then “aiming” at a group that might need what you have to offer, find a group of which you’re passionate, curious or connected and develop products and services ideally suited to address their wants and needs. If your target market is personal to you, you will never grow tired of engaging, learning and serving them. And, when you are infinitely curious about your target market, you will have a wellspring of ideas, resources, tips and stories to use when you market. Better yet, the content you create and the offers you develop will “speak” to your ideal clients and have a better chance to break through the noise.

Remember, not everyone in your target market will need what you have to offer. You are not trying to define a group that is sure to purchase what you are selling, but instead find places to “show up” and demonstrate credibility, thus attracting your ideal clients. 

What Are Their Urgent Needs and Compelling Desires?

When marketing, it’s important to avoid imposing your will on your target market’s reality. As service professionals, we tend to lead with our how (methods) and describe our what (results) in our language. We talk about increased function, better movement patterns or an enhanced physique. While this may resonate with your audience, it’s best to find out what’s important to them and speak their language. Understanding their urgent needs and compelling desires will help you better engage and connect through your marketing.

Find out everything you can about what potential clients in your target market are moving away from (urgent needs) and what they are moving toward (compelling desires). While you might think you know what these are, especially if you are your target market, you’ll learn more by asking questions and listening to what they have to say. Keep in mind that you’re looking for life needs and desires, not only health and wellness-specific goals. Your exercise- or health-related outcomes might be what they need but might not be how they express what they are after. When you lead with their urgent needs and compelling desires, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the opportunity to show them what you can do.

Why Did You Choose This Work?

Finally, clients may be interested in your what, but they will choose you because of your why. Many people serve the same target market you select, and plenty of professionals provide similar products and services or deliver the same result. Your why is one of the most important things to distinguish you from the crowd and draw clients to you.

You must have a strong, internal reason for choosing your target market and engaging in the work you do for them. Some might describe this as your calling. Articulate your why by reflecting on what attracted you to learn about and serve this group of people? What makes you want to wake up every day to learn more and do more for this group of people? What is your connection to the group and your work? 

When your why is heartfelt, and you authentically express this through the marketing you do, your ideal clients will identify with you. And once they are aware of you, they will offer you the opportunity to tell them more about what you have to offer.