Instead of spending the majority of your time crafting HOW you’re going to sell your audience with your offer, focus on finding out WHO the heck you’re talking to – your target market. Put your attention on the catch and not the pitch. If you’re tossing a baseball to your kid, would you turn around and throw it in the bleachers? (Hopefully not.) Or would you aim it toward his glove so he has a successful catch? If you wanted results, yes, that’s exactly what you’d do.
Look, it doesn’t matter how great your copy is if you’re trying to get a man interested in taking pills for PMS! Your copy may sing but if your product is geared for a Democrat and it’s in front the eyes of a Republican, how many sales do you think you’re going to get? Not many.
Let me tell you a story about when I was 17 years old. (I had already moved 16 times by now and was rather shy and introverted). My favorite pastimes were reading and writing. What a geek! But that changed when my teenage hormones started kicking in. Out of the blue, I developed a huge crush on the valedictorian, class president and tennis ace, Everett Perry. This guy was a hunk and the most eligible bachelor on campus. He was 6’2 with dark hair, blue eyes and long lashes. Way out of my league. I realized in order to get Everett’s attention, I’d better figure out what he liked. So I became a student of “Everett watching”. I paid attention to who his friends were… and I went out of my way to be nice to them. He was in the Key Club so I joined the sister club, the Keywanettes. I became a tennis groupie. Basically I studied my “target market.” And it worked. I learned what he liked. We dated for two years after my successful stalking, er, studying.
In general, we survey these groups for our target markets:
Ideal future prospects
People we DON’T want as customers
Corporations and big business literally spend millions of dollars to fully understand how to segment and target their market. Believe me, it’s well worth your time to look a little closer too.
You aren’t the only one looking to woo your target market, you know. Learn about what other methods your competition is trying. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. (By the way, competition doesn’t have to be adversarial. Surely you have a strength to deliver to the market they don’t. And vice versa. Think of creative ways you could partner or joint venture).
Some ways to get into bed with your competitors, so to speak, is to do what they do. Subscribe to the publications they read, both online and offline. Join the groups they’re in. Pay attention to how they promote themselves and follow suit.
Subscribe to their ezines using a free email account (Hotmail or Yahoo)
Study THEIR sales copy
Discover their USP (Unique Selling Position)
Join organizations they join
Read listservs (online special interest forums) they would be interested in
Competitive history (The Wayback Machine shows archived websites on the web so you can follow what changes they’ve made.)
Once you have a grip on your average target market, you’re ready to eliminate all but one. Don’t worry. No one gets hurt. It’s just for your copy.
You’re going to narrow your target market down to a specific tarket! The word tarket comes from combining the words “target” plus “market”. I coined the term because it’s CRITICAL you think in the singular, not plural. Target market sounds like a mob. Tarket is one person. Before you do anything…I mean ANYTHING. You MUST know how to collect the critical info of who your tarket is.
“Target” + “Market” = “TARKET”
Target Market is Plural
TARKET is Singular
Do you know who USA Today’s tarket is? They tarket a 40 year old male businessman who travels. Do other people buy USA Today? Of course!! But you can only market effectively to ONE person at a time.
Got yours in mind? Now I want to imagine the hair color, gender, age, health, marital status… everything you can think of… regarding your particular tarket. At the end of this exercise, you should have an imaginary friend to sell to. You should go as far as to name your tarket. It really makes your copy sound personal when you envision somebody real. My tarket is named Nikki.
Nikki Stanton, a 37 year old divorced entrepreneur with a web conferencing business. She’s Internet and business savvy. Invests most of her profit back into the business. Lives in San Diego in a gated community with her 10 year old daughter, Madison. Involved in daughter’s school and drives her to dance classes. Has a home office making approximately $117,000 per year. Jogs 3 times a week in the neighborhood. She loves to find bargains on designer clothes. And dreams of visiting Italy with her daughter someday.
When I’m writing my copy, I have Nikki pull up a chair and I tell her what’s on my mind in a way she could hear me. Then I write it out.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have male clients or women who are either older or younger than Nikki. It’s just a powerful trick to get me to focus on marketing to ONE person – MY tarket.
And that, my friend, is the fail proof way you connect with your audience.
Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS… at www.redhotcopy.com