Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005
Achieving sales is probably the biggest challenge a web business owner has. It requires a balanced mix of the right products, competitive pricing, optimal web design, aggressive advertising and attracting the right online visitors.
While all of the above are equally important in achieving abundant sales, none of them will work at all if you don't target the people that are most likely to buy your products or services. These people are known as your target or niche market. Focusing in on your niche market will allow you to find only those that are ready, willing and able to buy what you have to offer.
Your niche market provides you the competitive edge over larger corporations because larger companies tend to market to a much broader range of people. Their promotions are more generalized and less focused. For them, the smaller markets are not worth bothering with. This now becomes your opportunity to capture those highly defined niche markets that they left behind.
Defining your Market
In order to find these people you must first determine who they are. This might sound like a simple or perhaps insignificant question at first but it can possibly make or break the success of your sales if you don't give it some serious thought. Here's how to get started.
Think about the following and jot down all those that might apply to people interested in your products or services. Don't rule out any category completely. Think about each group of people and how they might apply.
infants, Children, teens, young adults, baby boomers, middle aged, elderly or all.
Male, female or both
single, married, divorced, widowed or all
Ethnic or religious backgrounds
Executives, doctors, lawyers, housewives, business owners, teachers, blue collar, white collar, students, out of work, etc.
healthy, diseased, home bound, active, sedentary, etc.
sports, hiking, music, arts, computers, reading television, animals, home decorating, cars, walking, running, relaxation, health conscious, age conscious, physical fitness, etc.
low income, middle income, high income, no income.
high school dropout, high school, college, MBA PHD, hates school, loves school, etc.
Certainly all categories are not listed above, however these can get you started on thinking about all the possibilities.
Next, it's important to determine what benefits you are offering. Examine your products or services carefully listing all the benefits that you can think of. Perhaps take a poll of your existing customers and ask them what it is they like about your products or services. What benefits them the most.
Once you have a listed all of the benefits, think about what people would be interested in these benefits based on your list above. Then put them together to assist you in reaching a market that will bring you sales.
Reaching Your Target Market
Search engines are the best way of finding a targeted market because those searching on the web can type in exactly what they are searching for and receive the targeted traffic the search engines so proudly advertise.
But attaining good placement on the search engines is often difficult and time consuming.
Ezines and newsletters are a very effective alternative.
Most ezines cover specific subjects such as finance, marketing, health, internet, etc. Your job will be to find an ezine whose topic matches your target market. To do this you must locate an ezine directory. Directories usually list contact information, advertising rates, and circulation. Once you find a targeted ezine then place your ad. Be sure your ad includes as many of your product benefits as the ad will allow.
The idea is to define your target market specifically enough so that you can find the appropriate place to advertise and then create sales messages that make your readers feel you are talking directly to them.
You'll be amazed at the amount of traffic you can receive by finding your target market and reaching them in the appropriate location.
About the Author
Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry. She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses find trusted tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and increase sales. Elizabeth's sites can be viewed here: (http://www.pro-marketing-online.com) (http://www.homenotion.com)