Identifying your ideal target audience is critical to the success of your business. Bigger isn’t always better. In today’s episode, Victoria Wieck explains why niching down your business and trimming down how you define your market is key to earning more. If you do this right, you can achieve greater returns even without doing advertising. Tune in as she shares essential tips on determining your niche and adding the best value for your customers.
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How To Niche Down And Identify Your Ideal Target Audience
I’m so excited to get into this session. This is part of the multi-week series of the Do It Now System that I wrote a book about. The book is titled Million Dollar Passion: How to Turn an Idea into a Multimillion-Dollar Business. I speak from my heart and from my own experience. I broke it down to very few bite-sized information so that you can follow along my journey.
This is week five. If you have not read weeks 1 through 4, I highly suggest that you do that because you can take your passion into a profitable business. You can start that business with no experience, no money, no outside capital, and no real connections of any kind. I can tell you I did it and did it in a very big way. Read the other four weeks.
Before I get into this, if you find this information interesting or you found other episodes interesting, please go ahead and subscribe. Share any of my episodes with at least one friend so we can amplify and elevate the topic here. Without further ado, let’s go get into the target market and target your audience. If I can think of one thing other than your product or service itself, it is critical that you understand who your target market is. It’s important.
I’m going to try to make it as simple as possible. There are masterminds on this topic. There are courses being taught on this topic but I’m going to try to break it down to a twenty-minute segment so that you can get the basics of it and understand it. Understanding the target market is directly related to how successful you are going to be and how fast you can achieve that success.
Make It As Small A Niche As Possible
Let’s get into this. The first thing is to try to make it as small of a niche as possible. I didn’t originate this saying. I don’t know who originally came up with that, but a lot of people would agree with me, “The riches are in the niches.” Make sure that you break it down to as small of a niche as possible. Whatever you are doing, try to find the first 200 people that are going to buy your product. Not the first 20. That first 20s are your friends, family, and the people who are obligated to buy something from you but the first 200 or 400 are critical because you have to understand who they are, what they are buying, what their needs are, and how you can provide solutions to their life.
If you have not read the first four weeks, you are going to see a common theme there in everything I do, which is the only way you make money as an entrepreneur is if you learn how to add value to other people’s lives. People don’t pay for information anymore. It’s all free on Google. People don’t pay for frivolous things that they don’t need. They usually try and return it. You have to learn how to add value to other people’s lives. For you to do that, you have to understand who they are. There was a saying that if you try to be everything to everybody, you are nothing to no one but if you try to be everything to just a few people or if you try to be everything within a topic, you can be that.
The only way you make money as an entrepreneur is if you learn how to add value to other people’s lives.
Enough with the general. I want to give you an example. For example, I turned my passion for jewelry into a multimillion-dollar business. I’ve done nine figures in this space. I could say that jewelry is for everyone. This is the number one mistake people make. They define their target market as too big. I could say that women love jewelry. People get married. Men love jewelry some men jewelry for themselves. Most men have a mother, sister, wife, daughter, female friends or grandmothers. You can think about how you can justify, “Maybe I should target the men who buy the jewelry for the women in their life.”
You can see how I could sit there and say, “I could design jewelry for all women and most men.” It is everybody. Men who are older or younger love jewelry. This isn’t an heirloom piece. They all love it. If you were to identify your market as that, how would you design for that market? How would your jewelry be different than everything else out there on the market? I’m going to get back to that in a little bit. If you identify your target market correctly, you can almost build a business without any advertising or any outside influences. I will show you how you can do that with my jewelry. Keep that in mind.
Let Them Know, Trust, and Like You
Also, remember that before people buy anything of significance, whether it’s a course or jewelry they are going to wear to a sorority party, a high school reunion or maybe for them to get married, they still have to like you. They have to trust you. They have to know that it’s going to be good for them. If I come across on TV or on my mailers that I’m not a likable person because I come across as braggadocious or a very loud person who talks about herself all the time, they are probably not going to want to deal with me for their intimately and emotionally connected purchase.
If they like you, they still have to trust you. They have to trust that you are the best jeweler they could find. They also have to trust that you probably aren’t going to screw them over. Those are the two factors of trust there. They have to trust you as an expert that you know what you are talking about and bringing real value to their life. They also have to trust that you are not going to overcharge them and the information you are giving them is true. They will ask, “Is this going to be good for me?”
Let’s say you are teaching an online course on how to do digital marketing, and you are charging them $5,000. They have to know, “Is this personal likable? I’m going to be Zooming with that person for the next twelve weeks.” If you find that person is always about talking about himself or herself and less about the content, you may not want to spend the money.
Provided that they trust you, they still have to know, “Is this going to work for me? Do I have the type of business that can benefit from the type of online course that this person is teaching? Do I have the infrastructure for that? Do I have all the other stuff? Can I get the same information from a person who is more experienced for less money?” That’s when pricing comes in.
Pricing only matters after they find out that they love you, like you, fall in love with your story or journey, you have some expertise that they can trust, and you have their interests at heart. They are going to be like, “It’s good for me. It happens to be an amazing price.” That is the perfect formula for that. Instead of all these generals, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my personal journey.
Identify Your Target Audience
My personal journey happens to be in jewelry design, which is a huge market. It is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide. It is one of the oldest industries worldwide. It also happens to be the most competitive industry anywhere in the world. Many of you know that I’ve traveled extensively around the world. I have been to some countries that most people didn’t even know existed.
In every country you go to, from South Africa, Kenya, Dubai, all over Europe to all of a sudden, Latin America, in any little port or airport when you go to any shopping environment, there is a jewelry store every few blocks. It’s not as quite as many as Starbucks but it has a lot of jewelry stores all over the world. It’s one of the most competitive businesses. It’s also a business that’s known for having the good old boys around the world owning 80% to 90% of their business.
In that environment, I started a small company targeting a very specific small group of women. Remember, I said that in jewelry, I could have identified my market as all women who love jewelry, even if that’s generalistic. Most women who get married want to have some ring that says, “I’m married.” Your tastes may differ. That’s a piece of jewelry. If you think about the choices women make, in a christening, bar mitzvah, and all these events, they are wearing jewelry. Maybe it’s the heirloom piece that was given, you inherited, and was passed down.
You could say, “My target is all women and most of the men who buy for their wives, significant other, friends, mothers or sisters.” If you do that and say, “My jewelry caters to all women. I’m going to design for all women,” Let’s say you somehow can do that. You understand what women want. If you were going to create a Facebook ad, what would that ad say? “I design beautiful pieces of jewelry. I have a whole collection for you. I understand that you are a woman. All women have jewelry. I have a large selection of jewelry. It is very inexpensive. I’m 25% lower than your local department store. We are having a sale here. Come to come to my store.”
That’s pretty much what you could say because you can’t talk to every woman. When you talk to every woman, it sounds that way. You are not talking to that woman. How I did it, though, is when I was starting my company, I found that most of the jewelry was sold that way by the major department and jewelry stores. They talk to every woman like, “We have bridal. We have this. We have that. We have all the things that you all love. Women love jewelry. We have what women want. We are the cheapest.” The precise language is different than what I said but that’s genetically what most of the ad said.
If you try to be everything to everybody, you are nothing to no one. But if you try to be everything to just a few people, you can be that.
Some of them had better models or different styles but the messaging was the same. “Women have jewelry. I know you love jewelry. We have high-quality jewelry, and our prices are the best. Our jewelry is routinely sold at 70% off,” which also was a lie. They would jack up the price so that they could take the 70% off, which then became the regular price.
In fact, many jewelry stores and department stores were sued by the FTC about that. If they say that every two weeks, you can take the 70% discount, then that discounted price is a retail price. They’ve gone through lawsuits but I digressed on that. What happened was when I came to this country, I realized that in South Korea, most of the jewelry was heirloom pieces. They were 24 karat gold pieces that were given to a child as their future inheritance. It was more of a monetary value.
The heirloom pieces that they wanted to hand out to the next generation were highly personalized. They were mostly custom-made pieces by a local jeweler for their family. They might even have a family emblem. Some of them might have their favorite gemstones as opposed to diamonds. For example, if a region was known for fishing, it might have little fisherman knots embedded into it. If they lived on a farm, they might have little wheat patterns.
When I came to America, I was astonished at the lack of selection. It was mostly sold on snob appeal. I was mostly sold on, “I have a 2 karat diamond from Tiffany’s or I have a 1 karat diamond from whatever store.” It has a little bit of a snob appeal but it was a stone set in four prong setting with the bond. That was what it was. I saw a huge opportunity to speak to different women. When I say different women, they were women who had different emotional needs for reasons why they bought jewelry.
1989, which is when I started my company, was a time when many women in America were going to work outside their homes. It was the first time in history that most of these women went outside their homes to work. I say that because taking care of your children at home is a full-time job. They went outside their homes to work. They had titles like marketing director, vice president of something or senior manager of something. They had managerial positions for the first time. They were making decent money. There were still huge inequities in salaries but they were still making good money.
They went to work looking like miniature men. I was one of those women. I had to wear button-down cotton shirts. I had a business suit in gray, navy, and black. They didn’t have jewelry at that point. They had jewelry but were nighttime jewelry. They were very fancy. You don’t want to go to work looking like you are a show-off. These women had a need. They needed to look polished. They needed to look intelligent, sophisticated but understated.
At that time, in the marketplace, they had junk jewelry. They were plastic. They were brassy. They clinked and made all these sounds. It looked like a tortoise. They had animal prints on them. They looked cheap and junky. You could go buy the expensive jewelry that had the snob appeal. You would to these places to pay $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 for once-in-a-lifetime jewelry and wore until you die.
I designed jewelry that was much more for daytime to go to work. It looked understated, fun, and beautiful but had a little sparkle or a little metal. They also had little florals. They had ways that were still timeless but very classic. They had florals or little critters like ladybugs. They had a little accent here and there. It didn’t look like it was wild but it had interesting topics that you can talk about. People are curious. Other women are complimenting you. You stood out as somebody who takes care of herself and is successful.
I sold high-quality jewelry at lower prices that were emotionally connecting and personality reflective jewelry. I catered to the professional working woman who made a ton of money for the first time. Before our generation, men went to work. The money was tight, so she didn’t go outside the home. She didn’t need daytime jewelry. I was defining my target market as professional working women in a professional environment. It is only that woman.
My Facebook ad would say something to the effect of, “Come and experience sophisticated, understated jewelry that you can wear to work, semi-formal or a cocktail party. You can save all this money. You can stand out for all the right reasons. Someday in the future, your daughters or granddaughters can inherit this because these are very high-quality products. They are custom designed for you.” They were just for a few people because I didn’t have a huge distribution. I would also say, “For the next two weeks, you could have it at a 25% off discount.”
Luckily for me, there was nobody doing that. I ended up with a huge market share. This is how I sold over ten million pieces of jewelry in America. This is the power of understanding who your target market is, providing products for your target market, and messaging that in a way that you can connect with them emotionally. All your marketing message needs to sound like you are speaking to that person alone.
I understand that most of you are not going to be in the jewelry space. For example, if you are a real estate broker, you can’t go and say, “I’m a real estate broker. I specialize in Beverly Hills to Compton, to Newport Beach or to San Diego.” Nobody is going to believe you. A lot of entry-level home markets are catered to younger families that want great schools. They want a place that has great little parks around, and that’s safe. Your messaging will be different than if you were selling a $3 million to $10 million property. They are looking for something completely different than entry-level homes. You can’t be a specialist at both ends.
All your marketing message needs to sound like you are speaking to that person alone.
Maybe you are in the vacation home market. Maybe you are in Palm Springs or places where older retirees buy their retirement homes or vacation home. They have very different needs. Make sure that you understand who you are talking to. If you need Lasik surgery for your eyes, you are not going to go to a general practitioner for your eye surgery. You are going to go to the best Lasik surgeon.
I went to a Lasik surgeon several years ago. She had done 7,000 Lasik surgeries. Most of them were successful but 1% of the people ended up with dry eye or something like that. I chose to go to her for the reason that she did nothing but that. She does not do cataract surgery. She doesn’t do anything else. This is the woman that does nothing but this one thing.
If you are a pain management expert, you help people manage pain. If you specialize in Olympic athletes, tennis professionals or high school athletes that need to fix up, be at peak performance every day, are healthy otherwise and are watching their body for every single little joint, that’s a different market than senior citizens who are in chronic pain that is on Medicare or Medicaid.
I’m giving you two very extreme examples of how a generalist can’t survive in either of those places. If you say, “I’m a pain management specialist. No matter what your pain is, I can help you,” and you don’t explain exactly why you are best for that person, you are not going to get the high school athletes. They are going to look for athletic physios and athletic professionals.
I’m going to give you the most extreme example of a restaurant in Los Angeles. I lived in LA for 40 years. It’s funny. Across from my office, there was a fish restaurant that stayed there. They were there for 30 years. Before I was even in that office space, this was an iconic restaurant. For some reason, this family decided to close up several years ago. Every six months, it seemed like there was a new restaurant that came in. None of them made it.
The last one that I remember was called Global Cuisine. Their menu had Salvadoran food, halal food, sushi, and vegan food. The owner was very proud of the fact that he had a very large family. He had a son who married an Israeli girl that moved to Israel and spoke Hebrew. He also had one of his daughters marry somebody in Japan. He was very proud of the fact that his family is so diverse, and they eat this food all the time.
He opened a restaurant called Global Cuisine. If you wanted to have pizza and pasta for lunch, would you go to a global cuisine like this, where they serve everything under the sun? If you are a sushi connoisseur, would you go to a restaurant that serves vegan or El Salvadoran? You would probably go to a sushi restaurant that has nothing but sushi. This family did not last either. They didn’t last even six months. It was a tough sell. Nobody wanted to go in there. They were curious. It was a neighborhood joke but nobody ate anything that I knew other than his own family. It didn’t work out.
Remember, getting your target audience nailed down helps you attract new customers at a much faster rate than if you try to broaden it. I know it’s very counterintuitive to think that you have to make the target market so small as opposed to bigger but trust me on this one. You do have to make sure that your target market might get as small of a niche as possible. Once you start to achieve some success, you can then branch out into other things.
For example, my target market for the longest time was professional working women. They grew older with me. I was in my twenties when I started my business. I’m not even going to tell you how old I am because I have been through so many decades where a lot of my customers are ages 45 to 65, and some of them are even older. I thought, “I can help Millennial woman navigate their bridal things,” so I created a separate company that deals with Millennial bridles who want great choices and custom-made jewelry. That’s doing well. I figured it out but I don’t mix those two.
My Millennial bridal site is called RachelAndVictoria.com. You should check that out. It’s a beautiful site. All the model pictures are actual pictures of my daughter, Rachel, who is partnering with me on this. The messaging is very different. The Millennials want choice. They want to experience. They want uniqueness. They don’t want anything that’s mass-produced. They don’t want to buy things at a department store. They want things that are made for them and only for them. They are very concerned about ecology and what their footprint is in the world in terms of their carbon footprint, climate change, and all that.
On that site, we spell out our philosophy. All the metals that we use, gold and silver, are all recycled. We don’t do any Earth-mined gemstones. It means that anything that we have to dig deep through the Earth, we don’t deal with that. All the diamonds are lab-grown or above Earth. All our packaging is recycled paper. For the women that are aged 45 to 65, they understand my philosophy is the same but it’s not a huge deciding factor. It’s a plus factor. They like the fact that I am very conscious about saving the planet Earth but it’s not the determinant factor for them. Your messaging, products, and price point changes based on who your target market is.
Determine How You Add Value
Lastly, once you clearly identify your target market like this person with pain points who’s a pain expert remember, the only way you make money is if you add value to somebody else’s life consistently as an entrepreneur. That means, how do you add value to somebody else’s life? Does your product help them save money? Does it help them save time?
Messaging changes based on who your target market is.
Does it help them right social wrongs? Does that help them prevent a problem in the future? If you are selling alarms, security systems, vitamins or insurance, does it help people feel significantly better emotionally? You might be selling entertainment. You might be selling them how you connect with your customers if you are business-to-business.
There’s a whole other list I can give you but I’m trying to keep this very simple and short. If you can help them save money and time and prevent a future disaster from happening, these are great. You got to check at least one off of this. If you can’t, you must keep working on your target market, products, and how you can solve their problems or add value to their lives. You will see a huge difference in how you start your business. You can see why you can start your business with no money and no expertise. It’s simple, basic common sense.
Thank you for tuning in to this lesson. I love this topic. I may revisit this topic at the end of the series because it is such a critical topic. It’s a topic that’s counter-intuitive to most entrepreneurs and needs a little bit of getting used to. Thank you, again, for tuning in. Until next time, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is your choice. Also, if you can rate and review the show, I would be ever so grateful.