We all know that creating a Target Market Profile is one of the first things you should do when starting (and growing) a business. However, a common mistake small business owners make is just sticking to the bare basics such as age, gender and lifestyle.

In this post I will cover 5 different ways you can define your Target Market so you can get really specific on who you serve and how you serve them well.

But before I do, I want to remind you why it is so important to do in the first place (because well, we often get off track).

Firstly It’s much more effective to be talking as if you’re speaking to one person and one individual’s needs, and that’s just impossible if you’re trying to talk to everyone.

Secondly, you just don’t have the time, or the money, or the resources. It’s just so much easier for your sanity to be able to focus on just one market, initially, and do that really, really well.

So, how do we refine it down from everybody to a few, select individuals?  Here are the 5 key ways.

No. 1 Demographics

This is the simple facts and probably the easiest to complete. This includes:

  • Age/generation: so maybe you want to focus on millennials or baby boomers, or a specific age.
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Income level

No.2 Location

I want to mention this one to you because, although, being online there is a lot of opportunity to reach pretty much everyone it is valuable to start with a specific location as your focus.

It doesn’t mean you are necessarily going to limit yourself to that location. However you might choose, strategically, to focus your marketing efforts, especially your intensive ones, locally. This is even more true when thinking of networking and collaborations.

People will often relate more to people that are in a nearby location.

You might get some more leeway, you get some runs on the board and it’s just an easier way to manage.

This doesn’t mean that if you get an order from the US or from Europe or wherever that you’re going to say no or that you’re not even technically marketing to those people through your message. But in terms of which Facebook groups you hang out in or even if you’re running some ads, you might want to really specify down to your local area because you want to be focused and get as many customers in that area as you can.

Even things like Instagram, hashtags can be customised to a local audience, there’s lots of local hashtags. And you can’t cover all locations in your limited 30 hashtags. However,  if you use your current location, at least that is a good starting point to really get your legs under you.

No. 3 Lifestyle

This is how your target market spend their days:

  • What are their hobbies?
  • What do they enjoy doing?
  • What do they watch on TV?
  • What do they listen to?
  • What magazines do they read?
  • Where do they go out?
  • What sort of restaurants do they eat at?

This is all that stuff that helps create a picture of a day in the life of.

All of these questions provide you with really useful information in terms of being able to  relate to them, but it’s also useful in knowing where to even target your messages.

No. 4 Needs and Desires

This is possibly the most useful way to refine your target market.

If you are focusing around a particular need or a particular desire, you can really cut through and cater your messages to those people.

It works both ways: You’ve got the needs, which is really their challenges. Their Struggles. Something that you can really help them with.

And then there’s also their desires. Their ideal life. What they really want.

Even once you’ve defined down to these first three, the demographics, location, and the lifestyle, needs and desires, is really where it starts getting specific because you can still have so many people with different needs and different likes, even within the same demographic.

No. 5 Values

We all have different values and priorities and they change through our lives depending on what’s important to us at a particular time.

Some examples of a value is some people might really value organic food, healthy approach to lifestyle, they might like the outdoors, they might be vegan. Or they might value status and success.

Everyone has different values and while we all might value a lot of things to some degree, there are some things that take priority.

A useful exercise is to try to come up with the top five values of your target market. And that is actually really handy because you can start to bring that through in your messaging to connect with them on a deeper level and also motivate them to change. Because if you know what’s really important to them, you can start to share a message that says, “well, if you buy this from me or do this then that area of your business, of your life, will be improved or changed,” and you can really speak to them on a deep level.


So there you have it, the 5 different ways you can refine your target market.

Remember, if you try to target everybody people just don’t connect on that level as much as if you speak to them directly.

An example of speaking directly to your target market’s values and priorities is “hey, I get you. I know that you’re a busy mom, life is just on top of you, you still want to get healthy meals for your children but you’re just stressed out. So here is a great healthy meal delivery service. Let us do all the thinking for you. We’ll get you little recipe cards each week and then you get to spend that time shopping with your kids or taking that all important self care time”.

You can see how more effective it is than just saying, “hey, we send healthy meal boxes to you every week so you can save time.” You will relate a lot more to the specific message.

Just because you go with a specific message like that, it doesn’t mean that you’re ruling out everybody else. So some people might still come across you and relate to your message. It might not be their exact situation, but they might still buy anyway.

It’s not like you’re saying no to a sale. Instead you are just focusing your marketing efforts where you have the highest probability of success.

Plus it is such a relief to be able to talk to your audience and to write your marketing materials and everything else as if you’re just talking to a friend, talking directly to them rather than thinking you have to please everybody. Because we all know that pleasing everybody isn’t necessarily the way to go.

Has this helped you clarify your target market? Or are you still getting stuck? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.