When you are posting on Instagram, developing your sales strategy or creating a new ad, do you know who you are talking to? Do you really know them? If you have not taken the time to figure out who your target client is, you’ll be wasting your time. Determining your target market will help you make your marketing content more effective.

First, what is a target market?

A target market is a group of people who are most likely to purchase from you. The age and location of your target markets are just two elements to consider when deciding on your marketing plan. We like to take this concept a step further and say that a target market is a group of people who fall in love with your product, your brand and want to become your best friend. These are customers who will tell all of their friends about you and who connect with you on a personal level.

How do you find your ideal client?

Time to take a hard look at who you want your brand to be. Imagine the perfect client purchasing your product or service right there in front you.

Male or female?

How old are they?

What are they wearing?

Do they have a coffee in their hand? Phone? Notebook? Lead rope with their horse on the other end?

What are they talking about when they first approach you?

Where are they going next? Their favorite store, work, home, school?

Imagine every detail of this “perfect” customer. Thinking about their likes and dislikes, occupation, salary, and routines will help you get inside their head. Getting inside their head will help you determine what is important to them and what qualities they are looking for in your product or service. Name them if you have to!

What do I do with this information?

Use this information in everything that you do. When you are designing your website, ask yourself, “Will Amanda like these colors?”. On your next Instagram post ask yourself, “Is this how Nick would say it?”. When picking a tack store to leave some flyers think, “Is this where Mrs. Smith will buy Emery her first pair of paddock boots?” Tailoring your brand to this perfect customer will catch the attention of those who will become your loyal customers.

But I’m a [enter your horse job title here], so this doesn’t really apply to me.

No matter what industry you are in, what you are selling or what service you are providing, this does apply. If you teach riding lessons for example, your ideal client could be the 12-year-old with her first pony who is ready to start showing competitively instead of just a few weekends a year. Or, you could be teaching the 26-year-old who is just now at the point that she has the extra time and money to take weekly lessons. These are two very different types of people who would require different messages in order to reach them.

It may seem silly to keep Caroline – a 22-year-old woman who just graduated from a state university and loves her horse more than anything (except maybe her daily Starbucks drink), but knows she has to go get a corporate job with the degree she’s no longer interested in to fund her horse habit – in the back of your mind at all times. Once the leads and orders start coming because you are using the right language, though, you will wonder why you haven’t done it sooner.