Should you Use a Shotgun or a Rifle
when Marketing your Virtual Assistant Business
What is a target market or niche market; Is it necessary to have one; How can you identify your target market characteristics for your virtual assistant business?
These are questions that are often asked.
If you’re like many Virtual Assistants when first starting in business, you probably rely on the shotgun approach of mass marketing.
You take every job that comes along; you market your services to everybody and anybody you see or have a conversation with; you send out flyers, develop an on-line presence and advertise your services to the mass market.
You do it from a place of necessity.
To be honest, there is nothing wrong with it; in fact, this shotgun approach serves us well in the beginning!
Because it sometimes takes quite a while before most VAs actually know who their target market should be and before they are able to define a target market for their businesses.
Some VAs know straight away, but others often have no idea when starting out and can only through some working experience determine who their niche market is – often it is totally different from what they first anticipated.
However, as a VA business grows, it will eventually reach a point where you probably need to make important decisions about your target market characteristics (the work that you enjoy doing), your market niche (the people that you enjoy working with) and how to identify target markets that are profitable propositions.
But, before you can identify target markets for your Virtual Assistant business, take note of the following first.
What is a Target Market
A target market (also called a niche market) represents a group of people that will most likely make use of your services. It is a small, focused and targetable group within the total market – regard is as one piece of a pie.
These people have something in common that enhances their need for what you have to offer – and that something distinguishes them from the total market.
If you can identify the characteristics that best represent this group of people and be able to address their needs (needs that are not being addressed by other VAs or service providers), you have a target market – a narrowly defined group of potential customers.
Is it Necessary to Define Target Market s
Well, it is an open question, but by narrowing your focus to identify target markets, you can…
- create an advantage of being alone (or one of few) in that market; other VAs may not be aware of your particular niche market, and/or might not have the skills to enter it
- create the opportunity to work with people in the industry of your choice
- deliver the services that you enjoy most and thus maintain passion and persistence for those days when you doubt your reasons for becoming a virtual assistant
- position yourself as an expert within your industry and use this to market your services
- increase your rates; if you establish yourself as an expert in a specific industry or as a VA with specific skills that are in demand, your expertise is more valuable to clients and therefore you can charge more for your services
- have a focused marketing/advertising campaign and not dilute your efforts by trying to meet every need of every client in every field; when you know the specific needs of your market, you can tailor your message to focus on solutions to those needs
- concentrate on clients who will most likely make use of your services
- gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. That edge often makes the difference between a successful VA business and a stagnant one.
Thus to answer the question whether it is necessary to define a target market, it could be said that it is certainly worthwhile to investigate all the options.
Although the shotgun approach of marketing can sometimes be effective when starting your VA business, the rifle approach of niche marketing is certainly more elegant.
Click here to find out how to identify target markets for your virtual assistant business
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