Determining Target Market and Well, Marketing to Them.

Etc

I am no expert, but I have some thoughts and observations to share. This is the Merriweather Council investigates and head-aches over SEO part 2. See Part 1 here.
Way back in the yonder years when I was in college (which maybe you know, wasn’t that long ago) I did a little project called Happy Party. I won’t go into all the conceptual art school details of it, but if you are interested, you can check it out on my website.
For the Happy Party project I made a number of fabric buntings, party favors and goodie bags. Everyone was pretty into it. People really liked the buntings especially and I kept hearing tons of commentary about them:
“This would look great in a baby’s room!”
“This would be fun in a kitchen!”
“If you made them out of oilcloth you can hang them outside!”
“You should put this up in your apartment when you are done with the project!”
And I gave one to my friend Colleen, who used it to decorate her office.
And I made a super mini one for my friend Mallory for her birthday and she put it in her car.
My peanut gallery was telling me I could sell these things to A: people with babies in their lives (moms, grandmothers, aunts, etc…) B: People (although, lets be honest, probably women) with kitchens. C: People with outdoor space. D: People (again, probably girls) who live in apartments and D: People with cars or offices.
I had so many potential customers! 
The opportunities for buntings were endless, according to my personal peanut gallery and I was destined to be an overnight success selling my buntings on Etsy.
Wrong.
Just because my personal peanut gallery told me my products were applicable to many venues, didn’t mean much. Have you ever thought about how challenging it is to market the exact same product to two different markets? At the same time? In the same place?
Seriously, think about it.
Here is an example. Let’s say I was trying to sell this bunting to your grandmother and your 20 something, recent college grad, BFF Jill (my BFF Jill…anyone?)
If I was trying to sell this to your grandmother I’d emphasize the fact that is was made entirely by hand from start to finish. Cut, pressed, and assembled by me in my own home. I would talk up how adoooooorable it would look in her granddaughter’s room. I would tell her this bunting is durable, double sided, goes with everything, is washable and completely one of a kind. I would show her how soft the hand dyed, hand turned binging was. I’d tell her it would make a great gift for her daughter-in-law’s baby shower. 
If I were trying to sell this to your 20 something recent college grad friend, I would engage in a casual conversation about apartment decor and I would emphasize that this bunting can be hung with mounting square so no need to worry about putting holes in the landlord’s walls to hang it. I would tell her about how my friends and I were at the Brimfield Antique Market when we found this vendor who sold vintage fabrics and I shoveled through ten or so huge boxes pulling these fabrics out. I would tell her that because the triangles are small, this bunting is the perfect addition to her small but very personal space. This is a one of a kind item! It’s bright and vibrant, full of vintage prints! 
See the differences? And I never even addressed my kitchen owners and back yard dwellers, I never appealed to office workers either. Sure, anyone can apply the item to their own space, but I am not targeting those people in these conversations. If someone who is primarily an office worker (not a grandmother or a 20 something female) happened to find a listing for this bunting or see me at a craft fair, they might conceptualize the possibilities for this item on their own, without me telling them. 
But then I am just waiting for them to find me. I am counting on luck. And that isn’t marketing.
So once I realized it would be difficult to appeal to so many different audiences, especially in a written, static, enduring listing on Etsy, I decided that my true target market was myself. But I am not going to make money off of myself, so I had to evaluate who I was, and find like minded people.
This is my market: young women, living in small spaces, wanting original and unique products to decorate their spaces with.
There are millions of young women like me, but where are they? Some of them are my friends, but most of them are not.
Right now, most of my marketing is tied up in getting my items found by people through the intricate art of SEO and tagging and keywords and rankings and all that other stuff we all spend time trying to master. I haven’t mastered it yet but I have two main sources of info about this:
Two: The book, Inbound Marketing
While the thread on Etsy is focused on tagging and using keywords in your listings to generate traffic to your shop on Etsy, the book addresses other avenues such as Facebook, Digg, and Twitter as well as having your own domain for your business.
One interesting thing to note, fellow Etsians, is that the little line of text you can enter (which used to appear under you banner but now appears to the far left hand side, top) is CRUCIAL to your SEO and search results. This is known as your page title. As you may know Google uses these words to determine what is on a page, and therefore when to show it in a search. So the ultimate goal for me is to get my Etsy to show up within the first few hits for a search on “Apartment, Dorm Decor” or “Handmade apartment, dorm decor” or similar search. I am still developing my page title, and working on keyword placement and such.
See how it appears at the top of your browser box?
okay, now look where else it shows up:
Its the link line in Google. 
Between those two sources I shared with you, I was able to develop a decent set of keywords for my target market. I am still developing this. But, it’s worth pointing it out to you.
Also, don’t expect to change this text and expect miracles to happen. You need to wait for Google to pick up on your changes before your words will serve you in Google search. This is call the Cache. (See it in blue on the Google Image? ^^) When you click that, it will tell you the last time Google looked at your page and therefore, how up to date it is. I waited about a week for my changes to the page title to show up in Google
I really cannot offer you a definitive answer or conclusion to this post, as I am just getting to understand this all myself. But these are my thoughts for today. Stick with me, I’ll have more thoughts soon. 
I plan to elaborate on what I have learned and what I am learning here. So come back this week for more info on SEO and simple ways for get more traffic to your site. We will figure it out sooner if we do it together.

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Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) merriweathercouncil.com Thanks for stopping by.

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