By Abhi Golhar, founder of Real Estate Deal Talk.

You have to consider a lot of moving parts if you are serious about laying the groundwork for a profitable startup. Whether you're thinking of offering a product or service, you need to identify your target market before launching everything else.

The Importance of a Target Market

The target market is what defines your product. When choosing a target market, it is important to think about what they need. What can make their life easier? If your target market is new mothers, what do you think their day-to-day challenge is and how can your product or service help? A good way to define this is by surveying some of your audience members within your ideal market. You can use these following questions as a guide:

  • What is something you have difficulty with?
  • What is a dream product or service that you want to have to make it easier or convenient for you?
  • Would you recommend it to someone if it existed?
  • Would you use it frequently as well?

These questions can give insight into what kind of product can be useful for your target market. After defining this, another mountain arises. How do you reach the rest of the target market after surveying a handful of people? Here are five ways you can help your startup grow.

Making a Referral System

When growing a startup that only a few people are aware of, networking is essential. To help boost your networks and help your business reach more people who are interested, create a referral system. Offer the referrer a percentage off incentive of their next purchase when they give out a referral code. This will help you get leads and enable you to permeate networks that you wouldn't otherwise be able to with a limited marketing team.

When creating a referral system, make sure that, as a user, you would be enticed. If your offers are too low, your market will not find it valuable, thus it won't motivate them to find people to refer.

Contacting Niche Bloggers and Vloggers

Do you know someone who blogs or vlogs and has a large following? Contact these people and ask them to do sponsored posts about your products. Doing this will help spread the news about your business to like-minded users who may be interested. Some YouTubers and bloggers make posts about products by "unboxing" them. They unbox gadgets, beauty products or actually try out services that pique the interest of their viewers. This is an affordable way to get the word out, as you can offer a sample product for free or with a minimal fee.

Using Targeted Advertisements

A lot of people already suffer from "ad blindness," or the phenomenon where a person's eyes might simply pass over an ad because they see so many of them throughout their day. This is why targeted advertising exists: to make use of people's demographic information or interests to post advertisements relevant to them. As a startup, using targeted ads can prevent you from losing unnecessary funds. Spend it on other, more pressing business matters.

Partnering With Other Brands

Partnerships are also a good way to share an audience with another company. You don't necessarily have to partner with a competitor. You simply need to find a brand that complements your business. For example, a calligrapher can collaborate with a craft shop to sell customized calligraphy craft items. Additionally, you can also form agreements where you can place the name of your brand alongside your partnered company.

Participating in Events

Be aware of local community events that you can participate in. These can include seminars, festivals, conferences and conventions where your startup can rent a booth and showcase your product or service. Another way to get recognized is through hosting public speaking engagements in relation to your target market. By hosting talks, you can help find audiences and potential venture capitalists who may be willing to invest in your startup as well.

It takes a lot of courage to make your business known to your target market. However, with enough dedication and the right perspective, any business can succeed when owners persevere in accomplishing these practical steps.

Abhi Golhar is a nationally syndicated radio show host & blogs about real estate investing strategies on RealEstateDealTalk.com.

Published on: Mar 28, 2018