There’s a moment when dollars are about to fly out of a pocket toward somebody…

Let’s pretend.

There’s a woman out there, waiting for you. (Or a man. Bear with me for a minute.) You offer… a Beautiful Thing. Today, she will buy a Beautiful Thing.

Will it be yours?

How can you get in front of the person who wants to be touched in the way you touch people, at the moment when her dollars are about to fly out of her pocket toward somebody? And where is she looking for you?

Today, your “target market” is women, ages 35–45, living in the U.S., married with a nanny and two young children, making over $75,000 year, interested in beautifying their homes with the Beautiful Thing you sell. They read at least one home décor mag a month, showing that they have a well-trained eye, and they go out to eat more than twice a week, because of that busy dual-income household.

We know a lot about these ladies. We know what makes them tick!

All done?

Not quite. You need to sell this Beautiful Thing.

Where is this “target market” letting her dollars fly?

  • art gallery
  • craft fair
  • giftshop
  • flea market
  • Walmart
  • kids clothing store
  • menswear shop
  • hairdresser
  • bookstore
  • restaurant
  • among others…

and don’t forget…

  • vacation spots
  • charity events
  • online (where elements of any of the above will color her Experience)

Think hard about this. Sure, there might be a well-rounded woman or two who shops in all of those places. Yet when you take the time to think about each place—even within your “target market,” the typical woman at each is entirely different! She’s got different hobbies, different people she’s thinking of (self, family, friends…), a different time frame and objective (indulgent window-shopping, killing a little time after lunch, rushing home to smother those kids with love…), and her wallet opens differently, too (from list-only to “whatever catches my eye”).

Sure, anyone could be at each place. But you can’t wait around for “could be,” so your Beautiful Thing needs to be available where you can cater to the right woman’s needs. Which one is your Ideal Customer?

If you sell a painting that she’ll buy only one of, to bring a piece of her favorite atmosphere home with her, price it high, frame it beautifully so it’s ready to go with no hassle, and partner with the restaurant she loves most to sell your wares.

If you sell portraits of cute babies and ponies… find an indie kids’ clothing store where she can ooh and ahh when picking up clothes for the little dears or a baby shower gift for a coworker.

If you sell sock monkeys in sailor outfits… craft fair. Make lots, and make ‘em inexpensively, the margin’s going to be low.

Why I put “target market” in quotation marks

Because I think it’s a lousy, outdated term that doesn’t take you nearly far enough toward Pinpointing the one person who needs what you sell, and it doesn’t make you focus nearly hard enough on offering something that hits your “target” at the moment when she’s open to buying from you.

Two ways to look at this:

Who needs it? If you know what you sell and you know who needs it, find the place where your Ideal Customer is and be there, meeting her needs. We’ve talked about the Ideal Customer and how to meet her needs many times before.

What are you selling? If your product or service line has been a bit vague, and so far you’ve defined your Ideal Customer as “anyone who needs what we offer,” work it backwards—because aiming at anyone is the same as aiming at no one. You need to find your anyone. Whom do you most want to work with? What does she need? How can you shape what you offer to meet her needs? Where can you connect with those needs at their most obvious?

Stop offering anything to anyone, and stop thinking a target market is specific enough. You need to know who that one person is—your Ideal Customer—right down to whether she’d rather spend on herself or her kids (or her hubby!); right down to whether she’d look for you on a Tuesday afternoon or a Saturday morning—right down to every last detail.

Price, packaging, and whether there’s even a vague chance of catching her eye are all vastly influenced by how precisely you angle the offering, and where you’ll show her this Beautiful Thing.

Her dollars are about to fly out of her pocket toward somebody. Make sure it’s you who’s standing there, ready to catch the flying dollars.

Looking for a man? He’s out there, waiting for you…

You offer… a Tech-Gadget Thing. Today he will buy a Tech-Gadget Thing.

Will it be yours?

Your “target market” is men, ages 25–35, single. They own their first home, a townhouse in a major metropolitan area of the U.S. (pardon me, international readers, just trying to stay regionally-specific today), and they make around $50,000 a year.

All done?


Where is this target market letting his dollars fly?

  • computer/ tech superstore
  • hardware store
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • grocery store
  • Target
  • gym
  • barbershop
  • among others…

Again, the typical man at each is entirely different, even though each may be frequented by men in the same age bracket, with the same income, in the same country, and with the same living arrangements. And yes, of course you could sell your Tech-Gadget Thing at any of these places.

I’ve known many folks who didn’t want to narrow their target market even this far. But the truth is, narrowing it down this far isn’t far enough at all.

How different is the 35-year-old waiter who buys every gadget as it comes out to show off to his buddies, from the workaholic 25-year-old with a fresh MBA who just wants a gadget to add some productivity to his day so he can keep climbing the ladder of success?

How different is the urgency for a guy whose old gadget gave out this morning from the one who wants to find something for his Dad’s birthday?

Each one shops in a different place, has a different time schedule, will be attracted to different features, different ads and reviews, different words, colors, even typefaces on the packaging.

Who needs it, and where is he? Uncover your Ideal Customer. The one person who has the money, the interest, and the need for what you have. Be there at the moment when his dollars are about to fly out of his pocket toward somebody.

What are you selling? Shape what you offer and how you present it to speak directly to the heart of that one, Ideal Customer.

Every day there’s a moment when dollars are about to fly out of a pocket toward somebody. Are you ready?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


P.S. I’d love to help make sure it’s you who’s standing there, ready to catch the flying dollars—so be sure to check out this special offer just for you, dear reader.