Marketing 101: Your Target

Marketing 101: Your Target

You have a great service or product- now who is going to buy it?

When creating a marketing strategy, it is vital to understand who you are going to market your products or services to. This is called your target market.

When selecting your target, the first step is to determine whether your customers are consumers or businesses and industries.  You can have more than one target market, but keep in mind that there is no one product that you can sell to EVERYONE. It’s tempting to say you want to help everyone, or sell to anyone interested in your services. Even saying that you want to target small-business owners, stay-at-home moms, or homeowners casts too wide of a net. These “targets” are too general.

Just because you are targeting a specific market (let’s say, homeowners between the ages of 35-65, who make less than $100k a year), does not mean you are excluding those who do not fit your criteria. What it does mean, though, is that you are choosing to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific group of people who are more likely to buy your products than other groups.

Some quick tips for defining your target: 

Look at your current customer base. Who are your current customers and what do they buy more of from you?

Check your competition. Who are they targeting? Who are their current customers? (Hint: don’t go after the same market. Is there a niche you are overlooking?)

Analyze your product/service. Write out the features of your product and next to each feature, write the benefits. Then, make a list of people who have a need that those benefits fulfill.

On March 18, we will spend time defining your target market! Get your tickets to Presentation Matters: The Marketing Plan today!


Have questions about your target market? Email us at



Organize Your Website

Organize Your Website


It is imperative in this day and age to have a website if you own a business or sell a product or service. Customers will search and read about you or your website before they set foot in your store or pick up a phone. That said, your website should tell potential customers what you offer and help them get to know you, like you and trust you.

Your website can become the marketing tool that hols all of your other marketing activities together. – John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing

This week’s goals:

Make sure your website has great search engine optimization (SEO). Internet search engines rank search results based on how closely the content matches search words. Load your site with terms your potential customers would search for. Include the terms on as many different pages of your site as possible.

Make sure your navigation is simple. Place a link to every page on your home page. Place links within pages to other pages to make sure visitors can bounce around with ease.

Make sure your contact information is easy to find, but never post your home phone number or address. If you need to, set up a separate phone line for business use only. I recommend Google Voice.

Be sure your ‘About Me/Us’ page includes a brief bio so visitors will know who runs the site. There’s nothing like being able to put a face with a name when it comes to relationship building.

Make sure information that readers may want to print will fit on a standard piece of paper without bleeding into the margins.

Bonus tips:

Your website should not be a carbon copy of your company’s brochure. It should offer value, insight, and educate your prospects.

Register with Google Analytics to track things like:

  • Visits: How many visitors have come to your site
  • Page Views: How many total pages have been viewed on your site
  • Bounce rate: How many visitors left your site at the first page they viewed (less is better)
  • Average time on site: How long an average visitor stays on your site
  • And much more!

If you do not already have a website, spend some time brainstorming what you want your website to look like. Take a look at your main competitors’ websites and see what types of information they display. Then, contact us immediately so that we can help you get set up with this very important tool for your business!

Be sure to register for our Your Brand is More than a Logo event on February 25!

Email us with any questions about organizing your website at

Organize Your Social Media

Organize Your Social Media

Social Networking is a free, but very powerful tool. How can you use it to your full advantage and manage the amount of time you spend on it?

First, you need to decide whether you want to separate your personal life from your professional life (which, I highly recommend that you do).

Social media involves a natural, genuine conversation between people about something of mutual interest, a conversation built on the thoughts and experiences of the participants. -Dave Evans

This weeks goals:

Create a separate business page for your business. Upload a logo as the profile photo, and be consistent across all platforms.

If you have a blog, enable sharing so that your posts can be seen on Facebook.

Use the events tabs to add any upcoming events, sales, appearances and promotions your business is holding.

Be intentional with the time you spend on social media. List goals, both professional and social, for your pages. For instance, for your business, you may want to follow trends in your industry, connect with potential customers, or promote special offers.  For you social life, you may want to connect with family members and old friends, and follow businesses you frequent for deals and promotions.

Customize your newsfeeds so that you only receive updates from people and businesses you truly want to stay up-to-date with. The more people in your feed, the more information you’ll have to read through to get to the content you really want or need. Remove feeds from games and apps that are of no interest to you.

Bonus tips:

Always be professional.

Post information that is interesting to you. Be authentic.

Social media isn’t about the content itself. Its about the conversations that result from the content.

Add your social media links to your email signature for added exposure!

Stay tuned for information about our Social Media Bootcamp, coming in April! And be sure to register for our Your Brand is More than a Logo event on February 25!


Email us with any questions about organizing your social media at



Spotlight: Imani Johnson

Imani Johnson, Mimi’s Mane Tease
My Story: Funny enough I wanted to be a barber when I was choosing my classes but the program was full and I had to pick cosmetology. I went straight to work at a salon after high school, while all my friends went straight to college. I told my mother I didn’t want to go and I would take my cosmetology career serious and so that’s how it started. I was a shampoo assistant first, then I started styling. That came about when I was at work one Saturday and walk ins were coming in but no other stylist was there to service them and my boss at the time told me to start taking walk ins. My biggest challenge was staying focused, being a 17 year old stylist comes with a lot of freedom, I over came that when I realized, I’m responsible for my own pay! One thing I’m really good at is weaving, my sew ins are flawless!
3-5 Business Tips for new entrepreneurs:
1. ALWAYS be on time. It sets the tone for you as a business person.
2.Be aware of your consumers and meet their needs before they get a chance to ask
3. Check your feelings at the DOOR. Emotions and paycheck a DON’T mix.
4. Never wait on anyone to teach you about your market, go and learn it. Learning is free (books)
5. If it’s your passion, eat, sleep and breathe it, it’s ruff but the money comes. Keep your heart in it
What inspires me to do what I do is seeing my clients happy about a transformation I can make styling their hair. Knowing that is enough, your hair is an adornment and when women feel and look good, life is good.
The problem I solve for customers in my industry is being everything they need. Meaning, I take my brand seriously, I do everything I’m doing with a pure heart and my clients appreciate that. Also, I’m always on time for my appointments!
MiMi’s Mane Tease
Location: Personal Touch Salon, Hyattsville, MD
Styleseat: styleseat/i/mimistylesme
Instagram: slim_thickmimi
Facebook: Imani Johnson (MiMi)

Spotlight: Emily Romig

Emily Romig, Cactus Crate
My story: In college, you could pretty much guarantee that I had at least a dozen cacti and succulents lined up along my windowsill, lovingly planted in teacups that I got from Goodwill. As the years went on, I ran out of space for cacti, but noticed that I always got compliments on my collection. Instead of continuing to expand my own collection, I started thinking. In this current climate of subscription box services and southwestern aesthetic enthusiasm, I got the idea to send plants (and other themed accessories) right to cactus lovers! A huge challenge has been figuring out how to actually ship live plants with the least mess (and stress to the plant) possible. However, I’ve learned a lot simply from observing the practices of online garden wholesalers. Remember the shredded paper you get in your Easter basket? That stuff is perfect for keeping prickly little plants tidy and comfortable! My biggest strength is that I’m a really fabulous bargain-hunter, which really comes in handy when you’re just starting out with only a couple subscribers that you want to give the most bang for their buck.
3 Tips for inspiring entrepreneurs:
 1. Go for it. Really. Take the plunge. Whatever that means to you, do it.
2. It’s okay to start out slow. That’s what I’m doing right now. It gives you the opportunity to work out a lot of bugs, take a lot of humbling advice, and intimately get to know your targeted customer base.
3. Your customer is smarter than you think. There’s a sweet spot right in between the right amount of engagement via social media, and just badgering them way too hard.
4. Your friends, family, and partner are all really great sounding boards for ideas. Make use of it.

What inspires you to do what you do?  The incredibly popular kawaii culture and aesthetic, my late grandmother’s love for plants, and the fact that cacti are just so darn cute. (And hard to kill.) I’m just very passionate about plants, and I want to share that passion with my customers!

What problem do you solve for your customers? I think a huge roadblock for a lot of my customers is that they don’t know how to choose or care for a cactus. They don’t know where to go to find one, and they certainly don’t know what to do with it. I make it fun and easy by including a curated, healthy plant as well as a care sheet along with the other cactus-themed accessories. I help them realize that it’s not hard at all to start your own little apartment garden.

Marketing Muscle: Positioning

Marketing Muscle: Positioning


The real muscle behind your marketing efforts is positioning.  Just like you cannot force a puzzle piece into a space it does not fit, you can not force an idea into your customers’ minds or lives that does not match up with an interest, need or desire that is not already fulfilled by another service or product on the market. Positioning is the finding of an unaddressed need, and then fulfilling it with your distinctive and perfectly suited offering.

Some examples of successful positioning are:

1. Fulfill an unaddressed interest or need. Find an itch and scratch it! Study your customer to see what needs they have that no one else is fulfilling. Do they need a new product to make their lives easier? Is there an existing product that needs to be made better or more adaptable? Identify this need and move quickly into position before another company does!

2. Challenge the status quo. Find a new form of distribution to innovate your pricing and promotions. Take Air BnB for example, they took the hospitality industry by storm. Currently, they fill more rooms annually than all Hiltons combined. But, get this, they don’t own a single hotel of their own! Disrupt the “norms” or your industry and win interest and the hearts of your customers.

3. Specialize to serve a new market niche. Rather than compete with the pack, how can your brand step away and blaze a new trail? Specialty brands will serve a narrow segment of a bigger market. Does your industry focus on a bigger picture, but you find a smaller need that is often overlooked or under represented? Look what Spanx did to the pantyhose industry!

4. Transform an established solution or introduce a new solution altogether.. This takes enormous insight and a great knowledge of trends and popular culture, but it is doable. Think about when the desktop computer met the laptop and then the tablet. These new technologies were transformations of previous designs. Now, you can work virtually anywhere: in your office, at the park, or even while flying across the country all because someone decided to transform the desktop computer.

We’d love to hear from you! What questions or suggestions do you have about positioning yourself in the marketplace?

#marketingmondays #adbcreative #brandanewyou

Spotlight: Stephanie Nolan

Spotlight: Stephanie Nolan


 Stephanie Nolan, XOXO Virgin Hair
My Story: Before the inception of XOXO Virgin Hair, I was a fashion model, working with major brands such as Adidas, and Black Entertainment Television, and Lusters Hair Products. Thru my experience, I noticed that there was a great demand for hair extensions that could withstand frequent styling, thermal tools, and chemical alterations. I began to search for authentic origins of hair, as I wanted to honestly market my brand in an industry full of misconceptions. In December 2013, I launched XOXO Virgin Hair with quality, and longevity in mind. To be honest, one of the biggest challenges that I have faced was finding an authentic source, which took lots of late nights, and questions, staying up into the wee hours to communicate with sources who operated on a 12 hour difference! What I can definitely say I’m great at is noticing hair quality at the drop of a dime, I’m pretty great at predicting how hair will behave, and so far I have not been wrong lol. I’m also great at customer service, as my brand is an investment, and I want to ensure that new customers are comfortable in making their purchase by answering questions, and offering product education, which is also missing in the hair industry.
 What inspires you to do what you do? What problem do you solve for your customers?  Seeing most of the industry provide a sub-standard quality, and/or dishonestly marketing their products inspire me to continue the path that my business is on. I want to make it easier for everyone to wear and style hair extensions. High quality hair saves money, time, and labor for everyone involved!
My advice to an aspiring or current brand owner is to make sure you have contracts in place with ANYONE you will potentially be working with. I learned this from a business man turned friend, Antonio Velaz. If they have a problem in signing any agreements, diplomatically move forward, you have to protect your brand at all costs. My other advice is to also be attentive to customers, before the sale, during the sale, and after the sale! It’s how you develop loyal customers, in accordance with the high quality product(s) that you distribute!


Business Name: XOXO Virgin Hair
Location: Online only
Customer Inquiries:
Media Inquiries:
Contact Number: 424-703-5105
Social Media | IG: @xoxovirginhair