Know Your Audience

We had a yard sale this weekend.

Everyone who has had a yard sale knows what’s involved, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of hosting such an event I’ll share a bit of the process. You start weeks before the designated date, going through all your junk valuable items, trying to decide what you can unload bear to part with. You have to put all of this stuff somewhere in your house where it won’t get in the way, but will be easy to get to on the day of the sale.

Then on the day, you carry everything out into the yard, set up folding tables, arrange everything artistically so that it will be attractive to buyers, and wait for the customers to arrive. Actually that’s not quite true.

While you’ve been carrying boxes out, someone arrives an hour early looking for antique pottery. The chances are good they want to pay $5 for something that’s worth $300. When you tell them you don’t have any, they leave without looking at anything else. The early visitors are all like this, they’re looking for specific items and don’t even bother with buying something to compensate you for taking time to talk to them.

Later visitors browse the tables, and some of them want to actually buy your junk valuable items. You’ve already priced things to sell, because you don’t want to carry it all back into the house. Maybe you’ve put $5 on a desk chair that cost you $90 new. Someone is going to come up to you and ask to get the desk chair and a pair of blankets for $5.

Yard salers are like that.

And that’s the moral of this slightly off-topic story. Know your audience before you try to sell something to them. You won’t get top dollar out of people who are obsessive about looking for bargains. If you market to bargain hunters, make them think they’re getting a bargain. If you market to collectors, make them think they’re getting something valuable.

Whoever your audience is, research them thoroughly and make sure you understand what they’re looking for and why they want it before you start.

Otherwise you’ll be disappointed in the results, and probably carry most of your junk back into the house afterward.

5 Replies to “Know Your Audience”

  1. I guessed you survived the weekend! Me too, barely though. Good post..I like the analogy. I am learning more and more about my readers on my personal blog which is mostly for fun. Will have to do some studying up though when I start my money blog back up.

  2. [quote post=”312″]I guessed you survived the weekend![/quote]

    It was close! I’m still sore from all the carrying stuff out and carrying stuff in and upstairs and downstairs and all about.

    Targeting an audience for a money blog is interesting…it’s easier for a blog that’s super tightly focused, such as only on free money programs, or only on paid-to-click sites. Makes it easier to figure out what they want, and how to make money from it.

  3. [quote post=”312″]I always hate it when you only sell about 20% of your valuable items. Then the rest is usually trash, yet people still hold on to them.[/quote]

    We donated part of what was left, and kept the stuff that really should have sold (like baby clothes, that always sells at other people’s sales) for another sale after an upcoming move. Anything that manages to survive that second sale is destined for donation.

  4. I’m guessing this has a lot to do with target marketing. I know as a seeker of internet income, I had no money to start up with. I don’t expect anyone to want to come to my site looking for something to buy.

    I’m the guy looking for those customers who take up so much of my time and buy the pity items. Or for the big rigs who are confident as entrepreneurs and are willing to make the investment to buy our affiliates products.

    I like that thinking. Don’t give diamonds to pigs…or something like that.

    Devin T.

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