When it comes to starting a business, a lot of folks make the mistake of having a target audience that's too broad. And I get it. We often think that the way to make money in business is to sell our product or service to everyone. But let me fill you in on why that's not really right. When we have too broad of an audience we end up trying to market to everyone, which translates into marketing for no one. People have varied interests and needs and different reasons for purchasing something. By niching down, you'll be able to focus on your messaging and why you're the best person to purchase from.
5 Ways to Find Your Target Audience
Welcome to strategy for creatives business minus to bullshit, whether you're new in business or find yourself in a season of change, get ready to build a strategy, create an action plan and crush those goals. I'm Sasha post a strategy for creatives. And I help female led businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways. Without the stress. There's no sugar coated here, I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad, and let's talk business. Welcome to a another episode of Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I, of course, am your host Sasha and today we are going to be continuing our series about how to start a business the right way. Of course, if you joined me last week, I said I wanted to do this series in January because I know that it is a lot of people's goal in the new year to turn that hobby of theirs into a side hustle, try to have multiple streams of incomes. And if you listen to last week's episode, I talked about all of the things you need to be thinking about when you're turning that hobby into a business. So make sure you go back and listen to that one. But today, I wanted to talk about finding your ideal client, your target audience and why that's so important. A lot of people when they are starting a business, they make a mistake of having a target audience that's way too broad. And I completely understand that. We often tend to think that the way to of course make more money in business is we have to be open to selling our product or service to everyone and anyone who is willing to buy it. But not everyone is your target audience. And that's not always the right strategy to have. When we have too broad of an audience, we end up trying to market everyone, which really translates into pretty much marketing for no one. We can get lost in our messaging, we might not be clear on who we're trying to serve, what the actual purpose of our product or service is. And so people can get confused. And that makes them actually less likely to buy from you. People have a lot of different interests, they have different needs. And they have different reasons for purchasing something. There are reasons why we have a ton of photographers out there, a ton of graphic designers. These people have the same types of skills for the most part, they can do the same type of work. But they are messaging to different people who are looking for different things when it comes to purchasing things like that. So by niching down, you're actually able to focus more on your messaging, and why you're the best person to purchase from. So I wanted to talk today if you're struggling... and this is whether you're a new business owner, or if you're transitioning and your business, if you're pivoting and your business, if you are struggling to find your target audience, I wanted to talk about ways that will help you figure out who they should be, who you should be targeting in your business. First up, I want you to create what I call an ideal client avatar. Now you've probably heard the phrase ideal client or coming up with who your target market is. And a lot of that sticks to just basic demographics, age, sex, single married, things like that. But I want you to go beyond that. I really want you to create a person, right? That will be more likely to buy what you're offering. And think about the attributes that that person would have. Give this person a name and pretend that they are your biggest fan, they will purchase from you no matter what you sell. They love what you're doing. They support everything you do. Think about that person. What is it that they like? Do they like to read? What are their hobbies? What's their favorite social media platform? Are they even on social media? Are they married? Do they have kids? What kind of car do they drive? Do they live in suburbia? Do they live in a city? Do they live in the country? Do they like animals? Do they have pets? I want you to get really detailed in creating that ideal client avatar, because that will later help you with your marketing and messaging because you will know exactly who you're talking to. And I want you to do this exercise for like one to three different avatars. Think about different people who could use your product or service and think about what those people like. So for example, when it comes to podcasting, I actually had this example on a podcasting workshop that I taught .When we're talking about marketing, a podcast about travel, right, and you're trying to monetize this podcast, but generally speaking, this podcast is about travel. How do you know who should be listening to your podcast? And the example I gave when I was talking about this is a woman named Anna. And Anna loves to travel but she lives in a small town. She works at a library and she spends most of her time reading travel magazines, imagining she's in far off places she can't wait to be able to travel to these places. Her favorite place in the world is Italy. And she really likes to drink wine. She's single, but she has a dog, she loves her dog. And on the weekend, she kind of hangs out with friends. But she's mostly a loner, she just really spends a lot of time reading. She loves scrolling through Instagram, getting travel ideas, and she has a whole Pinterest board of all of the places she wants to go and everything she wants to see while she's there. By having that specific of an example, you would be able to really figure out how can you can talk directly to Anna and get her to listen to your travel podcast. So I want you to do the same thing when you're talking about who will buy your product or service who is your ideal client avatar. Because when you get that specific, you will be able to later figure out how do you message to these people? How do you market to them? How do you show up to them? And that leads to the second point, you also want to figure out what these pain points that this people have? And then what their purchase path is. And I'll explain that in a second. But what are the pain points, right? Why would someone want to purchase from you? You've probably heard this all the time. What problem are you solving? Be specific in that because a lot of the times when we are starting businesses, especially if we're starting businesses as a hobby, we're taking a hobby and turning it into a business. We don't really know what problem we're solving. If you're making knitted blankets, what problem are you solving? It can be hard to answer that question. But there's a problem that you're solving. Maybe you are solving the need for someone who wants a homemade quality blanket, but doesn't know how to do it themselves. And so they want that feel, because it reminds them of their grandmother, but they don't know how to make it themselves. And so you're solving that need for nostalgia, for comfort, right. You have to think about your problem in a different way. It's not always as cut and dry. Depending on what your services are. If you're a photographer, maybe you're solving the problem of clients that want someone who understands their culture, it can make them feel comfortable in photos and can really capture their stories. If you sell notebooks maybe you're solving for a person who loves beautiful stationery and wants to be able to write on beautiful stationery because they're writing a book, or maybe they're looking to get motivated to stay organized. And so they want, you know, a brand new notebook because it's the beginning of the year, and they want to start tracking their to do lists. Figure out what problem you're solving. And that's going to lead you to figure out what the most likely purchase path is. And the purchase path is the same thing as a sales funnel. If you go back to a couple of episodes ago, I talked about Beyond Social Media the basics of a funnel, what a sales funnel is, that's the path that a purchase, take a purchaser takes from an likely client or someone who doesn't know anything about you all the way into a client of yours, someone who's made a purchase from you. So when you figure out what that pain point is that they have, what problem you're solving, you'll be able to walk that person through their purchase path or their sales funnel, and you'll be able to guide them into making a purchase. So figure out who your ideal client avatar is, and then figure out what their pain points are, and what that purchase path looks like. I also want you to take a look at your existing clients. And if you're starting a new business, maybe you don't have any, but that's okay. There's actually a lot of data out there that you may not be familiar with, or you might not be thinking about that can tell you a lot about people who are already following you. One of the best ways to figure out your target audiences to know more about who is already interested in you. So if you do have past clients, and that includes if you're turning a hobby into a business, people who like your work, people who have made purchase from you, even if they're just family or friends. But pick people who really are in you know, really like what you're doing and they aren't just trying to purchase from you because they're a family or friend. But if you have those past clients, ask them why they chose you. Write down their basic demographic data, where they found you what it is that drew them to you, what do they like about your product or service? Why did they pick you over someone else? And then go and look at your website and social media analytics, because this can tell you a lot of information about your existing followers, and the people who are already interested in what you're selling to them. You in your website demographics, you can see who's visiting your site, how are they navigating on your site? What web pages are they going to? That's going to tell you a story of the content that they are interested in, and what they're looking at what type of information they want to get from you. You can do the same thing on social media. Look who follows you and engages with you. That's the important thing, not just who follows but also engages with your posts. Look at the comments that they leave. Instagram has all Insights section where you can look at demographic data like age and sex and where they are. There's already a ton of information that's available to you. It's just a matter of taking that information and doing a deep dive into it to figure out the people who are already following you who are already interested in you. And taking that information and figuring out how you can narrow it down into who your target audience is. Next up, I want you to look at who your competitors target. And now this isn't because I want you to target exactly who they're doing. But it can help you figure out whether or not you should be targeting the same audience or whether or not you actually need to be targeting a different one. If you're, for example, a social media manager, there are a ton of social media managers. But who are your competitors targeting? Are they only targeting managing social media accounts for podcasters? Or maybe for people who own pet businesses, or maybe for people who own business strategy businesses. Maybe they're niching, down to only servicing women clients, maybe they service men and women, maybe they only do corporate clients, maybe they only do small business clients. And then ask yourself is this who you want to target? By figuring out who your competitors are targeting, and where your work fits into that you can give yourself a better idea of where you fit in. And whether or not you want to be marketing to the same people. It can help you figure out whether or not who they're targeting, if that's the right audience for you. Or if it isn't, it might not be. But figuring out who your competitors target can help you better figure out who you need to be targeting. And last up, and this is the key one, I don't want you to stay stagnant when it comes to figuring out your target audience. A lot of us have target audiences written down in a notebook from five years ago about who we want to serve in our business, and then we never look at it again. We think that the people that we started serving in our business are going to serve us through the entirety of our business. And that is just not the case for most business owners. As you grow in your business, you are going to be more likely to weed out those people who you no longer want to do business with, who don't serve you, who you find frustrating, who you know, you don't want to deal with that type of work anymore. And you're more likely to narrow in on those who you do want to target whether it's a specific niche, a specific segment of who you already target. Maybe you know, you want to target... you start off by saying you want to target moms. But maybe it's not like all moms, maybe you figured out that you want to work with moms with teenage kids. Or maybe you want to work with moms who are you know, brand new to parenting. That's a big category. So niching down as you grow into your business, it will change. Don't let finding your target audience be a one time activity, continuously look at who fits into your audience, who you are currently serving, and whether that still makes sense for you and your business. A lot of times as we grow in our business, we get frustrated because we start having clients that don't really mesh with us anymore. If we haven't really narrowed down who our target audience is, we can start feeling like we're serving people who we really don't want to be serving anymore. And that might be a key indicator to you that it's time to look at whether or not one maybe you're targeting people you don't mean to or maybe it's time to change who you're targeting. So just as a quick recap, when it comes to figuring out who your target audience should be, I want you to create an ideal client avatar, I want you to figure out pain points and figure out what their purchase path looks like what that sales funnel looks like. I want you to start taking some deep dives into your existing client information, figure out who they are, what interests them, how they found you why they chose you. Look at who your competitors are targeting and figure out whether or not that's who you should be targeting or if you want to go a different route. And if you're not new in business, don't think that this is something that only happens once. Continuously go back to that information. Continuously revise your client avatars, figure out if you should be still targeting the same people. Now the reason why I wanted to talk about this today is because identifying our target audience is like step number one plus when it comes to figuring out how we want to run our businesses. Again, a lot of us jump into business and think that we should target everyone under the sun. But the more niched down you can be the more you can figure out who you should be targeting specifically in your business. It will open up a world of possibilities for you to really narrow in on your marketing message. And speaking to those people, the people who will more likely purchase from you who are interested in what you're selling, and who will turn into lifelong clients. So your action item for today. If you are not sure who your target audience is, go through these exercises, and figure out if you can answer that question - Who are you targeting? And as you start going through those questions that I asked those five steps that I said, and you start the saying that you don't have a target audience or maybe it's too broad, maybe it's too jumbled. I want you to start thinking about whether or not that makes sense for you in your business. One of the things that gets convoluted when we are marketing is we don't know who we're speaking to. And it can be hard to sell if we don't know who we're speaking to. And maybe you've had trouble in the past with your marketing efforts, because you don't know what you should be saying. You don't know if you're marketing to the right people, you don't know if the people who you want to be selling to are even getting your message. Part of that problem might be that you aren't targeting down enough. That you haven't figured out who you should be speaking to. So look at these exercises as a way to narrow in on who your target audience should be and whether or not you're speaking to them the right way. If you find that your target audience is too broad, the biggest tip is doing that client avatar work. Figuring out who these people are. And that will get you so far in helping with your marketing messaging. Business is all about selling, right? We have to be able to sell to those people who want to buy our products. And one of those steps is figuring out who we're talking to. So hopefully, doing these exercises will help you figure out whether or not you're speaking to the right people. And if you're not how you can learn how to reach the people who are more likely to buy from you and help your business grow. Are you ready to uplevel your business? Join the five day be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the firstname.lastname@example.org Dash sasha.com. If you liked what you heard, make sure you rate and review it really helps other people find the show. And of course, following subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social. I'm on Instagram and Facebook at strategy by Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips.