So you have this incredible idea that you are ready to send to the whole wide world. Well, you don't actually want to be speaking to the whole world unless you are a huge corporation that sells something that everyone needs. Think Fruit of the Loom. Everyone needs underpants. Chances are, you aren't manufacturing millions of pairs of underpants that sell at major department stores and/or retailers. Chances are, you're making something that is unique and artisan (anything handmade can be artisan by the way) and needs to be provided to a unique group of people. To help make this really clear, I'm going to introduce you to two of the most important women in my life. Fiona and Viola are my target audience. They are who I write this blog for, they are who my customers are, and they are who I have the skill and the know how to help. They are two segments of my target audience. Check out this overview of my lovely, talented ladies.
This may seem like really general information but everything about them boils down to the same simple fact. I have some knowledge or skill that I can provide for them to solve a problem that they have. I have this skill set and knowledge that provides value to them and enriches their experience in the time we spend together. (I am not hanging out with my profiles and being a weirdo, just so you know.)
You Met Mine. Here's How You Find Yours
Building the profile for your target audience isn't near as difficult as you may think. It does take some research and some clarity on who you want to work with and spend your time with, but generally, it's common sense. You make hand knitted scarves for children. So you don't target kids. You target parents. Busy parents with taste and style. Ones who shop understanding that while it may be adorable, it may not be worth an obscene amount of money because kids grow so quickly. These parents, specifically the mothers shop at H&M and Zara for themselves and value a quality product. No lie, I just wrote that off the top of my head. But the most important thing to remember is that while programs like Google Analytics are a blessing for their interactivity with your audience and an endless supply of information, don't use it to build your target audience profile. Think of it as a way to check your reach later, but for right now, you just need to be deciding what kind of person you want to work with. Who are the people you want to spend your working hours with and more importantly than anything else, who is the group of people that you can help?
Building The Perfect Customer
If I asked you what would be the perfect date, what would you say? (Did anyone else go "April 24th because it's not too hot and not too cold and all you need is a light jacket!") You would tell me everything. From the candle light bouncing off of George Clooney's cheekbones to the dress you'd be wearing that leaves him purring. All of those little details are in your mind. The same thing goes for your ideal customer. You need to know who they are, what they do, what they need, and how you can provide it for them. Some basic questions to ask yourself are:
- How old is this person?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their interests?
- What platforms can you reach them on, how do they spend their time online?
- What is the biggest problem they face that you can help with?
How Having That Audience Picked Helps You, Miss Lady Boss (or Mister Man Boss)
The average conversion rate of a business is 2%. Holy moly, yeah. 2%. And with this in mind, most people would say, "Well I need to reach as many people as possible in anyway possible to get my 2% to be something significant." But not you. Because you know that a specific audience provides a smaller pool of traffic, but provides a higher conversion from reader to your customer because they need what you have.
You, smarty pants, also know that you can create high quality, valuable content in an area that you know like the back of your hand because you are speaking to the people that not just want, but need that content. They need what you have. So long average conversion rate, hello marketing rockstar. And it doesn't stop at content. This target audience is what drives you to innovate and create products (yeah like to sell, hey money!) that are designed for your audience based on their needs. We are talking custom tailored content that gets engaged with and thoroughly developed products that sell themselves. One of my least favorite lines ever is "If you build it they will come." because that is not a marketing strategy. It's a reference to Field of Dreams. But with the proper ground work, like speaking to the right people in the right format, if you build it, they will come because they are looking for you already.
Another great reason to have your target audience in mind with everything you create is that your target audience is your ideal customer. Your ideal customer that you want to spend time working with. The ideal customer that you know that you can provide that earth shattering experience with. The ideal customer that loves and needs you just as much as you love and need them. Real true blue marketing isn't about "Hey buy my product!" It's about creating a relationship with people that you need and need you too. That symbiotic relationship that goes deeper than a single transaction and creates this connection between your Viola and your brand. These are the people that help you sell. These are the people that become your tribe. And once you build that tribe by creating meaningful, impactful interactions, they will keep coming to you again and again because you are their business home. You are their brand. Best part of all? Anyone who doesn't fit the bill, anyone that you don't want to work with, you don't have to. You can say "No, thank you" to people who don't fit that mold of your ideal. More on that later.
The fact is, the internet and the world are busy cluttered places. Having direction and having who you want to speak to in your grasp is what is going to make your business come to life. Really breathe life into the whole thing. It is going to make you stand out in the clutter to the people that matter most because you won't have to look for them. They'll be looking for you. I've built a neat little guide to make this whole process easier on you that contains all of the questions you should be asking and hints to guide you through the whole thing. And because you stuck it out the end, you diligent little you, it's yours free. Build your target audience and they will come, friends.
We can hang on Instagram too...