A strong grasp on your target audience is super important.
It cements your business with a rock-hard foundation that’ll fortify all its future activities.
Whether you’re crafting a new product, cooking up copy, or dishing out content to draw in clients and customers, a white-knuckle grasp on your target audience is an absolute must.
Without it, your business is like a weak, unconditioned boxer. You scrape a few good hits due to luck, but eventually a few hefty shots will leave you kissing the canvas.
And that isn’t fun.
So here are 5 ways to find and engage your target audience to ensure that your business has a muscular foundation that supports all its activities.
Develop a Killer Customer Profile
Selling products and services without knowing your customer is like rock climbing while blindfolded. It’s pretty dangerous.
That’s why the first step to becoming acquainted with where your target audience is and how to go about engaging them in the most useful way is to develop a customer profile.
Your customer profile isn’t a few generic sentences strung together about your customer. It’s an in-depth look at your typical customer that should include:
Demographic information: Usually information on age, gender, ethnicity, income and marital status.
Psychographic information: Dives deeper and expands on demographic information. Usually information on hobbies, interest, values, lifestyle, and attitude.
By combining both types of information in your customer profile, you’ll know exactly who is buying, and why they are buying.
A marketing company called Experian increased a client’s conversion rates by 10% which resulted in an opportunity to create more than $756,000 in extra revenue.
And guess what? Customer profiling was an important part of their strategy.
Want a done for you worksheet that’ll get you creating killer customer profiles in no time? Check out this viral, easy-to-use template.
Find Out What Keeps Them Up at Night
Marketers often take a stab in the dark at what their audience is fearing/desiring the most.
They think “I feel this way about this problem, so everyone else must too.” This is known as the false consensus effect.
Diving into a market with this attitude is like diving into a pool… that has no water. You’ll be in for a really rough landing.[tweet_box design=”default”]Every potential customer/client is going to be drawn to you by an agonizing pain or scorching desire that keeps them awake at night.[/tweet_box]
They might want to finally get down to writing that book, tightening up their physique, or lose themselves in love again.
And it doesn’t have to be a huge problem. Maybe they’re just looking for a reliable virtual assistant, or they want to know how to write compelling blog posts.
Understanding this pain or desire better (no matter how small or big) than you competitors will give your business a huge boost.
Gathering insight into your customer’s need is simple. You can:
- Ask them. Send out surveys, blast out emails. If you’re a real go-getter, go out and interview them.
- Track their behavior. Use keyword research and heatmaps to see where their core interests lie. You can even keep an eye on popular books or viral pieces of content in your industry to find out more.
- Use BoardReader. It’s a site that helps you find the most popular forums on the web. You can use it to search for posts with pain signalling words like “please help,” “problem” or “need advice”.
Your findings will be extremely useful when it comes to creating things like lead magnets, copy, and new products.
Chill Out at Their Favorite Spots
The next step is to find out where you target audience likes to hang out. This will let you know where, and how to approach them.
Start by keeping these basic questions in mind:
- What type of events/conferences do they attend?
- What are their favorite websites and blogs?
- What search terms do they use?
You have a variety of tools at your disposal:
Setting up an alert is simple; you’ll be done in a minute. It’s effective because you get a lot of informational bang for your buck, and the more alerts the merrier. Setting up multiple alerts will keep your inbox flooded with information on where your audience hangs out.
Search for a keyword that your target audience tweets about. You’ll have a good grasp on where they like to hang out online and what they consume by simply looking at their tweets. You can then tweet on similar categories or comment or guest post on blogs.
Buzzbundle is a simple but powerful piece of software. All you do is give a range of keywords or phrases to observe and BuzzBundle will bring up all the relevant blog posts, tweets, and forum posts.
Take a Peek at Your Competition
If someone has a similar product/service to you, chances are they have a similar target audience as you. Which means a quick glance at their business can tell you something about your own.
When sneaking a peek at your competition keep your eyes peeled for:
Their customers feedback on social media. What social media channel do most of their customers like to interact on. And more importantly what are they saying?
Their market positioning. What’s their pricing like? Why do customers buy from them? If you could offer something extra, would your target audience be willing to pay more for your product service?
Answering the two things above will reveal some of your competition’s weaknesses and strengths. Leaving you better equipped to attract your own target audience.
Have a Thorough Look at Your Business Behind The Scenes
You can’t reach your goals without knowing where you currently stand, and business is no different.
Sifting through data about customers/clients you’re currently doing business with can lead to great results.
Have a look at your current customers and ask yourself:
- Where are your leads coming from?
- What are you seeing the least ROI from?
- What is convincing your customers to buy from you?
- How much are people spending on average?
- Who is your average customer?
Answering these questions will immediately give you some real powerful information about your business. You can then capitalize on the data and instantly increase your business.
Let’s use my freelance writing business as an example.
- Most of my leads are coming from guest posting and cold emails.
- I’m seeing the least ROI from paid ads.
- My customers are convinced by seeing my writing on other sites.
- Clients usually spend between $250-$600. Blogging and copywriting services are the most popular.
- My average client is a small, service-based business in the 0-6 employee range who knows a thing or two about marketing.
Now these questions seem really straightforward, don’t they?
Here’s what I can deduce from answering them:
I should invest more energy in content marketing and cold emailing as they generate the most business. Paid ads should be tossed, or I should learn how to improve them so they provide a decent ROI. And since blogging and copywriting services are the most popular, I should focus on improving those skills and heavily marketing them because that’s what my target audience is buying.
Because it’s based on what’s happening in my business at the moment, acting on the feedback above will almost guarantee growth.
Try answering those questions for yourself right now and see what you can learn.
How do you go about finding and hooking in your target audience? I’d love to know, especially from my fellow freelancers out there!