I'm in the process of structuring a path that leads to a thriving business.
This path involves first building a minimum viable audience (MVA), by writing content that speaks to my target audience.
After reaching an audience size of about 2,000, I should have a better understanding of:
- who they are
- what they like
- what problems they have and
- what solutions they need.
The focus is to serve my audience by providing the most useful information possible.
So with this plan, the question that comes to mind is this?
Who is my target audience?
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur you may also be asking the same question...
...there is a good chance that you already have an educated idea of who your target audience could be, but let's do a bit of research and see how well we know our target audience.
So let's try to figure out how to get a clear understanding of WHO our ideal customer is, what their challenges are, who influences them, where they hang out etc...
Identifying all these key points would have a major impact on your marketing.
How do you ask?
Knowing more about your target audience will shape how you do your marketing.
Your perfect customer fits into a persona mold most commonly referred to as an avatar.
The definition of an avatar is not, someone who likes a certain topic and wants to learn more about it.
That would be more of a prospect than an ideal customer.
Instead, you should define your avatar as someone who is "xx" years old, has a job, maybe has a family and is frustrated with "XXX".
This avatar is frustrated because he or she doesn't know where to find what information they seek to solve their problems.
That's when you as a marketer come in and share with your avatar the knowledge they seek.
To be successful with your business, you need a deep understanding of your market so that you can get them to buy.
You should focus on discovering a few things such as:
- Who are you trying to attract? What is their gender, age, location relationship status? What are they interested in? What are their hobbies, fears, dreams expectations?
- Where do they hang out or better yet where can you find them? Who are their influencers, who do they trust? How do they talk to? What motivates them?
- Where are you likely to find them? In your search you might focus on searching by keywords, maybe there is a discussion forum or Facebook group where they hang out. Look for existing communities where you could find your ideal buyer.
- Goals & Values: What are their goals, how likely is it for them to achieve them? Are you capable of providing a step by step plan to help them achieve their goals
- Challenges & Pain Points: Pay close attention to this in your research. If you're on a forum, for example, read the questions they have, they can give you a good insight into what problems they want to have solved.
Once you find them you'll realize they're not just potential advertising sources, they're also a great way for you to conduct market research.
When you run campaigns, you'll understand how you can get better results.
These results are achieved by focusing on targeting the ideal customer, instead of focusing on the product you are selling. This helps you identify the different combinations of things you can promote to them and still get results.
- Your content strategy can change completely - Instead of creating random content you will deliver what your audience wants because this is how you will keep them interested.
- Your advertisement plan can also change - You may find out that your ideal audience does not hang out where you normally get your traffic. Maybe instead of getting them from Facebook, you find out they are on Twitter, or on YouTube etc...
- You will create better products - because you will know exactly (well almost) what your target audience needs you to solve and you will jot down all the necessary steps to solve that problem.
- Copywriting - Your research will influence you to use the words your audience is already using, to sell your solutions. This is the best way to increase your revenue. You speak their language and build instant trust.
- Email Marketing - You will understand the kind of emails you should send to your target audience.
Basically, everything that you do will become a custom fit for your target audience, and that is perfect because you want to serve your target audience.
Writing content to the wrong audience or running ads to the wrong audience is a waste of time and money.
Since you are running a business you want to only talk to those who are interested in what you have to offer.
In order to successfully sell to your audience, you need to know their passions, pains, what keeps them up at night...
At first, it might be hard to really pinpoint your customer avatar but we can make assumptions and revisit those assumptions once you have gathered enough data.
Let's dive more into the components of your target audience.
The 5 Components of Your Ideal Customer Avatar
Component 1 - Goals and Values: Identity what your customer really wants, sometimes customers don't truly understand what they really want, but they are however aware of what they don't want.
Getting this information will help you with your content marketing, product creation, email marketing and copywriting.
Component 2 - Where you are likely to find them: This will help you identify the best places to advertise, the content and or marketing you will use to reach your target audience. Here are some topics you could think about...
- My ideal customer would read [source] but no one else would
- My ideal customer will use [tool] but no one else would
- My ideal customer will buy [item] but no one else would
The goal is to find where your customer hangs out, what events they go to, what tools they use, who they listen to...
Component 3 - Demographic information: You can personify your customer avatar by adding demographic information. Not only will you be able to assign a name, age, occupation etc... but this will help you know what your customer avatar is thinking.
When you write your content you have an idea who you're talking to and you can write as if you're having a one on one conversation with someone (your customer avatar). More importantly, it will also help you identify who you should avoid.
There are certain people you naturally don't want to spend time with because they'll just use up your time and create more problems than necessary. You want to repel the bad ones as much as you attract the good ones.
Component 4 - Challenges or problems: Understanding the challenges of your ideal customer will help you create the offer they so desperately want. You can use what you learn here to craft a good ad or sales copy.
Re-iterating the challenges and showing a way out, will help move your customer avatar closer to accepting your offer as the solution they have been looking for.
Component 5 - Fears, Limitations, Objections: What are your customers' fears? What would stop them from converting into a buyer?
Your goal is to identify them and address them in a way that you convince them otherwise.
In a nutshell, defining your customer avatar makes you better at targeting the right audience, makes you better at writing emails, content and makes you better at selling your offer.
Now that you have defined your target audience or customer avatar, you should understand that what you just did is a rough draft and that you might need to review and update your newly created customer avatar sometime in the future.
In addition to that, you might learn that you may need to have more than one customer avatar but it's best to first focus on one and then expand once you've gained some traction.
There are added bonuses that come along with defining your target audience. You can...
Study the Market and Learn from the Competition
When you have identified your target audience and know what their problems are, you can then look around and locate other business targeting the same prospects.
Although while competitors may seem to be a problem, you'll realize that having active competitors is actually good for business.
A good place to look for your competitors would be to use your favorite search engine be it Google, Yahoo or Bing and search keywords or problems you've discovered your ideal customers are looking for online.
Learning what your competitors are doing or not doing can help you improve your efforts and help you get better results.
Keep track of at least 5 competitors
Just like the expression keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer, you want to rub shoulders with your enemies.
They are your enemies because they are taking potential customers away from you, but you can learn from what they're doing and provide a better service. Keep a close eye on...
- The headlines they use on their landing pages
- What they are selling
- Their popular posts
- The ads they use to get clients
- The specific sales funnel they use
Look for things that stand out, when you build your own funnel you will have an idea of what works and how you can incorporate it into your business by modeling it.