This week we are going to find your target audience, and create some fictional customers that are going to be a huge part of your brand. We'll talk about why it's critical to niche down rather than go broad, and talk through the key questions you need your market to answer, so you know how to talk to them, and have your message really resonate.
We're going to dig into your target audience:
Who will they be? What are their needs? What motivates them?
Then we'll look at building your buyer persona's and why that's so important for your brand.
At the end of the podcast, we are sending you off to complete your buyer persona's, until next week, when we meet back here, to move to Step 4 on your road to a wildly successful business.
This is the ONE STEP Empire podcast from SHEcorporated. We are here to help YOU take the leap, and create the life you dream of, by building your own business empire, one simple step at a time.
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Welcome back to SHEcorporated ONE STEP Empire podcast!
How are you doing out there? Are you getting excited about bringing your visions to life and getting your life in line with your visions?
Last week we talked through how to test your business idea or product. If you are joining us for the first time definitely go back and start at episode one, as each podcast will build on the previous one.
This week we are going to find your audience and create some fictional customers that are going to be a huge part of your brand. I am going to introduce you to Treena Walker. Treena isn’t real – she is one of our buyer personas from another company we own. I’ll tell you more about her in a minute.
I really believe you need to obsess over your customers and before you even have customers, you should be obsessing about your POTENTIAL customers.
Who will they be? What are their needs? What motivates them?
Then when you actually have those customers you should want to know everything about what makes them tick.
Why did they buy your product or service?
Why do they buy it from you specifically?
What would they like to see more of?
How can you better serve them?
So let’s start with defining your Target Audience
What Is a Target Audience?
Very simply, a target audience is a specific group of people you have decided to target with your products or services. It could be a large market or a smaller niche market.
The most common mistake new business owners make is to insist that their product is for EVERYBODY. Your instinct will tell you that the more people you target the bigger your market and therefore the more people you will sell to. Which is what you want right?
The truth is actually a bit counterintuitive. The more specific you get with the audience you target and the smaller your niche, the more successful your marketing will be.
Well the more specific your target audience is the better you can speak directly to them. It’s much harder to effectively market your product or service to everyone and have anyone take notice of it than it is to speak to a very specific group of people in terms that they understand with a message that really resonates.
So – for example, let’s say you are a consultant helping small businesses manage their finances. Technically you could help any small business, but if you try to market to that incredibly wide group all you can really do is talk about you and what you do – you can't talk about them and their needs because it’s just too varied.
But what if you decide to niche down to specialize in managing finances for just real estate professionals? Now you become the go to expert, you can speak directly to their very specific concerns in your marketing and get their attention and you can target media outlets, social media hashtags, etc that realtors would follow. Now your marketing just became incredibly effective.
There are many ways to identify the right target audience for your brand – but let’s talk about a few
1. Conduct market research
Begin with conducting market research to analyze all aspects of the market. You can do this by performing a SWOT analysis, which identifies a business’s strengths and weaknesses, along with opportunities and threats. We’re going to cover how to do a SWOT in next week’s podcast so come back for that one.
If you have a business with some existing customers, take note of their attributes to determine what your current audience looks like. You also get more information by examining your social media and website analytics. This can help you understand who is visiting your site, how they navigate it and which website pages users are visiting the most. Also, know who’s interacting with your social media networks.
If you don't have customers yet you can have a look at your closest competitors and take note of their customers:
Also look at changing trends and economic shifts in your market. For example, you want to open a nail studio, but you noticed that the current trend is that people are getting used to having more services in their homes so perhaps the market would like a mobile service, or online tutorials. Looking at the current market information is good, but you also want to have an eye on where it might be going as well.
Knowing ALL of the factors that contribute to your brand’s market and purchase path, is a critical first step to helping you identify the right target audience.
You can also use your own networks for data:
The next time you are with family or friends, look at what products they use. Ask them questions like “Would you use this? Do you have a need for this product?” or, “Do you know anyone who would use this?”
You can also tap into your network of business colleagues, funders, and mentors. Ask them to examine your product or service and give feedback, have them test it out and you may be surprised at the valuable insight you receive.
It's SO important to understand your ideal customer, who they are, what they think, how they live, and what their challenges are.
So let’s talk about Buyer persona’s and why you need them? This is a fun excercise – I love building my personas.
Buyer persona’s are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on your data and research. They help you focus your time on the right prospects, they will guide your product development to meet the needs of your target customers, and serve as a touchstone for every part of your business to come back to.
So let’s get back to Treena Walker – remember I mentioned her at the beginning of the podcast? Treena is one of our favorite members of the SHEcorporated community, and our example persona in the Buyer Persona Workbook.
Treena is 26 years old, and works as a City Clerk in Portland Oregon. She is a busy single mom, with a 4 year old son named Trey.
Treena is frustrated and bored in her current job. It’s stable, which is great, but she desperately wants to use her Fine Arts degree and start her own business using her creative passions.
Her buying habits are to buy less items, but generally of better quality, and she likes to shop well ahead of time, whenever possible.
Her current problems are lack of time, missing her friends and family back home and a serious need for some adult interaction…………. Are you starting to feel like you might know her? Do you feel like you would know how to really speak to her in a more directed way than if I just told you she was a 26 year old women from Portland?
Building your marketing persona’s starts with the basic target demographic information, but then moves into much deeper detail, in order to construct a fictional character, with passions, flaws, and a personality all their own.
Buyer personas make it easier for you to tailor content, marketing, branding and every aspect of your product or service, right down to the customer service you provide.
These fictional characters give you a much deeper insight into how to connect with your customer base at every point of contact.
How many persona’s do you need to build? You could have 1 or 2 to 10 or more personas – but I say if you are new to this start with 3.
One of the best ways to get started building your personas is to interview your target audience or current customers if you have any.
You can ask questions like:
After you ask all of that – then ask WHY?
This is the number one tip for a successful persona interview.
The follow-up question to pretty much every question in the above list should be "why?" Through these interviews, you're trying to understand your customers' (or potential customers') goals, behaviors, and motivators. But keep in mind that people aren't always great at reflecting on their behaviors to tell you what drives them at their core.
Start with a simple question — for instance, "What is your biggest challenge?" Then spend a good amount of time diving deeper into that one question to learn more about that person. You learn more by asking, "why?" than more superficial questions.
Now you are ready to create your buyer persona’s – once you have all the data you get to do the fun part. Create your fictional characters, name them, and get to know everything about them.
We’ve created a template to help you build your buyer persona’s and its available for free download on our site SHEcorporated.com – just click the link in the show notes or go straight to our site to find it.
So that’s your ONE STEP for this week. Get your market research done and build three customer personas. Follow us on Instagram or facebook @shecorporated and DM me to tell me about your new fictional besties – I can’t wait to meet them.
Next week we will focus on completing your SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is the key to help you find opportunities that aren’t being filled in your market, choose your key marketing messages, and so much more!
So hit us up @shecorporated on social and we’ll see you back here next week.