Knowing your target audience is one of the fastest ways to improve the health of your business.
Not just knowing them, but really knowing them. You know?!...
If you don't know your target audience really well it is much harder to reach them, communicate with them and convert them to a customer.
You'll probably find you are just not cutting through the plethora of messages being targeted at your audience every day online, and it can be frustrating not knowing why or how you can change it.
My advice to my clients is to start with your target audience. Is it niche enough? How well do you know them? Could you pick them out of a crowd?
There are many complex tools available to help you refine your target audience, many of them pricey and long drawn out - not great for micro or small business owners - so here I recommend 5 ways to refine your target audience without overcomplicating it.
1. Look to your existing clients and customers.
Do you have any favourite customers that you love to provide your products or services to? What appeals to you about them? Are they loyal repeat customers? Do you have a good relationship with bags of trust? Do they recommend you to others? Actively support you on social media? Pay on time? Provide feedback?
If you could copy and paste them what would that look like? Knowing as much as you can about this client/customer will help you identify ways of finding others like them.
2. Do some market research.
Simply asking some questions in person is a great way to find out who would be interested in your products or services and what would interest them enough to become a customer or client.
Asking questions face to face opens up the opportunity to explore responses and clarify people's perspectives.
Next time you are at a networking event might be convenient, or even taking to the street and asking people for a few minutes of their time. Think about what feels right for your business.
3. Look for a competitive edge.
Do a quick bit of competitor research and see who they are targeting. Perhaps there is a gap in the market that you could fill? Perhaps they are all targeting too broadly as well and your point of difference could be to focus. Look for areas that you could cover that they don't or that you do differently.
4. Be logistical.
If you don't think you can refine your audience, perhaps you can logistically refine your business offering. Could you focus on a particular product or service? What about how you deliver your offering? Perhaps you could narrow your geographical range or cater for online or in-person clients only?
5. Trust your gut.
This one is simple and possibly my favourite. When all the practical advice is said and done, think about who you really want to help with your product or service. Who would make you happiest to help? What would keep you most passionate? If your mind takes you straight to an answer you hadn't really given much consideration to as it hasn't made much sense, now might be the time to give the idea some room to breathe and see where it takes you.
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought and you can refine your audience for a better marketing strategy and communication plan.