How to Easily Define Your Target Audience
When I first started Hued, I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted everyone to like my writing, my logos, my graphics and my personality. I wanted everyone to like everything, and I wanted to work with everyone.
However, this is a terrible way to go about your blog/business. Everyone isn’t going to like you. First of all, that’s statistically impossible and secondly, you don’t want everyone to like you.
Just like I’m sure you don’t want to work for just anyone doing any ol’ thing. That’s why defining your target audience will help you narrow down who you’re talking to, who responds, and who ultimately inquires about your services.
why you need to define your target audience
I was getting tacos at my fav taco spot with my boyfriend and he was asking me for advice on how to create content for his Instagram.
He wants to talk about cars and turn this into a brand and a business in the future. I told him one of the first things you have to think about is who is your target audience.
He gave me the answer that I expected: “men my age that like cars.”
Well duh boo. But you have to go a bit deeper than that. I made the joke that I know so much about my ideal client that I know where she prefers to buy her underwear!
Hyperbole aside, you can’t just scratch the surface level of who your target audience is. You have to go a bit deeper. Going deeper helps you write to that one person because they have such specific chacteristics that they seem real.
For example, I can bet that you’re probably a woman, aged 24-38, creative minded, looking for ways to grow your brand and business online, and you’re a fan of Pinterest and Instagram.
I know this, because this is who I try to market my posts, copywriting, graphics, and content too. I keep that profile in mind when I do everything.
Now there’s a good chance that you’re a 42-year-old man that’s reading this and that’s great! Welcome! But I know who my target audience is.
Knowing who my target audience allows me to market directly to them and focus on them. Keeping my focus narrow allows me to create content that converts for my audience which can lead to money down the line.
The ultimate pro about finding your target audience
So let’s get deeper and get past surface level characteristics about your target audience. You have to really think about what makes your ideal client (who is a part of your target audience) tick.
What are her hobbies, values, interests, and turn offs? What makes her get up in the morning and keep running her business? What makes her hustle for more? What are her passions?
I know it may seem silly to write out or think about all of these things for someone that isn’t “real” but think of two things: this may actually be a real person (you never know!), and fleshing out these details about your ideal client will help you figure out where they like to hang out.
If you can figure out where your ideal client likes to hang out, online or off, then you know where to go to market to them and where to be active.
Say your ideal client lives a spiritual lifestyle and is an avid tarot reader (I’m a tarot enthusiast myself) then you can probably guess that they’re hanging out in Facebook groups dealing with living a more spiritual business.
Join those groups and start interacting with the people there.
You’re now putting yourself in front of an entire group of people that you want work with and that align with your target audience.
This is your opportunity to not only interact with them, but become the go to source for their questions dealing with your industry. If they have a photoshop questions and you're a graphic designer, answer their questions! Become the resource for topics you're a bad ass in, and they will remember you.
How to gain their trust
Since the ladies and gents that you want to work with more than likely will never meet you in real life, you have to make sure that they trust you. The best way to gain their trust is to think about the types of things that they would want to see from you to confirm that you’re the “real deal”.
This can be testimonials/social proof, logo lists of major publications or places you’ve been featured, high follower counts (people do care about this), how active you are in their communities, etc.
If you’re stuck on how to get started, I know two things that for sure can help you build trust with your audience: free content and an email list.
Both of those things go hand in hand really.
People love free content and I guarantee the people that buy from you are probably going to be the people that have come in contact with some of your free content first. It’s like trying before you buy something.
They sign up for a free course or checklist, they receive it and a welcome sequence from you, and the relationship starts to form from there.
They see you more in their inbox and see that you give value. Then they may start following you on social media if they already aren’t, then things start to spiral from there.
Your email list is a great way to build trust with your potential customers and you shouldn’t ignore it.
Besides your website, it can be one of the biggest marketing tools that you have. Check out Meera Kothand’s website. She is an email marketing genius and my primary source for anything email marketing related.
How to define your target audience the wrong way:
When defining your target audience, you have to make sure that this is an audience that you can market to. Before we get into this, I wanted to drop the difference between target audience/market and niche:
A target market/audience are the people that you serve. Your niche is the service(s) you specialize in that you offer to your target market.
You and I can have the same target audience, but be in a different niche. For example, you may be someone that wants to teach lady business owners about establishing processes and organizing their business, while I want to help that exact same market design and create the perfect website for that business.
Same audience, different niche.
Back to what I was saying.
When you’re deciding on your target audience, you have to make sure that it’s an audience that is marketable. The best way to make sure that it’s marketable is to stalk your competitors.
Now don’t go down this rabbit hole of comparing yourself to them (no bueno). Look at their online presence and see the types of people that are interacting with them.
See how they talk their audience, see the types of things they pin, see where online they’re active.
Also, don’t narrow down your audience to something that doesn’t make sense, like “My ideal client is an avid vegan that works on a dairy farm.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure, you can find this person, but they are a part of a small group of people.
Make sure that the person that your sculpting makes sense, then check out your competitors and see if your ideal client would interact with them if they were real.
Defining your target audience is one of the first essential steps to creating a brand that’s sustainable and keeps the circle of people that you work with aligned with who you want to serve and who you enjoy working with.
If you’re having trouble finding and authentically interacting with your audience, this maybe the time to reflect who you’re really speaking too and make some changes.
Your success as a business will come with making sure you’re speaking to the ones that you want to help the most, and the only way to really speak to them, is to find out who they are first.