Figuring out how to find your target audience is probably one of the hardest steps small businesses have to figure out when establishing their brand. From the beginning, you know what products or services you offer but determining who exactly you want to sell it to can be a doozy. This is how you can identify your target audience.
Niche Your Target Audience
Many brand or business gurus will tell you the first thing you need to do when you want to find your target audience is to niche. Niching down means you find a segmented audience in your market to sell your products or services to, and you only sell to them. While this is a great starting point, I think niching is only that: the start. This is a generalized way to break down your audience into smaller parts.
There are 5 ways you can niche your service based business:
- Style of work
- Expert Skill
- Tech or platform
Niching by industry means you only choose one industry to work within. For example, The Social Media CEO only helps social media strategists grow their business.
Niching by values means that you choose to work with businesses that share the same values that you do. For example, my brand, Sweet Daddy Designs, specifically focuses on working with businesses that want to disrupt the status quo. Another example is print designers that only work with brands that are environmentally friendly.
Niching by the style of work can be a very visual way to set yourself apart, often dictated by the style of deliverables you produce. For example, Damn Write, a copywriter from Australia, has a very unique no filter style of writing that her clients love.
Niching by an expert skill positions you as the go to guru for a certain topic. For example, Britney Jeanine only coaches clients that are ready for a pivot in their business. Because she has cornered this market, she is known as an expert on pivoting.
Understand The Basics of Your Target Audience
After you figure out the niche you want to focus on, then you need to dive into what I call the basics of your target audience. The basics are your audience’s demographics and psychographics.
Demographics are the statistical data that tells you who buys your services. These characteristics can include your target audience’s:
- Income Level
- Marital Status
Psychographics on the other hand is the data that tells you why they buy your services. This data usually focuses on characteristics that form people’s lifestyles and personalities. This data can include your target audience’s:
- Spending habits
- Social Class
Understand The Details of Your Target Audience
Once you have a solid understanding of your target audience’s demographics and psychographics, you’ll need to break down their wants, needs, and pain points also known as the details.
These details are technically characteristics associated with psychographics. However, because of their importance to your clients’ buying decisions, these aspects have been categorized into their own section.
These are important because they’ll give you the insight behind your audience’s actions. For example, why do they want your service? What core emotional desire are they looking for? How would they feel if they couldn’t reach a solution? At the core what do they need to make their life better?
The details make you dig deeper than the surface level answers the above may grant you. You’ll have to do some research and analyze your findings to get a better understanding of these answers and what they can mean for your audience.
How To Do Research On Your Target Audience
If you’ve made it this far then you know everything you need to understand about your target audience. But you might be wondering where the information will come from. Don’t worry I have you covered.
The best way to understand your target audience is by listening to what they have to say.
You can do research in a multitude of ways but here are some of the easiest:
Ask Your Audience Directly
Yup, just like that. One of the easiest ways to do some research on your target audience is by asking the community you’ve already built what they think. You can do this by sending surveys or polls to your email list or social media. Or you can even ask past clients if they’re willing to have a quick 15 minute zoom call with you to answer some questions in exchange for a gift card or some other incentive.
Look Into Open Forums
Open forums are like gold mines when it comes to research. People are constantly asking questions about the problems they face. These questions can lead to insights that you either thought were insignificant or reinforce the ideas you were already committed to. An open forum can include Facebook groups, Reddit or Quora threads, and even Youtube or Tiktok comment sections. If there is a place for people to ask open questions, it’s a place you can learn about your target audience.
Use Search Engines
Google is your friend. You use it for everything else so why not for some target audience research? You can use search engines like Google or Bing to find questions your target audience might be asking in their search for solutions to their problems.
Do Some Competitor Research
If your competitors have the same target audience as you, why not dig into what’s working well for them? Now, I’m not saying to go and copy their entire way of business. However, competition leads to innovation. If you can see what works well for their audience and what doesn’t you can add similar or better methods into your own business to reach and attract your own audience.
Whew, that was a lot of information but the bottom line is to understand and find your target audience you have to put in the work and research. This will allow you to understand their problems and the deeper emotions behind them so you can offer the perfect solution. Looking for someone to do this work for you? Check out our services or strategy workshop.