One of the biggest struggles new business owners face is targeting their ideal customers. They know their products are great, they’ve invested in a beautiful website, they may even have a few ads running, and yet, when they finally launch–*crickets*. Does this sound like you? If so, don’t lose hope. Chances are, there’s nothing wrong with your actual business; rather, your business just isn’t being found by the right people. Fortunately, this is totally fixable, so long as you’re willing to put in some extra work. It will be well worth the effort once you attract the right customers and the sales start rolling in.

This a huge topic beyond the scope of one blog post, so for today I’ll be focusing on how to define your target audience in order to connect with your ideal customers.

Defining your Target Audience

As you developed your brand, you probably did so with a target audience in mind. In other words, your business has a niche that serves a specific segment of the population. For instance, if you sell health coaching services, your target audience might be “working moms in their 30s and 40s.” The more specific you can get, the better. New business owners often think that they need to target as many people as possible in order to make a profit; in fact, the opposite is true. The more narrow your target audience, the more effective your advertising will be. You want your audience to see your product and think, “this is exactly what I need/was looking for.” Not: “I might need this.” Or worse: “I have no use for this.”

The following are some demographics you’ll want to include when defining your target audience:

  • Age range
  • Income range
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Location

Depending on your type of business, you may have more than one target audience. However, if you’re just starting out, I would recommend refining and researching one audience before developing others. Once you’ve completed your target audience profile, the next step is to create user personas.

Your Ideal Customers

Crafting a user persona (or buyer persona) is a key element of both branding and marketing your business. If you don’t have user personas, now is the time to create some; if you do have them, don’t skip this section because you may need to go back and revise them if you’re not making sales.

Essentially, a user persona is a make-believe portrait of your ideal customer. The persona should represent an individual who fits the demographics of your target audience. Aside from demographics, you’ll want to consider traits like personality, interests, and ambitions. User personas allow you to examine how certain behaviors and interests would lead people to connect and interact with your brand. They can thus help you to perceive your brand from a customer’s point of view. Ideally, you should create a persona for 3 or more individuals in your target audience. Below are some specific factors to include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Family status
  • Income
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Favorite websites
  • Favorite brands
  • Current goals

For each individual, jot down why your business would benefit and appeal to them. (If you’re having trouble with this, you may need to take a step back to work on your branding. There should be a clear connection between your audience’s goals and pain points and your brand’s messaging.) As you develop your business and implement marketing strategies, you’ll want to revisit these user personas to make sure you’re staying true to your brand and target audience.

Creating a Connection

Now that you have a clear idea of who your ideal customers are and what they’re looking for, you’re able to implement effective strategies to improve traffic and conversion. Before you get started, utilize tools such as Facebook Audience Insights and Google Trends in order to legitimize your target audience. You can also gauge real interest in your brand through blogging, landing pages, and social media.

If this all sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is! However, it’s important to go through these steps before you waste valuable time and money on ads that won’t even reach your ideal customer. If you’d like assistance with any of the strategies and tools I mentioned, feel free to contact me to learn more about my branding and web design services.

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