MICHI HOFFMANN – FEBRUARY 15, 2019
*This article contains several affiliate links. If you purchase the mentioned products or services through these links, I will receive a small, highly appreciated commission.
It was December 21st, 2018, a Friday. Christmas was around the corner, and I was staring at my bank account. Still nothing. The invoice was two weeks overdue. It was the second month in a row. This client didn’t pay me on time, or at all.
That weekend, I sat down and asked myself: “Who are the people I enjoy working with? Who is my ideal target audience?”
Up until then, I tried selling my digital marketing and social media services to anyone and everyone. Back then, it made sense to me, but it left me frustrated, tired, and barely able to buy Christmas gifts for my loved ones.
The very first question you must ask yourself before actually starting a business – but definitely before tapping into the digital marketing world – is:
That is the essential task you have to conquer to successfully run Facebook or any social media advertising. And this article will help you find and define your ideal target audience with your dream customers, asking just four simple questions:
Finding your ideal target audience is probably the most natural step – if you take it. Most of us start with a product or service idea that will solve a specific problem or satisfy a need of a particular audience. But most of the times we only have a vague understanding of our target market.
We define them with demographics like gender, age or income because that’s how our predecessors did it. It was the only way to separate people. In today’s online driven world though, that’s not enough anymore.
The internet has changed the way we do marketing for our businesses. To get the best results from our ads and promotions, we want to get as detailed as possible. You can segment people based on their favorite movies, their best friend’s birthday or even the websites they visited last week.
With significant opportunities like this, there also comes a lot of responsibility: people expect that your messaging is exceptionally individualized and relevant to them.
Just think of yourself. How often do you see Facebook or Instagram ads that are entirely irrelevant to you? I, on my end, lose patience for these kinds of ads much faster than for promotions that provide value to me.
The business has to know its target audience inside out to create this highly-relevant messaging. What are their problems? What do they search for? What do they desire?
To find these answers, dig into your own experience or passion. Or, if you already have a big social media following, email list or audience in general, ask them. It sounds simple, but it’s super sturdy.
This technique is called the “Ask” method and is the core of Ryan Levesque’s book Ask. You will be amazed at how easy it is to find out what your audience wants. Get Ask here.
Once you have a clear understanding of WHO you want to serve, the next step in the process is finding the watering hole. In DotCom Secrets, Russell Brunson calls this the concept of “congregations” – finding spots and places online where your ideal target audience is gathering.
To be successful in the digital world, you want to find these watering holes with your ideal customers, and put your message out in front of them. Selling to the masses made easy!
One thing that we always have to keep in mind is that we’re dealing with real people, following their actual habits and behaviors.
So, ask and try to answer these questions first: where do they hang out online? Which blogs do they read? Which Facebook groups did they join? Are they even on Facebook – or do they use Instagram or LinkedIn?
Answering these questions can take time. For some of them, you probably won’t find the answer right away. But it’s worth digging.
Let’s get practical: how do you find out where your audience is gathering online – especially when you don’t have a thorough understanding of your ideal customer yet? For beginners, we’d like to keep it simple: find someone who already serves your audience.
But let’s start from the beginning:
The results of this strategy will give you the primary platforms where your audience is gathering online. In the next step, you can reach out to these platforms to write a guest article, buy banner ads or initiate a partnership.
Now, it’s all about providing value to your target audience. Knowing where to find your dream customers is online worth so much if you don’t offer an incentive, or “bait,” for them to check out your business.
That might be a mini-course, an eBook, a blog article or a special offer, wrapped in an ad or organic content. Amy Porterfield recently published a great podcast episode on this.
Having a thorough understanding of WHO and WHERE your ideal client is will make this step of creating an incentive much easier. You already know what he’s interested in and where he is gathering with like-minded people.
Without attention though, everything is nothing. Always keep in mind that the user is on this platform for a reason. It takes a lot of work, some convincing and intriguing copy, and outstanding creatives to interrupt their patterns and make them visit your website.
That might sound like a trivial question right now. “Well, the result is my product or service!” But please understand that your product is only a means to an end.
We want to have a bigger picture in mind. What is the desired result for my customer that he will only get when he buys my product or service? Ask yourself this question, answer it and everything will come together.
In the end, it’s about having the most profound impact and serving your customer at the highest level. And in an ideal world, this result is where you want to take all of your customers.
Like Russell Brunson mentions in DotCom Secrets: “Imagine your dream clients could pay you anything to get the desired result. What, then, would you do to help guarantee their success?” That has to be your ultimate goal in your business and with every product, service or offer you release.
Establishing your target audience, determining their areas of congregation online and providing the correct value are critical steps. Once your business has these pillars of online marketing success in place, you’ll be able to craft customized messages for your dream customers.
And soon, this will lead to an improved overall effectivity of your marketing campaigns and therefore an increase in ROI for your business.