This post was most recently updated on August 2nd, 2016
Getting To Know Your Target Audience is the surest way to build rapport with them, and better serve their needs.
You might think that you already know what your target audience wants.
The truth is, you probably know some of what your audience wants, but you’ll never know it all.
You’ll certainly never know enough.
The more intimately you get to know the people who follow you, though, the more successful you’ll be in your business.
Sure, you can do the trial and error approach.
You can write blog posts on topics, create products for people to buy or build an email list and promote various affiliate products to it.
Then, all you have to do is see what works and what doesn’t.
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Which blog posts do people prefer over others?
Which of the products you create are successful vs. those that crash and burn?
Which promotions do well, and which ones don’t result in hardly any sales?
It should be clear that the more you KNOW about your target audience, the less time and money you’ll spend just guessing.
Think of how long it takes to create a “digital product”.
Do you really want to do that 3 or 4 times before you “get it right?” (if you ever do).
How much money will you spend on ads to get people to join your email list?
Do you really want to alienate these people by offering them things they are not highly motivated to buy?
Do you really want to see your list turn stale and unresponsive?
That’s exactly what happens when you send folks emails on topics they have little interest in.
Sure, you can try it again, but first, you have to build a new email list.
You see, the “hit and miss” approach is very time consuming, expensive and makes people think you don’t really know your business.
Know Your Target Audience
Getting to know your target audience is what we call “market research.”
It’s simply a matter of doing the research required to learn what your market wants.
Clearly, market research is extremely important to the success of your business.
To do this right, you’ll know, not guess, that you are offering and reviewing the right products and services to your target audience.
These are the products that they want to purchase.
You’ll even start learning about the price they are willing to pay for it.
Know What You Don’t Know
I recommend that you write a list of what you really want to know about your target audience.
Are they interested in knowing how to write sales pages?
Do they need to have a system for running social media campaigns?
Answering questions like these will help you figure out exactly what kind of help your target audience wants and needs.
This is BIG.
Most marketing revolves around providing solutions to problems.
You must know what problems people want solved.
Once you’re figured that out, you need to make a second list.
This time, you’ll be writing out all the things you can do to solve these problems.
It doesn’t mean you must personally be able to solve them.
You can also offer solutions via affiliate products and services.
Believe me, people don’t care HOW you solve their problems, they just want them solved.
But you don’t know what their problems really are until you do some market research.
That will help you to know things that you didn’t previously know about your readers, subscribers and customers.
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Getting To Know Your Target Audience
Now that you know you need to learn more about your target audience, you have to answer some important questions.
What methods will you employ to gather this information?
What people comprise your “target audience.”
Remember, an audience is not a thing, it is people.
So you need to turn to the people in your audience to find out what problems and desires they have.
But how do you do that?
The answer pretty much lies in learning to use tools and techniques to do the market research required.
Market Reseach Tools and Methods
Many big companies spend large amounts of money to do market research.
You can use the results they’ve come up with to tip you off as to the needs of your market.
For instance, if your niche topic is ebook publishing, you can research companies that offer ebook publishing services.
Study their sales pages and promotions.
What problems are they trying to solve for their customers and prospects?
This is what we call “secondary market research.”
It’s not a research of YOUR customers, but it will give yo ua good idea of what “typical” customers in your niche want.
It’s better if you can do “primary market research.”
That means you actually ask YOUR customers what they want.
Your customers are not just “typical” customers, they are your actual customers.
So, they are the ones you really want to build your business around.
It makes good sense, then, to ask them what they want.
Here’s a few ways to do that.
Locate people in your target audience on your favorite social media sites.
Engage them in conversation.
Ask them directly what their problems are and what kind of solutions they’d like to see.
So, if you’ve found a Facebook group where people are interested in writing ebooks, you could spend some time reading conversations.
You’ll start seeing what issues people are having, and what solutions they’re finding.
You could then get involved.
Ask them more detailed questions about the problems they have with this system or that technolgy.
Why do they like it, or not?
Over time, you’ll start getting a good idea of what your “ebook audience” wants.
Now, just figure out if you can solve their problems, and how.
Then do it.
There are some tools to help you reach out to people on social media.
“Typeform” is one such tool.
It’s actually a form creator for collecting information from your audience right within your social media posts.
It only gives one question at a time.
This draws people progressively deeper into the conversation, and builds real rapport with you as a source for solutions.
You can email questions to your subscribers.
Ask them what they want to know, what kind of emails they’d find valuable, what sorts of products they’d like to get access to.
You can simply ask them to respond to your email, or make things easier by linking to a survey form.
Survey Monkey is a good survey tool to use, but many auto-responders have built-in survey forms integrated into their systems.
However you do this, the important thing to understand is that your email subscribers are probably your most engaged “following.”
They are truly your target audience, so their feedback is more valuable than just that of just casual social media contacts.
If you don’t have an email list yet, understand that building one will help you tremendously with your market research.
Heat maps is pretty cool software to use.
It simply shows you where your audience spends the most time on your blogs and websites. It lets you know what they’re looking at (what’s hot), and what they’re bouncing away from (cold).
This is a great way to see what your actual visitors and readers are finding valuable, although it’s not as specific as surveys.
HeatMapCo is one heat map software that I’ve heard good things about. There are others, too.
Use the free Insights tool on your Facebook page to see the precise demographics of your viewers, the breakdown of your audience by interest, and much more.
Similar to Facebook Insights, Google Insights can help you uncover lots of information about your target audience.
You can even use the information to create custom infographics. Share these on blogs and social media to make further inroads to your target audience.
Avatars are elaborate “personas” or “customer profiles.”
Developing detailed profiles of your target audience will help you learn more about the people you need to relate to.
“Personapp” is one tool you can use to create personas representing your target audience, using real life statistics.
Tools like this can help your visualize your audience so you can better relate to their needs..
Conducting marketing research is the only real way to know for sure what your target audience wants and needs.
Using the right tools will make it easier to do this kind of research.
It helps you focus on what’s most important to your audience and help you avoid making vague assumptions about what your customers and readers truly want.
The more you learn more about your target market, the better equipped you’ll be to create products and services that they truly want.
Do you spend time in your business Getting To Know Your Target Audience?
I’d love to see your comments below.