How to identify your target audience

When starting out in business, particularly if your business is based around innovating an industry, it’s easy to believe that everyone wants and needs your product or service. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

We have to face this bluntly, when markets that we consider to need us, aren’t listening to our message. This is usually because we either didn’t define our target audience first or we assumed that everyone would see the need for our offering.

The key to effectively selling your products and services is to know who you’re talking to and understand what drives their buying decisions.

Define the problem you’re solving

In identifying your target audience, you need to create a perfect balance of what skills, products and knowledge you offer and what your potential audience experience in terms of their wants, needs, fears and dreams. Identifying this will determine how your solution helps them to overcome and achieve these.

Questions to ask:

What is your biggest problem when it comes to [insert your market solution here]?
What would a product/service that solves this problem look like to you?
How do you try and solve this problem now?
What would having a solution to this problem mean in your life?
What barriers do you think are between you and having this solution in your life?

Create a customer profile

Aristotle said “A friend to all is a friend to none” which also applies to your business mindset. It’s paramount to become crystal clear on the specific people you’re trying to help, and the individual elements that make up their life. Let’s face it – you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. So, you want to really get to know those that are going to love you and what you’re creating!

Questions to ask: 

What gender are they?
How old are they?

Where do they live?
What is their profession?

What are their hobbies?
What is their family/relationship situation?
What sort of personality do they have?
How do they spend their money?

Connect with them

The best way to really understand what resonates with your audience is to get to know them in their own environment. Understanding where they are already congregating is key to getting to know the kind of language they use, the other brands they associate with, the things that get on their nerves. All of these will help you get a broader scope of who your target audience is and what they want.

Questions to ask:

What brands do my audience resonate with?
Why are they attracted to these brands?
Where are my audience already congregating?
What language does my audience use when they’re talking about the problem?
What other solutions have my audience tried when it comes to solving this problem?