By which I mean thinking about who your audience are.

One of the most difficult challenges in marketing, is growing an audience. I recently wrote If you build it, they won’t come which is a misconception I see so often. Growing an audience is a massively underestimated task and something you should be thinking about long before you’re ready to launch.

A good starting point is to consider who your audience are. You probably have some initial thoughts but it’s a useful exercise to write these down. A good technique for this is to define some personas that describe a bunch of fictional, but detailed examples of your customers. Try to be very specific including details such as age, home town, job role, disposable income, amount of free time etc. You’ll only be guessing but the important thing isn’t to predict the exact customer but rather enable yourself to better empathise with a potential customer. Detailed personas facilitate this and help you think differently considering your project from a different lens than your own perspective.

IRL examples

Once you have some fictional ideas of who your customers might be, see if you can find similar real life people that you would ideally like to see as your customer. These might be people you already know, people you follow on social media or people you can find with a bit of searching. If you can’t find anyone suitable, take this as an early warning.

Once you’ve found some, do some digging on them. Where do they hang out online? What events do they go to? Who do they follow? What type of content do they typically engage with? The web offers us an incredible insight into the behaviour of potential customers, make use of that.

Measure

Having built up an idea of several people that fit your definition of potential customer, you should make some efforts to gauge how many people fit into this model. Understanding the potential customer base is an important step as this can offer a very early indicator as to your potential success. Knowing that it’s too limited might lead you to refining your proposition such that you can increase your potential market. At the other end of the scale, an audience that is too broad “our product is perfect for everyone” will make your marketing efforts very tricky because you won’t have a target to focus on. Appealing to mass-market is extremely competitive and costly so you’re better off picking a niche, even if that’s just to get traction early on.

Empathise

All of these techniques essentially boil down to being able to empathise and understand your audience. Being able to do so makes it much more likely that you’ll be able to position your offering in a way that will be appealing to them. You might even shape your product to better serve them. We all start off assuming everyone is the same as us, but a bit of research shows that’s rarely the case. Understanding your audience will be essential to being discovered by them so put the time in and don’t ever assume you know.

#adventblogging post 22 of 24 see the rest.