Join us over the next few weeks as we feature our “Business Challenge” posts. Each post will feature tips on how to solve some of the biggest business challenges we all face.
In this post, we’re going to talk about the importance of identifying your audience.
Once you have an idea for a business, it’s hard to not want to build it, launch it and then assume you’ll crush it once it’s live!
But if you haven’t truly identified your audience, then don’t be too eager to launch your business simply based on a “good idea”. If you do, you’ll probably be left wondering why no one is paying attention.
Speaking to an empty room
Imagine you’ve worked hard for several months rehearsing a play that is going to open tomorrow night.
You’re nervous, excited, pumped up – you just cannot wait to share this performance with everyone who will be sitting out there in the depths of the theater. All of them are there to see you; to appreciate the culmination of your blood, sweat and tears.
Ready? … OMG – you kind of want to throw up… – annnddd, ACTION!
Woah. Ummmm, is this for real? No one is even here.
You wonder if there is any way on earth it’s still just rehearsal time. Maybe I got my dates mixed up? Well, I definitely told my mom and dad about it…
Having an audience is important.
Would you rehearse a play for months and months if you didn’t already know that there was going to be an audience who wanted to see it?
The same goes for starting a business.
Identifying your audience
Ask yourself this: is there an audience who will benefit from – and want – what my business is going to offer?
Identifying your audience prior to launching your business is vital to achieving success, but it’s something that can – and probably will – evolve over time. So don’t get too hung up at the start.
You may find that after you launch there are things you can tweak and refine to better serve you audience and to help it grow – and that’s completely normal.
I’m not trying to say that you should know every single thing your audience wants, and exactly how they want it before you launch. Those are things you will find out along the way.
But, it’s important to know there are people out there who will be interested in whatever it is you’re producing: products, services, content, etc.
3 Things to help you identify your audience
1. Define Your avatar
What does your ideal audience member look like? I don’t mean literally; I mean asking questions like:
- What do they like to do?
- Where do they hang out?
- What types of things excite them or get them motivated?
- How will your product or service solve a problem for them?
- What’s the best way to communicate to them?
2. Imagine your business from their perspective
You might love your business idea for reasons beyond why your audience loves your business idea (well, hopefully they love it).
Imagine yourself in their shoes:
- How do you talk to them about your business?
- What can you do to get them excited about what you’re offering?
- What can you do to encourage audience engagement?
3. Ask for feedback
Join an online group or attend a conference in your industry.
While you’re there, make it a point to meet people and talk to them about your ideas. Chances are, the people in these groups, or who are attending these conference, are a part of your desired audience.
- Do they respond well to your ideas?
- Would they be interested in your products or services?
- Do they have any feedback or suggestions that might help you niche down?
Know who you’re creating for
Identifying your audience in an important step, and I hope these tips will be helpful.
If you launch a business, or create products and services without knowing who you’re creating them for, chances are you will find yourself on stage performing for an empty theater.
In my next Business Challenge post, I’ll talk about ways you can start building your platform.
What’s the #1 challenge you’ve faced while identifying your audience? Let us know in the comments section below!