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How to identify your target audience

hello world!
Written by
Katt Matiquite
Published on
March 26, 2024
8 strategic questions to identify your target audience

"Speak directly to the target audience you want" is great advice. And you'll hear it a lot down here. But even I have to admit it's useless if you don't know who that is.

So before we discuss how to attract the right people, let's take a few steps back and figure out how to identify them. In only 8 questions.

But before we start this exercise, remember this: your audience is people.

This means you have to avoid looking at them as dots on a chart. Picture a person, just like you, and go from there.

Cool? Great.

Now, in great detail, and based on both past experiences and desired ones, answer the following questions:

1. What problems are they struggling with?

The first thing we need to consider is their current situation. What brings them to you?

Try to think of it in the most relatable terms possible. You already know you offer - what does that solve? What issues would lead them to think "I need that service"?

And what issues would have them coming to you as opposed to your competitor?

In this case, it's helpful to think backward from your solutions. So if you have a faster turnaround, the problem you solve is a long waiting period.

People care more about running from pain than going towards pleasure. So identify your target audience's pain and you're on a great track.

2. What does that struggle make them feel?

Okay, you've identified the problems they deal with. How do they feel about them? This may sound too abstract and touchy-feely, but humans are more emotional than they'd like to think.

It's more effective to reference the frustration people feel or the fears that keep them up at night than it is to describe the tangible problems people are facing.

So, by connecting the problems to the feelings people have, you become a lot more likely to identify your target audience by their personality, motivators, and fears.

3. Do they know about your solution?

This question is meant to guide your communication with them. Which is important because it'll help you identify what your target audience needs to hear.

Even if you know how they currently feel, your approach differs from person A - who's never even heard of your industry, and person B - who knows a few of your competitors and needs to be convinced to go for you.

In marketing, we call this customer awareness. If you figure out at what level your people are aware of the solutions you bring, you'll have a much better understanding of your people.

4. How would your solution make them feel better?

Once again, we need to create answers in terms of feelings.

Right now, you want to be able to attach the solution you bring to how it would make them feel. This will help you alternate from pointing to their fears to pointing to their dreams.

Now, it's important you do your best to go beyond "great!" and "happy!"

Consider the trail we've drawn up so far, and think about the inverse. If they were staying up all night from the stress of the problem you solved, what now?

Are they relieved? Resting better? More pleasant to be around? Write it all down.

5. Where are they trying to go?

This is a different way to imagine your client's future. Beyond how they feel, what does their life look like? Or rather, what do they want it to look like?

What are they looking for? What are they striving towards?

Make note of every answer you can think of or find - whether it's related to your service or not.

6. How can you help them get there?

For this one, look inward. Look at your process and the results you offer.

What about your service or brand connects with your prospect's fears, hopes, and dreams?

At this point, considering everything you've discovered above, you understand your audience better. So with this answer you're getting to the "How do I talk to them?" questions.

Bonus questions

  1. What about their life will change because of you?
  2. How will they feel after you?

Think of these as extensions of your brand promise. We already know where your target audience is, and where they're trying to go. Now consider what happens when they get there.

Offering them a picture of the life ahead of your brand helps you notice patterns in your prospect's desire, address objections they might have, and connect them to your offer on the most personal of levels.

So, take your time and write it all down. Here are a few ways you can get these answers:

  • Think about the clients you want.
  • Rephrase conversations with new leads.
  • Think about work with past clients you loved.
  • Study your social media audience and how they behave.
  • Keep an eye on your competitors' audiences and behaviors.

By doing this, you'll be able to get in the minds of your clients more easily.

And if you need someone with experience to run this study for you, book a call with me here.

As my client Chanaye said: I was unsure about my audience... but the report I got at the end was outstanding and something I refer to often when building materials for my clients.

If you're tired of wondering what to say and how to say it... Or you want to make your marketing more clear and targeted... If you're just sick of being lost... I'm your girl. Let's chat.

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