FINDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
“Appealing to everyone appeals to no one”
When starting your business, you are solving a problem for a specific group of people. In most instances, not everyone is going to like, want or need the same things as everyone else. Your goal is to focus on one target audience that you will be marketing to. It becomes the foundation to your business because you will be making decisions based your target audience. The way your brand looks, the way you speak to your audience, and the products/services that you create are based on your audience. You need to know who you are serving and what their pain points are.
For example, if a new mom is looking to get back into exercising, their pain point is probably trying to find the time and energy to be able to work out and meal prep, so you solve the problem by making that part easy for them. You help them with exercises that they can do with their baby right next to them or you give them fast and easy meal prep ideas so they can execute them easily. By knowing your audience and knowing their mindset, you get to understand their struggles and then you can address those.
From a designer’s perspective, we like to look at who the target market is because this is who we design for. We want to appeal to who we are marketing to and there are different ways to design and psychology based on different people. Yes, other people might find it interesting too, but we want to be able to speak to your main audience through design.
Whenever we work for clients, we always ask them who their target audience is. The problem is, majority of new businesses haven’t done this market research yet and do not know who they want to target. The answer to the question should never be “everyone.”
I have a few short steps so that you can help identify your target audience. Once you can identify your target audience, then you are able to know where they are hanging out, how to design for them, how to speak to them, and how to solve a specific problem they are having.
STEP 01 – YOUR DREAM CLIENT
The first thing I like to start with is defining who your dream client is. This is the ideal person that you want to work with, who value your creative expertise, and who you have a good working relationship with. If you have had past clients that were a dream to work with, try basing these qualities off of them and what made them great to work with. By defining your dream client, you are deciding that these are the type of people you want to work with and you want to market to these people.
Answer these question about your ideal client – You want to think about demographics and psychographics (the study of consumers based on their activities, interest, and opinions).
+ How old is your dream customer? (Usually less than a 10 year age range)
A customer who is 43 is going to have different problems and struggles compared to someone who is 25.
+ What is their gender?
Men and women also have different problems and you want to consider your design, colors, and fonts when designing for the genders.
+ What is their profession? Are they another business? Are they working for a corporation and trying to freelance? This question lets you in on their problems and what their struggles might be. Their profession can also give insight on how much income they have, are they a high end client or a client on a strict budget?
+ How did they find you?
How do you want your dream client to find you? Were they scrolling through Instagram and found your profile? Did you stumble on Pinterest to find one of your pins? This lets you know where your target audience is hanging out. How are most people finding your website? Use that platform to your advantage.
+ Why do they want to work with you?
What do you offer that they like? Why would they want to work with you over anyone else?
+ What (emotional) problem do they have that you can solve?
This is the question that appeals more to someone’s deeper emotions. People don’t buy your goods and services, they buy the solution. They imagine how your solution is going to make them feel after the purchase. They might feel that your course will give them the information and therefore the confidence to sell more to their clients. They might feel your product will save them time that they can spend with their family. Or they can feel like your service will help give them more freedom in their business.
+ What are their biggest struggles?
+ What are their biggest dreams?
+ What are their biggest fears?
+ What are they passionate about?
+ What is one problem that they have? Something that is holding them back in life?
+ What would their life be like if they hired you or bought your products?
These types of demographics give you clues on where they are hanging out, how you should speak to them, how you should design for them, so you can market your product or services to them.
STEP 02 – CHECK YOUR ANALYTICS
If you already have an audience, then you can start seeing the data on your social platforms. Majority of social platforms will have some data on who is liking and interacting with your brand.
STEP 03 – CREATING A MOOD BOARD OF YOUR AUDIENCE.
Once you have the previous steps completed, we are going to take the dream client avatar idea a little further. I like to create an actual image of what my dream client is like and what they wear, their interests, etc. I’m a visual person so I like to create a mood board so I can actually picture what my dream client is like. I use Pinterest to start gathering images of what my dream client would pin. What do they like? Are they pinning clothes, recipes, interior design, wedding images? What types of clothes do they wear? I’ll pin what I think their apartment would look like or what their dog might look like, or even what kind of car they drive. Once I gather these images I will create a mood board in Illustrator or Photoshop (or you can use Canva). Here is an example of what one of our target audience mood board could look like:
Creating this mood board will give you a visual on who you are talking to which makes it easier for you to market to. You can understand their income and what their interests are and this makes it easier to talk to and design for this person. You put yourself in their shoes so you can understand their situation better. It is easier to find out what their problems are and how you can solve them.
Get into the mindset of your audience. The more you know about them the more you know their struggles and pain points. Your target audience will probably continuously evolve but as you gain an audience you can start seeing data and getting feedback from your audience. Eventually you will be able to ask them directly what kind of content or help they need. This mood board exercise is something that gets you started but as you get more experience you will get better at identifying your audience. Make sure you check your website statistics and Instagram/Pinterest analytics because these will give you insight on who is viewing your website and profiles.