Let’s get this out of the way.
You need a target audience if you’re looking to build any type of online revenue.
The biggest mistake you can make as a creator is not understanding who you are talking to. The people that succeed in the Creator Economy are those that are able to hone in on an audience and deliver the right content to them.
It’s like trying to sell a perfectly cooked steak to a vegan. It just doesn’t work.
But how do you find your target audience and more importantly how do you know it’s the right audience?
Some creators think they know exactly who they are talking to only to find out months later that wasn’t their audience at all.
Here’s an example. A Struggle College Student wanted to teach people the value of plant-based eating.
She created a ton of content around plant-based eating and how it can help you lose weight and live longer.
One day she created a video about protein and how to get it from plant-based foods. It became her most popular piece of content by a long shot.
It turns out that her message was doing a better job of reaching the people that wanted to eat a plant-based diet, but instead of losing weight, they wanted to build or maintain muscle.
With this bit of knowledge, she was able to adjust her message and find greater success because she was delivering the right content to the right people.
And that’s why it’s important to understand your audience.
You Don’t Truly Know Them Yet
Most creators won’t know all of the ins and outs of their audience from the beginning. The best you can do is take a guess and get content out there.
When you think you know everything about your audience, especially because you think you were one of them, that’s when things usually fall apart.
Because there are subtle things about you that might not translate to them.
For example, when people try to teach me about productivity it just doesn’t resonate with me. Not because I don’t want to learn and master that stuff, but because I have ADHD.
So their tactics don’t apply to me at all.
However, the productivity guru that solely speaks to the ADHD audience knows my struggles and concerns and can address them easily. I’ll listen to them all day long.
So before you feel as though your audience is written in stone, go in with the mindset that over time things will evolve.
What Is a Target Audience and Why Do They Matter?
Before we answer these questions let’s first take a look at the Pocket Business Framework:
- Get them to notice you
- Get them to pay attention to you
- Get them to trust you
- Convert that trust into money
Every successful online creator on the planet follows this framework.
And this framework only works when the messaging works.
With the right message, you’ll get people to notice you. If you continue to deliver the right message then they’ll pay attention to you. If you deliver that message consistently then they’ll trust you.
And finally, the message will help you get them to buy from you.
The message is everything but you don’t know the message if you don’t know your audience.
It’s like when someone you love comes to you crying and you ask what’s wrong, but they can’t tell you. You don’t know how to help because you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
How can you be an effective creator if you don’t know what problems your audience has?
To sum it up, knowing your target audience is the difference between making 6-figures and beyond as an online creator or wondering why things just aren’t working for you.
So let’s figure out who your audience is, okay?
How to Find Your Target Audience
Chances are you might already know your audience.
Maybe you’re talking to bodybuilders. That’s great, but you still need to get more specific.
We will get to that in a bit.
For everyone else, it comes down to what topic(s) you want to create content around.
I guess for this guide we need to pick one and walk through it.
How about starting a side hustle? Sound good?
I very well could create a ton of content around side hustles and if you look at YouTube, you can see that they do very well.
However, I want to get more specific because I want to understand my message better. Simply talking about side hustles to anyone means that I’m trying to reach everyone, but not connecting with anyone.
So I’m going to narrow it down to men who have a family and a 9-5 job.
Now, this is where you can get fancy. The fact that they have a family or a 9-5 job doesn’t really matter. It’s what issues come with those things that will help to define my message.
The big one would be they don’t feel they have much time to pursue a side hustle.
Okay, that’s something that I can start to base my message around.
How to start a side hustle in just 30 minutes a day.
What other problems do they have?
With a family to take care of they don’t want to waste their time with side hustles that are making them $5 an hour so I wouldn’t bother with those.
How to start a side hustle with just 30 minutes a day that makes your $5,000 a month.
Now, what do you notice about this?
It doesn’t just apply to the man with a family and a 9-5. It can apply to a lot of people! Again, the demographics of it being a man, having a family, and a 9-5 don’t really matter.
I just needed those to help me hone in on my messaging.
So my audience is really people that don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to waste it on small side hustles. They want a side hustle that offers a chance of quitting.
Do Demographics Matter?
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.
When talking about demographics I mean the following:
- Sexual Preference
- Age (18+)
This is the type of demographic information that old-school marketing firms would look at.
Some people use demographics to their advantage to hone in on an audience. You might help women move up the corporate ladder.
That gives you a more defined audience than the person that helps anyone move up the corporate ladder.
It really comes down to if you see it as an advantage in adding a demographic or two to your audience.
For what we teach here at Struggle College, demographics don’t matter and wouldn’t provide us with an advantage so we don’t use them. Yes, this makes our potential target market a lot bigger, but that also makes it harder to stand out with people.
So, do demographics matter? They can, but not always.
How to Define Your Target Audience
It’s not the easiest thing to define a group of people and it’s important to understand you aren’t going to be shouting from the rooftops all of the time who your target audience is.
But if you’re going to reach your target audience with a solid marketing campaign, then you need to define them.
Start With Market Research
I know, this sounds super serious, but it doesn’t have to be.
Doing any type of audience research in today’s online world usually means doing what you’re already doing: browsing websites and social media.
For example, I love to use Reddit and Twitter to help me see what my potential audience is talking about.
What am I looking for specifically?
- What posts are popular
- What are people asking in the comments
- What outcomes are they hoping to achieve
- What are the problems or pain points that are stopping them from achieving the outcome
- Who is doing most of the talking
Looking for these things can give me a pretty good idea about the makeup of my target audience. It’s amazing what can be found on social networks.
People are actively out there telling you who they are and what they want.
Getting Better With Your Marketing Messages
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help bring more clarity to who your target audience is:
- Do they label themselves already? For example, I like talking to Creators. If I wanted to take it further I might say wannabe-Creators or shackled by work Creators. For another brand, I like talking to Talented Underachievers.
- Does the label make sense for the journey? This one can be a little tougher to determine but if I wanted to teach people how to tie their shoes then would it make sense to just say my audience is women? I help women tie their shoes! Do women have different issues with tying their shoes than men? Not that I know of so this wouldn’t make much sense.
Knowing Your Target Audience Means More Money as a Creator
If you want to get the best return from your marketing efforts (this means creating content) then you want that content to do something.
More specifically, you want that content to convert your audience from casual consumers to actual buyers.
The better you know your audience then the better your marketing message is which means you make more money with less effort.
That sounds like the most ideal situation to be in.