When marketing a product or service the first thing you want to do is get clear on who your audience or ideal customer/client is. Where are they spending their time and what are their challenges?

In order to find our audience online, we first need to know who they are. Knowing our desired client will impact every aspect of our marketing regardless of whether it’s content, paid traffic, product creation, writing copy or email messages.

Remember, it is a person just like us who buys our products and services so we should be clear on their characteristics so we can find them and offer them a message that moves them to action.

Before we determine how to reach our audience let’s run through five simple steps to determine who we are talking to.

  1. What are their goals and values? Decide what your ideal audience wants to achieve and what they have committed to do in order to achieve these things.
  2. Where are they spending time getting their information? Determine who their favorite authors, gurus, websites, and conferences are. Try using the following statements to uncover this information: “My ideal customer would read {BOOK} when no one else would.” “My ideal client would attend {CONFERENCE} when no one else would.”
  3. What is your ideal customer or clients demographic? (Age, Gender, Marital Status, The Ages Of Their Kids, Where They Live, Occupation, Income Bracket, Education Level, and Hobbies.) You could even go as far to imagine what their favorite quote may be in order to try to get inside their mind.
  4. What are their challenges and pain points? This is important so that you can craft your message in the form of a solution – this is the key since people do not buy products and services, they buy results and solutions.
  5. What are their objections and role in making the decision – are they the decision maker or the decision-influencer? (You should know in advance why they would NOT choose you so that you can answer the objections in the original sales conversion.)

Now that you have created a vision of your ideal client you are ready to create your attraction statement. This will be the core on which you build your audience and your message. Complete the following statement:

“I want to attract __________ who struggle with __________.”

Perhaps you want to attract moms who struggle with weight loss, students who struggle to pay off student loans, professionals who struggle with designing their website. Create that statement and tell us yours in the comments below!

Now that we know who we are trying to reach with our message, how do we find them? We want to look past the obvious, such as people who are already engaging with our blog, website, and social platforms. We want to start seeking out the audience who has not yet discovered us.

One way to get noticed is to jump into conversations that surround your topic by following hashtags or answering questions on Quora. Even better, get into the conversations that are happening with key influencers to get noticed by their audience. Influencers may include bloggers, suppliers, affiliates, thought leaders, current clients/customers, potential clients/customers or journalists.

You can easily find these people with free monitoring tools that track who is talking about topics associated with your niche such as Social Mention and Board Reader. These tools will help highlight who has a voice in your subject area.

Now we are ready to start finding our audience through our social networks. This excerpt from Marketing Donut gives us some great examples of where to start looking:

How to find people on Twitter

  • Search.twitter.com is a favorite. It has a wide criteria range to search on, including location (handy for local businesses). Also, use this tool to find the key influencers in your industry and browse their follower/following lists. You could find some great people to connect with there.
  • Also, pay attention to hashtags being used for events, you could find some great people there.

How to find people on LinkedIn

  • Search for the names of those people you’ve already identified by name using LinkedIn’s search box.
  • You can also use this search box to search for keywords that will be included in profiles. Make the most of using OR or AND in these searches to include a few keywords (OR allows you to look for any one of those terms in the profile, AND allows you to look for a number of words).
  • You can also search for people using their email addresses.
  • Join groups that fit your interests or industry. Once you’ve been accepted as a member, browse the member lists and find people with shared interests that you want to connect with.

You can’t simply choose to connect with people on LinkedIn as you can on Twitter. They need to give their approval, so if they’re connected to you through someone you’re connected to, request to be introduced to them.

How to find people on Facebook

  • Use the find people tool by popping your email address in. It finds all those people in your address book that are using Facebook.
  • Search for fan pages in your subject area and browse other fans there.
  • Once you’ve connected with some key influencers, browse their friends and connect with people that way.
  • When using the search function, filter your results to drill down to the people you’re looking for.
  • Use the search for workmates function to find people affiliated with companies.
  • Keep an eye on the suggestions that pop up on your news stream.

This can take a little time but it’s well worth the effort. Understand that this is not a one-time job either, set a reminder to review your connections on each profile every month or so to keep it fresh and to ensure you’re not missing anyone crucial to your business.

Once you have found your audience your job is now to connect, build relationships and learn about your new friends’ pain points so that you can offer them a solution. Get involved in conversations and give away value to position yourself as a leader or expert.

Now it’s your turn – tell us in the comments below how you find your audience. Before you go, don’t forget to click the image below to join our FREE community for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals just like you!





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