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Module 4 of 9
In Progress

Choosing The Right Audience

I think I wear this phrase down more than any but here it is; “audience is king.” Doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you can’t succeed without an audience. 

Think about pastors, they spend their whole career building an audience in the form of a following. Eventually, most pastors release a book, a course, or a coaching company. Why? Because they not only understand the audience they’re talking to inside and out, but they also already have the audience they need as a foundation to launch a new product. 

It’s no secret that finding the right audience is a key to successful companies. But where entrepreneurs get sidetracked is they try to solve a problem that their audience isn’t actually asking to be solved just because they had a cool idea. Unfortunately, cool ideas aren’t enough to make something truly successful. So, the first question is how do you choose the right audience?

The company I built for nonprofits had one thing that bound the customers together, a common frustration that I had personally experienced. This common frustration was the multiple software systems needed to run a nonprofit organization. There were different software for everything; giving, building an app, web design, customer service, even event tracking. As you can imagine, using this many different products gets expensive fast. But that wasn’t the core of the frustration actually because people don’t mind spending good money on solving issues; I defer here to Apple as a perfect example. iPhones cost double if not triple most android phones, but they aren’t riddled with issues. 

The core issue was the exchange of information across multiple platforms; if you know anything about software, you know this creates chaos for customers as nothing works together or “integrates” easily with each other because they’re all built by different companies. This creates a lot of extra work for administrators who often need to manually reconcile data or profiles across their multiple systems. Again, enter Apple and their unified system and products that are seamlessly integrated.

We set out to be the first company to build an integrated platform that included the most commonly needed software systems. We started with an app and website designer. Building those two products together and completely in sync with each other was the only way to eliminate any friction between the two. 

By doing this we eliminated the need to move content, events, and information from the website to the app. Instead, you would build everything once, and our system built you both an app and website, using the same information. 

Because I had been deeply involved in nonprofits in the past and understood their pain points I created a concept that tapped into the heart of a problem that some nonprofits didn’t even know existed because it’s just how they always did it. They learned to accept the frustration because there was no better option. That’s the true nature of innovation when someone who has just enough experience to understand, but not enough to stick with the status quo creates a simple and meaningful solution. 

 

When you choose to solve a problem on behalf of someone you understand, you build a product that they understand. 

As mentioned earlier, just having a good idea means very little. Good ideas that solve a specific problem for a specific group of people are the only truly successful ideas. Success being defined as having made a long-lived impact in the world or at least in that specific group of people, not by how much money the product made. 

 

Building an audience you can impact.

As an entrepreneur, you could build just about anything you want and make it successful and probably convince anyone to buy it. Not because you’re talented or have the resources, merely because you believe you can and most other people don’t. But should we?

Should we as entrepreneurs build products that we think are innovative because they’re innovative? Even more important, should we build something for an audience that doesn’t really change their lives in any significant way? Or should we build both a product and audience with the sole focus of making a meaningful impact in their life?

I believe making an impact is the truest form of success. Sure, I may be beating a dead horse here but it’s paramount that as entrepreneurs we first define what a successful product looks like before we bring it to our audiences. There are too many “me too” products and services out there that want to ride a wave and do exactly what the person sitting next to us in Starbucks is doing. 

I believe the only way to differentiate your product or service from others is to define the impact you have in the lives of the people you’re serving. Anyone can build a business, literally anyone, but if build for impact and not just make money you will be successful where others aren’t. 

Thinking like this will drive your marketing, your sales, everything you do as an entrepreneur because before you do anything you’ll ask yourself “how can I leave an impact with my audience and customer today?” everything you do will be focused on helping them with authentic advice, truly applicable resources and of course a product that keeps them coming back for more. 

When building an audience ask yourself “who can I impact the most?” and this will drive your discovery of who exactly your product or service is meant for. 

 

Defining An Audience’s Deep Demographics

I recently helped a company that was offering social media management. They had a lot of promise and were booking calls constantly. I invested in them because I saw their success and growth potential. My agency’s growth team and I built out a marketing campaign and invested tens of thousands in ads to the target market they had sold to, which was life coaches. 

The owner, let’s call him Lesley because I always thought that was a cool name, had worked with life coaches for years prior. And because of that, he understood their pain points and frustrations and could sympathize with them on a deep and meaningful level. 

Over the first few months of the campaign launch, we realized very quickly something was off. No one that came in as a lead sold, they all kept saying they didn’t have money, despite us trying to convince them of the money they would actually make from the service – cost replacement.

We later found out all the customers that the company had sold prior were from a single high-level life coaching school that cost $25,000 minimum and made them so successful they had no time. None of them came from an ad. You can see the issue here? The audience may have been right, but the demographics were completely wrong. Most life coaches don’t make anywhere near what the current customers made and thus, they had more time and didn’t really need a product that promised to save them time. A simple mistake in the customer demographics costs tens of thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend and equally as much in wasted time.

The takeaway here is that you can’t just market to a group of people. You really have to really dig into their demographics because it can be the difference between success and failure. Just because you market to single moms, let’s say, doesn’t mean all single moms have the same issues and problems that you’re trying to solve. 

To avoid this in the future, we implemented a simple process to identify not just the customer’s audience (target market) but what I call their deep demographics.  

We had the customer answer at least 5 of these questions that they felt most applied and described your audience (you don’t have to answer them for yourself yet, we’ll do that later): 

 

  • What life stage is your audience in? 
  • What age are they? 
  • Where are they located? 
  • What do they do? 
  • Why do they do it? 
  • Where are they trying to go? 

 

There are a few more questions, but we’ll get to that later. 

After implementing that into our process, we launched another campaign that spoke deeply to the customer’s audience and resulted in getting them 250 sales a month, from just 10 before we started. 

 

Finding and attracting your audience.

After you’re confident in your audience’s deep demographics, it’s time to build a massive and proactive audience that understands your product, your passion, and your shared values. 

When building an audience, there are a few key questions we ask to start this process is: 

  1. Where is my audience? 
  2. Why are they there? 
  3. What can I give them that they will see value in? 

Where is my audience and why are they there?

Depending on your target market, chances are your audience is on one of the many social networks. Social media has transformed the way we reach people because it created the first system of identifying and organizing people with common interests in mass. Before social media, you guessed at what the interests of your audience were because you were subject to use a TV ad, billboard, or mailers. 

But, each social media is about different types of communication. For example, Facebook is about commonality, Instagram is about personality, and YouTube is about knowledge.

So the way you reach people on each platform is different. Here are a couple key examples of the top networks: 

Facebook: built for commonality; use groups to rally people around a common interest or life stages.

Instagram: built for personality; use graphics and videos to engage people in a narrative, almost a mini reality show. 

YouTube: built for education; use videos to teach and help people understand your product and story.

TikTok: built for discovery; use direct and targeted videos to call out, make fun of, or sympathize with your audience. 

Linkedin: built for rapport; use to project your experience and understanding of an industry. 

 

When choosing your marketing strategy, you must first choose a source of audience. Too many companies jump to needing a presence on all the networks and they’re right, they do. But not at first. When you focus your efforts and energy on the ONE network that not only houses your audience but communicates the way your audience best understands, you build a following that fuels the other networks. 

One of my mentees hit the nail on the head and chose TikTok as his source of audience. He helps divorced men get back on their feet and find their passion and manhood again. Check Frank Ortega out here. 3 months after posting his first video, sympathizing with his audience and their pain, he had more than 20k followers. People resonated with his message so much that he didn’t need a “funnel” or fancy sales process, they just reached out asking him to work with them. 

Wouldn’t that be nice? To just attract the customers you want?

Frank built something he was good at, coaching for a reason that mattered to him, depression in divorced men, for an audience he understood, divorced men. In other words Frank used his passion, to build his purpose, for his people. 

Because of this, he saw massive success in getting clients without needing to be pushy, or convincing people that they need his services. 

When you choose and communicate a solution that is so deeply desired by your audience, they chase you. In time, you won’t have to create fancy marketing funnels to rope them into your product or service. 

What can I give my audience for free? 

If you’ve been around sales or marketing for more than 20 minutes you know the law of reciprocity; when you give without asking for anything in return, people want to return the favor which often looks like buying. 

In my agency Apollo Eleven, which pulls over $3M in revenue a year, I built a team of creatives that I call the Growth Team. The Growth Team is 7 experts in their fields of expertise including design, marketing, and copy. They take a customer and grow their company by building the perfect message, creatives, and funnels to attract hundreds and thousands of new potential customers. 

We recently took a customer from 20 leads a month to 900 plus leads a month. This translated to 10 registrations on their product a month to 100+ registrations monthly when we were done. We did it by giving as much value as we could upfront, arguably more value upfront than what we chose to monetize. 

The most effective method we’ve ever seen is giving. Giving something of actual tangible value away before asking for something in return. We don’t ever market the company’s product. We always market a free tool or something of value that resonates with their audience. 

What can you give your audience for free that’s of ACTUAL value? Tips and tricks are nice, but the issue is that most people don’t wait around for tips and tricks, they just google when they need to know how to do something. And unless you’re going to dump tens of thousands into SEO, it’s not an effective strategy. 

I’m not just talking about a “free gift” or “giveaway” either. I’m talking about the consistent, ongoing value that they can use and apply immediately. 

So we go back to “why the audience is on particular networks” to understand what we can offer them that they’ll see value in.

If your audience is on Facebook and looking for commonality, a free, exclusive Facebook group is an amazing tool used by some of the top coaches and consultants out there to attract their audience, nurture them, and pitch an offer only after giving them a free solution-based “course” or “challenge” that adds value to their companies. 

If your audience is on Instagram, they’re looking for personality, so give them a mini reality show of images and videos so that they connect and grow attached to a narrative or personality. One of the best methods I’ve seen on Instagram, which I’d bet works across any network, is knowledge with narrative. 

What I mean by that is giving away what you’re offering for sale in bite-size pieces using a narrative. I follow a brand designer, @dainwalker that has perfected this. Each of his posts explains exactly what your brand SHOULD be and how to build it portrayed through creative narratives like “If your brand was a human” and “Stop digging shallow content.” All the posts have a story or narrative you follow as you scroll through the series. 

He gives away all his knowledge but then has a link in his bio to hire him. That’s marketing genius. He understands that just because you learn relevant and applicable principles around design, doesn’t mean you want to design your own logo. And even if you DID design your own logo and brand, you’re more likely to hire him than the guys who you know nothing about and have never SEEN what they know.

Though you can use lead magnets, the secret here is consistent, valuable, content. Use content to break your product down into bite-size pieces so your audience hires you to apply your product to their problem. 

The other side of the coin here is you don’t always have to stick to just one pain point when working on free content, you can use pain points completely unrelated to your product that your audience relates to. This attracts audiences with multiple different touchpoints and helps them feel understood. 

For example, with the growth team, one time we used a nonprofit speaking guide to attract nonprofits to use our product. We obviously didn’t build anything related to speeches into our product, but we helped solve a problem we knew the audience had. This worked amazingly because it was something they actually cared about and continually needed. 

 

Key Takeaways: 

  • When you choose to solve a problem you’ve had you build a product you’d want.
  • When you choose to solve a problem on behalf of someone you understand, you build a product that they understand.
  • Choose an audience whose lives you can impact. 
  • Define your audience’s deep demographics before marketing. 
  • Before building an audience, figure out where they are and why they’re there. 
  • Attract customers by giving away far more value than you charge for
  • Use content to break your product down into bite-size pieces so your audience hires you to apply your product to their problem.