Know Who You're Trying to Reach

How well do you know your crew, the dream customers you want to reach on social media?

Can you see them as you write your posts, as if they’re standing in the same room? Do you picture them smiling back at you each time you share an image on Instagram?

For the longest time, my people and my crew were only fuzzy shapes in my head. I just couldn’t bring them into focus even though I tried like crazy! So I’d kind of circle around them on Facebook and Twitter, hoping that 1 or 2 of my posts would grab their attention.

Sound familiar?

The first step to doing anything…starting a blog, marketing your business, launching a product, and YES, getting results from social media…is to get clear on who you're trying to reach!

Knowing your audience is the single most important aspect to building your business on social media.

The reason is that when you clearly define your crew, you make it extra easy for them to define you too, which means that the time you invest in social media will pay off 10-20x, simply because of this foundational step. Your dream customers will know right away that your brand is a good fit for them.

Here's what happens when you get clear on your target audience:

  • You know exactly what content to share and when
  • You share more relevant content and posts
  • You speak directly to your audience in a language and tone that they get
  • People are clicking on your content like crazy
  • You get massive traffic, subscribers, and sales
  • Social media is easy, rewarding and profitable!

Can you see the domino effect happening here? All because you drilled down on who you're trying to reach!

This is why it’s important to spend as much time as you need on this step. Whatever you do, please don’t skip over it! If you do, you’ll likely be coming back much later (as I did) until you get it right.

So how do you bring your people into focus?

To start, document what you already know (or assume) about your audience. Start with basic information such as background and demographics:

  • Age
  • Title
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Location

Next, drill down on the way people secretly feel and the things that matter most to them right now. Use the Target Audience Worksheet in this section to answer questions like the ones below, from the perspective of your ideal customer:

  • Who am I?
  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What am I trying to do but can’t?
  • What’s stopping me?
  • How can your content help me?
  • What will change for me after your content?
  • How will I feel when I’ve overcome my problem?
  • Where do I spend my time on social media?
  • What am I searching for online?
  • What are my favorite blogs?
  • Who do I follow on social media?

Once you answer the questions in the workbook, it will be easy to create a statement like this about your audience:

My audience is stay-at-home moms between the ages of 25-45 who want to improve the style and organization of their home but struggle with how to apply the latest design trends on a budget, and don't have time for involved projects. They most likely watch HGTV, follow Emily Anderson and read Apartment Therapy.

Easy peasy. Now you know how to shape your brand on social media and what types of content to share.

Can you see how this is giving you a clear direction? This is priceless info that tells you what your people are trying to do, where they're getting stuck, PLUS you have a good idea where to find them on social media. This is all you need to start building a massive following and community!

Over time, you're going to learn more and more about your target audience, which is why it's so important to #ABLL (always be looking + listening).

In the example above, you may think your people are stay-at-home moms, but they are really professional women with disposable incomes and no time for crafting. What you'd want to do then is to shift your social media content to make sure it speaks to women on-the-go who want to hire high-end designers.

How do you look and listen? I'm glad you asked!

Look at other brands in your niche. Who are their people? Male or female? Millennials or baby boomers? What types of content are these other brands sharing?

Listen to your customers. Some people will naturally be drawn to your business regardless of how you position your brand on social media. They may be the people you are actively trying to reach or they may surprise you completely!

What's important here is to listen to what your customers are saying, because these are the people who have decided that your brand means something to them. You just have to find out what it is.

The tricky thing here is that if you ask your audience (which I highly recommend you do!), they'll tell you what they need. What they won't tell you is how to give them a solution, so you have to get really good at reading between the lines and interpreting what they say correctly.

For example:

My brother is a doctor who started a business targeting older folks wanting to get off medications for things like blood pressure and cholesterol.

What his patients said: I want a program to get off my medication.
What they meant:
I want an easy, done-for-you solution.
My brother's solve:
A gym that requires effort to get to and a workout that is anything but easy.

See the disconnect here? His peeps said they wanted to get off medication, but it was my brother who decided that a gym was what they needed. And this was largely because he himself is a fitness fanatic!

You have to listen to your customers deeply in order to truly understand your target audience. And sometimes you have to hear what they're not saying. When you get this right, you'll know exactly how to create and share social media content that grabs people's attention.

If you need help with this, you may want to describe their current situation, like this:

  • What do they have right now? (BEFORE) chaotic mornings, marketing that doesn’t work, not enough time, boring exercise routine, flat hair, tasteless meals loaded with carbs, you get the gist.
  • What do they most want right now? (AFTER) calm quiet mornings, effective marketing, time to do the things they love, exhilarating workouts, vibrant hair, delicious healthy meals, and so on.

What this helps you do is to understand the pain points your audience has in their before state, and what would change for them after consuming your content. Make sense?