As a business owner, one of the most important things we can do is take the time to understand our audience. We might have the greatest product and the greatest service, but if we don't know who our customers are, we won't understand the best way to serve them.
Let's start with who our audience is not. Number one, your audience is definitely not everybody. There's no way to properly market to the entire world! So, we need to narrow that down….but do not narrow it down to family and friends!
How many times do you see business owners complaining on social media that their family is not supporting? Guess what?! Your family and friends are also not your ideal customers. Don't stress over whether they support you or not! It's always nice to have that cheering squad, but it's not necessary to grow your business.
So, let's look at who your REAL ideal customers are.
I like to break my customer segments into three different areas: the target audience, the personas, and lastly the avatars. To help illustrate, I’ll use examples from my own company, W.O.M.B.
I'll start with the target audience. Most of us have a pretty good idea of who our target audience is. We usually have them in mind while we are designing our products and our services. For example, W.O.M.B., is a business networking organization for women of color. Our target audience is literally in our name, Women-Owned Minority Businesses! Since this is a fairly easy decision, this is often where business owners stop, with the target audience. But if you really want to be effective at reaching your ideal customer, you need to take it a few steps further.
Next, I break my target audience down to personas. A persona is a description of your audience demographics. I like to call it their resume - their age, race, occupation, marital status, and location. These elements give you more details about your ideal client’s lifestyle. In W.O.M.B., we break our target audience, women entrepreneurs of color, into four categories. Our Incubators are women who are looking to start a business. Our launchers are in their first two years of business. Our accelerators own established businesses but still work full-time on a job. Lastly, our influencers are full-time business owners earning over six figures yearly. Knowing these details about our target audience allows us to understand how they will use our services and which services will impact them the most.
But if you really want to have a complete understanding of how to work with your customers, you want to know your avatars! Your avatars are your ideal client's psychographics. It is having an understanding of their personalities, likes, dislikes, goals, and fears. It’s understanding that your ideal client likes to shop on Saturday afternoons because her kids have football practice in the mornings every weekend. Let's use “Tasha” as an example. “Tasha” is W.O.M.B.’s avatar for our launcher persona. She is a college graduate, working full-time in Corporate America. She has two kids under the age of ten. She actually enjoys her job but has always wanted to open her own boutique. So, she started an online store, but with the kids’ sports practices and after-school activities, she finds it difficult to give the store the attention that it requires.
Personifying your ideal client allows you to understand their pain points and have a clear picture of how to address them. After all, the point of business is to solve a problem for profit. If you're not solving problems for anyone, you're not running a sustainable business. Take the time to study your ideal customer. Your clients and your bank account will thank you!
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Don’t forget! Be blessed and be a blessing! Bye for now!