#5 - Do you know your audience?

October 6, 2020

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In today’s episode, Matt explores knowing who your audience really are, and why it has a huge impact on your business and sales.

He walks through the ways you can build a robust client avatar, and how you can use this to attract a flow of ideal leads into your business.

Matt also talks about how even some of the most successful businesses can get it wrong, when they don’t clearly define who their audience are.

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Hey friends! Matt here. Let’s have a talk about who your audience are and how you can define them.

Before you create content, marketing funnels and adverts that promote your products or services, you need to do your research. By this I mean that you need to define the audience that you will be targeting and what it is that they actually want.

If you’re not taking the time to define your audience and understand what it is that they want, then you’re just guessing. That’s not a smart strategy for anyone.

The best way to do this is through creating a client avatar or persona.

A client avatar allows you to give your audience a persona and to think about their pain points, goals and potential objections.

Finding out the “why” of your potential customers, enables you to create and deliver great content that brings value and solutions to their challenges.

Your first step is to do some research

Now research definitely isn’t a “sexy” topic. I’m not going to sit here and pretend it is whilst I’m talking to you today. However, it truly does have the potential to make or break your business.

If you have existing clients who fit the demographic of the audience that you intend to target, you can talk to them. Groundbreaking right?

Taking the time to talk to your customers who are already spending money on your products or services, will help you to listen to any problems they have, and most importantly find out their “why”.

Pick up the phone and give them a call. Ask questions, talk to them. Be a human being and have a great conversation!

If you’re allergic to the phone, you can set this up using a survey that you email out to your customers. Google Forms is a solid free option for creating and running a survey. SurveyMonkey are also a good option for small surveys, just be careful if you get over 100 responses as it’s very expensive to pay monthly. That’s a little trap that Mel and I fell into when we didn’t properly read the small print! No-one’s perfect right?

Finally, if you know where your ideal audience hang out online, you can look at the problems, issues and goals that they talk about. This could be a Facebook group, an industry forum, comments on blog posts or even book reviews on Amazon.

It’s amazing just how much data you can find when you take the time to look for it. This is one of those times where you should be avoiding shortcuts and doing the legwork because it will pay off.

Don’t forget about Reddit, which is a great resource. There are so many sub-reddits on various topics, you’ll nearly always find something useful.

I like to collect my research into a folder on my computer, and then to back this up online. 

I’ll have a mixture of notes from conversations with customers, the results of surveys that we have emailed, surveys or polls from our Facebook group and also content saved from online research.

As a tip with your online research – don’t just save a link to a forum thread or post. It’s all too easy for a website or post to disappear in the future. Instead, install a browser add-on that will take a full page screenshot and save it as a PDF or PNG file.

Now you have a static file that saves the data that is important to you and you won’t lose it in the future. 

I can tell you from experience how utterly frustrating it is when you try and go back to a great piece of data or information that you found, only to find that the website is now offline or the forum thread was deleted.

Your next step is to create your client avatar

Your new client avatar is going to focus on five key areas. Let’s walk through these together…

1. Information and Demographics

This is where you give your avatar a persona. It doesn’t have to be a real person. It can be entirely fictional, as long as you’re basing it on your knowledge and data from your research.

For demographics, you’ll include name, age, gender and location. You can also consider other fields such as marital status, occupation or if your persona has children.

The idea is that you’re creating a persona you can understand and identify with.

Here’s an example that I might use:

Name: John Smith
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Location: Boston, USA
Occupation: Digital Agency Owner
Marital Status: Married
Children: 2 (both under the age of 10)

John would be a digital agency owner with typically around 5-10 years of experience running his own digital agency. Before this he worked for others and carried out some freelance work, honing his craft.

John is married and has two children. Why is this important information for me? Because I know that this is one of the main things that motivates John for success. If I can create products that help John to get success faster and to give him more time to spend with the family that he loves – John will pay me for those products.

When you write copy, create a video or record a podcast, you can imagine that you’re talking directly to the persona that you’ve created. It gives you a powerful ability to speak in your audience’s language, explaining things in a way that they understand.

I like to create all of the content for our business and the episodes for this podcast as if you are sitting on the other side of my desk. It’s important to me that we both feel like we’re having a conversation with each other.

2. Goals and Values

You want to consider the goals and values of the client avatar that you’re creating.

For example you can think about:

  • What motivates them?
  • What goals do they have in their business or personal life?
  • What really important values do they have?
  • What is their “why”?

This should be something that you can answer from the research that you’ve carried out and also your knowledge in your specific niche.

A common motivating goal for a business owner will be to provide a better life for their family. Just like I mentioned in the example with John previously.

Once you’ve finished working through this information, you’ll have a list of goals and values.

An example of a goal might be: Scale the business and bring in more staff to enable [client] to focus on important tasks

Whereas a value might be: 1 or more hours of professional development for all team members each week

3. Sources of Information

Where does the persona in your client avatar get their information from? 

By understanding how they access and consume information, you gain knowledge of how to capture and hold their attention. You’ll also know where you need to place your adverts. Sneaky huh?

Here are some example information sources, to get you thinking… Books, Magazines, Blogs / Websites, Events and Conferences, Industry Gurus, Social Media.

When thinking about the answers for each of these sections, it’s a good idea to use what some call the “but no one else would” strategy. The idea with this strategy is to find the information sources that your ideal customer will be attracted to – but no one else would.

This means you’ll create sentences like these:

  • My perfect client would read [BOOK], but no one else would.
  • My perfect client would visit [EVENT], but no one else would.
  • My perfect client would comment on [BLOG], but no one else would.

As an example, if we think about football (soccer), most people in the world have heard of Christiano Ronaldo. He’s a superstar and well known. If you were targeting the football niche, you’d want to pick someone more obscure. For example, the captain of Liverpool – Jordan Henderson. People outside football don’t know of him, but people who are interested in football do know who he is.

Taking these steps allow you to focus on your ideal customer’s persona, rather than people who wouldn’t be interested in your products or services.

Why is this important? Because you want to be able to capture the attention of just the people who are your ideal target audience.

Let me give you an example of where this fails online, which I saw just yesterday. 

Volvo UK have a Facebook advert running right now offering a “monthly subscription” for an electric car. The advertising copy for this advert wasn’t great and suggested that the car was available “from only £999/m”. That’s the equivalent of around $1300.

Yes it’s more than the average mortgage or rent costs in most of the world, and certainly much of the UK.

Every single reply and comment on this advert were from people who were stunned at the offer. It made zero sense to anyone who saw the advert. Even without a pandemic and a potential global recession, it’s crazy to be showing that advert to people who are baulking at the monthly price point.

Don’t be like Volvo. Take the time to understand your audience and you can effectively target the right message to the right people.

4. Pain Points & Challenges

You need to think about what sort of pain points or challenges your avatar faces in their business and personal life. This should be something you can answer from your knowledge or research.

An example of a pain point might be: Worried about losing business to competitors who are more visible online.

An example of a challenge might be: Training staff and keeping hold of the best performers.

Everything that you create for your business should focus on the particular pain points that your audience has. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

This will define your website copy, blog posts, marketing funnels, emails, sales pages, podcasts, videos and more.

Understanding the pain points and challenges that your potential customers face will help you to create content and stories that they can identify with. You’ll engage and captivate your audience, deliver value through education and position your products or services as the ideal solution.

5. Objections and Business Role

Finally, you should now consider any potential objections that your client avatar might have, as well as their role in the buying process.

We’ll keep this as “B2B” (Business to Business) for the moment, since most of our audience are agency owners, designers, marketers or freelancers who are selling services to other businesses.

When targeting businesses, you want to be focusing on the decision maker. Someone who actually has the capacity to say yes and move things forwards. Targeting anyone else could lead to wasted time, effort and money.

What sort of objections would that person have when considering your products or services? What would stop them from making a purchase today?

Here’s some examples of objections and considerations:

  • Does the service fit our current business model?
  • How will we track the return on our investment?
  • We’ve tried this before and it didn’t work for us.
  • It’s too expensive (Note: This one isn’t an objection. It’s a problem and it’s their problem. My friend Mike Killen wrote a great article about this and I’ll link it above in the show notes)

By understanding your audience’s potential objections, you have the tools to create content that overcomes these objections. 

It’s a powerful thing to know and understand how your audience makes decisions, as it will make your content, marketing funnels and advertising more effective.

It’s time for you to get started!​

We’ve had a talk about what goes into a client avatar. Now it’s time for you to get started and to create one for your business.

If you work as part of a team in your business, schedule in some time this week where you can all sit down together and create a client avatar together.

Don’t be afraid to create more than one client avatar. There are often multiple personas who form part of the ideal audience for your products or services.

As an example, Mel and I have five different client avatars that cover the types of customers who purchase Funnel Packs from our business.

This podcast has three different listener avatars. Yeah I changed the name there as it sounded nicer than “client”. But it’s the same principle. 

You can create as many as you need! The only thing holding you back right now is that urge that you have to load up cat videos on YouTube.

I’d love to hear about the client avatars that you create. Feel free to reach out to me on our website nurtureflow.com if you want to share them.

If you found this episode helpful, please feel free to subscribe in your podcast player of choice. I’d also be honoured if you’d consider leaving a rating or a review if you feel that the content is valuable to you.

Have a great day ahead, you’re awesome. Take care!

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