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10 Ways to Understand and Find Your Target Audience Today

If you have any platform type, you must find your target audience. Whether you are a speaker, a writer, or another type of professional in your field, your target audience directly correlates to your reach. Reach can impact sales and a myriad of other factors.

But, before you start creating content based on reach, it’s essential to know who your core customer is. A great starting point is to ask questions such as:

  • What is the target audience?
  • How do you determine your target audience?

To find your target audience, articulate what it is. The more marketing efforts you put into targeting your social network, the better you can understand your audience. Learning about your audience can happen in several ways.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various ways you can understand your audience and offer a deep dive into what a target audience is. So follow along as we unpack a core topic for multi-level organizations and entrepreneurs alike.

What Is A Target Audience?

A target audience is the specific group of individuals who are most likely to engage with your product or service. Defining your target audience based on age, location, and interests gives you a better understanding of attracting and attaining customers.

It’s helpful to ask, what is an example of target audience? For example, let’s say you work at a small business and are in charge of finding potential customers and using your social media platform to reach this target market.

To find your target audience, you will need to conduct market research, create customer personas based on their pain points, and then use this knowledge to reach your target audience. Finally, you can base your marketing strategies—or marketing campaign—on this collected demographic information.

For instance, if a local gym hired you to do marketing for their target audience, you would first have to find the target audience. The following ten steps will dive deeper into how to do so, but a brief example can be helpful.

Let’s say your local gym offers high-end equipment, services, and membership fees are steep. Your target audience will change simply based on demographics. For example, you will likely target higher-income individuals within a certain mile radius of the gym.

Keep in mind that ever-changing people make up your audience. While there are various layers of target audiences, this article will specifically discuss four types.

The 4 Types of Audiences:

What are the four types of audiences? According to University Lab Partners, there are four key market segmentation types: demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Let’s take a look at each. 

4 types of target audiences

Example of A Target Audience

Imagine you are a speaker launching your first book to understand target audiences better. You present a talk, and audiences love it so much a publisher offers you a book deal. The publisher is part of your target audience. Why? Your primary target audience is the people who resonate with your talk personally. In this case, the publisher took your talk to heart and became a customer.

So, it’s up to you to determine what it was about the book that resonated with the publisher. If your book is on building a business from the ground up and your publisher owns their own business, it’s safe to say like-minded individuals will be a part of your target audience. Therefore, when describing your target audience, it is helpful to create a specific individual to visualize who you need to reach.

How to Find Your Target Audience

You can find your target audience by following ten steps. Sometimes locating potential customers can be as simple as using social media platforms to conduct general research. However, diving deep into the details that take individuals to customers will often take the following steps.

1. Begin With Your Current Audience

When you start the journey of finding your audience, begin with the audience you currently have access to. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Who follows my business already?
  • Who is interested in the products or services I offer?
  • Who have I worked with?
  • Who wants more from me?

Answering these questions will help you determine who is already part of your four audience quadrants and who you could bring in to target your demographics.

2. Know Your Audience (Data)

Next, know your audience tangibly. Hubspot offers a free template for creating detailed buyer personas for your business. These personas help you visualize who you are creating products and content for. Consider how the following information could impact your understanding of prospective customers:

  • Personal demographics
  • Educational background
  • Career path

Collecting quality data is a critical part of the customer acquisition process. While your target audience consists of individuals who need understanding at the human level, it’s essential to know the data connected to your audience at the business level.

3. Think Consumer-First

While the purpose of identifying your target audience is primarily related to running your business successfully, don’t underestimate the power of putting customers first. After all, your consumer allows you to stay in business.

Identifying the needs of your consumers is crucial for the longevity of your business. So whether you sell products or services, spend intentional time putting yourself in the place of your consumers and articulating their wants.

It may seem counterintuitive to think consumer-first when the business must succeed, but the two go hand in hand. To know your business, you must understand the minds of your consumers.

4. Research Top Competitors

Great businesses, CEOs, speakers, and authors usually have a strong understanding of their competitors. Assessing the competition can save you hours. Your most successful rivals have already established their target audiences and put marketing strategies in place. Researching your competitors can save you hours. Your rivals have already researched their target audiences and used marketing strategies that work well or don’t work well.

Learn from their time investment and choose what might work well for your company. Be careful not to steal business strategies and implement others’ campaigns, but take ideas from top competitors and use them to brainstorm new strategies for your own company.

Whether you run a one-person business or are the CEO of a large corporation, it’s essential to learn from those around you and note potential areas for growth.

5. Make Use of Surveys and Polls

While it’s helpful to conduct backend research, collect data, and research top competitors, hearing directly from your audience can be the information you need to make lasting change.

Creating original surveys is a sure way to determine your target audience. If time constraints pressure your audience, stripping the survey down to a simple poll. Hearing from individuals who want to work with you sets your business up for success. In addition, this type of research adds a personal element to the business-buyer relationship.

Surveys allow individuals to speak for themselves and show you which keywords and phrases audiences use most frequently. Meanwhile, polls allow you to collect black and white answers to make sound decisions regarding your target audience. Using both options can quickly take your research to a deeper, more personal level.

6. Articulate Trends Among Your Most Active Consumers

Finding and articulating trends among your most active consumers will help you find your core audience. Recently, Thought-Leader analyzed the top 100 TED talks to assess what information was most relevant to our aspiring TEDx customers. We discovered things our target speaking audience wanted to know through this process.

Such as:

  • The most common color when speaking
  • The power of broad questions
  • How top speakers build trust
  • Audiences love stories
  • Credibility is crucial

We then leveraged our findings across emails and articles that brought in new target customers for our business. As you can see, articulating top trends aids you in knowing how to best market to your audience.

7. Create Your Action Plan

Once you conduct your initial research and collect your data, organize it into an action plan. To do this, consider the necessary tasks involved in executing a target strategy. Tree Free Marketing says there are seven steps to creating a successful target audience strategy:

  • Learn who your best customers are
  • Determine what they want to accomplish
  • Identify what problems may get in their way
  • Understand how these problems make them feel
  • Offer a straightforward solution to the customer’s problem
  • Outline the steps they must take to get to the solution
  • Describe the successful outcomes once they take those steps

Whether you offer a product or a service, creating your action plan is crucial in finding your target audience.

8. Craft A Pitch

In creating fiction or nonfiction writing, writers craft an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a one to two-sentence summary of the book. Similarly, when determining and finding your target audience, it can be helpful to create a summary of your action plan.

To create a pitch or a concise plan of action, ask yourself the following questions:

    Can you become an author without a degree?

    Who makes up my audience currently?

    Can you become an author without a degree?

    What is their pain point?

    Can you become an author without a degree?

    Where do I want to take my audience?

    Can you become an author without a degree?

    How do I lead them to the result?

      Be careful to answer these questions in a sentence or two, so they will stay top of mind. The more condensed your pitch, the more focused your action plan can be.

      9. Think Small To Go Big

      On the topic of concise pitches, it’s vital to think small in the present if you want to go big in the future. According to Business Town, your target market is the beachhead that takes you directly into your marketplace.

      “You want to pick the beachhead, just like they did on D-Day. That’s going to give them their best chance for success. You want to get into the market, you want to hit the beach, you want to consolidate it, get a cash flow going, get the positive cash flow going, and then branch out to other market segments after that’s done and not before.”

      10. Avoid The Scarcity Mentality

      Last but certainly not least, refuse to embrace the scarcity mentality. Personify a mindset of abundance and run with it. With over 7 billion people globally, the chances are high that your target audience is out there.

      There are hundreds, thousands, or millions of individuals who make up your target audience. All you need to do is determine who your audience is, and find them. Ignoring the scarcity mentality will help you collaborate with others in your field who could help you.

      Don’t avoid engaging with like-minded companies. Instead, help them and allow them to help you. There is more than enough to go around, and refusing the scarcity mentality is your first step toward realizing this important fact.

      Want Success With Your Target Audience? Focus On The Valuable Individual.

      In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey says, “How you treat the one reveals how you regard the many because everyone is ultimately a one.”

      Your target audience is not a unit. It is not a mass of human data collected and quantified for the good of your brand or business. Therefore, if you want success with your target audience, it is essential to focus on one valuable person: the individual.

      Remember, individuals, make up the entirety of your target audience. Focus on one person and their needs. Then, when you execute your action plan and find your audience, you will ultimately find the right target customer.

      Your brand will see the benefits, your company will be well-founded, and you will show your audience the consumer is first.


      Sarah Rexford
      Content Writer

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