Renee Ballard

Who are you talking to?

There is a temptation to think that everyone on the planet is your target audience, but unless you’re running Coca-Cola or Walmart, you’ll struggle to make that idea work. If you try to be everything to everyone, your communications start to get diluted to the point where what you’re saying is no longer meaningful to your true target audience.

To define your target audience, it’s a good idea to reverse out the awesomeness of your product. You know how great what it is that you sell. Now apply the great benefits of what you sell to those who needs it most… Whose problem are you solving? This is a such a salient question to ask, in the words of Drag Queen Bianca Del Rio, ‘it bears repeating’… Whose problem are you solving?

Who are they? What’s their specs? Their location, age, lifestage, ethos? Whatever it is that these people have in common, that’s the starting point of establishing your target audience. Keep building from there.

Now it’s time to get very close to them and listen to what they want. The more you listen, the more you’ll get to know them. And as tempting as it is to over-ride research and take a best guess, do the work, because the more you understand your target audience, the more your communications will speak directly to them.

If you don’t believe me, think back to a recent speech you heard from a politician. Their desire to be liked by everyone means they end up speaking to no-one, and making very little sense in the process. It never feels good to listen to, and it certainly isn’t moreish.

No one wants to sound like that, especially if you’re talking on behalf of your business. You want your product to speak to its audience and tell them clearly, “I know your problem, I am here to help, and here’s how”.

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