A business is worthless without an audience. Without an audience to market to and ultimately serve, you have no way to exchange what you offer for revenue.
The why’s and how’s of knowing your audience are essential to any successful business. It’s a critical step that must be done before launching any type of business. After all, you don’t want to be wasting your time and money on serving an audience that simply doesn’t exist.
What is an audience?
An audience is simply those who are looking at your business. They could be checking out your website, browsing your online shop, hanging out in your physical store, or just reading your latest social media post.
Note that your audience needs not to be a paying customer. They can be people who are plainly watching how your business operates or just merely observing the way you provide your service.
Ultimately, they observe you because they want to know if your business and what you offer is worth their money. And it’s your job to make sure that they answer ‘YES!’ to that eternal question.
Getting to Know Your Audience
The better you know your audience the better you’ll know how to serve them. If your audience feels you ‘get them’ more than anyone else, they’ll be raving fans for life. Here are a few key principles you should follow when getting to know your audience:
1. Be a member of that audience – I’m not going to start a ballet school because I can hardly spell “ballet”, let alone understand its culture. You need to share your audience’s collective needs or interests. By being a part of the audience, you gain the credibility to provide solutions. One of the fastest ways to fail at a business venture is to soon realize you have nothing to do with the its audience’s culture.
2. REALLY get to know your audience– What is your target audience looking for? What are their needs, desires, hopes, and dreams? What makes them satisfied and dissatisfied? What drives them away? Visit the forums, websites, or blogs where they actively post their thoughts. Take note of the kind of language that they use. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn more about their struggles.
3. Engage and serve that audience – Do not just observe from a distance. Instead, be a contributor. Be the person in the community that is known for being helpful. The more you help the more they will open up to you with the issues or problems they have. Issues and problems you can build a business around solving.
Remember, a business is about building one solid relationship at a time. Those relationships start before you open for business or make your first dollar. They take time to build but they can last a lifetime.
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