You can picture it now, your dream customer, buying your product and sharing their adoration with friends and the chain-reaction that follows. Before you can fathom the fandom, you’ve got orders pouring in from all over the place! The only problem is, as much as you can see this scenario in your mind, you can’t quite picture the customer. You’ve got a basic idea but nothing super specific. And this is a problem because not everyone is a potential customer.

I repeat, not everyone is going to want what you’re selling.

The number one mistake people make when going into business is failing to understand their target audience. Not only does this hinder your success but it potentially alienates groups of consumers you never even knew you should be marketing to. A target audience refers to the individuals that your product will excite. If you don’t know your customer, how will you reach out to them and show up on their radar? How will they SEE you? How will they LOVE you? How will you demonstrate how utterly KICK-ASS you are to them?

Before you start dreaming up your branding, content or marketing strategies you need to first dream up your ideal customer.

How to identify your target audience

Whether you realise it or not, you have a target audience and it is vital to understand what inspires them to purchase the products and services that they do. Not only will this improve your engagement with them, it will help you to create better branding, content and marketing that permeates their buying process. A buyer-decision making process is how a consumer evaluates the emotional, physical, spiritual or financial benefit that your brand/product has to offer. What need are you meeting? What problem are you solving? How will you make them feel? How are you better for them than your competitors?

The best place to start identifying your ideal tribe is to ask yourself the following questions and relate them back to your business:

Who are your customers? How old are they? Where are they? What do they do for a living? What do they love? Do they have any struggles? How does your product benefit them? In general, what motivates them to buy things? What might motivate them to buy from you? How should they feel after doing business with you?

By taking the time to find out WHO your customers are and what they want, you will ultimately improve your business offer and create happy customers.