The biggest mistake start-ups make is assuming that “everyone” is their target audience. Yes, it may be true for your business that practically everyone could buy your product or service and that everyone would maybe even enjoy it, but within that universal category of every single being on the planet, there is a subset of potential customers who really match what you have to offer.
Think of the subset as your sweet spot – the customers who absolutely adore you, who do repeat business with you and refer other customers just like them. What start-up wouldn’t want more of those types of customers right from the get-go? The key to achieving that is knowing a few key things about them!
7 Essential Things You Should Know About Your Potential Customers
#1: Who BEST Fits Your Business? – Sketch your ideal customer: who are they? What key attributes separate them from the broad category of “everyone”? If you are just getting started and haven’t figured out who your best customers are from historical data, decide who you would most like to work with.
#2: What Motivates Them? – Now that you know who you are targeting, you need to understand what gets them to take action and buy! What causes them the most pain on a day-to-day basis? That’s going to be their biggest motivator: escaping that pain point!
#3: Where They Hang Out? – Think about how you are going to find them. Where to they spend the most time? Where do they gather in groups? Is it online? Is it offline? What media do they consume? Television? Radio? Print? Digital applications? Social media platforms? Knowing how to find them tells you where to focus your time and your marketing.
#4: What Do They Think About Your Brand? – Do your potential customers think highly of your brand or do they even know of it? It’s important to understand their overall brand perception so you can address any misconceptions or provide essential background information.
#5: What Language They Use? – What key words and hot buttons does your target audience use to describe what they are looking for? For example, do they describe toilet training as “potty training” or “toilet training”? Knowing what key words and hot buttons will help you both speak their language and focus your search engine optimization efforts.
#6: Who They Are Influenced By? – Do your potential customers follow what celebrities endorse or are they more influenced by their peers? Meaning do they purchase because of the celebrity Wow factor or the trusted advice of a friend? Knowing who to influence to get to your potential customers gives you more clues as to where to focus your marketing efforts.
#7: What Other Businesses They Work With? – Look around the industry or related industries to see if there is a business or businesses that already have the attention of your target audience. That tells you who to approach as a potential joint venture partner.