A vital step to business planning, and developing a sound marketing plan, is ensuring that you know who you are solving problems for and why? The “who” is your target audience, the demographic of people to whom you sell your products or services. Without knowing who your target audience is, you will not go on to launch and maintain a business successfully because logically, without customers, you do not have a business.

Firstly, you cannot assume that everyone will buy your products or services.

And, secondly, you cannot assume that your products or services serve a market need.

You absolutely must do the upfront research on who your key audiences are, in order to develop niche products or services that will attract new customers, maintain customers, and retain customers. It is a cycle that will keep your doors open when you take the time to understand the needs, wants, pains, and desires of your customers.

How do you get started?

There are several questions you should consider to define your target audience, both based on demographics and psychographics.

Demographic Questions (telling you who buys)

  1. How old are you?
  2. What city/state do you live in?
  3. What is your marital status?
  4. What is the highest level of education that you have completed?
  5. What industry/job do you work in?

Psychographic Questions (the science behind why the person buys)

  1. What is your typical day-to-day experience?
  2. What type of things do you share on your social media accounts?
  3. Which publications or blogs do you read?
  4. What are three things that you are experiencing difficulty in completing or achieving?
  5. Describe your last purchase. Why did you consider the purchase?

Clever Me Of course, there are more questions that you can add to both of these lists to determine who your ideal customers are. Download my handy “Discover Your Ideal Customer” worksheet for additional questions, and to help you collect the data quickly.

Once you develop your questions, there are many different ways to gather the information about your ideal customer.

Here are two methods to get started easily:

  1. Ask your customers directly: Hopefully, you have developed relationships with your customers where you can ask them direct questions about their experiences when they purchase or use your services. You can develop a survey or interview them to get feedback.

2. Website and social media analytics: Your website and social media pages can tell you a lot about who is engaging with your content, products, and so on. What comments are people leaving on your blog? What information are you collecting on your lead pages or contact forms? Analyze your metrics frequently.

Download the 50+ Incredibly Useful Online Tools for the Clever Solopreneur e-book for a full list of resources to capture leads on your website, develop surveys, and other related content to help you discover your ideal customer.

As with anything, it will take time to fully understand who your ideal customers are, and to determine the best ways to connect and provide valuable content that resonates with them.

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Remember that your customers are people first, and it is best to personalize their purchasing experience as much as possible because people want to connect with people, not just your brand.