Do you ever feel like you’re playing hide and seek with customers? Finding a product-market fit is one of the toughest challenges that entrepreneurs will face. If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of targeting your audience, read these twelve proven tips.
1. Pick an audience you can relate to.
“Find a crowd you’ll want to be a part of, and whose goals and intentions resonate with [yours]. Then look for their gaps, needs, and pain points and tailor your product or service to them. That way, you set yourself up for client interactions that will keep fueling your motivation and enthusiasm for your work.”
– Andrea Bailey, Founder of Lightbox Communications, @LightboxPDX
2. Look at your customers’ long-term potential.
“It’s easy to get consumed, early on, with one parameter: customers that will pay. That’s a great start, but it can take you in a number of different directions and as a startup [you] need to be really efficient with how [you] invest resources. I always try to think one level deeper and a bit longer term. Who are customers that will pay or adopt early, but of those, which ones will share their experience with others? That’s your target audience.”
– Fred Yu, Co-Founder of Repair Jungle, @RepairJungle
3. Specify your target audience.
“People under 35 is not a ‘target’ audience; it’s a broad audience. The more narrowly, and precisely, you can identify your target audience, the better you will be able to identify appropriate communication vehicles and create compelling messages to move them toward some desired action.”
– Linda Pophal, Owner and Consultant at Strategic Communications, LLC., @StratCommun
4. Imagine your ideal customers.
“In order to initially identify a target market, I advise my clients to draw them or imagine them and ask the following questions: what do they wear, where do they go, what do they do with their time, and what do they read? By answering these questions, you can determine your target market based on the statistics they provide including age, demographic, income range, etc.”
– Shannon Etnyre, Founder and CEO of True North: Creative Business Planning, @followtruenorth
5. Conduct keyword research.
“Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine how many people are searching for keyword terms related to your product or service. Startups should utilize [this tool] to determine what their potential customers actually want, based on what they are searching for on Google.”
– Adam Hoeksema, Co-Founder and CEO of ProjectionHub, @ProjectionHub
6. Work one-on-one with potential customers.
“When I was working one-on-one with people, I quickly got a feel for who my target audience was and my ideal client. Every interaction I have with a client helps me further understand my target and helps me gain even greater clarity on my ideal client as well.”
– Amber McCue, CEO of Nice Ops, @AmberMcCue
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