One of THE most important tasks you have in your role as an entrepreneur is to not just know and understand your target market, but to know them intimately.
Now of course I realize what the literal translation of ‘intimate’ is and no I’m not suggesting you turn up at their house with a bottle of wine and the Fifty Shades of Grey DVD (although some may be quite pleasantly surprised!)
But I am suggesting you do more than just have a rough idea of who they are.
Knowing your target market intimately means you know where they spend the majority of their internet time, you know what questions they’re asking and what problems need resolving.
It means that you’ve taken the time to find out what is important to them. What their deepest desires, wishes and dreams are.
Why is this important for a business?
Knowing your target audience intimately means that you are not just randomly offering services and products to anyone who happens by.
It means you have taken the time to create products and services that speak directly to them; that answer their questions, that resolve their challenges and that help them make transformational changes.
It also means your customer support and level of understanding and empathy will be second to none which is absolutely crucial in not just retaining customers but also to ensuring those customers eagerly spread the word about your business.
There are some simple steps you can take to get to know your target market on a more intimate level.
Let’s get started.
- Step 1 – Know who they are
Ok so to start with you just need to know who they are. In other words, ‘is your target market male or female?‘, ‘what age are they?‘, ‘are they single or married?‘, ‘are they working or studying or retired?‘, ‘do they have kids?‘, ‘where do they live?, ‘what are their interests?‘ etc.
Paint a picture if your ideal customer as if they were a friend you were about to go and have drinks with.
- Step 2 – Pay attention to their questions
So now you know who they are, you need to know what they’re thinking. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to pay attention to their questions.
You’ll find their questions all over the interweb!
Just look for your ideal market on social media, on forums, on blog comments etc. They are everywhere, looking for answers.
Move around the net with them. Make a note of repetitive questions and issues that need solving and set about solving those issues with your products and services.
- Step 3 – Ask them what they’re looking for
On your own social media sites, websites & email lists, create polls / surveys (I use google docs) periodically to find out what concerns your target audience might be having. Make the surveys relevant to your business and sincerely ask them for their opinion.
People want to be heard so giving them the opportunity to speak their minds is a great gift that a good company will give to their customers.
It’s important to note that once you get their answers to your polls, take the time to really look at what they had to say and how some of their suggestions can be incorporated into the way you do business. You can’t include everything that every customer wants, but you’ll get to see which issues are a priority.
By following these simple steps above, you will get to know your target market on a much more intimate level and can start to build a real relationship with them that will last a long time.
There are customers out there that will stick with a business all their lives because they feel the business sees them as more than just a wallet to take from. Following these steps can turn you into one of those businesses they stick with for life.
There are a multitude of ways to get to know your customers at a deeper level, the key is to make it a life long mission.
Trends change, opinions change, needs change and people change. Getting to know your customer isn’t a one-time thing.
It’s a bit like a marriage in that you’re always working together to tweak and improve your relationship as you grow.
Love your customers and they’ll love you back!