Helllooooo my lovelies!
Welcome to another episode of the Audacious Babe Podcast. Today I wanted to chat with you about your ideal audience. This is such an important topic. It gets overlooked a lot. Even though people know they need to define their target market, they rarely do it at all or maybe not do it correctly or at least half heartedly. I have noticed, when working with startup students at the university of essex but also when chatting with small business owners in general, especially in the photography industry, everyone is kind of aware of this step as being part of their marketing strategy, but most just brush over it.
So I want to stop you right there! Identifying your ideal audience is NOT just and I repeat NOT just for your marketing strategy. This affects your entire business. Yup it is THAT important really.
This step really builds the entire foundation for your entire business. It affects the clarify you have for your business, it affects what kind of products and services you might offer and it obviously influences how you want to reach these people. Without knowing who your products and services are for, how do you expect to reach anyone and make any sales? Especially in today’s marketplace. Knowing and really being in your ideal audience’s mindset will help you in every aspect of your business. All the way down to the nitty gritty of your wording used in your Facebook ads or on your price booklet.
Ok if this sounds somewhat daunting to you right now, don’t worry. This is a process. Nothing is written in stone but by following certain questions step by step, you reach a clarity you did not have before you sat down. I can promise you that. It does help. And even when you already established for a few years you should always revisit this time and time again. Because sometimes we forget who our ideal audience actually is and then our messaging gets a bit mixed. Or our business has changed over the years and so has our ideal audience. It is all an ever evolving process. As long as you are a business owner, this will always change and evolve.
But also look at it this way, it is great fun actually to sit down and really brainstorm about your audience. Really get into their mindset and find out where they hangout, online and offline, what kind of products they consume, who they really are. I think this is such exciting stuff and it satisfies my inner geek I guess to really get stuck into this.
When I first had the idea of the Rise and Shine Society, this was the most interesting phase and I had a lot of fun. It is a combination of dreaming but also getting the clarity about this idea at the same time. When you first start out in business you might have a rough idea what you want to do and offer but it is all very much in a big blur sometimes. This is also sometimes true when you are already established for a few years. Things get muddled up and the clarity you might have once had changes and you are left confused. So I think always coming back to this step is a great help to really get back your focus for your business. And when you are just starting out, this is the best foundational work you can treat yourself with.
So that you are not left to your own devices I’ve once again created a little workbooklet for you to help you through this. Just download it and follow along today’s episode. I promise you it will ask all of those important questions to really get into the nitty gritty of your ideal audience. You can download the PDF here.
Okay, ready? Then let’s get crackin’. Haha
So what does ideal audience actually mean? You’ve probably heard of this before “Ideal audience” or also known as “Ideal client” “Idea Customer” or even “Ideal Market”.Or target market, customer client.
All are the same really. Your ideal audience are the people that you are creating your products and services for, that you are trying to reach to book you for your photography, your ideal couples who are getting married for example if you are a wedding photographer, or your ideal families. Or your ideal boudoir clients. Whatever your genre.
Why is this so essential? Well in today’s marketplace where everything is very loud, hectic and attention spans are short, you need to know who you are trying to reach in order to get your marketing messages to them, to be heard in the sea of shouting really. I always envision the world and the market place to be one big hall full of people and full of vendors all shouting at the same time. Who would understand anything?! So instead of getting in front of EVERYONE and start shouting in the hope something will stick, imaging going into the quiet next door room and speak in a normal volume to a portion of those people wandering around. But those people in that tiny room with you can actually hear you, can digest what you are saying and are all willing to buy from you as you are servicing to their needs.
Ok you find this scenario a bit too abstract and don’t understand how to apply this to your photography business? Ok let’s simplify it and make it more applicable.
To really understand why this is so important, maybe envision this scenario instead – I’ve read this somewhere once and it stuck with me:
Imagine you have a burger van as your business trying to sell on the busy roads of New York. The streets are full of people and by-passers. So you think to yourself, awesome! I’m gonna sell a ton of my burgers today. And some people on the streets are indeed really interested in your burgers and immediately come running, but then you also have some that are not so much interested and then even further you might have a lot of vegetarians and vegans around too. So you are reaching some few people maybe but with a lot of others your messages and products don’t stick at all. And that is ok.
But now envisioning taking that same burger van to a beef convention (haha does something like this actually exist?? Who knows. Let’s pretend for this scenario it does.). Those people at the beef convention are all interested in beef and beef related products are they not? So selling to this smaller niche market than selling to the general public on the street is much more beneficial and you can reach your kind of people, your tribe of people to its best potential. It is very targeted and people come practically running and scoop up everything you say/do/sell. They might even start to believe in your brand and become a true evangelist. But that is a topic for a whole different episode I think haha Also let me just apologies to those people who are listening that are actual vegans or vegetarians…sorry I made you envision burgers and beef conventions… but I hope you get the point I was trying to make despite the food choice. 🙂
The first thing you need to remember when narrowing down your target audience is that not everyone will want the services you provide — and that’s OK. That’s actually a good thing.
Why? Because as you can see from the burger van example, the more specific you can get with your service offering and who these are for, the more likely you are to have the *right* type of customer. You want clients who truly see the value in what you have to offer, and are willing to pay accordingly. It is to be mentioned though by defining your ideal audience doesn’t mean that you are necessarily excluding anyone else who might not fit the profile, they will still feel attracted to you but those are the outliers. In order to get your message across you need to really define your target. Always think burger van! Hahaha… making me hungry right now!
Ok. I hope you are still with me at this point. Let’s get into the worksheet then. Download your copy here.
You can even take it further than that and create a customer avatar which is like a profile for one of your ideal customers. Give her or him a name, maybe even envision how she or he looks like and make it very specific to that one person. It helps tremendously to really get into their mindset and see how they feel and how they would react to your offering.
Ok and now that you have really defined your ideal audience and know exactly who it is that you are actually trying to reach, and these could be different profiles for different offerings by the way, we can even take this a whole huge step further and think about your engagement with your audience.
So now that you know their pain points, their challenges and frustrations and their desires as well, how do you want to make them feel when they get in touch with you? And I don’t mean when they get in contact via email or telephone but actually, how do you want them to feel when they make any kind of first contact with you? That may be via your website, your social media pages or anything else you have publicly displayed about your business.
Let’s assume your website is their first point of contact with you, how do you want to make them feel browsing through it? Do you have a cohesive thread leading them from a to b and therefore guiding them through so that they are ready to buy? Are you adding any value to help them with free stuff? I.e. educational blog post, reference guides, FAQs, how to prepare for a shoot pdf or anything similar.
And then lastly maybe even think about how you will get your message in front of your ideal audience. As now that you have your specific profile or profiles, it should be easier to understand where your ideal customer hangs out and hence, those might be good channels to get in front of them. This could be different social media platforms, or targeted ads or maybe even offline print campaigns and direct marketing efforts like posting flyers through mail boxes in certain neighbourhoods. Whatever it is that you came up with… just remember to really try to put yourself into their shoes and think outside the box. You will be amazed what you can come up with if you really set yourself some time to ponder about all of this.
It is quite fun actually. And like I said, don’t overwhelm yourself with it. It is a process but such an essential step, so I encourage you all to really take some time to do this. It will help you to gain clarity for your future path and your future business success. Maybe spread it out, and every night before bedtime, take your workbook and give yourself 10-15mins to really let your mind wander and answer a couple questions each time. Deal?!
Wow! A lot of content! If you have any question on this, why not join our little community over on Facebook. I am there, happy to help you along your journey and to really get this right. We are a ever growing community of fellow photographers (I think we are already about 100 audacious females) and we would love to have you there. We are all in this together on this wild ride we call photography. So come and join us.
Ok my lovelies, this concludes today’s episode. I really hope that you found this useful and for the sake of your own business, please try and do this on a regular basis. It is such an important step and I can’t stress this enough! I simply want you all to succeed and live off your dreams, passions and desires. So let me know how you get on. Would absolutely love your feedback! If you liked this episode why not give me a tiny little thumbs up and review on iTunes, it would seriously mean the world to me.
Thanks again for listening and I wish you all an absolutely fantastic and seriously epic week!
Lots of love, my lovelies and until next time!