By now you should have an idea of your perfect audience. In most business planning courses they tell you to describe this person in perfect detail, to understand their buying habits, to create an avatar of their behavior and interests.
However, we’re small bloggers. We’re out there in the wilderness with nothing more than our wits and a domain name. Let’s make this easier for ourselves, right? Your ideal audience might exist but if there isn’t an easy way to find them, then it costs more money to reach them. That cost is either your effort, the time that passes or actual dollars spent on FB ads. It’s going to take your more work, more time will pass and it’ll cost you more cash to find those people.
Since you already have an idea of your audience, try to think of products they current buy. Blogs they read. Places they hang out in online. You’re not going to change your audience completely, you’re going to shift it towards a demographic that you know exists. That has a community. That buys things.
For Almost Fearless, I’ve gone through this process many times, but the most recent iteration was after I decided to launch a print magazine for parents. Who would buy that magazine? Probably people who buy Afar magazine. Who shop at REI. Who check out Lonely Planet. And have kids.
I know they are mostly women. Who live in the United States. And don’t currently travel.
This is a shift from my core audience who until then had been people living overseas or preparing to travel. However, expats are not going to buy a print magazine. Backpackers won’t buy anything. People on the road are tight with their money. Every dollar spent is weighed against potential travel days it would buy. I couldn’t launch a physical product to people with no set physical address. It wasn’t going to work.
So I shifted my audience from travelers to travel-hopefuls. Then I looked at ways I could better serve them. What if I took the same spirit of travel and applied it to outdoor activities? What if we said: “Can’t travel? Why not go camping this weekend?” So I shifted from just travel to “travel and adventure”. It’s still my core message, it’s still me. It’s just a shift to make my life easier. I know those people exist.
Your Big Question
Who is already selling something to your audience — or at least one part of it — that is NOT direct competition? (For example, people will buy more than one book, magazine, ebook. They might buy more than one course, but only up to a certain price point. They probably will only buy one of “high ticket” item. So you don’t want to run up against someone who is doing exactly what you do but at a higher price point.)
How big is that audience? What else do they like?
To gather that data, I use Facebook Ad Manager (even if you haven’t used it before, it should be linked to your FB page). If you go into the ad manager, then click the top left “ad manager” logo, it gives you the menu. At the bottom it says, “all tools” and it will expand the menu so you can see everything. Like this:
On the right… under “plan” is “audience insights”.
For many bloggers you can take a look at that blogger’s audience right in Facebook. Just go to “Interests” and enter their name. For example, I just entered Nomadic Matt. Here is what FB tells me about that audience:
I can see that they are largely liberal, like outdoor stuff, follow lots of travel content, have extra income for Starbucks and Whole Foods, care about saving money (The Points Guy), shop at discount / convenient places (Target, Amazon.com).
Online, they are reading a lot of HONY, food, science writing, getting their news from NPR (maybe podcasts too), and like inspirational stuff (Nat Geo, Upworthy, TED) and saving money.
I selected just the “US” for this, but you can also see what countries they live in if you select no countries on the left bar. It also lets you drill down into the cities they live in.
What do they buy? Well they are more interested in things for the home and clothing than the typical FB user. They are much less interested in subscription services, beauty products and pet products. Gives you some ideas of whether they’ll be a fit. Over 10% better is going to be a good sign.
Learn more about your potential audience and think about how you can shift your content and strategy to meet the existing pathways to your core group.
Write up a profile of your target audience based on what you find. Use the Facebook Audience Insights to develop as much information as possible about this group. Where do they go online? What do they care about? How do they spend their time? What do they like to read? This will form much of your content strategy in the coming weeks.