Before you can really get started in business, you need to know who your aim to serve. So many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming they need to serve as many people as possible. They get hung up on this idea that they shouldn't limit themselves. The more people they appeal to the more likely they are to sell, right?
Not necessarily. For every product, there is a person who will be the ideal buyer. Someone who ticks all of the boxes. And your goal as a business owner is to identify exactly who that person is and attract as many of them as possible.
This is the idea behind your target audience. Rather than just throwing your product or service out there to see who bites, you develop a strategy to attract just the right type of buyer.
Even if you don't know what you're going to sell yet, it's never too early to start considering who you want to serve and why. The sooner you know who they are the sooner you can start creating the type of content that they can identify with. This is how you build your following and begin to establish authority in their eyes.
If you're a cannabis wedding planner they may be newly engaged women between the ages of 21 and 35. If you're a retail consultant, maybe you're targeting dispensary owners in a specific state that recently legalized.
This all seems obvious enough, but consider the fact that some people favor certain brands over others. Whatever your niche maybe, you are bound to have some competition. What makes you different from the next business? In what ways do you stand out? And why should your audience care?
Certain types of people will lean towards one brand over another because it resonates with them on a personal level. The trick is to understand what that frequency is and make it sing through in your content and marketing.
This becomes infinitely easier when you narrow down what you offer. In fact, if you're just getting started I suggest only offering one very specific product or service that solves a very specific problem. Not only does this lighten your workload and make your life much easier, but you are far more likely to know exactly who would benefit the most from buying what you're selling. It's also the fastest and most efficient way to establish yourself as an expert. So ask yourself...
If you're a service provider this may be more obvious. Let's say you're a bookkeeper who services cannabis businesses. It's pretty clear that you solve the problem of financial management for cannabis entrepreneurs. You can narrow this down even further by focusing only on one type of business. Let's say you specialize in balancing the books and managing finances for conference coordinators. That's a very clear niche and it tells you exactly who you should be targeting. But don't stop there. Next
Once you've identified a problem you can solve, start to consider the type of person who will need your help. Go beyond their occupation, in this cat cannabis conference coordinators. What kind of events do they host? Creative conferences? professional events? What set of circumstances got them to the point that they are in need of your product or service? Are they super busy, super bad with money, or just hopelessly disorganized?
We'll talk more about this in future episodes but this person is called your ideal client avatar and they are the perfect imaginary client or consumer of your content. Each time you create anything - be it a blog post, a lead magnet, or a product - you’re going to want to focus on this person specifically.
When you know what problem you solve and who needs the solving, the next step is to put yourself in their shoes.
When you think of the benefits that your customer will receive from your product, make sure you list every single benefit from their perspective. If we keep going with our example, I may seem like the problem you're solving is taking the financial aspects of conference planning off of your client's hands. But, in reality, it might have more to do with reducing stress, decreasing costs, increasing profit, finding tax deductions, and so on. But really focus in on this. If they save time, why is that important to them and how are they going to use it? If they save money, what will they spend it on? Dig deep into why these benefits are important. It's really going to help you understand your audience on a deeper level.
And when you do feel like you know exactly who your audience is and what they truly need out of the relationship, you'll want to ask yourself...
Because you're going to want to go there and learn even more about them. FB groups and events are great for this. Go be a fly on the wall or an active participant. Shake hands and ask questions.
So to determine your ideal audience you need to understand your offering, but you also need to think like they do. Yes, you do have your own goals and ideas, but when you are marketing your product or service, the only goals and ideas that matter are your ideal clients.
Before you ever write a blog, draft an email for your newsletter, or start thinking about your product features, you should be able to write down a couple of sentences about exactly who your ideal target audience is so you know whom you're appealing to - otherwise you're just screaming into the void and hoping someone will listen. So sit with this today. Who is your target audience and where are they hanging out? Using these questions as a guide will help. And if you're still struggling come back and tune in to tomorrow's episode and I'll show you exactly how you can find them.
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