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Identifying Your Target Audience and Embracing your Niche

Identifying a Target Audience or NicheAs a real estate agent or business owner, knowing your audience is vital to building trust. Spend some time understanding your ideal customer, so you can create content, products, and services to meet their needs. This will build confidence and make them more likely to buy from you. Understanding your audience involves answering several questions:

  • How do you define your ideal customer?
  • What is the broader niche of people you want to appeal to?
  • What is the best way to test and refine your products and services?

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Defining your ideal customer

Understand what your customers want by thinking about who needs the products, services, or information you provide. Look at what your business offers, and how it appeals to your customers. Next, define exactly who your ideal customer is, as accurately as possible:

  • Start by using a noun to describe your audience, e.g., small business owner, photographer, working mother, real estate agent.
  • Next, define the verb or action your audience member needs to accomplish, e.g., to sell, to automate, to create, buy, move.
  • Finally, define the subject the audience is interested in, e.g., project management, pregnancy tips, pet toys, house values, homes for sale, places to move.
  • Write down a sentence to describe your perfect customer. “My perfect customer is a move down buyer who is also a seller. They are a local resident who lives in my community and has both a home to buy and a home to sell. My ideal customer is generally in a higher income range and is probably an empty nester at this phase in their life.”

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Ideal Customer

Here are some examples of ideal customers:

  • You provide a directory of garages specializing in servicing cars built before 1960. Your ideal customer is a classic car enthusiast who wants the best for their vehicle.
  • You offer one-of-a-kind furniture and decorate it with special paint effects. Your ideal customer is a  homeowner with a generous budget who wants to buy quirky furniture.
  • You’re a consultant with expertise in product design. Your ideal customer is a manufacturing business that focuses on new product development.
  • You are a real estate agent who used to be in the military. You understand the challenges that men and women in the military face when relocating. Your ideal customer is in the military and is moving to your service area and needs your help finding a home, possibly finding a referring agent to help them sell their home fast in their current location.

Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, you can think about the niche they are in. This will help you broaden the appeal of your business.

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Understanding the niche your customer is in

Although your marketing efforts will mostly be aimed at reaching your ideal customer, you also should be thinking about your wider audience. This will help you grow your business over the longer term. Now you know who your ideal customer is, you can think about who else your products and services will appeal to:

  • NicheThink about the demographic of your ideal customer, such as age, education, gender, salary, and career. There are probably other potential customers in the same demographic.
  • Learn about the interests of your ideal customer. Think about visitors with related interests; they could want similar products and services.
  • Understand the context and state of mind your customers have. People visit your website for a specific purpose. Expand on this purpose and appeal to more visitors.

For example:

  • A directory of garages may appeal to automotive parts providers looking for new outlets.
  • Furniture decorators could provide design and mural-painting services for their clients.
  • Product design consultants might work with new business owners to develop the perfect offering.
  • Real Estate Agents could create lists of the neighborhoods they service and offer specialty maps and reviews of the area.

Testing and refining your information, products, and services

FeedbackYou already have a clear idea of what your business offers. You know who your ideal customer is and who else you might appeal to. The next step is using feedback from your customers to test and refine your products and services. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Internal testing to identify bugs, flaws, and issues.
  • Feedback from your customer service and support area on the problems customers are having.
  • Asking friends and colleagues to provide feedback.
  • Using a focus group to beta test.
  • Surveying your customers to find out what they do and don’t like.
  • Hiring an external business to review and test your offerings.
  • Brainstorming improvements to your products and services.

Once you’ve collected feedback and information, create a list of new fixes and features. Prioritize the list as follows:

  • Priority 1 — Fixes for anything that breaks or limits functionality.
  • Priority 2 — Any other fixes to improve quality.
  • Priority 3 — New features to enhance the appeal of your products and services.
  • Priority 4 — “Nice to have” improvements.

Continually testing, refining, and improving what you offer is one of the best ways to build trust. It demonstrates to your customers you understand their needs and want to make their lives easier. Understanding your audience is the essential first step to bringing your business and your customers together. Take time to meet their needs, understand the broader audience, and improve what you provide. This will help your business be successful.

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