MY GUIDE TO EMPATHETIC VIBES:
If you've found a gap in the market somewhere that you're able to fill - and you genuinely have a passion in doing so - but you aren't in need of the service yourself (ahem, CAKE QUEEN for me), then you're in luck! For I happen to have just the checklist for getting in touch with your mysterious target demographic:
1. THINK BACK TO A TIME WHEN YOU WOULD'VE NEEDED THIS...
You may not fit your target demographic right now, but at one point in time, I can almost assure you, you did. Think back on those moments and see what you can answer in your worksheet.
2. CREATE A FICTIONAL CHARACTER TO BASE YOUR ANSWERS AROUND...
You know enough people, you've seen and read enough media, you're smart enough, Zeus be damned, , that all you need do is create a pretend customer in your mind and let your subconscious naturally do the rest.
3. BE HONEST ABOUT WHO YOU WISH THEY'D BE...
Don't shy away from developing characteristics based on what you wish your audience was like. You may not know a lot of Pomeranian owners, but if that's the only dog you want to work with, start from there!
4. FOCUS ON THEIR PAIN POINTS TO PINPOINT THEIR IDIOSYNCRASIES...
Typically, the difficult things in life are what guide so many of our unintentional nuances. The lack of being emotionally understood, loved, appreciated, et al, leads us to social media; a lack of financial support leads us to secure, but emotionally unfulfilled, jobs.
What do you do if your worksheet doesn't connect AT ALL with the audience demographics of an industry peer?
If your Target Demographic worksheet doesn't match what you see in a similar brand's audience, you may have missed the mark. OR, perhaps your peer is missing a gap that your business would serve to fill. [NOTE: Just because your target demographic doesn't exist within your peer brand's audience inventory, doesn't mean that you failed to identify them accurately.]
If you don't see ANY of your worksheet characteristics in your peer brand's audience inventory, then you've most likely chosen to look at a website style you like, rather than an equal peer and role model within your industry. [NOTE: They're a peer role model brand if they're offering similar services or products to what your brand would be offering in the same or similar industry.]
WHEN SHOULD YOU STOP NICHING?
The moment you feel like your brand is honed but flexible, you can stop niching.
You want to be very specific with what you're offering, but also leave room for exploring related topics.
Do you feel like you have room to grow or evolve?
Are the specifics of your brand noun or adjective heavy?
Does your niche offer more clarity to your brand or less?
REMEMBER, DARLING: WHAT ONCE WAS IS NOW NO MORE...
You know how we were all - for the most part - raised to believe that we don't talk politics, but we especially don't talk politics in business?
That is an outdated ideology established on the grounds that it's acceptable for money to supersede morality when it comes to business, much less camaraderie.
This is not the way of a CAKE QUEEN.
Instead, ask yourself:
Does the political opinion you're thinking of sharing matter to you?
Will staying silent for the sake of "maintaining business as usual" make you complicit to something more important than money?
How can you share your thoughts in a way that follows your brand's personality standards?
You have not yet defined the way your brand will communicate to your audience, but - when you get there - how you speak (profanity or not, sweet or bitter) will, in the future, largely affect how you phrase your political opinions when you deem them worth sharing.
HOW MUCH $$$ IS WORTH CHARGING?
When it comes to money, value is subjective. Something you may spend $200 on may be something that I would spend $2,000 on, or, likewise, less than $20. You could pay $90 for a pair of shoes that break after one use where their $20 knock-off's last a lifetime.
My point is, value is perceived by those paying the cost. If you're able to provide high value and a price to match, that price could be something beyond your wildest dreams and still something people are willing to pay for. So don't sell yourself short just because you think you might be overcharging.
Be fair and value yourself accordingly. You may just be a dog walker, sure, but if you consider all the value you're adding when you train the dogs while they're in your care, give away free homemade treats, offer post-park bath time, and doggy day care, your value goes up immensely from what a typical dog walker might earn.
WHY DO THEY LOVE YA?
Imagine you're in the future and your business is getting the ravest of rave reviews, what are people saying about your brand?
What makes you worth their money? Knowing this fun tidbit will help when it comes time to create your first sales page and you're stuck wondering why you priced your service or product the way you did.
DESCRIBE YOUR TRIBE
Throw down some adjectives to describe your target demographic. Are they athletic? Depressed? In college? Single? Curious? Bored? Lonely?
Understanding how to intimately speak to your target audience in a language they relate to will help you translate your business message so they connect without question.
HOW DO THEY SURPRISE YOU?
You may be surprised to find out that my expectation for my RW.com audience was for them to dive into something like CAKE QUEEN without pause. Instead, I learned that a lot of them hesitate to invest in themselves because they don't believe they're able to do everything that my course will ask them to do.
For a business that asks its audience to be proactive and courageous for themselves by taking a leap of personal faith, hesitation isn't really conducive.
But that's all part of understanding your target demographic. Sometimes, they'll surprise you where you least expect it.
Now that I know that my audience suffers from hesitation, I can encourage them to work past that fear-state and step up to the challenge of CAKE QUEEN by reminding them how truly capable they are and how simple this work can be.
Another example? You may expect to have to keep your prices low to meet your audiences' income bracket. But you may be surprised how many people will: a) meet your price when you match it in value, and b) not trust your price when it's offered too low.
HOW CAN YOU SURPRISE THEM?
If, for example, you decide to write romance novels, how can you do so in a way that may surprise your target audience in a delightful way?
Maybe you decide to make murder mystery romance novellas. Or perhaps you decide to do terminally ill romances, as has become popular over the last decade.
Finding a way to surprise what your audience naturally expects of you can take your business up a notch. If you want to babysit pets, for example, perhaps you can provide free, homemade treats and basic training in tandem with your existing service.