How To Research, Understand And Create Your Audience Persona
Your niche is about the most important thing you can decide on before you go into business. If you choose the wrong niche and don’t have the right profit potential to support your goals, the success of your business will be a constant uphill battle.
What is a 'niche'?
A 'niche' is a portion of a market you’ve identified as having some special characteristic, and that’s worth marketing to.
The first step in identifying your niche is asking yourself which problem are you going to solve as an entrepreneur.
If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to everyone. You’re just not going to connect. So it’s very important to clearly identify who you’re going after.
Whatever market you’re entering, you need to really know the person you’re marketing to. If you don’t, you’re going to have a lot more misses than hits. And that’s no good.
Also, you need a large potential market with growth potential. You always want to be part of a niche that’s growing. You don’t want to be part of a niche that’s declining. How to be sure your niche is growing? Start researching.
Some of the things you are going to look at are competitive products. Consider buying them so you can study them. When you do, note their deficiencies, and determine how to make them better.
Look also for complaints or frustrations of your future market. If you hear the same thing coming up over and over, take those things to heart and see how you can be better and deliver on their pain points.
Understanding your audience.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What keeps them awake at night?
They’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and can’t sleep.
What are their concerns?
What are their deepest fears, the ones they would rather not even voice aloud?
If you can know them and can target them through your niche, it’s going to give you a big advantage.
2. What are they afraid of?
Are they afraid of getting scammed?
Afraid of buying another thing that’s not going to work out?
Afraid that they’ll be laughed at?
Afraid that if they keep buying products and not implementing, five years from now they’ll be doing the exact same thing?
3. What are they angry about?
Every niche has someone they like to blame.
Who’s the person, organization, or other company they all like to blame?
4. What are their top three daily frustrations?
Make sure you’re marketing to a niche filled with people who not only have the need, but are willing to spend money to get your solution.
The more accurately you can describe your reader’s problem in terms they relate to, the more they instinctively feel that you must have an answer to that problem. If you can explain their problem better to them than they can explain it to themselves, they will see that you have the solution—even if you don’t.
5. What do they secretly desire most?
If they are going to build a business, maybe they want to prove their friends and family wrong – the people who doubted them as they were building their business. Maybe they want to pull up in a Ferrari to prove they’ve 'made it'. You can tap into these desires and tell stories that resonate and drive your audience to take action. That prospect hears your stories, wants the result and is driven to act.
6. Do they have their own language?
Every audience develops their own language over time. They speak in a certain way, with their own acronyms and abbreviations. If you don’t know them, you’ll immediately stand out as an outsider.
7. Who else is selling something similar to your product? How?
This is where you’ll do some competitive analysis.
8. Who else has tried selling them something similar?
How has that effort fallen short/failed? Don’t just look at the successful competitors in the niche. Make sure you also look at businesses that failed and, more importantly, why they failed. What did they do wrong?
Now that you’ve identified who your target audience is, it’s time to create an audience persona. Basically, audience personas are fictional people who represent your ideal customers or clients. They are a composite of your ideal audience’s characteristics.
The more information you put into your buyer persona, the better it will be for your business. This is because you can then easily create products/services that your ideal audience will be able to relate to.
Create a template. It’s best to fill out all the details in the template to make your persona as ‘real’ as possible. If you can add a picture, that will be great, too. Putting a face to a name will help you a lot during the product/service creation process. It will make you care about the type of product you’re making because now you know people like ‘John’ or ‘Jane’ is going to benefit a lot from your offer!
But how are you going to get the background info on your audience persona? Do you just make it up as you go along?
Since you’ve come this far, and you’ve done a lot of research into who your audience is, then it’s best to make your persona as a representative and as accurate of who your audience actually is.
You can check your site analytics for demographic information, you can research on social media, you can do some research into the people who are active on your blog and social platforms, or you can just go and ask your audience to tell you more about them.
Personas are useful only when they’re accurate.
If they’re not, then you’re essentially wasting your time, and you’d feel like you’re fishing in the dark. You’re wondering why no one’s coming to your website, or if you do get visitors, why they leave right away. Maybe it’s because you’re not targeting the right persona or the right audience.
It may take you more than a day to create the perfect persona, but keep in mind that this is an important part of the process. And your business success will greatly depend on how well you do this step.
Whether you're starting something new, want to optimize your work or focus on growing your business, here you can find actionable steps you can take to simplify your business and marketing online and off.