Know Your Customer
After you’ve selected a niche, it’s time to get to know your customers a little better. Actually… a lot better. You want to know their deepest, darkest fears and desires. You need to know how they talk. You need to know what’s important to them. Where do they spend their time? What worries them and keeps them up at night? What gets them excited and out of bed in the morning?
I know, it sounds a little stalk-ish, right? A little invasive?
It’s not. It’s essentially targeted ads. You know how one minute you’re googling “the best trampoline brands” and the next minute your side bar is full of ads for trampolines? That’s targeted ads. And it’s actually a great sales tool.
Why? Because it gets your ads to the people who will be the most likely to buy your products. And most people would rather see ads that interest them.
Find Your Target
Have you ever had to listen to a sales person drone on about a product you’re not interested in? It’s BORING. Even if it’s the greatest dog training book on the planet, if you don’t have a dog and you don’t like dogs, that product will mean nothing to you. However, if you just bought your dream puppy and he’s peeing all over your floor and using your best pair of shoes for a chew toy, you better believe your ears are going to perk up when you hear the words “dog training.”
Getting to know your niche audience is essentially like that. You want to know what to say and how to say it to get their ears to perk up and listen to you. And the only way to do that, is to get to know your audience on a deeper level.
A Common Marketing Mistake
This is very different than saying what YOU think your audience likes and why they buy what they buy. It’s knowing because you’ve spent the time listening and learning about them. And even though it will take you time and effort, when your ads land and you see the return on your advertising dollar increase, it will feel well worth it.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of telling your audience why you think they will love your product. Listen to them and then reflect back to them their needs and desires.
How To Know Your Customer
Since we already started this discussion by talking about dogs, let’s continue to use that example. I love using examples because it’s important that you can see how this actually works in your day to day business. So imagine that your niche is dog products. (In reality, your niche will probably be more specific than this, like a specific breed or type of dog product, like grooming. But, for this example we’ll use a broader category.)
I’ll illustrate five ways that you could get to know a dog-loving prospect better and then you can apply the same strategy to your personal niche.
Visit forums and discussion boards for your niche.
There is a huge community of people out there that love to discuss dogs (usually their favorite breeds) and give advice. If you visit dog breed forums, puppy forums, and blogs, you’ll be privy to the way dog owners speak, common dog problems, and common dog owner needs. Plus, you can even ask questions of your own.
*You can find forums and online communities for almost every niche.
Talk to people who are your prospective customers.
Nothing beats face to face conversation if you can swing it. Visit your local dog park. Strike up a conversation with other dog owners. Walk around a pet store and talk to its owner and employees. Jot down the actual wording that they use and anything that you hear more than once. That could be a common problem or desire you can use.
*Where can you meet and interact with people in your niche? Clubs, stores, and the locations they frequent are good places to start.
Do your research.
Gather statistics and studies about your niche. For instance, the American Kennel Club publishes a yearly list of the most popular dogs by breed. This could be useful to you.
If long haired dogs like Golden Retrievers and Yorkies are in the top ten breeds, then dog grooming is a likely pain point for your audience members and you could use that in your ads. A Facebook ad with a picture of a dog owner struggling to brush through her dog’s coat would speak to many dog lovers.
*Use a search engine to find statistics, studies, and reports that apply to your niche.
Listen to the specific words and lingo used by your niche.
For instance, dogs that are mixed with a poodle are often referred to as Doodles. Thus you have your Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Border-doodles, Aussie-doodles… you get the idea.
Using the correct phraseology will establish your credibility and effectively call out to the right niche. “Do you struggle to keep the mats out of your doodle’s hair?” could be an email subject line or ad headline. It identifies a pain point for your customers and speaks to a specific audience.
*Listen online and in person to the way that your prospects talk about their niche. Make sure that you know the terms they are using.
Gather the Data
How well do you know your audience? Can you answer any of these?
- Net worth?
- Family size?
- Vacation destinations?
- Word choice?
- Common lingo/terminology?
Turn Your Knowledge Into Action
Some of this data won’t apply to your niche or be too difficult to gather. But even knowing a few key points about your customers will help you. You’ll understand why they buy the things they buy, why certain ads work better than others, and what they need to hear from you to feel good about buying.
Then put it all together and zero in on your target audience. If you’ve done your job right, they may even thank you for solving their problem for them.