As an entrepreneur going into a business venture, you need to be certain that your service or product is going to sell.
How can you be certain it will sell? Take one step backwards & identify the need you are fulfilling.
How do you identify needs to fulfill? Take one more step backwards & clarify who your customer is.
Do you know who your customers are?
Do you know their approximate income?
Do you have a good idea of their online and social media habits?
And, most importantly, do you know about the problems they face and how you’re going to solve them?
That may sound like a lot to know, but it’s essential to your prosperity. After all, there’s a lot more to a healthy business than a good idea and a little bit of advertising.
You have to make sure that your advertising gets to the right people’s eyes and ears, and you have to know that you’re targeting the right audience with relevant information.
So, let’s clarify a few of the things you absolutely need to know about your client base as you’re launching your business.
1) What Problem Are You Solving?
Every product and service on the market today solves a problem. How does your service or product remove friction?
Luxury cars don’t just get you where you’re going; they tell your neighbors and everyone on the street that you are a person of means. A luxury car solves a number of problems, including both the need for personal transportation and the need to present a certain level of status.
A mobile app that tells you where the nearest gas stations are and how much they charge will keep you from running out of gas and having to walk to a station. A maid service gives you back the free time that you would otherwise spend cleaning your house.
So, what do your customers need you to do for them? What problem can your product or service solve for them?
2) Who Are They?
How old are they? Are most of them men or women? What income bracket are they in? You’re not going to sell many luxury cars to 20-somethings who’ve just graduated and are only beginning to pay back their student loans. Likewise, you’re not going to sell a lot of apps for finding gas stations to people who live in Manhattan and walk or take the train everywhere.
Here’s some more info on what exact demographics you should be looking for.
Knowing about your customers’ problems can help you learn more about your customers’ demographics, and that can help you market to them more effectively. For example, if your customer base is 30-to-35 year-old professionals who make $40,000-50,000 per year and have no children, you’re more likely to reach them with a presence on LinkedIn or Facebook than with commercials on children’s TV.
3) Where Do They Hang Out on the Internet?
Whether your aim is to launch a brick-and-mortar business or a virtual store, this section applies to you. Most sales, recommendations and interactions are done online before they are in person nowadays, so it’s imperative to find out where your customers hang out online.
So, where do your customers spend their time when they’re online?
Facebook is the biggest social network in the world, but it’s not the only one. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ all get traffic from different demographics. You can reach more of your customers if you put more energy into the sites and social media outlets where they hang out.
Also, keep your ear to the ground for new sites and social networks, especially if you cater to a younger demographic. For example, the new social media sitewww.Ello.com may be nothing to pay attention to, or it could be the next big thing.
I’d love to hear your approach to identifying & finding your target customers…comment below!
About the author: Juan Lopez is a speaker, author and advisor when it comes to start-ups and entrepreneurship. Follow him on LinkedIn here
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