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Become an Online CelebrityExpert™: Do You Know Your Audience?

Do you know your audience (your target market)? "Of course," I can hear you all saying.

But do you REALLY know your audience? Do you understand their hopes, their fears, what keeps them awake at night? Do you understand the frustrations that they deal with on a daily basis? Do you understand the opportunities they see, the threats they are faced with, and their options for navigating into the future?

In order to create a powerful personal brand, and to leverage that brand to grow your profits, you must understand your audience on a deep level.

Why? Because if you don’t truly understand them, you can’t appeal to them. And the bottom line is that each target market is different—the tactics that work with one audience may not work with another. To illustrate, consider a celebrity we’re all familiar with… Justin Bieber. Bieber has made himself into an international celebrity by appealing to a VERY specific audience, namely teen girls. He’s tailored everything to fit that audience—his music, his wardrobe, and even (especially!) his hairstyle. And the success with that audience he has achieved speaks for itself. It’s a result of his ability to understand and appeal to his audience… recognizing that the rest of the population may not appreciate his brand. Few consumers outside Bieber’s target audience will buy his albums or attend a concert—and that’s just fine with him!

Think about how this applies to your business. Do you understand your target market inside and out? Have you tailored your brand to appeal to them? In particular, does your online presence resonate with your audience?

Here are five specific questions to ask yourself:

1) Where does your audience spend their time online? If your audience is primarily consumers under the age of thirty, chances are that they spend a significant amount of time on Facebook and Twitter. If they are shopaholics like me, Pinterest is probably high on their list of most visited websites. If you’re marketing to a professional audience, LinkedIn may be the best place to find them. On the other hand, if your audience is retirees or the soon-to-be retired, they may spend more time on traditional websites or directories. You need to understand where your audience spends their time, so that you can most effectively reach them.

2) What are common challenges facing your audience, and how can you solve them? If you ask a doctor what his most pressing challenge is, you may well hear "finding enough time in the day to get everything done." A lawyer may name "communicating exactly what it is that I do to potential clients" as a primary challenge. A restaurant owner may simply need to get more people through his door for dinner! As you get to know your audience, look for recurring themes—these are golden opportunities to grab attention and demonstrate your value. You can leverage this on your website, in blog entries, on social media… but it all starts with understanding what those challenges are!

3) What can you offer your audience that no one else can? As you become more familiar with your target customers, work to identify what makes you different than everyone else. What can YOU provide to your audience that nobody else can? It could be your years of experience, it could be your exclusive products or services, or it could be something else entirely. Give your audience a reason to choose you instead of the competition in your market, and make this reason a centerpiece of everything you do online!

4) What is the right "language" to use while communicating with your audience? If the average person attended a conference for lawyers, or for dentists, or for chiropractors… chances are they would be mystified. This is because different industries tend to develop their own phrases, acronyms, and terminologies. And if you’re going to be marketing to a specific audience, you had better be able to speak their language! There are plenty of ways to learn—such as subscribing to industry magazines, attending trade shows and conventions, and simply spending time getting to know your market. Learn the buzzwords and make sure you’re using them as you market yourself and your business online. It may seem like a minor detail, but using the "industry lingo" goes a long way towards establishing your credibility as someone who truly understands your audience.

5) How do you inspire trust? You’ve heard me say, many times over, that "people buy people." Your customers want to do business with people that they know, like, and trust. How can you leverage your brand and your online presence to inspire these feelings? One of the most important things you can do is build the perception of yourself as an expert, by writing blogs, articles, and social media content that demonstrates your industry knowledge. We also help our clients to write and publish books and appear on TV affiliates across the nation—all of which can be further leveraged on your website and through social media. What can you do to inspire your audience to trust you? Whether or not you can come up with a great answer to that question will play a significant role in the success of your business!

So I’ll ask you again… do you REALLY know your audience? Do you know them as well as Justin Bieber knows his legions of adoring fans? Have you taken the time to understand their frustrations, their hopes, and the challenges they face on a daily basis?

If not, now you know where to begin!

On the other hand, if you HAVE already put in the time to answer these questions, the next question is… are you leveraging this information? Are you taking what you’ve learned about your audience and creating a powerful internet presence to go with your CelebrityExpert™ brand?

As always, if you’d like to learn more about this process, please feel free to get in touch with me today!

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