audience

Are you providing value?

If you want people to pay attention to you in this very busy, loud and overwhelming world then there is one thing you need to make sure you always do - PROVIDE VALUE. 

People will only make time for things they really WANT, so it's your job to understand your audience enough to have figured out what they want. 

Are you providing value_Lara Wellman.png

WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

Can you describe your audience? Every audience is different and you need to take the time to really figure out who your audience is. Understanding who makes up that audience, what they like, what they don’t like and what they would like from you is critical in creating the kind of content that can help you build relationships that turn your audience into customers.

Once you’ve figured that out, creating and sharing content that can connect with your audience becomes a lot easier.

WHAT DO THEY VALUE?

Not every audience is looking for the same kind of information. Make sure that everything you share has some kind of connection back to who you are and who your audience is. 

Think about why they followed you in the first place. What would people expect the content to look like coming from your brand? Make sure your content doesn’t go too far off from that.

Things that people value tend to fall into three main categories:

  1. You’re teaching them something,
  2. You’re entertaining them, or
  3. You’re giving them tools and knowledge. 

WHAT DON’T THEY WANT?

Nobody likes to follow a brand that is only trying to sell to them. That’s valuable to the brand, not to the audience. Make sure that you’re giving your audience something they want or can use so that when you do post some sales posts - and you definitely should - they think so highly of you they’re far more inclined to buy.

People don’t want information that has nothing to do with them or that they can’t relate to.

LET’S LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES

  • If your main audience is young women about to get married, interesting articles about retirement doesn’t make sense. 
  • If your main audience is men who want to home brew their own beer, then funny cartoons about being a new mom doesn’t make sense.
  • If you promised tips and tricks to help them do something better, just sharing things you’re selling isn’t going to convince them of anything other than that you’re pushy and too sales-y.
  • If you sell hammers, make sure that you talk about the hammers, and the things you can do with the hammers. 

Where and how do they want to receive information?
 

Where do your people like to hang out? If they're on Instagram, creating podcasts is never going to work well for them. If they're on YouTube, they want video, so you want to make sure you're creating video.

If they love really clean design you're going to be creating different things than if they really like stories. The more you understand what format they like to receive content in, what they want to know, and where they want to receive it, the more likely your content will hit the mark and connect with them.

Spend some time thinking about your content and what you’re giving to your audience that they would value. Then share some examples (good and bad) of what you’ve seen or done that relates to giving an audience value in the comments.

If you'd like help finding ways to share content online so people are ready to pay attention, come and join my free Facebook Group - The Biz Studio Community. There's a free cheat sheet in the files section with templates to use to highlight the benefit and value of your content when you share it (because even more than providing valuable content, you need to also make sure you're telling people what you're sharing and how it's valuable).

Tell your audience why you're worth their time

Once you've figured out why you're using online marketing, who you're talking to and what you want them to know, you have to convince people to pay attention. One thing business owners overlook when they ask people to sign up for their email newsletter, like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram is sharing what's in it for them.

What are you giving your audience?

You need to figure out what your audience values and what you can give them.

There is too much content online for people to spend time reading things they don't care about. That means you need to really understand what your audience is looking for and give them that.

It's about them - not you. The happier you make them, the more likely they are to spend money with you down the line. You're building a relationship with your audience where they value you, your expertise and your content.

How do you know what they want?

You need to figure out the perfect blend between what you want people to know about you, what you're trying to achieve and what they want. It can be tricky to navigate this, so here are a few examples:

For me, I share content. I sell my knowledge, but I also give it away. Why give it away? People who follow me online are looking for knowledge and by giving them some for free they a) believe I know what I'm talking about, b) get a taste for what they could get by paying to work with me, and c) start to appreciate what they got for free and think of me as their go-to person.

Another example would be someone who sells cooking tools. Their audience wants to cook. What can they share with them? Tips on how to cook efficiently, recipes they can make, tips on cooking for a family or cooking for a party. They are giving them information that their audience wants while reinforcing that they sell great cooking tools that can make cooking even easier/better.

A third example would be a personal trainer. They need to convince people that they know what they're doing, share tips on things they can do now on their own, and demonstrate that they understand the demographic they want to work with. If they love to work with new moms, they need to share photos and articles about being a new mom, fitness for a new mom, understanding the difficulties of fitting fitness in as a new mom. That messaging, the articles shared and the things new moms would want to work on are very different than that of say a 45-year old man looking to get in shape.

Putting the pieces together to provide value for your audience, while not forgetting what you're trying to achieve can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. By breaking down each piece and then pulling them together, your marketing message will become clear.

If you need any help brainstorming, book one of my 45-minute coaching calls and I'll help you work through it all!

Social Media Simplified: Who is my audience?

When you're using online marketing to promote your small business one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is to understand who you're talking to. Why? You need to have a very clear idea of who your audience is if you want to create content that will have an impact on them. 

Be specific about who you want to work with

who is my ideal audience

I've done a lot of work around helping business' narrow their audience. When asked who their audience is, the inclination for them to say their audience is, "whoever wants to spend money with them" is strong. I get that. We want people to spend money with us and the fear is that if we're too specific we'll alienate a huge group of people with money in their pockets.

The problem is if your content is not specific then it becomes too generic and has no meaning or impact at all.

Let's use an example: If I say "Learn about social media!" it leaves many unanswered questions, such as:

Who should learn?

For personal use or business use?

For entrepreneurs or government?

On a huge budget or a shoestring budget? 

Without all of that information weaved into your content, almost everyone will assume you're not talking to them. A statement like that is less effective than being specific and having a small subset of the population feel like you're talking to them.

HOW specific do you really need to get?

The best way to REALLY figure out who your ideal client is and how to connect with them is to imagine one specific person. Imagine everything about them. How old are they? Are they married or single? How much money do they earn? How do they like to spend their leisure time? What do they like to read? What publications do they respect?

Keep in mind, you won't be sharing this information with anyone, you just want to really narrow down the kind of person you like working with. This information will help you figure out what kind of content they're going to like seeing, and also where you can find more people like that.

What do you do with this information?

This is going to become more clear as I work through this series, but for now it is important for you to remember that not every audience likes the same kind of content. You wouldn't talk to an 18 year old single student the way you would a 42 year old married professional. The language is different, the content is different, and what they value is different. 

Once you really understand who you're talking to, you can select content that has the right tone of voice, the right kinds of things to make jokes about, and the right kinds of articles that will appeal to them without being directly about your business. By taking the time to do your homework on who your audience is, you're creating opportunity to find valuable content to share with them, and by sharing valuable content, YOU become valuable.

Spend some time figuring this out

Spend some time thinking about your best and favourite customers. This is a great place to start. What is it about them that makes them the kind of person you like to work with? Use that information to start narrowing down YOUR ideal customer. Here are some questions to help you figure it out:

Gender:

Age:

Marital Status:

Income Level:

Do they have a family:

What do they value:

Where do they learn new things:

What are their favourite publications:

What do they like to do in their spare time:

Now that we've talked about goals and audience, next time we're going to talk about key messages!

 

Beyond planning: The importance of strategic planning

plan-to-succeed

The longer we run our business, the more emphasis and priority Lara and I put on planning. And I don't mean just laying out a plan for what we want to do. Every year, we take a more strategic approach to setting goals, developing products, and creating content. It's making us better at what we do, better at helping our clients, and understanding our clients' needs. 

We have started having 3-4 planning days per year to set priorities, plan timelines, discuss ideas, etc. It's time we spend away from doing any work for clients or product development. However, it's absolutely critical to the short- and long-term progress and success of our business.

So much of what we do as business owners applies to planning and using social media in a strategic way. Imagine, if you will, a person who has what they feel is a fabulous idea for a business. Remember the jump to conclusions mat from Office Space? (Warning: there's a little four-letter language in this clip.)

Starting a business without clear goals, research into marketability of products and services, or realistic view of what's involved can lead to a rude awakening. I think every business owner has experienced this to some degree - whether a product or service completely bombs or they have to rethink their entire business model. That's usually when you come to the fork in the road and you have to decide which new direction to take.

Strategy is just as important to social media success

We make every effort to simplify social media for our clients. It's not rocket science. We know this. However, between using the actual tools and crafting messages with a strategic focus and tying it all in to your business objectives, the process can get overwhelming. Small business don't need a 100-page strategy document, but they do need to start with identifying goals, audiences, and key messages. Once they know the what and the why, then they can move on to tactics (the how). The "how" is pretty easy once you've established "what" and "why".

Answer these questions for your business

  • Why do we use <insert social network>?
  • Is our presence effective?
  • Are we using it to our advantage?
  • Have we gained any customers through that channel?

They aren't easy questions, but it's worth reflecting. This is the time of year that we all start looking at a fresh start in the New Year. We all want to be more organized, focused, productive. 

You can do all of those things, but it starts with a plan. I'm personally terrible at setting goals for our business in the areas that I am responsible for - Lara is pushing me and reminding me to be better (or just do it). I know the importance. I know why I struggle with it. I'm working on a solution that works for me and our business because without setting those goals, even knowing my audience and key messages, I'm holding myself and my business back from being the best we can be.


Webinar - Get Results in 2015 using Social Media with a Plan!

Lara and I are going to talk about planning tips, advice, and resources during our December 9th webinar. Sign up here!


Do you struggle with staying focused in your day-to-day use of social channels? That can derail your plans for social media AND other areas of your business. Our Daily Social Media Checklist can help.

Just enter your email address and we'll send you this free tool to help you focus your efforts. You'll also receive weekly emails from Lara and I with valuable tips and information about how to grow your business using social media. 

Get FREE social media tips in your inbox!

Subscribe to the Wellman Wilson newsletter for free weekly tips and information that will help you grow your business.

* indicates required

Your email is safe with us; we won't share it with anyone else. We'll only use it to send you valuable information you can use to grow your business.