If you read my post about a Dream Funnel you now have a clear vision of your future. If you read my post about a genius zone, you know what makes you uniquely suited to turn that vision into reality. The next question is: Who do you need to influence in order to achieve your vision?
Just as you used your expert zones to find your genius zone, you can use a list of potential audiences to find your ideal audience.
The quickest way to to find your ideal audience is to identify people who:
- Are like you. All other things being equal, you’ll find it easier to connect and relate to people who are like you, and people who are like you will also trust you more.
- Want what you are selling. If you’re selling marketing services, then target people who want to buy marketing services. Sounds like common sense, but it’s funny how often we get simple things like this wrong. When considering a potential audience don’t just ask “Does this type of person ever buy what I’m selling?” because the answer will almost always be “Yes, sometimes they do.” Instead, ask “Is what I’m selling a must-have, right now, for this person?”
- Are able to buy what you’re selling. People who want what you have and those who will actually buy it are two separate groups. College students may want to buy a $5,000 per month life coaching service, but successful executives with $10M in their bank accounts are an easier sell.
- Energize you. If you spent a day speaking to your audience at an event, writing a book for them, or engaging with them on social media, would you be drained at the end of the day or excited to do it again the next morning? If working with your audience drains you, you may have chosen the wrong audience to focus on.
With these points in mind, create a list of all the people or factors that make people who they are. For example, here are a few of mine:
I’m an American, so I’m a native expert on that. But I also lived in China for two years and did business there, so while I’m not a uber-expert on China, I know a lot more than someone who has never been there, which is most people. I’ve been an entrepreneur with a “real” company for 20 years, and have entrepreneurial roots going back to my childhood. It’s also a topic I’ve studied extensively. I’ve also been an executive for 20 years and have associated with executives for half my life. I am a CEO, and I wrote a book about CMOs. These are all potential audiences for me.
One of my recent coaching client’s came up with this list:
- Business associates
- Poor people
- Leukemia children and families
- Former execs turned entrepreneurs
Your turn: Brainstorm a list of all your potential audiences. Even if you’re pretty sure they’re not going to be your ideal audience, list them out anyway to make sure you’re not missing anyone.
Next, begin to overlap your audiences, like this:
For example, since I know a lot about the CMO role, and I lived in China, I could overlap CMO + China and say that I’m going to target CMOs in China for my executive coaching services.
If I wanted to take it a step further I could add more circles to this Venn diagram. Since I’m not very good with the Chinese language and don’t have a lot of depth in the culture, I could probably add more value to an American CMO with zero knowledge of China, but who has just been tasked with entering. Or I could do well with a Chinese CMO tasked with entering the US. I could serve both of those audiences better than I could serve a Chinese CMO targeting the China market, that’s for sure.
In the case of my client, she overlapped several potential audiences to reach the conclusion that her ideal audience is successful, female, Asian entrepreneurs who want to expand their businesses to China. This is exactly who she is, as well, with the one difference being that she already has experience expanding businesses into China. This puts her in a great position to help her ideal audience do the same.
- Who are your potential audiences? List everyone you can think of by listing everything that defines you. Are you American? Put down “Americans” on your list. Are you a rock climber? Write “rock climbers” down. If you’ve already gone through the Genius Zone homework this will be easy because you can copy and paste much of the work you did there.
- Who’s your Must-Have Audience? From your list of potential audiences, there is one type of person that has to be included. Who is it? If part of your genius zone is marketing, then it may be marketers. Creating your ideal audience without including marketers would be unthinkable. Who can’t be left out of your list as you narrow it down? This is your Must-Have Audience.
- Who are your secondary key audiences? It may be based on where you live, where you’ve worked, your hobbies, your other professional experience, or your interests.
As you overlap and connect audiences, is there one combination that jumps out? Is there one group that makes you say “THIS is who I want to work with.” If it’s not clear keep experimenting. Sleep on it. Add more potential audiences to your list. Even try switching out your Must-Have Audience for another. The answer will come.
Who’s your ideal audience? Tell me in the comments below, or if it’s a struggle to figure out, let’s talk about it.Liked it? Share it!