This guide aims to bring you six different nuances to the whole question of zeroing in on the target audiences for your solopreneur content marketing. Before you begin to look at your specific target audiences, it helps to spend a few minutes understanding how online audiences behave in general. There are some behavioral patterns of people online that are vastly different from people’s offline behaviour as a target market. Once you know the online readers in general, it’s time to get more particular about your own potential audiences.
When you begin a solopreneur content marketing business, audience research needed can be heavy. But fortunately, there are also simple ways to research, as I have explained … but while you do this, you have to avoid some typical mistakes newbie entrepreneurs make. Once you know your audiences broadly, the next step would be create their personas, map their buying journeys, and locate and decode their pain-points – so that your content marketing can become laser-targeted. Don’t worry, it’s all easy if you just follow these articles …
Observing online consumer behavior is among the smartest things you can do as a solopreneur who intends to do content marketing. How people behave online is a new science, that is not the same as the way people used to behave offline in relation to marketing.
Online consumer behavior evaluations should help you take a closer look at deep inner motivations, as well as the reasoning and actions, that go into purchase decisions. Understanding online consumer behavior in general, and your target audiences in particular, can provide valuable insights for your business – and offer important techniques for driving your business to the next level of success.
- How online blog readers tend to behave and what smarts you can learn from this
- The online behavior of the most watched, tracked and analysed group: the Millennials
- Why online audiences behaviour tracking has to factor in emotions and moments
- 3 inexpensive and easy ways to observe your target audiences online
Target audience research methods are supported by a number of nifty tools in the market for content marketing solopreneurs. But some of these are quite expensive, and many of these tools also have a steep learning curve. They are chock-full of features we may never get down to using. All this gets cumbersome and unwieldy for a solopreneur who is the lone hand at his or her business.
As a solopreneur myself, it has always daunted me every quarter when I sit down to fresh research on my audiences to keep up with their evolving needs and circumstances. That’s why I found this rather easy, and strikingly simple, but extremely powerful method of researching my current and potential target audiences.
- Classic target audience research methods and why they are cumbersome for solopreneurs
- The 6 key questions you need to ask about your potential target audiences
- 3 things to make your research yield that something extra that will provide smart insights
- How often should you research your target audiences and why does timing matter?
Understanding your target audiences is not as easy as it sounds – especially for solopreneurs who are entering content marketing for the first time. It can be difficult to drop your mental stereotypes about people and their general personalities, and see them all afresh as a buying public.
That’s why this blog post focuses on the four biggest lapses that most solopreneurs typically make when they try to gather intelligence and identify target audiences for their businesses. A vague target is essentially no target at all. When you try to communicate to everyone and anyone, you end up with a message that resonates with no one.
- You identify people wrongly and too soon as tire-kickers and don’t plan to hang on with them
- You identify the right audience but don’t have a grip on the real problems to solve for them
- You have too broad an audience or too narrow an audience and neither of these audiences is realistic
- You have no clue about the skepticism-threshold of the audience you’ve identified
Target audience personas are an ideal aid for solopreneur content marketers who want to aim their marketing messages, blogs and other content at specific audiences with best results. Target audience personas are best described as “visual and textual imagery cards” of imaginary people who best typify our target audiences.
For instance, if we have two or three groups of target segments in our ideal audiences, we may choose to create some imaginary people who best exemplify each group. We can give them names and faces,and note down their list of personality traits, interests, online haunts, habits and behaviors. If all this is neatly encapsulated on a card, we have a handy ready-reckoner that shows us who our blog posts must be targeted at.
- Why do you need target audience personas and how can you create them realistically?
- Templates for developing target audience personas you can use as a starter kit
- Mistakes solopreneurs typically make in target audience personas development
- What is the purpose of target audience personas if you cannot befriend them?
Buyer journeys are the paths that potential buyers of your solopreneur business could take – from the moment they seek broad information on your niche topic to the time they buy your products, or even later advocate them to their friends. Did you know that the online buyer actually prefers not to be disturbed by marketers at all for nearly three-fourths of this journey? Sirius Research says ““Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the buyer’s decision is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.”
The hard truth for solopreneurs is this: buyers don’t want to be marketed to, prospected, or demo-ed, or closed. Can you be a quiet fellow-traveller? You have no choice. You must.
- What is a buyer’s journey and why does it matter?
- Mapping content to buyer journeys
- Examples of buyer journey maps
- How a buyer journey is different from the lifecycle of a buyer
Target audiences’ pain-points are the indicators of the areas of success-potential in your solopreneur business. If you can identify where your customers may have their greatest problems, and you can best help your target audiences, you have the foundations from where your business can begin to deliver value – and charge for it eventually.
The really tricky part of the exercise is finding out the genuine pain-points of customers, as opposed to the red herrings that look like pain-points but are not the real underlying problems. Just asking customers outright to name all that bugs them doesn’t work. You have to be a bit devious …
- What are customer pain-points – and why does the definition matter to your business?
- Two classic mistakes to avoid, and two good practices to always follow, in pain-point discovery
- Discovering pain points using buyer research tools – the non-interactive way
- Discovering pain-points using emotion-revealing tactics – the interactive way
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of aspiring digital solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us in the comments field below this post.
In our series of Guides:
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 1: Are you ready to be a solopreneur?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 2: Is a solopreneur business right for you?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 3: Looking for solopreneur inspirations?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 4: Content Marketing Basics Examined!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 5: Content Marketing Strategy Starter!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 6: Deep Dive Into Target Audiences!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 7: Deep Dive Into Brand Strategy!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 8: Starting Your Content Marketing!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 9: Growing Traffic And Conversions!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 10: Top Avenues For Strong Earnings!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 11: Building Your Success Attitude!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 12: Tracking Technology And Trends!